I have often found myself wishing someone had shared with me very early on the principles and instructions for life that I now share with my young friends who are just now having a go at life.
I had no father figure growing up. Though mum did her best in raising me and sending me to school, we never really talked much about preparing for life. Except, that I should be wary of 3 things: money, women, and food.
Having being raised alone by a single mum who had to spend a lot of time working to make ends meet, there was no particular mentor present in my life. Even my teachers weren’t that much interested in the little timid boy that I was growing up. I guess it was only Mr. Ogala, my primary school tutor, who cared, somewhat enthusiastically, about my prospects in the arts. Ironically, I didn’t like the fine arts that much.
So it was by chance I got influenced by men older and wiser than I was. At the age of 21, I stumbled on one of Stephen Donaldson’s The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant book series, Lord Fouls Bane. Though it was a high fantasy novel, its tale of perseverance and courage ignited my interest in personal development for the very first time, and as a byproduct, a love for reading. In addition, authors and thinkers like Dale Carnegie and James Allen did a whole lot more in strengthening my resolve to becoming a better human being.
Then came the Bible with its instructions on Love and excellence: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast…” With such guidance, I felt propelled to cultivating good relationships and character. I can only imagine what my life would have become without these serendipitous events that led me, I believe, on the good path.
That’s why I am so grateful for my life, and even if I wished I had good influences right from the moment I began to form a thought on life, I am still happy I got the chance, when I did, to learn from the excellent sources that came my way. For without them, I am pretty sure I would have ended up in some proverbial gutter.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Garcia