Life = (Moments + Memories + Mankind + Monuments) ÷ Mistakes
Someone rightly said that we get too old too quick and wise too late.
One of the tragedies of this COVID-19 is the way it rudely interrupted and disrupted our relationships and ways of living. The disruption of our church fellowships that we took for granted was unprecedented. Even our (9-5) jobs and businesses, that we usually complain about, are now the things we are protesting to go back to. You can’t shake hands freely again; I mean shake hands, not to talk of embracing someone. You cannot sneeze and cough peacefully, without being considered a suspect (even by yourself). Before now if you sneezed, in Nigeria and many other parts of the world, people would say bless you; now, they run away.
Lesson 1 – A Dynamic Decade.
Lesson 2 – The Death of Abba Kyari—Nigerians Hardly Learn.
Lesson 3 – Captain Tom Moore—The Elasticity Of Humanity.
Lesson 4 – The Nigerian Army, Police Force, And Citizenry.
The other painful aspect was the way people died without being able to have company around them.
Death has always remained a very mysterious thing to me. Even the most renowned philosophers and psychologists have not been able to fully comprehend the true nature and experience of death. We can speculate much about it, but at the time of personal experience or to someone close to us, all speculations are neglected.
Humanity derives strength from company. Even in mourning, just to have someone hold your hand, or hug you, or talk to you, brings a lot of relief.
When elephants lose one of theirs, they come back and use their tusks to caress the body of the dead elephant.
I once heard a husband say that his late wife said to him before dying, “If I had known, I would have grooved (enjoyed) more with you”. I will never forget that statement.
I had always wanted to spend more time with my wife, because we have been very busy with life and living for the past 39 years. The past 35 years of marriage has been hustle and bustle. Finally, we found ourselves alone at home, a very stupidly large house, but empty. No children to play with. One of them recently told me that he has no memory of his early childhood. I was grieved and ashamed.
The first few days of the lockdown were very difficult for my wife. I asked her a simple question, “Why do you go out every day?” We found out that we go out for basic needs, but after those needs are met, we go out to meet the needs of others. After that level, we believe we are serving humanity; but at a point, we become addicted to work or the vain pursuit of wealth and fame, or the foolishness of wanting to be bigger or better than others.
You will find out that you have hardly deliberately spent time together having fun as husband and wife. You create more distractions and disruptions for your life. Your children drift away in this same rat-race in the concrete jungles of the world.
Most of the elderly that died in the US and Europe from COVID-19 died in old people’s homes.
Many of our wives will spend so much of their menopausal period travelling round the cities of Europe, America, and Nigeria, taking care of grandchildren. If they are church women, they had earlier on, most probably, spent most of their time in church, from Monday to Sunday; and several Friday nights, they were in church. If you are married to a male pastor or travelling minister, you, as a wife, will also suffer the same fate.
My Suggestions and Resolutions
1. You can never have enough in life. Enough is a shadow and a mirage; it is not a defined quantity or quality.
2. You are the only entity that is a singular entity, irreplaceable, and that will not live forever; there is no duplicate, and no fixed date of departure. Therefore, maximise each moment.
3. Resolve to create time to have a good time with your spouse or alone, that you will reflect on and smile.
4. Treasure every moment you have with people; you might not see them again.
Learn to walk away from toxic people. I am deliberately going to avoid toxic people and negative energy. I will try and regulate those who come into my space and regulate how I react to them.
5. I will self-impose my own self-isolation and self-lockdown more often; there is more to life.
A 90-year-old lady infected with COVID-19 rejected a ventilator. She said, “Give it to a younger person, I have had a good life.” How many “successful” and “rich” people can do the same?
Someone asked me how I manage to do these posts on a daily basis?
It’s not easy, especially having the inspiration aspect to write. Moreover, I type with one finger. However, I am building a memory that will outlive me. I am creating my earthly part of eternity. These thoughts and my books will be here long after I am gone.
There is this common thought of not speaking ill of the dead. I strongly disagree. God will judge dead men and women. If we don’t speak ill of the dead, why do we talk ill of Hitler or Judas that betrayed Jesus. Why do we talk of armed robbers like Oyenusi and Anini? If we do not speak ill of the dead, there’ll be no history for future generations to learn from. If we only respect dead people and say only nice things about them, then humanity cannot evolve by avoiding the wrong decisions or actions of their predecessors. I think we can safely analyse these decisions and actions, without necessarily bad-mouthing them or their close relatives.
Nigeria suffers from deliberate amnesia and obscurantism. A dead thief should be called a thief. A wicked man should be called a wicked man, when he is alive and when he is dead. “Fading away like the stars of the morning…. only remembered by what we have done”, according to a songwriter.
If Shekaru, the leader of boko haram, is killed today, will Nigerians not rejoice? When Osama bin Laden was killed, did Americans not come to the streets to celebrate? Do Americans not talk ill of Osama bin Laden?
Live Daily and Live a Good Memory
Have Mankind As Your Priority
For God so loved the world He gave His only son. Everything God created on earth and beyond is for the good of humanity.
Always question your motives of being in business, ministry, politics, or even philanthropy. Once you remove the good of humanity from any activity, it is idolatry.
During this pandemic, I could easily see through the motives of several activities. Many were for the good of humanity, but some were just self-advertisements, deception, and downright self-enrichment.
No matter your beauty, wealth, or sophistication, this flesh is lazy, lousy, and very vulnerable. Only a tiny invisible virus will turn a great man to a corpse that people are scared to touch as said earlier on.
The Taj Mahal is a monument built years back. The king that built it is long dead, but people go there daily to visit it.
Eton College was built in 1440 by King Henry VI, but it is still there.
Harvard University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, was named after John Harvard, who was a clergyman.
I’m going to spend the rest of my life building enduring institutions. They will outlive my cars and clothes; they will serve humanity for generations to come.
Make the Least Mistakes
Your legacy is a contest for remembrance between your moments, memories, monuments, and your mistakes.
You must never allow your mistakes to overshadow your good deeds. That means you must live with purpose and intention. You must think properly before you act.
This part of life and living scares me.
God bless you.
Read the next post: Pain, Planing, Pleasure, Pressure, and Productivity.