By Francis Ewherido
I wholeheartedly welcome 2021 as I have welcomed every New Year since 1979, when I consciously started welcoming a new year. But I am not one of those who are relieved to see the back of 2020. Why should I? What is new and peculiar to 2020? Is it because of bereavements? I was also bereaved in 1988 (father), 2012 (sister-in-law), 2013 (brother) and 2015 (brother). Bereavement is the lot of all humankind, unpleasant as it is. At some point, you will either be bereaved or cause others to be bereaved. Is it COVID-19? The pandemic started in 2019, it only got to our shores in 2020. It has claimed the scalps of many (1,804,138 at the time of writing) and there is nothing to suggest that it will not claim some scalps in 2021. We all really need to observe all the COVID-19 prevention protocols and be very prayerful. In other aspects of life, there were gains and losses in 2020 just like in other years. I am just relieved and thankful for seeing another year, especially after overcoming two major scares in 2020.
I welcome 2021 and embrace it with new hope and vigour. As I have always done in the last weeks of every year, I have been home, resting and thinking about my life and life generally. What do I need to continue doing? Where do I make amends? What do I jettison? What is the essence of life? I have always been obsessed with the acquisition of knowledge. The more I know, the more I realise how little I know and how much more that is still out there to be learnt. I will continue to seek knowledge. One way to acquire knowledge quickly is to draw lessons from your daily activities and experiences. But there is a limit to what you can learn at any time, lest other aspects of your life suffer. You also need to pause and learn how to put what you have learnt to good use to make you a better person; for your own good and the good of the larger society. If not, your acquisition of knowledge will become a hollow ritual. We see it all around us.
I will also continue to live a life of gratitude and contentment. That is not because I have everything I desire in life; I am just thankful to God for how far He has brought me. As long as I breathe and have my mental faculties intact, I will continue to strive for greater heights. I will explore new territories; I will explore new grounds in the territories I am already in. The unknown no longer scares me. You either fail or you succeed in any new endeavour. Either way, you win because you learn and learning from your failure increases your chances of success the next time you try.
My people say you do not use another person’s eyes to look at life. In 2021, I will continue to see life from my perspective, but I will be open to other people’s opinions. I will be more focussed. Sometimes too many dogs bark at you, and as they say, if you throw stones at every dog that barks at you, you will not get to your destination
There is a principle I have applied over the last two years, which has been helpful in my relationship with people. I will continue to work on it. It is called the one per cent principle. No one is totally good and no one is totally bad. I just look for the one per cent that is good in people and run with it. Some people close to me wonder how I manage to relate well with so many people. It is as simple as that. But like all humans, I still struggle to relate well with some people. Our spirits just do not agree. I hate no one, but just do not get along with some people. I have stopped worrying myself about such situations. I am not under any obligation to be friends with everyone.
Some people naturally like your person at first sight. For others, the friendship evolves. But some people will never like you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. The appropriate description for them is in Matthew 11:17 – “We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.” In 2021, do not waste your time with such people, just waka pass. Friendship no be by force. You know what I have come to realise? After a while, you will completely forget they even exist. If it is not so with you, look into your own life, something is not right.
I am at peace with myself; I am at peace with humanity. I do not know anyone who owes me an apology, but there are two people who have to do restitution for me. I hold nothing against them, but you do not wear new clothes on a dirty body, it is not proper. Agreements should be respected. You do not unilaterally shift the goal post after the match has started. I also have two friends I need to apologise to because I feel I took them for granted.
No matter what comes our way in 2021, let our joy continue. Being happy is not because there is no pain. Everybody is dealing with one pain or challenge (health, finances, family, marriage, business, job, bereavement, break-up and many more). But we should not be caught up with only the downside of life? We should look beyond our pains to the bright side of life. The year 2021 offers new hope and opportunities.
My family always brings me great joy; there are also many friends – young and old – who have brought me great joy over the years. They are part of my massive family. May God surround you with people who will bring you joy in 2021. But also strive to be a source of joy to people around you. One of the major essence of life is to bring joy to as many people as possible. If you cannot bring joy to people, at least do not add more pains to their lives. That is my pain in my conclusion today:
COSSY ORJIAKO, THAT WAS UNNECESSARY
I read Cossy Orjiako’s shocking comments on the late Chico Ejiro and felt very sad. Do people really understand the enormity of bereavement? A family just lost a dear one; is grappling with the pains and all you have to say about their loved one are unsavoury comments? I have been there before; I know it hurts. Whatever issues you had with Chico, you should have spilled them out while he was alive and available to tell his side of the story. He is gone now and cannot defend himself any more, why ask questions he cannot answer?
Every human being is an embodiment of the good, the bad and the ugly. If you have nothing good to say about Chico, you shut up. Sometimes you wished that some of these people had more brains than beauty. I am not impressed. Those comments are immature, thoughtless and insensitive (I won’t spare a space here to repeat them). Learn the rules of boxing, young lady. Once your opponent is down, you stop throwing punches at him.
By the way, Chico Ejiro was neither my friend, nor an acquaintance. Cossy Orjiako’s comments are not just right.
I WISH ALL MY READERS A FRUITFUL 2021. PLEASE STAY SAFE.
Francis Ewherido is a seasoned relationship, financial and insurance coach. He’s also an author. He can be reached on: firstname.lastname@example.org.