“Life is interesting, we wake up in the morning and wear ourselves out all day, to sleep. Life is funny, we come in with nothing and spend our lives acquiring to leave with nothing. Life is comical, the richest are not the healthiest, and the poorest are not the sadest”- Adeolu Akinyemi
Have you ever stopped in the middle of a working day to observe your environment? Have you ever looked down from a vantage point at the little people way down the streets? I have, and it baffles me that everybody seems to be on a race. Everybody has a goal, a deadline, a busy schedule, something to look forward to, something that is about to happen. People are in a hurry, fast paced, frantic and at alert. I wonder where people are in a hurry to get to, I also wonder, what winning means to these people (myself inclusive), I wonder silently, and now loudly, who wins?
I heard many years back, that the person who wins is the person with the most toys. You have a house (choicely located), 3 cars ( A Jeep, a regular and a spot car), you have a doll (now I don’t mean to be chauvenistic), a couple of flat screen, mini studio, flashy phones… you’ve got all the “to be desired” toys. But lets look deeply at it, does having the most toys make you win? First we’ll need to ask ourselves at what point to count the toys, is it at a particular age? Or is it at the point of death? At any particular age, the toys depreciate on a daily basis, at the point of death, the toys don’t matter. They’ll be given to someone else! No matter how much we pile up, we’ll leave here with nather.
Hmmm… if the person with the most toys doesn’t win, who does? Life seems to be all about what we do between when we wake and when we sleep, and we do it so agressively, it better have good results. So who wins, is it the person with the most titles? You look around and see people working hard to gain titles. Bsc, Msc, Phd, Prof, Ofr, Mon, Chief, Pastor, Managing Director, CEO, name it! But tell me, doesn’t an extra title create an emptiness as soon as it is acquired and is replaced by a craving for more? Lining up degrees like a thermometer doesn’t make you win in the game of life.
So what makes you win? What gives you true and lasting satisfaction? It’s not the toys, no the degrees or titles. What gives true and lasting satisfaction are the things we appreciate when we pause and take in our environment. The best things in life are truely free. The gift of loving and being loved. Of laughing heartily in the midst of friends, of sharing a story with tears in your eyes, of crying on the shoulders of a friend, of telling your pains to a mentor who has been there, of working with passion, staying late hours for the kicks, of living life to the fullest and dying empty! The great wonders of the world are not the pyramids of Egypt, not the monuments built by human hands nor the ancient structures that never move.
The great wonders are:
Sight – seeing an old friend again, watching your friend get the honour he/she deserves, seeing your grand children, seeing the things you wished you could do for your parents done for them, seeing your child learn to walk, talk, run, play and grow, seeing the future in your mind, seeing the past and laughing with glee… sight.
Touch – holding hands with the one you love, collecting a biro amidst sparks, a gentle pat on the back, a questioning pull of the chin, hands forgetfully placed on anothers thighs… touch.
Sound – hearing the music but not the words, hearing the words and creating the music, gentle words, loving words, pleasant sounds, inspiring words,hearing the baseline and replaying the moments, lyrics and poems, loving confessions from a friend, public vote of confidence, open declaration of love and affection… sound.
Smell – Hmmm… and that says it all.
Feeling – feelings that make 1 min like one hour, and then one hour like one minute. love, anticipation, anxious, curious, excited, enthusiastic… feelings that linger after the fact… fellings.
Who wins, is who maximizes the the opportunities in the midst of the inevitable, who lives today with tomorrow in mind, whose temporary does not destroy forever.
So between waking up and going back to sleep, are you spending your life on the things that will make you truely win?