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“Big for nothing, good for nothing”

By Francis Ewherido

There is this diminutive and bovine-faced, but immensely gifted, intelligent and very versatile chief executive officer. He had a tall, stupendously handsome, but very lousy and unserious subordinate (let us call him Handsome). The CEO could barely stand him; he hesitated but very little in calling him, “Big for nothing” and “Good for nothing,“ especially if he bungled an official assignment, which was pretty often.

But some staff felt this naked hatred went beyond Handsome’s sloppiness. They felt the CEO’s loathsomeness flowed from an inner anger bordering on why nature endowed such a “good for nothing” subordinate with such wonderful physical looks and presence and left him with the scrappy end of the stick, physically speaking.

Our CEO, in his blind hatred, has forgotten that nature never gives anybody all; if it did, man would be perfect like God. Although the CEO was not publicly known to be into extramarital affairs; some also felt that the fact that all the women in the office, both married and unmarried, flocked around Handsome irked him.

Handsome’s problem was not the lack of intellectual capacity; he just had the mindset of some gifted people who see their gift as an end in itself and not a means to an end. Many of them are lazy and laid back; they think their families, everybody around them and the society owe them and should worship them because of their gifts. They easily forget they are not God or even gods.

Ecclesiastics 3:1 says, “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” By the time these immensely good-looking or gifted people wake up to acknowledge this harsh reality of life, the train has gone far past their station and many are too proud, shy or lazy to chase the train.

So they continue in self-adulation, they continue on the road downhill. Fortunately for Handsome, he retraced his step in time. A wrong road never takes you to your destination, that is, if you have a destination in the first place.

A wrong route might take you to something else that is big and great, as it did to Christopher Columbus, when he stumbled on the Americas instead of India he had set sail for, but it never takes you to your intended destination. No matter how much you have travelled, retrace your steps.

When I see some of the “happening” guys and girls in those days now in their 50s and 60s,I get depressed. Many who did not take Ecclesiastics 3:1 seriously are paying a heavy price. I ran into one of them recently and was almost drawn to tears. But for her voice, I would not have recognized her. Even though in her early 60s, she was looking much older than my 83-year-old mother. She was as black as charcoal, unkempt, smelly and famished. I could not just reconcile what I was seeing with that ebony-dark lady whom men flocked around like vultures over carcass in her prime.

Those prime years were spent “grooving” and “enjoying life.” Now there is no enduring skill to earn an income and no family to fall back on. The beauty, which kept her going, is gone with the winds, or is it age and poverty? For once, I felt like cursing physical beauty. But beauty is not the problem here; my “sister” should have realized that physical beauty is ephemeral and got her priorities right.

I am not a fan of Kim Kardashian, neither do I see her as a good role model for womanhood and motherhood. But I cannot claim that beauty and nudity alone are responsible for her fabulous wealth. There are many porn stars and others in this “show body” business that live from hand to mouth. She must have a good brain and business acumen to have accumulated so much.

a Miss World contender, but refuse to use your head, you can become a domestic help to a “duckling.”

If your seven-foot tall son is inclined towards basketball, then his talents and height should rake in the millions. He should be conscious of his actions, so that his name can become a huge brand and rake in additional revenue during his playing years and thereafter. He must also develop his business sense to protect and sustain the wealth he has created. Creating wealth is one thing; protecting and sustaining wealth are the other stands of the wealth tripod.

You want to ask Mike Tyson? External beauty is very important; I am not one of those who diminish or gloss over it. But it remains a means to an end. The end might be to attract people to the more enduring inner beauty or to combine it with beautiful brains to reach great heights.

We must acknowledge our daughters’ physical beauty, especially since it gives them some sense of worth, but we must quickly open their eyes to its limitations and ephemeral nature. Many young girls are too conscious of their physical beauty and it is dangerous.

Life is a marathon; what you have in your head, more than the external, takes you to the finish line. We have examples all around us to prove it. Being “big for nothing” or “good for nothing” is just a stone’s throw away.

  • It is nice to be back after a two-month absence and what a day to come back? Nigeria is 56 years today; Happy Independence Day to all Nigerians. My wife is also a year older today; happy birthday, Peacock. Today, we also give out our “daughter,” Ejiro Egere, in marriage to Jude Young, grandson of the late Justice Ovie Whiskey, former FEDECO (equivalent of today’s INEC) chairman. Happy married life to Ejiro and Jude.



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