I first heard the Japanese words, HENDOKU IYAKU, which is translated as changing poison into medicine, from Remi Salako and Dr. Afolabi, two of my friends who practiced a Japanese version of Buddhism propagated by the Nichiren Shohus sect under the auspices of the soka Gakkai International, SGI.
That was in the early ‘90s, when I was still searching for the truth. I was a nominal Christian at the time and Christ was not yet fully resident in me. Through my interaction with my Nigerian Buddhist friends, I became familiar with the practices of the oriental religion. The concept of HENDOKU IYAKU fascinated me to this day, although I have ended up with Jesus Christ instead of Buddha.
The doctrine of HENDOKU IYAKU teaches that you can change poison into medicine, or turn your misfortune into fortune. It says you can turn defeat into victory and I agree with that. I have seen it happen many times and I have read about how several achievers in history ignored their handicaps to become great success stories
Franklin Roosevelt ruled America from the wheel chair. He is the only man to have won the presidential election four straight times and holds the record of the longest-serving president of the USA. Here at home, Yinka Ayefele, the juju/gospel music star has been cranking out hits after hit for close to a decade from a wheel chair. He didn’t allow the unfortunate car crash that broke his spinal cord to truncate his promising music career.
I cannot exhaust the list of great men and women who overcame misfortune to become, super achievers or reference points. The famous South Africa athlete, Oscar Pistorious lost his two legs but he is famous as the Blade Runner on the race tracks. Louis Braille, a French educator lost his sight at the age of three, but went on to invent a system of writing and printing for sightless people.
If you turn a failing business around or snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in any contest; you have changed poison into medicine. If you can convert waste into wealth, lose your job and go ahead to found an enterprise that employs others, or you move from a state of nothingness to become somebody of substance meritoriously, you have done HENDOKU IYAKU.
Any Nigerian politicaian who can in record time pull this nation out of the present chaos and transform it into an affluent industrial state where peace equity and justice reign, qualifies as a hero. Folks, what I want you to see in this piece are that every disadvantage could be turned around. Roosevelt, Ayefele or Pistorious could have reclined in defeat in a wheel chair begging for alms as most people in that condition do, but they choose to re-write their stories with sheer determination.
I have said it many times, I am not a university graduate, neither did I ever attend any secondary school; being a graduate of the school of adversity changed the trajectory of my life. You too can be a success. Use that your stumbling block as a stepping stone, like inventor, Lious-Braille, Steve Wonder and Ray Charles, are two American blind singers who made music for the world.
It may interest you to know that I am physically challenged. I have breathing problems and chronic insomnia,etc. Since I can hardly sleep at night, I use my waking hour to meditate, pray, and write my articles and books that have made me famous. A crisis, be it marital, health, financial, loss of a spouse, child, job, whatever it is, can be an inspiration to soar to greater heights.
One of the Bible stories that fascinates me is the narrative about the serpents that bit the Israelites in the wilderness because of their disobedience. To obtain their healings, God told them to look at a brass serpent hung on a tree. They did and got their healings. I understand that the serum used to cure snake bite includes elements of the serpent’s poison.
I thought Lionel Messi was too small to be a good footballer. Wrong! The pint-size man from Argentina is one of the deadliest strikers of all time. He is the consummate match winner and a delight to watch. We have seen little men like that become giants or larger- than life. Napoleon Bonaparte, Diego Maradona, are some small folks who turned out to be giants in their generation.
J.K. Roeling wrote the popular Harry Porter series when she became widowed, just to make ends meet. Charles Dicksons was a poverty-stricken kid who roamed the Liverpool dockyards in search of work when he tried his hands at literature. His chassis, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Heartbreak House, a Christmas carol, the Pickwick paper, are still being read today. You don’t allow tragedy to hold you down. The Bible version of HENDOKU IYAKU is the overcomers’s spirit. You can overcome because Jesus overcomes.
Personally, I don’t mourn fate. I try to ride out of my storms and move on. I know that no adverse circumstance is easy to overcome. Yet, we all have both the capability and capcity to turn things around when we are at any type of disadvantage. That’s the logic of HENDOKU IYAKU.
Weekend Spice: A man is no fool who give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose-Larry Burkett.
Ok folks, thanks for being with you. Stay motivated.
•Ladi Ayodeji is an author, rights activist, pastor and life coach. He can be reached on 09059243004 (SMS & Whatsapp only)