Weekend Reflections

It was quite a busy weekend for me as I had to travel out of Lagos to give a 3-hour talk on an insurance related topic.

The presentation was cool. Oh yes, …really cool. That’s the word that yuppies use these days.

I also learnt a lot from the participants; most especially the program co-ordinator who shared his wisdom and experience with everyone.

One of the things that came up in the course of my presentation was “The Story Life Tells.” I cannot remember how many times I’ve used this message to drive home the point that we all need to embrace life insurance and make adequate provision for our retirement.

On my way back to Lagos, I kept thinking about life, and the story that life tells.

Imagine how we toil day and night as human beings.

Imagine how some people waste their life on frivolities.

Imagine how many have abandoned their parents, not necessarily deliberately; but probably on account of incapacity – financial incapacity, that is.

Imagine how frustrated millions of youths have become because of unemployment.

Imagine the annoyance.

Imagine the hopelessness.

I couldn’t stop thinking about this life that we all live in.

But one fact remains constant – what God created, He created perfect.

Whatever the situation we find ourselves at any point in time is the direct result of our actions or inactions. That’s the truth.

No doubt, man, by nature, will not want to inflict any injury on himself. That’s right. But his fellow man can do that to him. And that is what appears to be so prevalent in many societies of today – most especially the Nigerian society.

Man, because of selfishness, callousness, and greed, is prepared to do anything to achieve his personal interest irrespective of whose ox is gored. He’s ready to sacrifice the future of his children and that of his children’s children for his personal gains of today.

It doesn’t matter to him whether another man’s children are in forced marathon fasting. The most important thing is for him and his household to live in absolute splendour.

That is man – the man of today!

In the course of our self-centredness too, we end up inflicting injuries on ourselves unknowingly. You must have probably heard that when you point a finger at someone, the remaining four point at you. Yes, that’s the way it is.

In an attempt to outdo the neigbour, we end up outdoing ourselves. What a sense of ignorance!

Perhaps I should call last Saturday my “reflection day.”

In an attempt to shift my attention to something else in that car, I reached for my phone and opened my gmail box. The first thing that I saw was a short report on the five main causes of marital breakups.

It caught my attention, so I opened it.

And reading it opened up another set of reflections in my brain. The report says that best relationship advice can be obtained from people who are actually divorced.

The “Doctor of Love,” Dr. Terri Orbuch, author of “Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship” conducted a 25-year study that started in 1986.  The research was supported by the US National Institute of Health and it is quite revealing.

It followed the relationships of 373 newlyweds over the period and, by 2012, almost half of the couples, precisely 46%, had divorced (about the same as the national average!).

Well, you may say that’s not news.

But Dr. Orbuch says that five issues kept coming up in the interviews conducted for the affected couples.

And that’s where my refelections hung throughout my journey back to Lagos.

Money

Issue number one is money.   The report says that many of the breakups were as a result of money problems.

Who then argues that money and love are not siblings?

But a question needs to be asked. What fate befalls a man that is jobless? What hope has a man who does not have a job? Reflections!

 Affection

Oh yeah, money is not everything. Dr. Orbuch’s research reveals that lack of affection is one of the top five reasons for the break up of relationships.

I agree.

Who doesn’t want to be shown love? Who doesn’t want to be recognized? Who doesn’t want to be reaasured of an unconditional love?

Contrary to what ladies think, however, men actully want more of this than they do.

Blame

Blame game also made the list.

Of course, it can be so painful to have a “blamer” as a partner. This is a man or woman who is never at fault.  If something goes wrong, his/her partner must be responsible.

Never at fault personally!

I accept, men are more guilty in this respect than women.

Communication

This came as a shock to me. I would have thought that communication shouldn’t be a problem with all the gadgets we sorround ourselves with nowadays.

Orbuch’s investigations show that many of the couples interviewed broke up for lack of effective communication.

How come?

Well, maybe couples are not actually using their BB, iPhones, iPad, Twitter, Facebook,  and what have you to strengthen their relationships. There seems to be so much talk without communication.

And that actually reminds me of a mail I’m yet to respond to.

A guy had written me for an opinion last week. He said he bought his gal a BB phone but, to his utter dismay, the lady kept displaying other guys’ pictures on it. At no time, he said, did the lady deem it fit to even give his own picture a place on the phone – at least for once!

Hmmm, that’s a kind of communication!

Letting Go

The fifth major issue identified in the report is the inability of partners to let go. That’s to say that many partners find it hard to move on.

It’s true that the pains can be quite deep when our partners hurt us. I could feel such pains in the message sent to me by that “BB guy.”

But the truth is that life must continue. You must drive your life using your windscreen, not your rear mirror. And keeping malice does not help your health in any way.

I got home late on that day, the first day of a new month; went straight to bed and drifted off like a baby, thinking ‘Here comes another month of September.’

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