Religion Magazine

DemolaRewajuDaily: They Don’t Have Two Heads

By Samoluexpress @Oluwasegunsomef
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By Demola Olanrewaju

I come from what used to be a middle-income family in the days of General Babangida as military president. We were not as poor as many but we still knew that some were richer than us whenever we ventured out of Surulere and visited places like Apapa, Ikeja GRA, Ikoyi and so on. But my family never let any of us feel inferior in any way – we used to go to all the fun places and eateries regardless of whether we could always afford the stuff there. We used to go to Mr. Biggs and the Chicken George on Adeniran Ogunsanya and eat together like the affluent families we watched in American films. We used to go to Kingsway in Ikoyi, Domino stores in Yaba and other places like that even if we could only buy one or two items whenever we went. Our regular domestic provisions though were bought from Oke-Aarin market in Apongbon and some of our clothes came from Tejuosho market…inside at first then from the Bend-Down-Boutique when I came of age.

The gulf between the rich and the poor is as wide as the one between Bro. Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom and the rich man in hell but it is largely a mental one. The poor look at the rich as though they are specially created or have some specialty about them that makes them act the way they do. The poor look down on themselves and conclude that they can never do the things that they see the rich do even when it doesn’t cost money.

I was lucky to have a close friend in secondary school who believed like I did that nobody has two heads. In our public school uniform, we would go to all the big boutiques in Adeniran Ogunsanya and ask for the prices of the shirts and jeans they had. We would take a cab to school once in a while even though it meant we would have no money to spend later in the day and trek back all the way home. We would even go as far as Land Of Plenty (LoP) on the Island just to see the clothes they had. What we were doing then was getting used to how the rich live and even though I can’t say either he nor I are now rich, we have come to a place where we know that the rich do not have two heads.

Everybody is created with one head but what is inside that single head determines how you approach life. Those who are successful approach life with the expectation that life will give to them that which they demand. Those who fail are willing to accept whatever it is that life offers them – even if it is a mediocre life. Knowing how to carry yourself and comport yourself, having self-confidence and relating with others as equals is a process that first starts in your head.

What we usually perceive as arrogance in some is not always that but a certain awareness of who they are as a person. I had another friend back in the day and I remember we attended a burial ceremony or some party like that. We got no places to seat since we didn’t see the guy who invited us so we sat at a table that was clearly reserved for others. As soon as anybody headed our way, I would make to stand up until my friend got irritated and said ‘why don’t you let them ask you to stand up first before getting up?’ so I sat down, got served and enjoyed myself till the end of the party but I never forgot the lesson: acting like you belong sometimes means you belong.

I’m not a fan of faking it till you make it but it’s not faking it if in your head you deserve it. They don’t kill people for stepping into fancy restaurants and asking how much their costliest food is and what the cheapest meal is. The waiters sometimes are not even as educated as you are. You don’t have to have a car before you learn how to drive or go to the car dealer to ask how much they sell their cars and what kind of deals you can get. Nobody knows the size of your bank account so if you project yourself like you have a million in your account somewhere you will be treated like a millionaire – just don’t damage anything just yet.

Someone in conversation with my wife mentioned a golf club somewhere on the mainland and she mentioned it to me so I went looking for it and found it. I learnt on enquiry that the application form was NGN60,000 – no problem there and then I would have to be interviewed – again, no problem there. I’m sure at this point the lady was trying to gauge my financial status so she threw the next curveball – the annual registration was a little more than NGN800,000 and I saw the problem but I wasn’t fazed – at least outwardly. I just moved on to the next question – how will I get my golf kit? Do I buy them or does it come with the membership package? My coolness satisfied her and she started talking to me as a prospective member and I just smiled until I made my way out of the place, thinking to myself – those who are members of this place do not have two heads.

So when next you come into a situation that scares the living daylight out of you, remember this article and say to yourself: “those who handle this don’t have two heads”.

Have a splendid week, no matter what!

© CC BY-NC-ND 2014

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