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December 30, 2023

New Year resolutions, By Francis Ewherido

New Year resolutions, By Francis Ewherido

Year 2024 is around the corner. Usually, people set goals/targets for the New Year. It is a wonderful thing to do. We should not go through life like a rudderless ship. We should have a sense of purpose and direction. In addition, we should review and rejig our goals periodically.

That is essentially what New Year resolutions are all about.But we should avoid making NewYear Resolutions a hollow ritual. That is the major difference between setting achievable goals and dreaming. New Year resolutions can be very personal. You can also share some publicly, which is what I am doing.

One, I know everybody is carrying luggage. The problem many people have is that they are swayed by beautiful cars, beautiful houses, social media postings on only the bright side of life, people who are always happy and carry a permanent smile, etc. These are all good. But these do not mean the people do not have luggage. They deliberately chose to focus on the brighter side of life.

People who focus on their luggage only are prone to depression and even suicide. Problems should not be borne like a signboard. Make it a New Year resolution to learn to live happily in spite of your challenges. What are you going through that others have not gone through before? Financial problems, marital crisis, vocational challenges, unemployment, job loss, health challenges, just name it. Nothing is new. 

Anybody who does not want to carry luggage is indirectly praying for death. The only people without luggage are in the grave. I have no problem with carrying luggage in 2024 or anytime. My prayer is that God should not allow me carry luggage beyond my capacity; luggage that will break my neck because that means slow and painful death.

In addition, Jesus Christ got help when carrying His luggage, the cross He was carrying to Golgotha, to enable Him fulfil His destiny and the scriptures. May God send us all genuine helpers in our time of need, not pretenders who will go behind us and laugh at us or compound our problems. I intend to continue looking for Simon of Cyrene for any luggage beyond my capacity. They are very important for success in Life’s journey.

Everybody who carries luggage is susceptible to a fall. We therefore need to tread carefully to avoid falling. I intend to tread more carefully in 2024. We all also need to be wary of the content of our luggage. While growing up, my mother used to admonish us that “Esherii, amrobor’evur’owha-a (unless you fall and spill the contents of your luggage, nobody would know what you are carrying). Apart from treading carefully, be careful with the content of your luggage just in case you inadvertently fall and spill them. I will continue to takemy mother’s advice seriously in 2024.

Every human being has some element of pettiness, vindictiveness, negative vibes, etc. When we accuse people of being vindictive or petty, we do so because such a person has a high dose of vindictiveness and pettiness, not that we are totally free of these traits. Ayra Starr, the 23 year-old Nigerian music sensation sang that “Me no get the time for the hate and the bad energy” (I have no time for hate and negative energy).

So why should I who is more than old enough to be her father? In 2024, I intend to reduce my negative energy drastically. In fact, I have started. There is no need waiting until 2024. Life is too short, I beg. Positive energy all the way in 2024. Who has won an award for hate, pettiness, vindictiveness or bearing grudges? You are bearing grudges, meanwhile the person you are grudging is totally unaware orjust does not bloody care.

Many people are dying slowly of high blood pressure, hatred, anger. In truth, I have seen people and heard of many others who on their death bed were still bearing grudges and refusing to forgive. Now they are gone, but the people they grudged are still very much alive. You better change, or you will die alone and the people you are grudging will just continue with their lives. Many shakers and shapers of the world that have died, but life goes on after their death. You will die and life goes on. That is why we are all bloody mortals. You are dispensable. You will be lucky after your death if people spend 15 seconds to observe the so called “one minute silence” for you.

But we also have to be honest with ourselves. There are people who were framed by their spouses, siblings, other family members and friends who spent many years in prison for crimes they did not commit. In one particular case that went viral, the man spent 10 years in prison for drug trafficking. His own brother hid the drugs in foodstuff that he gave him to take abroad. What do you do? Carry the grudge for the rest of your life?

We also have business partnerships where one party took all the money and left the other party high and dry. I have been a victim. People are mean and people you trust betray this trust. Trusting people makes you an easy mugu, but do you stop trusting people. I do not think so. I just feel we should let people’s antecedents guide us in our dealings with them. Also, always do your diligence? For me, I have decided to move on with my life. No enmity, but also no more friendship or dealings. The bible said we should not hate, which is fine by me, by the bible did not say you should continue to stick around people who will stick pins in our balloons continuously. Na their way, it’s a habit. Fraudsters.

In 2024, hustling continues, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and our own Aliko Dangote are still hustling, sorry, looking for more money, with all their billions, why small me nor go hustle? Hustling involves persistence, but persistence for me does not include knocking on one door until the skin of my knuckles comes off. If one door does not open, I will move to the next one. You send messages, no responses, you call, no response. You persist and you are blocked and you are still persistent? I am not constituted that way, but for those who have the patience to accept permanent rejection, God bless you. 

For the younger generation, flee from people and places with negative vibes: “Nigeria is finished,” “nothing good can come out of Nigeria.” Where problems abound, there in lie opportunities. Your degrees are just foundations. Become solution providers. Nigeria is a very tough environment to operate in. That is very true. There is no need lying to ourselves. Mountainous terrains are tough places to climb and live in too, but people live and conquer the environment. We too can adapt and conquer.But if you choose to japa, nothing spoil. It is a free world, but over 200 million Nigerians cannot japa. So, aluta continua. Hustle while we continue to demand a better deal from our governments at all levels. I wish you all a fruitful and rewarding New Year.