I started an online leadership course on the 3rd of January and I finished it yesterday. I was so excited about finishing the course so I could add a new certificate to my collection. I went through the course visualizing my name boldly written on my certificate that I forgot I was learning. I was absorbing the leadership models they taught, I memorized it actually but I felt like I would only be a fraud until I got the certificate to prove that I learnt something. The actual knowledge probably came along with the certificate.
But then, I finished the course and till evening my certificate never showed up. I was not comfortable. I was so restless because of it and I sent a mail complaining about it and till now I haven’t gotten a response from them. I still couldn’t get myself to be comfortable about the situation so I took a long walk listening to music along the way. By the time I was done, it became very clear why I felt unease. It was simply because my ego was hungry. It was disappointed. What did I even need the certificate in the first place? Post it on social media and have the satisfaction of people probably look at me as busy or have something they don’t have, blah blah blah.
It took my mind to something I once read about a Chinese Buddhists belief in hungry ghosts. Buddhists being very rich in imagery say a hungry ghost is a creature with a big empty stomach and a thin long throat and a pinhole-sized mouth. “Hungry ghosts are unable to take in or assimilate what they desperately need. The problem lies in their constricted throats- which cannot open for nourishment. They wander aimlessly in search of relief that is not forthcoming.”
I have always argued that the human being has selfishness inherent in her nature. We all get visited by this hungry ghosts, it all lies in how long we allow them to stay. If internalized cripples our being, making us blind to the fact that what we already have might be enough and we never stop to be grateful for it. We just got a job, we are thinking of a higher position, we have a partner and we are bothered about kids etc. The ego- in itself- does not want to be second to anyone and all it cares about is attention whether it comes in a positive and negative way.
I held on to that course to make me feel good about myself atheist temporarily but the hungry ghosts come crying when things don’t go as they planned? I decided to also post this as a creative, it applies to my life as well, what happens when you put your hopes on a project you pick up and people don’t appreciate the work you put out there. You are a writer but the internal longing for more pushes you for a more form of validation a sort of permanent proof like a creative writing course to feed your ego and stabilize its hunger and then you realize when you’re done that it is not enough. Then another cycle of endless longing and attachment begins. Everything is not always about you in fact if you don’t succeed at something, people will only talk about it only a couple of days, months, at most a year and then everyone returns to feeding their hunger ghosts. This little revelation made me feel better yesterday and I hope it makes whoever is reading this- probably feeling stuck like I was- feel better



Before I begin, I want you to study these two sentences:

1.)Mike asked Ebube out.

2.)Ebube asked Mike out.

Do you see anything wrong with any of them? Do you feel one is not proper? NOT SUPPOSED TO BE? If yes, this post is for you.

Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend of a friend and he said, “You are a feminist so you think you can ask a guy out right?”

“I can’t.” I replied.

“I thought you feminist are all about being bold and liberated. That think it’s okay to just behave anyhow. Does it mean you don’t really believe in it?”

I remained quiet. Not because I didn’t have anything to say but because if I went on to explain he might simply not understand that I can in fact I have but at the end it was like I did something wrong.

A couple of years ago, I never saw anything wrong in a girl telling a guy “I like you.” I felt it was cool to simply be expressive when it comes to owning up to how you feel about a guy and vice versa. Just say it and leave it there.

So I asked a guy out and it was going well till he started behaving in a certain manner. I could tell there was a lack of commitment on his part but I ignored because I felt no relationship is perfect and everyone has a flaw then one day we had an issue and he made a statement I can never forget.

“…I mean,I never asked you out in the first place so I’m not really obligated to you….” he said smiling wryly.

To digress a bit, I’m sure he’s part of the guys that are shouting “Fine boys like us, na dem dey rush us” everywhere.

So well, I was in shock because I knew there was a problem but I never thought I was the cause of it. When it finally hit me was when I noticed he was already dating someone else in fact to give you a clear picture of the situation: While I was dating him, he was dating her.

To cut the long story short, because a lot of things went on way after that, I decided that I was never going to ask a guy out. Now a premise has been set. let us go back to the questions I asked you to study.

In Secondary School, we are taught that a “subject” is the doer of an action(active) and an “object” is being acted upon(passive). In the case of Sentence 1, everybody will hail Mike because they feel he has behaved like a man but accept it or not, The Mike in Sentence 2 will be mocked and ridiculed by most people especially in his absence because …(fill in the gap)

I’m sure a lot of girls will be like why should Ebube ask Mike out in the first place? Mike’s mother, if she finds out, will tell him to stay away from that loosed, wild Ebube. She will even say she can’t keep her legs together and she likes men ET cetera, ET cetera.

Why does our society believe women are objects to be acted upon? To be liked or hated rather than to like or hate? To be accepted or rejected rather than to accept or reject? Who made this the ideal? Who made this the culture? Who made men believe they have to be the initiator of a relationship for it to work out? Who taught young boys and girls the things they could do and the things they couldn’t do?

Reality is nobody was taught Gender Role 101, we just saw and we just followed. We saw men and women that believed in patriarchy. The men and women that mastered gender roles. The people that have refused to let go of this demeaning ideology. These were the kind of people that taught us how we should be. The models we had to emulate.

To change the cycle we have to change the way women are perceived socially. Boys need to accept that women also have the right to approach anyone they like without being ridiculed. They should begin to see women as initiators. We need to begin to say to young girls you are not just a choice someone has to make, you, too, are to make choices.

What other social changes do we have to make? Do you think we should remain objects? State your reasons below.