THE ALTERNATIVE With Reno Omokri
It is sometimes said that you build confidence in good times and build character in difficult times. This is true. This period of the Coronavirus lockdown is an opportunity, rather than a difficulty, being that it forces us to stay at home and be more mindful because our attentions are not invested in the basics of modern existence.
In his poem, ‘leisure’, the Welsh Poet, W. H. Davies, said:
“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”
Well, we now have time to stand and stare. But what are we staring at? The past, present or future?
Perhaps we can stare at books, Scripture and reach into our inner man to discover our true core. The lockdown of society must lead to the opening up of our minds.
If we just see this period as something to endure, we will spend the lockdown complaining. But if we acquire perspective, and see this period as the blessing in disguise that it really is, as something to enjoy, we will invest the lockdown in evolving a better version of ourselves.
When our modern appliances are acting up, whether it is our smartphone, TV, or laptops, we simply reboot it, or unplug it and replug it to electric power, and it often solves the problem. #Coronavirus will come and go. Some will get sick. Some will die. But humanity will survive. We are being rebooted.
Those who will survive and thrive during this lockdown and come out better when Earth has finished rebooting, are those who flow with the motion of the spiritual ocean of creation and allow the activity take away all the negativity of their pre lockdown lives.
After two weeks of the lockdown, I am shocked at the number of people who spend their time either begging, loafing, or in wasting this opportunity one way or the other by some other idling activity.
The most recurrent complaints I read and hear are: ‘I am tired jo! When will life return to normal’,
You say you are tired of the #COVID19 lockdown and you want things to return to normal. What is normal?
· The Rat Race?
· Your 9-5 job?
· No time for family?
· Competing and keeping up with your neighbours
· Quarrelling with old schoolmates in your reunion Whatsapp group
· Going to church, yet becoming more worldly?
· Looking into your smartphones instead of looking into your smart children?
My friend, if you use this lockdown period to plan, your life will not return to normal. It will return to improvements! Why would anyone want to return to the status quo, when they can return to increase?
Why exactly are you complaining of this lockdown? See the good in it. Do you want to return to waking up at 4:30 AM so you can beat Lagos traffic? Or to explaining to SARS why you have dreadlocks? Or to working and not being paid by the government at month end?
There has got to be more to life than your pre lockdown existence, and now, thanks to the coronavirus, you have the time you never had to chart a better way forward so you can live the John 10:10 life, instead of the Job 10:1 life. Thrive. Don’t just survive!
You are not a statue that should remain in the same state of consciousness throughout life. You are a human BEING. You are BE-ING. The ING indicates present continuous. You are not a human has BEEN! You have spent the last ten years repeating the same existence every 24 hours, with only slight variations. Do you call that living?
Plan your way out of this existence. If in 2020, you do not have a plan for what you hope to do or be in 2021, it means you plan to fail next year. There is such a thing as an accidental discharge of a gun, but there is no such thing as an accidental discharge of success. Success is deliberate.
You may ask me what you should be doing instead of what you are currently doing. I am glad you asked. I will now suggest several things you can do during lockdown instead of complaining of idling away:
· Analyse your life to discover your purpose. Figure out what you are on Earth for. Know why God created you.
· Identify tools that can help fulfil that purpose which exists within you, as well as within your environment.
· Develop 1, 5 and 10-year plans for your life so you can stop living as if you were a piece of waste paper, blown any which way by the wind.
· Read that book you have meant to read. Read Scripture from cover to cover.
· Fast from your modern devices, like your smartphone, television, and the Internet, and hold fast to God.
· Study money so you can master it. Instead of it mastering you
· Get your children weaned off their video games and redirect them to the mind-expanding habit of reading.
· Start eating meals with your family on the table and have more secure children and spouse.
· Start praying together as a family.
· Seek out solitude as often as you can. You will not hear the voice of God clearly until you shut out the voice of men intermittently. Daily, Christ had the habit of retreating to pray to God. And don’t just talk. Listen. Have a notebook by you and write what He says.
Identifying your life’s purpose is essential if you want to be great or amount to anything. A bird that does not realize it was meant to fly will end up as a mediocre runner. You were made for greater things. But if you do not identify your purpose, those great things will elude you. And that is the opportunity that this lockdown provides.
And I especially recommend the last four points because, as a parent, you do not just want to prepare your children to inherit your wealth when you die. Instead, it is better to prepare them to create their wealth in your lifetime, and to combine it with your wealth, such they when you die they can have a more significant impact than you did!
I assure my readers that if they engage in these pursuits, the coronavirus pandemic lockdown will be their period of the highest growth and they will emerge of it with a personal value that has exploded exponentially.
And the thing about the human mind is that after it has been expanded, it can never return to its original size. Your new expanded mind will start generating ideas that can catapult you from obscurity and mediocrity to celebrity and likability.
And finally, I notice that a lot of men are particularly getting antsy about being stuck at their homes with their wives and children. Get another perspective. You are not stuck at home with your wife and children because of the lockdown. You are safe at home with your family. That your side chick is your COVID19. Use this period to be cured of her virus!
There is nothing like a stingy boyfriend. Women who have that mentality have low morals. Get rid of the mentality that boyfriends should foot your bills. Only your father (if you are not an adult) or your husband has a duty to look after you. If you need money, get a job, or a business, not a boyfriend! Your boyfriend is a FRIEND. He is not an INVESTMENT. Your boyfriend is a MAN. He is not a BANK. Do not give him *** until and unless he marries you. Avoiding premarital sex can solve perhaps half of the problems on Earth. Do not commercialise your body. You are not a call girl. A woman is a thing of value. Value your body.