Jadesola Martins: This ‘thing’ called life (30 Days, 30 Voices)

So I wonder…what’s this thing called life all about?  Why do we make plans and have dreams when we are not even sure we will get to see this tomorrow we all yearn for? 

Life is beautiful. Life is great. Yet life is also fleeting and vain. Life is so many things to different people but the common factor is that life begins and it ends. In either case, man’s choice is non – existent. We have no choice as to when we are born and when we finally say goodbye.

One of the tragic things about life is when it is cut short abruptly, without any warning or sign. On Sunday 3rd June, I was in my living room observing my routine Sunday relaxation time when my brother came to tell me that there had been a plane crash in Lagos. My initial reaction was ‘what happened?’ I turned to the Nigerian local stations to get some information but alas they were all airing programs totally unrelated to news of the fresh disaster. I took to social media to find out the facts. There were pieces of information here and there, and although incoherent at times, I was able to put the pieces together to get the gist of the matter.  After what seemed like long hours of speculating the true facts began to unfold.

With a heavy heart, I beheld the scene of the crash. What a tragedy it was! I imagined the people on board that plane anxious to land and see their loved ones as they were now only minutes away. I imagined people that had made plans or appointment that never held. Worse for me was those who occupied the buildings where the plane had crashed. Some may have been taking the routine Sunday rest like I was when death came knocking with cold hands. Who knows, some may have even been sleeping, sleep which they never awoke from. One thing is certain; everyone who died looked forward to tomorrow.

So I wonder…what’s this thing called life all about?  Why do we make plans and have dreams when we are not even sure we will get to see this tomorrow we all yearn for? Why our parents and society so keen for us to gain as many degrees as can be written beside our names when these degrees do not qualify us for extra time in this life? There are many questions racing through my mind but unfortunately I don’t have the answers.

This is what I know however. Life is a privilege. Life is a precious stone which should be highly treasured. Most importantly, life should be lived. There is this saying that it is not the quantity of life that matters but the quality of life. The beauty of life lies not in the number of days, months or years lived, but in the value one is able to add to life itself.

I am not against people setting goals, having degrees and making all the money they possibly can. No. I am for these things as long as they do not overshadow a man’s true mission in this world. More important than material things is the impact we make in our society because ultimately, when the curtain of our life is drawn, this is what will count. I think it is sad that many postpone the fulfillment of their dreams or living a life of service until tomorrow. I am guilty of it myself; but life is now, today, this minute, this moment! Let’s all strive to do the best we can in our lives today. Not tomorrow. Let’s find the courage to follow our dreams this minute and be that change we want to see in Nigeria, let’s start it; one person at a time today.

I’m not going to dwell on whose fault the plane crash was. True, it could have been avoided but passing blame neither changes nor solves anything. Instead, I think it  is time for us to look inwards and re-evaluate our lives and motives. Nigeria has its many problems, but what part are you playing in those problems? What are you doing to bring about that change we all so desire to see in Nigeria? It’s not about whether the people in government are corrupt or not. It’s about how our everyday actions add to the already huge decay in our country. Now is the time for personal accountability and reflection.

My heart bleeds for all those who have departed with their dreams and contributions still within them. My heart also bleeds for those who still have a chance at life but choose to delegate the task of change to forces outside them. Yes, my heart does bleed.


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.


Comments (0)

  1. Yes life is short. But we must keep on dreaming, we must keep on trying.

    The day we stop dreaming, we are dead already.

    Thanks for sharing

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