THE PRESSURES OF THE LIVING. (PART 1)
Everyday, I think about what is really important...
- The Clothes we wear? (a) Any nudity Cover (b) Givenchy. My Answer: A
- What we drive? (a) Just get to destination (b) Range Rover. My Answer: A
- What we eat? (a) *Beans (b) a la-carte. My Answer: A
- How we want to be perceived? (a) Just Human (b) Religious. My Answer: A
- How we feel? (a) Happy-go-lucky (b) Rich. My Answer: A
In MY world as you can see, I am an 'A' student, but 90% of people will disagree with me, and I understand.
Who wouldn't want a life of Givenchy, Range Rovers, a la-Carte, Religious and Wealth?!
So you can see and should understand people are different. So try to understand other people's (mine to be precise) point of views too.
We are all on a journey and everyone is seeking for a path. No one has one, we all don't see any so we just create differently as we go along - Thus, my understanding of MAN, after God created us.
But I feel we constantly get it wrong so I keep asking myself at what point in our lives are we going to really really sit down and address the pressures we face as humans.
"Fear does not prevent Death. It prevents Life''. - Naguib Mahfouz
How come the most Fearful people I know are Religious people? Though they claim to believe and trust God but are still extremely Afraid. Just listen to the contents of their Prayers and you'll know.
The strong hold of fear can never be over-emphasized. It is what makes the difference between what we could be and what we will be. We all have it but we have to try not to let it rule every aspect of our lives because it is the reason we would never make an impact in our lives or in the lives of others. We have used instruments like religion and fear to limit ourselves and our potentials. Life should be fun. God will not punish us for being ourselves. He created us that way and differently too.
Imagine if a good leader was afraid to rule (Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore), imagine if a great pilot was afraid to fly; imagine if the great Fela had been afraid to Sing, imagine if visionary leader had been afraid to dream (Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai), Imagine Bill gates was afraid of computers and imagine how history would have been if Ghandi had been afraid of the colonial masters.
Many things that make sense to us have been instilled in us by fear. Like religion for example, a lot wouldn't abide by it but for the fear of Hell. The funny thing is that, even the concept of heaven and the joy of it is not still enough for people to aspire to it, But you can't beat the fear of Hell.
Imagine all you've heard about it, - fire and brimstone, hot burning flames that never go off, different levels of torture and all. But I keep asking myself everyday about this that ‘Really … is this God?', The creator of all the things we enjoy? All the things we see? That mighty God? And each time, my answer is ‘’it can't be’’.
There is a difference between GOD and Religion. Isn't it why we have many religions but only 1 Creator? Many religions aspiring for a share of your mind, each saying it is the truth? Each coming from different perspectives but wants world dominance?
And I have realised that people would rather lock their minds to a religion rather than think about God. So they'll rather celebrate Christmas even when they don't know its origin or go to Mecca to stone the imaginary devil.
There is a deeper level to this discussion but for the sake of this write up, we'll just keep it here.
2. Negative Mindset:
I have been told more ''don'ts'' than I have 'do's'.
We need to be careful what we do with our minds. The mind is a very powerful thing.
The things we ascribe to ourselves as humans are amazing. You will hear things like ''The spirit of barrenness in me…..', ‘The devil that doesn't want me to succeed…..', ‘The enemy that is holding my promotion….'. I get really surprised these things come out from the mouths of enlightened and educated beings as 'prayers'.
People have limited themselves and placed limits on many things they are responsible for - like their children - all through history and it still goes on today. There is power in the unknown.
If you knew my circumstance growing up in Lagos in the 80's, who would have ever thought that just 30 years from then, A footballer could be richer than a Doctor, an Engineer and A Lawyer combined, who would have thought!!! The mind is dynamic; let's not limit it by the things we feed it.
3. Stubbornness and Conviction:
People will tell you that you are stubborn – as if it is a bad thing.
Show me that great man that wasn't stubborn or had conviction on his views, nor a vision no one else could see. Or rather, show me that great man that wasn't stubborn but was acclaimed later in life to be great.
Was it MANDELA? Was it MARTIN LUTHER KING? Was it GHADAFFI? Was it LEE KUAN YEW? Was it ROSA PARKS? Was it GHANDI? Was it MALCOM X? Was it the leaders of the MUSLIM WORLD? Was it MICHAEL JACKSON? Was it Sheik MOHAMMED BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM of Dubai? And is it The Current president of Nigeria MUHAMMADU BUHARI? The list is endless.
As far as I am concerned, being stubborn has never been a negative. You have to be stubborn to deal with people because they are animals!
4. The Race:
We Africans make it seem as if the world will end if certain things aren't done. We go about like the sky will fall or the world will end if you don't have that Degree, if you don't have that amount of money, if you've not gone to that 'important' destination, if you just don't marry that girl or guy.
And then when you do, another thing becomes important. That Baby. That very baby that must be had in your first year you haven't even settled down as a married couple, the pressure of that important first baby… “Oh my, you haven't had that baby?! Are you mad or what?!!!”
That baby! Like there is no happiness in the world without that baby. Then when you finally have that baby, they don't do anything for or will threaten to spank if he/she cries….the pressure mounts again about that very, very, very important second baby…and the circle goes on.
I keep asking myself, do numbers really matter? Are children things we count?
But how come we don't busy ourselves with taking care of the ones around instead of making more and bursting the population figures? How much more children can the world take? How many is really enough? Can we sustain them if the only parameters were Quality, Value and a Positive lasting impression on earth? Not just survival and getting-by plus a lot of compromise. Really, can we afford the best of the best education? Can we offer the best living conditions? Can we give the best emotional balance?
If only the best was required of us, can we still afford 2, 3, 4 or 5 children?
How come people don't sell and tell stories of a Josephine Baker that decided and adopted 12 less-privileged children from all the continents of the world and brought them to Paris, called her home a 'Rainbow Nation' to care for them and fought to propagate a point about a united, non-racial world?
Adoption is a topic you hardly hear from African families, but the media is filled with illegal teenage sex, baby havens and all.
5. Communal responsibility:
We are more tailored to take care and reason more within our nuclear family and settings than our community.
The environmental decadence is at its peak - the result of years of laxity, non-communication of the right things, not doing nor encouraging the right voices has created endemic problems and epidemic like area boys, thieves & the Almajiri's that have dominated our communities.
If we were a serious community, we would stress the need for -
§ § - Capacity Building and not Alms giving,
§ § - Infrastructure Advancement and not Poverty Eradication,
§ § - Responsible Parenting and not Child Labour,
§ § - Sound Quality All-round Education and not just Arabic schools,
§ § - Good Orphanages and not street begging and hawking,
§ § - Encourage Good Governance and not favors or handouts,
§ § - Visionary Leadership and not Quick fixes!
So many things are important but few make our headlines.
In a place like Nigeria, for example, you don't hear things like: Emergency rescue, Climate Change, Hardwork, Child abuse, Air pollution, Noise pollution, Planting Trees, Sanitary waste disposal (not pad), healthy drainage system, Sensible transportation, moral decadence, disability care / plan, Functional free health system and Justice to mention just a few.
This summarizes SOME of the things I think about, how I feel and I am convinced we can do better as a people.
Like they say ROME was not built in a day and I say, Nigeria and the World didn't degenerate yesterday. Time and precedence has brought us to where we are.
My intention is not to offend anyone or group and Please do not hesitate to correct me on any fact you think I got wrong. I am open to knowledge.
Thank you for reading.
What do you think?