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