The chronicle of a single lady

This is dedicated to all my single ladies out there, keep the hope alive because your knight is on his way…

To the single lady out there, sure you’ve seen her! Determined and slenderised, her appearance delicately fleshed, she’s no doubt lovable and affable but that’s not very evident. She has a very sound education – her family is made up of intellectuals (father, mother and siblings). She has the gift of fierce brainpower, and a radical bit of outlook – you know the kind that products of intellectual environments tend to have. She can move mountains for those she loves. That’s one thing about her. Some will even say she’s disposed to to emotional suicide. Those she loves she loves.

Deep down there where it matters, she’s romantic though cloaked by busyness. She seems to have taken a cue from God on the documented life. God has a Book of Life, she created a memoir of life as well. God records names and acts in his book. She does in hers too. Her journal is highly confidential of course, just like God’s. It’s so intimate she guards it with her life. It’s a memoir cum emotional scrapyard. It’s full of stories, and chronicles, and reflections, soliloquies of the mind. Her pains, her struggles, her triumphs, her loves… the near misses and infatuations; wishes, prayers, desires (very endless)… All are in there.

Surely the thought of loss of such a book must put incredible stress on one. But some people like to live on the edge of black holes. They enjoy life at the edge of catastrophe. The book is some form of catharsis. It’s full of secrets – secret joys and secret pains.

There’s the secret pain of being single past the age range of conjugality as defined by society. It’s a big masquerade in every room of conversation she enters; life seems to be full of such chambers for her. Nobody wants to talk about it; everyone dances round it – quite understandable you’d agree. But the formation of life is such that there will always be one or two who accidentally intrude into emotional privacy, and so someone will unavoidably utter a prayer for “your own husband”- as if there’s any other type of husband. She has attended countless singles events where the heroism of being single is much celebrated. The religious say Paul was single and so was useful to God but here’s only one problem: her name is Adunni, not Paulina.

Let’s be honest, and let’s be real to ourselves: there’s no heroism in being single if you crave marriage. Being single is not adulation for the matrimonially minded. No amount of painkilling and sermonizing can change that. What you have is longings, and contemplations of what could have been; and what should be. It’s a big struggle! And so in her journal she records her disappointments in present continuous tense. She continually diarises her heartache.

She also records what no one wants to talk about: her sexual pressures. She records her Friday night tears… on Friday nights – no one taking her out, all alone by herself. She records the struggle of being alone. She records having no one with copyrighted claim over her heart; the aloneness of going to the movies alone; of dating the available not the wanted. It’s a source of tempting pressure for her: should she marry to get married, or should she keep hoping her man will come? Should she wait for the appearance of love, or cruelly crush her ideals on the concrete block of realism? She misses not being able to share her dreams with someone, not being able to snuggle up with someone and steal a kiss; receiving presents from that special someone, even fighting with someone! Most importantly, she doesn’t have the joy of conversing about starting a home with that someone, of having his babies. I don’t care how strong you might think you are, that will get to you after one or two bridal/baby showers of your contemporaries.

Unfortunately, the mating ritual we call life does not provision for equality of partnering opportunity. While she’s looking for ONE man, some are getting multiple offers and squandering them. Some would describe her as independent, but what else could she be? She is independent! She’s alone! Independence is a party of one! You can’t be dependent if there’s nobody to depend on. When you’re alone you rely on yourself and of course God (if you’re the religious type). Loneliness produces distortions and conflictions, That’s when the shameless longing in your thoughts for another woman’s man creeps in. Though it clashes with morality, the thought is nonetheless entertained and dwelt upon, you begin to see the otherwise unimaginable you.

She’s been the unfortunate target of young men out for commercial and sexual exploitation. And someone is always trying to fix you up with “my cousin coming in from the States”. Then there’s that jealousy that comes from interacting with someone who unknowingly took someone you wanted.

What do you do? I’d say do what you’ve always done: Encourage yourself, make the most of your career, business. Dress well, go out with the girls, party, watch movies, travel, get a hobby, play, eat well… Of course rejoice with those who rejoice. Dream every night, hope every day. Someday your knight will come. He may be in shining armour, or suit or jeans. Until then, live, pray, love!

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PAWN-ZI SCHEME

Did I strike a chord?  Sure I did! For some Nigerians, they will not forget in a hurry what MMM did to them. Many lost their life-savings, hard-earned monies and even lives to the get-rich-quick scheme (Ponzi) introduced by the Russian brothers (Mavrodi brothers). Wikipedia defined Ponzi scheme as a fraudulent investment operation where the operator generates returns for older investors through revenue paid by new investors, rather than legitimate business activities or profit of financial trading. Such is the type of world that we live in, a world where deceit is the modus operandi.  Majority are caught up in this menace called “Pawn-zi scheme”.  The older generation are not exempt from this societal ills and the younger generation being a smart group are quick to learn a thing or two from their elders.

Also, you would recollect from your basic knowledge of chess, that pawns are expendable pieces (common/of least value) often sacrificed to achieve a certain end.  Just as we have it on a chessboard, we also have it in real life.  Anyone with the illusion of the white matter would tend to believe that he/she cannot fall victim but remember that even the strongest Samson and the wisest Solomon were not immune to this pandemic called pawn-zi scheme. People have evolved beyond Darwinism to being devilish and inhumane to other people’s plight or emotions.  They care less how you feel so far their selfish desires are met. People have become deceitful such that they can juggle three to four relationships all at once without each party suspecting. While growing up, we anticipated true love with much enthusiasm and expectation but fast forward to the 21st century it has gradually crept into oblivion and fast becoming a mirage.  The level of conspiracy and hypocrisy flying around makes one wonder if there can ever be a re-enactment of the old-time kind of true love.

Like I always say, the worst kind of injury that could ever befall anyone with the ability to make him/her a vegetable is the emotional injury (heartbreak).  All other injuries done outside the body can still be managed/contained, but the injury to the heart in some cases defy containment or therapy and in some extreme cases often lead to death of the victims. Try to understand me, some people make beautiful recoveries from life-altering heartbreaks, though it takes a lot of energy, time and a very resilient mentality, but how many people can afford such luxuries? How many possess such resilient genes in their DNA? Even when people make such recoveries, you cannot get back the same person who entered the relationship because he/she is forever changed. That is why you often hear various dirges such as “all men are scums” “I can never trust a woman” “women only want your money” or “guys only want to straf you”. (Straf is a Nigerian slang which means ‘to have sex with’).

Being the pawn in a relationship is a very precarious position to be in; you are just a means to an end. You are only wanted for a moment after which you’d be dispensed away with. To mention a few of ways by which you can identify if your relationship hasn’t been setup with your best interest at heart – look out for undefined relationships; you know those ones that aims to hide your closeness/attraction to the person of interest. If your partner sees you as a living ATM machine, mate you’ve just been pawned. If he/she always gives excuses of not seeing your missed calls or being too busy to return calls, you had better reappraised your stand. It is better you leave when the ovation is loudest; when your self-esteem has not been eroded off you otherwise you will be looking at a long bout with depression in the not-so-distant future, one I’m not so certain you can fight off easily.

My homily to you as you prepare to make resolutions for the New Year 2018 is this “every human, big or small, white or black deserves all the love, trust, care and respect you can give”. Do not treat people like trash; like they do not matter, it is grossly inhumane. Never betray the trust and confidence that people repose on you, it took a lot of effort, guts and ego-shedding on their parts before they could. Be the man/woman of your words, if you’re up for a relationship let them know and if you’re not still let them know (they deserve to know). Do not lead them on when you are not going to meet them halfway, don’t trifle with their emotions. Be modest and wear your integrity with you everywhere you go. The person that you treated badly today might be the person to pull you up the rung tomorrow (karma is such a bitch you say); so tread softly and carefully because the ground is slippery ahead.

So if you notice that your relationship is no longer a normal distribution curve as statisticians love to say, that might be a good chance for a reappraisal, weigh up the pros and the cons and come out with the best solution for you. Never allow your emotional involvement get in the way of your rational thinking because in there lies your freedom.

I hope you’re enjoying your boxing day? Oh! I am still expecting my box of gifts from you.

Wishing you a prosperous new year in advance…Thrive.

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Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and He will direct your path…Acknowledgement is reeling out the accomplishments of a person to the aapplauseof the audience, world etc.  When you acknowledge anyone, you put pressure on that person to replicate and even do better on what he is being praised for. So in that confused state that you are right now, I mean in that very state of despair, why not acknowledge Him and watch your troubles melt like wax. 

Direction can never be lost on you when you acknowledge Him. 

He is the olowogbogboro to n yo ọmọ rẹ lofin ayé, the unchangeable changer, unmovable mover, arúgbó ojo, adagba má tepa, adagba má paro òye, ó wọ kembe rebi ìjà, apá ń lá tó ń jó ganhun ganhun, the I am that I am, the One Who was, Who Is and will still come, Father to the Fatherless, Mother to the motherless, Friend to the friendless. The Holy true God Who uses the earth as His footstool, the thunder bellows at His sneeze, the earth quakes when He lifts His foot, ariiro ara, the mighty One of Israel, the great deliverer, the gracious healer… I call You holy, Your name is holy, You will continually be holy… I lack superlatives to describe your majesty, ọba àìkú, ọba aidibaje… May You be ever glorified. 

Why don’t you acknowledge Him in your own little way and watch Him arise mightily upon you… Sharon! 

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When you have done all you could yet no movements/shakings from the throne… Try praise. God inhabits the praises of His people. If He inhabits your praise, then joy will flood your heart and you shall see your mountains skid off into the river… Live a Praiseful life

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Your fear has fears too, your faith scares your fears… When faced with a very tough situation, let your praise confuse the enemy

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Ethan Hunt-ism

Remember the fictional character of the Mission Impossible film series played by Tom Cruise? In the first film, he was an IMF (Impossible Mission Force) agent saddled with the responsibility of recovering stolen files containing information on all IMF’s field agents. Unknown to Hunt, the mission was a set-up by his own boss with whom he shared a very close bond…Morals: whoever you are or whatever you do; never do a Ethan Hunt…for the sake of those who haven’t seen the film series before; all I am trying to say is ‘Do not try to be a messiah’.

So what has Mr Ethan Hunt got to do with relationships you might ask? Let me try and explain like this…When a marriage shouldn’t be, my observation is that God makes the facts known to you even before you commit and this is regardless of the status of your relationship with Him. God is that way, He is love and He loves everyone. Usually there might be a squabble and this is not your conventional squabble, there’s a conclusive feature to it. It’s a, “We either go on or we call it quits right now” kind of dispute. Or sometimes there’s a major exposure of a fact that is so decisive and potentially toxic like discovering she’s into prostitution, or she’s been sleeping with her ex, or fooling you about a salient fact in her past. It may be the fact she has a child and never disclosed such and the mother was in on it. That she has a child is not in itself a problem, it’s the level of treachery/deceit that is of worry. For the women it can be a vicious lash out of unprecedented fury by the guy, or even the striking of the woman. Sometimes it’s the discovery of the fact he’s been patronizing the brothel, or is actively in another relationship. Sometimes it could be the discovery of the fact she’s in love with someone else or that she’s only marrying you for practical reasons – she wants to settle down, her real love is not ready but you have a good profession and are ready.

God presents these facts to us before marriage though many fail to heed the warnings maybe due to ignorance or wilful disobedience. When these facts are revealed there’s always a certain perception and comprehension (sounds familiar?); and there’s always an opportunity to escape. Sometimes the other party in a streak of tormented conscience offers us an opportunity to escape; they would often offer to break up the relationship, or they say they can’t go on, or can’t do again. But instead of taking the route of escape, that is when we then decide to be Ethan Hunt/heroic/superhuman/messianic. We decide to plunge on despite the numerous warnings and red flags. Some of those decisions are oftentimes based on a mercy complex probably from feelings of guilt about our own past. A woman who’s had multiple sexual partners for example may decide to over-look the patronizing of prostitutes by her boyfriend. Sometimes it’s based on a conceived illusion that you’ve both been through thick and thin together when that’s not true. It’s simply Ethan Hunt-ism – the desire to play a gallant and self-denying role; it makes us ignore salient facts. When horrible facts stare us in the face and we insist on going into a ruinous merger, what can anybody really do? There’s really nothing anybody can do and remember God respects freewill.

We occasionally thoughtlessly assume the state of our heart is the natural state of the other person’s heart. That’s a very dangerous assumption, not only for marriage but for life as well- it’s a puerile supposition. But if someone has a good heart you can sense and “feel” it all over you, there’s a warm unclear feeling you get about the person. You “feel” the kindness of the person of a good person, it’s of emotional quality. But if someone has a moneygrubbing/gold-digging/avaricious tendency you can feel something off in that personality. Usually we over-look those “feelings” with a consideration of peripheral/vague things, like beauty. But the fact that a woman is beautiful doesn’t change the fact that she’s dangerous, she then becomes dangerous beauty (that would make for a good movie title, Nollywood where are you?). The beauty doesn’t eliminate the avaricious disposition; they’re two different modules of parameters. Beauty is physical; the mercenary disposition is a character and values flaw and both beauty and mercenary disposition can exist side by side. Oftentimes Ethan Hunt-ism is often accompanied by a messianic complex – the desire to save someone. But you can’t save anyone; you seem to have forgotten that you’re not God. You can’t even save yourself, only the Lord saves.

And so you’ve taken upon yourself two impossible virtues going into such a marriage. First is the desire to be a loyal super hero; then you take on the role of the Messiah. In a matter of months that marriage will begin to grille at the joints of the union. But after marriage there’s a new set of realities, the past is concessioned. Your wife is no longer the woman you married out of mercy/pity; she’s just what she is, your wife. Past concessioned. And then the troubles begin and soon gets worse. The woman resumes her cheating, or the guy resumes his drugs and the violent guy believes he now has a license to hit the lady at every whiff of disagreement. He starts beating her blue black green and magenta (cyan sef join). Her value is now discounted, he has conquered her. He begins to ridicule her virtues. For the guy, the woman begins to do things to his face to the bewilderment and dismay of society. She becomes unashamed, after all she offered a way out of the marriage but you chose not to take it when you had opportunity. And then your suffering begins; you have a malfunctioning partner who is malfunctioning on an industrial scale. And when a partner begins to malfunction on an industrial scale, the longsuffering partner suffers greatly albeit in silence. His health will be worn-out, he will have no peace; he will live under a dark cloud in fear, despair and depression. And depression can take one to cavities of darkness under the earth, it is a black hole. There’s no escape except by miracle and only the Lord can turn a black hole into a wormhole but even then you can’t come out without squalor.

Listen to me Oga/babe forget all these heroic stuff you’re trying to do, deal with the facts. Ethan Hunt-ism is gross foolishness. If you persist you’re going to pay a horrible price, which you’ll later discover is not worth it; save yourself from the black hole. If the facts are warning you before you commit, accept the warning. If you do meet a wonderful partner however, marry him/her fast! Don’t dilly-dally or shilly-shally (delay can be dangerous). You don’t want to lose him/her. Some people waste good fortunes, they lose wonderful partners only to pick up rubbles and live a life of regret. They keep dawdling over the decision to marry a good person, until they frustrate the person away; years down the line they begin to wonder what could have been (I do not want this for you). A good man or woman is God’s mercy and grace in biological form, he or she is a container of gifts for marriage.

May your eyes of understanding be enlightened…Thrive

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May you meet a wonderful partner!

I do not think continually chasing her is a good idea if you ask me, I mean you’ve been at it for how long now, almost a year and some months? And you still haven’t achieved your aim.The time elapsed does not qualify for playing hard to get and I’m not sure you’re what she wants otherwise you would have seen some green light even if it’s only a ray. She’s not even making it possible for you to bring up the subject of proposal; she’s stylishly dodging the issue. Rejection is not very easy I know (most men can relate). It can’t be easy taking a javelin or 9inch nails in the heart. But it’s a rite of passage and it’s the lot of many men in life, though some people are target practice. Some men are of course lucky; they have women running after them, but the average Joe, Dele or Lekan is not that lucky, he gets punctured with one or two rounds of nails before getting lucky, and some men don’t even get 9inch nails; they get stiletto heels! In fact, the prettier the woman the sharper the stiletto tends to be (Ouch!).

There are many reasons for rejection of course. For one there’s the societal convention that a woman must play hard to get (a form of mechanism to filter off the unwanted) though to be fair, some young men over-reach themselves, going for what they can’t afford. Then there are women with quite an expensive taste and if you don’t have the means, better take a diversion. You’ve got to have money to date a woman with high taste or her taste will kill your self-esteem. Remember the popular Solomon’s statement I often quote? That kindness makes a man attractive? Well, it’s how the rich but physically unappealing guy gets to get the beautiful girl. He splurges money; this guy buys gifts, sponsors travels, showers jewellery, clothes and stilettos. He essentially finances her lifestyle. Of course money is not a guarantee of matrimonial bliss, but money is a very attractive quality my bro. That’s why you need to be successful; you increase your mating chances, your stock rises and you have the luxury of choosing whomsoever thou desireth (don’t mind my KJV english).

Of course there are levels of success depending on how visionary the lady is. Some women recognize potential in a young man and project forward. Based on that forecast they commit to a relationship though the young man is still upcoming/struggling. And sometimes it’s just love and the woman commits based on love, love exercises faith in the future. Of course some believe in practical love, as in show me the money/dough, don’t condemn them, it’s their choice. Some women can’t see potential however or don’t want to see, they’d rather deal with what they can see now (the tangibles). Again, you can’t blame such people however things eventually turn out. They made their choice, and it’s their right.

Well, since you don’t have a million bucks yet, it means you have to go for a woman who doesn’t mind a hundred/thousand bucks. It’s fair if the woman is concerned about your potential: What does your life portend, where are you going? (it is very important you have answers to this questions before approaching any woman, it saves you the embarrassment of looking irresponsible and directionless). If you’re an upwardly mobile young man, your potential is of course obvious, then you’re already on your way. Early achievement is an indicator of potential though no guarantee of attainment (always keep this in mind). And don’t blame a babe who wants a guy with a good ride, it’s her choice. You get a good ride and you stand a chance.

What I’m saying in essence is this, you don’t need to develop a misogynistic viewpoint because you’re finding it hard to date a babe, you’re probably toasting the wrong girl if it’s taking this much time; or she’s not convinced; or waiting for someone else. Every girl has a vision of the KIND/TYPE of man she’ll like. Perhaps she does not see you fitting that bill, now or in the future. But don’t let rejection kill your confidence; you’ve got to learn to shrug your shoulders and just move on (a typical guy should learn this hard truth, it’s the men’s cross). That’s life for the boys! It helps you shrug things off (even in other areas of your life). But you will definitely meet the girl for you (don’t ask me what I’ve seen, I’m not a seer), and sometimes you’ve met her but you’re just not paying attention. Oftentimes the girl may be right under your nose, or adjacent to you. She may be your church buddy or library partner or gist-mate or your so-called school daughter and she may even be reading this post with you (Yup!). Two people may be so close and someone may not be paying attention and missing all the cues (hmm!). In stretching out the neck to go after what is out of reach, guys sometimes miss the girl within reach; and the girl within reach might have been waiting; praying God opens your eyes to what is in front of you (Guys shine your eyes and look inwards). There’s no better allegory of going to Sokoto (a far location/state) when what you are after is in your sokoto (pocket). In our pursuit of the impossibilities out of reach we tend to ignore the possibilities within reach (such is life you’d say). Sometimes it’s after we’ve gone round everyone and collected all the stiletto heels and 9inch nails that it occurs to us to look right beside us.

Also, don’t make yourself the butt of jokes; don’t toast your toastee’s close friend; they’ve already discussed you. Even if you succeed, THEIR own relationship may not survive your toast and it’s worse if it’s two sisters (don’t even go there). You can’t move from sister to sister, many families will regard you as unserious. I see this quite often and I personally think it is gross irresponsibility from the guy. You have to reconcile yourself to the fact that in life, sometimes what we want doesn’t want us in return. This girl may just see you as a very good friend and nothing more than that, extending the jurisdiction of your heart into matrimonial territory might have put a strain on your relationship and it usually does, not every time though but most times

I do agree that sometimes in life things are not quite clear-cut, and one thing segues into another. There have been several cases of women who said yes over a long period of saying no, and suddenly, they acquiesced. The reason for the acquiescence is another reason entirely though, perhaps the desired/anointed/favored male disappointed. Emotion is an incredibly convoluted matter (with many hoops and loops) and when interwoven with human history, it produces complex characters. The most important thing is that you get someone you want and who wants you; you obviously do not want someone managing you, or who sees you as interim measure. Seek for someone who cares about you, who you can trust and can give your life to.

Marriage is a powerful institution and it’s important you get it right from the outset. And always think long term…Will you be happy with this person in the long term? That’s an important question. The heart matters in a marriage equation…Go after a good-hearted person, a kind, giving and loving person. If you get the basics right, you’re home free. The rest are proprietary, icing on the cake.

May you meet a wonderful partner!

…and this is my special birthday gift/advice to you, I hope you take it…Happy birthday to me and every other celebrants out there!

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A Man of Quality

I do not know if words from the pages of a well written book have ever leapt at you with a powerful embrace before. Such was the case when I came across a particular phrase in the bible about the man ‘Daniel’. Various adjectives were employed in describing the qualities that Daniel possessed, qualities like virtue, integrity, moral excellence, faithfulness to mention but a few stands out. Summarizing everything the bible has to say about the man Daniel you’d arrive at the conclusion that “Daniel, was a man of quality.”

As you would expect I began to ask myself who a man of quality is. How should, or how would we describe a man of quality? The fields will definitely (be wider than we can imagine) encompass intellect, civic responsibility, professional and dress comportment, familial and social responsibility, excellence and gentlemanliness. Somehow it is hard not to imagine the picture of a well-dressed accomplished gentleman who’s respected in community. But he’s not only respected in society, there is domestic testimonial about him as well. His wife lends credence to his quality, only his wife knows what she has truly lost at his death (assuming that’s God’s order of departure). He’ll be a worthy role model to his sons, they will want to emulate him, seek to achieve because of him. And his daughters? Oh, she’ll know she has a daddy! She’ll be on the lookout for a worthy man for mating. There’s something hearty about the phrase, “Man of Quality.” He’s truly a remarkable man. I think it’s worth aspiring to – to seek to become a Man of Quality.

If you want to aspire to that repute, there are things you need to pay attention to. Let’s start with the easiest – grooming. You need to pay attention to your looks no matter the size of your budget. Wear your suit impeccably, your shoes shined, your shirt neatly ironed, your tie tastefully knotted (if you are into ties). Just a little bit of attention is all that’s required. Even if you wear casuals pay attention… It’s a mindset you know. And your car? It’s your physical dimension. You shouldn’t be driving a dirty car, it just does not depict excellence.

A man of quality has character, he’s got integrity. His word is respected. You can strike a deal with him on a handshake (he’s such a gentleman). You can’t be a man of quality without character else your “quality” will reek of stench.

Then there’s the issue of how he treats women – wife, girlfriend (I see some ladies adjusting their seats)… He respects his woman, treats her well, takes care of her. She in turn respects him, looks up to him – for advice, for leadership. She trusts him, absolutely! Trusts his judgment. She loves the fact that he’s out there striving, trying to make his way in this world, trying to take care of his family.

He’s also a respected member of his community, at whatever level he finds himself; age is no barrier. He’s respected at work, respected in church, respected at home. People value his contribution, his participation. He talks sense! His reasoning is sound. He’s civic minded, contributes his quota to his nation.

He’s constantly conscious of the fact that God has been kind to him and so with the same understanding he’s kindly disposed to the poor. He helps others, gives opportunities and contributes to the upliftment of others.

He’s disciplined too – has discipline of mind and spirit. He disciplines himself for accomplishment, avoids distractions. People have expectations of him and his character and he understands those expectations very clearly.

He’s ambitious yet lives within his means. He doesn’t have a need to impress as is common with some small boys out there. He’s accomplished.  He has a sense of mission in life and is conscious of his legacy, especially to those coming behind. He wants his life to amount to something, wants his children to be proud of him, to have a good name.

A man of quality is spiritual. He seeks God, fears God and gives God His pride of place-Humbles himself before God.

These are what I could garner from the life and character of Daniel – the kind of man he is. Of course there is no complete information on him – his wife, his children; but you could tell the kind of man he is. And so the portrait of a man of quality is a God fearing, civic minded, responsible man who’s respected in society. He’s intelligent, he’s a role model, a trusted and wise individual, a man of integrity, of benevolent disposition. He’s fixated on excellence. Everything about him exemplifies quality. He’s trusted by his woman. His girlfriend trusts him. His wife trusts him for his character.

May you and I be a man of quality.

But what will it take to be such a man? Simple! You need clarity. You must be clear as to what you want to become. You must also be clear as to what you DON’T want to become. Develop your statement of clarity. “I want to be a well-respected member of my community, a regarded leader, a man of repute”, is a statement of clarity. Being a man of quality takes conscious effort, and study.

Of course friends matter; you must be mindful of the quality of friends you keep. A friend is your reflection. An achiever does not felicitate in the fellowship of the slothful, indolent and directionless. Being an achiever is a mindset – a disciplined mind set with laser focus and clarity. If you want your wife or girlfriend to respect you, focus on achievement. It’s hard to respect a guy with no ambition. Ultimately a disadvantaged man with vision and discipline will invariably overtake the privileged indolent lacking in both.  If you don’t set yourself up for the future, you’re not going to arrive there.

What do you want to become? By this post I’m compelling a rethink so your life is not wasted away. You don’t have as much time as you think. When you know who you want to become you’ll know who you should date or not date. The future is invariably how we conceive of it. Don’t just be a man, be a man of quality.

Thrive…

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Help! My Vanity or Charity?

Few young men can argue that they haven’t been faced with a dearth of illumination when it comes to selecting who to settle down with. The conundrum most of these young guys face is what I call the Vanity-Charity syndrome: do I date my vanity or date love? Or succinctly put, there’s this banker… and there’s this other lady who’s not a banker. Who should I date? And while some will sneer at your question, the truth is, it’s an issue young men are often confronted with, could be an issue too for young ladies I’d admit but I think it’s more pronounced in men than in women (my opinion).

There are many choices to select from: Do you marry rich Gbemi who’s well established, or do you marry Charity? Do you marry Tolulope the beautiful singer, or do you marry Charity? Do you, an entrepreneur, marry Bimpe whose father is Dangote or Elumelu… or do you marry Charity? Or, do you marry Aderonke the legal practitioner, or do you marry Charity?

For a lady, it may be: Do I marry Olayemi the rich guy… or do I marry the most loving and kind-hearted John? Or do I marry Wizkid the music star… or do I marry the devoted and loving Olumide? You see making a choice is not always easy; it can get complicated and convoluted with things like lust, desire, ambition and vanity. Many times emotions, ambition and vanity make up our minds for us, not reason.

Undoubtedly to you, boasting you married a banker is a big deal…  In the same way that marrying a university graduate can be a big deal for a man denied formal education in life, you feel like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible (remember that movie?); you feel like you have achieved the impossible. Shall I state the obvious: social recognition means a lot to men, it’s why we boast about our cars, gadgets, houses… and how beautiful our wives and girlfriends are, it’s what drives men to buy what they can’t afford… Just to impress the world. I believe all men should undergo a basic course in Ego-Discipline 001 in order not to fall into the trap of manhood. Ego is man’s Achilles’ heel.

Like the bible would always advise ‘let us reason together’ so I call on guys-let us reason together on the qualifications of a wife. I am not sure the ability to dissect a cadaver or handle a microphone on stage is qualification for wife. Neither is the ability to diagnose flu or balance a worksheet a qualification for wife. As much as you like the idea of a singer wowing crowds with her frenetic display or a doctor wearing a stethoscope, let’s be honest she won’t always be that frenetic or wear one at home. The idea of a sexy skimpy nurse or doctor must remain in the woods of Hollywood, Nollywood and the other woods. I can imagine you introducing this young woman in your fantasy… Meet my wife, Barr. Aderonke, SAN, CFR, LLD, FNIALS, Legal Practitioner, Charles and Chucks Chambers… But fantasies don’t necessarily translate into matrimonial bliss.

The ability to treat a patient is different from the ability to treat a man right or well at home so also is the ability to wow crowds different from the ability to lift the spirit of the family when it seems melancholic. The qualifications for a legal practitioner are not the qualifications for wife. A doctor wife is not the same as wife doctor. That she’s a fantastic singer in the choir doesn’t mean you will sing the same tune at home. You don’t marry a doctor, or choir member, or a fashion model bro… You marry a wife who happens to be a doctor or singer or a model. This differentiation is quite critical or you’ll make a major mess of your life. People, often in their state of illusion mistake qualifications out of context and so as expected they arrive at wrong matrimonial decisions. That she’s a good singer doesn’t mean she’ll be a good mother or sing lullabies to your kids…

All I am trying to say is don’t marry your vanity, marry charity. If you’re sick would this person take care of you? If you’re in trouble would she still be your friend and stick by you? If you come home would you have the peace you so much desired? If you feel lonely would she be there to comfort you? If you need a confidant, can you trust her? If you’re feeling down, does the thought of her lift your spirit? When life has dealt you a blow (and you’ll have blows to contend with) do you feel she’s your compensation in this world? Would her arms be warm and tender enough for your head to lie or would they be tenderised with thorns and broken bottles? When your finances take a dip (like a determined eagle after a prey) would she be willing to step up to the plate? These are the kind of questions you ought to be asking yourself not fantasizing about the ephemerals. And as you can clearly see the questions have nothing to do with vocal prowess or stage or makeup or stethoscope or novocaine or penicillin or opera or soprano or alto (I have no idea)… If like you say in our local parlance here in Nigeria that she’s “wife material” and also a good medical doctor, great! Then you have vanity and charity (congratulations!) but if she’s a good medical doctor but not “wife material” there’s k-leg, that’s vanity staring at you eyeball to eyeball bro.

But the primary things in a matrimonial pursuit are not the ephemerals, not the seen things for the seen things are temporary but the unseen which are eternal (says the bible), they are the matrimonial capacities of one’s intended. Trust me, if she’s under-capacitated as a wife when the troubles begin you won’t remember her stethoscope or her great vocal prowess! It’s just like the beauty/wife conundrum – If she’s beautiful but nasty you’ll come to a fast realization of one of Solomon’s deductions: Beauty is vain.

The things that are important in a marriage are love, peace and happiness. If she won’t give you love, peace or happiness then what’s the point of marriage! Does she love me should be a very important question in the consideration of marriage. I know there are theories we can marry ANYBODY but common-sense should dictate to us not to stake our future on this pedestal. Love is important in a marriage. Very important. Very, very important. In short Very, very, very, important, I cannot stress it enough. All the things we want, love will do as a matter of course. And really, what is marriage without love?

So like the average Nigerian young man I ask, “Is she wife material” or she’s just a medical doctor? The decision as always is yours, afterall, you’re going to live with her… For a very, very, long time.

I wish you all the best in your decisions…

I heart you…

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