Growing up in Gbegbeyise in the outskirts of Dansoman was fun. Lots of lessons were packaged in our experiences. We had our own classes of people in the society. Those of us who could afford a three square meal each day were somewhat in the middle class. Others who could afford a black-and-white TV set, in addition to their meals, fell somewhat in the high class. The chunk who couldn’t afford either of these wallowed in the low class.
Many years later, things have changed. I have seen some friends who then were in the low class hurled to the top of life. I have equally seen others who prided themselves in a lifestyle of some so-called middle or high class today struggling to survive. The same them! This life is indeed a maze which can never be solved.
The minister of a president today can tomorrow be the president of yesterday’s president. The employee of an employer today may tomorrow employ his employer of yesterday. Life is like time. It is never constant. It is always changing. Thus, treating others with utmost respect, no matter how low they are today, is not only a must… but a duty. Tomorrow, they might just give us back what we gave them yesterday.
One thing that should make each of us humble each day of our lives is the lesson nature teaches us. Have you observed the growth of flowers, for instance? At a point in time, they look so blossomy and beautiful. They have all the attention. They are the cynosure of all eyes. However, with time, they age. Then… they begin to look unattractive. Then… they start to wilt. Then… they die off. The same flower!
Our lives are like flowers. The attention we have depends on how attractive we look. The attraction we exude, however, is not timeless. With time, it fades off. With time, we become of less use. With time, we need to go on pension. With time, we need to die for others to be born. Like flowers, our lives are timed! Someone may bow to our glory and splendor in one minute and the next minute… we may be bowing to theirs.
Life is like a wheel. You may be up today… and down tomorrow. You may be in position today… and opposition tomorrow. You may be in the front seat of attention today and be at the backseat of pension tomorrow. You may have all the power and influence today… and lose it all tomorrow. The same you!
The same you who may be overly famous today may be overly nonexistent tomorrow. The same you who may be chauffeured around today may be walking for the rest of your life as from tomorrow. Today, the same you who may think the top was made for only you may need to strive to survive tomorrow. The same you!
Nothing ever lasts forever. Not our problems. Our pleasures and treasures neither. The good things of life are like the bad ones. They both never last. Pain doesn’t last forever. Gain neither. The one who has pain should be hopeful. They who have gain should be humble. It takes only a minute for their places to be exchanged.
The same mobile phones for which others sacrificed their loved ones in the early 90s… are utterly worthless today. The same mobile phones. The same cars for which others sacrificed their bodies in the 70s… won’t even befit a birthday gift today. The same iPhone for which you may want to sacrifice your morality today may sooner or later be an older version of another newer one. Nothing indeed ever lasts forever.
Your position and possessions are not permanent. You may be bowed to today. But… wait till you lose what you have. Wait till you lose that well-paid job. Wait till you lose that luxury. Just wait till you’re out of office. That’s when the truth will come knocking you that the attention we often have… comes along with our possessions. No possession. No attention.
Some friends so-called are like politicians. The only time you find them around is when it’s campaign season. You only find them heaping all the accolades on you because of what you have. Lose your possessions… and you lose them, too!
Humble yourself. Respect others. Great men don’t walk down the street wearing tags. You don’t disrespect another because you have something they lack. It’s immature to look down on another because you have some physical qualities they don’t have yet. Trust me, you may look overly pretty today… yet look like some wasted pension benefit tomorrow. The same you. Others may beg for your attention today and may not even recognize you tomorrow.
Times change. Fame fades. Power dwindles. Influence exacerbates. Beauty wilts. Nothing ever lasts forever.
No one ever stays at the top forever. Be humble. Your servant today may be your master tomorrow. It took only a day for Joseph to be lord over Potiphar, his former boss. As long as it takes only a day for power to change hands, you can’t trust this thing called life. It is very unpredictable!
To the one who’s up life’s ladder, be humble. To the one’s one who’s down life’s ladder, be hopeful. It takes only minutes for the same hand of the clock to move from up to down… and from down to up. It takes only minutes for you to be at the top or bottom. The same you!
The writer is a playwright and the Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications, a writing company in Accra (www.scribecommltd.com). His upcoming play, #MyWifeInLaw, is on Saturday, September 24, at Amegashie Hall, University of Ghana Business School.