• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Between enjoying your life and self-preservation, act wisely

Between enjoying your life and self-preservation, act wisely

Joe had a very disadvantaged background. He grew up in a village somewhere in Southern Nigeria where subsistence farming was the main occupation of the villagers including his family. Yams, cocoyam, and cassava were the main crops grown and all the meals consumed revolved around these three crops.

There was nothing fancy about the preparation, nothing like Yam fritatas or chips, or strips of air-fried cocoyam chips with sautéed vegetables and snail sauce. The food was just plain pounded yam or cocoyam, or fermented cassava (akpu) served with whatever fresh vegetables were picked from the farm that day. Mealtimes were boring but there was really nothing else to eat. Poverty clung to the village like stubborn chewing gum clings to slippers.

The great thing about Joe was that he was an intelligent boy who loved school. His parents wanted a better life for their children, so Joe and his siblings attended the free missionary primary school in the village, then went straight from school to join their parents in the farm thereafter. This did not stop them from excelling in class, as their parents spared them time to study and get their homework done daily.

Despite their lack, Joe’s family had a great attitude about life, and it was so easy to like them. This attitude got Joe noticed by the head teacher who knowing his disadvantaged background, made sure that Joe studied hard to get an all-expense paid scholarship to the university. For the first time in his life Joe went to the city and saw enjoyment.

“Omo!!! So, there is more to this life than eating yam, cocoyam, or akpu. What a wawu!” he thought to himself. Then he discovered hot chocolate, and milk, and eggs, and hot soft fluffy bread, and noodles, and soda, and then different variants of alcohol. He particularly liked suya especially the fatty parts that were mixed with the meat, eating this with chilled beer was something else. And snacking on biscuits while studying seemed to accelerate understanding.
He had suffered too much in this life, like so all this time his mates had been eating all these niceties and he had literally been swallowing ‘swallows’ to save his life. He had a lot of catching up to do.

Fortune seemed to keep smiling on Joe and he was headhunted and snagged up by a global organisation even before he graduated from the university. The enjoyment was just increasing because the money was rolling in and Friday nights became ‘mad’.

Joe and his friends enjoyed ‘cancelling’ many bottles of the choicest brandy, with the highest drinker winning a prize. Joe was balling and life was so good, until that Friday night when Joe passed out at the club.

The next time he knew himself, he was in a hospital room with different types of tubes and pipes connecting him to a machine with his best friend Kunle seated by his bedside.

Read also: The japa phenomenon

“Guy, abeg no play this kain rough play with us again oh. You’ve been out for almost 2 weeks and your parents have almost died because of this your enjoyment”, Kunle told him. He later found out that because of his unhealthy lifestyle in the name of enjoyment, the blood vessels supplying his heart with blood were almost blocked, his liver was damaged, and his kidneys had almost acutely packed up.

Joe had no idea that his attempts to compensate for his disadvantaged past by enjoyment would get him almost killed. Here he was, barely 30 years old at the top of his career with great future prospects. He was finally in a position to assist his family escape poverty and he’d almost personally dug his grave prematurely with misunderstood enjoyment.

Luckily, the damage that was done to his body was still reversible and Joe reinvented his concept of enjoyment to exclude self-harming practices and include eating fresh natural foods (hmmm, like they did in the village), exercise, and drinking only water. He intended to live long, and he knew his life was in his own hands.

Let’s learn from Joe today and save our own lives. Redefine enjoyment and take responsibility for your own wellness. Cheers.