Monday, 25 March 2013

Should age be a barrier in a relationship?

A conversation I had with a close friend of mine (Florence Young--- inspired me to write this piece. We spoke about a whole lot but for the purpose of not making this article too lengthy, I’m just going to focus on the most important point which you’ll find out as you read on

I consider this topic to be an interesting and multifaceted one. As we all know, relationship involves a whole lot and just like every other quality, age plays a major role in any relationship. Going by the popular cliché “age is just a number,” it’s easy for one to be subjective in their judgment when choosing or settling down with a partner. It is no news that most relationships smother because of poor communication which eventually gives birth to lack of understanding between both partners. This usually is due to the fact that one person is more advanced in reasoning than the other which makes it next to impossible for both partners to get along.

Now, to a very large extent, I believe age has little to do with a person’s level of maturity. Although sometimes, our definition of maturity lacks accuracy and so we write off of a person just because s/he doesn’t fit into our own definition. For instance, some people tell me I think like a 35 year old even though I am just in my mid 20’s while some others tell me I think like a 12 year old.  You get the gist? So, Depending on our personality, we have certain qualities we look out for in the people we hope to date and if those qualities are found missing in them, it becomes next to impossible for them to have our heart.

Having said this, why then do people give up on the one person they love just because s/he is either younger or older than they are?  Why do some ladies prefer to go through emotional pain rather than date someone their junior?  I have seen both guys and ladies suffer in silence just because the one person they love doesn’t fall within their age range; It’s either the person is younger than they are, of same age, or by far older.  So, instead of focusing on the things that bind them together, they focus on the one thing (Age difference) that divides them.

Since ladies mature physically and mentally earlier than guys, they tend to look out for the older boys. The belief is that an older guy understands how a lady is wired and so can handle her even with all her drama as opposed to the younger guy who’s assumed to be rather naïve. While this belief may be true, it is imperative ladies know that not every “older guy” is a grown up. Sometimes, a younger guy is by far a grown up than the older guy. The belief that a man must be older than a woman goes back to when women were married at an early age, often 16, and men their own age couldn't support them. Well, this is 2013. I don’t know if ladies still marry at that tender age anymore.

I, for one, don’t fully support choosing a partner based on age difference (who’s older and who’s not), Important factors in choosing a partner are, how compatible you are in your basic ideas of life and whether you both are able to show understanding , flexibility, patience, acceptance, love and respect to each other in the relationship. However, the age gap between both partners shouldn’t be much so one partner doesn’t get to treat the other like a parent, uncle, aunt, or a child.

To conclude this piece, please allow me share with you a true life story:

I use to know a lady who met this young gentle man on the plane flying from Calabar to Lagos state (both cities in Nigeria). As luck would have it, they were seat mates for the 45 min they were 39000 feet above ground level. As most of us guys do when we sit or stand beside a gorgeous lady, this young gentle man broached a conversation and as they spoke, the lady was quite impressed with his level of maturity, composure and eloquence. They landed safely, got off the plane, proceeded to the terminal, and of course they exchanged contacts. You don’t expect it to end there right? Do you?

Fast forward a few days later, he made the first call, and that first call became the seed which eventually produced a harvest of endless telephone conversations for a period of 2 months until they decided to meet up somewhere. Now, for each time they spoke over the phone prior to their meeting, she was always mesmerized by this his level of maturity. There was this connection that existed between them. ” Quoting her, “I am yet to meet a guy as mature as Femi.” Really? I guess that’s what love can make anyone say.

Long story short, holding a ring, he said those 4 letter words “will you marry me?” and she replied with those 5 letter words “Yes, I will marry you” awwwwww... *Teary eyes* … LOL… You know these days’ ladies hardly turn down proposals.  #just saying.  Anyways, they courted for a year and seven months until one day she found out that Femi was 2 years her junior. Having discovered that she was older than Femi, she broke up with him and decided to put behind her everything they’ve ever shared.  She came home crying to my aunt that she still loves Femi but can’t be with him because of their age difference. I don’t know how many guys or ladies support her decision, but I think it’s ridiculous of her to have called off her relationship with Femi simply because of their age difference.

In your thoughts, just before you place that comment? I would like you to pause and think for a moment, what actually is love? Would you have fallen in love with him if you knew his age in the first place? Arguably, Age is correctly judged by behaviour, disposition and the thought pattern of an individual... If you didn't know his/her age, yet you fell in love and at some point you found out about her age and want to pull out, then something is definitely missing. For you to have fallen in love and experienced bliss in the relationship means he's just the right age for you. This is my final thought pattern as regards this issue, let's read yours.
I would like to know your stand on this topic. As a guy, can you date a lady that’s older than you and as a lady can you date a guy you are older than? Should age really be a barrier in a relationship?

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Thanks for always taking out of your time to read. I appreciate you.
Huntly Anabs

Monday, 18 March 2013

When all you hear is “silence.”

One of the biggest challenges I had when moving to Sokoto State for my NYSC was adjusting to the silence. Not the silence of the city, but rather the silence that comes from me being quiet- me being alone. My friends know me to be a talkative. I talk almost all the time. And yes! I try to make sense when I talk. How was I now to adapt to this new phase of my life? How was I to go on with my daily activities to utter silence? Yeah! There are times I shut myself to the noise of this world and go into meditation. But this doesn’t happen all the time.  

In chapter 28 of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, for those of you have read the book, I was drawn to the silence Michael Hosea experienced when asking God if he released Angel to Him (God), would he ever get her back. Now Michael was a good man who fell in love with a bad woman (prostitute) and each time he tries to prove his genuine love to her, she hurts him, leaving him with a scar in his heart.

 This, of course, would not be the first time Michael would have to let her go. The difference now is that she has fallen in love with him. They have known the joy of the true marriage relationship. His love has been reciprocated but God’s silence was his nightmare. Why wouldn’t God speak to him in the midst of his pain? There are several things we must remember about God’s silence in our lives.

*Silence does not mean absence. The Book of Esther is a great example of God at work, but no words. The name of God is not mentioned, but the reality of His presence is everywhere.

*Silence may bring much needed solitude. (BE STILL) Have you sat at a table waiting for someone to SAY SOMETHING? There can be intimidation in moments of silence. However, when you are comfortable enough with someone that no words have to be shared, the relationship has shifted to intimacy. Not necessarily sex! But a comfort level that speaks without words. God's silence is as much a sign of God's presence as of God's absence. That divine silence is not a vacuum to be filled, but a mystery to be entered into. 

*Silence tests our trust. (BE STILL AND KNOW) Do you know people who seem to always "have a Word from God"? First of all, I watch out for those people. Second of all, it shows their inability to trust when there is no voice. Although I realize God is at work, the moments of silence must eventually bring me to a place that I can say, "I don't hear you, but I know you are there." There are a few persons I communicate with on BB almost every day and the days I don’t hear from them doesn’t mean they are not there. You get?
Our seasons of tests and trials have taught us, very simply, to take off the training wheels and ride. At first, we knew God was close by with arms opened wide to catch us if we fall. It is not that He is not close by anymore. He is! Now we must trust the experience of learning to ride and His ever near presence. To take it a step further, we are actually riding a tandem bike and He is in front doing the peddling and the steering!

 In the world we live in, it is easy to allow background noise to mask the beauty of silence. Our senses can get dulled to the symphony God has created just for us. The television, blackberry, ipod, internet, and other useful gadgets can even obscure our ability to hear God. I realize there are times when God seems silent, but it is also possible God's voice may be speaking, but is lost in the crowd of other voices and stuff that invade our busy lives.

I read the story recently of a man who lost his valuable watch in an ice house. His co-workers carefully searched the ice house with him looking for the watch. They looked everywhere, but they couldn't find it. A little boy heard about their search. During his lunch hour he slipped into the ice house and emerged with the watch. All of the men were stunned and said, "How did you find it?" The boy replied, " Well I simply went to the icehouse, closed the door, laid down quietly on the floor, and then I began to listen. After a while, I could hear the tick, tick, tick of the watch." Maybe we need to go in, lay down on the floor, be very quiet, and begin to listen.

In the words of my friend Daniel Addo ( “God speaks LOUDEST in word”
Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).

Have ever been in a situation when all you hear is God’s silence?  And you are like mehn “I just need a word from God” 

Please a comment

Huntly Anabs
Twitter: @huntlya

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Your Oga at the top

I believe by now most of you must have the seen the video that went viral over the internet a few days back. Although not given a title by channels TV, some Nigerians decided to tag the video "My Oga at the top" which makes it even more hilarious. With no intention of trying to exaggerate, I must say here that I have watched the “My oga at the top” video more than 50 times and surprisingly, it gets me rolling on the floor and laughing my ass out each time I watch it. While no one is above mistakes, such a blunder, I think, shouldn't go scot free. Therefore, I totally support the caricature people are making of this video..

However hilarious and embarrassing that video is to millions of people, there is a lesson to be learnt from it. Something strikes me each time I hear the man say "My oga at the top.” And whenever I get to the part he said those five letter words "My oga at the top” I pause the video, shift aside my laptop and roll on the floor laughing with tears rolling down my cheek.  Forgive me please; I wouldn't pretend it isn't funny. It is oh! I no go lie. It is abeg! If while or after watching that video you didn’t laugh, then it means something is really wrong with you and I suggest you go for serious check up or maybe visit bar beach so those “aladura’s” (White garment prophets) can conduct special prayers for you. Just pay N10, 000 and your case would be taken care of. Why? Because you need it. 

In my opinion, this is the funniest clip of all time and I think this new Naija Lexicon with the words: “My oga at the top” is not going to be forgotten anytime soon.
In a bid to camouflage his ignorance, he made several attempts to dodge the question as he tried to get the Journalist to understand that the decision to disclose the official website (ww.nscdc. *coughs* so.. Dazz all) wasn't he’s but "his oga at the top." But trust Journalist nawh! They wouldn’t let him be; as one of the Journalists kept asking him with a sarcastic look on his face “What is the official website of the NSCDC?
What further amazes me is how that people are already making a fortune off what others saw as a mere comedy show. It would shock you that T-shits with the emblazoned words: “My oga at the top” are being sold for N3000 as I write this piece and I believe the demand for those customized shirts exceeds the supply at the present moment (Business In-sight).  Igbo boys sha! I hail ona oh!!
The clip taught me a few lessons which I think I should share with you guys in just a few lines.

Now I'm more than convinced that a bunch of people live their lives on a daily basis thinking they own their lives when in reality their lives isn't theirs but God (Oga at the top). Some, without any form of direction wake up, eat (sometimes without even brushing) bath and off they go. To where? No where! They live a life without purpose because somehow, they wouldn't ask "Their oga at the top" the reason they were born

As an individual, I can't count the number of times I have made important decisions without consulting God (My oga at the top). There have been certain times I have exercised authority over my life without even giving God (My oga at the top) a little space. I have made terrible mistakes that I think I wouldn't have if only I had admitted that I was ignorant of what I was getting myself into and ask for direction. There's nothing wrong with acknowledging your ignorance in a certain matter, but there's everything wrong with claiming you know when actually you know nothing. If you don’t know or understand a thing, humble yourself and ask those who are intelligent enough to teach you what you don’t know. That’s how you learn.

I wonder why it didn’t come to Mr Shem in an epiphany that he was seated before channels journalist. I mean if you know those guys, you will know they can make a fool of anyone. Should he have said "I'm sorry, I don't know the answer to that question” his honesty perhaps, would have saved him the embarrassment and maybe, you and I wouldn't have been making a caricature of the "hilarious” clip. In all sincerity, I feel for him. I can’t imagine the humiliation his kids and wife are currently facing as a result of what Nigerians are making off it. This ”My oga at the top” joke is definitely going to last for a long time. Atleast he became popular overnight. It’s not that easy to be known by millions of people overnight. Shey?

Having said that, I believe life would be much better if people can humble themselves and seek to understand rather than be understood.  Ask questions where you don’t understand and be humble to take correction. Self discovery begins with acknowledging you don't know who you are and then asking God " your oga at the top” to show you who you are.
As I conclude this piece, I’m reminded of the words of King Solomon:”Trust in the lord (Your oga at the top) with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him (Your oga at the top) and He will make your path straight.

Ehn ehn that being said, do you guys think he should be queried, fired or pardoned for making such a terrible blunder?  I mean should someone of his reputation go scot free for not knowing the answer to such a simple question? I hear he has been suspended by his “oga at the top.” Do you think that was the right thing to do? Please share your opinion in the comment box below.

Huntly Anabs
Twitter: @huntlya

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Why having a first class degree isn't enough

As the d-day draws closer, the pressure on you begins to mount. Term papers due for submission, final project wahala (can never forget the stress I went through while writing mine), clearance, endless presentations, parties you just can’t afford to miss and at this point, you begin to experience constant mixed feelings… one time you’re like  ‘Mehn… I just can’t wait to graduate”  at the same time you don’t feel like graduating because of the friends you don’t want to say good bye to, the covering that is naturally available to you in the society as a student and the 'comfort zone' factor (reluctance to step into the unknown).

I remember how I felt few days to grad. Truth be told, I was scared to death. Scared of what? I don’t know. But I knew I was scared of something. Maybe I was scared of stepping out into the “real world” as they call it, scared of saying goodbye to the people I’ve come to know, scared to be left alone to make choices, scared because I do not even know if what I had gained in school was enough to sustain this new phase of my life.

As I walked alone on that calm night, reflecting on my journey so far and where I was headed, I was confronted with that big question… What NEXT? Ok… now I felt like becoming a college freshman all over again and re take courses such as WRITING 101, MATH 101, and all the other 101’s courses all because I feared stepping out into the unknown.
Fast forward a few days later, I had my diploma in my hands and was given 3 days to evacuate the school premises. But because I needed time to plan and get myself together, I stayed back in school for about a week. 

Stepping out of the school gate after my week of planning, it was a time of transit from the crazy, carefree, lovely and stressful life as a student into the ‘real world.” On getting to the “real world,” I realized Nigeria is populated with a lot of frustrated graduates. Some who wanted to become Doctors, Lawyers, Computer Science expert, Engineers, and Lab Scientist, yet ended up with degrees in Fishery, animal science, linguistic, Library and information systems and maybe Bicycle Engineering (that’s if there’s a course like that). And the funny thing is some of these people are first class graduates. Now, I’m not condemning any degree, neither am I placing a profession above another, my point is; most graduates are equipped for the battle (Labour Market) with the wrong weapons.  I mean, how do you become efficient in something you have no passion for?  

Ok… now you’ve graduated… good… may be with a first class in double majors… awesome!! And you are on your way to getting a PhD degree…Incredible… But the question is, are you capable of solving problems and adding value?  That’s what an employer wants to know; How can your first class degree make a difference in the organization? I believe life is about the enhancement of value and enriching the lives of others.

After I graduated from the University, I worked in an oil firm as a Project Admin officer for about 6 months and trust me; it was a different ball game. It was a match between theoretical knowledge vs. practical knowledge. You see, the title you wear is not as important as the task you perform. You must understand that you become more valuable based on the problems you solve not the degree you carry. No company wants to hire a “first class” liability. So before you allow your first class degree get into you head, take a chill pill, relax and ask yourself one simple question: Am I capable of solving problems? Ouch!

Now, let me issue a disclaimer here: The Labour Market is highly competitive and demanding. Don’t get it twisted. My friend Micheal Onobote would say, “Your first class will pave way for you to attend job interviews, but it doesn’t guarantee that you will get the job.” Your getting the job is predicated on what you know up stairs and the people you know “at the top,” I mean, “Your oga’s at the top.” Shey you get? And oh yes! The favorr of God.

Now, to stand out, you’ve got to increase your capacity. You’ve got to do what others are not doing. Look beyond your degree and keep growing.  You’ve got to stretch and develop yourself. Acquire a skill and be good at it. 

Read books, magazines, and articles that are related to your field. In fact be an avid reader. Read! Read!! Read!!! To lead in your field you’ve got to read, practice, and be disciplined. unfortunately, most people don’t read. All you here them talk about is champions league, AFCON, NYSC allowee, who stole money and who didn’t and all them Kim Kadashian, Rihanna and Beyonce’s story. Honestly, I’m tired of mediocrity…  

Those guys have made names for themselves. While others were busy talking about others, they were busy honing their skills and building capacity. You also, should try, regardless of where you are presently and do same rather than sit for hours talking about people who don’t even know you exist *Throws away face*
When I started Blogging, I had three (3) things in mind: (1) to improve my writing skill and knowledge base. (2) To inspire people (3) to educate people

I know the height I want to attain, but to attain that height I have to start from somewhere which is what I am doing.  You also can do same. We may not share similar passion, but whatever your passion is, chase it with all you’ve got.  Maybe your passion lies in singing. Start developing yourself in that area. Maybe you are crazy about fashion, start a sewing class, read about top designers to know how they got to where they are today. “Despise not the days of little beginnings” If you have a passion for drawing… start practicing now. You want to be a computer guru but all you do is open and close Microsoft word every day. You must be joking. Your “oga’s at the top” definitely won’t be happy with you. Take professional courses and constantly practice and hone your skill in the area you want to major in. Start where you are but don’t remain where you started. Champions don’t wait for opportunities. They prepare for opportunities. Eaglets are born, but EAGLES are made. You will never be all you were destined to be by remaining in the nest of your life- the comfort zone. Step out of the nest of your life and join the leagues of eagles. 

I’m pretty sure I have offended some people. Well, I’m sorry.
I think I should stop here so I can attend to my “oga at the top.” 

Please leave a comment and share with others. 

Huntly Anabs