When I was younger, I would day dream about the beautiful things I would do when I grew up. Looking back now, being a child was easy and full of joy. I can remember watching cartoons, eating fried plantains and playing football with my friends. That gave me so much joy.
I am older now, and every day is a reminder that I am in charge of my life. Responsibility grabs my hand and I must hold it. I have accepted that my life is a function of the decisions I make, and that also gives me joy. I like the feeling of being in charge, making money and writing. I am happy that I am working on most of my childhood dreams, that in itself is beautiful.
When I was younger, I loved to sing along to the soundtrack of a television series titled This Life. It was one of Wale Adenuga’s productions, and the lyrics I sang were as follows:
“This life is beautiful. The more you get, the more you feel sad. Oh, this life. No matter what you do, you will be gone someday. Oh, this life.”
The lyrics never made sense to me, but now they ring like a bell into my ears. They make me more aware of the truth about life. When I was younger, I thought having more money, more toys, better grades, a dream job and good food would make me happy. Now, I realise that it’s a lie; happiness is dependent on one’s self. One doesn’t have to have everything to be happy.
I was in school when news of a young doctor’s suicide trended across the country. He was said to be from a well-to-do family, and was planning to get married in a few months. Nobody knew why he did it, but everybody had an opinion to share. More young people are inclined to suicide these days, even when their lives seem perfect.
They may have the best jobs, best relationships, family, money but they feel alone. Yet there are people battling terminal diseases, extreme poverty, loneliness and they seem happier. You can hear the ring of their melodious laughter. It is also true, that when you have more money or accomplishments, you tend to want more. It’s a human trait to not be content, but contentment is one of the routes to happiness.
There have been many reports of young girls and even older women having children and dumping them by the roadside, in canals and even gutters. It’s rising due to the extreme poverty and lack of access to contraceptives in developing nations. Yet there are many married couples spending large amounts of money trying to have a child. In vitro fertilisation costs are rising, and middle-class families may not be able to afford the costs. As song writer Alanis Morissette said, “Isn’t it ironic?” There are cases of sick children battling with terminal diseases, and older patients flourishing.
I think that life itself is a long lesson. It teaches us to be happy, to not compare ourselves with others and to focus on our own journeys. There are a lot of ironies and mysteries in life, that we might never understand. However, we owe it to ourselves to be happy regardless of the challenges we face in our lives.
We should do things that make us happy, and show love to people around us. Fighting and killing each other because of differences in tribe, country, race, religion, economic status and political opinion is pointless. We should remember that we share one struggle; the journey of life. Life is beautiful if we can make it so; full of laughter and memories.
Tell us: What is the one childhood memory that you will always cherish?