As always, as my legs kick the dust on my street, I am always fortunate to see the eager smiles of the children, with the fine mind of curiosity and warm love.
This evening, I saw a little boy who was completely in love with sand, as if he was crazy, with careless abandon he feels fulfilled as he gave me a tiny smile for taking the time to watch him, rather than disturb his flow.
As my eyes feed on the innocent wind of the sky and the biting tongue of the sun, I see adults like children, gossiping – they run after one another, enjoying the sweetness of little chats here and there.
When chance and time drag me out to the city, a lot that I see at the grassroots suddenly disappear.
The chase after nothing is real, Ah Lagos (Nigeria's bustling city), no thank you. The dance of “me alone” is evident. The huge walls of our fences aren’t just physical, it is more.
The fences aren’t just to chase the ‘necessary thieves’, but to remind others that we need more privacy – we have enough to think, live, feel, dance, sing, cry, dance and figure out life all by ourselves.
But soon, we suddenly need some ‘romantic’ hugs, we have missed the gossips, the emptiness in our loneliness has suddenly grown beyond the security of aloneness.
You wake up in the midnight, rather than wake a neighbour that you saw 2 months ago for help, you’ll come up here and tag 90 midnight vigilantes 5,000 miles away and 9 other folks working out their success, ahahahaha…
Then, in the morning, you run to the street to help those that need help. We suddenly start caring, not because we saw a vision, but because our eyes need some new lens.
For show and ego, we scream about our full display of sympathy by being the first to upload the video of a 9-year old boy being burnt on our street for stealing roasted bush meat.
We now want to feel happy by dumping our ideas, money, hugs and gifts on the needy. We poison other people’s happiness by showing up large and fat at funerals, but deaf when the folk was ill.
We dance our waist tired at the marriage ceremony, we poison the event by not taking just one portion, but 5 more, while others go hungry, yet a dime we don’t offer the couple. Toxic Charity!
When people don’t post on their wall, no show! When they add a picture of a tiny achievement, you are angry because they didn’t tell you first before the public heard about it. Toxic Love!
We leave a ‘hot service’ filled with inspiration, but on the bus, we move far away from somebody with a special body odour, as if our placenta will forever be in that bus.
Ah, I call that Toxic Charity!
See, we all need something – they are full of shapes, sizes, colour, waterless, soft, long and tiny.
When you are tempted to dump your expertise on someone desiring growth, stop! Share with them how they can see that the power is already in them to make it happen.
When you are tempted to be the boss, that everyone must obey, stop! You don’t have to die for us to talk about how hard you ruled. Learn to allow others to flourish like cucumber in a thriving soil.
When you are tempted to tell people that it’s only you that God speaks to, stop! God doesn’t have that toxic love, not to be able to minister excellently through the mind of a lunatic.
When toxic charity is biting you and tearing up the sleeves in your blood, it’s time for you to settle down, break down some walls, hear to listen, help to empower, give to nurture, act to inspire, praise to appreciate and love to live!
You and I are more than these.