NOTHING IS TOO SMALL; NOTHING IS TOO BIG

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.

The moral?

Be grateful, even for the seemingly little things.

WE CAN DO BETTER

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.

Mahatma Gandhi

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.

Chinelo

May we have more people who are circumspect, kind, and humane.

WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN…

Such a flaw in human nature
Never to value what we have until we lose it.
The cares and love of real ones to neglect
And desperately seek to please the one who cares less.

“They’ll always be there” so he takes them for granted,
Until they call his bluff and live him deserted.
Gold in the hands of the undiscerning is a travesty
Pearls also should never be cast among swine.

He trades off his kin at his season of plenty,
Never to be regained in his period of paucity.
Such a sturdy cord it is that binds folk together
But then it snaps when it suffers the strains of mistreatment.

The river that forgets its source becomes history.
Love is not a caged bird…endearing yet unfettered.
Much is expected from whom much is given
So don’t lose the moon while counting the stars.

Time…attention…care…gratitude…empathy…
Nothing fans the flame of love and respect than these.
Love unrequited, feelings unappreciated, efforts unacknowledged…
Nothing bids true affection goodbye than these.

When you sell your brother to a stranger,
Even the buyer will trust you no longer.
When you relish a façade and shun the bona fide,
To whom shall you turn when the chips are down?


©ayansola ibukun

5 MYTHS ABOUT MARRIAGE YOU SHOULD DEBUNK

Hello good people! I’ve been wanting to put this out for a while but “some forces” seemed to be hindering its release. Today, the embargo is lifted.

I’m sure we’ve heard/read all manner of things about marriage and its entailments. While some are absolutely right, others are merely cock and bull. I’ll be addressing a few of those wrongs notions in this post. Let’s get down to business…

Marriage is a must

Shouldn’t wearing your shoes to bed be a must too?

Marriage, when done as God would have it, is honorable and desirable. To cast aspersion on the institution is to make an open display of one’s ignorance of its dynamic: God’s love and relationship with His church. In the same vein, to think of marriage as a 6-unit course that one must not fail (in the Lord) is to think overboard.

“Marriage is not a must; rather, it’s a choice – albeit a noble one” .

I’m yet to find out (from the scriptures) that a believing man is cast in hell because he refuses to get married neither have I discovered an occasion where God dealt with men variably depending on their marital status. God’s primary concern for man is his spiritual well-being. The Bible didn’t reckon with anyone according to their marital status. Whether a man marries or not is secondary and inconsequential.

Such an expression as a ‘a man/woman incomplete without a spouse‘ is a big fat lie. Marriage makes no one complete. The believer is only complete in Him (Christ). He/she needs no man or woman to be whole. And that’s why I’m often bemused when I hear folks call their partners their ‘better half‘. In a godly marriage, two (separately) complete individuals come together to become one (in the flesh). The word ‘one’ simply denotes unity, harmony, and singleness of purpose, not number.

Marriage is advantageous but not a necessity.

You shouldn’t be single at so and so age

Such statement as “your mates are now married” is one reason why many have rushed into hapless relationships/marriages today. The question is: Is your name/identity ‘your mate’?

What if he is 34 and does not think like one? What if she is 30 and still isn’t emotionally and spiritually mature? When God designed the institution called marriage, he didn’t attach an age bracket for admittance into it.

All we know is that marriage is a union between a MAN and a WOMAN. Meanwhile, the last time I checked, the age requirement into MANHOOD is relative. What makes a man or woman is not necessarily the length of years but the extent of maturity. Little wonder Elihu said, “Age is no guarantee of wisdom and understanding”.

This isn’t to say that a teenager should start considering marriage or that an adult should care less about his/her relationship status. Marriage is for those who understand responsibility and are ready to take it.

Disclaimer: I haven’t said you need to attain the age bracket of Methuselah before you consider marriage. When it’s the right time, you’ll know and you should go for it.

Marriage is incomplete without children

Trouble starts when a man sees a woman (his wife) as a glorified baby-making factory; when he cares for and maintains the factory (the wife) with the sole expectation that it (she) should churn out desired products.

No one prays to be barren. In fact, God is not pleased with such a condition. Hence, He makes a woman who is in a childless home a joyful mother – Psa 113:9. However, it’s shallow to think that a marriage is incomplete without an offspring. While bearing and raising godly seed is one of the reasons for marriage, it’s not the main purpose of the institution.

What then is the essence? Companionship of course. God created Eve so Adam won’t have to be all by himself. What’s more, the woman was designed to be a helper. The foundation/survival of a marriage is shaky once it’s built on the sole need to procreate. A marriage can survive all odds, childlessness inclusive, when the pillar that holds it is genuine love and a sound understanding of the essence of marriage.

I know of a very good number of childless couples who have enjoyed a long happily married life. Do they desire children regardless? Sure. Do they however feel something is wrong with their marriage because of their predicament? No – they know better. Is God able to grant their desire no matter the length of time? Definitely – it has happened before and it’s going to happen again.

Meanwhile, just so you know, not every couple wants children in marriage. Some are just fine with fulfilling purpose with each other. It’s not a sin. Last I checked, God didn’t reckon or relate with anyone (in the scriptures) based on their reproductive status.

He/she will change in marriage.

Whoever sells this idea to you doesn’t mean well.

I have good news for you: No miracle takes place on the altar. If he/she doesn’t measure up to a well-balanced standard, don’t go the long haul with such.

WYGIWYG is the case in marriage – What You Give Is What You Get.

During the course of courting, you keep seeing warning signals yet you keep ignoring them: “I know he has temper issues and can get physical sometimes. But then, he is a nice guy and all. I believe marriage is going to change him”. How about you run for your life before your life runs from you.

He claims to be a believer but is hardly interested in spiritual activities – prayer, studying of God’s word, attending a local church… However, he has sound morals and even ‘behave better than some so-called SUs. I’ll keep praying for him; I’m sure he is going to turn around (in marriage) with time. One can only hope the best for you.

Marriage is a blank slate. It’s a virgin soil that reproduces the seed sewn therein in folds. The marriage doesn’t make the couples but the other way round. What each party brings into marriage is what the marriage amplifies. Meanwhile, most times, folks get to relax on their weaknesses once they consummate the relationship. After all, they already have what they desire – the other party.

There is a special favour you have in marriage

If that’s the case, what happens to those who didn’t marry? The favor they enjoy from God is limited compared to their married counterparts? What happens to those great men in the scriptures who were highly favored of God and yet without a marriage certificate? I bet those who hold this thought use Proverbs 18:22 as a proof of their belief.

True, it’s easier and faster to get things done when two individuals of like mind are involved than it is for a single individual. However, it’s funny to think God dishes out his goodness variably on the basis of your marital status. God gives to all men generously and graciously.


Thank you for reading!


©Ayansola Ibukun

RELATIOSHIPS AND APOLOGIES

Human relationships (be it familial, filial, congenial, romantic or professional) is an interesting albeit complex phenomenon. Inherent in them are contradictory aspects struggling for supremacy. Just as some parts struggle to keep the bond of a relationship, other parts ensure that they leave it fragmented. For instance, while traits like love, mutual understanding/respect, and empathy tend to foster cordial relationships, idiosyncrasies such as attitudinal problems, unwholesome behavioural patterns and a sense of distrust tend to breathe friction. In the words of Kienzle and Dare, each relationship nurtures a strength or weakness within an individual.

MISTAKES

One of those things that projects the imperfection in humans and hamper cordial relationships is mistakes. I’ll define a mistake as an incorrect, unwise act or decision due to bad judgement or a lack of information or care. There’s a saying among my people that says no matter how hard a man tries, whenever he walks, he can’t help his head from shaking now and then.

Imagine that the world is a big school and everyone in it are pupils. Mistakes then will be likened to backpacks – every pupil straps his own. We all make our share of them – some trivial and others grievous. The interesting is mistakes are often not premeditated. Instead, they are mostly products of bad judgements calls.

Human interactions have never been a perfect one; it demands that we step on one another’s toes now and then. After all, even the teeth and the tongue do have their occasional issues. Since we are not all wired the same way, we are bound to speak, act or behave in a manner that will displease the other.

FOR INSTANCE…

The father who has had a hectic day at work screams at his poor little girl who asks him a harmless question…the immediate boss at work reprimands his subordinate for a wrong he didn’t commit…the fiancée vents an anger caused by someone else on her fiancé…and the scenarios are endless. However, whatever the dynamic is, a wrong can always be overlooked/forgiven when the wrongdoer makes proper amend.

ATTACHED TO A PENCIL IS AN ERASER

Consider mistakes and redress from the point-of-view of the makers of the typical pencil. Consider the foresight they exhibited in making them. They knew that, in the course of using it for creative purposes, errors/mistakes are bound to occur. Hence, they fit an eraser right on top of it to clean them off. Such forward-thinking perspective concerning mundane things can also come to bear on the art of relationship, especially when it comes to tackling wrongs done to a person.

Except in extreme cases, we have the capacity to re-write any wrong/mistake. Interestingly, no antidote to wrongs does a better job than admittance to wrongdoing and a sincere apology.

THE WEIGHT OF AN APOLOGY

A wise man once said “it takes a big man to admit when he is wrong and even a bigger man to admit that another is right”. An apology is a statement expressing remorse for an action. To apologise is to acknowledge a wrongdoing or to take responsibility for a wrong done to another.

Really?

Rendering an apology is a face-saving act. The truth is in every ideal individual is a sense of self-esteem or dignity that he tries to protect. When he is wronged, there is a threat to that sense which makes him feel hurt. However, such threat is mitigated when genuine apologetic statements are offered. However, more importantly, a genuine apology is backed with the preparedness to do what is right going forward. While some interesting folk will view apologies as a sign of weakness, every right-thinking individual understandsits potency.

To apologise is to say sorry, i.e. express regret for an action that has upset another. Most times, an apology goes with the utterance of three simple yet powerful words “I am sorry”. Many relationships have been salvaged because the offending party apologised as at when due and in the right way while others have been severed because particular parties involved found it difficult to apologies. Some even made matters worse because of the manner in which they apologised.

APOLOGY MEANS RESPONSIBILITY

When a fellow apologises, he is taking responsibility for a fault and expressing his regrets. It’s therefore counteractive when certain speech and attitudinal factors betray the genuineness of the apology rendered. For instance, what’s the good in an apology rendered with an irritating/angry tone or with voice raised? J.A. Holmes is right when he opines that 90% of the friction of daily life is caused by the wrong tone of voice.

What’s more, apology and amends are like Siamese twins; they go hand in hand. There is no point apologising for an action one will keep repeating. A sincere apology will imply shying away from whatever upsets another. For example, if I apologise to you after saying something rude to you, my apologies should also imply that I won’t say such rude words to you in the future. It’s then that my apology will make sense and bring about the required change.

YOU WANT IT TO BLOSSOM? NURTURE IT!

Human relationships can be likened to a tender flower. If you don’t want it to wither, you have to nurture it. Since mutual affection is a basis for its survival, one has to ensure that it sustained. Consequently, the ability to sustain it is hinged on having the right set of attitudes. One of those attitudes is the ability to render a sincere apology as at when due and ensure that the mistake for which one apologises doesn’t keep repeating itself.


Image Credits:

flickr

Blackwing


©ayansolaibukun

https://ayansola.wordpress.com