• Monday, March 04, 2024
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A brand New Year: 2014


There is a saying in my place that “You never know who will bury you”. The priest in my church, Holy Trinity church Maitama, Rev. Fr Majid was on the rostrum delivering the day’s homily. “How is your year going to be?” he thundered. “Why would you not let another person rise? Why do you refuse to help those who are not your children even if you had the means? Father Majid was at his best. “You never know who will bury you, why can’t you look after that house girl? It’s all about you, yourself and your family. If you discover someone with a talent, who is better than you, you try to exterminate them, bury them alive. Nigeria can change if we change our greedy and wicked attitude”.

It was a humbling early in the year admonition. You could hear a pin drop. But it pretty much set the tone for 2014 for parishioners.

How have you set up your year?

Let us look at some unusual New Year resolutions.

Are you cantankerous by nature? Quarrelsome even if the issues require no altercation. Are you known to be the woman/man everyone needs to avoid? No matter your challenges, don’t become predictable. Tarry a while. Are you known as that quarrelsome man/woman? It’s time to change your character and surprise the world and yourself. Let the smile return to your face, let people be pleasantly surprised. Count to 10 before you lose it. It’s a brand new year.

“All the kings’ men and all the king’s horses couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

Humpty Dumpty was a children’s rhyme we all might have recited in our lifetimes. The deeper meaning is that Humpty Dumpty was proud and arrogant and when he fell, he was irreparable. The outfit does not a monk make, but in Nigeria, people wear their executive positions like a cloak. They strut and trot along like well-fed horses, they are impatient and dismissive. In this period, they do not know their foot soldiers and when the time for a fall comes all the king’s men and all the king’s horses would be unable to put Humpty together again. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Ask God this year if you are a chief executive to give you the gift of humility, kindness and empathy.

How do you relate with your children? Are you always in a hurry in and out of the house? Do you know them or are you breeding monsters? By the time you retire, your children are strangers and you cannot begin to cultivate them. By this time clearly, you have lost them. So in this brand new year, my advice is know your children well and spend time with them, like the good books say, don’t drive them to distraction.

In consonance with (3) all young persons must honour their parents. From my own faith it says “Honour your father and mother so that your days will be long”. These days’ children youth are so disrespectful of elders including their parents that it boggles the mind. What does it take to greet? What does it take to be polite? Why have you not visited your parents in the last four years? Then when they die, you spend money building a two bedroom flat and throw a party when they could not manage two meals a day. Its 2014, get ready to visit your parents, their needs are very few. They need love, company and community. Visits…love them before they pass so that your days will be long. And oh, by the way, their happiness ought to reflect on you. It should make you happy.

Be kind to the disabled. Don’t shun a blind man, don’t dismiss the deaf. This year resolve to be less impatient with the physically challenged. Don’t be in a hurry to think you are a sighted person. By the end of your life, you do not know how your eyes will be. Be patient. Be more patient.

Improve yourself. Its 2014 go and get that degree you promised yourself two years ago. Find a scholarship, save some money; strategize, do it for you. Start small. Get into a two weeks training on something that will enliven you. Knowledge always liberates, enhances and separates you from others. And the joy from just getting new knowledge is immeasurable.

Feed the poor in 2014. Make it a way of life. Don’t say I have nothing. You are better than someone. Mother Theresa told an incredible tale of a woman whom she gave a bowl of rice, a Christian, who was very poor and who went across the road to share the little rice with her Moslem neighbours. Feed the poor, it makes you richer and you feel blessed. Do it without thinking of a reward.

Dress better this year. You will be addressed by the way you are dressed.

Pray for someone you don’t know

Read more. Read a lot, feed your soul.

Happy New Year!

By: Eugenia Abu