DAY 2: Something Someone told me that I never Forgot
I would have loved it if this topic was more precise, maybe something positive, or something negative. I can remember several things on both sides, and whichever I choose to speak on will drastically define this narrative. If I dwell on the negative comments, those who said those words will see it and then say, ‘I didn’t know my words affected you so, I’m sorry’.
To settle the words that should be the focus of this article, I’ll settle on the earliest words I can remember.
‘You will be great one day’
- Ogechi Agunbiade, late 1990’s/ early 2000’s
How I remember these words, uttered to me after an afternoon bath to wash off the sweat and grime of playtime in primary school, I can’t explain. While drying me, she said out of nowhere, ‘You will be great one day’. Maybe it was the sight of my distended belly which always quaked for more food. Or the sheer innocence in those big eyes that knew nothing of the evils of the world – evils like the CGPA system, friend zoning and monthly data plans that finish in less than 2 weeks.
Either way those words have remained etched into my memory, fleeting across the tracks of my train of thought from time to time. In my victory moments, as a confirmation that someone before me had seen all this. In my manic, depressed, tear-everything-down moments, as a reminder that no matter what I do, I am not powerful enough to tamper with my God’s immutable plan.
Words are very fickle things. It’s an overstated principle that we should be careful what we say, but we hardly take that in consideration when speaking. I have no right to preach about how words should be used, considering the fact that I have a growing reputation for my ‘sharp mouth’. But I think that what matters is not the purity of what comes out of your mouth (or is typed in your WhatsApp messages), but the balance of the content. Yab all you want, throw jabs if you feel like, use the N-word, P-word, D-word, F-word, and every word unfortunately described as vulgar. But never let those words become what defines you. Many of the people I know have told me negative words, worthy of this today’s topic, but they’ve also told me positive things, reminding me of my true capacity in my suicidal moments. It would thus be unfair to condemn them based on a moments indiscretion.
So, If I can modify spiritual and moral edicts, don’t let your speech be always pure and edifying. If we all spoke purely, the world would be a very boring place. Instead, for every serving of Aloe Vera juice you dispense, hand out a litre of Chocolate ice cream.
Words are like the downy feathers of a chicken. Get enough of them and you have the stuffing for a comfortable pillow. But just one of them in the ear of a giant would disrupt all sweet dreams.