Love is the only solution

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Love is the only solution

My good friend Anita organised a most wonderful Investing In Women Charity Ball a few of weeks ago. The venue was the prestigious Renaissance Hotel, Kings Cross. Champagne flowed all night (a little too much for my own good – I tried so hard to be sensible. I even started the evening with two glasses of water! But alas, the champers got the better of me), the guests were fun, and the music and dancing was an enchanting trip down memory lane. In truth, such is my fondness these days for spending entire weekends with my best buddy Netflix that I only attended the dinner to support my friend. Left to me I’d much rather have continued my reliable even if a touch unhealthy relationship with you know who.

The event was on the same day as the royal wedding, and as such the two hottest topics during dinner were Megan’s dress and ‘that sermon’. Apart from a couple of us, the general consensus of the guests at my table was ‘it was a little over the top’. I must confess that upon hearing those words – ‘a little over the top’ – I was filled with incredulity and rage. But I took a deep breath, smiled politely and asked the lady seated on my left why she thought the sermon was ‘a little over the top’. She proceeded to explain, rather unconvincingly I might add, that it wasn’t the right place or occasion to preach such a sermon.

If a preacher can’t speak openly about the importance of love during a wedding ceremony then we’re royally screwed!!

Now, what I’m about to say next is in no way a slur on the young lady I’m referring to. Indeed, the conversation I had with her was one of the many highlights of my evening (once again, great job Anita!!). I’ve thought long and hard about how to effectively convey this point without including her comments but unfortunately it isn’t possible. After discussing topics ranging from work, to going out, to upbringing and education, we naturally arrived at the topic of relationships. She informed me that she had recently broken up with someone, so I asked her what happened. Many would have simply said sorry and moved on. Not me. I always like to know what happened. Why? Because it further helps me understand and empathise with our society. Myself? I’m divorced and rarely able to see my daughter. There are others like me. That’s our story so far, and that’s our very grim reality – a small but unfortunate segment of the world we live in.

Back to the matter at hand.

When I asked her what happened she more or less told me she felt uncomfortable in the relationship because she was earning more than him (her ex). In truth my old self would have fully understood and agreed with her. But fortunately, my mindset is a lot different these days. Rather aghast, our conversation proceeded as such;

Me: “I see. But…hang on…I’m not sure I understand. Was he lazy or something?”

Her: “Not at all. He has a good job and he works hard.”

Me: “So he had a good job, and he was hard working……. but you felt uncomfortable because you were earning more than him??!”

Her: “Yea, I found that I couldn’t respect him because I was earning more than him. And I know how ambitious I am so I know I will always be earning much more than him. I just couldn’t respect him.”

Me: “Are you sure there was no other reason?”

Her: “Yea, that was it.”

Long pause

Me: “I’m really sorry to have to say this, but I just feel that I have to. Hope you don’t mind”.

Her: “Not at all. Please feel free.”

Me: “You’re a lovely person, and from what I can see very intelligent. I’m also so impressed by what you’ve achieved in your life. But please allow me to give you a little advice. If you’re with someone who works hard and earns a decent wage, so long as he is loving, supportive and always encourages you to fulfill your potential and succeed in your career and life, you should hold on to him. If you continue to focus so much on money then the likelihood of you ending up with someone that doesn’t really love you at all is fairly high.”

 

Fortunately for me she didn’t slap me on the face and tell me to get stuffed, but rather paused for a few seconds before saying she agreed with me. Deciding it was better not to delve any further for fear of going too far, I swiftly moved on to another topic of discussion.

My point here is this – in a world wherein the thirst for material gain and the appearance of success is fast becoming the only acceptable norm, we are in grave danger of losing touch with the most important thing of all – love. Again, many years ago I would most likely have been in absolute agreement with her. For I believed all that mattered was one’s career and the amount one had in the bank. Ambition and results were the be-all and end-all. But was I happy? Not at all. Did I have any peace of mind? Never. And did it affect my relationships? Absolutely! So much so that I put career before family. Result? Several years of loneliness, anxiety, fear, a distinct lack satisfaction, and regret.

Bishop Curry is spot-on. There is absolutely nothing more important than love – nothing!!

Have you ever stopped to wonder why there is so much loneliness in our world today?  Look around and tell me what you see – loneliness, suspicion and fear for most parts. The community spirit as we know it has basically vanished. Nobody wants to make the effort to get to know other people any more.

Are we really okay with the state of today’s society?

Are the likes of Zara Tindall, visibly horrified by what she was hearing during that wedding sermon, okay with the replacement of love with fear, dread, suspicion, and loneliness?? Maybe so. I guess they aren’t affected by the various strains and ills that pervade the lives of most Britons today.

One question raged through my mind during that sermon – ‘will they listen?’. By they I mean us – all of us – royal family, politicians, entertainers, business tycoons, ordinary people like you and I.
Did we listen?

Or will we continue to think that everything is okay?

There are too many evils being committed on a daily basis for us to continue to think that everything is okay. And when I say evils I’m not just talking about attacks, murders, and sexual offences, but even more so about the many treacherous acts that are committed by people of wealth, power and status – simply because they can.

As the name implies, Today’s Tomorrow will focus on the state of our world / society, what needs to be done in order for us to have a better future, and what will likely happen if we continue to leave our heads buried deep in the sand.

  • How do we overcome our worries and fears?
  • How do we overcome loneliness?
  • How do we restore the community spirit?
  • How do we reconcile ourselves with the atrocities of the slave trade and move on in unity?
  • How do we prevent extremist groups from taking advantage of our fears?
  • How do we curtail the hatred between black people and police men and women in so many American states?
  • How do we protect our children from the real and present dangers of social media?
  • How does Africa rid itself of corruption and greedy self-serving leaders?
  • How do we reduce the ever-widening gap between rich and poor?
  • How do we truly embrace diversity in order to genuinely respect and appreciate one another?

These are just a few of the topics that will be discussed over the coming months.

But there is an overriding solution to many of the world’s ills. And I can’t say it any better than Bishop Michael Curry did on Saturday, 19th May, so I’ll conclude with this quote from his sermon.

Love is the way. When love is the way, we actually treat each other well - like we are actually a family.

 

 

COMMENTS

  • June 2, 2018
    reply

    Anita

    I totally agree, giving up simply because your husband earns less is shallow and doesn’t take into consideration ‘the bigger picture’. I feel bad for her that there really wasn’t any other reason. She may not find someone ‘better’. Marriage should ideally be about partnership and working together towards common goals, in mutual love, respect and by supporting each other (through ups and downs). So long as there’s effort from both sides, there should always be hope. Eg if a husband wants to go back to school to get an MBA and has to rack up loans, surely the wife should be supportive and even become the breadwinner during those couple of years it takes before he lands (hopefully) a better job with his new qualification? I also think that although money is important, one should be motivated more by the quest for security (eg to secure your children’s future/ education) not simply to acquire material things. Any extra cash, I’d use on experiences, eg travelling the world. That’s my practical take on the subject! 🙏🏼🌈

  • June 2, 2018
    reply

    Ana Khan

    Well written and happy you did talk to her to see some sense in Alice.

    I leant that late be conquers…..still believe in it today

    Money itself should not dictate relationships….

  • June 25, 2018
    reply

    Kemi

    Segun, great piece. I’m afraid to say that I also thought the sermon was over the top. Not the content itself but the delivery. The delivery is what I think was over the top, (not the message itself) for the particular congregation before him and that, as a result, the message may have been lost.. Lost because he addressed his congregation as though he were addressing evangelicals, rather than carrying them along with him on a step by step basis. I think in so doing, the message was not conveyed as effectively. Instead, though it may have been a gentle message, it felt like he hit us all with a sledgehammer in the way it was delivered. As a result I think it would only have been effectively received by any one who was already used to hearing sermons like that, or anyone who took the time to watch the sermon again, a little bit later. Hopefully maybe even the horrified Zara Tindall.

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