Making A Difference

Today, there is a clarion call to making a difference in the world over. Unfortunately, the youths who are supposedly the leaders of tomorrow are complacently oblivious to this timely call. Should the labours of our past heroes fade into nothingness? This anomaly begs the question: WHO WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE? Of course the answer is not farfetched: the youths. It follows that youngsters must awaken from restiveness and contribute their quota in making Nigeria a better place by imbibing these three indispensable traits that makes for change.

Firstly, having the right attitude to life is the foundation to any lasting change. When youths realise that they have a purpose in life it will help to shape their lifestyle. They will be able to put their priorities aright and will be more than willing to give their best in serving others and stand for what is right at all cost. It is ATTITUDE not ABILITY that will take one to one’s zenith. Therefore, youngsters need to have a proper perception of themselves. They are not here merely to occupy space but rather to be a positive plus to their society. They should take a cue from the youths of the recent century. These youths were intellectuals, dogged and above all, disciplined. The likes of Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and Funmilayo Ransom Kuti among others. They had the right attitude to life and the legacy they left behind still rings through Nigeria today.

In addition, the reading culture of the average Nigerian youth is abysmally poor. That is why it is often said “if you want to hide a thing from an African, write it in a book” And true to that remark, many a youths in our country will rather than spend ample time in their study, busy themselves on the internet browsing obnoxious sites, engage in endless small talks on the social media as well as posting ‘selfies’ on facebook almost around the clock. Those in school read their books not because they want to know but just to get good grades at the end of the day. But if truly leaders were first readers and this bad habit is left unchecked, our youths will wound up as blind leaders leading their followers to doom. Ben Carson the great neurosurgeon once revealed that he began to make definite progress in his academics shortly after he abandoned himself to reading. And the spectacular feat he has so far achieved in modern medicine shows that reading does not only pay off but also makes one outstanding. Nigerian youths must without delay tune off from the world of frivolities and read themselves out of the cocoon of mediocrity.

The last but by no means the least, young graduates should look out for something a lot better to do with their lives than to be chasing after white-collar jobs where they only settle down to carry on the same routine every day. They must realise that there is more to life than what we get out of it, what brings fulfilment is what we are willing to offer it before our exit. Remember, Edison gave the world electric bulb. Alexander Graham Bell left us a gift that took telecommunication to her next level; the Wright Brothers made history through their incredible invention; Bill Gates made a difference through his revolutionary invention: Microsoft. Nigerian youths should quit their appalling craze for money through get-rich-quick schemes and begin to look inwards; they have what it takes to change the world positively. Our youths are prodigiously endowed with great talents that if properly harnessed will turn Nigeria around for good. Young engineers, educationists, lawyers, economists, and medical doctors should not just work for remuneration but they should be driven by the desire to make a difference in their own niche.

In conclusion, the call to making a difference is timely. If young people will resolve within themselves that they will put up the right disposition to life, give reading its proper place in their life and channel their ability aright they will, without an ounce of doubt, make a difference that will reverberate in the centuries yet to come.

Mister Bankruptcy…

Mr. Bankrupt! 

To mammon his soul is sold;

You dare not interrupt —

When he cruises in Benz

Across the boulevard of affluence, 

He wallows in self-made influence. 

Men and Beast give credence:

There lives Mr. Bankruptcy, 

Financially as strong as iron steel. 

Mr. Bankrupt! 

Carries a library inside his head, 

Eating everything in print like bread

You dare not disrupt —

As he philosophizes in Socrates

As  he orates in Demosthenes,

As he paints in Michaelangelo,

As he calculates in Einstein, 

As he writes in Shakespeare,

As he intrumentalizes in Mozart.

The sky, sea and land attests:

There goes Mr. Bankruptcy

With degrees like the many beads in a Rosary.

Mr. Bankrupt!

Dreads to hurt a fly,

Never tells a lie

Still, from crown to sole, corrupt —

He gives ONLY to double his gain, 

Loves ONLY to bribe away their hate,

Serves ONLY for men’s applause.

Walks ONLY with pressured steps

Talks ONLY with measured breaths.

Everywhere Everyman testifies:

See Mr. Bankruptcy,

The last good man, as far as I can see.

Now, meet Mr Bankruptcy! 

Strippped of all disguises

Though rich in silver and gold, 

Yet he isn’t a kobo-rich towards God;

Having head heavy with thoughts, 

But everly, his heart, sinks in ruts;

Never does anything right, 

For he’s blind to the Light;

He revels that he exist, 

If only he knew how it feels to live;

Listen! And Listen good, 

Mr. Bankruptcy 

Is You and Me, 

Doomed to live netherworld, 

Till GRACE woos us Heavenward. 

WHAT WE LEARNED FROM THE COVID-19

Life is a series of unexpected occurrences. As a matter of fact, that’s what makes it eventful. However, these unexpected occurrences whether positive or negative have something to teach us. Over time, great thinkers have all agreed upon this fact. Hence, motivational speakers will say “When life brings you a lemon, make a lemonade”; Preachers as well admonish that, “All things work together for good…” even the Alchemist claims that one could turn stones into gold, but of course, with the philosopher’s stone. One of the most shocking and I dare to say, unexpected occurrences of the century is the outbreak of COVID-19, a global pandemic which has left the world miserable in its wake. But then, what has this got to teach us? Well, until this plague we haven’t truly recognized the value of family and friendship; the importance of isolation; the necessity of cleanliness and most importantly, our need for God.

First and foremost, COVID-19 appears to have done a great job in helping us reprioritize our values. It has, as it were, reawaken in us a sense of belongingness and love. Right now, almost everyone is at home with the same family that hitherto they had little or no time for as a result of business itinerary, professional engagements, other human endeavors and whatnots. At the moment, COVID-19 has taken care of what years of seminars, conferences, family therapy, sermons and common sense couldn’t handle. For the first time in a long time, most husbands could sit to have an endless chit-chat with their wives; children could afford to play hide and seek with a parent who for the most part of their lives has been off and on. Friendship are being tried in the fires of space and distance. We come to realize that true friendship is not merely in the togetherness we share but also in the growing fondness that wakes with each moment of apartness. We discover that indeed absence makes the hearts of fast friends grow fonder. I believe that even as we’ve come to realize the value of family and friendship through this unlikely teacher, we would more and more put family and friends first in all we do in life. During this plague, an European man committed suicide because he lost his entire family to COVID-19. I’m in no way advocating for suicide. But that man’s reaction reveals the profound value of family without which life becomes meaningless, purposeless and vague. After all is said and done all that matters is family.

Secondly, COVID-19 has enabled us to rediscover the unattractive gift of isolation. This period, government authorities across boards have ordered either total or partial lockdown. People are to isolate themselves for their own safety and to reduce to the spread of the virus. This is painful indeed! It’s against our lifestyle of being here and there. Almost ubiquitous! However, this bitter sweet experience helps us to understand that once in a while life requires break. Many people for the first time in their lives are able to sit down, shut the door and THINK about their lives, plan ahead, revalidate decisions and query past actions. All of these are necessary for our success in life. But the question is, how often do we get to isolate to evaluate? To be honest, maybe, a few times in a year. Therefore, we need to learn to look away from the boredom, loneliness and monotony of living life in the same place with the same people on the regular. But on the contrary, let’s seize with both hands this chance for progress and self awareness. In the words of Andrew Yang, “overnight successes are generally years in making, and most PROGRESS IS MADE IN ISOLATION, far from public eye”. Again, we could glean from what Mandy Hale revealed that “If we learn to sit with loneliness and embrace it for the gift that it is, an opportunity to get to know YOU, to learn how strong you really are, to depend on no one but you for your happiness. You will realize that a little loneliness goes a long way in creating a richer, deeper, more vibrant and colorful YOU”.
There’s really nothing magical about isolation, so it won’t make us better automatically, it may even make some people bitter through depression and batter the hopes of others through careless indulgence. Therefore, what do we do then to grow through this isolation? We could invest our time and energy in personal growth, dating ourselves and focused thinking.

Again another important lesson we’ve been taught the hard way this period is the necessity of cleanliness. Cleanliness is often said to be next to godliness. In the same token, personal hygiene is as sacred a drill as ablution is to the religious. But most of the time because of the hustles and bustles of life we handle it with a kid’s glove. But now like a magic personal hygiene has become ingrained in anyone and everyone who cares enough to stay alive. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face and always sneeze into your elbow among others have become necessary preventive measures that everyone has willingly come to embrace. Even those who are naturally unkempt and rough are now making the effort to keep themselves clean. Well, last I checked, habits are formed between two to three weeks. Almost, unconsciously we are keeping to the tenets of hygiene. Our survival instincts trigger within us the ability to do whatever we can and should to stay alive. Thanks to COVID-19!

Last of all, COVID-19 has to a great degree revived a dire need for God among us once again. Kingdoms and kings all look to the heavens for divine intervention. Even the superpowers have realized that they have no power after all, they all hope in God’s grace to fight this plague to a standstill. Meanwhile, Christians and moslems everywhere offer prayers ceaselessly. Atheists could only wish for the best turn of events or blame God for plaguing the world again (how sad!). Preachers claim that the end is near and that God may be judging the world for turning their backs on him (sounds more like a revenge mission!). Whatever may be the case, one thing is certain, humanity rises and falls on God. This consciousness proves more and more accurate now than ever. I am not here to force God down your throat or ask you to embrace faith or rethink whether God is dead or not. No! no! no! This is not a religious piece. we have the freedom to believe what we want. Let’s keep in mind that even though we escape the throes of COVID-19, death remains inescapable. As a matter of fact, death is not the end, but the beginning of life on the other side of eternity. And in eternity our degrees or pedigrees won’t matter, what counts is our belief! Yes, COVID-19 may have scared us back to our Maker yet let’s embrace Him because of his goodness and mercies.

In conclusion, while we weep with families that weep, pray for the patients that are fighting for their lives all over the world and believe that God will heal our lands once again. Let us remember the lessons we have learned from COVID-19. Make a decision to value your family and friends beyond anything else, make the most of this isolation, keep the ritual of personal hygiene and seek God wholeheartedly. Peace

On this Valentine

Love is,
Yet, love is not
The phoney chorus of love
Sung on this Valentine
That you dance to entwined.

Love is,
Yet, love is not
This frenetic display
Of Red roses bouquet
On this Valentine
Which you caress till eventide.

Love is,
Yet, love is not
That foul four-footed beast
Slain profaningly everytime
On the altar of valentine,
Buried beneath conscience of adamantine.

Love is,
Yet, where is love?
In the air?
Maybe!
only on this V-Day:
Where love stays in the air
Daring never to rest
On hearts that don’t care
But whose mouth is crest
With I-love-you dear.
Beware! Beware! Only beware!

The Prelude…

I’m Isah Onimisi Blessing. You could call me whatever you like, it’s up to you. I’m a student of the University of Benin, Benin City where I study English and Lit. I’ve always had a flair for writing. Later, I discovered my voice and it’s original! I write to right. This platform is like a mall where you can shop for writeups that promises to leave you inspired, motivated, educated and edified. I mean, you’ll certainly catch the spirit behind my ink.

I believe in the miracle of inspiration. I believe in the power of words… By words the worlds were framed. I believe in God, He is the centerpiece of literature. I believe in people.. There’ll be no need for InkSkrybe if there were no people. I believe in the future… It keeps me looking ahead. I believe in us. We’ll rock the world! Enough already, Preludes ain’t suppose to be long. Let the music begin. Take my hands, let’s take a waltz!