“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” ― Carrie Fisher
A young man came to me distraught, heads-bowed in silence. He had traversed the city, been to many places, attempted many things, met many people – the list goes on.
“For how long will I continue to feed the dreams of other people and tend their gardens? Why is Disu doing so well in life, and I always playing the second fiddle?”
All he could see was other people riding his dream cars, living his dream mansions, regaled in his own dream apparel. They all seemed to live what to him remained only a daydream.
I called him by his name, and when he raised his head again, I looked into his eyes. The heaving sound from his nostrils shattered the silence. Then we talked.
“It is evil to kill human beings!”
“Our leaders are corrupt! They must go to jail.”
“Liars! Yes, you are liars. All liars will go to hell fire.”
“Adultery is a sin. How can a woman sleep with another’s husband; a man, another’s wife? God forbid!”
You are so quick to judge the obvious, conspicuous, easily seen sins.
You also love keeping up with the Joneses. They were never your neighbours until you left your haven in search of what was much more. There is nothing wrong with lofty dreams, except for you. You, who crave all that glitters, yet disdain moderation and dignity. You: the all-important one who must get the choicest of things first.
Remember when you got so angry when some other student scored higher than you; or when you kept malice the one who ‘stole’ your girlfriend’s heart?
What kills a man and nails his destiny to a permanent finality is within; it is hardly seen, mostly below-the-surface, often invisible.
How is it, young man, that you do not see those ‘little sins’, like resentment? Aeschylus once said, “It is in the character of very few men to honour, without envy, a friend who has prospered.” I wonder what you would do with those who are not even your friends!
Beware when you begin to count the blessings of other people, and the exercise only leaves you no time to count your own. Why would a man do that? Why would a young man squeeze and belittle his own soul? You remain in that little box, and you must (always) fill that little space, only you! Envy can never be sated.
If you must find true happiness, envy nobody. And, always remember what François de La Rochefoucauld said, that “Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of those we envy.”
*P.S: Sincere apologies for this post coming a week late. Next edition will still come your way next weekend. Ciao!
Photo credit: www.writerunboxed.com
The On Becoming a Man Series is a bi-monthly column – a collection of musings that seek to unravel the mind of the young man, and are not necessarily autobiographical. Gbenga Awomodu is an Editorial Assistant at Bainstone Ltd./BellaNaija.com. When he is not reading or writing, Gbenga is listening to good music or playing the piano. Follow him on Twitter: @gbengaawomodu | Gbenga’s Notebook: www.gbengaawomodu.com | Facebook Page: Gbenga Awomodu