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Transcending Ties

By Debbie Ogunjobi
The ties that bind are those of extreme emotion founded on some forms of relationships and experiences; these ties are mostly based on love and sometimes hate. They tend to outlive their founders and as such become transcending. 

To gain a comprehensive picture of these ties, it’s best to understand the notion of transcendence as a phenomenon. The best way to grasp the nature of it is to broaden one’s mind to accept its universality and even immortality.

The most common definition is that of a condition or state of being that surpasses physical existence and in one form is also independent of it. In almost all the major religions the Divine is the one transcendental force that is both within and beyond the universe; its very foundation is a core of emotion/faith that continuously perpetuates its existence and longevity.

In the same manner love and hate are transcendental forces that are within and beyond their immediate environment and there is no better synopsis than the one I witnessed in this past week.

I once knew a man who was a natural leader; he was blessed with an easy smile and you always left him feeling as if you were his best friend. He was an associate of a friend of mine and over many years he became a big brother of sort to me and a lot of people. When he developed a terminal illness a few years back and eventually lost his battle with cancer, everyone was devastated.

He was eulogized by one and all and his absence was immediately felt. During and after the burial proceedings, a lot of emotions were expended and as is norm in this part of the world, accusations flew right and left as per the supernatural causes of his death and of course those responsible.

I had blamed the grief for most of the emotions and hoped time would do its normal magic but a few years have rolled by since the demise of the great man and what has transcended so far is venom. The wonderful man who in his life time was a unifying factor has now been turned into a dividing factor.

Love is a most peculiar emotion as it colors the world in so many shades one can literarily lose sight of the big picture. Love is the excuse for hate and venom and I wonder when exactly the gloves of friendship, family and respect get yanked off.

I sat down with a very dear friend of mine this week and while I listened to his version of events, that had led to court cases in different countries, petitions, name callings and financial stagnation and even death threats,

I had to ask some difficult questions I hope and pray will kick start the healing process one person at a time.

The first was to ask if he remembered the good old days when the business that is now the bone of contention started and that was all it took to bring back the very fond and fun memories when three young and energetic men decided to start a business together with not much else than a few ideas and very little money. I was a part of some of the memories so it was quite fun to relive the good old days.

In that frame of mind I gently asked if the deceased had ever betrayed that friendship in any way and the protestations of his integrity and kindness were automatic. I heard accounts of generosity that was almost extreme; he had showered his friends and family so with much material things and love that everyone somehow had developed a sense of entitlement to him and his.

I can’t in anyway ascribe perfection to any man dead or living but he had been close, so my last question should not have come as a surprise. So when did he stop being your friend?

This drew an almost angry response as he had never stopped being my friend’s very good friend and at this I had asked him to pause and see if any of the warring parties could be considered friends? .. What kind of friend goes to war to cause collateral damage for the sake of a bruised ego? What kind of friend moves in for the kill to destroy what took years to build? What kind of friend forgets the family you left behind when death strikes a mortal blow?

Friendship is founded on love and it should transcend death. The actions that other people outside of that friendship should have no bearing on the way and manner we preserve that tie. Dead friends cannot be punished for the actions taken by other misguided associates and even grieving families.

Friendship is a commitment; it grows over time and lives through time by the concerted efforts of those who call themselves friends. A friend covers your nakedness, whether you are dead or infirmed.

Unlike marriage, there is no till death do us part, rather Jesus said it best; he called his disciples friends and he goes on to seal that with these timeless words “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”.

To the warring factions, I will beseech all to sheath their swords, the friend and family you lost deserves better and you all owe him a lot in more ways than one; more importantly, he would have had your backs if the positions were reversed. For the sake of a great man, let only love transcend.


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