Many of us have become overwhelmed with life and some of the pictures it creates in our mind. Unfortunately, we have come to accept these pictures as a perfect description of how life should be. One of these pictures created by life in our minds is the classification of individuals into two main groups: the elites and the proletariat or rather, the rich and the poor.
This classification has been made based mainly on the appearance, financial status, title, assets, and properties of an individual. Anyone who looks and smells good, spends without thinking or bargaining, is known and respected by everyone, called big names, has lands, building(s), car(s), and many more is obviously a rich person. On the other hand, the person with none or less of the above mentioned is clearly poor.
We judge a person’s standard of living by what they have, what they look like, how they speak and the list continues. This stereotyped mindset has led a lot astray. Many strive to get all these at any cost so they could be accepted by the society and be given the name “RICH”.
Life has shaped us in such a way that we accept ourselves only by the acceptance of others. Our dressing must be given the “wow” compliment before we know we look good; our feelings are based on how others feel. If others are sad then we are sad despite our real feeling of happiness.
Through all this, we gradually forget ourselves, our time, our dreams, our plans, our visions, our happiness and even our own lives; because we are so much engrossed in the stereotyped pictures of life, we forget that all these are temporary and will fade away the day we close our eyes and never open them. We forget that the life we currently live is a journey and every journey have an end. We forget that our striving for fame, success, recognition by all means could all be a waste once a wrong step is taken.
This was exactly what happened in the life of Chidi who was born to Mr. and Mrs. Ebuka in the outskirts of Aturu in Abia State. His family was so poor that they could only afford one meal per day; this meal was always prepared from the cassava and little vegetables his mother grew in her little farm. As the only son and child of the family, his parents endeavoured to feed him always since he was the future of the family. Unfortunately, university education was not an option as they could not even afford to get an exercise book; but his parents always encouraged him to hope and trust in God and hold on to the saying that “When there is life, there is hope”.
After completing his secondary school education which was free at that time, Chidi struggled to make ends meet all to no avail. This made him feel sorry for himself always as he began to seek for an alternative way to come out of his predicament. His parents constantly advised him to stop feeling bad about their condition and hope on God whom they served to make things better for them. All their advice fell on deaf ears as Chidi was determined to live better no matter the cost.
“Oku ego” also known as “Hot Money was one of the bad gangs in that town known with the slogan” Become rich or die trying”. This gang was the richest in the town and had everything that Chidi and his family lacked. The fancy clothes they wore, the strange but rich food, fancy cars and money they sprayed every time all drew Chidi towards them. They took him in with open arms and initiated him into their way of living of which Chidi willingly accepted. He smoked with them, robbed with them, took drugs and did all sorts of things with them.
Finally, he could afford a 3-square meal and that was a big achievement for him. At least, he was getting close to being called “Rich”. His parents however, didn’t think so as they refused to join him in his “achievement” because they knew the source of his financial upliftment. Though they continued to advise him which unfortunately fell on deaf ears.
Few months later, Chidi bought a car as his drug dealing business was thriving; He however, continued in his quest for financial freedom with him becoming gradually addicted to drugs until one day, he sniffed something else into his soul. Due to this addiction to drugs, one day sniffed in madness into his brain and started roaming the streets of Aturu town.
Madman alert oooo! Madman alert!!!
Clear the road shapali shapali…
Chidi stormed into the cleared path with different types and forms of dirt on him as people looked on at him with pity.
If only Chidi was patient, he would have been part of the celebration going on at his parents’ house as God finally blessed them.
Many of us today are like Chidi who was never contented with what he had and compared himself with others who had those vain things that life has termed as “Riches”. Chidi had God, his family, life and hope; but he forgot what his mother asked him to hold on to: “when there’s life, there is hope”.
Life itself is a priviledge, but living truly is a choice. Living truly entails being happy just the way you are without waiting for outside approval; being contented with what you have; staying patient and hopeful that all will be better while striving for success in a good way; knowing that everyone is equal despite the picture of division created by life; acknowledging that success comes from the little steps we take daily; knowing that real wealth is not in the physical factors, but in one’s behaviour, speech and act of kindness to others.
Forget about the picture life has created, erase that stereotyped mindset about success, riches because
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
Love God, love yourself, love others, be happy, stay content because
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together”
– Vincent Van Gogh.
Facebook: Victoria Amaechi