Before we settle down to friendship, love and kindness lessons garnered over the last five decades, let’s together take what I hope would be our last look at money -the immediate past focus. Exactly, the power it has. No matter how far gone you are or what important matter you are working on, money is the one thing you won’t mind stopping for -once it pops up. Since this series teed off, no other entry had occupied as much space, drawn as much traffic and sparked up as much vexed debate as the part on money.
Even an accountant-general called in and tended to agree with all the ad hoc perspectives espoused by this writer. People on the right and wrong sides of money have had their say. Money is something that is permanently in demand. The rich want more, the needy need some.
To counter the lesson -money cannot do everything- one respondent reminded us of the line -what money cannot do, more money can- popularised by a former governor, now a Buhari minister. More money is still money, right? Money, indeed more money, cannot buy life after death. Money, indeed more money, cannot guarantee genuine love, genuine relationship, genuine reconciliation, genuine peace, genuine anything.
Talking about more money, there exists no better reminder that money is the very thingification of a bigot. With all the repulsive spirit of repugnant ego (every pun intended) that money or more money evinces everywhere, it -even for those who have it- is class-crazy. Yes, among the rich, there’s still the consciousness of rich, richer, richest. The rich are never seen where the richer gather just as the latter never go anywhere near or talk where the richest are.
And, the right money (more money) is always-always in the wrong hands. Altruistic people never tend to have enough money. On the other hand, the selfish lot never seem to lack money. Pray, does money like being hoarded; does money hate being used to bring joy; is money a sadist?
Enough on money and its inexhaustible lessons, in time to turn our attention to friendship, love and kindness. Over the last five decades, there are shareable lessons one has gleaned from these virtues. In number one position is the confusion generated by their enigmatic nature. Generally, people tend to believe that there must be some equal give and take to friendship, love and kindness.
It is not so, there mustn’t be. My friend could bring more or far more than I do to the table. Love is really love when shown especially to hate. Kindness is not when the cameras are on or when something is expected in return.
Furthermore, the trio are a tricky, fluid, dicey something. With them, there are neither guarantees nor strategies. You can land a best friend from a nightclub and pick up a worst enemy from a place of worship. You can on a dating site find love till death do you two part, but only lust during a spiritual meet.
Kindness will not kill you, but it can bring so much pressure. Imagine that. Getting a headache for just being kind. Welcome to inside life.
A friendly or loving or kind individual is a soft target. They are easily picked on or accessed or exploited. People think them fools or ever-rich or surebanker givers. Nobody is more misunderstood or more underappreciated or more insulted than a kind soul.
Friendship -like love and kindness- makes you look weak. You are going to lose relationships or aides or positions simply because someone misconstrues your friendly, loving or kind disposition. This might trouble you to the extent of starting to question whatta gwan -apologies, Rastafarians. Truth to tell, nothing is; just take solace in the truest truth that you are light which all of them darkness cannot comprehend!
Also, understand that it is easier for you to become them than them you. It is hard, if not impossible, for darkness to transform or transmute into light but light -with just a mental or electrical switch- can transmogrify into darkness. That explains why more and more good people are becoming bad while less and less scoundrels have become good. Light can go through the eye of the needle the way it likes but darkness can’t no matter how much it tries because it can’t even see that eye!
That’s profound, even if I say so myself. Friendship sees the eye of reality; love sees the eye of life; kindness sees the eye of need. Their flipsides don’t and won’t ever, because they were born blind, they live blind and they shall die blind. Friendship, love, kindness are the three fundamental and indispensable ingredients of life that no human being can do without.
They are second only to oxygen. Money or more money or much more money sits lamely and poorly only in fifth place. Money again. It shows up wherever and whenever it wants.
Perhaps, this is the perfect chance to chip in another vital lesson learnt over the last 50 years. Where friendship or love or kindness is concerned, money is not that important. Friends or lovers or givers never quarrel over money. They use money for mankind, rather than allow money use them against mankind.
A few iterations as we make to round off this entry. Friendship might not guarantee you friends but with everything you have and can muster, be a friend -wisely. Love might not prove that talismanic anti-hate potion, but with your life love all -wisely. And, being kind might not insulate you from wickedness, but 24/7 be kind -wisely.
Nothing is as sweet in life, as medicinal to the soul and as helpful to the heart as knowing that you are a friend even to a known foe, lover of even hate and kind to even wickedness. Still, exercise wisdom every step of the way. And, as we part today, watch out next for wisdom lessons. God bless Nigeria!
Also, next Monday, don’t miss “The small people around the big man.”