In recent years my life’s motto has been: “Happiness, unfounded on human prerequisites,” thus I tell myself daily that: finding happiness in the most un-harming way, not necessarily expensive but either in a lover’s; as in arts, in a God or in a tiny flower that grows in a mass of filth or in the unseen and abstract, and grab her dearly and never let her go, makes a perfect journey for me. I believe that in happiness I can find anything else I desire. Once a man can afford happiness, he can afford anything else, no matter how large or tiny his dreams.
Life, knowledge and happiness are three very important words to me. They represent what I would never take for granted. None is more important. I appreciate them and I can’t agree to have them in parts. A life without basic knowledge and the right amount of happiness may just be boring and uninspiring. My life’s journey has been to find knowledge to live daily and assist those I can, and find enough happiness to enable me smile and pass same expression to those who need it more.
Growing up has been very interesting for me. There were times that I didn’t care if there was any money in my pockets. All I was concerned about was having a meal, prepared by my mother and resting after it. To me, that was all there could ever be. There were no worries and I saw no need for such. Our tiny, single apartment which housed my parents and my three siblings didn’t disturb my psychic. It was a home, a palace, we could jump on the bed, eat and fight and laugh. It was all there could be, a perfect home.
I played when those who played with me came around. I didn’t care about faith or religion. The closest was following my parents to church. Then, my motto could have been “lots of fun”. These days, there has been some drift. While I may cherish fun, I have begun questioning fun. Is that the reason for my being? What am I here for? Had I been made so I could fulfil any particular purpose?
There is a belief in my tribe that when a man dies, he comes back, either as a child or animal. It is not specified why a child or animal. It is also not expatiated why the child must be born. Why can’t the child rest? Why is life a cycle, according to the belief? Who ends the circle and what does one do to aid the circle or terminate it? My life has been basically carved around finding answers to this circle, however not experimenting with religion, which I assume to be bigger than it is spelt or pronounced. I watch from afar and make my judgement.
I have taken a seat once to sit quietly and observe the day, its rise and fall. The way the humans grow. What really makes them special? Why the rush to work and back? Why save money in the bank if someday, you may not live to enjoy it? Why fall in love? Isn’t it sad that one day the woman or man would find someone else more attractive and you would be made to suffer the effect? Why is there sorrow and then fun and laughter and then pains and then sunshine? Why do we hurt others? My reasoning has been carved around these very many questions. At teenage the motto of my life changed to: “enjoy life as it comes.” I do my best to attain desired height but not to be desperate with anything.
When I decided on this motto, life became less chaotic for me. I used to be upset when people offended me or disappointed me. They would apologise, and I would not accept any form of apology. I would stay away and maybe think about possible way of hurting them in return. I could curse my meeting them. I would stay all day thinking and wishing things were better. While I may not be so changed, I have come to understand that it is in the nature of humans to be imperfect. It is possible that a woman may love you and still cheat on you. It is not wickedness. It is human nature. It is just the nature of humans to sometimes not get things right. It is in the nature of human to kill that which they love, then they spend all day crying to have it back. Maybe certain forces control that. Maybe it is just the melody of the world and we are all on the dance floor, dancing to tunes and scripts that are divergent.
Life is important. Knowledge is necessary. Belief sustains it. If I were to choose three words they won’t differ from what has been chosen above just that they would include happiness. Life is a gift, an opportunity to be on a stage. Each of us is being given separate time frame to make our presentations and go away. Some people feel it is a right to be invited on the stage. Others think it is a big favour on the part of the organiser to deem it fit to find them interesting as to be invited on the stage of life. While on stage, one is allowed the freedom to find happiness. That freedom is left within you to make it pleasing, maybe according to the chief guide controlled by the director who had placed the invitation. Others do not believe in the reign of a supreme director who oversees and would judge the works. I see myself as a dancer. I have been given a card. It has my names on it. I was in a remote part of town, dreaming of a possible opportunity and the invitation came in. It has been given and I am to make it worth a while. The gift of life is given to everyone, except on occasions where many can’t survive. Maybe there is an early termination because the mother can’t take care of the child or there is an accident.
Knowledge on the other hand is optional. It is not given at the same rate with the opportunity. It is kept aside, on a different tray. If a man wants it he goes for it and applies it to the dance steps to create something unique and complimentary or disastrous. Belief is that hope that one is not just an imagination but a soul with purpose. It is the same believe we give to our tiny fantasies that enable us chase it until it becomes reality. A man dreams of flying across the world in something that looks like a bird. It takes him time to picture it and attempt it. As time goes by, he fine tunes his ideas and then it is improved. Belief is very vital to humans as it is to the many other things around us.
I believe in possibility and the dancing to acceptance. But where lots of efforts aren’t crowned with perfect expectations, I try to enjoy the ride and that is where happiness, unfounded on any condition, comes to play.
There are many ways to find meaning out of life. If a man cannot make Forbes list, it hasn’t made him a failure unless he says so and quits trying. For what has is dream been, to make the list or to enjoy a ride? I am here to enjoy a life that could not have been better in my absence. I am here and not even the most ridiculous of situations around the world should deter me from fining happiness. I understand that tears will come. I understand that death will knock. I understand that the government will disappoint and make healthcare impossible. I understand that many at times there will not be a meal, or a clean cup of water, but if I have life and a mind to will my happiness, then it has to be carved outside the economy of the world. It has to be such that when a university says I can’t study anymore, i don’t go to commit suicide, but use same energy to make a decree, to shame those who wish me bad. There is nothing as frustrating to your detractors than failing to be distracted. When the throw stones at you, you make a foundation and build it, and when the rains come, you would b safe and they would be at the peril of madness, as created by their hands.
Belief is that necessary part of living that enable us live. A man believes he is loved in return by a spouse. A child believes he is loved by his parents. When he is asked to lift a loaded gun, he goes ahead to fetch it. He sees no harm in distrusting the love a parent can have. However there can be failure. There can be breach of trust and faith. There can be the mistreatment of belief. But not minding these possibilities and grabbing happiness makes it worth a while.
Nwilo Bura-Bari Vincent