DAY 182 (WRITTEN ON JULY 1, FOR HOPE CITADEL)
Welcome to July. Day 182. How does it feel? I’d bet it feels just that same as yesterday. All the anticipation and excitement of the new year is dead and buried by now and your resolutions, if you had any, are long forgotten. But who am I to judge, we all fall prey to the easy, restless, noiseless passage of time.
Today, I am tempted to talk about goals as I am sure you are tempted to obsess about yours, and how far you have come in achieving them, but my mind tugs in another direction. Giving. Have you ever given someone a gift on their birthday or any other notable occasion and watched them stagger with surprise painted on their faces, flushed by gratitude and in turn you feel your own lungs fill with joy like air and you are intoxicated by a certain satisfaction. That’s the gift of giving. That joy and contentment that comes with the sense of importance you gave another person is what makes giving vital.
We often prefer to take than to give, even though we prefer to hangout with those that are givers than the so-called hoarders and takers, doesn’t that suggest in itself proof that we are in fact being takers much more than we choose to admit? That we prefer to be given than to give. And that right there is what is wrong with the world. Perhaps if we all had a different perspective to work and people, we would be more productive and even happy. Giving provides you the opportunity to buy, yes buy (in some way), both your happiness and the happiness of another person. It’s a paradox: that by giving you are actually paying for a quality of life that is priceless (joy, fulfilment).
Forget the chances that whatever you give coming back to you. Focus on that moment. The fact that you are giving your time, your words, your love, your skill, your money, to another person is exponentially fulfilling, but only if you look at it this way. If you see yourself as the bearer of gifts. The bearer of good things to give to the world and not the victim of its standards. That’s another thing giving does; it’s put you ahead, above. You’re the king of the jungle when you give.
So dear reader, I encourage you to be a giver for the rest of the year and even beyond. Give what and all that you can. After all, none of the things you are hoarding will stay with you forever so why not be in charge of its distribution right now, while you very much can, and get something that will make your life much more meaningful while it lasts.
LOVE IS AN INFINITELY BEAUTIFUL THING
Love is not cliché. Despite consistent attempts to make it less, it shines still— ineffable. Reading Everything, Everything made me feel like flowers, soft and fluffy on the inside. I found myself grinning hard at the similarities in emotion, blushing at the consciousness of another’s deepest secrets and therein finding that they were mine too, so in a sloppy messy way these things, emotions, restlessness, are not secrets at all. They happen to all of us.
I thought I’d have more to say, but it’s love. How many words exactly would I need to capture it’s simple, everlasting beauty?
SOLVE THE QUESTION OF WHO & WHY, EVERYTHING ELSE WILL FOLLOW
Lately, I have been thinking amply about us—humans—and why we do the things we do. Why we behave certain ways in certain circumstances. It’s interesting to see that, though varied peripherally, we are the same. We are prone to the same behaviours. Science calls it entropy; the tendency of all living matter to approach a state of disorderliness/decay.
I have come to see, that there are two primary questions that guards every single thing we do.
Who am I?Why should/am I doing this?
Who are you? We actually get to choose. Nobody tells us this. All our lives we are told who we are: Girl, Daughter, African, Nigerian, Rich. It never occurs to us, at least earlier on that we have a choice in the matter. That aside, unknown to us, we behave based on who we believe we are. This correlates with a Bible verse that says, as a man thinks so He is. Every decision you make is because of who you believe yourself to be in that moment. And you can choose. That’s the bit that eludes us; we can choose the person that we are. The other bit, is that, we are always choosing, every minute of everyday, we are choosing who we are.
Why? Why am I here? Why should I do this? Why should I be this? The why question is the same as the who-are-you question in that you have to choose. What’s your why? Why do you do anything? And this is important. You will have that moment when you ask yourself—but why should I choose to be this person? Your why better be good, better be genuine, if it’s not you will not last very long on whatever path you choose. You must pick something from without yourself, bigger than yourself; it is in this space—the-bigger-than-you space—that the soul soars.
Who are you? What is your why?
You can choose Jesus. You should choose Jesus. He is the most-fitting answer to both blanks.
Q: Who am I?
A: A child of God
Q: Why should/am I doing this?
A: Again, because, God. Because I am a child of God.
Of course, it is as simple and complicated as this.
Not making a choice at all, is in fact making a choice in itself. Any choice aside God is as adequate as a square block in a round hole. To see that more clearly, this article by Jackie Hill Perry is recommended.
YOU REQUIRE ONLY ONE NOUN ON EARTH, AND YOU ALREADY HAVE IT
Your name. That’s all you need, you do not need to be feminist, wife, mom, daughter, friend, lover, because the one thing you take into all those entanglements is you. And you have a name already. Sometimes we get overly sentimental about tags and roles and end up devastating the standard of that role by not living up to it. It’s why we have Christians that are not Christian. Lovers that don’t love. People that are not human. Because the name tags don’t matter, what counts is who you are, in adjectives. That’s the person you take everywhere. That’s the person you take into every conversation and relationship.
Are you kind? Are you patient? Do you love? Adjectives, adjectives. This is who you are.