“The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit – Psalm 34: 18″
“The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus – Romans 6:23”
As a Lagosian, I know just how hard it is to survive here amidst all the series of hustlers and hungry-eyes. Everybody falls victim one way or the other, sometimes without realizing it and we pretend to be okay.
The unending trails of having to find a job without money in your pocket, if you are unemployed and never having to get any positive feedback even after you have proved just how good and capable you are but your family, spouse, friends and society don’t understand your struggles, rain abuses on you and leave you more depressed and you think everyday, why am I still here?.
The unending trails of waking up too early to go to work, amidst the long hours of traffic and go-slow inside a molue, bus, or private car, still having to get late to work and yet receive abuses from your boss and a possible decrease in your ‘salary’ that is merely a stipend, leaving you with nothing extra to fend on or hangout with friends and everybody looks at you as stingy and selfish making you sad and lonely.
The unending trails of monthly salaries that never cover half of your monthly expense but there is just nothing you can do about it because half bread is better than none and there are hardly other jobs out there OR you have just spent too much of your years at your current job, it’s hard to leave and start the search for a better one, so you nag inside and worry yourself to death.
The unending trails of having to start up your own business but you suddenly realize that the Lagos market does not welcome start-ups like you and your capital is not just enough to complete all funding for rent, salaries, tax levies, corporate fees and still help to hold body, so you worry a lot and wonder what next to do about your life.
The unending trails of nagging friends[especially those not in Lagos], who do not understand that in Lagos, time waits for no hustler; you have a demanding job that yet puts food on your table, a roof over your head, clothes on your body and money to share and the only time you have to yourself is half of Sunday and possible official leaves which is hardly enough to gain all the lost sleep and energy but they do not care to understand and so they stop calling or checking up on you and you still hold on to them since they are the only friends you have and can make, because there is no time to make other friends and you believe that years have bonded you guys but they still nag and call you all sorts and forget/neglect to inform you of important days in their lives such as a new partner, a new child, a new job, a relocation, a wedding, house warming and you only get to find out through mouths of others or blogs or papers or news media and you end up depressed and alone because you realize that they moved on without you.
The unending trails of having to get married because you suddenly realize that you are 30 or above and as a man, there has to be a lady just standing by so your old parents, friends, neighbors, family and society won’t think that you have just decided to be wayward and useless, as they say ‘oniranu’ OR as a lady, you suddenly realize that you are 26 or above with your biological clock still ticking endlessly but no ‘proper’ man is forthcoming and every eye brow is raised, curious about whether you want to end up being a single mum/whore whose life is not coherently arranged and because marriage is the definition of success for a woman, you just have to do something fast about it else you get worried, sad and distressed.
The unending trails of having to pay rents high above your two times annual salary but you have a family to cater for and you must provide shelter so that nobody sees you as a hopeless individual and you shrug on because the struggle is just starting and there are still school fees to tend to, an extended family to feed and a nagging wife to bear who does not care how you come up with the money as long as it pops up, so you leave home very early everyday to avoid the morning chaos and return too late just to afford you some time to sleep before the morning rise.
Then you suddenly realize that the world is better off without you and that nobody will care if you stay or go and in deciding what is best for you and everyone, you decide to leave and end the inner pain you feel. Your spirit is crushed, “no one will understand” you say, no one cares about how passionate you feel about your bothering issues, everyone has their issues to bear.
So you look at the mirror and decide that a spirit somewhere is calling you to a land of oblivion, a place of peace, a place where you will have no need to worry or get depressed or distressed or sad. You scroll through your phone and wonder if there might just be one person who will care, nobody! You ponder on it, for minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and finally the thought becomes too strong. There is no reason not to end it, no need to participate in this vain life, everything is now sour, you must go before you run mad and so, just like that, without warning, you end it and leave. You smile because you know that nobody will care not even you.
You forgot that people care about your life, you just have not met them. You forget that you can try again, to find new friends, to find peace within and be happy in just you. You forget that there is a God and He loves and cares about you. You forget that there are others out there, more depressed than you looking for solace and you might be the solace they need. You forget that committing suicide is a sin and God abhors it. You forget too much and hurt us all by just ending it.
May I ask, who gave you permission? Did I give you permission? Did you allow me to meet you? Did you look for me to ask? Did you talk with God? Did He give you permission to end it? Why did you end it? I want to know…why? You hurt me…a lot, you thought that nobody cared but I do…a lot, we could have been friends or even just hello buddies, but you never gave me a chance.
I have pondered and thought on what could have possibly informed Dr. Sunday Orji to commit such action on that third mainland bridge. He was just thirty-five  years old and still blooming with life. I mean, at 35, he was a doctor, had a good car with a driver and from all Nigerian standard, that seemed like a successful young person. There probably are a lot of people his age or even older than he was, who have not even attained the height he was or who were probably envying him. Then a day later, I heard another lady tried to commit suicide but fortunately, she was rescued unconscious. Jeez!
The truth remains, no one knew what pain they were passing through or what their everyday torment was. They could have both been very depressed fellows who were low in spirit. They may not have had so many friends, people to talk with and confide in.
This brings me back to this…every one in Lagos, Nigeria and the world especially is hustling one way or the other, to fit in, to make ends meet, to provide for their family, to build a family or to help loved ones who are sick or in need or to just be happy and not be judged for not attaining certain societal expected level.
So I ask; when last did we call up that old friend or visit someone we knew that was finding things difficult? When last did we pray for each other, our friends, neighbors, family and the people around us?
The economy is tough and people are finding it difficult every passing day to survive and scale to the next. Lagos especially is not helping matters, every thing is rocket high and you just have to keep hustling.
Each of us are not less guilty of this. We create certain standards for ourselves, our family, our kids, our friends and even the people we chose to stay around with without caring for the possible implications and when we don’t meet the standards that we have invisibly set, we cry foul and become unhappy, depressed, sad, distressed, alone. When the people around us don’t meet our required standards, we steer clear and make them feel unwanted.
I am not saying that should cause any one to commit the sin of suicide because it is selfish to do that but it also helps and motivate the individual to feeling that after all, he/she is not needed and because there is nothing he/she can do, the only way out is to end it.
“Sins that oppress and bury us cannot be termed trifles! What is more minute than drops of rain? Yet, they fill the rivers. What is more minute than grains of wheat? Yet, they fill the barns. You note the fact that these sins are rather small but you do not take note that there are many of them. In any case, God has given us a daily remedy for them.”
Share problems with your neighbors, neighbors please pay attention to the person beside you. That was why we were made, to help and comfort one another.
Do read and share your thoughts via thew comment box below. It will be amazing to know that this post has gone out to a number of people who actually listened. Thank you.