We all love perfect stories.
The story of Mary who grew up from a very poor family but was resilient. She walked through the rough edges of life, got her fair share of heartbreaks, disappointments and rejections. But in the end, she found love, found opportunities, got famous and lived happily ever after.
The story of Peter, who decided not to walk the path his friends chose to. While his friends ventured into illegal drugs and cybercrime, he decided to keep hope alive and focus on developing his ideas. He got noticed, investors came and he became a rich man while his friends spent the rest of their lives in jail.
The story of Adaku, who made up her mind to live a morally sound life while her friends who left her were busy using their bodies to get what they want and at the end, others had several issues ranging from health complications, STDs and dysfunctional womb while she had a happy life with her husband.
The story of Emeka, he wasn’t so smart and the entire class were making fun of him. Eventually, he got an opportunity after school, became rich and fulfilled while his mockers were nothing to write home about.
The story of Joe, his fiancé left him because he didn’t have so much. But while she was gone, he continued working on his dreams, developed a breakthrough software, became the talk of the town while his ex’s new lover got arrested over drugs since that was his own means of income.
The story of Jessica, she met a helpless man and was willing to make sacrifices for him with nothing in mind. Little did she know she was helping a rich man who was only pretending because he was looking for true love. Eventually, he unveils his identity and Jessica becomes a queen of a wealthy kingdom.
The story of Sola, she was in an abusive marriage where her husband hits her every now and then at every mistake. But she held on and kept praying, she had miscarriages but held on, she almost died but held on and one day, a miracle happened and her husband had a change of mind. They lived happily ever after!
The story of Ifunanya who was sexually abused by her uncle and when she grew up, she sought justice, got him nabbed and had a peace of mind.
There are many more stories and I am sure the above would make bestsellers, blockbusters and motivational impacts! They are lovely stories, with perfect endings, and that is what we all love! Everyone loves a perfect story! Unfortunately, the imperfect stories happen too and we don’t like admitting it.
No one tells the story of another Mary who grew up from a very poor family, walked through the rough edges of life, had dreams, worked towards those dreams, rejected offers simply because she didn’t want to compromise her moral values and lived the rest of her life in obscurity with no government, relative, fellowship members or colleagues that cared. She died trying.
No one tells the story of another Peter, who chose not to follow the wrong and illegal paths that others had chosen. While things got tougher, he also got tougher on his own decisions to do the right thing. But as he continued keeping hope alive, he was killed by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for a crime he didn’t commit and another Peter has been in jail without trial and is long forgotten.
No one tells the story of another Adaku who lived a decent life despite pressure from peer groups. She had lots of challenges but was unwilling to trade her body for a solution. Her friends are all happily married with good jobs and kids while she has been looking for the fruit of the womb for several years with no sign of a baby coming forth soon.
How about another Emeka who was being made fun of in class and still ended up not proving his mockers wrong despite all the trial? How about another Joe whose fiancé left him because he was broke and there was still no breakthrough to make it a perfect story? What about another Jessica who helped a man, made sacrifices and got ditched when the man saw a breakthrough in life?
Should we talk about the other Sola who was in an abusive marriage but decided to stay and pray? She prayed her eyes out, watched all the war rooms she could lay hands on, read all the books she could see, gave her husband all that she was just for the marriage to work and one night, life was beaten out of her?
There is another Ifunanya who was sexually molested as a child, sexually abused as a teen and physically abused by the same person. When she thought she found her voice, she decided to speak up and she got fined for “character assassination” and wasting the time of the law court.
I get it. We are too scared of those imperfect stories; we are too scared to admit those realities because no one wants a bad ending. Good ending makes our stories very incredible but there are many people out there with untold stories, many people who did everything great men do but didn’t seem to find greatness, many people who were born without opportunities and were denied the opportunities they found!
How do you explain the life of a woman whose husband left at her sickbed, she did all she could to raise her only son, worked tirelessly to see him through school and the day before his graduation, he was shot down by a group of cultists who mistook him for another person?
Maybe, just maybe, this will make us understand that people who have imperfect stories are also brave people, they didn’t fail because they were fools and we didn’t succeed because we understood life better than them.
Maybe a blind man had a perfect story because he found an opportunity to be educated while another blind man may never have had such an opportunity. This will make you realize that we have no right whatsoever to blame the poor for being poor, we have no right to judge another person especially when we haven’t been through what they have been through.
Not everyone had a perfect story and I don’t want to make that list and while some had an imperfect story, I do hope your story qualifies to be called ‘perfect’ because, for some people, life isn’t just fair but we can be fair to them. There is no need to boast with our achievements, no need to think we are better than those who didn’t come to our class.
“You do not even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and disappears. What you should say is this ‘if the Lord is willing…’” James 4:14-15