Its midway through the year already…. 2009 has sped by with alarming inerrancy…. And the midway point will soon be reached…….I find myself musing, questioning, probing and sifting through the evidence hoping to find proof that I have indeed focused on the right things so far that will make the most difference when push comes to shove and the bricks fall down as though ripped to shreds by a tsunami of cataclysmic proportions……….The big chronological milestone approaches too, and with it comes a sense of dread – I will officially become ‘old’ in my book – but then on the other hand is some gratefulness for still being alive against all odds….. …… Its taking stock time here………….I really hope the verdict is not “mene mene tekel parsin”
Strolling with an eager anticipation of the culinary delights sublimely created to soothe my aching throat and growling stomach, I hum a mindless tune that bears no connection whatsoever to any extant song. Somehow the steady ‘chomp chomp’ of my footsteps are the entire accompaniment I can muster to the tune that fills my head to overflowing. It has been a hard day of work; if shuffling papers, shouting at the interns, playing solitaire and facebooking count as work that is. All that is far removed from the fore of my mind though, as the gently fading sun casts long shadows on the earth behind me, whilst I walk along the street, anachronistically named the Nineteenth
The object of my desire is piping hot amala served with ewedu and pomo, churned out with surprising consistency and impressive dexterity by Iya Monday; a shockingly obese woman, clearly stuck in menopause who pointedly insists on bedecking herself with a nose ring, four inch heels and a spaghetti top which manages to conceal what should be exposed and expose what perhaps in a different time and age might have provoked a pointedly visceral response in a man of lesser virtues.
The shrill ‘peeen peeen’ of a ‘vespa’ awakens me from my reverie, as I suddenly realize that I had indeed come within whiskers of being brushed off the road into the seething morass of floating paper, maize husks, mosquito larvae and putrid water escaped from a broken sewer that is an open gutter which perhaps now better defines the road than that name Nineteenth.
Are words merely words on a page, or are they snippets of a hidden soul that have somehow escaped to grant a preview to the uninitiated of the intangibles that lie beneath the surface? Perhaps, words in reality bear no extant connection to the mind that inspired the hand that bore the pen that crafted them and are devoid of a life of their own; only sketching a reality that is at best virtual and concocted.
Pray tell me where the line between the real and the virtual blur.. Or are we inexorably drawn to the nostalgia of dreams yet chastised by the harshness of reality, whilst pining for a nascent hope, which perhaps we never get? Is it even possible to infer quickness of mind, sharpness of spirit, cuteness, razzness or some other quirk of behavior from words on a
Sadly I have been e-seduced by words on a
page screen! And the virtual and the real have blurred into one!
First off.. Our PROJECT is live……. Stop over and show us some love aight!
Would the boy you were yesterday be proud of the man you are today?
I wish I had straight forward answers, a Yes or a No. But I’m finding out that the more I think about it, the more it seems the answer is both Yes and No. Yes, I’ve met and exceeded most of my targets; No because in some regards, I have done stuff the boy of yesterday, who stood with great enthusiasm on the cusp of greatness would cringe to even hear of. Deep down sometimes I argue with myself, wondering if perhaps I have even delivered on the huge potentials I know I once had.
I take solace though, in the fact that I still am alive against all odds; after all he that is joined to the living has hope. And that gives me the opportunity to do all I need to do TODAY, so that I can be proud of the Father I will be tomorrow.
Perhaps, the most appropriate question today would be:
Are you learning or doing stuff that would make you proud of the Father or Mother you will be in Future?
It seems only like yesterday that I stood in your shoes, on the verge of turning twenty-one. My mind was a maelstrom of feelings; not all of which I could understand. On the one hand was nostalgia for all the memories of growing up and on the other trepidation. I had just left the University and I was going to miss the ‘mountain top experiences’ – the uninhibited exuberance of worshiping together on a Sunday afternoon, the wonderful friendships that had been developed over the tenure of my stay, the nights spent in raucous laughter as we talked about everything under the sun – everything. I felt some trepidation, a nagging concern at the monstrous changes that I was on the verge of undergoing. Lots of issues swirled around my mind – what final grade would I make? Where would I be deployed to serve the nation? Would I get a job? Was a Masters’ Degree the ultimate coup de grace I needed to launch myself into my chosen career? Had I learned all I needed to succeed in life? I had plans, that had me doing things I had only seen in my dreams.
You too, my dear, face these issues today. Rather than relenting, conventional wisdom seems to suggest that these pressures have increased from my time till now. You will be required to perform at peak levels relationally, spiritually, financially and in your chosen career. Thankfully, you do not tread an unbeaten road. So many years ago, a motley of ex slaves and their children also faced a test of courage – The Exodus – leaving the known however uncomfortable, for a promise of a greater tomorrow. Like them you too have spent a significant portion of your life in training – lectures, tests, exams, managing conflicting schedules, finding time to connect to other people, spending money you haven’t earned, engaging stakeholders and customers and learning to honour the women in your life. Like them too, you stand on the verge of crossing a major milestone, beyond which everything changes. Be warned, that anticipation and excitement often mask the requirement for hard work and concerted effort.
Young man, I can call you that, truly succeeding will require a major effort to flesh out the details of your future. The man who does not sit down and count the cost of a venture runs the risk of getting stuck mid-stream. You should therefore consider this a time to count the cost before stepping out into the world. Also remember that Society has expectations of you – to get or create a job, get married, have children, and then in the African context, provide for family – parents, siblings etc. May I add, that in addition to all that, you as an individual have unique skill sets that will enable you to do something different for your world; using your influence and abilities to hold the fort and speak up for those who are less blessed than you. Each passing year will lead to an increase in the level of these expectations, something you must be prepared to shoulder.
You, my dear must show your maturity by learning commitment and demonstrating responsibility to succeed at this. I consider “commitment” as the acceptance of a responsibility for something or someone and “responsibility” as taking definitive action to fulfil those commitments. In my experience I have come to find out that commitments define the frame work on which our value system is built as well as define the intrinsic premises that characterize the extrinsic qualities of our lives – how our lives are to be led on a day to day basis. You cannot afford to be wrong here, or else all else will be fatally flawed.
Kindly consider five critical dimensions where you will need to commit to – a balanced world view, family, the larger society, your future employer as well as the mentors that will come in and out of your life. You will also have to take responsibility to take ethical decisions at some stage of your life, whether in a personal capacity or on the behalf of others, function in and provide for a family and serve at some level in the society. Take these five categories to heart, study them, seek out information on them, and continuously improve.
As you stand on the verge of manhood, let these words ring in your ears. Go.. and make a difference in your world. Me…
Its been a sloooow Friday at mine.. So I spent a huge chunk of it on Facebook…. Enjoy a few of the more esoteric status updates I saw this week.
- “The Law of divine BS” – Given two prospects of similar abilities, the rate of change of opportunities to perform with time is directly proportional to the amount of dust yarned and the amount of dross promised! i.e “Open eye” creates opportunities…JS (Before nko, its all about the agbari!)
- Light travels faster than sound, that is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak – OO (Appearances will always open doors, it behooves the smart person to ensure the content matches the appearance)
- Survivorship bias: We see the winners and “learn” from them, while forgetting the huge unseen cemetery of losers – FOI (Truly, First is everything, the rest is nothing)
- You can travel across the world,meet the nicest people and enjoy the greatest moments of life in a tiny yet essential ship called friendSHIP. – RE (You can tell from the mushyness that this is feminine….Valid point though)
- *Apart, we dominate; Together, we orchestrate* – DJ (Isn’t it immediately obvious that this dude is the life of the party?)
- Walls are meant to shut people out, but they also shut you in – HA (This one newly marry, its allowed!)
- A simple smile will do so much..don’t leave home without it – ENO (Another one of the fairly newly wedded peeps, valid point though)
- One more ” I will always love you” line from his black lips and I honestly will shoot someone! Tutututubararaaraaraara…. PO (Wo.. If you shoot all the people saying they luff you, who will remain?)
- Why has the price of pure water stayed at N5 for over 10 years while inflation, currency rates and other costs have gone up? Any thoughts, analysis or suggestions? (FDI) (This one has an MBA from one of the top schools in Europe but is roasting behind a desk in Nigeria, this is just to demonstrate that he still has business insight!)
- My prayer for you all is that there would be a transformation that would take each of you to a subspace that is invariant to exogenous perturbations. (AAA) (Surely, I do not sound like this… This one is a prospective Vibrations PhD!)
Damn – I KNOW what the problem with my life is – discipline to do what I need to do, when I need to. My time management issues all flow from and into the discipline thing! I have very clear plans on direction, and goals – I NEED to start planning my day and acting on it ASAP, leaving procrastination behind.
Yours truly spent the weekend; the part not spent on Facebook, Twitter or playing Football Manager that is, thinking about all the things I need to sort out in the next phase of life for my aging self! Here are the Seven things I have to get done, in no particular order, before Heaven beckons….
- Marry the akara making Halle berry/ Gordon Ramsay/ Martha Stewart superwoman of my dreams!
- Write the best-selling collection of poems and or the book that gets me on the cover of TIME magazine and rave reviews as the new Shakespeare (speaking at TED would be a great alternative!)
- Swivel in my chair and dictate global Pipeline Integrity Policy from my corner office at Corporate HQ on 800 Bell street for at least 20 years..
- Walk a tight-rope stretched taut over the Niagara falls (or if my keg prevents me, pretend to!)
- Get to retire to my yacht in the Caribbean and watch the sun set for at least another 20 years!
- Make a one time donation of at least ten million dollars to World Vision, Compassion, or preferably Stepping Stones Nigeria.
- Last and not the least, get some legit toe-curling, head twisting, mind boggling you-know-what..
Daaaayuuum…. Its a Sunday.. Enough of the day dreams – I’m off to Church!
One of the action items from my Thinking Time was a reading list. Full list is here..