Yesterday as I was enjoying my chauffeur-driven ride back home in the evening after the day’s work with Ehikowoicho, my son sleeping innocently on my laps with his mum and grandmum at the back seat of the car, ITV Radio was announcing the robbery incident concerning an upcoming Nigerian music sensation, Mr. 2Kay, in his apartment at Eko Hotels and Suit, in Lagos.
As I was wondering who 2Kay was (pardon me, I’m not a music frisk), the following lines blared through the warm evening air:
For all the hustle we don hustle wey pay;
I count it all joy;
For all the suffer wey boys don face;
We count it all joy;
For all the days wey them turn us down;
We count it all joy…
All of a sudden it occurred to me as an idea in my heart. While the driver was busy humming under his breath obviously oblivious to my thoughts, the idea grew bigger and bigger.
As I got home and turned on the CNN, it was how US and allied forces were pushing ISIS to the brink with Assad about to take delivery of the entire territory of Syria after more than five years of civil unrest. On Channels television, it was the story of 17 southern governors converging in Lagos to chart a united front to confront their northern counterparts. All the faces of the commoners I saw were gloomy and hopeless and I wonder if they understood this devolution of power and restructuring mantra.
I left for my study. As I studied, I heard, through my windows, birds singing so loud and so cheerful. Little birds were chirping and the big birds were making melody. It was like they were having a big party. I wanted to step out and ask them “hey, birds, did you listen to the reviews of newspaper headlines this morning? Did you study the stock market report this evening? Do you know how many Nigerians will lose their monies in the bank due to non-compliance with BVN policy? You are not supposed to be singing and making melody, enjoying life. What’s the matter with you? You are acting like everything is all right”.
Friends, what have those birds actually done wrong? Nothing absolutely! Perhaps I was transferring aggressions where I shouldn’t. Those birds know a secret that I, like many of us, don’t know- in all situations, they have learned to count it all joy.
Listen to 2Kay’s lines again:
For all the hustle we don hustle wey pay;
I count it all joy;
For all the suffer wey boys don face;
We count it all joy;
For all the days wey them turn us down;
We count it all joy…
The challenge is that in good times, we are joyful but in bad times, we become discouraged, gloomy, and hopeless and we despair. But friends, when dark clouds are over your head and you feel like life is meaningless, remember that above those dark clouds, the sun is shining. You may not see it but that does not mean, it isn’t up there. It’s just blocked by the clouds. The good news is that the clouds are only temporary. They will not last forever. The sun will shine again.
In life, we all face disappointment, setbacks, made bad decisions and wrong choices and some of them hurt really bad. But hear me loud and clear, right past the test is your promotion. On the reverse side of difficult situation is your increase. When you go through adversity, count it all joy. When you put a smile on your face and a song in your heard, on the other side will be a reward.
Often than not, when we pass through tough times: when the economy is in bad shape; when we receive negative medical report; when we face litigation; when we fail in interviews or exams; when we have to deal with a wayward kid, we become discouraged.
That’s still ok.
It’s human to become sour and bitter and negative in difficult times but friends, I urge you to count it all joy. When you are facing financial crisis; dealing with an illness; going through a breakup in your relationship or having to raise a rebellious child, count it all joy.
When you go through these challenges, feeling negative, bitter and discouraged, you miss out of the bigger picture. Remember, the difficult time you are passing through is not here to defeat you but to test your resolve to face life with hope and faith.
When we complain, what we are doing is throwing a pity party and accusing life of being unfair. Learn from those birds chirping, singing and making melody through my windows. I admonish you to please count it all joy.