Temple Chima UbochiSunday, October 2, 2011
Bonn, Germany



The love we give away is the only love we keep (Elbert Hubbard)

There is no remedy for love but to love more (Henry David Thoreau)


his writer wants to talk, through this column, to the ordinary Nigerians, members of his constituency, on this Nigeria’s 51st independence anniversary. In the midst of all these hardship, hopelessness and despair, something beautiful still remains for us and they’re: the lives we live and the love we share! Just as Rosemonde Gerard (5 April 1871 – 5 April 1953), who was a French poet and playwright, said “for you see, each day I love you more, today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow”. While those feeding off of Nigeria as it’s now see every reason to celebrate this fake independence, let’s celebrate life; let’s be thankful that we’re still alive and healthy. No matter how rough it’s now, look forward to a better tomorrow, I advice you to “count the garden by the flowers and never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll”. We should still count our blessings one by one! Let’s not forget as St. Augustine (November 13, 354 – August 28, 430), who was Bishop of Hippo Regius (present-day Annaba, Algeria), wrote that “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us”. No matter our sufferings, let’s learn a thing or two from it, just as Winston Churchill said that “we shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival”.

Let’s not forget that joy and pain are part of life and we can’t run away from that fact just as Max Lerner (December 20, 1902—June 5, 1992), who was an American journalist and educator, wrote that “the turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt”. Whatever we’re going through now should make us a better and stronger person as the difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter. John Vance Cheney (December 29, 1848 – May 1, 1922), who was an American poet, essayist and librarian, was right when he wrote that “the soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears”. Life is beautiful no matter the odds and if we persevere, we would at last see the beauties inherent it (in life), just as Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), who was a German philosopher, wrote that “he who has a why to live can bear almost any how”. Also, Agatha Christie (15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976), who was a British writer of novels, short stories and plays, wrote “I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing”, and, Katharine Hepburn (May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003), who was an American actress, said “I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun”.

My friend (my reader), this column is advising that you take life in a stride, no matter what! Although pain is inevitable in life, but, what’s important is how we handle it, as Kenji Miyazawa (27 August 1896 - 21 September 1933), who was a Japanese poet and author of children's literature, wrote that “we must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey”. Ron Lee Davis also wrote “in this life we will encounter hurts and trials that we will not be able to change; we are just going to have to allow them to change us”, and, Arthur Golden (born on June 6, 1956), who is an American writer, meant that “adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are”. Winston Churchill said “if you're going through hell, keep going”, and, Flavia Weedn said “If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again”.

Why this column is writing this now is that we need words of encouragement in this heartless world. Nobody cares for us, so we need to encourage ourselves to move on, we need to be our brothers’ or sisters’ keepers to survive, as Jerome Fleishman (February 14, 1922 – June 20, 2007), who was an American former professional basketball player, wrote that “most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement - and we will make the goal”. Mother Teresa also said that “kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless”. Ann Landers also wrote that “warmth, kindness, and friendship are the most yearned for commodities in the world. The person who can provide them will never be lonely”. Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896), who was an American abolitionist and the author who wrote the novel “Uncle Tom's Cabin” in 1852, also said “when you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn”. We need to hang on there, hoping for a better future, just as Franklin D. Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), who was the 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945), wrote “when you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on”. The most important thing in life is as Lucille Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989), who was an American comedian, wrote that “love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world”, and, Philip E Bernstein was right when he wrote that “we have no right to ask when a sorrow comes `Why did this happen to me’? Unless we ask the same question for every joy that comes our way”!

Most of all, peace within self is the most important, as Doris Mortman rightly wrote that “until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have”. Norman Vincent Peale (May 31, 1898 – December 24, 1993), who was an American priest and author, noted that “life is a blend of laughter and tears, a combination of rain and sunshine”. Love and service are very important in life, as Franklin P Jones, an author, wrote that “love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile”, John Gardner wrote that “when people are serving, life is no longer meaningless”, and, Harold S Kushner, a prominent American rabbi, wrote “I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense”. The point is that while the looters of Nigeria celebrate the 51st independence anniversary, let’s, (we the ordinary Nigerians), celebrate, because, we are alive in the land of the living.

You will always have a friend in this writer: Enjoy yourself now: