My one word for Nigeria-Pause

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Nigeria Flag

Nigeria as a people and country, especially her leadership has commenced in this manner, as I outlined in the short flake below.

The IRS decides to audit Grandpa, and summons him to the IRS office. The auditor was not surprised when Grandpa showed up with his attorney.

The auditor said, “Well, sir, you have an extravagant lifestyle and no full-time employment, Which you explain by saying that you win money gambling. I’m not sure the IRS finds that believable.”

“I’m a great gambler, and I can prove it,” says Grandpa. “How about a demonstration?”

The auditor thinks for a moment and said, “Okay. Go ahead.”

Grandpa says, “I’ll bet you a thousand dollars that I can bite my own eye.”

The auditor thinks a moment and says, “It’s a bet.”

Grandpa removes his glass eye and bites it. The auditor’s jaw drops.

Grandpa says, “Now, I’ll bet you two thousand dollars that I can bite my other eye.”

Now the auditor can tell Grandpa isn’t blind, so he takes the bet. Grandpa removes his dentures and bites his good eye.

The stunned auditor now realizes he has wagered and lost three grand, with Grandpa’s attorney as a witness. He starts to get nervous.

“Want to go double or nothing?” Grandpa asks. “I’ll bet you six thousand dollars that I can stand on one side of your desk, and pee into that wastebasket on the other side, and never get a drop anywhere in between.”

The auditor, twice burned, is cautious now, but he looks carefully and decides there’s no way this old guy could possibly manage that stunt, so he agrees again.

Grandpa stands beside the desk and unzips his pants, but although he strains mightily, he can’t make the stream reach the wastebasket on the other side, so he ends up urinating all over the auditor’s desk.

The auditor leaps with joy, realizing that he has just turned a major loss into a huge win. But Grandpa’s own attorney moans and puts his head in his hands.

“Are you okay?” the auditor asks.

“Not really,” says the attorney. “This morning, when Grandpa told me he’d been summoned for an audit, he bet me twenty-five thousand dollars that he could come in here and pee all over your desk and that you’d be happy about it!

2023 is in our rearview mirror, so the time has come for us to set our New Year’s resolutions and think about our goals, hopes, and wishes for the year ahead.

We don’t have enough time to live our own life!

I reached this conclusion after trying to follow all the advice given on a morning news show one week in January. It seemed like a smart way to start my day. I figured I’d tune in, get the forecast, learn the headlines, and maybe hear a celebrity interview. I wasn’t expecting all the show segments telling me how to live my life better.

Most of these segments offered the promise of deliverance: “Financial Freedom Is Closer than You Think” or “Four Secrets to Better Communication.” Others, I decided, were designed to scare the socks off of me: “Six Health Risks Every Person Faces” or “Thieves You Cannot See — Avoiding Identity Theft.” Motivated by this combination of hope and fear, I compiled a to-do list of ways to improve my life and its management according to the experts. The more I listened, learned, and listed, the more behind schedule I felt.

The topics on my list ranged from health maintenance to home maintenance to car maintenance. I was informed I need to eat certain foods every day: four veggies, three fruits, two proteins (preferably chicken or fish), and I think a partridge in a pear tree. I also need to get enough fiber, calcium, Vitamin D, B, C, and Beta-something-or-other. I smiled as I wondered for this economy…

I need thirty minutes of cardio a day (but apparently with the right exercise product this can be done in ten), fifteen minutes of strength training, and ten minutes of stretching. Plus, some extended time for meditation so that my body and mind could align. I’m told a germ-resistant mat is needed for that. I need to bust my stress, nurture my creativity, and improve my posture. When peson never finish to pay bills and debts…

I need to pay attention to my finances. Save and invest. Spend frugally — yet somehow also buy the cool gadgets they review on the show. I need to check my credit report regularly. Shred important documents. Back up my computer. Meet with my financial planner. And read the information that comes with our kid’s possible scholarship.

The list continues…

Change my oil every 3,000 miles and my transmission fluid every 30,000. Test my smoke detector batteries biannually. Change my air filters every other month. Replace my toothbrush every three months. Flip my mattress every six. Buy new pillows every three years — I think this is for my posture, but it could be to get rid of dust mites. Check my skin for irregular moles. Check my yard for moles too. Weed and feed the lawn each spring. Grow houseplants to cleanse the air. Save last night’s roasted chicken bones to make my own chicken stock. Buy undervalued international stocks. Sell my stock before it drops. And stock my pantry for possible natural disasters.

Fertilize, amortize, winterize, maximize, scrutinize. Suddenly I realized: I don’t have time to live my life!

The story above is not exactly about me, and my new year plans and a long things to do about anybody, it really is about my country Nigeria, the fact that a new year has supposedly started and nothing has changed, the country is still on auto-pilot, half a dozen steps forward, and a complete dozen backward.

The year has started with Dr. Betty Edu, the minister for human beings if you get the drift, N585M illegal request and all the drama of the accountant general and another Halima Shehu. Bottom line is that we already have the first scandal of the year.

My country men and women if Nigeria would grow, show signs of progress, then we need to PAUSE. My word for the year for us, is PAUSE. In my busy life there are so many times I need to pause. Pause to remember these days, for they will fly by so quickly. Pause to say yes … and no. Pause to give thanks. Pause before I speak in anger, judgment, or criticism. Pause to say I’m sorry. Pause to dwell on God’s goodness and mercy.

Looking at the list of things I was supposed to do to live my life right, or well, or whatever all this was going to do for me, I felt defeated. The list that was going to improve my life left me overwhelmed. In my moment of defeat all I wanted to do was go surf. ’Course the list said I should put on a high-SPF sunscreen and take along a BPA-free water bottle to keep me well hydrated. Filled with filtered spring water, of course.

Change is possible. Betty Edu and all the shenanigans can resign for starters, but sadly we keep dropping the ball and the bar.

I’m sure you can relate; you’ve made lists too. Lists of things you want to start doing or stop doing — things you want to change about yourself. Lists of ways to improve your life and your character. Maybe you’ve only listed them in your head. But I bet they come to mind each January. Nearly 98 percent of us have made New Year’s resolutions. I am one of them.

And you’ve probably found, like I’ve found, that each day keeps blurring into the next while we try to make some progress with our many good intentions. Yet very little actually changes. And we keep dropping the ball on our resolutions to improve.

Only 2 percent of resolution makers report achieving any significant long-term change. Look for Nigeria in this piece, look for yourself, beyond the rituals of the prophecies of the ‘god’ of men, and speeches of ‘polithieficians’, just PAUSE—May Nigeria win!

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