Despise not the inglorious days!

“When a man takes a mistress, he does not turn around to divorce his wife.’’ Unknown. I never had time to think deeply about the saying above until I ran into a childhood friend some weeks back.

This fellow came from a very humble background (we all have that in common), he suffered quite a lot of deprivations as a young boy, but eventually, fortune smiled on him.He was a very determined and hardworking fellow. When I enquired about his folks and friends (back then), I sensed his discomfort, so I decided to shoot straight.That is, I asked if he‘s been visiting his folks back in the village. I had already been told he wouldn’t touch them with a 10-foot pole.He confessed he never goes there himself, but sends messages across due to the unpleasant memories the place holds for him. He claimed he doesn’t want any reminders of his unpleasant childhood.

I sincerely felt for him but I also made it clear that he is yet to deal with his demons. And the solution lies not in running away from the reminders of the past, how far can one really run?The solution lies in facing them, making peace with that phase of one’s life and moving on. Some of us tend to forget our humble beginnings and will do anything to wish them away when fortune smiles on us. That‘s sad.How would you know where you are going if you continue to live in denial of where you are coming from?I believe that the days of humble beginnings serve as a reminder that “no problem lasts forever,”every problem or setback eventually passes and the fact that you sailed through it all is a testimony and nothing to be ashamed of.

The memories should actually make one feel more like a hero. It is only a hero that goes to the battlefield, fights his battles and takes his trophy home.Why do we make the mistake of divorcing our true stories to conform to someone else’s perception of ‘what should be, and acceptable’ in certain settings?

I keep telling people that any circle of friendship that is not willing to respect where you are coming from isn’t worth it.Even the Bible admonishes that we should not despise the days of little beginnings-this to me means your days of shame, poverty, unpleasant past, days when you weren’t what you are now, days of ignorance etc.

Those are what I termed ‘inglorious days’, so just because fortune smiled on you does not mean you should severe your bond with memories of the ‘inglorious days’.Walking down that memory lane once in a while actually helps to pilot your future actions and it’s usually for the better. It also enables you appreciate those who might be in the same shoes that you once found yourself in and may move you to help make the needed difference. Afterall, you already know where that shoe pinches.

I have never ceased to ask myself “what will make me despise the very humble background that I come from, or deny the actors in that setting?”
Of course, one meets people from ‘more ideal backgrounds’ and will naturally wish things were different because the products from such backgrounds turned out so well. Yet, I give thanks when I think back to where I am coming from, one was able to go several steps further than those that brought her into the world but in all, they are still my heroes. The basic understanding of life that I have came from them, and the numerous lessons about life which I have learnt from them cannot be quantified by any amount of money in any currency in the world.

Those are gifts that I cannot trade for anything in life. Even the ‘not so ideal’ circumstances have made me stronger and more determined to succeed against all odds.So, if your own dad’s name can’t open doors, no law says it’s a crime for your own name to open doors (for your subsequent generations), you only need to be determined enough to make it happen.

The key or solution lies not in despising your ‘inglorious days’. You should strive to get to a point where you look back and give thanks for those days.To me, that’s when you can truly say you have overcome.It’s not by running away from realities of the past/keeping friends from that distant memory at arm’s length. You were able to jump that hurdle and successfully too.To me, that’s the most important thing and you should not hesitate to tell people your story, it can give someone out there hope and that’s a huge blessing…if you ask me.

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Chukwuneta Oby
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