11 March 2012

Sharing With Aunty Abike (3)

Good day dear one. My heart goes out to the families that lost lives in the terrible wind in Lagos and to the families, friends and fans of the icon singer – Whitney Houston.

That is one singer that went the extra mile to get to the top of her career. Unfortunately she engaged in a behaviour that became damaging to her personality. Her life should be a lesson to all of us. No matter how long you have been on your success journey, good behaviour CANNOT be compromised.

So what does it mean to go the extra mile? Literally, it means to walk further but to go or walk the extra mile is an idiom that means to try harder to please someone or to get a task done correctly, to do more than or put in a greater effort than is naturally or normally required or expected to reach a goal. I need you to think of how a friend has gone the extra mile for you and what motivates you to go the extra mile either for yourself or for others?

Now when I say extra mile, note that I don't mean extra mile in cheating, irresponsibility, laziness or any of such vices that some young people are a part of. I mean going the extra mile in positive things. As you strive to go the extra mile don't expect it to be easy. For example, when you plan to study may be when your friends decide to use free midnight call to engage you in gossip. You have to know how to manage the internal and external distractions e.g. your thoughts, your friends, television, etc.

Whether in doing house chores or washing and ironing your parent's clothes, or helping friends, I can tell you that going the extra mile pays dividends. The interests accrue such that you look back and realise how worthwhile your efforts have been. For instance, a number of young people drop the Nigerian culture of respect when they go abroad so it is not unusual to find our Nigerians calling professors old enough to be their fathers by their first names. But I made it clear that my culture does not permit it. One day, some funds came into my department and the new director didn't know how to disburse it so he asked the former director and guess what he said, "Let's give it to Abike, she is very respectful!” I got free unsolicited money as scholarship to fund my education; just for going the extra mile.

In going the extra mile on St. Valentine’s Day, I chatted with a lonely mentee and made him understand that St. Valentine was kind to strangers and that we need to change our perspective of making the day about lovers, I posted on my Facebook page and sent out emails to share my thoughts, called my loved ones, then I made a very special dinner for my sweetheart and we ate and listened to good music. That’s my Valentine Story, what’s yours?

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