Thursday 2 January 2014

Decade Blogs - Henry 'O'Jew' Olamiju - Greatness - A Life Waiting Us

Decade Blogs
Henry 'O'Jew' Olamiju is one of those who after sneezing you might find yourself enviously failing to say, ‘Bless you’, to, because he is blessed, with looks, with wit and is a doctor too.
Devilishly handsome and spoken for besides other things I am privy to, he is one with who a conversation on Twitter is such great fun, enlightening, humorous whilst quite serious too.
His blog for my #YourBlogOnMyBlog Series commemorating my Decade of Blogging deals with settling for where we are or aiming for greatness and what it takes to get there, if we do make way for such a destiny.
He pens his blogs at and regales us with fantastic tweets using the Twitter handle @holamiju – Enjoy …
GREATNESS – A Life Waiting Us
“If this letter falls into your hands, think carefully about what it says. By my birth I rank above you, but don’t be afraid of my greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Your fate awaits you. Accept it in body and spirit. To get used to the life you’ll most likely be leading soon, get rid of your low-class trappings. Show some eagerness for the new upscale lifestyle that’s waiting”Malvolio (Modern rendition of Twelfth Night)
These words from Shakespeare have been quoted severally and are often used by many as though greatness is the exclusive preserve of a handful of people. What it did not say (and rightly so) however is that there are those who can never be great. If all of us cannot be born great like Prince William, and if all of us cannot have greatness thrust upon us like our current president in Nigeria, then we must realise that all of us (who desire and pay the price) can actually achieve greatness.
Great oaks from little acorns grow. The tiniest of seeds has within it the genetic constitution required to make it grow into a full plant. It requires no help from anybody when it comes to the strict dictates of becoming what it is destined to become. All it needs sometimes is just to find the right environmental conditions to favour its growth and yes, it would blossom.
Humans seem to be the only species of organisms in the world that have to be taught how to be itself. Most, if not all other, organisms just be. From the moment they are born or shed as a fruit, the organism just pursues its life-long destiny of becoming. Man, however just try to become like.
We have become ‘settlers’. We settle for whatever comes our way instead of demanding – through hard work and patience – what our harnessed potentials deserve. We see people settling for an image of themselves much below what their potential suggests. We see music stars settling for the easy way out in releasing club bangers instead of music that would distinguish them from others.
We settle for hand-outs from the government instead of creating value for ourselves and following our passion. We have become professional settlers. If blogging is the new thing, we blog; if social media activism, we rant; if run-of-the-mill raunchy music lyrics and videos, we shoot, if Diversity visa, we apply... the list is endless.
What we have forgotten is that each one of us has a uniqueness that stands us out, specific features that distinguishes us. We cringe and hide our small candle lights in the face glowing stars, we shut our voices when loudspeakers (overlords, so-called opinion leaders, godfathers etc.) are blaring, we switch off our brains when ‘anointed’ (pastors, imams, godfathers etc.) tell us what to do. We just settle.
Settle for the seen rather than the unseen realities within us, settle for cash instead of value, settle for temporary pleasures rather than enduring treasures, settle for new-age feudalism rather than true democracy, settle for a mention and or a ‘follow back’ instead of writing your way into history. We know how to settle for easiness rather than pursue greatness, such greatness that is already growing within.
I am reminded of a true story which has been made into a movie. It is the story of the American Gangster [Adapted from Frank Lucas’ The Return of Superfly]. He worked as a pimp for a drug lord on the streets of Harlem; served as bodyguard, errand boy, butler, shoe shiner and so on. He got to a point in his life that he asked himself a question, what will I get from this life as a pimp? He realised no matter how close to the boss he was, he was never going to be a drug boss because the boss’ children got all the attention they needed.
One day, he got out of the system (how he did this, I don’t know); went to his house and took out all electronics and pictures and stuff from his room and sat there for about a week or two drinking only water and just thinking. No phone calls, no parties, no ‘Friday-out-with-the-boys’, no television. Within those two weeks he, thought back into his childhood (a process called back-tracking) and recollected all the times he did really smart things and people commended him.
After about two weeks, he happened on an idea that got him to perfect how to run a drug-ring without being caught or even suspected by police or even the neighbours. If you’ve watched the movie, you know he got caught because of things related to his cousin and his wife’s gift of an exotic fur coat. When he was caught, he had two hundred and seventy million dollars at home because he could not deposit the money at the bank because of the tax people.
This guy rose from being a pimp to being a drug lord by choosing greatness rather than settling for something less. The only thing he knew as an adult was drugs and so his thoughts led him to do something drug-related. If he had gone to school and become an accountant or an economist, imagine the genius he would have exhibited in providing scarce commodities to the end-user without any distribution issues?
The truth about the matter is that there is a genius in all of us; if you judge a fish by its inability to hop from tree to tree, or an elephant by its inability to swim, both will live their lives like failure – like most of us do. We should know that a child that is dyslexic can grow up to be a great world-renowned performer like Brad Little of the Phantom Of The Opera fame; someone who can’t see can become the world’s greatest concert pianist and a child who doesn’t like mathematics doesn’t have be forced to become an engineer. Imagine forcing a Lionel Messi while growing up to do Literature for homework and enrolling him for law in a university?
You don’t plant an acorn and go back to check if it has started growing or tell it when to develop roots and how long the roots should be. By nature, that acorn will grow when it feels the moisture of the soil and perceives the heat from the sun. Before you know it, it will sprout from the ground and shoot up tender branches without any help from any external matter. What we should do to our talents and potential is to find the appropriate conditions that will enable us ‘effortlessly’ release our genius quality.
We can stop following the crowd and yes, we can stop settling.
As I close, I like to remind us of Marianne Williamson’s words:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Uncle Akin stands out with consistency, tact and wisdom. Ten years of blogging and these years I have come to know you on Twitter reinforce my conviction that there’s a wisdom that comes with age. Thank you for being so brotherly and I am honoured to be able to contribute this small piece to celebrate your decade of blogging.

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