I remember being once told, a long time ago, about two men who happened to be victims of different but not unrelated experiences. One of them would hardly laugh but his eyes were usually a source of teary rainfall, as he experienced series of calamities intermittently bubbling at different times. The other one always had a smile stuck on his lips and never knew what it meant to be embittered, as he was often deluged with a good deal of goodies even when not sought. Each of the two men, however, only tasted one side of life and were bored to the bone; so, they oftentimes sought to have a share or the whole of what either had. But, they finally died with no change of condition on either end.
Now, as can be said of the two characters, both of them significantly constituted a related binary of opposing forces. While one wallowed in the dearth of happiness and the other knew no sadness, one thing was inevitably common – monopoly of a situation and its resultant boredom. Hence, none was describable as being different from the other as the end of their respective dystopian and utopian stories had consequently been a dessert of banality. In essence, their similar ends, notwithstanding their dissimilar life experiences, had made none of them worthy of emulation. Therefore, it can be inferred that a mixture of both the good and the bad makes life really worth living. They could have enjoyed life more, had they not been stuck in the redundancy of a single experience.
Based on the aforementioned, I am obliged to lay it bare before my compatriots of the great nation, Nigeria, that thanking the sailors of our politics is most needed. This, without borrowing from their political equivocation, is simply because they have shown us how unabatedly passionate they have always been in all matters of national interest. Our already politically derided lives of near impoverishment have had additive economic, social and more stringencies included, in all magnanimity. Who knows: perhaps, they have only intended to ensure that life is not made boring, for variety, as often said, is the spice of life. How else can one define considerateness? We have, indeed, got to be thankful to them.
Yes, I have heard of how an earlier generation before ours lived life at an enviable magnitude of blissfulness. The first time I heard about it, I was overtaken by awe and stolen away into the wish that the imaginative picture I had of their own “Nigeria” could come overriding that of ours. But it was not possible and I was disillusioned; I was pained. However, I later got convinced that I was wrong; for little did I know that theirs was a world less of liveliness, compared to ours. Theirs had more of reasons for them to smile – breeding ‘boredom – but ours abound with teeming laughter in abject sorrow – breeding ‘liveliness’. Theirs was a half-complete world, barely different from that of the above anecdote, but ours is a totally complete one, no way near what holds in the anecdote. So, I ask: shall we not thank the ones who have perverted the themes of our national story?
Apart from the straitened national economic power and individual financial capability within which we all wallow as a nation, there consistently have been security perforations as well. Killings incessantly topple killings at different instances, as if the culprits were engaged in a battle for who is supreme at the game of the murderous spree. For even that may not be satisfactory enough, there have as well been gory spates of kidnappings and abductions. Yet, not so much has been tangibly achieved as to either the rescuing of the kidnapped or the protection of the yet to be. Our national security men seem to forever remain only for men bestriding the top echelon, while mere ‘sekuriti’ is calmly reserved for the deprived masses. Well, this is, of course, an apt explanative schooling still emphasising the need for a life of mixed experiences – elation today; desolation tomorrow. The archetype of a balanced life bipolarity! So that our lives may be different from that of the two men in the anecdote above. So, shall we still not be thankful to them, the best of leaders?
In fact, amidst the appalling upsurge in violence across the country, there have recently been the mongering of a series of amusing tales purported to be the truth. There has been the money-hungry snake saga which seems to have now slid into forgottenness. There have also been the farm-invading monkeys who, against the naturally expected, did not make away with bananas or maybe banana trees, but confoundingly absconded with a huge sum of money. Most recently, there also has been the second coming of the mythical dragon beast which also gave an offering of its robbing portion, perhaps because even the plotlessness of the nation’s story is myth-like. While Nigeria teemed with the pervasion of these tales, everywhere was agog with laughter, such that many momentarily forgot about the surrounding gloom hanging in the atmosphere. An important feat was thus achieved: the heaviness of Nigerians’ hearts was lightened through comic conspiracy. By that, we had a mixing of our suffering with smiles, that our mind was briefly robbed of the serious issues underlying the amusement. We have had a lively experience best provided at a time of perturbing tension; so, shall we not be thankful?
Now, I charge every Nigerian, who knows what Promethean requirement it takes to be a representative of many, to be heartily thankful, especially in this season of mixed experiences that keep surfacing with all passion. I daresay: had our leaders not fed us with so many varieties of decisional ineptness which afford us the abundance of vicissitudes, life could not have been more interesting. These leaders of ours are, no doubt, phenomenal cognoscenti of unmatched humour dispersal. With an unretarded level of acumen, they lend the masses some doses of comic relief as and when deemed necessary by them. Our life, as one big nation, is never made boring; never one-sided, but ever balanced with an expertly provided amalgam of the good and its non-identical second. Of course, WE ARE MOST GRATEFUL! And WE CANNOT BE THANKFUL ENOUGH!
Yusuff Uthman Adekola is a student of English language at the University of Ibadan. He may be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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