I have visited my 120-years-old grandmother and given her some money and when I was leaving she she told me she didn’t need money again; that she could no longer buy nor sell at her age, so I should give the money to the younger ones who needed it.
I also have a former-governor friend whom I worked with as a green horn journalist. He was governor from 1999-2007. Not too long ago, I saw him. After check in, he was seated by the corner of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport awaiting his flight. No one even recognized him again, not even passengers from his state where he was governor, and as I walked up to him and greeted him then asked if he wanted any assistance, he stretched forth his trembling hands to hold me and simply said, “Thank you for even recognizing me again. I just want your attention briefly, my son. Sit down let me ask you something. How is Governor Ayade doing, Agba?”
I also have a retired Major General friend whom I served as a golf caddy at the NDA golf course in Kurmi Mashi, Kaduna. He was so rich that he built a beautiful house he was so proud of. I visited him not too long ago and wanted us to climb to our favorite spot at his balcony upstairs. He stared at me with a broad smile and said, “Jally, I can’t remember the year I went up there. It is lizards, cob webs, and the likes that live there now. Even the kids, when they come, they don’t enjoy my company in the house any more than a few hours and they are gone. I don’t have the limbs to climb up there again and the cost of cleaning keeps getting higher.”
I have seen a lot more things. How yesterday became the day before, and today became yesterday, and how tomorrow became today; how the past became history, how the present became the past, and how the future became the present. Nothing ever remains where it is. Your strength, your muscles, your beauty, your wealth, your guts, your worth, your courage, your talent and your ‘you’ will progressively diminish until they return to the source. The richest man in the world in the 1960s will be on the payroll of the richest man in the world today. Even the strongest lion in the jungle will someday become weak, frail and be eaten by the same preys it once terrorized.
Keep that in mind always and know that no matter how appealing and tempting that thing may seem, our interest in it will diminish with time. Our strength to consume or own it will vanish with time, until everything is surely taken away from us or we are surely taken away from everything.
Citizen Agba Jalingo.
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