My Honest Thoughts About Life

By Emmanuel Ojeifo

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There are many incentives that drive people to live good lives. No matter who you are, you just cannot live your life anyhow. There are many people who will be terribly disappointed and perhaps shattered if they hear unbearable bad news about you. You have your parents, family, and friends to think about. They look up to you, and you wouldn’t want to disappoint them. This is not to say that you don’t have grey areas in your life. You do, but you try to work on them.

You also wouldn’t want to disappoint yourself. So you strive hard to be at your best. You become the blacksmith of your life, constantly hammering the metal of your personhood in the red hot fire until it comes out in the perfect shape you want it to be. But above all, there is God to whom each one of us will give an account of how we lived our lives. So you have God to fear over and above every human being. Even in those things that no one else may know, you will still be accountable to God because there’s nothing you can hide from him. God first. God last. God over all.

But frankly, try as much as you may, you still know that you just cannot please everybody. In fact, the secret of remaining perpetually unhappy in life is wanting to please everybody. There are people who just don’t like you, for no reason. No matter what you do, all they see are faults. When you use the gifts that God has given you, all that they think about is that you are just showing off. They keep searching for opportunities to rubbish you. Should you be bothered about that? Yes and No.

Yes, because you cannot just say it doesn’t concern you. Even when you say it doesn’t concern you, in your hearts of hearts, when you go into the silent chamber of your soul, in the quietness of your bedroom, you know it concerns you. You certainly feel bad. You ask yourself, “What have I done to him? Why is he just out to hurt me?” But again, you shouldn’t be bothered. If you were a nonentity then no one would talk about you. If someone devotes his life trying to focus on you, then it means there’s something about you that gives him sleepless nights. You don’t have to be sorry about that. It’s their problem, not yours. It’s the price you pay for trying to be the best version of yourself, the best person that God has created you to be. You don’t expect that everybody will be happy that you’re succeeding in God’s purpose for your life. That’s the truth.

But then humility and modesty are very important. My boss once told me the secret of his happiness. He said, “I am grateful when people acknowledge my gifts and the good things that I do. I know that it is simply God’s grace. So that keeps me humble. When people unjustly criticise me and try to hurt me, I try to remain calm and unruffled so that I don’t give them a reason to justify their negative impressions about me.”

I have learned that in this life you really journey alone. No matter the millions of people around you, your life’s journey is unique and different. You alone know it. No one can understand your life’s journey better than yourself and God. That’s where my anchor is. I try to journey with God. That is perhaps the reason why the opening hymn for the Divine Office of Thursday Week 2 is my best:

Alone with none but thee my God
I journey on my way.
What need I fear when thou art near
O King of night and day.
More safe am I within thy hand
Than if a host did round me stand.
Alone with none but thee my God
I journey on my way.

It is God’s verdict about me that really matters in the end, not the many distracting comments from people who just want to derail me. I try not to give in to their desire to make me unhappy. I know that it is to God that I will give an account of my life. So if you like me, I thank you. If you don’t like me and speak ill of me, well, thank you also. You give me a good reason to constantly improve myself. If you didn’t talk about me, I wouldn’t realise how important it is to strive to live above board.

A truly good friend of no less inimitable stature than Father Matthew Dajo recommended a timeless piece for me to read sometime ago. It is just a page, but reading it taught me infinite lessons about life. The title of the piece is “The penalty of leadership.” It’s set in 1917 and it’s about the Cadillac. Simply, the piece is about the price you pay for being at your best. I have included the piece in this post. Happy new month. God bless you my dear friends!

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