Rules and Numbers

Am I the only one that finds ‘inspirational’ and ‘self-help’ books to be quite insufferable? I’ve only ever found one or two that actually made any sense and were written sensibly. I have no idea why people keep asking me to read them. Most of the time, all they are is a collection of advice you already got from your parents and school teachers, backed up by quirky, supposedly amusing and allegedly educational stories (most of which are just cheesy beyond belief). I will not judge anyone for reading them (in fact, I know a few people who have benefited from them in small ways, so yeah…) but I will judge you if you think they can change your life completely. They can’t. No one and nothing can… except you.

(Disclaimer: the following is a rant and this rant is my opinion and mine only. I don’t see why I have to say this since it is MY blog but here I am, saying it anyway. If you are offended by any of the following statements, I hear transformers are feeling lonely… )

Self help books are mostly scams and the people that read them religiously like their lives depend on them are mostly idiots or just extremely desperate. Desperate  to find rules in a world where there are, for the most part, none. All these books do is tell you stuff you already know and make it look fanciful and new. In other cases, they give examples from the lives of others, find some apparently common links and then try to tout these as the basis of some logic through which success, love or whatever other thing they are selling, can be obtained.  Its mostly warmed over toilet philosophy. As I usually say to my friends:

…even if you follow ‘who know road’, na im house e dey go, no be your own…

The 21 laws of power, the 7 habits of highly effective people, the 10 rules of successful dating, the 666 of principles of successful illuminati membership, 13 ways to win the heart of an ogbanje, etc…

Yes, These are the things we need to read...

Even the titles are designed to trick people with the most appealing lie you can use to entice humans: the lie that life can be mastered by applying some simple rules, like solving a simple equation. Apply the rules, get the results. Well excuse me but it think that’s mostly a bullshit burger with a side of ignorance fries and a piss cola.

Lets drift away from ‘inspirational’ and ‘self help’ books  for a moment and dwell on the bigger issue – Life. In my own view, life is a series of seemingly random events, the purpose and design of which only the creator knows. Depending on which version of the creator you believe in, there will be a holy book (a life manual if you will) which tells you what to do and how to live. And even that life manual is sometimes misread and misinterpreted by the so-called experts, who are supposed to be in direction communication with said creator.

Moreover, the rules by which you live, if you have any, are based on a choice. An assumption of sorts, that the version of the creator you have chosen to believe in is the right one. That choice lies in your heart and no matter how much you believe it, it is verifiably true only to you and so is not universally applicable – which brings me back to my original point: there are no GENERALLY applicable rules to life. None whatsoever. To believe that there are is to seek order in chaos. This is why generalizations and the people that make them irk me. I will not say that generalizations are completely useless, nothing really is in all situations. But I will say this: While SOME generalizations are useful, ALL generalizations are invariably wrong.

I guess my point here (if I have any, because lets face it, this is a rant and rants seldom have points to them) is that its more important to be true to yourself and your decisions to live the way you do. Not because you expect it will result in a specific outcome or because its what you have been told will work out a specific way, but because you believe it is the right thing to do, given the situation and your chosen belief, come hell, high water or change of prevailing philosophy.  This is why the world universally celebrates ‘Men of principle’. People who, as far as we know, stayed true to their cause/philosophy/ideas/integrity. Even the most devout of reasonable Muslims, Christians and even Pagans would have trouble berating people like Gandhi or Martin Luther King. That is what I intend to try to be, hard as it may be, because there are no rules or numbers to follow in this multi-grey-shaded world.

Rules and Numbers are simply a very appealing mirage to thirsty travelers on this road of life.

Allow me to end this rant with one of my favorite verses from my own preferred ‘life manual’:

“…For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” – Matthew 5:45


So yeah. I’ve been away from this blog for a while. For those that care, I apologize. It is just what it is. What have I been doing? Winning mostly. Suffering a bit. Creating new cocktails and generally trying to live life. I’ve been guest writing a bit as well. Feel free to check out Brethren, ye are not Kanye of the West and  ANIMAL on, a minor entry ‘Answers Needed…’ in the delightfully ludicrous Writers roundabout  going on at Deola’s blog  as well as a concluding poem ‘Au bord de l’existence’ by myself and @awizii  for the amazing Decades project on the Afrosays to me blog . Decades II is rolling out now and is shaping up to be pretty awesome as well. Afrosays to me is a generally awesome blog and one of my favorites so yeah, check out all their stuff. Cheerio!