The Mirror and Mirage of Life 1


The hope I dreamed of was a dream,
Was but a dream; and now I wake,
Exceeding comfortless and worn, and old,
For a dream’s sake. – Christina Rossetti

According to the popular British playwright and screen writer, John Osborne, ‘Never believe in Mirrors’. It is worthy to note that people don’t care about our pasts, I mean no one wants to know how you got to where you are or what you passed through to be able to afford your own bills; all they know is that you are successful. It is not their fault though; it is just unfortunate the mirror of life keeps reflecting the most beautiful part of us while covering the dirtiest areas of our lives.
Most times, we are fortunate to meet people at the peak of their success, and we most times think most of them inherited the wealth or they were just lucky to be successful,


These people actually went through a lot we won’t imagine to experience. Should we start from the dull high school Ben Carson who could hardly passed any of his exams but later became the first surgeon to successfully separate a Siamese twins; or the dyslexic Albert Einstein who could not read and write till he was above four years but later became a world recognized physicist and almost the most decorated scientist. 

We won’t also forget Lionel Messi that was born into a very poor family and also had health problem that his family earnings could not cover or the club that promised to support but didn’t and still later became the one ruling the world of football and finally, Cristiano Ronaldo whose family was so poor that a family of 5 people could only afford a room to live along with a racing heart that required surgery and still, one of the greatest footballers in the world.
All of these experiences point to one thing, failure, problems, challenges, disappointments and the likes all have an expiry date. Fortunately or unfortunately, the mirror of life doesn’t reflect these problems and challenges but the success and that is why John Osborne suggested that we should not believe in the mirror. According to Jean Cocteau, ‘Mirrors should think longer before they reflect’. Mirrors are partial and don’t think deeply, else, they would balance their reflection and show people what they need to see and not what they want to see.

During the roughest times of a man’s life, there are so many things enough to face; all these things are not punishments per say, they are just there to try, test and prepare the man for the greatness to come. ‘We don’t appreciate what we have until we lose them’. Have you ever thought of seeking for a million naira from your dad and he gave you with no condition attached or resistance; the impression he gives you is that you can always come to him for such sum of money, he should also not be surprised if you came back the following day that the money has finished and he should give you another. 

This reflects in our daily lives and if you are smart enough, you are able to delineate between those that work for their money, and those that get the money from their parents or spouse especially from how they spend the money or what they do with it. This also divides the rich, that is, we have those that are rich money-wise but poor mentally or psychologically and we also have those that are rich physically and mentally; I believe you know what I mean.
Quickly, we would see what mirror ought to show and what the mirror is actually showing.
What the mirror ought to show;
In the words of the Russian Ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova, ‘As is the case in all branches of art, success depends in a very large measure upon individual initiative and exertion, and cannot be achieved except by dint of hard work’. Just take it to the bank, you get nothing outside hardwork. What you don’t work for, you don’t get. To achieve your dreams, your hardwork has to speak. Unfortunately when the success comes, the people that see it won’t know how much you actually worked, what a partial mirror of life.

Another part of your life the mirror won’t show is the amount of risk you took before that business strategy came through. According to Somerset Maugham, ‘You can do anything in this world if you are prepared to take the consequences’. From Bill Gates account of why he dropped out and faced Microsoft, he said ‘well, I never left Harvard, it was more of a break. I already planned that if Microsoft didn’t work through as planned, I would return to school’. However, Bill Gates dropped out never to return back to the classroom because the risk was worth taken and it worked out as planned. How would you know if it would work if you didn’t try? Banchao says, ‘How can one catch tiger cubs without entering the tiger’s lair?

Late Nights
My eye cried and woke me, the night was pain’. – Al-Khansa. I believe some of the readers checking up this article currently are reading it around some ‘am’ when they believe they have finished work for the day. Men would always hustle on the streets right into the wee hours, it is nothing serious as long as the hustle is legit, it would pay off soon. Work now so you won’t work later. A part of the bible says, ‘Work while it is day, for night cometh when no man would be able to work’. This is your own day, work now so you don’t work when you should enjoy your sweat.
In the loving words of the former US president, Theodore Roosevelt, ‘Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they lie in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat’. Your failure doesn’t make you a weak person, it only adds to your experience

Do we need to mention how many times Thomas Edison tried to make a light bulb before he got the best and perfect way to do it which is now in use till today. Do I also recount my experience of writing O’level exams 8 times and JAMB three times before I got admitted into the university and still finished with honors? You can’t give what you don’t have. Your failures only increase your braveness, boldness and wisdom. Don’t fear your failures, they are friends in disguise...The Mirror and Mirage of Life 2
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