Tag Archives: Identity

Listen to Yourself

A dying old man said to his doctor while on the sick bed ” Doctor, don’t worry. I know I am going to die. I didn’t want to come here but they brought me here.

Please don’t worry about me, look at my hair, they are gone. I am so old but you are so young. I have learnt a lot from life, if you don’t mind I will tell you some of them before I die.

When I was 4 years, I use to think the world is about me. When I turned 14, I wanted to rule the world. I thought I would be the greatest man that ever lived. When I was 21, I wanted to be the richest man, when I was 25, I wanted to find love, when I was 40, I wanted to be helpful to everyone. Now that I am here, I want to die. You see, I wanted so many things at so many times. Most importantly, I wanted to be happy. I thought the best way to be happy is to listen to others.

When I wanted to enter the University, I wanted to study Zoology but everyone said I should study Engineering that I will be a great Engineer. So I listened to them. I had no one to pay my fees, I had to work and also pay my fees. In my third year, I couldn’t cope with my studies, I had to drop. When I dropped, the same people told me “you should have studied Zoology”!

When I turned 28, everyone said I should marry. That I needed a wife. So I listened to them, I got married. 6 years into the marriage, I caught my wife sleeping with my neighbour. I asked her why and she slapped me. I was angry and didn’t say anything. The next day I returned from work, she had run away with my children, now I am dying a lonely man.

At 40, I got a huge contract. My name was in the news. The next day, all my friends and families were at my house, everyone had a serious problem. Within one week, I spent all the money on them with the promise that they will pay back. I could not complete the contract because they refused to return the money as promised. So I was sent to jail for 6 years. I stayed in jail and I came out. When I came out, they were nowhere.

There was one mistake I made through all this time. Now it is clear to me. Let me tell you about it. I refused to listen to myself. I ignored my own self and listen to others. Now that I am here the only person that is with me is myself.

You see, it is very good to listen to others. It is very wise to seek advice from others. But it is very dangerous to ignore your own self. It is very dangerous to refuse to pay attention to your heart.

When you get home this night, sit down, take a glass of water. Close your eyes if you want or open it if you want, then talk to yourself, reason with yourself. You can walk down the road alone and as you walk, begin to talk to yourself.

The only person that can overrule yourself is God, after God, listen to yourself next. I know it may not make sense to you now but always remember I told you LEARN TO LISTEN TO YOURSELF.

 

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My Brother’s Name

As I sat across the counter in my brother’s prison cell, I held his hands tightly within mine. And he spoke to me in a teary voice – shaking and broken.
“Promise me you’d be good and you’d keep our secret.”
I looked into his eyes, his face just like mine, except for the bruises and injuries he had sustained in the course of his time there.
“It was a death-sentence and there’s nothing we can do now” My brother said. “Promise me brother! Just promise me” He added.
My mouth felt heavy, my chest ached in pain and tears streamed down my cheeks. I managed to utter two words…“I promise” And I broke down and cried.
Peter and Paul, that’s what we were called. He was Peter and I was Paul. But in my unbridled exuberance, I had rapped a colonel’s daughter. She was asthmatic and she had an attack while struggling to free herself. She died in the cause of my callousness. And evidence from the investigation led the trail to me or my brother as the culprit.
Peter took the fall for me and insisted that he did it. He could never do such a thing – He was the epitome virtue, and I vices. But he took my place, he took my name. On the day of his execution, mother and father went in tears to watch their son die. I did not go – I could not, for it was me who was to be killed.
It’s been many years now, and no one, not even mother or father knows that I have been living my brother’s life and bearing my brother’s name.

(c) Peter Akhere.