I was recently drawn to a passage of The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran about the nature and spirit of giving:
Then said a rich man, "Speak to us of Giving." And he answered: You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow? And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city? And what is fear of need but need itself? Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, thirst that is unquenchable? There are those who give little of the much which they have - and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome. And there are those who have little and give it all. These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty. There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward. And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism. And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space. Though the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.
- Khalil Gibran, the Prophet
Village Culture promotes spiritual development through sacrifice. And here in the Agbole, we are compelled to look even more deeply into the nature of sacrifice. What is the spirit in which we perform our sacrifices? Are we giving with all of our hearts and souls, or are we merely acting out of convenience? Your spirit can be transformed and purified through the sincerity of your sacrifice if you are truly giving the fullness of yourself. To do so requires not only an accurate assessment of what you have, but also who you are. What are you really made of? Ultimately, the only way you can be healed through sacrifice is to make offerings from the essence of your heart and soul. This is what it means to make money work for the Good Condition.
Yeku, the son of Orunmila divined for Orunmila
On the day he had no money to spend
He was asked to perform an offering
He heard about the offering and performed it
Ever since, he began to have money at home
- Holy Odu OwonrinOyeku
Money at home is different from money in the streets or money in the market. When you have money at home, you're taking care of the business of uplifting your family; food, clothes, shelter, medicine, books, tuition, extracurricular activities, vacations and so on. Orisa Lifestyle prioritizes strengthening the family for generations to come, which cannot be done without money. That said, you need to realize the fact that money doesn't come only from a paycheck! You must also be an entrepreneur. A job will pay you according to what is convenient to your employer. Your business will pay you according to the intelligence of your hustle. Live the medicine. Learn more about how money can heal at www.Agbole.weebly.com
Fish reside in Water
Rats cannot persist there
Wherever one fits, is where one lives
If a fly bites in one's sleep
The person will jump up swiftly
Unless he has perished
Cast divination for a bold palm wine tapper
Who claimed that the neck of the palm tree was so convenient
He would not climb down the tree again
Elegbara told the tapper to offer one calabash with 740 cowries
So that he does not go from a good place to a bad situation
No one will remove the twisted rope used to climb Ope
The people in the front offered
The people in the back refused
- Holy Odu OgundaIka
When my children were younger, they would ask me to give them a boost up into a tree or onto the play structure. I always refused. "Why?!" They never liked it but they accepted my response; "If I put you up, how will you figure out how to get down?" By the time my eldest was about eight, he had verified my claim and eagerly passed down the explanation to his younger siblings. Getting up is only half of the task.
When you know what it takes to reach a certain destination or level of achievement, you will have a natural appreciation for what it takes to be successful. Not only that, you'll probably start thinking of ways to sustain your good position. If you're wise, you will respond favorably to that impulse to keep your position. Sometimes, when you climb up to a higher place, you don't want to get down!
How many people make sacrifice when they have reached the top of their game? If you're like most people, you don't see the need to sacrifice when you have what you want. It seems to be a law of nature that energy increases, plateaus and then declines. And while it would be unrealistic to expect that the good times will continue forever, let's challenge the rate of decline.
In Mexico, for example, they say "If the grandfather was a hard worker, the son will be spoiled and the grandson will be a beggar. " It means that wealth rises and falls within three generations. And while we must accept that wealth is subject to rise and fall over time, we can challenge the fact that it must happen within three generations. What if we extended the first phase, where hard work generates wealth? The Yoruba say that Hard work is the antidote to poverty. What would happen if the second and third generations insisted upon making the same kinds of sacrifices that were made in the first generation? Is it possible that we can maximize our growth and minimize our decline?
In the verse above, Ifá teaches us that it is where one fits that one should live. The bold palm wine tapper was told to sacrifice so that he could remain in the tree, tops. Let us take it as a metaphor for continuous improvement. Living the medicine means making the necessary sacrifice for constant elevation, growth and expansion. Learn more at www.Agbole.com
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | www.ObafemiO.com