Use The Rear-View

I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much” – Mother Teresa
At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us” – Albert Schweitzer

Have you ever been so frustrated you could smash your {very expensive} phone against a brick wall? Oh ok, it wasn’t that bad but you were pretty pissed! Let’s play a little game: Put that frustration in an Epson photocopier and produce 24 copies {not to worry, all costs are “on the house”}. Adding the original copy gives us 25 times what we had before. Now, picture someone 25 times as miserable and frustrated as the most you’ve ever been!

There was once a man intensely blessed with the gift of comedy. So skilled was he in his art that even his walking made people laugh! It was one outing after another, as the rich kept calling on him to grace their occasions. The people loved him and did little to cage his fame. Of course, his fortunes sky-rocketed in no time; to him, life couldn’t be better! One day, he had a chat with a distant cousin of his – and it changed the rest of his life. He suddenly became obsessed with the idea of traveling outside the country. Nothing else seemed to matter. He spent all he had (and even went into debt) to realize that dream of his. Yet, the harder he tried, the more impossible it appeared! Getting swindled by 12 different travel-fraudsters shows he wasn’t lacking in fortitude; he was blinded by it! He was quickly stripped bare by his obsession. His motorbike, TV, fridge, furniture and babe(s) were all gone – with nothing to show for it {literally}. Soon, his focus shifted from traveling to day-to-day survival in that red-soiled village of his. If rock-bottom were a country, he was at the most extreme boundary!

He was convinced he had fallen permanently out of favour with life! By his reckoning, there was only one other alliance to forge – the one with death! “Death before dishonour” was all his inner voice could stutter to his hearing – and subsequent approval. After the initial excitement of their new accord, he grew tired of death’s perceived carelessness – or was it grogginess. Each time they fixed an appointment, death always seemed to miss its way. “I call him and the fool visits everyone but me. Boniface, Nnamdi, Mazi Emeka’s daughter who just bought a car, Chidi, even Nkem’s new baby!”, he thought. He waited night and day for death to get his home address right – but even his last hopes met death before him! He couldn’t bear it anymore; it was time to get “proactive”. If death wasn’t going to come for him, he was going to pay death the visit. After sitting down to prepare a mission-budget, he baulked at the final sum. His preferred path to death was going to cost him 800 naira; even that was too much for him. All he had left in the world was 300 naira and a staggering debt of 6,000 naira! Life was hopeless; death, even moreso!

If he had come to me, I would have loaned him that money on the condition that he came back to thank me after the success of his “mission”! That, in truth, was his biggest problem. At the bottom of his pit of woes, he refused to find one thing to be thankful for. Over time, he had become a scary shadow of his old jesting self – nagging and complaining through every day. In fact, it was his new attitude that drove his side-kick (Dozie) away. Dozie was the one skilled in obtaining information about coming events: the “scout”. If only Dozie were still around, he would have known that, in two short days, the Igwe of a nearby village was to have a huge party from which he could have grossed at least 30,000 naira! Had he taken just one peek into his rear-view mirror, he would have noticed how hard Dozie worked to keep him at the top of his game. One look, and he would have seen that Dozie was the only true friend he had left in the world – but he just wouldn’t be grateful for anything! Instead, he let his visor of worries blind him to his few remaining blessings! I’ll let you figure out how his life ended.

From he to whom much is given, much is expected! In case you don’t speak Latin, here’s what that means: “Special people, special problems!

I’ll take a second to reflect here. Maybe you should do the same!

In any normal race, two reactions that can follow a backward glance: “oh! it’s cool. they’d never catch me now” OR “damn! these dudes never tire”. In life, only one should: “thank you for where I am. I know the journey ahead is long but I have no fears”.

Though I’m not exactly where I thought I’d be 5 years ago, from my own one-second reflection, I realize there’s a lot to be grateful for. My rear-view is teeming with activity. So …..

To those teachers who either said “Buy him a big gift, ma. he has done well” or “this head of yours is big for nothing: You achieved the same result – though through very different routes. You have brought me here and I thank you.

To my family: thank you for seeing the good in me – in spite of my countless attempts to make you see otherwise!

To the (many) university lecturers who scored me 68B: Thank you. 70A would have much been better, but nothing stresses the importance of the “extra mile” more than a 68B.

To my friends who never complain when I say “you’re a bearded goat” when I really mean to say “I’m nothing without you: thank you.

To life itself, whom I daily trade for a brief moment of slumber; a welcome delusion that my share in it is perfect: Our romance will not last forever. We will not always be friends, but while you are mine – and I yours – you have my gratitude! Thank you for always coming back for me as the dawn breaks.

To tomorrow: What do I even have to say to you? We haven’t met yet but I have heard your voice; you promise many great things. Thank you for sending me hope. It is for you that I live.

And, to my dear readers who always go through the pain of commenting (and even those who don’t): above all else, you have taught me one of life’s greatest lessons. Talent may get you noticed, but it takes people to be fulfilled. I’ll hold on to that. Thank you!

This entry was posted in Death, Friends, Frustration, Gratitude, Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Use The Rear-View

  1. dade says:

    "From he to whom much is given, much is expected! In case you don’t speak Latin, here’s what that means: “Special people, special problems!" lol but tru

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hmmmm, nice one. Oro lo so, I dey find rear view mirror go quick quick, time to reflect and give thanks :)HexyDre

  3. Jaycee says:

    Beautiful post Imisi. An amazing writing that will be hard for me to forget. When I look at what I've achieved so far, even though I think I could have done more…I thank God for the opportunities I have now. I read a quote last night that said, "Happiness is a journey, not a destination." Every little step of my journey counts.In church today, my pastor spoke about why Jesus called us sheep. He said that one of the characteristics of sheep is that they don't have the ability to see far enough. This is why they need a shepherd. If only the man in your story could have seen far into the future, he would have known that 30,000 would have come his way. But human beings, what do we know? We go and commit suicide before our time of harvest comes. Sad!I liked this, "Though I’m not exactly where I thought I’d be 5 years ago, from my own one-second reflection, I realize there’s a lot to be grateful for. My rear-view is teeming with activity.

  4. misstik says:

    loving this. makes me think if i hv really looked bck to actually appreci8 some of my tishas in sec. sch (tho it's kinda hard). using this as a medium to shout out to me tishas in sec who 4 74.5 wud give u a B(making me not depend on u) and lecturers in sch. who wud bring out weird qs d end of the semesta (making me read mo) saying a big thank u, wudnt 1nt 2 change my xperince with u or trade it @ u guys. @ imisi,10ks 4 making me look 4 d good in pple even when they're pretty annoying (and dont 1nt to c d sense in wt dey're doing or saying) .

  5. nogoblogs says:

    Wow,This really made me think. I often forget to be thankful of what I have rather than be miserable over what I wish I had. What an eye-opener.Take Care,Nogo xx

  6. darol2020 says:

    wow…..still in thought mode….this is so very true, most times we are overwhelmed by the problems around us and we forget to thank God for the little blessings that make our lives worth living or how far we've gone even though we may not have met our targets yet….great piece, very deep and insightful…..great work as always!

  7. Imisi says:

    @Dade: Borceman, Thanx oh!@HexyDre: Good luck with the search oh. Worthy mission. Make I no disturb! looool. Thanx@Jaycee: Thanx, Jaycee. You're very correct. Happiness indeed is a journey!@Misstik: A million and one reasons to be grateful. Thanx for finding a few more!@Nogo: The funny thing about life is that no one has enough. We all should learn to be grateful for the "little" we have. Thanx for reading.@darol2020: As always, you use the best words! Thanx

  8. Wow and really wow. This is so deep, I must say. This post says: Life is all about the journey, not the destination. At times in life, It's good to see past talents thriving or dreams actualizing. Realizing Life's little blessings of hopeful existence is enough joy in itself. Even when existence in itself proves adamant, mortality is not the worst thing that will happen to a man, though unwise to race towards it. Even for death in itself, I'll be thankful that it come peaceably

  9. Shola Dairo says:

    I think i need to get a collection of my reminiscences and find things(at least 100) to be thankful for. I admire and respect your work. You have made a favorable impression on my mind and senses, a disciple henceforth.

  10. Absolutely Awesome Imisi. I loved every bit of it. That man did not realize that there is no success to a man who would not continue to strive fight after fight. He ran from his challenges – He put to flight when he could have continued fighting. He gave up right in the face of setbacks that could have led to set ups for his breakthrough. He fumbled at the very 'bend' that looked like an end… if only he had looked in the rear mirror… he'd at least had given Dokie a call to bid him goodbye; perhaps that would have changed his life forever.Great lessons, Great words!PS: You forgot 'God' in the commendations you gave in the concluding parts of the post – I know you have that in mind but its good in writing too :)- LDP

  11. Berean Girl says:

    I'm young and tempted to say there is still time but this post has caused me to think of all the things I have to be thankful for… the only other thing I'd say is Talent may get us noticed but only God can fulfill us.

  12. Imisi says:

    @Kennisblegad: Gbam. You've said it all. Thanx@Shola: Please don't make me cry. Thank you a million times for the well-chosen uplifting words.@LDP: Chai. Those motivating words I crave so earnestly! I'm gonna finish ur last post in a bit. You Know I could NEVER EVER forget God. God is the author of Life. Without God, nothing else matters. Thanx for the mention!@Berean Girl: You can't be younger than me jor…lolz. Yea. God is the most important piece of life's puzzle – but he uses people to get (physical) things done! The last time HE came down (as himself), the world was naked; the next time HE does, we would be again….lol. Thanx

  13. seunbalogun says:

    Poetic expressions. Never knew you were so good with words. Of course, the rear view reveals more than we can imagine only if we care to check. Do take care.SeunBalogun

  14. Imisi says:

    @Seun: Thanx oh! How are things at your end?

  15. marian assin says:

    thanks 4 reminding me took look in my 'rear view' mirror. beautiful writing as always.

  16. no1fan says:

    Found the appropriate post to say Thank you for sharing – Please write more! God bless you and of-course your ink!

  17. Imisi says:

    Ahwwww! Thanx for sticking close. Maybe one day I'll tell you how much inpsiration I draw from that!Bless you BIG too!

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