“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence” – Dennis Waitley
Ok……so, I was having a discussion with a friend of mine some time ago. He seemed unhappy though he tried to feign happiness as much as he could just to get by. The only thing that seemed to give him joy was his job. Nothing about his personal life seemed to excite him.
He particularly felt downcast because his family seemed obstinate about the tribe he should marry from, thereby making him skeptical about having a relationship. And the irony was that the ladies he seemed to be having interest in were all from the tribe his family was against. It seemed his life was controlled by all but him. He didn’t want to risk losing his family due to disobedience and at the same time, he wanted to be happy.
He just wanted a happy and loving relationship with a beautiful woman irrespective of the tribe but that didn’t seem to be happening. He felt obligated to choose his family over his happiness. He always said something, “You can’t fight family”.The young man seemed to be in a dilemma. His happiness or his family. A part of him really wanted to fight for his happiness but the other part of him wasn’t willing to let go of the ones he called family.
Now, I asked him this, “If your family doesn’t want you to marry from a particular tribe just because of a bad experience someone in the family had with somebody from that particular tribe, what is the guarantee that the other tribes they want you to marry from wouldn’t be as unpleasant or even worse than this particular tribe you are asked to avoid?”
Personally, I feel it’s an individual thing. The bad behavior of a person has nothing to do with a tribe and everything to do with the character of an individual. You can hardly blame an entire tribe or state for the misdeeds or misbehavior of one person from that tribe. No one is perfect. We all have flaws and weaknesses as well as our strengths.
I said to him just as I am saying to you if you can relate with this story – life is too short to be unhappy. Yes, you put others, your family into consideration, trying your hardest not to hurt them but it should never be to your detriment. In their opinion, they are trying to protect you by giving you certain limitations or rules on how to live.
This is as good as clipping your wings. Life is meant to be lived. It is meant to be experienced. It is not for you to tiptoe as though you are walking on fiery stones. You need to jump so you can soar high and fly. Now, it doesn’t have to be about relationships alone. It could be any other aspect of life but the bottom line remains you should live and live happily.
Feel exhilarated and the freedom of truly living. Live your life the way you want it and not as you are supposed to. Someone said, “Mistakes are what we call experience”. Live! Make your mistakes and learn from them.
The more careful you tread, the more mistakes you are even bound to make. Live in the moment. Enough with the “What if’s”. I saw a post where a CFO asked the CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave us?” the CEO replied “What happens if we don’t and they stay?”
Life is all about taking risks. You are not a weakling. You are strong. You are amazing and you have innate talents that only you can give to the world. But you have to make your own mistakes to be able to become a better you.
@CoolestLifeHack on twitter said, “What you learn is the only thing which nobody can steal from you”. Stop been controlled by others. Yes, their opinions may count but it is yours that matter. Enough with the desire to please the world. You are simply been unfair to yourself.
The world is changing……People are developing, technology is evolving. Nothing is stagnant. In fact, the world is moving at such a fast pace that we have to be careful not to get caught up in its twirls.
Gone are those days when parents are dictators and have their children do their every bidding. C. JoyBell C. said, “I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway… let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.”
Family is important. In fact, Micheal. J. Fox puts it this way, “Family is not an important thing. It is everything”. Every family has a story to tell – tales of happiness, joy, laughter, pains, sorrows, loss. And these stories are gotten from experiences.
They lived and had these experiences which they share with you today, so why not you? As these tales are told, while you reject and never want to experience the negative ones, you imagine the positive ones and the happiness felt. However, note that these stories are not meant to be the basis on which your life decisions are made. Live your own life and have your own experiences.
You are strong and amazing. There is nothing out there in the world that you cannot handle. You are an absolute delight but you aren’t perfect. No one is. Stop being scared of making your own mistakes. Don’t cower behind the shadows of others and their mistakes.
Who knows? Perhaps you would have acted differently if put in their situation. Mike Norton said, “Fall. Stand. Learn. Adapt”. You are your own person and your life will not be interesting without your own stories of how you fell and rose again; of mistakes you made and learnt from. It is not a perfect world. Mistakes are to help you become a better you.
You don’t want to gather your own children around you one day and tell them, “Life is full of so many mysteries…so many ups and downs. My father, your grandfather had this awful experience once when he went looking for a job in a law firm. My mother, your grandmother once told me about her experience of true love with your grandfather……”
It’s cool to tell your kids stories about their grandparents but what about your story? If they ask you, “Dad, how did you end up as an accountant in this audit firm?” “Mum, tell us about how you felt when you first met dad”, what would your response be?
Let’s see how the stuttering would start….perhaps you clear your throat first and then you begin, “Well, I was pretty good at Math while in college. My dad thought I would make a good accountant and so I decided to go with what he chose for me. Deep within me though, I had always loved drawing and wanted to be an Architect”. “So why didn’t you follow your heart’s desire?” they may press on and you would most likely reply, “I didn’t want to disobey my dad and lose our family”.
Great! Awesome! You have played the role of a martyr and sacrificed what would have been a great and incredible life for one of mediocrity. Now the regrets come in.
If you wake up in the morning and the only thing you can think of is how you would love to spend most of your time in the air, controlling the big gadgets like planes, helicopters, jets, then my friend, go be a Pilot. If you love to write, then Sweet Cheeks, by all means, be a writer.
If dancing is your thing, Sugarbun, go bless the world with your skills. If you want to be a Research Scientist, BabyCakes, go have fun in the lab and find that cure for that ailing disease plaguing the world today. We can’t all of us be Doctors, Engineers, or Lawyers. We all have our individual talents and in our own individual capacity, we would together, build a beautiful world.
If you like a girl but don’t want to approach her because your family is against the tribe she comes from, it may very well be your biggest loss in life. Go say “Hi” to her. Get to know her for who she is NOT because she is a yardstick or the backdrop against which you compare her with girls from other tribes.
If the relationship is meant to be, if you guys are genuinely happy with each other and love each other deeply, it would be a grave mistake to sacrifice such love and happiness because of tribal discord. There is no dignity in living an unhappy life out of so-called “family allegiance”.
One day, out of so much pain and regrets, you may just snap and the family you were so loyal to would be the recipients of your anger and hate. You would blame them for your unhappy life and they would bear the brunt of your loathing and misery.
Isn’t it wise to spare yourself and your family the possibility of this happening? It is okay for them to guide you but it is not okay for them to dictate for you. They can tell you what to expect in your journey through life but it ends there. The ultimate decision on the steps to take MUST come from you and ONLY YOU.
After much pondering and analyzing; after weighing the pros and cons and seeking God’s face about that big decision you have to make, be bold enough to come to a decision and your family should respect that decision.
Richard Bach said, “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.”
Yes, hell may break lose but this is your life, this is your happiness you are fighting for. After all is said and done, you are the one going to be tied up in an unhappy life. The much they can do is perhaps sympathize and watch from afar.
An excerpt from the book, THE LAST SACRIFICE, by Richelle Mead – ʺRunʺ, I said when they were gone. ʺIf you slip out now, maybe they won’t notice. Go back to Siberia”. “Actually,” said Dimitri, “I’m pretty sure Abe would notice. Don’t worry, Roza. I’m not afraid. I’ll take whatever heat they give me over being with you. It’s worth it.” Fight for what you believe in. Fight for the light in your world and the joy in your life.
You have to take a stand. You have to realize you won’t always be spoon fed as you go along this journey of life. Sometimes you just have to feel the heat of the scorching sun in the summer or the frosting bite from the cold in the winter or harmattan season.
Be bold enough to climb the hills and walk down the valleys of life. You are a lot stronger than you think. Christopher Lourdes @chrislourdes twitted, “Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack”.
You have to make your own mistakes and learn from them. The only time you would be committing a cardinal sin is when you fall and refuse to stand or you stand and refuse to learn.
“Man has two legs and chairs have four, because we were made to stand out, not sit down—or be sat on. You are your brand—you are not a piece of furniture” – Jarod Kintz. Go out there and live your life. Do not sell yourself short. You have so much in you to build an empire. You are an embodiment of talents.
In conclusion, do not be scared of the world. Do not be scared to make decisions. Do not be scared to fail. Again, @CoolestLifeHack twitted, “If you don’t lose, you can’t respect winning. If you don’t fail, you can’t respect success. If you don’t struggle, you can’t honor life”.
You are an achiever and an epitome of greatness. You can be whatever you want to be in life. You can be whoever you want to be and to crown it all, you would be happiest and have your freedom.
So what is that significant mistake you have made that has made you better, stronger and wiser?