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Read Letter

Taking Things for Granted

My dear Jil, I was at the Freedom Foundation documentary screening penultimate Saturday and what a documentary! It was about the great work being done by that organization. It’s led by Dr. Tony Rapu. These people risk their lives trying to rescue drug addicts, sex workers and street thugs. Some are assassins. You’ve got to be bold to do such work, or rely on some power like Dr. Tony Rapu says. That’s one organization you ought to support by the way. You said you’re looking for purpose in life.

As I watched that documentary, I realized how lucky many of us are. Life indiscriminately advantaged some of us. These people are no less human than the rest of us. It’s just a matter of circumstances. There are success stories, people completely turned around. Those transformations are magical! But there are sad endings too. Take the case of the young man called Success. He was completely rehabilitated and on the path of success in life. Had even started a business. All he wanted was a chance to compete in life, a chance to succeed. And when he got that chance he ran with it. Only to be gunned down by a gang crew. He had gone back to his old neighbourhood to visit some friends. Perhaps he went to persuade them to leave that life and to show what he had become. His death was heart-rending. This guy had transformed from being an armed robber, hired assassin and druggist.

Also, there was the young woman who was repeatedly rescued as she went back again and again to that old life. She was a prostitute, con artist and very heavy drug user. The neighbourhoods these kids live are well known to you and I. These are terrible brand name neighbourhoods in Lagos.

Just watching that documentary should make one thankful to God. Unless of course you have a sense of entitlement. We ought to thank God for the many things we take for granted, things we feel entitled to. Take your marriage for instance. You ought to be thankful. It’s a good marriage. Of course no marriage is perfect. It’s a combine of imperfect people. But we tend to trivialize good things, trivialize blessings. Marriages have broken up over trivialities. When the trivial is powered by pride a marriage ruptures. Who knows how many marriages ego has broken. If you know what it takes to conjure up a good marriage you won’t play with your marriage. It’s a miracle of life. Those who tend to appreciate marriage the most are those given second chance. They’ve known pain, they’ve known sadness, they’ve known horror. They can appreciate happiness. You literally need deliverance from a horrible marriage. You need that power that Dr. Tony Rapu relies on. Don’t take your marriage for granted. And don’t do things that will destroy your marriage. There are dire consequences and they’re not poetry. When God gives you a wonderful thing, express appreciation by cherishing it. You ought to ponder if you’re building your marriage or wrecking it. It’s dangerous to toy with a good thing, especially something as consequential as marriage.

You and your husband are toying with your marriage, this wonderful thing you have, and I can’t believe both of you! There are things you don’t mess around with in life. Marriage is one of them. Not unless you want to unleash custom anguish. There are no spare parts for marriage. When it’s broken it’s broken! I’m not sure you know the value of life peace. If you do you won’t childishly toy with your marriage. I’m not sure he appreciates the value of love and devotion either. What’s wrong with both of you?! What you have is a classic case of depreciation of the worth and value of marital assets. Marital assets are love, peace, devotion and happiness. If you devalue those things and depreciate them, then you’re entitled to the alternatives.

People who take a good marriage for granted invariably live to regret it. Some end up lonely, angry and bitter. And they won’t take responsibility for their predicament for the simple reason they look awful admitting the truth. They can’t cope with the wonder of those who’ll enquire: how could you blow such a wonderful thing! If you have a spouse your friends wish they had, you better appreciate what you have. But if you exhibit the spirit of Esau and trivialize the sacred, you have a lot of weeping ahead of you. And when you blow a good thing the regret is much. Confronting the truth – you’re the architect of your misfortune – is not easy. It’s like I said at the beginning of this letter: we take good things for granted. We tend to have a sense of entitlement to things we’re used to. Until we experience the otherwise we tend not to appreciate what we have. We always assume if we lose something wonderful we can always pick up another. Just like that! Yet wonderful things are not commonplace or we won’t call them wonderful in the first place. There’s differentiation.

You and your husband ought to sit down and tighten your head nuts. You ought to have a thankful heart. There’s nothing on your birth certificate that entitles you to blessings. Your delusion can’t change that fact. A sense of entitlement is a delusional complex. And life is not averse to disproving such hallucinations. Peace in a home is not the absence of fights. It’s the inner state of someone’s heart. Appreciate that someone. A loving and dedicated spouse should never be taken for granted. If you resent the excellent, you open yourself to life’s offers of mediocrity. If you renounce peace and happiness you open yourself to life’s offers of heart disturbances and unhappinesses. That’s all I’m going to say.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Marriage, Gratitude, Appreciation

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