Hello folks welcome to another edition of #thoughtivityopinion. Today’s opinion piece is the second and concluding part of the opinion piece for last week about moral guardians and the hero’s journey (which if you can read here if you haven’t done so). So strap in and enjoy it as usual.
If you ask many Nigerians living in Nigeria about their compatriots living outside the country, you will notice this same attitude, like they are traitors who took a shortcut through the Nigerian hero’s journey by running away to a more “comfortable” place. It is why people hate the Kardashians, they are “no heroes, just wealthy socialites who do not do any real work yet get rich by seeking for attention”.
It is that same attitude that manifests in the responses to the linked post to above tweet about Florence “DJ Cuppy” Otedola. There is the tendency to villanize rich people and invalidate their experiences, because their wealth is a cheat code for them on their hero’s journey.
If like me you are active on social media, watch out for the next time someone (most likely a woman) says something like “I only want to marry a man who has a car” or “The man I will marry must earn a six figure salary” etc. You will find the ‘indignant brigade’ (usually men) lining up with comments like “You are setting standards” “Life will humble you” “Does your father have those things you want your husband to have?” I could cite several examples, but I think you get the gist.
Of course, I am a firm believer in the hero’s journey myself –I believe that nothing good comes without a price having been paid for it. However, I have also come to realize that obeying rules, suffering restrictions, and being a decent human being should be for its own merits rather than in expectation for some form of reward. Otherwise you will have an extremely hard and bitter life, especially when you get those “rewards” you wanted and they end up not being worth it . I don’t know how many African parents I am going to offend with this, but a husband/wife is not a worthy reward for years of abstinence from sexual immorality, because the person you are trying to be perfect for is not perfect either. Of course I am not advocating for sleeping around, I am just saying that you should ensure that you are obeying those rules, and putting that work in because you are absolutely convinced it is right to do so, not because you have been promised a reward. Otherwise, and I cannot stress this enough, you are going to go through life feeling like you have been cheated. When you see other people achieving the reward you have been promised, without putting the work you put in. The story of Job in the bible comes to mind here. Job understood that life will never be fair, that you might have to endure a rough, stony path to happiness while others cruise along their own free way to the same reward. Job, therefore, endured his pain and suffering with grace and didn’t moan at God or bitch about other people who didn’t have to endure what he was going through.
So the lesson for today is this, don’t be the kind of bitter, bile-filled cynic who rejoices when people’s dreams (even if you feel they were unrealistic) crash, just because you have seen your own dreams crash. Even if that “slay queen” who said she can only marry a man who “earns 200 thousand naira a month” ends up having to settle for an unemployed man because she is older than 40 and has to marry by force, or perhaps Offset cheats on Cardi B and their marriage falls apart, or Anthony Joshua loses all of his next set of fights and his career falls into obscurity, what have you gained other than the fact that you can say “I told you so”? Nothing, other than the fact that you have revealed your attitude as a bitter, vile, gall-filled, dementor masquerading as a moral guardian/ voice of reason because you feel suffering is part of life and nobody should take any opportunities that will take a shortcut through the process.In all honesty though, I also claim some guilt for this kind of attitude, after all I did write this piece on the MMM crash.
Once again, Dear Arsenal fan, you are not a better human being than a Manchester City fan because Arsene Wenger has made you a magnet for trolling. It is not by force. Dear member of indignant Nigerians brigade, you don’t deserve a medal for staying in Nigeria, if it is leaving Nigeria that will make you not be a bitch to Nigerians living abroad, the best thing for you is to just leave Nigeria. Dear “virtuous woman”, if it is sleeping around that will find you a husband and make you stop complaining about “hoes” getting married, then in your best interests, just sleep around. Suffering and endurance is optional, nobody should ever be made to feel devalued because they refused to make themselves a magnet for punishment on the road, to achieving their desires. Unless they achieved said desires through crime, in which case they deserve whatever punishment they get.
Dear dreamer, you have a right to your dreams no matter how unrealistic they are, and your castles are yours whether they are built on earth or in the air. Don’t ever let anybody, no matter the number of grey hairs on their head or the number of college degrees they have, to demean you because you don’t want to suffer or “build with somebody” as they did. Don’t forget that pride and aambition or the perception of their presence is at best moral failing, it not a criminal offence. Do everything you can to achieve your dreams so far it is not a crime. If you happen to have one or two privileges to make you achieve your goals faster, you may help others as your conscience dictates, but don’t let anybody guilt trip into feeling bad for privileges that you have no control over. The hero’s journey is a journey and everyone is free to walk it anyway they like.