I was in my office considering my options of either screaming at the kids to stop screaming and making noise or going to drown myself in a big drum of water when my phone rang. I work in a Pre-school and I’m surrounded by toddlers and babies all day long. I love my job but sometimes, I feel like running. This was just one of such days. I ran from the playroom in relief and settled into one of the sofas in the office to gist with her. “Soso abeg call me back” was all I heard before she hung up on me. “Shuo. Wetin dey worry dis nonsense geh?” I said to myself as I called her back. Rolling my eyes, I listened to her asking me to buy her blackberry internet service for the month and loan her money to pay some of her creditors. I didn’t have money to spare and I told her so. She then embarked on a long narrative on how she had borrowed money to buy a torch and how she was paying back in bits and all that. I calmly told her to sell the phone and pay back the money. My response led to a long stream of insults and curses, then she hung up on me. On my own credit o.
See me see wahala! My papa no dey work for Central bank ni. To me it’s a simple thing. Cut your coat according to your size. It has since been amended to ‘cut your coat according to your cloth’ but the underlying message remains the same. I like to think that this saying was intended to prevent greed and teach people how to be content with their lot. Work with what you have and pray for enlargement.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against dreaming about a higher status or a better life. I dream about buying a red range rover sport too, you know (now those guys toasting me know what to get me for my birthday). But unless I sell my mother’s house or become a special adviser to the President, or become a member of the many committees he sets up (note to self-find a way to join one of those mushroom committees), I cant afford it. That’s not to say that I won’t be able to in a few years from now. But right now, make I jeje dey enter my okada and cab. Simple.
Please don’t think I’m thinking too small. I’ve lived my life on the promise that God has destined me for great things and so should you. But these great things do not include frivolities that we acquire or dream to acquire to impress our neighbours and our friends. My friends tease me mercilessly to upgrade my old and battered blackberry curve to a more expensive one and my reply is always the same. “if u buy for me, I no go reject o”. Why should I buy another one when the one I have still works? If you don’t like it, don’t ping me again. Why should I buy a blackberry Porsche that almost the price of a golf car and still use okada as a means of transportation? Na crase?
Why do we incur debts to acquire things to impress others? I know girls who are still indebted because of Brazilian hair. Must you buy? People go to criminal lengths to acquire wealth and dazzle us with the display. Armed robbery, internet fraud and high class prostitution has become the order of the day. We know there are no jobs and the economy is bad but we do not have to throw values and virtues out of the window because of this. Survival and greed are two very different things.
We live in a society that celebrates wealth and promotes disdain for values. People don’t care about the source of wealth anymore. The rich man is the one who’s popular and respected, even in the church. The guy that drives the latest cars and sleeps with the most women is the guy that everyone wants to be with. Is this what we want to teach our kids? Is this what we want to be remembered for? Will blackberry blade be written on our tombstones? What exactly is the point of this mad desire to acquire material things whether we can afford them or not? This is the path that ultimately leads to destruction.
Lets get our priorities right please. You don’t need to impress others. Your life is your own, no one else’s. Set the pace for your own life. We’re not competing against each other. The sky is big enough for us all to fly, but at our own time!