• Sunday, March 03, 2024
businessday logo


Waiting for better


In every man is the innate attribute for desiring better things from life. If you live in a one-bedroom apartment you desire a two bedroom, if you walk on foot you desire a car etc. We want the better life, and would do much within our capacity to get this life.

If you are like me who grew up in a downtown part of Lagos and had to get through with the rigors that characterized the harsh life of downtown Lagos, this story may be familiar. We walked bare foot anywhere we went with patched shorts. It was commonplace for boys then. Often, it was not a great sight and we felt shame we could not stand with our peers from well-to-do homes in the satellite town just a stone throw away. Dads would make promises and our spirits were often high up there anticipating that soonest our story would change.

When we discussed on the football field, we talked about promises our parents had made. We often began with the phrase “when my papa buy….” or “when my mama buy” in our local pidgin. We would bounce and mimic walk patterns believing that a new shoe and cloths were symbols of better status. But it often never came as soon as we would have wanted it. We had to wait so long.

If one of us was luckier and got his earlier than the rest, he was talk of the town amongst the children. In his new shoes and wears, he was higher animal and he would give the pose we had always practiced together. The rest of us would be infuriated and muse amongst ourselves the phrase “don’t mind him, now he is doing shakara.”Our believe increased that if one of us could get a new shoe and clothes from his parents, then we too would get ours soon. But we still had to wait.

Waiting for better could be a gruesome experience. You may query yourself over why the future event you are anticipating is not happening now. You have the posh car, the posh duplex, your beautiful kids, and your office beside the sea in your mental picture. Sometimes you might have undergone spiritual exercises like fasting and going for prayers to speed you up to the better life. Yet, in spite of all your struggles, the better life still stands on the waiting list.

It’s like a beautiful woman who expects her suitors to fit her requirements. Such women have to wait so long for the perfect man even when other suitors are trying to woo her. As she ages and discovers time isn’t beside her, she becomes frustrated and bitter and would accept any man that comes.

While we anticipate better things, we must learn to make do with what we have. Contentment is great gain. Nothing is wrong desiring better for its only when we desire that we get. However, having a desire does not mean we have to lose our heads over it. Though we have to push until something happens, we have to do it in the light of right.

Some persons could go any length to ensure they get a better quality life. Local movies could be horrifying watching scenes of betrayal and killings where a man could sacrifice his family for trivial short-term wealth because he desires the better life.

For the patiently striving and waiting, hope never fails. You may seem to wait so long but the measure of the length of your waiting compared to the benefits accrued after time has passed and the better life arrives is distances apart.

The school of thought that supports “the end justifying the means” has brainwashed our mentality into thinking we have to get all we want by all means. Well, you can afford to change your mentality by sticking to right means. What is gotten right always reproduces right. When you get the better life the right way, you can inspire others to follow your steps and you leave right thinking people footprints to follow.

The better life is no novelty. It’s what everyone should desire and have. You deserve a shift from mediocrity valley to champions mountain. You deserve something better than what you have but you have to prove you deserve it anyway.

Back to the childhood story. We often managed to get our new wears a few days to Christmas. Christmas was when we often got new wears and that would last us the year. It was always great sight when on 25th December; we would throng the streets all of us clad in our new sparkling and often unwashed wears proud that we could have a new look that increased our esteem. Though soon the cloths would wear because of continuous use and we would anticipate another new wear come December the next year, we still carried our head high that at least we could look something close to our peers the other part of town.

Attaining the better life provides us so much joy and happiness. It’s a life we don’t want to cut short. We want to live it for the rest of our life. It’s worth waiting for.

Don’t feel derisive about your future better life. It’s coming.