Let me, on behalf of my teeming followers congratulate the Ekiti State First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, who celebrated her birthday earlier in the week. A true woman of substance, Erelu is a brilliant writer, activist and influencer. A fashionable sophisticate who proudly promotes our culture, she combines the grace of beauty, charm and resourceful intellect that is rarely seen in women of power. She reminds me of Eleanor Roosevelt. A former First Lady of America.
I am priviledged to be her co-columnist, and this column sometimes appears blow her own here in The Sun every Friday. I salute you, madam!
I salute all Nigerians for enduring these hard times. With the gale of mass retrenchments, bankruptcies and under-employment sweeping across our nation, I can only pray that the Almighty God should have mercy and reverse this unprecedented plague that has continued to overwhelm a world that is already exasperated.
In this two-part article, I want to encourage my followers to keep faith. Now, folks read on.
It is in the destiny of man to face adversity; it is also in the nature of man to rise or fall as a result of it, depending on the stuff he’s made of.
COVID-19 is rated as the worst pandemic in history, and I hope it holds that record for ever. It is my prayer that no future scourges would be as devastating. I say amen on behalf of everyone.
Adversity either makes or mars you; depending on whether you are weak or strong, positive or negative. The Bible says, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” I’d rather you fight back, and not faint.
This pandemic can be tamed; it is not a death sentence. Many victims have recovered and more are recovering daily around the world. COVID-19 is not an excuse to “fall down and die,” apologies to MFM. Stand up and fight like a true warrior, otherwise you won’t survive. I always say that you don’t have to rely on government, relatives, friends, or even your parents, to get by in life. No, you don’t. If you do, you’d be disappointed.
According to the Bible, “Woe is he who puts his trust in man.”
I can’t believe that the federal legislators could be planning to renovate the National Assembly complex with almost N8 billion, in this COVID-19 season, when we think there’s no money to support the poorest of the poor. Our lawmakers pay themselves jumbo salaries when the federal and other sub-national governments are struggling to pay workers paltry minimum wage of N30,000. You don’t look up to this kind of selfish leaders to get by in life.
The point is, face your challenges. If God could form man from mere dust, it means you, too, can create something worthwhile out of nothing. All you need do is put your imagination to work. Identify a need and meet it. If you can do that, you can’t be hungry. Many folks send me financial requests every day because, like most people, they’ve been impoverished by the lockdown. Everyone suffers in some way from the aftermath of COVID-19. But everyone must find a way to survive.
Thank God, I am surviving because I have devised coping strategies that are enabling me to weather the lockdown storm. Learn from the eagle: Rather than retreat from a storm, it flies head-on against it, and moves on. That’s why it is called the king of birds. It is one reason the eagle is the national symbol of many nations, including “God’s own country,” the United States. The eagle has very keen vision. It can sight a prey hundreds of kilometres away. It has great speed; it is very strong. These are qualities you should have to overcome life’s adversities.
While people are counting their losses from COVID-19, smart folks are smiling to the bank, because they are taking advantage of the restrictions to do business online. Nobody is saying it is easy. I can always tell you that there are no easy routes to success. There is no royal road to victory. Even after you have achieved a victory, it is difficult to sustain it. To climb to success is a lot easier than staying at the height.
In challenging times like these, especially when things are more abnormal than normal, you need that extra edge to survive. In 2019, I published an article titled “ Hendoku Iyaku” on this page.
I implore you to check out the article titled “Hendoku Iyaku: Changing Poison into Medicine.” It will help you cope with adversity. But very often, throughout history, men have survived adversities and come out stronger. Most of the inventions we have today are products of difficult circumstances.
Unlike in the past, the COVID-19 restrictions leave us with many options. There’re many things we can do online today. At no time in history did we have virtual economy. Because of today’s Internet connectivity, we can now transact our businesses online, contacts can be maintained, and there are all kinds of exchanges that can take place on the information highway that the Internet has become.
Therefore, rather than weep over these temporary impediments, we should think deeper and work out strategies to live with them and to overcome them.
(To be continued)
Weekend Spice: Now, you have three choices: Put up with it, change it, and end it.
– Richard Templar
Ok folks, nice being here. Stay motivated. See you again next Friday.
•Ayodeji is an author, rights activist, pastor and life coach. He can be reached on [email protected] and 09059243004 (SMS only)