Just a couple of days ago, I made the mistake of giving the wrong person some attention. Well, maybe it wasn’t a mistake as such, but rather a necessity; for the sake of this post, perhaps.
Our conversation went something like this..
He: Hey, Vicky darling. Baby, I’ve missed you!
I: Hey hey. It’s been a while!
He: Yes. How are you? How’s work?
I: I’m great, a bit tired but okay. How have you been?
He: I’ve been great. Just busy changing the lives of people and making an impact in the world.
I’m sorry. I don’t know.. or is it just me? I didn’t know where to start then, and still don’t know now. Like, seriously?
I was forced to remember our last encounter, which was also our first encounter in Lagos (as I hadn’t seen him in over six years) which reminded me of why I hadn’t bothered (contrary to my nature) to stay in touch with him..
He: Oh yea, I’ve been so busy. You know I’m just coming from Ibadan. I went to attend this high-profile wedding. Gosh, I really did not want to go there, but I was expected to show my face. You know how it is, right? Like, I met this guy ages ago and helped him sort out a few things. You know, introduce him here and there..
I: O-kay. Anyway.. so how’s life been? I heard you’re getting married too! Congrats!
He: Yea, we kinda are already. Long story, but anyway, so I just had to drive down, you know. I’m actually heading to the Civic Centre for another one now, before driving home to the mainland.
I: Oh (seeing another friend drawing close), hey K!
K: Hey, Yinka. Hey, D!
He/D: Hey, K! What are you doing here? Long time! Oh, you know Yinka? Hahaha, crazy girl.
K: Yea. So, how have you been?
D: Yes, I’ve been fantastic. Very busy, you know how it is for me.
K: Yes, always up and down. Hope you’re good though?
D: Yes o. So busy. I’m actually just coming from Ibadan. You know I had to attend this high-profile wedding. Oh, remember the guy I introduced you to at the last official meeting we had with the minister of petroleum. Remember that guy who was sitting on the other end of the table. Yes, he got married today. The hall was packed with the minister of this and that. It was okay sha. At some point I was like, ah all these ministers, don’t they have anything to do? Anyway, I just had to go and show my face.
K: Oh, you mean Ola. Yea, I was there too. On the hightable. Anyway, gotta go. Show’s about to start.
I: Okay, see you. I’m coming in now too. Alright D, we’ll speak later.
Anyway, so I paused to think about (not him in particular as I’ve come to see that many of the self-promoting and propagating he’s been doing over the years have become an essential part of both his character and lifestyle) the larger picture; stepping out(side of the incidents) and into the deeper recesses of my mind and imagination, I started wa/ondering..
The complex issues of insecurities and inferiority-complexes.
What was it about human beings that propelled them into having to make themselves look big/ger? Was it the fact that they felt small, or just needed others to recognize or acknowledge their greatness, their magnitude?
What was it -on the other hand- that made others move back; away in disgust? Was it that they were envious, jealous, or simply the fact that no one liked a proud show-off? Someone who blew his own horn probably much louder than it deserved blowing (even by another). Was it a hidden dislike for people patting their own shoulders and smiling at their own achievements, or the fact that he/she was quite obviously nothing more than an empty barrel making much noise?
When recently a friend said that we should go to Vienna. I suggested she come to London instead. As my sister and I would be taking the Eurostar from London to Paris; it would be great fun having her on board. That I was looking forward to it, knowing it would be super excited. So, why not join in?
Sorry, but what are you feeling like?
I paused for a moment; and said to myself.. I’m feeling super excited!
What was it- I thought to myself- that could have made her take offence at my suggestion (for it sure felt that way)? Obviously, she could have been joking too, I did take that option into consideration, naturally. But the thought remained..
A couple of days ago I watched this amazing show titled Extreme Makeover: Home Edition which basically goes around looking for families and homes with a touching story. They look for people who have been a blessing to their homes, communities, societies but have suffered great loss, and decide to bless them with a new home. Completely renovating and/or demolishing the old one, and building a solid and stern new fully-fitted house within just a week (the constructions, fitting and decorating team consists of approx 150 people!), while they send the family away on a well-deserved holiday. Anyway, so the last edition showed a family of five and what they had gone through over the past years. As soon as they returned from their holiday-break and shouted “move that bus” they broke down at the sight of their new home. Literally. They were on the floor weeping, crying, holding each other and the project team, thanking everyone, praising God. I too cried. Gratitude. I was grateful, even though I did not know that, that something grand had finally happened for them. That there was finally something they could rejoice over. In a little way, perhaps, that they had been compensated. That the tears and fears of the past, all the pain, had not been in vain.
You know, there are times when you see how many good things happen to people around you, how the Lord blesses them, makes a way, opens doors, causes others to find favour, get a salary increase, receive a promotion, get married to even after having had a busy and dirty past, and you wonder.. why them? Why not me? Well, why not them? Why you?! Because it’s YOU, right?
At other times, however, you are just happy. Simply glad God has come through for someone close enough to you.
There were times I was very unhappy with my job-situation and I prayed a lot for an open door. I needed to be employed, regardless of where. However, I knew there was someone whose job-situation affected them even more. Depression had set in. Seven years on a job and unfulfilled. And so I used to pray, “.. but before you answer me, please answer Irene.”
Job reminds us of the power of putting others first..
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10)
I have also come to view the success and greatness of others as a personal success too. Why? Simply because I see myself as having contributed to it, in what little a way. Be it in the form of encouraging words, advice, time spent, or a simple prayer. At the very least, I’ll see it as God being in my neighbourhood, as my father like putting it, and hopefully not passing me by. Eventually, my time will come. And when it does, I sure want others to be happy both for and with me.
What is it about us that makes us feel we deserve better and more than those beside us? If not that, at least we deserve to be attended to first.
The Bible beautifully puts it as..
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. (Eccl. 9:11)
Truth remains that- when looking beyond oneself- life itself is actually perfectly just. There is (a) time for everything!
The important question is what do you do and how do you live, while you wait?
And once the wait is over, what do you do and how do you live, while you do what you’ve always been wanting to do? While you live life as you’ve always wished to, does it encourage or discourage others to keep dreaming, believing, wanting, waiting? Do they look forward to living life too? Remember, no condition/situation is permanent. Neither the bad, nor the good. So let’s not make others feel bad!
Let’s make sure to not step on other’s toes while we enjoy life. And let’s also remember to rejoice with and celebrate (with) others regardless of where we stand or how long we’ve been wanting and waiting. While feeling cool, make others feel cool with you too. But should they prefer to be red with anger, and green with envy, feel cool anyway.