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Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Power in Just Being

In the last 3 millenia*, the human race still astounds archaeologists. We hear about the 7 wonders of the world, but they don't do a song and dance about the mundane lives they discover.

A popular joke to translators of dead languages is when a 'foreigner' discovers a tablet with ancient writing on it and find that it is a shopping list, an accounting entry, or (my favorite) a letter from a father to his son to face his studies. Sounds odd? Is it even possible? Well, this is true. It was a short entry I read in a book on cryptology in Ikom, Cross River in 2004/2005.

We often attribute the greatest value to the spectacular, the fascinating, but we forget the 'common and tedious' under-layer. Dismiss it, even.

For every great castle, there is an even greater foundation. That goes for houses, buildings, skyscrapers, industries, media, governments, nations, countries, companies, and the very means by which you're reading this now.

A joke that plays in my head (a lot of things humour me, I've heard and seen it offer a better quality of life) is tv series 'Spartacus'.

A tragedy window-dressed with sweaty and athletic men, beautiful slave-girls, lusty dominuses and dominas. And the swearing was comical.

But the truth is they were not as attractive, the sex was more or less like it is now, & the tragedy of Spartacus was more grave than spectacular.

The truth of the stories of Spartacus, Nat King(black american slave who pulled off a Spartacus), Toussaint L'Overture (his led to the independence of Haiti) the foundation couldn't take the weight from the top anymore. Abuse offends nature and natural order.

The slaves were the foundation of their empires, and literally supported the lavish life-styles of the 'ogas at the top'.

I wanted to save these thoughts for May 1st, but I decided that, like mothers' day, it is an everyday reality offered a 'token' of recognition, not a seat of honour or a means of recompense.

You work. I work. Bosses work. Your president works. Your government works. It is the quality of this work that determines the quality of life for all connected.

Your work is mundane, tedious, maybe even dangerous...but it is a foundation for great displays that will never be honoured fully. Like teachers, our reward is in the next generation, not just the next life. (Generations even as the 6,000 year-old canoe found in Northern Nigeria proves someone fished there to provide for himself/his family/community. It's design still astounds me because it was so ahead of it's time, but that's for another post...maybe)

So just being who you are* (I also mean being who you have to be) is powerful. You don't need a motorcade or an 'honourable' title to feel good about that.

Just 'be'.

*I am in no way advocating none of the following:
Lack of self-development
Absence of a sense of responsibility
Aggressive stupidity
Public displays of insanity
The use of lies to make the truth more 'bearable'
A disproportionate sense of self-importance
Sex with cooks, drivers, security men/women or other people in your employ.
It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well -- Rene Descartes

1 comment:

  1. I agree to some extent, however I want to quickly add that there's more to it. But the strongest power is that it help you to live a fulfilled life though you will still be constant due to other life challenges.