I was changing primary school for the third time when I came across this poster in my new proprietor’s office. The poster reads, “Tough times do not last but tough people do”. These words have continually ring a bell in my head since that time to date. Two years after I came across that quote, I wrote a story about tough times and tough people. A story I never finished to date. You won’t want to know why, so I am not telling.
It is not funny how times have been tough from one generation to another. There seems to never exist a time when things weren’t tough all around the world. Time isn’t just tough financially these days, time is becoming tough mentally and climatically. Nothing seems to be the same again. Even when you think all you need a job, few months after getting the job you still feel the tough time. And just when you feel finance is a tough time, money comes into your hand and you are happy and calm again. Sooner again, you begin to feel the breeze of a tough time. To some people, their tough time is marriage, having children, getting a degree, getting a car, building a house, leaving the country, sound health, or this and that wants. This is why I know that even the wealthy also experience a tough time.
Brethren, there are things money, affluence and fame cannot offer you. Though, we cannot overlook the fact the money answers all things. Money will provide care and comfort but won’t preserve you. Affluence might provide authority and power but not sanity and strength. Fame messes up life than anything else. The moment you become a public figure, you no longer have control of your life it belongs to the public. This is why everyone in these three categories still does experience tough times.
Tough time is like the rain, it falls on every roof and hits every head. Regardless of how well covered your head is, tough time is tough enough to soak you wet.
What this means is that you are not the only one passing through a tough time.
Secondly, you do not have to take your anger on anyone you see. That neighbour of yours that drives his/her jeep to work daily and return late in the evening still looking fresh and neat has his/her troubles too. Your children are not the reason you are facing a tough time, your wife is not the reason you are in that state.
Thirdly, though times are hard, you shouldn’t be hard too. The worst thing to do in hard times is to be hard on yourself; to wear an unhappy face, or to sit around complaining. It is like trying to put out a fire by pouring coal into it.
You must also understand that times don’t define you, be it hard or soft. Just as either raining season, dry season or harmattan season doesn’t define you. You are who or what you have set your heart to become regardless of the situation that surrounds you. Bishop David Oyedepo has been preaching prosperity long before he had it. Tough time is just a time and there are so many other times to become. Don’t let this short time define whom you become.
That’s not all. There are no tough people around, everyone is as frightened and uncertain of what’s to come as you are. Even the rich take risk (not knowing what the outcome of their investment will be). Sometimes, a business fails, exams return with bad scores, health fails, the economic collapse, the system get hijacked, and prices skyrocket. We can only try to prevent this from happening, we cannot stop it. However, sometimes depression sets in.
A lot of times I have experienced this. I have lived my life with a standard and everyone demands nothing less than that from me. Well, so I have always thought. Often, when things are not going as planned and I have become overwhelmed I get this feeling that my life isn’t different. The feeling that I cannot go on; that feeling that makes you think things will never change; like I am going to be stuck in hard life forever. Sometimes, I might wish I am no longer among the living. But I also have my fear of leaving this place.
What if the heavens are not as imagined or as told? What if once someone dies, he/she retains the state of influence and affluence they had on earth? Like the earth is supposed to be a place where everything that God create chooses how they want to live their eternal life with God. So if I die poor, unrecognized and heartbroken, I might live eternally in that state of mind just like the poor man Lazarus in the Bible. So I keep telling myself, I will do all it takes to have the best eternal life after this world.
This is my story. For as long as we desire to live and we constantly remind ourselves of what we are living for, tough times will not move us to a fault. Remember, tough time happens to everyone and no one is tough, we are all struggling… don’t be deceived by constant smiles and beautiful pictures on the internet. Everyone has baggage.