By Morak Babejide-Alabi
It is a new year and the start of a new decade. It is the first month of the New Year. The beginning of the year is when some of us think we should set priorities, goals and equally make resolutions.
We identify the New Year as the start of another road of opportunities; therefore we position ourselves for the harvest that abounds ahead. However, we still get constrained by believing that how we experience our lives in the first few days of the year defines the rest of the year.
In the spirit of the new season, I am inspired to write this piece to encourage a broader view of our existence. It is not a motivational write-up; it is simply a collection of thoughts that had been running around in my head since the beginning of 2020. Hope this gets across, even if it is to an individual in a million.
These days and weeks remain fascinating times. We think everything would suddenly change for the better. We convince ourselves that all we require is behave, think or act out what we desire. We say it is a new year that represents an unfamiliar, never trodden road, with so many opportunities on the way. As mortals, it is permitted for us to think that the best of the year can be harvested in the first week or month.
Many believe that it is how you experience the first few days and weeks that typically determine how good the year will be. This stands logic on its head, but this is the belief of many individuals. As a result, there is an unusual turn out at the gyms, millions consume more vegetable, and many give up smoking while more are constant figures at local churches and mosques. Not to talk of the numerous days of fasting and prayers to make sure the New Year “behaves.”
I wrote sometimes in the past that we “celebrate because it is a new day. It is a new dawn, a new beginning, with loads of possibilities and opportunities. Our approach is positive because we have conditioned our minds that we are starting afresh and old things have passed away. For unexplainable reasons, the days hold hope for us – the hopes of better things to come and the belief that things will change for the better. For the unemployed, for example, the hope of getting a job is high. It does not matter if this runs against logic that few companies or employers conduct mass recruitment in January.”
Some have argued otherwise that the New Year represents just a transition from one date to another. They reckon that the world goes on as usual, as the change is just a creation of human being. It is all about changing the calendar.
It does not matter what time of the year, as human beings, we consistently strive to view life from a more intimate perspective. This is reasonable. In real life, we seek an advantageous spot to view events. No matter the reality of what we may be facing, or have faced, apart from hope, vision is a substantial lead. This is not about divine vision. What I am on about here is the physical vision.
Pope Francis was quoted as saying: “Each of us has a vision of good and evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good… Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”
Hope, on the other hand, is the fuel that keeps us going and imagining that a better day lies ahead, no matter what we may be experiencing. The American Poet, Emily Dickinson, wrote – “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” In essence, hope keeps us going in the journey of life.
It is the vision that provides human beings with the platforms to see hope in action. This is why we consistently stand where we can have outstanding views of life. Some people say life is a game (?) Is it? Life is not a game. To live successfully, you need a vantage position to have a splendid view of happenings and most importantly, see opportunities begging to be taken.
Let us look at this more realistically. Do you go to the cinema to sit behind a big frame of a man or woman, so he/she could obscure your view of the screen? Or have you gone to a cinema and turned your back to the screen? No. Our instinctive tendency is once we get into a cinema, a stadium or meeting room, we seek the most elevated seat. We all appreciate why we do this instinctively. It is so we can have clear and unobstructed views. This is because we don’t want to see or hear about the actions of second-hand tales.
We desire to see what’s happening by ourselves and be able to make judgements. This is how life is. Have you witnessed a man or woman in a cinema who prefers a verbal illustration of what is happening on-screen from a friend rather than view directly? If you are not blind, you will prefer the first-hand experience.
At the same time, have you noticed that shy and insecure people tend to sit at the back? Those who are anxious about themselves make certain they are not in the focus. Notwithstanding in an empty hall, they will assume a “standard” position at the back of the hall.
In the same vein, many people relatively see through the eyes of others. As unsteady human beings, we sometimes fall in and out of this group. When we should make momentous decisions, we look unto others to do for us. When we are expected to take stands on critical issues of our lives, we look to see where others had positioned themselves before we decide on what to do. When we should be laughing and joyous, we look at the situation of other people around us and mellow down. This is not the definition of vision. We appreciate life through the eyes of others.
There are many times people have placed themselves in situations they are not supposed to be. Will you stand up today and act rather than react? So many people see the world through the eyes of their neighbours, friends and colleagues. They are people who instead of making calls to transform the world, will wait for one call before executing the next move.
The world is teeming with people who are contented to be led. They do not believe in themselves that they can lead. Therefore for every decision, they are to make, they seek approval from the world.
Are you seeing the world through your own eyes? Or are you enjoying life in the shadow of someone else’s eye? Are you constantly waiting for the second opinion before you make the decision? It’s time for a change. Make 2020 very productive for yourself. Happy New Year 2020.