I love Nigerians! We are the definition of the phrase: ‘your brother’s keeper’. We watch out for others so much it’s almost too much. It could be almost annoying at times; other times it could be the saving grace in certain situations. For instance, in my quest to get to work this morning, I had to wait a few minutes at carwash bus-stop for the God-sent who was going to help me to work. As I waited, a young woman driving one of those extremely feminine Beetle cars parked and got out of her car. She hurriedly opened the bonnet and discovered the car was overheating. Leaving the bonnet open, she went to her car to get a bottle of water. She was about to pour the water into the carburettor when one of the LAMATA officials who had already crossed the road to go wherever it is he was going hurriedly crossed back screaming: “madam, no pour the water, no pour the water!”.
Shocked, she paused to look. In no time, the man was standing by her and explaining the effect of pouring water straight up into an overheating engine. Before I could fully grasp what he was saying, another man who must have also left his house to go somewhere stopped to join in the conversation. A few minutes after, they had together corrected the problem and pinpointed the actual issue at the root of the overheating. The thankful woman just watched as the situation was salvaged and amidst “thank yous” and “don’t mentions” got into her car and drove away.
As the onlooker, awed at the timely help they offered the woman, I thought to myself how fortunate she had been to have timely help. Perhaps the LAMATA man saw my awestruck face and decided I needed some education on the issue of cars and car breakdowns, I still cannot tell. All I know is, he just walked up to me and started explaining that a car is like a wife, it brings you as much trouble as it brings you joy. You have to keep spending on her and meeting her needs, else, you would lack peace. In fact, he added, just like a woman’s moods, you can never tell when your car would decide to develop a fault and you always have no choice but to attend to the matter. She’s your blessing as well as your curse. All the while, I was hhhmmming and nodding as appropriate and wondering ‘what is my own in the matter na’. The guy however didn’t notice, he just went on and on about car parts and all that till my ride arrived. Talk about being your sister’s keeper!
As I proceeded on my journey to work though, I could not help marvelling at the comparison. So a car is like a wife, she is your blessing and your curse! The more I thought of it, the more I was sure it made sense. Come to think of it, add the car trouble I witnessed this morning to all the other car troubles I have witnessed in my life and the summation is still not enough to dissuade me from buying a car.
That also is the tale of the young man who has heard his father say, several times, that his life would have advanced more than it is if not for the woman he married. Apart from his father’s lamentations, he has dated Kemi, Ada, Bimbo, Vero and Hauwa and now knows for a fact that woman is the synonym for trouble. Yet, he still wants to marry!
Beyond the car and the wife, I am certain that if you consider your life, you will find certain things that are affecting you adversely but you still would not do without. It could be a habit, a situation or even a person. Such a thing or person brings you as much benefit as it brings you stress. Take a moment to think, you will discover I am right.
The car or wife can be well managed as you most likely already reasoned. I mean, buy a good car, maintain it well, service when appropriate, and it would serve you more than milk you. Make the choice of the right woman, love her as you ought and she should bring you more peace than stress. Yes, well said but some things are just not that easy. Like the wonderful apartment you rented which meets all your housing needs but which also comes with a landlady who never shuts up. Or that your dream job, accompanied by amazing benefits and an awesome work environment but also an annoyingly stifling boss.
At such junctures, one cannot but wonder, what’s to be done? Will you find another apartment just because of your troublesome land lady or forfeit your dream job because of the boss? When push comes to shove, I have realised it is a function of value. You endure what’s bad because you value what is good about it. Subconsciously, we all carry, in our minds, a value scale. We decide we can pay the cab man that amount of money because we value our comfort on the trip. We decide we can leave all the things we planned to do to take that girl out because we value the relationship we have with her. We conclude not to do something after a friend shared an opinion because we value that friend’s opinion. It’s always about value!
The reason you would rather hang out with your friends on a Sunday morning is that you value your friends more than the moment of worship church presents. The reason you can afford to ditch work at the slightest opportunity is that you don’t value your job. The reason you ended that relationship is not what she did but that you stopped valuing her.
I have said too much already. And all just because I want to ask one question, what do you value? People, money, God, time, achievements, memories, what exactly do you value? And if you value nothing or have no values, then I do not know what to say to you yet!
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