PANEL OF HUMANS

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It is a common occurrence virtually everywhere, to sit in the comfort of one’s room and criticize a young sportsman on the screen for a consequential error. Yes, it is very easy to spot at an instant and correct every move he takes with the words of mouth. It is easy to think five steps behind, and twenty more ahead of him. It is easy to analyze and run derogatory commentaries all night long about his faulty performance. It is so easy to focus on the mistakes of the young sportsman who may have even learnt the never-to-be-forgotten lessons from his own flaws and moved on with his life.

Naturally, these panel of judges are not only found in the world of sports; they are readily present in every field of life. They are always the best of people who know how best to go about anything—even though in the real sense they know nothing! They are always the best grammarians who never correct themselves; the best mathematicians who never solve an equation; the best marketers who never sold a commodity; the best orators who never spoke a word; the best teachers who never taught a lesson; the best writers who never wrote a line; the best husbands who never led a family; the best wives who never managed a home; the best parents who never raised a child; the best leaders who never had a follower…they are just always a master of many things but a living example of none!

And though I hope it would not be rude and wrong of me to assert that virtually everyone is guilty of this offence (including myself), but it would all the same be hypocritical of me to agree that the assertion is purely wrong. However, it must be stated that we do it for different reasons and to varying degrees: some out of concern and for correction; some out of fear and for compassion; some out of envy and for bitterness; some out of threat and for defence; some out of unworthiness and for recognition; some for reasons unknown.

Interestingly, for as many who know the importance of what they do and how essential it is to their existence, criticism only serves as a fan that fans their fire of passion. In the same vein, it should be a discovery worthy of elation and encouragement for as many who are always battered by ardent adversaries, that to keep growing and moving forward in that which is worthy of emulation despite all oppositions, is the best way to keep all critics (and criticasters) busy—and defeated!

After all said and done, it should not be surprising to find out on the sands of Time, that whilst the footprints of those who get positively involved in the forefront of life are indelibly stamped in gold and silver, those of idling feet and unrepentant fault-finders would settle on miry clay!

( C) FOLAJIN ADEMOLA (OLUMINOUS)

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BEHIND THE SMILES

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It is very unlikely that anyone would the least know what goes on in the backstage unless the curtains are drawn. Nobody might just never know one’s plights until they are told. What one fellow knows about the other, is most times a tip of the iceberg.

Deep behind most smiles are pains inexpressible. Underneath many glittering surfaces are crooked edges. Right beside innumerable sweet stories lie inexplicable tales. But life has to go on amid whatever ugliness and inconveniences; and interestingly, man has always devised a means of escape from his own gloom.

A thin line there always is between hope and despair; choice will always be the price of where to be per time. And to maintain the faith-evoking belief that ‘all is well’ despite all life-threatening circumstances, is a discipline beyond a cheap purchase.

Sometimes it requires more effort to stay alive and hopeful; at other times, the lesser the struggle for survival, the easier the victory. Yes, strange and mystical!

But who has faults? Who has fears? Who has challenges? Perhaps nobody does, but I do—some in negligible amounts; some an urgent call for serious attention. Yet I would not give up in Whom I believe; I would not stop doing what the gods will never do for me; I would never fold my arms expecting fortune to drop on my idle laps; I would not cease to find hope in every hopelessness; I would not be afraid of facing reality; I would not be ashamed of trying and failing…for all it takes to hit this only shot I’ve got at life, I would not be guilty!

(C) FOLAJIN ADEMOLA (OLUMINOUS)

THE DEVILS IN FINE APPARELS

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Growing up as a child was really fun and challenging, most especially so because many things piled up to be learnt within a time frame. Being a curious child who would stop at nothing to be voracious at learning, some wrong perceptions were inevitably ingested as right—most of which were accepted as the norms of those times.

One of the most generalized of them all was the ever depiction of the devil in black apparel with a horn, scary, and ugly. Although I wouldn’t know if till date children still carry the same image into their adulthood, but in times past it was a viral mental picture which anyone could decipher within the shortest frame of seconds.

Yet why would it not be so when endless tales hardly tell of the devil walking down the street to a grocery store on a sunny Saturday afternoon, wearing a Burberry knickerbockers and a sky-blue casual shirt, complemented with an off-white panama and a blue & white trainers, having a face too innocent to hurt a fly, and smiling at everyone that passes by.

How would the imprinted image of a horned monster be erased from many memories when parents and movies rarely illustrate a contrary picture—of fine looking men and women in expensive and beautiful suits and gowns, who appear to be easily lovable with infectious smiles, seemingly kind in deed and creed…yet all but devils!

Yes. Handsome and beautiful devils in fine apparels, having the appearances of innocence but far from it. People in whose hearts lie all manners of wickedness and lawlessness. People who would stop at nothing to bring hell, tears, sorrows, discomfort, misery, shame, reproach, despair, hunger…to the doorsteps of others.

People in whose hands the wealth of billion lives have been entrusted, but into whose bottomless pockets these huge chunks of national (and international) funds have been siphoned. Thoughtless and selfish derelicts who live above the law, yet scarcely get penalized for it.

Ranging from the seemingly smallest to the highest in rank—nonetheless, all but devils in their own spheres! Backbiters, haters of Truth, liars, seducers, fornicators, adulterers, lovers of inordinate affections, psychopaths, terrorists, swindlers, extortioners…highly demon-possessed maniacs!

(C) FOLAJIN ADEMOLA (OLUMINOUS)

IT’S ALWAYS A RISK

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Life is a risk. To become, or not to become, is a risk. To perform, or not to perform, is a risk. Life is just always about risks.

Every decision one takes at every point in time is a risk—a risk of disappointment or breakthrough; of failure or success; of bankruptcy or profit; of life or death; of promotion or demotion; for the better or for the worse…

And just as it believed by many, even though not practiced by all, the risk of not taking risk is the riskiest!

To remain in the harbours of safety for the fear of venturing into unknown seas, is not a guaranty for safety in itself—for even that which seem to be safe at the present moment may turn otherwise at the next tick of the second.

Apropos the aforementioned, to have penned these lines amid many options is a risk—a risk which even if I had done otherwise, is nonetheless a risk.

And to have made this move, I risked being showcased, proofread, misinterpreted, criticized, insulted, and perhaps stigmatized. Yet by undoing I’d have risked the feelings of cowardice, mediocrity, complacency, incompetency, and perhaps incompleteness.

Ipso facto, I suppose any time the consequences of risk taking are juxtaposed, the obvious one with the most bearable traits of regrets should fairly win the contest.

On what basis would I have based this supposition if not that every choice and action once made or done, add a memoralabia to the portfolio of one’s memory—from which one would someday be compelled to behold the map of the journey so far.

(C) FOLAJIN ADEMOLA (OLUMINOUS)