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Reality of Youth in Nigeria

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“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Life is becoming increasingly difficult for youths in this country. For them to be able to distinguish themselves, they have to be athletes, entertainers and wedding vendors. These are the platforms in which they are currently being heard. A reason  most of our  young graduates are lost is because academic excellence isn’t recognized anymore.

From childhood they are made to work so hard to make good grades, they have such high hopes for the future. Eventually they head to the Universities, a lot of students work hard, study till day break, go to night class and in the end graduate with good grades. Everyone is so happy, family and friends celebrate the graduation. They still maintain the high hopes that the future is indeed bright.

After the National…

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Do not take without asking

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“To respect someone means to treat their ideas, personal space, belongings, and needs as equal importance to your own, while to honor someone means to treat all those things as more important than your own.” ~ Sarah Arthur

My friend got a call, her voice kept rising in a bid to explain and make the person at the other end of line see reason. I heard snatches of the conversation. She was speaking with her course mate/friend, they are university students.

After the call ended, she told me that this lady she just spoke with called Jane (not real name) is annoyed because a mutual friend of theirs is complaining that Jane poured out some of her brown powder, foundation and primer without telling her.

She went ahead to explain to me that this mutual friend of theirs Jessica (not real name) saved money for a long time and deprived herself of things just to be able to buy these expensive cosmetics, the most annoying part is that Jane can easily afford those things,  after all she has been ordering for clothes and human hair and also Jane is very protective of her belongings and complains a lot when people take something that belongs to her without telling her.

I won’t be surprised if Jessica starts hiding her things from Jane. Everybody isn’t the same, you can take something that belongs to  ‘A’ and he/she might overlook it, on the other hand you can take something that belongs to ‘B’ and he/she would get very angry. To be on the safe side it is best to ask the owner before taking. Taking without asking breeds animosity and mistrust.

To the person who takes without asking, it portrays you as selfish, insensitive and unkind. The person got that stuff with his/her money, probably a lot of money so why don’t you show respect and ask for permission before taking or using. More so, it is very unfair if you are very protective of your belongings but have a habit of helping yourself to people’s things.

If your things are being taken without permission, these steps are necessary:

Confront the person: you have to tell the person that you don’t like your things being taken without your permission. He/she might even apologise and promise not to do it again.

Hide your important things: this may sound funny, but what are you going to do when the person doesn’t listen and continues using your stuff without telling you or taking them when you are not around. Unless you are going to find a dog to guard your stuff, install a camera or even find a way to gauge or weigh if your favourite conditioner was used without your permission. Anyway find a place you can remember and hide those things. This way you can avoid some really ugly fights.

Being a confident speaker

 

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“Believe in yourself; have faith in your abilities, without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy” ~ Norman Vincent Peale.

I have heard people say things like I cant speak in public, I cant hold an intelligent discussion, I am usually mute when I find myself in a group, I don’t know what to say because I feel I shall be laughed at. So you simply prefer silence because its safer for you.

do you find yourself in this category. when you have a presentation to make, you become too jittery and can’t seem to relax. Does it mean that you have already seen yourself as not smart enough.

Being confident is something that comes from inside you. You have to change your mindset, see yourself as someone who can make things happen. You tell yourself that the next person isn’t better than you, if this person can make a beautiful presentation or hold a discussion in a group then I can.

This starts with accepting yourself the way you are, be confident in however way you are, accept your flaws, your mistakes. It doesn’t even matter if you are dark, fair, short, tall, bow legs, rat chopped hair, fat, slim. When you accept yourself that way, people are going to look beyond that and see the inner you, the stuff you are made of and how smart you are, they would want to listen to you when you talk and believe me when people begin to show interest, you confidence builds up and you talk more.

Before you join that discussion or say something, evaluate what you want to say, go through it in your mind and when you believe its okay and sensible, say it, don’t just keep quiet when you have something good to say. Everyone mustn’t agree with what you have said, but the point is that you have contributed.

With time people around you will begin to appreciate you which in turn will build your confidence and you will find yourself engaging in brilliant and high powered conversations.

 

 

Don’t let the moment pass

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Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it, ~ Ferris

Do you know that you can be with someone today, and tomorrow he/she is gone forever? . So why can’t we make the best of that time. There are instances where a sick person or an elderly person requests to see someone close and the person couldn’t come because he/she was busy with one thing or the other.  When the sick or elderly person dies, this  person starts wishing he/she can turn back the hand of clock. 

We can also stop being close to someone or cut off from the person’s life because we let the moment pass without doing or saying what should have been done or said. You can be at logger head with someone and the right thing to do at that moment is to let it go or acknowledge your fault and say I am sorry,  even if you are not at fault but an opportunity presented itself for you to make things right with that person but you let the moment pass.

A moment can extend to days, weeks and even years and then we find out that it is too late to make up. With time the words you should have said looses it’s value.

You haven’t let your family and friends know how much you love them, now is the right time to say I love you and let them know how wonderful they are.

Someone does a huge favor for you and you just couldn’t say thank you. Most people want to hear thank you when they do someone a favor and if you want that person to still do things for you,  then you have to say thank you. Once that person decides to stop doing you a favor, trying to change the person’ s mind might be too late .

I am going to borrow some lines from the character Louis Litt in the tv series Suits. He said “Don’t let the people you love walk by you without letting them know how you feel about them. Because life slips by and it’s over” .

Don’t let the moment pass without letting them know how much they mean to you.



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Be thankful for the little gifts of life

IMG_20150817_084542“The most significant gifts are the ones most easily overlooked. Small, everyday blessings; Health, music, laughter, memories, books, family, friends, second chances and all the foot prints scattered throughout our days”~Sue Monk Kidd

Everyday we breathe is a blessing, the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breath, maybe we cheated death, or we had an opportunity to make it right with a loved one we fell out with, these are all blessings.

Let me illustrate with a personal experience. On the 12th of last December,  I had a terrible accident. The bike I was on got hit by an on coming vehicle due to the fact that the refuse dump on the side of the road was being burnt for whatever reason and the road was covered with smoke, it was also raining a little bit, so we couldn’t see anything on the road. The man riding the bike died on the spot and I survived with wounds which has left little scars on my body, none of my bones were broken, which is a complete miracle. Till this day am still shocked by that accident, I still ask my self why God saved my life because people who were at the scene of that accident marvelled at the fact that I survived.

After that accident, I started appreciating life and the little things of life which I overlooked before. I became appreciative of God’s grace upon my life, the love of my family and friends. God gave me a second chance.

You have to put down for a moment your personal baggage of problems, your past and just live life, enjoy the laughter of people around you, cherish the good memories, listen to music, enjoy watching the birds sing, do the good things that makes you happy.

I have learnt a lesson and that is not to take each day for granted.

Dealing with disappointments

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“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles, by the ears,  by the heels or any other way you can manage it”. ~Mark Twain

Disappointments can lend a blow to our self esteem and make us ask a lot of questions. Why me?, why now?, what did I do wrong?, may be if I had done things differently then everything would have turned out fine.

Disappointments can take different forms,  our spouses did something unimaginable to us, our friends weren’t there for us when we needed them most, our job application got rejected. To mention but a few.

I actually cried for two days after I learnt that I didn’t get a particular job I really wanted. You know why I was so hurt?, it’s because I placed all my hope on that job, my expectations were very high. Am going to tell you how I have learnt to deal with disappointments.

  • To deal with disappointments we have to really accept that it happened, yes we are hurting so bad but we need to know that what happened has happened.
  • We tend to think too much when we are alone and are likely to keep brooding about it, what to do is try and spend some time with friends or family, talk about it with someone and let out your feelings. You are going to feel a lot better after that.
  • During the time I was crying about that job and refusing to accept the fact that I didn’t get it, do you know what someone said to me; he said, what if you got this job and died within months of doing this job, God has a way of doing things. Maybe he doesn’t want you to have this job because it is not for you. Stop crying and keep applying, one day he will give you your job. This advice actually applies to whatever disappointment we encounter,  try to look at it from a different perspective.
  • Think of the good things that have happened in your life and appreciate God for them, you know the saying that “if you appreciate God for what he’s been doing for you, he will do more”.

Don’t use people’s weaknesses against them

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“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead, don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend”.~Albert Camus

Have you ever been in a situation where you let your guard down and allow someone to know your weakness and the person turns around and uses that against you or have you used someone’s weakness against him/her?.

When people let you know their weaknesses , that means they trust you. They want you to understand them better, they are actually being confident that they can count on you to be there for them. You are not allowed to let other people know unless they have authorized you to.

Now,  going behind their backs  to fight them with their weaknesses is something I can’t even think of a suitable word for,  despicable might be close. It hasn’t made you a better person and with that kind of attitude you can’t grow.

This kind of situation can make people not to have trust in you. You can easily loose your friends that way and it deters you from growing in important aspects of life. 

Has life lost its purpose

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“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact”.-William James

There are days i wake up from sleep and I just wonder what am going to do with myself, i get so depressed because at that point in my life am not where I want to be. surely, am not the only one who feels this way sometimes.

As humans we always want things to go smoothly for us, no one wants to encounter a rough path. But do you know what makes us survivors?, it is the way we handle our situations by being positive. You can hardly see a successful person who didn’t go through some difficulties, they persevered and rode out the hard times believing that at the end they will get there and they eventually did by working towards it.

If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things, you don’t have enough goals. Keep calm, keep your head up and keep the faith because you are born to shine.