Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Walk Your Talk!

"Forgiveness is the fragrance  the violet (or any flower) sheds on the heels of those who crush it"- Anonymous

I think most of us are guilty of not walking our talk, in other words our actions and are words are a far cry from each other. I recently had a talk with a friend, who kept saying she was never going to forgive a colleague for some work related issue, she went on and on, and was apparently very pained by the whole incident. I did not want to sound all self righteous by saying "you have to learn to let it go and forgive the person", I wanted her to really let off steam before telling her what I thought.
The short version of the grievance was that her colleague was some guy who was fond of stealing people’s ideas and passing them off as his own (we all have them in our offices I guess), but this time he had made a sly move that might rob her of her long awaited promotion, so she was furious!

I listened, was very empathetic, then I finally spoke (I sound all wise, don’t I? Lol). I explained what I felt about forgiveness, and that is what I am sharing on this piece, just my thought and what motivates me to forgive.
I have never really felt that the act of forgiveness was meant to help only the forgiven, I have always understood it be more in favour of the forgiver. Being forgiving for me gives a sense of peace, it helps you deal with the situation better without the mind clutter that comes with bearing a grudge. I am not saying it is an easy feat, it is hard to do when you have been hurt deeply in anyway, but letting go is totally worth it.
Not to be all pious here, I am yet to see the great deed hatred, unforgiveness or vengeance has ever fostered. Yes, it might give some people that sense of satisfaction, which makes you just as bad as the person you are taking out the rage on, but at the end of the day it fosters more grudge and no one benefits (unless the satisfaction of being sadistic counts!)

The first time I heard the biblical quote “do not let the sun go down on your wrath” it caught my attention and I could relate with it, because if you make a conscious effort to let go of every grudge before sunset, then there will never be an accumulation of beef or bad belle flying all over the place.
And isn’t it ironic how we want to be forgiven when we do wrong, but chose not to forgive when the shoe is on the other foot? C’mon guys, it’s a two way street. And going by the Lord’s prayer, you have to forgive in order to be forgiven.
I have learnt about the joy and the power of forgiveness in big and small things, I have experienced the peace that comes with forgiving, I have also experienced the relief of being forgiven and like I always say, treat people with the curtsy of Christ. I am no preacher, but I love being a Christian, and the last time I checked forgiveness was not given to us as an option.


“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us”
-Jesus Christ

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When In Doubt, GOOGLE!

Am I the only one who gets pissed when people have internet access and keep asking for information. information that is right in front of them. Hello!  That’s what search engines are for!
My friend Nandir playfully calls me 'the great googler' lol. 
 Seriously, I think google is the best thing ever on the internet. Every info is at your finger tip, as long as you have an idea of what you are searching for. Coupled with mobile phones having internet access, I feel like I am a walking knowledge pack.
So please, for all those lazy people with internet access always wanting everything spelt out, this is my last warning, when in doubt, GOOGLE!

Friday, March 2, 2012

WARNING! Don’t Read This If….

·         You are self righteous ·         You are a goody two shoes
·         You have no conscience…hmmm, but then maybe if you have no conscience or spirit of discerning wrong or right you should actually read this.

I have never been anything close to a preacher, to be honest I don’t think I say much when it comes to  spreading the gospel, but I love God/Jesus  and I am always quick to let people know how much of his grace I enjoy, I am unapologetically a  Christian. But, like so many others, there have been times I have fallen short and I always try to get back up. I hate wallowing in self pity or guilt, I really can’t stand the mental picture that forms in my head, let me try and paint the picture with words:
The devil with horns and a pitchfork standing over a whimpering, helpless person
Its not okay for someone to push you down, but its even worse when they do push you down and you chose to stay down!
The inspiration behind this piece is actually stemmed from a place within, a deep desire to forgive/be forgiven and move on, far away from those things holding us back, and in the words of the legendary Michael  Jackson, I am starting with the “Man in the Mirror” , ME!
I’ll breakdown my ever so random thoughts and you can share your thoughts in the comment section.
How many of you have found themselves in at least one of these situations:

·         You steal something so little, and you end up making up telling humongous lies to cover up
·         You cheat in an exam and you make excuses such as we have bad teachers or they failed me
      ·         You bribe to get certain things done and you say “that’s how we do it in Naija”
      ·         You make up silly stories to your partners so you can go on that “harmless date” with the office hottie.

·         You make up stories to try and squeeze extra cash off your folks, even when you know they give you all they can afford.(typical silly kid thinking :if they cant take care of me, why did they have me?)

·         You treat your helps/staff like slaves (they need you as much as you need them, else do the damn work yourself!)

·         You think some people are beneath you so you treat them like dirt (the earth is beneath you too, try taking it for granted and walk on air!)

·         You think its okay to litter the streets or mess up the office/public toilet (afterall its not your job to cleanup)

·         You laugh at other’s misfortune because someone made a joke of it (I didn’t say it I only laughed, yeah right!)

·         You think its ok to laugh when people mock God or make blasphemous jokes because God is merciful abi? Well, Newsflash! The same Psalm 140:8 that says “Plenteous in Mercy” also said “Slow to Anger”,  so know that God is no pushover.

·         You tell a seemingly innocent white lie, then you eventually end up feeding it with more lies and it keeps growing bigger and more complicated and you don’t even know how it got that bad!

·         You start with a little petting, a little kissing, a little sex and a little baby…none planned!
I am not condemning anyone for saying “yes” to some of these situations listed, heavens forbid! I am just as guilty of these, but I learnt a long time ago from my big sis Abby (bet she doesn’t even recall), she once told me when I was about twelve that those times you fall short are the times you should get closer to God, I took it to heart and I never give up on myself, because the beautiful truth is this, God never gives up on you.
Falling is never the problem, staying down is. Move On! God isn't given up on you, you shouldn't either.

Have a lovely weekend, Make it Count for Good.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Little Persuasion

"...Men don’t know what they want till they are forty. That is why they need their parents, their friends, teachers, a bevy of girlfriends,a wife or wives and in serious cases like yours, a little persuasion to set them on a path, right or wrong. In this situation however, I’m positive that you are making the right choice for him. Haba! Look at you. If I was a man, I would have put a ring on your finger years ago".

Typical Bimbo. Her ability to analyse every situation only to arrive at her initial premise would have made the ancient Sophists turn green with envy. Bimbo my best friend, confidante, everything I was and yet all I could never be. We could have passed for twin sisters but then there was the madness. Bimbo had been crazy since our days in the secondary school. I, on the other hand was the quiet, shy Elizabeth; super girl Bimbo’s side kick. Sometimes I wondered how Bruno put up with her madness.

"…Look at your legs, those hips… Liz, you
must follow me to see that pastor before one of this small girls screw an ‘I
do’ from your man".

I shrugged. "Is
that how you got Bruno to propose"?

"Are you insane? Bruno has been crazy about me since we were in secondary school and you know how many times he proposed before you took his bribe to convince me. I thought he just wanted to see the colour of my kini so I made sure he bought the matter wholesale. You know me na,no retail".

I listened to Bimbo laugh while I managed a smile. Beautiful, intelligent, virtuous, crazy, ambitious Bimbo. Who could blame
handsome, intelligent, sympathetic and faithful Bruno. Nobody stood a chance when Bimbo was involved.

Time was a joke. Sixteen years ago, Bimbo and I were silly girls who wondered when they would leave secondary school for good. Now I was a single lawyer and Bimbo was a married doctor. Funny enough,every time I thought about our secondary school days, it felt like I was recalling events of a previous day. Then there was Bruno, my best friend long before Bimbo came into the picture. Our parents were neighbours from our primary school years and there seemed to be an odd pact between us whereby I would be made class prefect and he would be my deputy or he would be made class prefect and I would be his deputy, from primary one up to when he became St.Barth’s secondary school’s senior perfect and I was made his deputy. Bruno who would run and hide whenever our late parents sat in his parents’ sitting room and teased us with details of the future marriage between us. Bruno my first crush, first love…

"Hmm! This one you are closing your legs, wetin you dey think?"

Bimbo crashed into my thoughts and I just looked blankly at her.

"Haven’t you been listening to me? I said the day he put this one I’m carrying now, he was possessed but that was child’s play compared to what he did to me last weekend. At a point, I had to remind home of the baby and instead of that to kill his urge as usual, he got wilder. I haven’t felt that hot since I was born.

More Bimbo laughter.

Another smile. Last weekend…Oh Bruno...

"I thank God we didn’t go ahead with that Babalawo plan two weeks ago. Once those witch doctors have you in the palm of their hands,they squeeze till you are whiter than Maclean toothpaste"

Laughter. No smile. If only she knew…

"How do you know? Have you ever been to see one?"

"God forbid!Don’t you watch Nollywood movies? I can imagine you getting some from a Mr.Ibu
look-alike".

Hysterical laughter.

A genuine smile. Mr.Ibu...Just couldn’t help it.

"Talking
about getting some, when was the last time you had your kini taken care of"?

"When you
put it that way, it doesn’t sound very fun".

"No be only. Blessed Virgin Liz. Don’t tell me that Igbo Emeka boy isn’t taking care of matters before his elusive proposal".

Blank stare. If only she knew….

"See me talking about me and Bruno when I should be asking you your current stand with Emeka. I’m very selfish .Apart from regaling you with my boring gist, we’ve not seen each other in a week and the first thing I’m bugging you with is taking care of my two Brunos while I sleep my swollen feet away .Don’t know how to make it up to you"

I know the perfect reward.“Its nothing. I know you’ll do the same thing for me".

"Yes I would. However I’ll take you to that Pastor 10 million husbands. That’s the least I can do. I heard he shares husbands like cabin biscuits. It will be a piece of cake for him to persuade a man to spill his proposal, abi?"

"I guess so".

"That’s my girl. I owe you that much after all you gave me Bruno and though I suspect that all you said about his potential to be unfaithful is true, the remnants from his affairs are more than enough for me abeg. Last weekend?Ah!"

I couldn’t help noticing the way she stressed the word 'affairs'. It showed that she wasn’t sure Bruno was unfaithful and didn’t care. That was supposed to be good news but it wasn’t. It meant that Bruno had it all- a good wife that didn’t nag and didn’t bother him with her unconfirmed suspicion; a child; a great job; his own home…Nothing could push him to me. It meant he had truly never cheated on his wife like he swore to me last weekend before I threw myself at him. That explained why he had broken the kiss and left my house in a hurry. That was why he had been as wild as Bimbo said he was after being aroused by our brief though mind blowing (at least to me) kiss. If only Emeka was more than an occasional bed mate. If only I had refused to help Bruno when he told me how desperately he wanted to talk to Bimbo twelve years ago. If only I had told him she was a devil and insisted that he was an
unrepentant philanderer. If only I had been as crazy as Bimbo. If only…perhaps Bruno would be mine now . Well, I would turn back the hands of time tonight. A little persuasion? Bruno wouldn’t know what hit him. His kind heart and years of friendship had made the awkwardness that should have been between us after last weekend almost non-existent. He loved to make excuses for others. Good for me.
 Later that night,I would serve Bruno his food after Bimbo and Bruno Jnr. had gone to bed. I would stand by the window and watch him eat from the corner of my eyes while glancing furtively at the wall clock knowing that in three minutes Baba’s potion would work. I would feel a pang of regret but I would look back and see him advancing with that devastating Bimbo 'special' and I would know that all I wanted was for him to share that particular smile between me and Bimbo. I would turn around and the first tear would drop on the tile as my Bruno encircles his arms around my waist.

Bimbo’s tears would wait till the next day

Contributor: Ezenduka Ebuka Murphy

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