Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Growing Up Is...

Hello world,

My last blog post was on Monday the 12th of August 2013. Alot has happened but I have decided to start writing again. I will be back to my fiction and short stories but today, let me start with my ramblings so here goes:

Growing up is ridiculously hard work. Nothing and no one prepares you for how hard it is. The educational system is designed in a way that hard work merits rewards, usually in short periods of time with few other elements being measured. You go to class, listen to your teacher, do your homework, study for your exams and you get a grade usually tantamount to the efforts you put in and or your talents.

Your grade determines your position in class, which determines if you will move on to the next year. If you get good grades you are often praised by your teachers, peers and family, assuring you that your effort/talent alone will take you far in life.

This starts from how we are taught as kids in kindergarten. It is reinforced that good behaviour gets you sweets as a reward and misbehaving gets you punished, also with almost instant consequences for all actions. This is fair and just.

Adult life is anything but just. There are so many other factors that determines rewards in adult life. Money, family, friends, social class, relationships, level of education, determination, saviness, social skills, cunning and a great deal of luck.

There are books on how to be successful in life that explore most of the major factors. I am not a fan of self help books as I find them patronising. Offering generalized advice to a non-specific group of people seems redundant on its face. The few I have perused emphasize determination, hardwork, taking risks etc which are key components of success in any field.

I much prefer reading biographies which tell a person's success story from a very individual perspective. They often detail their rise as well as their falls including bumps in the road. But even these rarely assign the importance of luck in people's life.

Simply being in the right place at the right time has done more for creating success than most people would care to admit, or could even contemplate. Knowing the right person who can refer you for a role, or refer your company to a client is the cornerstone of building yourself or your business. The saying "Your network is your net-worth" doesn't take into consideration how much luck plays in meeting the people that make up your network.

Success in personal relationships more than any human endeavour is not based on the quality of a person's character. Too often we see genuinely beautiful people ending up with horrid friends, family and life partners. One's love, devotion, and commitment to another will not automatically be reciprocated even though they work as hard at the relationship as they possibly can.

Being African, most things have a religious explanation. Luck is often referred to as "finding favour" or "God blessing your hustle" while avoiding negativity that can "Pour sand sand in your garri".

This is not to take away from hard work and being a good person. They are traits that often bring a type of contentment that in itself can be a reward. But they do not impact on success as much as we are brought up to believe it does. You don't get what you deserve in life simply by following the prescribed path. That is why the hereafter exists in all religions. To keep you motivated that doing the right thing will yield the desired effects, if not now then maybe after you die.

Miss B

P.s- Thank you Omotee for pushing and pushing me until I wrote this. You are a true friend.


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