What Language Do You Speak?

According to statistics, 40 percent of the world population are monolinguals and 43 percent are bilinguals.

I believe that within the 40 percent, there are some people who understand a little of another language, just not enough to be called bilingual. Yeah, I am talking about the Messi and Ronaldo lovers who know a few Spanish words. Then there are the K-drama lovers with the “aigoo” moments. These people (myself included) only know a few words in these languages but not enough to communicate well in it. In this case, we pick up the language based on our habit of spending time to watch these celebrities.

Let us come home to Nigeria. This country is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world, with over 500 languages spoken. You will find the Igbo trader trying to say some Yoruba words just after a few minutes of associating with them. The same happens with Hausa, Ibibio, Ijaw Tiv and the others. Staying in the midst of people speaking something other than what you speak, will influence you to try speaking theirs and they will pick up a bit of yours too.

Linguistic map of Nigeria

You probably understand more than one language but my focus here is that particular language that you can communicate in with very little to no hiccups. There are roughly 7,117 languages spoken all over the world (that is what Google said) so it is not possible to learn every language inorder to communicate effectively. This English that is considered a universal language is not spoken or understood in serveral small areas which limits its “universality“.

Also, there are some special and skillful means of communication like art, music, dance and the likes. These people go through deliberate training to learn this language. Practice and practice until they can communicate it well.

The Oxford dictionary defines language as “the principal method of human communication, consisting of words used in a structured and conventional way and conveyed by speech, writing, or gesture“. Speech and writing speak for themselves so let us be the mouthpiece for gesture; not the hand signs this time but your carriage. You also have the facial expressions, eye rolls, smiles, and lots more. These are the ones I call the “universally” understood language. I do not need to learn your language to tell you that I am hungry, all I have to do is show you in a way that you will understand.

A special message from all babies to you.

Without the defined hand sign language, this is still a pretty easy task. It has been said countless times that communication is considered to have taken place once the information passed has been received. In essence, the plenty fancy words will be garbage if the person receiving your message does not understand a thing.

You will agree with me then, that the means of communication is as important as the message. It is beyond repeating the quote you heard, fact you read, preacher’s words and so on. It is important that you communicate properly, the first step is to understand the environment. Don’t go whispering the way your friend did when you have an audience that did not come with their hearing aid and need you to scream. Or you pour water to wake them up when these are very light sleepers that would wake up if you just call their names. It would be like talking to a wall if you insist on quoting what the preacher said verbatim, in English, to someone who has barely grasped pidgin.

Yeah, but I hope we never talk again.

We should always remember to understand the audience first, then do not just talk, COMMUNICATE. Meaning, speak in a way that will be understood not in the way you were told or the way the last audience understood it.

There is one more language that everyone understands, and that is love. This universal language can be heard in your tone. It is easy to spot it out If it is lacking in anyway. I find it funny when people say they want to show you the light but they spend the whole time talking about the ills of the darkness. You say you come in peace but your knives are out and ready to slice down my throat. How is it still communication when you reflect the opposite of what you claim you are upholding? It becomes obvious that what you think you are handing over is far from what I know I am receiving.


If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;…

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

No matter what language you speak, do not forget that communication is the goal. With love, communicate properly. Remember that “love is not ARROGANT or RUDE. It does not INSIST ON IT’S OWN WAY,” so learn to understand the way of every environment you find yourself in”. If you are still learning the love language then be like the football and K drama lovers, watch those who already know how to love. Surround yourself with what you want to become. Be like the artist, be deliberate about learning the art.

Love does not insist on its own way. Adjust, adapt, be willing to learn and unlearn because that’s how we grow right?

How many languages do you understand and how many can you communicate in? Don’t forget to leave your comments here. Thank you for reading! 💖 Sosoño, Eșe, Dalu, Merci beaucoup, kamsahamida, Xie Xie ni, Gracias, Danke schön…don’t you just love languages? 😁

Their Myth, The Truth

Do you remember the tales that were told to children just to scare them enough to stay close and not wander off into real danger?

Or the stories that were meant to teach them acceptable behaviours. Like telling them about ‘the ghost that kidnaps children that tell lies‘. Other times, it could be a response to a question that one feels that the person asking isn’t ready to know yet. Just like telling a 5 year old that babies enter mummy’s womb from the sky.

One way or the other, you’ve heard a myth before.

According to the English dictionary and for the purpose of this write up, a myth is a commonly-held but false belief, a common misconception;a popular conception about a real person or event which exaggerates or idealizes reality.”

I take out four keywords from this definition ;

  • FALSE : a mistaken belief, a wrong idea
  • POPULAR: Common among the general public
  • MISCONCEPTION: Untrue, not factual, factually incorrect.
  • EXAGGERATE: To overstate, to describe more than is fact.

Many of us have fallen into the error of judging based on myths. Who can blame us right? “They are just so popular that everyone accepts them, plus it’s too much work to search for the truth”.

However, without your research, many myths are debunked with time. A good example is the myth that “if you swallow orange seeds, it will grow in your stomach up to the top of your head” (I actually believed this one😭) . You just realise its not true when you see that the seeds are not growing as you grow.

However, some others do not go away that easily. People grow with these myths and hold on to it so tight that it becomes their truth and they go ahead to fix it at the centre of their values and goals. The first example I could think of as I was writing this piece is this; “if you’re a smart lady or an ambitious one, all men will be intimidated by you and they won’t want to be around or with you”. I just paraphrased this, I cannot recall it verbatim but this is basically the summary of what is usually said.

I have met amazing ladies that are careful not to speak or show their goals and ambitions around men. After a while for some, they let go of speaking or thinking about those goals. It has been a privilege to have elderly women tell me this myth too. I say privilege because they indirectly gave me content for this blog post, hehe. Thankfully, I did not grow up in an environnement that was biased based on gender. Hence, I did not know how not to put in my all back then, and with God’s help, even now. From “food” to “file”,what was worth doing was worth doing well and gender had no place in it.

These ‘harmless’ heresay [Information that was heard by one person about another that cannot be adequately substantiated] we help to spread can cause more harm than we know.

These Stereotypes [A conventional, formulaic, and often oversimplified or exaggerated conception, opinion, or image of (a person)”] and prejudice [An irrational hostile attitude, fear or hatred towards a particular group, race or religion] keep multiplying day by day.

Black women are always angry” . Are they really? You’ve spoken to all of them? Is that why you disregard whatever is said by every black woman because it is just “women’s talk”?

“law students are arrogant” . How many have you approached? Oh, some were rude to you? So that justifies your harassment of the ones that do not even know who you are?

“Yoruba guys are players or demons”. How many are you acquainted with? Many? So your hatred and marginalisation to those who never hurt you in anyway is not undeserved?

Men are scum”. Oh, you have met all men? The one that hurt you did not do well but is that an acceptable reason to raise your hand and slap any man at will?

“Calabar girls are prostitutes”. I take it that you have patronised all of them? Which is why people will look down on a girl that says she is from or lives in Calabar. It becomes a justification to call her a prostitute right?

I could go on and on, it’s endless. It is fact that though some of these statements of myths are passed on as a joke, some people take them to heart and it becomes their truth. This in turn affects the way they’ll relate with certain groups. Putting forth a hostile attitude based on a myth.

Delving a little into my personal experience as a law student. In my first year, I always felt uncomfortable in the black and white (the mandatory uniform for all law students in Nigerian Universities) for the singular reason that it made me feel like I had a negative spotlight on me. Verbal harassment from people while walking inside and even outside the university. One time a group of four were walking behind me and they kept shouting “the bar”, “the law” and it took every patience in me to not turn around. You’ll think they’d stop but they didn’t, the only girl in the group caught up to me and blocked my path to get my attention.

All I could come up with was “excuse me” and she did but not before laughing alongside the other guys. One made a comment about how arrogant all law students are and how “this one(me) head will swell and burst one day”. I just walked away in silence trying very hard not to respond. Note that this was just my first week in the university, consider it my warm welcome.

I got to have conversations with some of my senior colleagues and they told me how it is “normal” and that I would “get used to it” as time goes on. So I told myself that I would need to put in more work in strengthening my patience and tolerance because these prejudice has not stopped, it’s still ongoing and honestly looks like it will go on for a very long while.

Another time I almost lost it was one calm afternoon when I was walking to class. These two girls walking behind me were having a conversation that I was not interested in, not until they started talking about the “empty head in black and white” (Really what’s their problem with my head? It is always the first part of me they call out) . Initially, I thought it was about someone else they both knew, not until the description was seeming more and more like me. They described and insulted my hair, my skirt, the way I walked, everything. I couldn’t help it, I had to turn back and look at the girls, oh the things I wanted to say! However, all I did was stare intensely before continuing my walk to class. As much as I wanted to give a retort, I really did not want my white shirt to get stained in a squabble and of course it is not what Jesus would do. They should thank Jesus😁.

My question now is, what exactly was my wrong? Why did they pick on me? Well the answer is simple, a myth has placed a target on my back.

“Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?”

John 7:51

The latin phrase, Audi alterem partem (listen to the other side, or let the other side be heard as well) is the principle that no person should be judged without a fair hearing in which each party is given the opportunity to respond to the evidence against them(wiki) . This sums it up. If indeed you must assume the position of a judge in people’s personal lives (which I do not think anyone has the authority to do so) then you should do it the right way at least. Hear both sides. How? Do your research! You don’t want to? Then leave it be! Do not pass on what you do not know to be true.

If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.

Proverbs 18:13

Hearing sometimes is making use of your search engines, having conversations where you get to ask and answer questions. If you do not know the facts and you are not willing to find out, just let it be. Say nothing rather than say that myth.

The myth often appears with boldness, allure and an air of faux prettiness.
The truth is more calm,collected, confident and aware that it should be accepted. But it doesn’t force one to.
It’s up to us.

Lesodina Favour
Just dropping this here because it’s cute 😁.

Guilty or not guilty? Whatever we plead does not really matter, so long as we all get it right from now onwards.

Thank you for reading💕. Don’t forget to drop your comments and personal experience here too!

The Reason For The Rules

Do you play games?

Any game at all? From the ones I consider simple like Infinity loop and ludo. To the ones that become tasking as it developes like Candy Crush Saga and Temple run. Down to those I do not even bother understanding like PES and Call of Duty, I just tap on everything really(and of course I fail).

We can agree that these games are not for the same category of people. Either because of the difference in technicality or just personal preference. Though these games are different, they have one thing in common and that’s the rules.

Candy crush is one game I find myself opening often.

As simple as some levels are, it takes me more tries than expected to finally complete a level. What is my problem? It’s simple really, I almost never read what the level requires me to do. I spend time trying to mix colourful candies when I’m expected to “bring down the ingredients” or “clear all the jelly“. Maybe because I play this game when I am already in so much thought that I just “swipe the stress away” rather than paying attention to what is required.

On days when I remember to check what the target is before I start, I just forget halfway and remember when I have less than 5 moves left. And then of course I fail again.

These rules that come in the form of targets and missions (that I do not remember to pay attention to) is exactly what should be my only focus throughout the game because that is what is required in order for me to move up to another level.

I think going into a new venture or trying to change things around you is just like playing a game. You have your mind set on something (like me trying to make candy bombs because I really like them😩) that you do not take out time to see what is required. What you want to bring on board is probably really amazing but have you done your research?

Yes you’re smart an innovative but many people have been too and will be after you so that is far from the point here. It’s true that you probably work well alone but you’ll work even better with guidance from those who have worked, failed, succeeded and packed up lots of experiences.

This guidance is not to keep you from making mistakes, it is to keep you from making already made mistakes. The rules are not to confine you, they are to help you move faster towards your goal even when your goal is to amend these rules. If the level says “bring all the ingredient down”, why waste time trying to make colour bombs? If your pursuit requires you to be in a suit, why spend time filling up your suitcase with dance costumes?

Once upon a time, I told my cousin and my younger brother that I could beat them in Mortal Kombat (it was my response to their teasing😄) . I challenged them before even knowing what the game was about. I don’t know if you’re expecting me to say I won with some beginners luck but nope, they both had flawless victories. They beat me black and blue.

So I went to lick my wounds and since I wanted to try again, I decided to try smarter by doing a little bit of research. I chose two characters and read on all the hacks about them. I came back after memorizing them before trying again, and nope I still did not win. They beat me again, purple and red this time.

I was not discouraged though, to be honest I did not think I would win that easily. However, it was not a flawless victory for them this time. I got a few hits in and I practiced a few hacks I had read on. After about several more tries, I finally beat both of them. They will tell you it was just by a tiny little bit but oh well, what I know is that I won that one time before I walked away from the game for good (I find it quite gory🤷‍♀️).

Philip ran up and heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah, and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “Well, how could I [understand] unless someone guides me [correctly]?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

Acts 8:30-31 AMP

You might not be so lucky that people walk up to you, like Philip did, to ask if you need guidance or assistance, so it is best to make it a habit to find out the rules. How, when, why, where, who, ask these questions when you have to. Remember that if at all you want to alter this rules, you’ll still have to know them first.

These games will give you general rules but they do not tell you what order to follow. In board games like ludo, you know that you have to throw a six to come out of your ‘house’. You also know that you can kick your opponent back home at any point where you throw the number that’s needed. However, when you get a double six and maybe a five and four, there is no rule that tells you to bring out two games with both six or bring out one and count it all with that one.

I’ve come to know the chess pieces quite well. I know how the Queen, Knight and the others move, yet I have not played a complete game of chess. The reason I always give is that I do not know what to do. I’ve had people ask what I mean by not knowing what to do, because I already know the feature of each chess piece. What is holding me back is that I do not know what order to move them in.

There’s no particular rule to go about this because you never know what move your opponent will make. Unless you know the tactics very well, the same tactics that the chess masters got to know during their time in the game. Thinking steps ahead to know which to move forward and what to withdraw backwards from start to finish. Why jump in blindly when I have people that know where the landmines are and how to avoid them?

People do not just start things because they want to fail at it. However, that’s exactly how it plays out when one becomes headstrong on “pursuing what could be” without a complete understanding of “what is and the order of what has been”.

In your bid to standout, I hope you do not forget to be informed.

Have an amazing September ahead! Thank you for reading💕.

What Are You Writing?

No matter how boring, busy, productive, destructive, innovative, challenging, sad, mind blowing or crazy your life has been, it becomes a story when someone sits down to recount it. Note that this person would only be recounting what you have already written, no additions or subtractions.

It’s all you from preface to epilogue, you are the bestselling author of this story.

There are two principles in writing by Seth Godin that I quite agree with. These are; “Who is it for? and What is it for?” I interprete this as “to whom and why ?”

To whom?

Who are you writing this story to? Is it to your parent, social media, your friends, your crush, your mentor, to yourself or is it to posterity?

Why?

Are you writing to pepper dem, belong in the circle, impress him or her, or to teach a lesson?

Whether you know who you’re writing to or why you’re writing, the fact remains that you are writing. Everyday you wake up is a new page. Every step you take will make up a line of the story. Every decision you make starts a new paragraph that will take you through suspence and eventual consequence of those decisions.

One thing a good writer has is an outline; a guide, ground rules that your story is based on. Do you have an outline or are you just going with the flow?

Everyone knows about trend. There’s always that new thing in fashion, hairstyle, clothing, food, show, quote and even mood. There is always something that’s top on the hashtag trend and I don’t believe this is negative, not until you make it the outline to this book you’re writing called life. These trends come and go after a while so basing your life on them is as good as giving the pen to a one year old to scribble for you. The child will move the pen as he pleases without following the lines or being conscious enough to write out readable letters.

What exactly are you writing?

I am a firm believer of the truth that no one else can be you the way you can, just like you cannot be anyone else the way they can. Which makes me very confused when people go the extra mile to be a photocopy. You are already an original for crying out loud! Why not pursue being the best of yourself?

I’ve tried but failed to fully understand why people follow a different outline on every page they write. Why waste an original ink on a fake story? Why choose to allow people who aren’t on the same value level with you influence a paragraph in your story?

Again I ask, what are you writing?

Why do you allow stereotypes put a full stop on a sentence you are yet to complete? I’m talking about gender, age, background, finances, ethnicity, you name it. Why allow people say you cannot write a particular line just because a set of people could not? Or worse, tell you to write it because your predecessors did.

My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee…. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

Proverbs 7:1&3

I love Proverbs and wisdom in general. The Word is my outline.

I’ll end on this note; that I will not live my life based on someone’s story. I’ve got mine to write. Yes I will allow editing from those I consider mentors in the writing field and I will take advice from those that have groomed people in the art of writing. However, I will not become someone else’s story no matter how nice it sounds.

The summary is this; be the best of you by being you with all you’ve got! Say yes to an August of authenticity and say no to plagiarism!!!

Thank you for reading 💖

Finding Your Birdplace

I have always believed that nature is a very good teacher, we are just not very good students. So in June, I decided to pay attention to the birds and I even told them to keep the change. So please let me know if it was worth it in the end😁.

I recently came accross a Wikipedia article on a mythical bird called Goofus. It’s also called the Fillamaloo, Killy loo or the Flu-fly bird.

It is not the colourful description of the bird that got my attention but the unusual behaviour it exhibits.

The Goofus is said to fly backwards as it doesn’t care where it’s going, only where it has been. The Goofus bird, though a myth, comes with a lesson. It is usually likened to a person who is low in intellectual curiosity and indifferent to their forward direction.

A bit of a mouthful really, I’d simply put; too comfortable in the norm. “That’s how we have been doing it” mentality . Even the law is revised over time so what’s our excuse for doing the same thing done several years ago, and doing it exactly the same way? Isn’t that flying backwards?

Times are changing and the world around us is too. We could find that we are flying towards the new world but our eyes are locked on the past. One could only wonder how hard our fall will be when the innovations hit us(already hitting actually). With present eyes so steady on those past memories and your mind replaying those scenes over and over again, how long before you realise the circle we are moving in? And worse, the circle you force your followers, subordinate and generation to follow?

There’s also the Mockingbird, not a tale this time but a real life bird. With its talent to mimick the sounds of others, its quite a special bird. This talent is the first feature many talk about because the bird spends so much of the day living up to its name by mocking sounds of other birds. So well that many don’t even know its own unique sound, the song it sings all night long.

A Mockingbird

So are you a Mockingbird? Have you spent time being other people that the world doesn’t even know the real you, your unique sound?

How about the Humming bird? Until I decided to spend time with birds, I did not know the humming bird’s hum is generated from the flapping of its wings and not thier mouths. This made me reflect on so many assumptions that we make as humans based on what we believe should be because of what has been, instead of paying close attention to see what really is.

A Hummingbird

There’s also the Columbidae, the general name for what we know as Pigoens and Doves. Growing up, I have always heard people refere to the Dove as calm, as gentle as a dove right? Well that’s not the only feature of these amazing birds, they also have a good sense of direction. No matter how far they go, they always find their way back home. Isnt that why they were used as messengers back in the time of empires and kingdoms?

This gentle bird with one of the strongest wings in the bird world was sent out during wars and it served its masters well.

A Columbidae

Even Noah chose to allow the Dove out of the Ark, trusting that it would find its way back. The second time it even came back with proof that there was land again. A loyal and reliable bird indeed.

So when we are told to be like doves, maybe it’s more than just being gentle in our words and actions.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Matthew 10:16

Maybe we are also being reminded to be brave despite our gentle nature, to be reliable as much as possible and to always find our way back home.

Let’s end this with the Eagle. Yes we cannot talk about birds without giving honour to whom honour is due.

The bald Eagle

It’s the intense stare for me😅. We’ve all seen this big guy on logos, ancient symbols, Coat of arms, and so much more. They are not being overhyped really, they’ve earned their place as Kings. I’ll not bore you with the details but there’s one thing that I think of when I see or hear the name Eagle, strength. They are strong, they know it and they own it without an apology.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

I think Isaiah has said it all when it comes to the remarkable attributes of this predator.

At the end of the day, we are still humans. All the birds and animals we come accross will behave a certain way peculiar to their kind. There may be variations and mutations but what makes a Mockingbird a Mockingbird will still be there. They do not enjoy the flexibility we have as humans. An Eagle cannot be a Dove at will, neither can a Dove become a Hummingbird. But as a human you can be all of them at will. Yes the Eagle is strong but other birds have lessons to teach you too. I believe this is where wisdom comes in to play.

Know your surrounding sounds like the Mockingbird while maintaining yours. Learn from the Hummingbird to be yourself even when very few understand you. Remember your way back home just like the Columbidae. And finally, ride the storm like an Eagle!

Thank you for reading! 💕

Joy’s Journey (Departure)

Many of us can point out the exact time she left. Like the last straw that broke the camel’s back, you can think back to that exact period when it all became dark. But do you remember when she started packing? When the dark clouds started covering?

That time when the first straw was placed on the camel’s back. Do you recall? Because that’s exactly when Joy booked her ticket.

I try to think back and I wonder, Was it when heated words started flying around and burned up Peace?

Was it when life made big brother become a man early and he did not have time to play Super Mario and Contra4 with me anymore? I truly loved those games and lost to him with a smile on my face.

Was it when big sister seemed to constantly be in thought, head calculating with so much focus. Opening her bulgy eyes unconsciously (if you are reading this, I love your eyes😁)

Was it when baby brother was not much of a baby anymore and became a philosopher with so much ‘what if’ questions and theories that he spent more time in his own mind than outside with people. I have received more questions from him than my exams and tests.

Was it when I became an observer, too cautious to get involved in life as it unfolds that I step out of the scene and watch from the sidelines. Missing a lot but at the same time unconsciously committing stories to memory that I did not know I would write about much later.

When did the drift start? When exactly did Joy open those bags to pack up all our smiles little by little until there was nothing but cautious silence and eyes that never went dry?

When did she zip up that bag, locking away the hearty laughters and playful bants? Why wasn’t resolve and determination enough to make her stay?

Can you relate to this departure in any way at all? How many straws are currently weighing down your camel? How many more before it snaps?

This camel is ready for runway, see the fine lashes. Okay back to the main topic!

Many of us say that Joy would come in the morning. But why allow her leave knowing you cannot predict how long the night would last?

If you have witnessed Joy’s departure and arrival, I congratulate you on her return. I hope you’ll see her when she opens the box this time so there won’t be another departure.

If you did not realise when the night came and you now wait for morning where it should get better again. I do not think you should wait passively, go on your journey to find Inner Peace, true Joy is never far from Him.

The first sign you get that the journey away is about to begin is when Peace is burned up. When you push the Prince of Peace out of the door of your life, Joy follows. If you keep him close, even in tribulations, Joy will stand. You will finally understand why those legendary ‘crazy’ disciples rejoiced through it all. So what’s it going to be?

Allow the straws to pile up to breaking point? Or deal with each straw as it appears?

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 14:27

He said he gave, but did you receive?

Thank you for reading the first part of Joy’s Journey (Departure) 💖.

Follow me as we prepare for the second part of Joy’s Journey (Arrival)✨.

Joy’s Journey (Arrival)

This follows after Joy’s Journey (Departure).

✈️

“Joy’s Journey (Arrival)”

I sat on the Sycamore tree that night
I knew my faith wasn’t tall enough,
So I took Zacch’s lessons and held on tight.
Joy cometh in the morning

I had prepared the table for the feast
For when I will be asked to come down.
No dust of gloom, the house was neat.
Joy cometh in the morning

Scores have been settled,
I’ve made fourfold refunds of love
Raging waters have been kettled.
Joy cometh in the morning

I don’t disdain the dark days,
It is a lesson that I reflect on
as I wait for the light rays.
Joy cometh in the morning

There’s a shift in the air, I feel it.
The Prince is passing and I am ready,
Peace is the forerunner and he says;
Joy cometh in morning


It’s more than just daybreak;
This morning I speak of
The fluent will stutter and earth will quake
Come sit with me on this tree because,

Joy cometh in the morning!

✈️

.

Thank you for reading💖. May true Joy find you always.

Crippled Goals

What if it’s not broken? Those precious plans you’ve been running with. The dream to go to the University, that tireless job hunt, the struggle to be mentally stable, to let go of that addiction, to be your own person, to cut the chains of your background. What if truly delay is not denial and its just crippled,waiting patiently for you to get a support and keep moving.

Many of us have had to postpone dreams and switch lanes at some point.

Wherever you stand, whatever true race you’re running, I hope you do not falter on the first set back . If the admission doesn’t come now, maybe its not ready to. Let the first thought not be that you’re not worthy because who is truly worthy in this tainted world?

Instead of spending time becoming a shell of who you once were, completely cutting all ties with those that seem to be moving father down the lane than you (something I was almost guilty of but for the reality check slap from true friends and family) . Why not take that time to build your crutches to support your legs until you can stand again?

I believe there’s a crutch that stays beside you through every goal for when you need it.



So when you can’t stand anymore, I hope you find it. I hope you speak to someone who has gone through the tunnel you want to go into, I hope you seek skills to strengthen your resolve rather than wallow in self pity. I hope you find the strenght to tell yourself that it’s not over. Because it truly isn’t until it is.

.

✴️

“Crippled Goals”

Let us remember determined legs;
the ones you grew
to pursue goals you believe to be true,
Because what is faith without work?

Let us run down a little bit forward,
we meet the arrows and the sword
Determined legs endured wounds,
Because what’s a warrior without scars?

Let us limp onwards,
a surprise push and we loose balance
Determined legs are now broken
because what’s a hill without ups and downs?

Let us crawl through the pain,
We grew up so much that we became children again,
digging the sand to get to the prize;
supportive hands come out to play

because what’s a treasure without the find?

✴️

.

So find that crutch. It might be difficult, but you can. You’ve already come this far, so why not? There’s a Divine crutch that wants your burden, why not hand it over?

Come unto me all ye that Labour and are heavy laden, for I will give you rest… for my yoke is easy and my burden is light

Matthew 11:28-30

What do you say?

In Wrath Remember Mercy

When last did you loose your sight? Or let me put it this way, when was the last time you were blinded by rage?

Take deep breaths and think back to that moment when you were so mad that even your body was shaking and coherent words were difficult to form. That time when all you wanted to do was break something, anything at all without caring that your own body could get hurt in the process?

That moment of adrenaline rush when you forget everything else you’ve always stood for, you ignore all the warning alarms in your head just for that single heated moment. All you see is red.

Now picture this rage that makes you want to destroy whatever was the trigger. Picture this rage turned inwards.

The mad wrath that causes you to destroy yourself from the inside. While many others would lash out, say the words that’s the cause of the anger and confront the parties involved, some others would turn all that fire inside. The rule of “conceal, don’t feel” . But is it truly possible not to feel when you already feel it so deeply that you direct it at yourself?

If this describes you then what I would do first is to congratulate you. All that self control to resist causing harm to those around you, holding back spiteful words, keeping everything away from everyone else in that moment. Not many people can be the super hero you’ve trained yourself to be.

Then secondly, I would find a heavy book and smack you with it.

For trying to kill yourself without even realising it. Or maybe you do realise it but you’ve told yourself that it’s better you than someone else. You’ve agreed that you can handle it, concealed inside.

But for how long? How much more can your body endure? How much longer can you hold up those inner mental walls that these concealed emotions keep chipping at? How much longer before you become a shadow of yourself? When will you finally let it go and forgive yourself for the sins that you probably did not even commit? In your wrath do you remember to have mercy on yourself?

I know how annoying it can be for people around you to keep telling you to forget like you have control over what your brain decides to remember (cue in eye roll) so I will not ask you to forget. Rather I’d say make peace with it, it takes time and effort but you can. Make peace with those memories that pull you deeper into the shadows, turn them into your strength because you went through those dark times for a reason.

Look how strong you’ve become, see how much you’ve endured in secret with your head held high. Your shadow is a part of you but it should never become the whole you. It’s one of the books in your library that will help you beat odds so harness that power. Find your inner peace like Master Shifu (I really love that guy).

I know that fire will not quench from just reading this or what anyone else says, but I believe it will ebb away as you go to war with. It doesn’t matter who started that fire in you and at what age or how long you’ve had it, the only person that can quench it is you. I know you can, I’m begging you to can.

I’ll end this with the words of one of the wisest Kings I know

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Proverbs 16:32

You are clearly already slow to outward anger, now all that’s left is for you to rule your spirit. I know you can, I really hope you do💖.

I Love You

We have been told many times that true love is a verb, so real that it’s visible for even the blind to see. The definitions go on and on, it’s never ending.

What is love to you? Who is love to you?

Out of so many definitions, theories and practicals out there, there is one that stuck with me. A wise woman I was fortunate to meet a few years ago, asked me what love is. I don’t remember my exact response but it was probably one of the usual definitions.

She said I wasn’t wrong and then she gave me her own definition. She said, “love is never having to say I’m sorry”.

My instinct to argue this out was already kicking in (like yours probably is right now 🙃). My naive eyes saw holes in her definition. I mean, how is it possible to never have to say I’m sorry? I believed and still believe that there will always be moments were apologies will set in because to err is human. Hence, defining love as never having to say sorry was quite confusing for my sixteen year old self. So I asked what she meant and she explained.

I cannot recount her words verbatim but I remember the summary; when you truly love someone whether family, friend or life partner, you make conscious effort to ensure that you do not knowingly do things that will end up with you having to say, I’m sorry.

I understood that “never having to say I’m sorry” meant never having to intentionally cause grief or pain to the one you claim to love.

We have all seen or heard of instances where people say they love someone but still did things that made you question how true that love is. You already know this person enough to forsee what would lead to “I’m sorry” so why not just do what you can to avoid it?

I’m not talking about the playful bants where we say sorry and laugh it off, I’m talking about deeper hurts that leave a scar, cause insomnia and even silence someone’s laughter.

If you saw the hurt coming and you still went head on then that is not love.

You knew someone you claim to hold dear would loose sleep and smile yet you did not stop. You knew those actions whether repeated or for the first time would cause someone to question their self worth and drive them to an edge yet that did not deter you. You knew you would have to say I’m sorry yet you continued on the path. Is that truly love?

Think about it for a minute. When was the last time you said “I love you” to someone? Now think again, how many avoidable “I’m sorry” have you said since the year began?

Just take a little time to think as we move into a new month. This fabulous February that we call the month of love. Have you been a true friend, husband, wife, father, mother, daughter, son, sibling? Have you?

How about the God you say you love? It is true that grace is there but “what shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”.

I love you; it has more weight than it lets on. Why not be sure you can carry it before you promise it?

I wish you a love filled February ahead! I love you and Jesus loves you much more!

Mind Games

We sometimes spend time hiting our heads on a wall just to prove a point. Why? Why do you feel you have to prove your worth to a particular person or set of people? Do you feel your worth will be less if you do not become someone you feel they would respect?

Every time you are given a dare by the same people that undermine your worth and you follow through, a part of your self worth chips away from the whole. Then it goes on and on from there until that’s all you see. You just want to win to prove to them that you are worth something. The more you yield, the more of yourself you loose and the more they see you as less than who you are.

If you are about to go down this road, this is me telling you to back out before you loose yourself. If you have already lost yourself, this is a call to come back home 💖. Let this Christmas be about warmth and love rather than unhealthy competitions and self loathing, you have gone through a lot in 2020 and you came out strong. Give yourself a pat on the back and forge ahead with your plans and keep beating odds!

Remember that there is only one you in the world, so be you with everything you’ve got!

MIND GAMES

Throw the dice and close your eyes.
Send a little prayer to where your faith lies.
Dread mixed with hope and
Tension thick like tough venison.
Will you win and showcase your grin?
Or will you loose and drown yourself in booze?

Open your eyes and look at the dice.
Watch as grief rises from your loss
And threatens your voice.
Silent tears may fall,
Wails to mourn the loss might echo.
Grim faces might be all you’ll see.
Will you play again?

Shuffle the cards with your shaky hands
Another prayer to whoever is in charge
Cards are drawn while you wait.
The frown on your face tells us your fate
Will you play again?

Everytime, a different opposition
Same you with the same obsession
Faced with the tough question,
Will you play again?

“love is the answer and you know that for sure…”

Beating Odds

You do not need a whip, bamboo stick, or even your fist to beat this one. You need something stronger than that.

I am not asking you to be little David with the sling marching up to Goliath the giant who was fully clad in his war armour. Neither am I saying you should be Esther and go against the law at the risk of your life. No, I am not asking you to become wonder woman or a superhero of any kind, far from it.

I am only asking you to work on strengthening the one thing that we all have in common with these people. Your mind.

Taking time to build your mind; learning to know things for yourself through research and not just swallowing what you have heard (like a drop of the bulk of information that has not even been verified) , what we Nigerians call “them say”.

I see the mind as a beautiful library housing different books we have all picked up during the course of our lifetime. Everything you have been told, seen, endured, loved, hated, achieved is all in that library. As we grow, words, grief, truth, lies, desires, depression will walk into that library and throw some books out of the shelf.

You need to guard your mind diligently and consistently. The walls cannot stop all the threats from walking into the library. It can hold the weak ones back, yes, but some others will force their way in. They look through your book collection to see which one to throw out to make room for themselves.

Many books will be replaced, I believe it is necessary. Change they say, is the only constant thing. Ideologies and goals will change. What I believe is important is that you do not allow the good books to be thrown out or even the books you consider bad that actually taught you a good lesson.

At all times, you must guard it. Once it is broken, nothing else in you will function right. Always be sure that what you are guarding is the truth.

This is to anyone who has been told to give up a good goal for ridiculous reasons like gender, race, family background, tribe, you name it.

Even when the numbers do not tally, you can still beat the odds because what matters the most in that sentence is you. When you weigh the cost and believe you can, then you most likely will. You just need to take the first step.

Many will come into that beautiful library with scrabble, monopoly, ludo and other games. They will play mind games with you, a different game for every meeting. Some others will come in with stories, true tales and pipe dreams. Life brought some of these people your way and some others, you sought after and invited on your own.

Through all the mind games and stories of ages past, remember to pick apart truth from lies. Girl do not forget that you are allowed to have a dream. Put down your goals and grow with it. Boy do not accept that you should not simply because someone could not. If the baton is worthy and the race is true, I say run with it!

What is in your hand? use it.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7

We are all familiar with the question, “have you lost you mind?” People tend to ask this when they feel you have done or you are about to do something they consider out of character for you or your kind in general. I am asking this same question for a different reason; to know if you are still in charge of the library God gave to you.

Have you allowed bandits to rub you off your confidence? Are your books hopelessly scattered on the floor? Have you cowered in fear while dust gathers in a once beautiful place? Have you walked out on yourself and left your guard duty to someone else?

Tell me, through the ups and downs you have gone through. Though the success and failures you have frequently faced. Through those dawn and dusk when you loved and lost. Did you loose your mind? Or are you still in charge?

A Special Pot

What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry to me is not ‘like’ a story, because it ‘is’ a story.
What makes a good story?
I think its a good plot with a message.

Poetry for me is mama’s pot. Throw in the metaphor, metonymy, allusion, alteration, parallelism, paradox and whatever you have right there with you. All mixed together, in no particular order.

Poetic Pot

Then you stir while humming a nice tune filled with emotions.
Love, hate, regret, anger, shame, grief, joy, burning desire. The dominant emotion will be the aroma of whats cooking.

When you finally serve the dish, the aroma, that’s the emotion will be the first noticeable feature. And when the munching, swallowing and disggesting begins, it will fall into a stomach lined with emotions.

This, for me, is poetry.

And that is exactly what is in here. To see all the post in this category, just tap on the ‘Home’ icon, then tap on ‘A Special Pot’ in the options you will see. It should look something like this;

Uyai Ekong (Beautiful War)

It’s a girl! the doctor said
My eyes glowed with unshed tears while many celebrated.
Your innocence was painful to look
at so I closed my eyes and wept.

You grew and glowed, men followed.
On your flawless face,
confusion showed.
Why? , you asked,
so society explained.

This is your life
There is only one path for you,
to play the part they believe to be true.

This is your life;
To be seen and not heard.
Many have fought this war
You can try, but they assure you that you will fall

This is why I wept;
I fought and failed.
Why? Why did you come as a prey?

I could not take my eyes off you
I just knew you would be trouble
that fiery glow in your eyes;
the same glow in the eyes of brave soldiers.

You promised to die trying,
to come back for me if you win.
I do not want you to die, my child
Please put away those rifles and let’s make waffles.

Listen to me dear
I know this war, this quest to soar
Take my hand, I’ll show you the plan

Hide that glow in your eyes before the moths attack
tighten your fist, resist the urge to punch down their rules
Bite your tongue, hold back your retort
Hide your light my dear

Fight in secrete, only within
Put up a smile to hide your wile
Mask your fire with a cool shield
Hide those gory plans with your playfull chuckles

Fake the stumble, do not reveal your confident strides
Be a beau outside, conceal the beast inside
Become the beautiful war I could not be
The battle angel of reform.

What Is In Your Hand?

Have you ever heard the saying, “use what you have to get what you want?”. I heard this a lot growing up but it was usually in the negative light. It either suggested using your body to earn money sexually, or using your position to oppress people into giving you what you believe is yours to have.

Growing up, life showed me that it could be interpreted in many more ways.

What are you doing with what you have?

When you hear the word “talent” what comes to your mind? An amazing voice? A dance machine for a body? A photographic memory? Magic cooking hands? These are all awesome but are you nothing without one?

You can blame society for setting what you could call a partial and depressing standard but you cannot blame society for your adamant refusal to see beyond it.

Society will always say, but will you always do? Take time to separate the stones from the grain. Do it because you believe in it, because it is what you want to do, because you have weighed the risk and you know you can handle it. Take a little time to see things a little bit deeper.

I was taught to listen, so I do. I listen closely to the words of wisdom whether it be truly wise or not, consider it one of the joys of being young; everyone wants to give you their own piece of advice. And that is what it is, an advice. It is not a decree that you must follow.

Seperate the stones from the grains. An advice might be a good one but not good for that particular situation you are in. Only take what you need. Mother told me this and I have decided to run with it. Will you?

What is in your hand?



I do not know what individual talents you have but there is one thing I am 100% sure everyone reading this has and that is Life.

So use what you have, to get what you want.

Reflector

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who’s the fairest of them all?
A little piece of man’s creation
Who art thou to judge us all?

It is superficial to stare
But I must not be scruffy and unaware
My neck should not be bare
Exquisite must be the condition of my hair

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Looking smug and standing tall
You cause me to doubt myself for the ball
In anger, I ponder, should I make you fall?

In self doubt, I walk into the hall
For companionship, I cling to my shawl
Many seem to understand that it’s a ball
Why then did that woman dress like a doll?

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Same conceited look on the ladies wall
We both watch Anastasia and Drizella’s brawl
Another argument on who’s the fairest of them all

Finally, the end of it all
I make my way home and out of the hall
Escaping fellow maidens and all their gall
At home; on the couch, I finally fall

The silence; a welcome lull
The sprint from the ball left me sweaty and sore
I scream at the sight of my hideous twin.
Until I realised, it’s that same mirror on the wall!

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Now think of the “Mirror” as the society we live in then read it again before you continue downwards.

Share your thoughts with me🤗.

Mirror, mirror on the wall. I do not hear your siren’s call. I do not care what you think of me. I am much more than you can see. ~Queenisms

What they see doesn’t become you until you begin to see it too. Do not loose yourself. ~Prospoet

The Thankless Robot (PART 2)

Why did i decide to use ‘thankless’ instead of ‘ungrateful’ (which would have flowed better right?). Well I thought about it alot but I decided that ungrateful is too strong for the pure intentions(I never wanted to hurt anybody) I carried around. I was grateful to humans (I still am) whether they believe it or not. I was thankful to them for whatever contributions they made into my life(the positive and the negative).

I was thankful to God for being there. Where the thanks became less was when it had to do with me, I did not appreciate myself. No matter how many times i was praised, I was never enough for me. Which is why I decided that the ‘less’ in ‘thankless’ fits the picture in my head perfectly. So back to that robot!

If you have not read the first part, then click here to read it. I know some people will ignore this😁. Seriously, go back and read The Thankless Robot (PART 1).

Time lapsed and the robot grew, still following her own programing. If only i can get my hands on that girl. I only thank God that I wasn’t obsessed with competing with other people because I would probably be an ex convict by now or better still, in rehab 😇.

In PART 1, I said there was no external pressure, I was the one driving myself insane. In this second PART, there were external pressures, so much that the track I was running on became cold as ice. People had noticed my race and they were interested, the atmosphere became more intense and they started talking to me. Both the old and the young. The baton in my hand felt hot but I couldn’t drop it. I pushed forward with the discomfort. I had been told that nothing good came easy. I wish I had also been told that taking a break was not the same as giving up.

Whenever I tried to take a break, I would look on my loved ones and their suffering would discourage me from resting. Also, there would be someone to tell me that I’m about to become lax, or I’ll never amount to something if I rest, or one tongue lashing or the other. I did not even know which pressure was worse, the one I inflicted on myself or the one I allowed (because truly, words hurt you with your permission) to be inflicted on me.

The line was too thin for me to know the difference so I simply focused on the goal. I had lost myself.

When the GCE (General Certificate of Examination) result was released. I had an A, Bs and Cs and one D that felt like death(9 subjects altogether). I focused on the failure, I saw nothing else.

When the JAMB(Joint Admission and Matriculation Board) exam scores came out, It was a good score but it wasn’t what I aimed for so to me, I failed.

The pressure was suffocating me. Words were thrown at me, little words that cut deep because my skin was already weak from my personal quest.

I always wondered why others could shake off those words but not me. It took a lot to stand up with the ‘confident’ face I was often commended for. Those negative words would resound in my head over and over again. Why? I did not know why then but today I do. I had become my own wall. I had unknowingly trained myself to focus on the negative things around. My aim was to never feel in my comfort zone but I was going about it the wrong way.

The WAEC (West African Examination Council) exam result came out and I did not see one A in all the 9 subjects, neither did I see a C, D, E or F, I laughed. I had straight Bs. Close people rejoiced, but to me, I had failed again😁. I couldn’t let anyone know I was not happy with the scores because they would think “she just wants to show off”. If you knew me during these times, I can say that less than 10% of you can say we were friends. True, gisting, studying, partnering, solving problems, helping each other, calls and chats kind of friend. It was entirely on me, I take the blame🙈.

As if my sister could sense it, she reached out to me and asked me if I understood that ‘B’ wasn’t failure. I agreed, yes, but don’t we all do that once in a while? Say you understand when you actually don’t?🙉

.

I couldn’t look at myself in a mirror without sighing.

I could not get scholarships with my results and that was one of my greatest wishes. If I could go back in time, I would knock some sense into myself but sadly, it’s not possible.

The failure I considered the ultimate, the one I actually paused my life for, the one that made all my dedication seem like rubbish, the one I refused to go to church for, the one I forgot to eat for, the one I stood up and started walking to nowhere for, the one…..well you get me right? It was when all the admission list for the University of Ibadan came out and I was not listed. That was more than I could take. It was the end for me, A part of me died that day and I’m glad it did.

I have come to realize that what did not kill you, taught you a lesson and what killed you, made you a lesson. I learnt a lesson and became a lesson at the same time.

The first thing I did when it dawned on me that I was really not accepted, was to go to a book vendor. There was an old man sitting close to the University and he had lots of novels(my other secret obsession😸). I robotically walked under his shade (it was just like a stand, not an actual shop). I perused through his books and I talked to him about the ones I had read or the authors I knew. I stayed with him for a while before he asked, “won’t you go home?”, the effort I had put into my brave face fell for a moment. If he noticed it, he never said a thing. I bought two books, and I started reading them there.

A while later, the old man’s grandson (I’m not certain though, just guessing that that’s their relationship) came to tell him something that I couldn’t really hear clearly. After a while he turned to me and asked if I could watch over the books for a little while with the little boy. Of course I said yes (but please I am not encouraging you to just talk to any stranger🙈).

I sat down there to gather my thoughts, what do I do next? I had no time to waste. I wanted to study law and starting early was my aim. I called my older siblings and we talked, both asked me to go back home first. They did not yell or berate me, they knew me well and they knew I had just taken a big blow. I stayed until the man was back and then I thanked him.

How I got back to Lagos from Ibadan was a blur. How everyone found out later was an even blurrier blur.

Days passed and I was still floating. I secretly harboured hope that they would call me. They never did.

My older brother decided to tell me a bit of his story on one fateful day. He told me about his own set backs. I heard the regret in his voice and I realized how privileged I was to have him exist before me. We took a long walk that day, I remember well. I looked at him and I knew I was the reason he just went back into his painful past to bring out a lesson.

When I got home after the walk and looked at my mother staring up at me with a blank face. It was never that blank before, it always held emotion. I caused it, I knew I did.

I looked at my little brother. He had always been quiet but my quietness had made him more quiet. How was I so blind?

I was trying to grieve alone but these people were openly grieving with me. I had people that truly cared about me. My success and failures, everything that made up me. I knew I was privileged to have them by my side.

I wept that day and my mum held me. Many things happened that made me shed tears but these tears were washing away something, they were different. I couldn’t stop saying “I’m sorry”. I was sorry for many things and it’ll take pages to list them out. I couldn’t stop wailing like I had just lost a child. I had held the dam for about a year and it finally broke that day. My little brother was next to us and I felt his light touch on my back but he did not say a word.

No mater how serious I was outside, I was always my family’s clown inside, the one that wouldn’t stop talking, the one that pestered everyone with hugs, the one that asked endless questions, the one my family was missing all this time. I was too busy being lost in my head to notice before but that day I did.

I saw my whole life flash before my eyes. The way it happens when your soul knew that death was close.

I had stayed away from friends and acquaintances (especially the ones that had gotten into school). I did not want to be asked “what happened?”, ” are you sure you checked the list well?”, “so what happens now?”. I had become curt and easily angered. I was everything I did not want to be.

Some were genuinely concerned but some others were sure to tell me how ‘my books had finally failed me'(cue in my eye roll here😽)

I had dropped the baton and stopped running but I had not given up( I guess I just wasn’t wired to give up😸).

I was taking the long break that I should have taken in bits all those years.

The robot died and I took over. I reached out to the people I had pushed aside. It took time but I became my family’s clown again. I made a new baton and ran with God right next to me. Now I understand that failure can only have the weight that I give to it and little successes only glow if I polish it. I have a new baton, a baton of many colors.

I am running with a smile on my face now. I am still passing the baton to a more determined me at every turn.

The jibes will never stop, I know that. As long as I am still alive, I will still face successes and failures. I understand that now and I hope you do too.

I still stumble when I fail but now I know to take out the lesson and continue my race.

To all those that have a burning desire to achieve something. Whatever meaning you’ve carved for yourself, whatever baton you are holding with your life, whatever race you have decided to run, do not loose yourself. Do not run alone. Always remember this;

…it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth but of God that showeth mercy

Romans 9:12

For reading this far, I say thank you❤. For showing this to someone that you believe would relate to it, I say you are gold💟. To everyone that was a part of this part of my life and you are still a part of my present, I say thank you💞. With love, from a very thankful human.

The Thankless Robot. (PART 1)

Yes indeed, persistence and determination is commendable but wisdom is still the principal thing. When you have a goal, obstacles immediately form before you. Even as you break down wall after wall, more walls will spring up. First, be absolutely sure that it is the right wall, then do all you can to break it down. In all thy doing, do not loose yourself.

The day you despise your little achievements, the day you look at where you are and you do not see a reason to be thankful, that is the day you become your own wall. That being said, let me tell you my story, just a part of it.

My father told me many things when I was younger and it was often about my grades. He believed that I was a fast learner and many around me did too (me, I wasn’t feeling so smart😗. I never said so though, I was daddy’s girl and I wanted to push myself to make him happy).

I always thought that offending my father meant getting ‘low grades’. I put that low grades in quote because back then, I did not actually have low grades(that was then though. Time has passed and I have had grades that I am not proud of. But hey, let he who is without sin be the first to cast a stone, I promise to dodge😝), they were just not high enough to meet the standard that we both agreed on.

We had this unspoken rule that I always had to beat my old self or be at tally with it, going lower was unacceptable. So if yesterday was 70%, today must be either 70% or higher. Anything below 70% becomes failure. Do you catch my drift?

As time went on, it became a part of me. I wasn’t doing it for anyone this time, it was for me. There was no external pressure, i had my eyes on something and i pursued it with my everything. No one was to blame but me.

I saw things and took them to heart. I saw people pick up their children with cars, I saw children that never got sent home because of school fees, I saw children that weren’t walking around with worry and gloom hanging over their heads(children that had the luxury of being carefree as children should be), I saw children that never felt a pinch in their stomach, I saw siblings play happily like children should. I saw people living comfortably and I wanted that. I wanted it for me, my siblings and even our future children. I wanted to change my life and the life of those around me and I only knew one way to do that.

I often heard that one had to be born with a silver spoon, have a talent (like a really good voice, something in sports, etc.) or you are book smart for you to truly succeed. Since the first two did not fit who I was, I picked up the third and ran with it like a baton. A baton I kept passing to myself. I was always at every finish line, waiting to collect the baton and continue. Every me I met on the track was even more resolved than the last.

A little girl about to run

I bent the rules a bit and followed it strictly. The rule became that I either beat yesterday or beat yesterday. Being the same was not an option, it was failure in my eyes. Less was punishable by starving. Every time I broke the rule(unintentionally of course)I would feel like I’ve betrayed myself and what I stood for.

I have always believed that if you do not make the most of what you were given, you’re like the man that buried his talent simply because he only had one, unlike his peers that took time to grow theirs. I believed that I had the ability to beat my yesterday(academically). I felt I had what I needed to get what I wanted so every time I failed to do so, I was angry at myself. I do not remember being sad for failing, but i remember a lot of anger and disappointment, the true reason for my tears. That was when I was little so don’t start judging me yet😁. I was thinking like a child would and I thought everyone else thought that way. I truly had a stubborn resolve, one that would put a mule to shame.

A frustrated girl

If you attended a typical Nigerian primary or secondary school, then you’d be familiar with the ritual of everyone comparing test scripts whenever we got them from our teachers. Me, I hated it. I would hide it like my life depended on it😂, and no it’s not because I failed, I just wasn’t proud of any score. Even 100% couldn’t make me happy because I had to beat it later. For me it was an endless circle of competing with myself (for those that I had a sort of competition with in the past, just know that you were probably competing with yourself because I was completely lost in my head😝) that I probably did not even know I was on the road to becoming a thankless, obsessed robot.

Someone once asked me why I was not smiling during the annual speech and prize giving day. I said I was just thinking of how I would miss my classmates. I was about nine or ten then and I was such a good liar. She saw the tear drop on my smile and she probably thought “awww she’ll really miss her friends”. Meanwhile I was counting how many prizes less I got that year😂, i knew it was time to pass the baton to a more determined me. Talk about an unhealthy obsession! Somehow, i always saw my academic cup half empty instead of half full. To think I was the one doing myself and I was just a child(smh😁). Shame on you past self, big shame on you.

Truly I am not proud of my thoughts back then. I really did love God but I kept him as a spectator on the bench. He handed me water when I needed it, he was my medical team when I tumbled and bruised myself on the track, He held me when I cried, He smiled at me when I needed a friend. He understood my fight and cheered me on. Although i am grateful for Him agreeing to sit on the bench and be there for me. I only wonder what my life would have been now if I allowed Him run with me, side by side like He does now. I feel the difference, I see it. I just hope this speaks to someone.

What does failure mean to you as a person? A weak ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ or everything below that? Someone wants a shot at that position that you do not value, someone wants that life you have. This is because we have different measurements for failure. The general term is just that, a general term. What truly affects us is our individual definitions. What is hidden behind our smiles.

To all those that have a burning desire to achieve something. Whatever meaning you’ve carved for yourself, whatever baton you are holding with your life, whatever race you have decided to run, do not loose yourself. Do not run alone. Always remember this;

…it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth but of God that showeth mercy

Romans 9:16

For reading this far, i say thank you❤. For showing this to someone that you believe would relate to it, i say you are gold💟. To everyone that was a part of this part of my life and you are still a part of my present, I say thank you💞. Watch out for Part 2 of The Thankless Robot written by a very Thankful human.

The Duty of Care

I really like Lord Atkin’s definition of neighbour in the renowned case of Donoghue vs Stevenson.

Stay with me until the end😘, don’t allow the case scare you away. I’m driving somewhere😉.

On 26th May, 1932, Lord Atkin passed a judgement that became one of the most significant cases of the common law world, Donoghue v Stevenson. This case established the foundation of negligence law that is still used today in Queensland – the concept of duty of care.

For the summarised version of the case; it all started with a snail (hilarious every time I think about it). Mrs Donoghue found the remnants of a snail in her ginger beer (note that she already drank out of it. Very ‘eww’ worthy😂, or ‘nyama’ like we say in my area) manufactured by Mr David Stevenson.

Thereafter, she was diagnosed with gastroenteritis and she dragged Mr David to war in court. Unlike the David we know from the Bible who won battles countless times, this one lost. A particular part of Lord Atkin’s speech on the case is my area of interest;

The rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes in law, you must not injure your neighbour; and the lawyer’s question, Who is my neighbour? receives a restricted reply. You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour. Who, then, in law, is my neighbour? The answer seems to be – persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question

Don’t you just love this Atkin guy👏?

Does his explanation turn any wheel in your head? Well it turned many wheels in my head, from the bicycle wheels to the power bike wheels (none of which i have mastered 😂). Please don’t get dizzy just yet! Stay with me.

I coined a quote from Hebrew 12:14(follow peace with all men…) to check myself. It goes, “give or don’t give, but live and let live”. I do my best to remember this whenever I’m dealing with people that I am not in good terms with.

I have not spent many decades on this planet but the short while I’ve been here, I have come to understand that giving, being nice, being friendly and approachable (basically showing care) is foreign to so many people. It is not that they do not want to, they just don’t know how to.

I take Lord Atkin’s explanation to mean that your neighbour is someone affected by your act or lack thereof.

Now it is true that the girl isolated in one corner while everyone else is happily jumping about is a stranger to you. It is also true that she is your neighbour.

The little child asking you for directions could very well be the same rude one you met a few days ago. It doesn’t change the fact that he is your neighbour.

The strange red eyed guy smells like trouble and it is best to stay away. I agree, but he is still your neighbour.

The one that betrayed you over and over again, throwing your trust to the pigs is definitely one that you will never forget. The truth still remains that he is your neighbour.

The one that made promises and called you a fool when it was time to fulfil is very much your neighbour.

Very tiring, but there is no loophole in this law. Neighbour means neighbour.

No one is saying you have to be chummy or very friendly with everyone (that is impossible because of some very annoying humans that we all have in our circle😂) . The point is just that you fulfill your duty of care. You can learn to be civil at least, right? Remember that no matter how angelic you are, you’re still a demon in someone’s story (I wonder how many horns you have in those stories)

“Give or don’t give but live and let live”. You do not have to approach the sad girl in the corner if you do not feel like it (some would but everyone cannot be the same), however, you owe her a duty of care to not start a rumor or point fingers to make her feel worse(this is something everyone should be able to do)

“Give or don’t give but live and let live”. You do not have to help the rude child (someone else will or he’ll find an alternative without you. You are not indispensable so come off your high horse). Just fulfil your duty of care by going your way in silence without throwing insults at him. For those that will throw insults and still help, well….we’ll talk about that later.

“Give or don’t give but live and let live”. The strange red eyed guy is none of your business if he is minding his business. No matter how bloody and unbelievable his story is. You owe a duty of care to keep your judgemental stares to yourself, it is useless. Unless of course you are a white slate;without blemish or sinful thoughts, then feel free to be the first to cast a stone.

“Give or don’t give but live and let live”. As for that one that has betrayed you over and over again, you do not have to be as close as you were before. Just fulfill your duty of care by forgiving. Yes, forgive and move on for your peace of mind.

“Give or don’t give but live and let live”. The one that promised and has not fulfilled, your duty of care is the same as that of the betrayer, forgive. (If it’s a contract type of promise, please collect your money or whatever is the equivalent😂. Without malice of course)

“Give or don’t give but live and let live”. If you do not know how to love your neighbour by giving your time, resources, encouragement and advice to mention a few. Then start with your duty of care. If you only have negative words and actions to put out in a particular situation then put nothing out! It could take just one word to destroy someone, and that is the greatest harm you could do to your neighbour. Turning them into a sort of robot that does not feel anything anymore. No one should live like that.

How many people have become empty snail shells because of you, your words, your actions or lack thereof?

The rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes in law, you must not injure your neighbour

Lord Atkin

Loving is not just doing positive things, it’s also avoiding the negative things as best as you can.

👇This is my favourite example of love for those that want to go beyond the duty of care and show love.💕💖

this is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you

John 15:12

He gave everyone a chance, everyone. Not just his family and close friends. Not just those that believed in God. Not just the rich and smart ones. Not just the influential and strong ones. Not just the dark and fair skinned. Everyone was His neighbour.

Remember that because you do not like someone does not make them any less of a person. They will not suddenly poof and disappear. We just have to learn to live together as best as we can.

I could go on but let me end here. If you cannot help then at least try no to make it worse. That is the easiest way to show that you care. Then maybe one day, you’ll learn to love too.

give or don’t give but live and let live

Prospoet

Je Te Pardonne (I Forgive You)

A wise man once told me something a few years back. I was between the age of eleven to thirteen years old. Before I tell you what he said, please make sure you are not eating, about to eat or just finished eating. If you are, just leave this and read later when you are sure you will not puke and blame me for it. However, if you are sure you are good to go, then please read on! PS: I have translated the French picture quotes you will see later on, right under the pictures.

He said, “Atönö uduañ mben ökpö usuñ, ndijine isifreke.” (That is in Efik language)

It literary means, “a person defecates (or poops, whichever one you prefer🙊) by the way side, the one that steps on it (barefoot) does not forget.

It did not sound so bad until he elaborated. He told me to imagine a very hedieous, disgusting poop on the floor which might still be fresh (feel free to scream “eww” or “nyama” like we say in some part of Lagos😂). Then he said, assume you were somewhere on the beach where you were walking happily until you felt something hot beneath your foot. Not knowing what it is, you look down to find out.

The surprise makes you loose your balance and you slip and fall on the poop, hands first (now there is no more doubt that your discovery is definitely from a human). To further ruin your day, the lethal stench invades your whole being as passers by stare at you.

(👆i edited it as best as i can to make it less…….unpleasant without altering the main point).

These are my thoughts; Anger, embarrassment and some other emotions would push you to flee the scene. Days will pass and the memory will still make you cringe. Some might stay away from that particular place for a while, even when the audience had long forgotten the incident. Some would pour out everlasting curses on the owner of the poop. While the perpetrator has no idea that he(or she) caused you distress, and if he does, he’ll forget it soon because it did not affect the person in anyway. Relate that scenario to life in general.

When you are offended but the offender has no clue or feel the gravity of the offense like you do. Forgiving becomes very challenging, but we must, right?

Je Te Pardonne (I forgive you)

Forgiving is easy, relatively
But forget, scarcely
It has never been by choice
The memory goes silent but comes back with a loud voice

Soft whispers lures in the chaos of ages past.
A smile today will trigger tears of yesterday.
It does not mean I have not forgiven
but I cannot erase this memory I was given.
Some say it is a blessing, life’s very own lesson

You drop the act and your deed is done,
While I’m left on the stove to burn
I see the scene every time I hear your name
I hear the action!, making me go insane

I feel the suspense,
Again, the plot begins to make sense
I feel the spotlight through my closed eyes

you made many promises, but they were all lies

“I forgive you but I have not forgotten”

“I forgive you, you know not what you have done.”

I did not need a car to drive me to the edge.
Your words did, your actions,
little gestures that meant nothing to you but kept me up at night.

“I forgive you, you do not see right from wrong.

You did the act but I live with the memory
Shattered from inside, counting down until the outside falls off
You do not even remember,
Yet I cannot forget.

“I forgive you, now it’s time for me to move on.”

Whether things fall apart or not,
just know that I forgive you,
as I must.

“I forgive you not because you deserve it, but because I deserve peace”

Thank you for reading💖. I leave you with this; remember to let go, for your peace sake.

If you can tolerate French for a bit then click here to check out this song! There is a bit of English in it too.


Leave a comment, I want to know what you think!(I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll fall in love with French like I have and hopefully, it will love us back😋.