Bukola Ogunyemi: Of star prizes and consolation prizes (30 Days, 30 Voices)

 

You are a gift to the world. Your life, your destiny, your wealth, knowledge and impact are treasures meant for the world much in the same way that prizes are given out to the winners of a promotion or competition.

Promotions and competitions are usually characterized by the award of prizes to participants who prove themselves worthy of rewards by reason of the quality of their efforts toward same end. Winners are often categorized based on their abilities to measure up to certain pre-defined standards or requirements and are rewarded in same fashion. Star prizes are meant for the champions, the reward of hardwork and diligence. Star prizes are for those who after giving their best, went further to borrow the better in others and put it to use for their own good. For promotions, it can be argued that star prizes end up going to those who have a bit of luck on their side. Here star prizes are doled out to those nuts have been cracked for them by the gods, but credit goes to them for even having any nut to present to the gods!

Consolations prizes are meant to ‘console’, to ease the disappointment of missing out on the star prize, to alleviate the pains of not measuring up to the standard. Consolation prizes are for those who tried, but whose efforts were not found to come short of the standard. In publicity and adverts the star prizes are the attraction; the consolation prizes are just added-ons. The star prizes are the ultimate goal of every participant, the sought-after prized possessions. Everyone remembers the star prize winners, the focus is on them, they take the centre stage and make it theirs.

Life is a promotion, and a competition, but without the arbitrariness that often trails the former, nor the definiteness that often ends the latter. In a role-reversal that is characteristic of life’s realities, life becomes the winner, man becomes the prize. You are a gift to the world. Your life, your destiny, your wealth, knowledge and impact are treasures meant for the world much in the same way that prizes are given out to the winners of a promotion or competition.

 

The stars of life, and indeed their generations, are men who spent their lives stocking themselves up with knowledge and afterward emptied themselves creating value and making life better for others. Men who overcame hardship and limitations to reach enviable heights other thought were reserved for non-mortals. Life’s consolations are the also-cames; those who were satisfied with the status quo of mediocrity.

Strive to be a star unto the world, and indeed your generation. Discover your purpose and work diligently towards it. Find your niche and exert your influence there. Aim high; don’t settle for average or mediocrity. Nothing is impossible unto them that believe. Set your heart on doing the impossible, and even if you fail you would have done more than you thought you could. Work more than your strength can carry you, pray more than your faith demands, dream more than others think is practical.

Strive to be the best of you that you can be. Challenge yourself to do more. Learn and put yourself under pressure. The beauty of a balloon is when air is pump into it, the bigger, the better. Stand out, dare to be different, do what you do with a touch of creativity and uniqueness that makes you unforgettable. Do not let your background or location limit you. The only borders limiting you are the ones you created for yourself.

Strive to make an impact, strive to leave a mark on the sands of their time. Strive to be a star, not a consolation.

Ogunyemi Bukola, @zebbook

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Bukola Ogunyemi is a teacher, writer and social evangelist.

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30 Days 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians to share their stories and experiences with other young Nigerians, within our borders and beyond, to inspire and motivate them.

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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Comments (3)

  1. Bukky life is a gift. You are also one of the gifts of God to ds generation. Keep the fire burning to the intent that U fulfill destiny.

  2. "The stars of life, and indeed their generations, are men who spent their lives stocking themselves up with knowledge and afterward emptied themselves creating value and making life better for others." This line hit home for me.Thank you so much for this reminder.This is a wowy article.God bless you

  3. Life is a gift… until you become the gift to many lives. What a precise article with so much wisdom. Many thanks!

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