It’s best to keep things as simple as possible. But like many other things, it’s easier said than done. In a world that constantly conspires to subdue and overwhelm, staying calm is one of the difficult things to do. Life is short. The average person out there desires to achieve as much as they can in as little time as possible. There are personal desires…desires which the world oftentimes indirectly and sometimes pointedly oppose. The cacophony of voices that tend to drown out our own inner voice. A lone voice in the wilderness.
It really doesn’t matter what part of the world you are domiciled, there are few places that experience the peace and tranquility that many crave. And if you’re one of the lucky few who live in places where you never have to worry about when the next bomb would explode or where the next shooting will occur, then surely you must have neighbours whose troubles affect you in one way or the other. It’s the way the world the wired – fleeting peace, plenty trouble.
If you live in Africa or to bring it closer to home, Nigeria specifically, then it’s safe to say your hands are full. If it isn’t the thoughts of a taciturn president that only seems to find his voice when reiterating his commitment to the fight against corruption or a currency that continues its free-fall against the dollar, then it must be a high-handed EFCC boss that cannot overlook the slightest criticism. You may be contending with job insecurity (if you’re still lucky to have a job) or a tough economic climate if you’re an entrepreneur. Bottom line – It’s virtually impossible to be a Nigerian and not have anything that threatens to mess with your sanity.
One doesn’t have to be overly observant to see that things are not nearly the way they should be. While it is true that regardless of the downturn in the economy, those that will thrive will do so, the fact remains that a good number of people are struggling to keep their heads above water. It’s not even debatable. And beyond general matters like an unfavourable economic environment, we all have our individual struggles too. A bad marriage here, an overbearing boss there, insufferable in-laws, debilitating health, betrayed friendship, unrequited love to mention a few. In spite of the smiles we put up in public, there are issues that bother us in our inner recesses. But, the purpose of the post is not to remind you of your problems.
The purpose of this post is to remind you that life goes on irrespective of our troubles, and regardless of your present situation there are ways to ease the tension. The first of which is food. Food is a gift. I really don’t understand people who don’t like food. I am no glutton, but the sight of food especially when I am absolutely famished is enough to make me momentarily forget any worries that might be weighing on my mind. Be it African or Continental cuisine, the variety of edibles we are blessed with by the creator is unbelievable. So, eat. It’s simplistic I know, but eat because you need to survive. Eat because you need to stay healthy enough to tackle all the challenges that come your way. Eat to be strong and have fine skin. And sometimes, eat for the heck of it – Yes! Eat to live.
I know you have stuff bothering you. I know you want to make it so bad if only to prove naysayers wrong. I know you want to get to the pinnacle of your career or build your brand to an enviable height. I know you want to be wealthy, so you can share with others as you want or maybe just for vanity’s sake. I am assuming these are your dreams because I desire the same things too. At the risk of sounding cocky, I doubt if there are many who are as self-motivated as I am. I am constantly seeking ways to improve myself, I am prone to believing that I am not doing enough even though my friends would consider me crazy to even entertain that thought. Everyday, I am more and more driven to be better. To do better. To make sure I am striving to the best of my ability to harness the entirety of my God-given potential. I want to die knowing that I emptied myself of all I was capable of achieving within the time I was in this realm. I can see results, and I am grateful for them. But, I want more…
If you are anything like me, then you need to remind yourself to breathe once in a while. I am no therapist, but I know we all need that breather sometimes. See, the problems will not automatically go away. As we solve one, another pops up. Our leaders may never stop lying to us. Your partner may never stop cheating. The wars and racial discrimination may never be a thing of the past. Somebody will be heartbroken tomorrow, another will lose plenty of money in the stock market or some other investment. These challenges won’t vanish into thin air, and that’s why we need to breathe. Take a step back from it all and breathe. Some may be lucky to be able to go on a vacation to get the much needed breather, for the majority who cannot, a walk in the park or break from work will have to do. Whichever way you choose to do it, just breathe…
There’s little wonder why love comes as my final admonition. Love is always the greatest, and not necessarily romantic love. Love for humanity. Love for a worthy cause. Love for all things nice and lovely. Pure, unadulterated love. There’s something about genuine love that eases the greatest of pains. Each time we think about the people in our lives who truly love us warts and all, there’s a reason we smile, a reason we feel at peace. Whoever hasn’t known love hasn’t really lived.
As I write this piece, I realise it’s an article that would probably fit more into my lessons for the year 2016, but like I tell anyone who cares to listen; this writing vocation is a spiritual one. And so, this piece is coming at the time it should come, because even I need a break from writing about societal ills and issues that irk me.
As we go about our daily chores/jobs, let’s remember to eat, breathe and love.
Now I need to grab a bite.