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.
A very wise woman once expressed a universal truth in the simplest use of words: “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
Quite eloquent, yes, but that’s something deeply profound to say about our preconceptions. In fact, I think it is so deep in meaning and implications that I find it scary and deserving of our full attention.
I bet it was a critical observation of life that led Anaïs Nin to such a conclusive truth. And if we were to follow suit, I am sure we will see the link between our constant transformation and how we view the world around us.
As an example, I once found being gay irritating and a design from the pit of hell. Now my views are hugely reversed. I am now accepting and respectful of my fellow human beings who are gay, even though I still grapple with matters of same-sex copulation.
The comparison game is a deep hole that can trap us forever. We must avoid it and be courageous enough to be ourselves even if we appear starkly different and unpopular.
So in place of comparing ourselves with others and feeling inadequate, let’s pour out our hearts into unearthing better versions of who we are. For the truth is, there’s something incredibly special about YOU.
Most times, there is no way of understanding why bad things happen, and that hurts.
I get it if a driver were to lose control due to excess alcohol levels. Or if a group of armed robbers got themselves killed in a shootout with the police. But for a good-natured young lady to intentionally kill her self by drinking a bottle of SNIPER DDVP insecticide is incomprehensible.
Though I didn’t know her very well, I always noticed Haleema* whenever I visited the market for my cake supplies. The stall in which she sold plastic items for parties and home-use was just next to the cake shop. However, even if her spot had been far down the line, her beauty and warmth would have still been conspicuous.
For quite some time, I have struggled under the burden of a rapidly increasing customer base. The patronage I enjoy now could be said to have quadrupled compared to when I started my cake business in 2014, especially in ways I never really envisioned it would. Unfortunately, my dilemma is entirely a product of my unpreparedness for growth, and sadly, my lack of foresight.
Just the other day, I was educated further on my situation by a big brother friend of mine, who is quite committed to ensuring I make the most of the traction I have gained so far. One of the things he said to me, that stuck like glue, was that “opportunities like this will not remain forever if I didn’t seize them.” It didn’t occur to me at the time that my problem “of too many customers” was actually a blessing – clearly not in any disguise whatsoever.