This is not about dumbbells and gym classes. This is not about physical strength. This is about form, mental energy and endurance. This exposes the things that make us human. We have been engineered to survive, hope and believe. The steering wheels of bad circumstances may have been steered in our direction at some point, killing some, injuring others. But we have stood our ground. We said to ourselves, ‘I’ll calm my storm or die trying’ albeit individually. At some point, we thought of everything as a 1927 locomotive – dilapidated, dead. And in other cases, lush green land with the sunshine at its peak. We conformed to each situation without warning or prior knowledge. We hear stories similar to our predicament which all ended in agony, tears or death – echoes of hope forgone. But we weathered the storm and washed up ashore. We are not alone.
Life gives different meanings but teaches similar lessons. A rich man making poor decisions would require a poorer man full of ideas. This creates societal class levels but also shows us the need to coexist in synergy to achieve common goals. We face challenges in stern competition with personal ones. In an isolated scenario, you had previously slept in the heat, hungry and tired. You had a nightmare, the dreaded village masquerade chased you with a cane. Of course, you’re a churchgoer but not a Christian. Then you woke up. You were already late. You remembered that you were cash-strapped. You dashed out to the ATMs in your neighbourhood to withdraw transport fare to work. The humongous crowd you met put you in a room where people cut onions for party ‘Jollof’. You spoke under your breath ‘Aye mi! Temi bami’. Your phone rang. It was your boss. Another call came. It was your sick father calling for some money to pay the hospital bill. There is always one devil at the door. These circumstances poke constantly at our humanity giving us a rethink. We ask ourselves, ‘is it worth it, burning my soul every day?’ It probably isn’t. It probably is. But you’re alive to tell it and revel in the positives of your struggle.
Many times, we care about the benefits. The sound of swaddling cash and jostling coins. The smell of new clothes and the feel of new cars. We even cherish it more if it covers our basic needs. But what we should care about is the struggle, perseverance and faith. Want has always driven us. Hot on the tails of oppression. Some in the right direction, others to incarceration. Need has been thrown out the window because it only makes us look blind and less imaginative. The privileged may cook up criticism for want and our bloodthirsty desire to succeed. Telling us that ‘oppression is a choice; contentment is a must’. Mind you! Success is not the same as riches even though riches is a relative term. A rich man is not necessarily successful even though society identifies riches as the main ingredient to success. Despite an excessive want and desire to be financially free, we have still obeyed the laws, set new goals and kept afire our hope because surely amidst the storm, the tide would be calm.
‘Rome was not built in a day’. ‘Little drops of water make a mighty ocean’. We have keyed into the power of taking things ‘step by step’ and infused ourselves with the strength to take a hit if all goes sideways. We have had to make tough choices. Some sent us to hell, some kept us afloat. We are people. In individuality and unity. We’ve not only learnt to dream; we’ve also learnt to run. Chasing them, hoping someday we’ll find ourselves fully warped by all that we deserve. Our mentality is absolute and our faith is our resolve. We have the vibrancy in our youth to lead the war forward against the waves of poverty and mediocrity. We have learnt to live without government assistance and forged an army of realists. We built ourselves from the ground up. You are what makes us up. As one and as many.
You are stronger than you know it. Recharge your energy. Dig in your heels.
Your glory is within sight.
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