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Saturday, October 31, 2015

PUT YOU DOWN



  I don’t mean that physically. Of course I can’t do that because I never carried you up. I don’t know if you’ve ever met people who specialize in this, especially if they are friends. What then do I mean by put you down?
  Ijeoma had just got into the university. She meets another girl called Rose and they became fast friends. Everywhere Rose went, Ijeoma was never far away. They started having the same friends both guys and girls. Rose was always the life of the party. Ijeoma was the quiet seldom speaking friend. They decided to stay off- campus together. If Ijeoma’s friends came to the room, Rose always won them over. Soon, they’d come to the room to look for Rose, not Ijeoma. You would think, Rose must really be an awesome person and there must be something wrong with Ijeoma. What no one knew was that Rose was feeding on Ijeoma’s confidence. She’d broken her down so much that Ijeoma felt second place and that Rose was better. Rose could never be friends with someone like her or as popular as she was with people, she preferred people that she could put below her. You can liken it to the queen Bees we see in high school movies. If rose and Ijeoma have a quarrel, Rose puts the blame on Ijeoma and tells everyone that cares to listen that it was Ijeoma’s fault. Who do you think they’ll believe the popular girl they all love or the mousey friend that doesn’t talk and follows her around?
  You are still confused how Ijeoma was broken. Anytime she cooked, Rose would complain that’ no this doesn’t taste nice, let me show you how to do it. ‘
  Very soon Ijeoma believed she was a bad cook and Rose was better. She stopped cooking altogether, so no one ever tasted Ijeoma’s cooking when they visited. Ijeoma would dress up and Rose would tell her, ‘
Don’t wear that, your tummy is big or your hips are too big than accepted, your thighs are getting fat work on it, look at the way mine are.’  Sometimes Rose would even tell her;
What you are putting on is not good, it doesn’t fit you. Don’t wear that colour wear this. You have no dress sense, listen to me.’
‘Your face is too long, your eyes are too wide, it should be like mine. You shouldn’t have said that to Seun, you just don’t know how to talk to people. Leave me let me do the talking. That idea of yours is stupid, it won’t work I know believe me, someone close to me tried it before.’
  It went on and on. Ijeoma began to believe there was something wrong with her and Rose was perfect and better.  Ijeoma soon began to believe that she was privileged that Rose chose her out of everyone else to be her friend and confidant. The friendship was now a privilege on one side.  She couldn’t believe her luck to have someone so perfect that everyone likes as a friend. You are asking why she believed Rose. Well, isn’t it said that friends will always tell you the truth? To Ijeoma, Rose was her friend and would never lie to her. Ijeoma’s self confidence was shattered without her knowledge. She had no idea. She never did anything without putting it by Rose; Rose would never lie to her and was her best friend. You as an innocent bystander would see this too girls walking down the street and guess whose beauty and figure you would marvel at? You guessed right, Ijeoma. But Ijeoma never saw this. The signs were there all along but she never believed anyone but Rose. She turned a blind eye to everything until she travelled and lived temporarily with other girls. They all loved Ijeoma. They begged her to cook every time, even to teach them how to cook the way she did. They admired her figure and told her openly. She never believed them and was shocked that they loved her food, it was a battle within before she realised she could cook. You may think she learnt the cooking from Rose but these same girls have tasted Rose’s cooking and they tell Ijeoma that she is better. Slowly, the scales began to drop. Her confidence began to build. Do you think she realized what Rose had done and would keep Rose in her place? Such a structure takes effort to break. Even after the entire realisation, she’s still back with Rose and going through the putting down again.
  I hope you understand a little now what I mean by putting down in my own way. If you now try to look into the psychology of people who put others down, you’d find out that their confidence is suffering a worst blow than yours maybe from their family or a loved one they’ve been trying to please ,so they try to feel important and better by doing same to others. 
  I am not saying that if you are putting your leg into fire and a friend tells you that the person is putting you down. You can always tell who such people are. They know you look better, think better but they can’t have you knowing that. Believe me; you don’t need such people as friends because you will never amount to nothing. They will kill every idea and plan you have by painting it as rubbish even if they know it will make you bigger. Friends should see you as an equal. You bring something into the friendship and so do they. They should be the one to highlight your best qualities to you and to others. They should encourage you and help you attain your goals maybe by their support or insight. Beware of users that would use you to advance themselves and pull you down and make you feel inferior. It is true, where you are headed to can only be made or marred by the kind of friends you keep around you. They help you form an important assessment of yourself. Their impression of you builds an image in your mind that stays there for a long time. If you have the kind of friend Ijeoma has, you should let them go. Why do you think parents are particular about the kind of friends their children keep? Birds of a feather flock together, so look for your kind. No one is perfect, yes but you deserve friends that appreciate you and not depreciate you. The elders always say, ‘show me your friend and I will tell you who you are.’
  It just doesn't happen between mutual friends, It could be in a work environment, a marriage or an intimate relationship, they are everywhere amongst us. They're usually the chatty, supposedly good looking and have it together people. Just take your time and observe your environment, you might notice one or even that you are one. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

NO BRA DAY

  I woke up Tuesday morning, as I’m sure everyone does even before they hit the shower and after they pray (for those who do), I reached for my phone. Everywhere on Social media I was greeted with pictures and talks of it being a ‘NO BRA DAY’.
  It got me thinking. I understand the motive behind the day; to create awareness for breast cancer. What I kept thinking about, ok one of my many thoughts was ‘How does not putting on a bra help breast cancer?’
  Let’s look at this, I’m a dude, I see a lady with no bra on, will I think of breast cancer? Even a lady that sees another with no bra on won’t think of cancer. Some people on social media turned it into a sex game, some took pictures of themselves without their brassieres on and put it up as their profile pictures, some people turned it into a joke on breasts, shapes and sizes etc. Don’t all these defeat the purpose of this day?
  I’m supposed to go around braless reminding women who’ve had their breasts cut off due to breast cancer that they can’t do what I’m doing anymore?
  God forbid you lose a family member to breast cancer but if you have, this no bra day would seem stupid to you. How would this have helped prevent your family member from death?
  Cancer has no cure. For years millions and billions have gone into research for it. More money is still needed as the search for a cure continues. Yes you detect early, it gets taken out, you still have a high risk of it coming back.
  Ok, let me stop beating around the bush. I commend the efforts of whoever started the no bra day but has it helped create funds for research? Has it helped a breast cancer patient pay for treatment? It’s really expensive, believe me. Go into rural areas and see women with breast cancers and no money to pay for it.
  Ok, back to my questions; if you pass a local akara seller on the street with no bra on, will she understand the purpose? If you do it in a village, will they? If you do it, would it prevent that woman with early symptoms that’s running from one church to the other singing her enemies are after her from doing so and knowing what she has?
  It’s just me pondering in my mind as usual, instead of an ineffective and bastardised ‘No bra day’ in the name of breast cancer (Like we’d ask men to go without pants in the name of prostate cancer) why doesn’t it become ‘Donate to breast cancer day’. It’s clear what the purpose is for. It’s clear that it’s not for fun. It is for cancer.
  How do we get the money? There are charities dealing with breast cancer patients and research in every country round the world. Men and women can donate to these charities to help people in their communities. It can even be an online portal and you can donate through there. A dollar, just a dollar from people the world over will and can help with breast cancer research, help pay for a poor patient’s treatment, help with funds for seminars, ads, bills etc that can create awareness. Even if you can’t donate a farthing, be you man or woman, there are women around you, talk to one about breast cancer; it could be your colleague at work, the woman you buy food from at that buka around the corner or something. That way awareness is really created in the true sense of it.
  That’s what I think it should be ‘DONATE FOR BREAST CANCER DAY and not a no bra day. Cancer is real, prevention is great but we need to create awareness better and help with funds for the cure, which should be the goal, the cure. There are many talented researchers round the world, working day and night with practically no funding, searching for a cure.

  Ok, I end my pondering on the ‘NO BRA DAY’ here. Do tell someone about breast cancer, you don’t have to wait for a day when women walk around with nipples pointed through their outfits. Ok, I’m out for real this time. Cheers!

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Friday, October 9, 2015

DO YOU LOVE YOU?


  I was discussing with a friend during the week and she asked a question ‘How do you love others without hurting yourself?.’ It got me thinking a lot. I know the general rule is that ‘Love is Blind’ and ‘Love hurts’. Well, that’s the general rule, not mine. My own rules and observations in my short existence in the world of humans are that;
1)   Love is not blind. It sees the good, the bad and the ugly of the person receiving the love. Love doesn’t deceive you or pull wool over your eyes until you hit your head on a wall or stumble and fall. It’s humans that are blind. They refuse to look and face the glaring truth before they disappoint themselves and burst whatever bubble of illusion they’ve crawled into. Like any human can be perfect enough not to have flaws or koro, so tey you didn’t see it until one morning.
2)   Love doesn’t hurt. It is humans that do the hurting. Please do not blame Love for your pain. God is Love. It’s that human you decided to give love to that didn’t live up to your expectations of them.

  I have observed that in order to love another without hurting yourself you need to love you first. What I’m saying might sound confusing but it’s my observation. Let me explain further.
   A lot of people search for love all their lives. They’re not happy being alone. They have insecurities about themselves and think that finding someone to love them would fill that void they feel. That someone loving them would make them complete and that insecurity and imperfection wouldn’t matter anymore. You see that’s where the problem starts. They become needy and depend solely on this other being for the love that they need. Unluckily for them if they fall into the hands of the wrong person, expecting this person to give them love, the person takes advantage. This love searcher desperate to cling on to the love that they feel this other person is giving puts up with all sorts of bad behaviour. They keep thinking it’s their fault that this person doesn’t love them right, maybe if they lost some weight, changed their dressing, became a Martha Stewart, Tore the bed sheets in crazy sex styles and all sorts that the love will keep coming in from this person and they’d go to any length not to lose this person. In the end, they’re broken, unhappy or their self confidence and worth disappears.
  If you do love yourself first, your loving another human being would be just extra serving. You’d be doing it because you choose to and want to and not because you NEED to. Even if this other being you choose to love behaves in a manner that you do not accept, you tell them and if they keep doing it, you being around doesn’t mean you don’t love you. It will get to a point when you’ll know you’ve had enough and then you go ‘Me or You?’ and you chose the right person. You won’t give up your self respect and confidence for and to them. You stay you. You accept and love yourself with your imperfections and don’t need another being to make you feel complete. You’re complete alone. You understand that if A can’t love me the way I want, I don’t need to kill myself to make A, all I have to do is let A go, B will come along .
  Of these two groups where do you think the Baby mamas (the ones who born and keep reproducing and hanging around the same man), men and women with abusive partners, etc fall into?
  I hope my friend is reading this and this answers her question. If you love you (I don’t mean being a selfish jerk) you won’t let yourself be disrespected and get hurt. You’ll know when you’ve had enough of the lies and etc. You put you and your peace of mind, safety and self respect first. It’s that simple.
  The key I’ve observed is to learn to love you and accept yourself with all your perfections and imperfections, (both physical and otherwise) and keep working on you. If you don’t love you why should another human do it? If you feel no human loves you, God does and He’s not even human but the creator of humans.
Do you love you?


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