Sullivan was disappointed at what his old man left him as an inheritance.
Not that he expected to get the bull share of what he left behind. But how could he have imagined that he’ll be given such a trifle?
His father Truman had passed away a couple of months ago, having lived till the ripe age of 80. He died a wealthy man with a good number of holdings, businesses and property to his name.
But of all there was to give away, the only thing that came to him was a document for a parcel of land in his name and with a note attached to it.
The note read, ‘value this inheritance; there is more to it than you think’.
As though the mockery wasn’t enough, he discovered that the land was located in the hinterland.
He considered what to do with a parcel of land in the middle of nowhere. “It wouldn’t even fetch a good price to start a small business if I decide to sell it off.”
Just to think that Billy, the family’s black sheep, had cut a better deal while he got next to nothing for his meritorious service to Truman.
For all he cared, his late father never meant well for him.
Seeing that he’ll never need it, he decided to transfer its ownership to Ryan, an old acquaintance of his who lived there.
He’ll rather give it out for free than sell it. Good riddance to bad rubbish!
It was a fortunate Ryan to whom Sullivan bequeathed the property. He had been desirous of acquiring a piece of land where he could farm and sink a well to water the crops. He set to work immediately and engaged the services of a couple of labourers who began to dig.
They hadn’t dug for too long when one of the labourers called Ryan’s attention to a curious find: It was a sprinkling of metallic elements of a deep, rich yellow colour.
I think you just struck gold Mr Ryan, one of the labourers informed him.
Be grateful, even for the seemingly little things.
Why are you trying to attain perfection with your first drafts?
Remember the parable of the wheat and tares?
You can learn a thing or two from it as a writer…
So Mr Bull went with his farmhands to his large farm in the countryside to plant wheat. Much later, his farmhands went to the farm and discovered that tares were shooting out among the wheat.
“What would you have us do, boss?” They asked on their return. “Uproot the tares from among the wheat while it’s still growing?”
“What! Don’t do that!” Was the farmer’s passionate appeal.
“While you are busy uprooting the tares, you are likely to uproot or do damage to some of the wheat in the process.
Just let them grow together till the wheat are ready for harvesting. You can then take out the tares and burn them while you gather the wheat into the barn.”
Moral of the ‘story’?
Trying to attain perfection with your first draft can be counterproductive.
You see, the wheat in the story can be likened to the rich content that constitutes your write-up. Meanwhile, the tares are elements that (seem to) make it redundant or ineffective (grammar, meaning, structural or punctuation errors).
Unless you are an exceptionally good writer, your first draft shouldn’t be ideal.
As you plant wheat in the process of writing, tares will always rear their ugly head. Nowadays, when I write, I just allow the tares to grow with the wheat.
In essence, I have learnt not to revise my writing until I’m done with my first draft.
Ideas are the wheels on which the writer’s creative engine run. Sometimes, they come to you in form of a muse or an inspiration bug and in the least expected places or circumstances too.
So when they come, you begin to write. Meanwhile, as a perfectionist, as you write…
You try to read along to be sure your expressions are concise and apt.
You see a word that doesn’t fit a context and change it.
An expression looks funny and you begin to think of a substitute.
You wonder if the comma (,) after the ‘and’ is necessary or should be omitted.
You consider making a passive statement into an active one to make it more effective.
And it goes on…
At the end of the day,
You spend double (or more) the time you ought to have written your work.
You ruin large chunks of the work and may need to start afresh.
You overdo the editing till it loses its flourish.
You put yourself through much mental activity and pressure.
You begin to doubt the credibility of the work altogether and abandon it.
You lose the inspiration for the writing and it dies an untimely death.
Truth is there will always be a better way to present your thoughts, a better way to compose them. Sometimes, as you write, the more you see (and need to perfect), the less impressed you get.
And you’ll keep making endless futile efforts to make it better.
Let the tares grow with the wheat in the meantime.
Allow your words flow through your hands without casting a second glance at them until you are done.
When you have gotten out all the ideas and the draft is done, allow it to sit for a while before revision.
Then patiently and carefully uproot the ‘tares’.
You’ll be surprised what a healthy and bountiful harvest you’ll have!
How/when do you edit your write-ups? While at it or after you’ve finished writing?
What works best for you? Do share with us in the comment section.
Perhaps it’s a Nigerian thing, but in my clime, we have a habit of asking people to partake of our meal. You come across as uncultured when you don’t beckon on those around you to share your food with you.
Of course, on most occasions, the act is merely perfunctory. The one who invites you doesn’t mean it. Deep down, he doesn’t want you to shorten his ration. He is only fulfilling all righteousness.
Meanwhile, the norm is that those called to join in the meal will decline the offer. The call is just a display of courtesy or social grace by the caller. Only on rare occasions will you see someone who takes the offer literally and partake.
Well, I was once a victim of such an exception to the norm and it wasn’t funny.
I’ll share the story with you…
It was back in my high school days, during one of our break times. I had visited the food vendor and bought a place of rice for lunch.
Rather than go to an isolated place to enjoy my meal, I chose to sit among my peers, right at the vendor’s stand. As expected, I feigned niceness by calling them to partake of my meal.
Guys, join me in eating o, I mumbled
Hardly had the words left my mouth when the rascals descended on my food. Cutlery materialised from nowhere. Those who couldn’t get one nearby helped themselves to the food with bare hands. Before I could spell ‘goodness’, my precious meal was over. The foodlums had cleared the plate of the last grain.
I doubt if I had 4 spoonfuls before it finished. I was hungry for the rest of the school day.
That day, I made a promise to myself never to ask a soul to partake of my meal going forward, even if such an individual really needs it. Never again!
You find it cruelly hilarious, right? Well, it was infuriating at the time.
I shared the experience because I wanted you to have a good laugh. We live in difficult times, so we can do with some humour now and again.
However, beyond the humour, there is a message to draw from the story.
That incident made me resolve never to ask anyone to partake of my meal – not even someone in dire need of something to eat.
Once bitten twice shy. I had been nice to folks and they had taken advantage of it. They made me feel miserable for my good gesture, and this pushed me to the extreme.
I wasn’t upset because they dared to eat the food with me. After all, I invited them to partake of it. What incensed me was that they went overboard in their participation. What happened to leaving a good share of the meal for the owner to eat?
The experience brought out the worst in me.
Bringing it Home
It happens to the best of us. In most cases, the circumstances will be weightier than that of the experience I shared…
You lend people money and most do not pay it back.
You give counsel to a friend and it backfires on you.
You go the extra mile for someone and they end up rubbishing your effort.
You are always been nice to people but you seem to be always treated unfairly…
Then you say, Never again!
Truth is, we do not have control over how people respond to our good deeds. Some will be grateful for it while others will make us feel like fools for it. We, however, can control our reactions to their responses.
No matter what, never regret an act of kindness, even when it goes south. Just some respond unfairly to acts of kindness doesn’t make being kind outdated.
Know these, Know Peace…
No matter how small, an act of kindness never go unnoticed.
It’s never about you but entirely about the other.
Never have high expectations concerning the good you do. People will be people.
Not everyone appreciates kindness. Some are just terrible humans.
The reward for your good deed will not always come from the recipients.
Be kind anyway. Sometimes, the thought of your goodness is all the satisfaction you need.
It doesn’t always have to come with a reward.
Being kind isn’t the same as being gullible, stupid and vulnerable.
Be discerning. Know those who only want to take advantage of you, and avoid them.
Sometimes, you need to take a break from social media to keep your sanity. You’ll be shocked how despicable fellow humans can be when they have access to a smartphone and the internet.
I know you are trying to make sense of the image above so I’ll give context to it.
The image is a screenshot of some kind of SOS sent by a Twitter user and the response by one of the tweeps.
I’ll break it down for you…
Two days ago, there was an attack on a train conveying folks from point A to point B, in Nigeria 🇳🇬 In that attack, lives were lost, many sustained various degrees of injuries, and some were kidnapped.
The lady, Chinelo, in the captured tweet above was one of the casualties of the attack. At the time she tweeted, she had been shot hence, her tweet
I’m in the train. I have been shot please pray for me
It was to her tweet that the other tweep, Abolore, responded
Are you dead now?
Well, it turned out that Chinelo died eventually.
I hope you catch my drift now. And you see why I began the way I did?
Did Abolore kill her? No. Could he have done better? A whole lot.
By the way, his wasn’t the only terrible response. It was just the most brutal.
But let’s play the devil’s advocate for a moment and advance reasons for why he responded the way he did…
Perhaps the lady was trolling, as many internet users do.
Maybe she was just raising a false alarm
Could be a clout chaser
Probably has an ulterior/ignoble motive for doing so
We can go on…
Truth is, no matter how hard we try to see from the commentator’s perspective, nothing will validate the weight of his comment.
He is foolish and shame-worthy who answers a matter before he hears the fact. The scripture said that – Proverbs 18: 13.
Why should you have to respond if you cannot prove the genuineness in a fellow’s utterance? What happens to examining the situation before rushing to a hurtful conclusion? But much more, why must your response be filled with bile?
When self-restraint and courtesy are added to strength, the latter becomes irresistible.
It’s one thing to make a wrong judgement call and another to be insensitive. It however takes an individual with a poor sense of empathy or low degree of emotional intelligence to put out such a response.
Maybe I’m just weird, but I have deleted more drafts than I have posted. I have several perfected articles that will never be read by anyone but me. I have made to respond to numerous messages/tweets/posts but deleted my response at the last minute.
I ask myself,
Is it worth putting out?
Do I have to comment, respond or publish?
What do I seek to achieve with it?
Is it going to be of help, value, edification, or otherwise?
Are my emotions, sentiment, and prejudice getting in the way of what I write?…
By the way, Abolore later deleted his tweet and locked his account. But what’s done is done. Maybe he’ll be regretting his reaction right now. Just maybe.
Thank God for social media! What a blessing it is: Giving voice to all, amplifying the voice, connecting people, providing a wealth of knowledge, exposure and awareness…
But for all its goodness, it has also exposed the beast in many – unfettered, uncouth, impulsive, bestial, and ill-mannered. ‘Wokeness’ is the stock-in-trade. Many are all about clout-chasing and social media engagements and validation.
Our virtual conversations and conducts are reflections of who we truly are. Meanwhile, our actions have consequences, whether offline or online.
The biblical injunction to be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath still holds.
I pray for fortitude and comfort for the family of Chinelo and everyone who lost their loved ones in the attack.
May we have more people who are circumspect, kind, and humane.
Some time ago, I went for an interview for an editorial role. There were only three of us to be interviewed – two guys and a lady.
The time came for the first (written) test for which we had 1hr 20 minutes to complete.
While I was still reading the instructions and going through the questions, the blessed lady was already answering away. You’ll be surprised at the speed with which she was going.
“I’m through”, she said at some point.
What?! I checked the time and it was just barely 30 minutes into the test.
“How can you be through”? I screamed at her (in my mind, of course).
Even the interviewer seemed bemused.
“Are you sure you are through”? She asked her. The lady replied in the affirmative.
Meanwhile, at that point, I was just 60% into my answers.
I almost became panicky.
However, something in me said “You were allotted 80 minutes for this test. It’s not even half the time yet. Take your time!”
So I calmed myself, ignored the lady (who was now busy with her phone), and continued with my test.
I took my time, yet finished ahead of the set time.
Then came the time for the second test (a personality test). This one was quite complex and the interviewer took her time to explain the instructions.
The lady kept nodding to her explanations, urging her to move to the next phase.
She gave us the test papers and before you could say ‘Jack’, the blessed lady was already ticking away. Yet again, she finished way ahead of the rest of us.
It turned out that she was answering the questions amiss all along. The interviewer was kind enough to go through the explanation again and then gave her a new test paper so she could start all over.
Interestingly, she made some mistakes in the repeated test.
I have yet to understand the reason behind her self-induced haste. She was always in a rush to finish, only to return to pressing her phone.
Was she that smart? But just too smart to be a little patient to review her work?
Was she trying to impress the interviewer, show off her intellectual prowess?
Did she have other important things to address on her phone or she just couldn’t wait to get back to her chit-chats?…
Whatever the reason is, one thing was certain: She was not going to be spared for any (silly/obvious) mistakes she makes in the tests, especially the ones directly connected to the core editorial functions.
Why? She had all the time to patiently answer the questions but chose to go fast and furious.
Yes, speed and accuracy should be a plus for an editor. However, being ridiculously fast to execute works can be tantamount to making costly mistakes – a bad fit for an editor.
By the way, I could have been carried away by her speed, gotten myself drawn into a rat race, end up doing a mediocre job and make a fool of myself.
Don’t run in another man’s race.
Just because some are running doesn’t mean they are running aright or even have a destination in mind. Some run at lightning speed just to crash eventually.
Be circumspect. Run your race with wisdom. Don’t be carried away by the speed with which others are going. What works for A doesn’t always work for B.
Of course, don’t be tardy or overly laid-back. Do what you ought to do as and when due, and with the vigour/diligence it deserves. Life is all about balance.
I know it’s been a long time since you heard from me and I owe you an unreserved apology for the protracted absence. One thing kept leading to another and the gap kept getting wider. I hope it’s not too late to catch up with you on all things lovely. Hopefully, I can pick things up from where I stopped and make it up to you in good time.
Being entitled will leave its impacts on you. You can however be sure it’s not going to be positive ones.
I’m going to live a happy and healthy life, one devoid of bitterness or resentment towards anyone. You know why? I’ve learnt how not to have undue expectations of anyone.
Yea, God won’t come in the flesh to do you a personal favour. He came once and for all time sake. In the scheme of things, men are the medium through which he blesses men. Who he will use for you, where and when are His exclusive preserve. Coming to terms with this is finding peace.
“Well, my uncle is well to do. He was in a good position to assist me with getting that contract but he didn’t. He is nothing but heartless!”
“I don’t want to have anything to do with my brother anymore. A brother who couldn’t come true for me when I needed his help is not worth having”
You simply assumed they had the ability to grant your request. After all, they have really good jobs, lived in nice houses and seemed to be living fine. What could go wrong!
But what if things were not what they appeared to be at the time? Life’s not always black and white, remember? What if they were going through their own personal hell too? What if they really wanted to help but couldn’t?
When you liberate yourself from entitlement, you appreciate whatever you get. You develop a sense of gratitude for gifts. You realize it’s not “deservation”.
Do not expect to be people’s priority. Everyone has his/her challenges. It might not be apparent to you. Unless you’ve earned it, whatever comes from others isn’t your right.
Always have a heart of gratitude, even for the seemingly little things.
Be a giver.
Take responsibility for your life. Do all that is within your power to better your lot.
Learn to depend more on the Lord for your every need. He’ll meet them in ways you least expect.
Yea, I know. I know it’s been such a long time since you read something from me. I say to myself “You have been inactive on here for too long. You ought to get your act together and get back to ‘writing ways’. Then one thing leads to another and I get carried away by the waves of life’s drama. The writer in me was truly willing. My hand just couldn’t cooperate with my mind to dish out those good stuff you know me for.
So, what now? Is my mind now in sync with my hand? I think so. Does this mean you’ll get to read more from me and consistently so? Absolutely.
Therefore, I, Ayansola Ibukun, first of his name, do solemnly promise that I won’t shirk my writing responsibilities going forward. I’ll ensure I put out worthwhile posts regularly and engage yours while at it. So help me God!
You hear people say, “out of sight is out of mind“. I think it’s not always true. People who care enough about you don’t bid you good riddance at the slightest provocation.
I must say I’m blessed to have really amazing friends here. I speak of people who have refused to give up on me but have kept looking out for me and reaching out to me in the course of my circumstantial exile from WordPress. It feels good to be remembered. I do not take you or your thoughtfulness for granted. Much love!
Meanwhile, it would have been understandable had I lost a good number of subscribers to my blog due to my inconsistency. I’m however surprised to see that the number increased remarkably. So to my new friends here, I say gracias and welcome. It promises to be a series of pleasant exchanges.
Okay. Let’s get down to business…
So I was thinking of what to write for my first post in a long time. (sometimes I overthink things). Rather than write something thought-provoking, I decided on something lighthearted. We’ll have all the time to explore profound ideas.
In the meantime, here is what I’m going to do: I’m just going expose myself a bit and let you into some ‘interesting’ aspects of me that you don’t know about. It’s not your regular FAQs. Call it fun and weird facts if you will. You should find them interesting.
🖋 Folks tell me I give to a fault. While I may not be stingy with money and all, my pens are sacred and I’m selfish with them 🙈. If I happen to borrow you one, I ensure I get it back. 🖋
🎶 I have a weird/wide taste in music, from different ages/genre. You need only to check out my playlist to confirm that. If it’s good music, it goes for me. Meanwhile, you are likely to catch me listening to oldies more than contemporaries. 🎶
📙 One of the best gifts you can give me is (good) books. I value books a lot! I mean hardcopies. The feel, smell of it and the pride of ownership. Soft copies aren’t my deal. I think of myself as a bibliophile. 📙
👚 I can do all chores (I mean all) but not laundry. Interestingly, if I have to do it the traditional way, I get to do it myself because I don’t like others doing it for me. Strange? 👚
I’m still very much an awkward hugger 😁. I remember been told by a course mate to learn to be hugged. Very embarrassing moment. But i’ll cut myself some slack as mine isn’t the hugging family. I’m getting better at it though.
Are you the type that feel excited when you are around ‘pleasantly naughty/knotty’ folks? We share a thing in common then.
😎I’m attracted to troublesome folks with positive vibes- folks who don’t give in easily. There is hardly a boring moment with them. 😎
🧓 I’m an old soul trapped in a young body. Yea. My thought process, worldview, manner of behaviour and social conditioning are hardly in tune with that of most millennias. 🧓
🧾I’m a balanced bilingual. I thrive in both my mother tongue (Yorùbá) and my second language (English). Aren’t I blessed? 🧾
☔ I like (the idea of) rain only when I’m indoors when it falls and do not have to step out in it. I hate getting wet, not even slightly. It gives me catarrh. Meanwhile, I love the earthy smell that comes with the rain, especially after a long intermission. ☔
🕺 I can’t dance to save my life and that’s that about that. Please don’t leak this secret. 🕺
➿ The texture of my voice is auto tuned. I’m used to people (especially new acquaintance) telling me I have a feminine voice, especially over the phone. It often bothers me. Sometimes, I wish it could be a little deep. ➿
🍲 I don’t think I can eat without engaging in another activity at the same time. I’m either reading or seeing a movie while at it. Actually, I’m eating as I type this post 😂
🍉 Watermelon is my recent addiction in fruit. To think I used to detest it back in the day… 🍉
Okay. I think I’ve given you enough info about me to last you for a while. To the revealing of wild weird facts there is no end. We’ll take it up from here soon enough.
Meanwhile, I’ll love to know some random facts about you in the comment section. What about you is strange/weird?
Thank you for your long-suffering with my erratic aspect.
Instead of a ‘bad day‘, would you rather have no day at all?
See how Jesus rebukes our prioritizing material things more than life itself:
Matthew 6:25 KJV  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
… Including food. It takes life for food to be relevant not vice versa. Our soul is more vital to God than things we get.
Life means opportunity, another chance, expectations and desires met, miracles are possible, fellowship is available…Only life guarantees these!
A thankful heart knows this!
In the cold realities of life can emerge complexities. Whilst some are seeking the fruit of the womb, for others, the challenge they have are their kids. To some they need a wife. For others, that’s exactly what their problem is; their wives are all the trouble they have. It goes on and on…
Shame on the murmurer; he doesn’t think deeply. He grumbles at life’s challenges, he “curses” life without saying it. He despises God’s greatest blessing.
The truth is we can’t pray, trust God and His power and still grumble, despising His blessings. This is because the Christ life plants contentment in us.
1 Timothy 6  But godliness with contentment is great gain. 8] And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
We are yet blessed, despite what we don’t have yet.
True, midnight hours aren’t good times: You probably lost your job, your debts are rising, creditors getting awry, things getting worse even as you are encouraging others. Yet, you can’t murmur. There are blessings to count, and be thankful for even as you expect more.
It’s interesting to note that Jesus’ two most notable miracles were done amidst thanksgiving despite the untoward situations: Supplying abundance of bread in the desert and raising Lazarus from the dead after 4 days.
There are things to be grateful for, friends to be thankful for, family to rejoice over, things yes, things you look at, good health, and life itself!
Next time you feel like throwing a pity party and give in to despair, look around and count your blessings, one by one and you will be amazed how Much the Lord Has Done for You!
It’s my birthday come Saturday and I can’t help but be thankful for the gift of life, for salvation, for the blessings of a loving family and wonderful friends, for the victories won, for the benefits I presently enjoy and greater things God has in store for me!
I see God at work in the multitude of desires, hopes and aspirations. You should too.
” Little things (you) the Lord do for me……are great things.”
P. S. This article is culled from a post from Pastor Segun Onayinka.