Tuesday 31 December 2013

Decade Blogs - Kola Akinola - My Friend

Decade Blogs
I have many friends, but Kola Akinola is one friend who in 2014 I would have known for 30 years. That is a generation coming on to a lifetime. The title I have chosen is as much him writing about me as it is my writing about him.
Whilst I guess I still have some secrets; sorry Kola, he probably knows the most about me, said and unsaid, he can read my blog like he is reading my mind, and he knows where all the bodies are.
A well-travelled man, self-effacing and utterly modest, he has proven himself a friend like no other, I cannot think of the number of things I have persuaded him to do or think, that he has done without quibble, ready to listen, ready to help, patient and longsuffering, he humbles me with his contentment and easy, yet wise approach to things.
Through thick and thin, his loyalty has been sure, his has stuck to me closer than a brother, probably been riled for giving me more leeway than I ever deserve, for which I am eternally grateful.
As uncanny as this my #YourBlogOnMyBlog Series is, it was a blog that I wrote for him that brought me into friendship with the lady that wrote the blog about taking the leap.
Everyone must have a friend, a friend like Kola; grounded, honest, loyal, fighting your corner, loving you despite your flaws and being there when there seems to be nothing left of you, except that you just exist. Kola has been a lot more than that to me and I am so honoured that he allowed himself to be persuaded once again, this time to write to commemorate my Decade of Blogging.
Thank you Kola, for being my very best friend, thank you.
I have known Akin for over 25 years. We first met in college in Nigeria where we became good friends. I subsequently after college came to the UK and Akin followed a couple of years later.
What can I say about Akin? He is a great friend. He is also generous to a fault. My brother and his wife, my sister and her whole family have stayed in his house, and I on numerous occasions have been beneficiaries of his magnanimity. He has a big heart, always seeing the positives in people. However, that does not mean he is a floor mat as those that have crossed swords with him will know. He is no respecter of persons or positions, and he does not do eye service.
Akin has faced a number of challenges in his life amid his many achievements, some of which he has written about through his blog. However, he has never blamed anyone for those challenging periods and always remained of a positive and optimistic disposition.
Akin is a master of the written word. I have not met anyone else who has a great ability to convey thoughts and opinions into a few paragraphs. I can’t keep away from his blogs and am just amazed at his ability to see things from a perspective that always brings a freshness to any topic or issue he is writing about.
Well done my dear good friend on 10 years of blogging. You have been a blessing to me and dare I say, countless others through your writings and I am privileged of having you as a friend.

Monday 30 December 2013

Walk away!

I have learnt to walk away from many things that the lesser of me would want to do and I am much better for it.
Walk away!
Walk away!
Walk away from a fight,
Walk away from conflict,
Walk away from hurt,
Walk away from dispute,
Walk away to love.
Walk away!
Walk away from pain,
Walk away from loss,
Walk away from jail,
Walk away from despair,
Walk away to love.
Walk away!
Walk away from offence,
Walk away from pride,
Walk away from glitter,
Walk away from greed,
Walk away to love.
Walk away!
Walk away from memories,
Walk away from the past,
Walk away from your failings,
Walk away from nightmares,
Walk away to love.
Walk away!
Walk away from shame,
Walk away from guilt,
Walk away from blame,
Walk away from inferiority,
Walk away to love.

Nigeria: The leaders whose success and joy is the pain of many

Wastrels given to profligacy
Nigeria can leave you in despair, depress you and put you on the worst end of dejected.
I read the story that Vice-President Namadi Sambo’s official residence was going to gouge NGN 2.1 Billion ($13,087,200.00), you ask what kind of furniture is being hawked that is eye-wateringly exorbitant. [Premium Times Nigeria] [Wikipedia]
The outrage stems from a whole range of issues, for instance, why were we building a new residence for the Vice-President? Because the former property which was formerly built for the service of the nation had probably ended up in private hands.
Double or quits
NGN 7.1 Billion ($44,247,200.00) had been previously earmarked for this project in 2009 and then in 2012 the Federal Capital Development Authority was seeking an additional NGN 9 Billion ($56,088,000.00), a sum that was rejected by the Nigerian Senate. [All Africa]
One cannot begin the reason about the level of rank incompetence that allowed for residences of principal officers of the Executive and the Legislature to end up in private hands and to add insult to injury that estimation for the building complex had more than doubled in just over 3 years.
I guess it would have been too much of an embarrassment for the Presidential Villa to be sold off to some private interest whilst the wastrels squandered our money on other palatial residences furnished to the hilt with sickening baubles.
It was in the light if this that I posted the following tweets.


Explaining contexts
I noticed that I used a number of metaphors or analogies in my Tweets, I have now tried to shed some light on the more obscure ones
People who buy their own furniture…
Under Diaries – Alan Clark who lived in castle appeared to suggest he was old money and Micheal Heseltine was new money – but by inference, old money inherited and new money went shopping.
Our leaders acquire ostentatious and new kitschy stuff like magpies...
Why are magpies so often hated? [BBC] – Magpies is used metaphorical because they have a weakness for shiny things which they gather to feather their nests for attract mates. Here, I suggest the acquisitiveness of our leader is much like the magpie, just to show off.
Why shall one not desire that the day of Korah … brood of Belial.
Korah rebelled against Moses and his whole company was consumed by fired before the earth under the feet of his accomplices and swallowed them all.
Belial is derived from a Hebrew word meaning worthless, and by inference the personification of a worthless, that is to say a worthless man. However, in the sacred texts it is also a synonym for the devil.
They have stood like the Prince of Persia…
The Prince of Persia was referred to in the Book of Daniel and he was the one that delayed the delivery of answered prayers. In another context, it is a malevolent territorial spirit. By inference, our leaders have become the impediment to realisation and answered prayers of Nigerians as a whole.
…their good is a canker-worm on us.
Cankerworm - The larva of either of two moths (Paleacrita vernata or Alsophila pometaria), destructive to fruit and shade trees. [The Free Dictionary] The cankerworm leaves destruction of crops in its wake but needs that to feed itself. The inference to our leaders is the same.
They built Pompeii and one day, it was no more…
Pompeii was an ancient Roman city that was completely wiped out by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
They dreamt of Atlantis and furnished their habitations with finery but had no gills…
Atlantis - A mythical island swallowed by the sea. The reference to gills is, for the show they’ve performed on land, none have demonstrated they are fully masters of their game.
…the sound that brought down the walls of Jericho.
A biblical story narrates how the fortifications of the city of Jericho came down, after the Israelites marched, round it and made much noise together in playing trumpets and shouting out loud. From a scientific perspective, the marching together could have weakened the foundations due to vibrations – See Millennium Bridge
We, the people need to march together to bring down the walls of these profligate leaders.

Decade Blogs - Dupe Killa - The Broken Ones

Decade Blogs
Dupe Killa runs a familial posse of sisterly and maternal oversight on Twitter, and I first encountered her in one of those affectionate exchanges with her wards, I could not help but be engaged.
Besides, there are many times I have written blogs that pertain to the deepest things of the heart that she has commented on to commiserate, comfort and empathise.
It is on the basis of this that I asked her to contribute to my #YourBlogOnMyBlog Series commemorating my Decade of Blogging which she willingly acceded to.
Dupe Killa in The Broken Ones laments how we have lost our way, to pursuits of the ephemeral, in incessant self-aggrandisement and selfish acquisition of material things at the expense of purposeful and useful lives.
On Twitter, she is friend, sister, mum, follower and followed by the handle @dupekilla – Enjoy …
The Broken Ones…
How does one start to calibrate the damage of materialism and the emptiness it brings in the multitude of acquired ‘stuff’? Is it by the darkness of the void created by the blind pursuit of ‘things’? Or is it by measuring the reverberation of the sound of emptiness where reason (cold, deep and track-able) should have been loud, clear and objective?
Before our eyes, the pursuit of happiness has been blatantly reduced to nothingness. Nowadays, if you cannot touch it, use it, spend it, then it cannot be contributory to happiness. Under our watch, we eroded the time-tested methods of self-improvement and the uplift of humanity. We did not only move backwards, we stepped away entirely from the tracks of human progression.
We are broken.
The Sea and Broken Wings by LuneBleu
Maybe it is just me but run a system check on yourself too, please. How many people in your circle can build a car? Or a phone? How many can fix a broken device…any device? How many have created something new? Something different? Do you have anyone in your orbit who can create a flying object? Do you know anyone that still flies kites? Does anyone collect anything? Stones, shells, anything? Is anyone in your network a gardener? Do they dream of creating flower hybrids or new plants? Do they ponder with you, the quandary of creating seedless fruits? No?
Okay, turn the other cheek. Are your families and friends big shoppers? Label and brand hunters? Are you all ‘early arrivals’ to the latest gadgets’ markets? Do you find yourself gasping for the ‘next thing’ just after acquiring the current best thing? Do you keep questing, thirsting for more? Are you beset by a feeling of inexplicable dissatisfaction with your life as you know it even after ‘counting all your blessings’? Do you ponder for long moments the question: ‘what is this life’ and yet have no answers?
Are we not broken?
When technology over-dosed, we gorged and are now suffering the consequences. The world shrunk, everything became available without notice or manual. The choices we had were endless and it was always going to be tough making the right call. We inevitably made the wrong calls no thanks to Sod’s law. The simple life was too mainstream, so off that went. Why fix things when you can get a new one? So off went incremental knowledge too. What we forgot is that in fixing, we learn the whys, the hows and the ‘never-agains’
The biggest tragedy however has to be the wholesale monetisation of emotions. We want it and we want it now, flunk delayed gratification. We are broke… and broken. Saliently or otherwise, we have tacitly agreed that ‘everyone has a price tag’. The evidence of that lies in the fact that the very best of us simply asks that the price be high. What a tragedy that we all can actually be bought. What a degree of brokenness…
If perchance you find some recognition or truth in any of the above and want to make an effort to fix it, it is possible. You can try and fix yourself and then focus on ensuring the next generation are not beset by your ‘brokenness’ either genetically or socially. Focus on the little things: eat and drink sensibly… give rather than receive where possible… fix it if it is broken, don’t bin it… find some simple, yet special endeavour and dedicate yourself to it.
Ask how stuff works and see if you can replicate or improve it however crude your tools and methods. Create your tools. Consciously be at one with nature from time to time. Question everything in a progressive way. Pledge on behalf of the next generation: Never Again.
Life broke us. Can you fix you?
Broken pieces by www.JaqueWatkins.com

Sunday 29 December 2013

Decade Blogs - Roundup III

I’m still here
We have just completed three weeks of my #YourBlogOnMyBlog Series, 21 blogs commemorating my Decade of Blogging. Each blog that I have reviewed, edited and written an introduction for has offered a showcase into stories told by people with a voice so unique, yet one we can all relate to.
I decided to stop taking blog contributions after I received 35 entries and I sent a personal message to the others who were not able to redeem their promises that it would have to be for another time, whilst thanking them for just considering and accepting the challenge.
Yet, I have managed to post four personal blogs on friendship, substandard drugs, Christmas greetings and journalistic diplomacy, I’m still here.
Then again
The theme that seems to define the third week is the significance of writing, in helping to understand our humanity. Veterans and new comers to blogging displaying talent and insight, I am so glad to share.
Here, for your pleasure are three weeks of Decade Blogs. To everyone who has honoured me in finding time to write for #YourBlogOnMyBlog, my thanks and more. I would find the words of appreciation and gratitude, eventually and they would still not be enough.
Decade Blogs – Week 3
Decade Blogs – Week 2
Decade Blogs – Week 1

Decade Blogs - Ayo Oyalowo - What exactly are we looking for?

Decade Blogs
I feared this, that in my various introductions to the blogs posted to commemorate my Decade of Blogging there would be someone with whom I have a relationship and yet I would draw a blank as to what particularly brought us together.
Suffice it to say that Ayo Oyalowo and I have followed each other on Twitter for a long time and there is much that has transpired between us and so many topics from Nigeria to the issues of life. His incisive articles and analysis of Nigerian political issues on various forums shared on Twitter are very engaging and thought-provoking.
In the piece that he writes for my #YourBlogOnMyBlog Series, he asks questions about the rat race we call life and how to live from day to day in times of satisfaction, contentment, hedonism, keeping up with the Joneses and then come back to our stark reality.
I guess I have over the last few years written a lot about these issues too and for that reason, I think this blog allows us to reflect deeply and hopefully learn some lessons about putting a better perspective on the particular and the general.
Ayo Oyalowo has interests in many life issues, he works as a financial analyst, but comments on politics and life generally. He tweets with the Twitter handle @Ayourb.
What exactly are we looking for?
It is that season again. Christmas is in the air, you can feel it, can't you? We all can feel it and almost touch it. Harmattan, dust, hazy weather and dryness all over. Our own version of white Christmas is the white fine dust blowing all over us. The children are ready to join in as the schools are on holidays. Gifts must be purchased, new dresses for the children, toys, amusement parks etc.
Christmas is a great time of the year that almost everybody looks forward to. But as I move around in Lagos I ask myself “to what end and intent is our daily toil and struggles?” The average Lagosian will bear witness to the hellish traffic we've been experiencing in the past few weeks. A journey of 30 minutes could end up becoming a 3-hour torturous ride or more. Especially going to the Island (Lagos or Victoria Islands) during the day or returning in the evenings. Terribly long lines of vehicles of every shapes and sizes meandering through the ubiquitous dusty Lagos roads, with commuters looking forlorn and worn-out. It is a rat race.
Added to the traffic is the upsurge in violent crime. I have a credible report of people who have been and are daily being mugged inside their vehicles or otherwise as they are trapped in the regular but infamous traffic and are mere sitting ducks. We've been trained to wind up our glasses and pin down our car doors, but I have it on good authority that the boys at Apapa don't bother looking for a careless motorist who forgot to wind up their side window, they simply break your side window and "obtain" you.
These set of crooks are those who have not arrived during the year but must travel to their various villages and towns in December to show there folks that "I don hammer" a slang for have not made it financially. Meanwhile in our usual ways, nobody bothers to ask how they "hammer". As long as they are generous. Most of the stolen money will be spent on riotous and irresponsible living for about two weeks until the first week of the New Year when they all arrive back to Lagos from their various villages and towns to begin another 11 months struggle, and the cycle continues.
I also consider the rest of us who are not necessarily petty criminals and violent robbers. I see people struggling to be who they are not. Many planning expensive getaways outside the shores of our land so that they can display pictures and mementoes to their less fortunate neighbours and acquaintances. After all, we are Nigerians, and we are the happiest people even if you can't see any tangible reasons why we are such pronounced.
Ah! Christmas is a great time to reflect and plan for the incoming year after taking stock of the outgoing year. Let us ensure to spend wisely and within limits. Remember the children resume schools in the second week of January and schools fees... yeah that small matter of school fees payments, DSTV subscription, house rents renewal, annual street dues, and several other bills.
Life's good isn't it…  Enjoy your Christmas holidays, but reflect on my rants ... while at it, ask yourself, to what intent and purpose is our various life's struggles?
This is to celebrate Mr. Akin Akintayo's ten years in blogging, wishing you many more years of blogging and positive contribution to humanity. A great man I must add and also be ready to host me next year when I visit the UK. Have a blast people.

Saturday 28 December 2013

Opinion: Please don't call the President a liar

I cry for our journalism
Over the last few weeks, I have concentrated on managing the blogs posted to commemorate my Decade of Blogging. It does not mean there was nothing else to write about.
Now, I touch on a topic that I have covered in various ways pertaining to journalism in Nigeria, from poor copy editing, through faulty terminologies to plagiarism.
A newspaper reported yesterday that the President ‘lied’ when referencing how his off-the-cuff Christmas speech was related to the public.
The responsibility of the press
The substance of the issue is beside the point, but this goes down to one simple scenario, if the press is to inform, engage, investigate, collaborate and serve as a guardian of democracy giving voice to the people, it has to get more sophisticated with the responsibility it has to disseminate the news.
The President in terms is somewhat a divisive figure who excites passionate sycophancy to intemperate antagonism, a welcome dartboard with a big bull’s-eye for criticism that his coterie of advisors and acolytes have perfected the art of being under siege.
He is not perfect, but that does not make him a devil, and much as many may not like him and individually some might excoriate and ridicule him, the press should hold themselves to a higher standard of engagement.
In many cases, the only way we would ever get to hear the President’s views on any issue would be through newspapers that have found a way to building a reputation for cutting-edge reportage and the use of language with the finesse of nuance and the ability to convey truth and fact as objectivity as possible.
Tact and leeway in reportage
More pertinent, they should give authorities when presented with certain facts that leeway to reconsider or restate their views as each engagement sheds more light of the backstory of any issue being debated on or reported on.
To call the President a liar is seriously antagonistic and aggressively reckless, even if the accuser is in the right. It gives the President no options apart from a descent to opprobrium, disgrace and dishonour. As the person of the President is impugned the office of the President is brought into disrepute and then what respect can we accord our leadership if they are under the cosh of dishonourable conduct.
At worst, the press should have suggested the President misstated the facts or might have been wrongly briefly, in which case, the office of the President might have had the option with review what the President said and retract the reported ‘lie’ with necessarily losing face.
An unfortunate step
To confront the President with the accusation that he lied is as good as asking for his scalp, the press might have won the battle for that setting but would have lost the bigger war, the war to make the press have the necessary in-roads into the system to ensure the public are adequately informed.
However, if the press does think that resorting to ambush tactics and mob justice of the pen with a public journalistic lynching is the best approach to things, much more is expected of juvenile delinquents and this unfortunate descent into disagreeable communication would simply polarise rather than serve the greater interests of Nigeria.
Indeed, certain of the press need to act tough and appear impermeable to obsequiousness to the powerful, and separate themselves from the bought up personnel who are instruments of patronage and the wielding of influence for propaganda ends.
It does not excuse the need to tact, for finesse, for nuance, for the understated and the effective use of language in analogy or metaphor to convey serious matters without a thuggish disposition.
Retract for him to restate
I would suggest that the press retract their accusation that the President lied and restate their case with a bit of deference and allowance, it would give the President some leeway either to reinforce or restate, there evidence provided would then be weighed to determine with the truth is.
I think the word I am looking for is diplomacy and the press can use a bit of diplomatic language and still get the job done without looking like a bull set lose in a china shop. That I have to write this blog is unfortunate, but very necessary.

Decade Blogs - Akin Oyebode - How Will You Measure Your Life?

Decade Blogs
Akin Oyebode, I met on Twitter along with a number of young professionals who have become my friends, they have a vision, a purpose, and a mission, apart from much that I have learnt of what they want for Nigeria.
However, I have a more personal story, someone had successfully conned my mother in Nigeria into thinking I was in trouble, having inveigled his way into her confidence and blinded her reasoning by tugging at a mother’s emotional concerns, he made off with some money paid into a bank account he provided for his scheme.
When I got the information, I wrote a blog and lamented my plight on Twitter, there is where Akin got involved, he assigned a bank officer to the case and with that an investigation started which unveiled additional bank accounts of the conman at other banks, and the heat was on.
He had to go to ground having hastily vacated his home realising he had bitten off more than he can chew. The bank was very helpful, I was regularly updated and informed of progress, and though we did not get the man, the con channels we had discovered were closed.
Akin Oyebode immediately responded to my request to write for my #YourBlogOnMyBlog Series commemorating my Decade of Blogging. Thank you.
He runs a blog at http://proudlyekiti.wordpress.com/ and goes by the Twitter handle @AO1379. Talking of life observed, dreams that change, lively ambitions and leaving a mark, this is one blog to inspire and cause you to reflect deeply. Enjoy.
How Will You Measure Your Life?
Life, while rewarding in fits and starts, is hard and temporary. That is what I learnt from reading Clayton Christensen’s book, whose title I have so shamelessly stolen. As a kid, strange things kept me up at night. I watched my parents sign the report card or a letter and wondered if I could ever get to sign my name the same way more than once.
Later, I sat in the back of my mother’s car, copying her driving skills; the head rest was my steering wheel, the window winder, my gear box. I always wondered how it what it felt like to drive a car. A few years later, I admired my neighbour as he drove us to work, one hand on the steering wheel, the other on his cigarette; it made me wonder how cool it must be to smoke.
As I got older, the dream changed. I learnt how to sign my name and drive a car. As for smoking, I spent a decade actively pursuing that dream till one of my closest friends died of Pericarditis. For one who is an insufferable hypochondriac, I don’t know how I spent a decade puffing on Benson & Hedges like my life depended on it; oh well. My early teenage years were spent dreaming about things like kissing a girl in the Introductory Technology laboratory and playing for the school football team. I’ll spare you the details, but those dreams became reality and I quickly needed new ones.
I rolled into university, where my dreams became buying a car (driving one wasn’t a big deal anymore), working for a bank (specifically the one with a nice building close to the embassies) and getting married. I never thought a woman would be gullible enough to spend the rest of her life with me. An hour or two, yes; but an entire lifetime, why would she? I played through university, spending a lot of the time partying and learning how to drink lots of Guinness and cognac, but thankfully I managed to emerge with a degree.
I’ve spent the last decade in a suit and tie, in banking; and the last four have been spent in the building I always dreamed about. As for buying a car, there’s always vehicle finance to thank for that one. Not only did a woman agree to spend her life with me, she also threw a wonderful son into the deal.
Now, it’s time to dream about managing (and owning) a bank, or governing my people in Ekiti. My bucket list has also changed, riding a bicycle has been replaced with the driving the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta on the Autobahn, and watching Manchester United lift the champions league has been replaced by a wish to take my son to his first game at Old Trafford.
Life is a collection of moving goalposts, and the frenzied nature of today’s world means the journey is often ignored for the destination. There will always be new targets; it starts with making the Forbes list of wealthiest people, or winning a Grammy. If you are as lucky as my idol, the white haired wordsmith, you might even get on the stage in Oslo, seen by most as the pinnacle of literary achievement. Otherwise, it could be a goal to replace Steve Jobs as the icon of innovation, or to go a step further than Sergey Brin, Larry Page or Mark Zuckerberg did with the behemoths they created. For some, it’s simply the chance to live for another day.
In the last two years, my goals have changed. The banking and political ambitions are still in place; my racing urges still need to be fulfilled; and taking my son to watch Manchester United remains very important. However, after seeing both spectrums of life and death, my main goal is to build beautiful memories; day by day, year by year, and hopefully, decade by decade. Seven months ago, I watched joyfully as my son came into the world; two months ago, I watched helplessly as my friend and colleague left it. It was a reminder of how the world is in continuous regeneration.
I do recommend you read Clayton Christensen’s How Will You Measure Your Life? It is a simple and meaningful attempt to remind the reader about life’s biggest treasures. I chose to write about it, because I remembered my first meeting with Akin Akintayo. It was in a crowded coffee shop at King’s Cross, and I learned his story first hand, as he described his successful battle against Cancer.
I spoke with a man who knew life handed him a second chance, one he planned to use his own way. A few days later, he was kind enough to join some of us at Emukay, Tunji Oyelana’s spot for food and drinks. It was one of my favourite nights; Guinness, good food and entertaining tales of old and new Nigeria. For contributing to my scrapbook of memorable moments, this is my way of saying thank you.

Friday 27 December 2013

Decade Blogs - Annie Emmanuel - Loyal To A Fault And Daring To Do

Decade Blogs
When I first asked Annie Emmanuel to write a blog for my #YourBlogOnMyBlog Series commemorating my Decade of Blogging, she balked at the idea.
Yet, I am someone who believes we all have stories to tell, each story unique and each story significant because every singular experience is part of the life of the person completely distinct and different from others by reason of who that person is, what they have lived through and how it affects them.
A story can be as simple as that, it constitutes the building blocks of a blog.
So, we worked through her reticence, with private conversations on Twitter and eventually a long-distance call from Canada on my birthday that lasted 90 minutes.
I knew she could do it and for someone who hardly every writes, this is an example of someone who has stepped completely out of their comfort zone of presumed inability to do something that shows amazing innate ability that we never really discover of ourselves except through challenge, persuasion and application.
For this alone, I am grateful to Annie for taking up this task and that is before you have read this beautiful piece about loyalties.
Annie writes from Canada. She shares her random thoughts on Twitter with the handle @buddlies4real. I hope you enjoy reading this piece as I did.
Loyal to a ‘fault’
Sitting at my computer, trying to pen my thoughts in celebration of Uncle Akin’s decade of blogging, I grab a glass of hot chocolate, my favourite drink, pull my blinds and watch as the snow falls; I reflect on the series of events that have happened to me in the past couple of months. The issue of loyalty in relationships comes to mind.
I realized those that loved me and were loyal to a fault, they are ready to go the extra mile to ensure I am happy, sometimes do so at their own expense. They would stick out their neck for a friend, no matter what.
Even though I don't appreciate them enough, they are always there for me, loyal to a fault, a virtue I cherish a lot.
While growing up, I remember my mum would always tell my dad to be wary of the level of kindness and love he shows to people. “Very soon, you will give out both of your eyes and you won’t have any to see, then you will become a blind man”, she would say to him.
You will be led by the hand, with no one offering to spare you any of their eyes”, she’d continue.
I think I inherited that level of kindness. Some people are loyal to a fault, just as my dad was kind and loving to a fault.
In the course of my lessons in life I discovered loyalty as a strong virtue and a strength which everyone would not always possess.
To acquire this virtue, we really need to be conscious of it, make it a part of us, and live it out in our everyday life. That's the only way it can become a part and parcel of us. The same goes for other virtues such as kindness and love.
An incident during my teenage years comes to mind. A friend of mine and myself agreed to excommunicate another ‘friend’ that had offended us both. Alas, while I was away on vacation, she resumed communication with her. When I got back, they had even grown tighter than before. I felt quite bad and as a teenager, I stopped talking to both of them for years! LOL!. Petty, huh? I remember telling my friend off and decrying her lack of loyalty to me.
Looking back at that today, I realize I have probably behaved in a similar way to people that love me and thinking about it makes me feel remorseful.
We cannot pretend to be loyal if it is not part of our daily life. Same way we cannot pretend to be kind and show love if it is not part of us.
Loyalty is like a bond, it could also have social angles.
Parents love kids who are loyal to them, spouses want partners who are loyal to them, the government wants citizens who are loyal to it, and even God wants us to be loyal to Him.
Loyalty is deep and complex. Its terms and conditions represent a covenant.
Though I am not always loyal, I consider myself a work in progress, working at that aspect of my life, something I believe some of us are doing as well.
I cannot tell you how many times, I have gone back and forth, how many conversations I have had with my friends, on this topic.
I have gained a wealth of knowledge and much experience in a variety of areas as a result of having a loyal friend.
I will also want to use this medium to tell my friend that I do love him and appreciate him.
So, is there some relationship between loyalty and love? Well, loyalty is a sense of commitment and dedication while love is a feeling of affection. I believe loyalty, same for love and kindness, needs to be reciprocated, for it not to become a sort of servitude.
I can say that I have experienced loyalty from a loved one. But on the other hand, I am probably guilty of not always being loyal to those that love me.
And if loyalty is not reciprocated, it induces dissatisfaction and fatigue, coupled with elements of deception and being taken for granted.
The good news? Almost anyone can learn Loyalty.
We can learn to be loyal, grow it to become a behaviour.
Loyalty keeps parties together and focused on the same goal.
And sometimes, I ask myself if there’s really any connection between love and loyalty.
If you love someone, does that make you automatically loyal to that individual and vice-versa?
I’m sure I will find an answer soon.