Friday, 5 June 2020

Article: My Riverside Experience

By Livy-Elcon Emereonye

It's one of those days of aloneness and loneliness for sober reflection under a mango tree by the riverside. It’s at Mmiri Oma – the spring beside Urashi River in my community, Umuezealla-Ogboko in Ideato South LGA, Imo State, Nigeria.

The weather's cool. The atmosphere's serene with leaves waving and birds singing to the wondrous God. Everything exists in tune and obedience to the work of Nature in the beauty of creation. More than a holiday in a resort, the experience’s educative and priceless. It’s a very unique intercourse, an uncommon, raw love encounter of a life time with mother earth.

There's nothing to prove that the universe's in need of external help or any form of correctional distortion. There's nothing to show that the world cannot contain and accommodate anything and everything within it. There's everything in place for peaceful coexistence if we can play by the rule - and almost everything complies and cooperates in unison except man who often times harbor the gross ambition for domination – to dominate himself, dominate others and dominate the world!

“Be mindful of face value,” the voice whispered. “Things are not the way they look. Appearance can be misleading and deceitful so look before you leap,” was the advice. I looked around but did not see anyone. I tapped myself and wiped my face and to confirm that I was awake – and I was!

Perception’s everything. It’s the reason for our actions and inactions; it feeds our mindset and defines our mentality. Everything we do emanates from, and depends on, perception. It’s indeed the fulcrum and pendulum of our vision and mission. To build or destroy, to love or hate, to unite or divide, all things about humans rest on perception yet it’s broad, divergent, relational and relative. With this, one thing yes one message may mean true different things to different people at the same or different things to the same person at different times. Our views can change with position which is function of space and time.

There are messages everywhere from everything. It’s a pool of one poignant message or another in the ocean of eternal wisdom. The writing’s very bold and clear even without a board, an ink and a chalk so I got seated to enjoy the lessons. What we look for is what we see. What we give is what we would get. What we release, we multiply…

The rift and strife for domination bring about manipulation that has resulted to distortion of all manners and magnitude, leading to quarrel and evil failing to control it war may ensue though it makes no sense to stop one evil with another evil. If it could be more destructive to stop a war with another war, what is the best way to stop a despot and despotism? Or does indecision, and indifference, pay?

Talking as a spectator and as an active participant are two different things. It’s easy, simple to theorize than to practice. It pays to speak from informed position. It is good to have informed opinion and make informed choice - and with this it is easy to ignore barking dogs in pursuing just cause and doing what is right. To swim against the tide demands extra skills; to challenge and change the status quo come at a great price but it is ennobling to be the game changer and indeed the liberator, setting free those in bondage and captivity. But does it make sense to make sacrifice for those who abuse sacrificial instincts?

The path to greatness is full of bumps – and unfriendly friends dig the deepest. Oh pretended friends are worse than real enemies; with backbite and blackmail, they trample friendship underfoot and turn around to abuse good deeds. Beware of those with penchants for double standards. Run far away from hypocrites and anyone without shame.

Going to the top is a tough order that must be consciously and deliberately embarked upon to avoid succumbing to snide and become discouraged on the way. Definitely, the going will get tough so to get going one must get smarter and tougher. Think outside the box but more without the box. Be creative and innovative even in going for the kill. Laugh at yourself, your situation and fate. Hold on to something real as you savour the pains and gains of living.

See the brighter side of life. Go for the best even in the midst of worst situation. Cry your own cry however you want it whenever and wherever possible. Do your own things your own ways, if and only if it serves you, but within the confines and limits of the law bearing in mind that where your right ends begins that of another person as no one is an island.

Be reminded that no one is self-made. We are interdependent and as such need each other and one another. There is nothing anyone can have that would be immunity against needs and wants. Whatever we have, there is always the desire for more but with all the getting and possessions, we cannot exceed the limit of tolerance else constipation and sickness will set in - and this has sent many people early to grave. Wherever we are and whatever we do, we live to die and when we die, we leave everything behind. And a little while after death, if not preserved, we begin to smell and pollute the environment, showing the worthlessness of human life. Of all the desires and expectations, of all the strife and fight; of all the denials and enjoyment; of all the care and beautification with all the breakthroughs and accomplishment, we cannot bury ourselves.

Oh our existence is on the mercy of others so does it worth the pains? Why the wrangling and the fight? Venturing into marginalization and suppression of any form is like eating with defaecation – there must be constipation. If we live to die – and we do, what’s the essence of the evil, wickedness? Few hours without oxygen and preservative, we smell and pollute everywhere!

“I'm here but for a while, same goes for my deeds and my assumed importance, so when eventually I go, how will I be remembered. What will people say in my absence about me?”

“How have you impacted your generation?” More questions were about to come but lo there’s a thunder with rain and I ran for cover!

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