Okwara Uchenna Hillprieston: Safe danger (30 days, 30 voices)

by Okwara Uchenna Hillprieston

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“For me, mediocrity is to cut one’s coat according to the wrong size”
There is a ‘safe danger’ that I see among humans. Safety that makes the story of men to start with great potentials and end with ordinary achievements, just because great intentions were overshadowed by tensions. The instinct of being safe and balanced keeps a lot of people far from the extremes of life. So they unconsciously exhibit an ordinary existence that chooses none of the distinct options of life;They neither choose life nor death.

Life and Death are the two extremes of life. You can translate them as Light and Darkness, Yes and No, In and Out etc. Without these two, life becomes ambiguous; you can’t really know where and what one stands for, and he/she becomes a mediocre; living too far from the extremes.

But also, among humans, there are those who have a stand. Beyond potentials, they are headed towards an extreme to manifest kinetically. They are the reason the world is moving because their decisions and actions tilt us away from a stagnant balance into a moving system which does not lack balance either.

For me, mediocrity is to cut one’s coat according to the wrong size. Your size is not who you are presently, rather your size is the sum-total of all you can ever be, based on how the Creator designed you. When people are advised to cut their coats according to their sizes, they use the measurement of their current underutilised and unrealised life. When they wear expectations and lifestyles sewn with those measurements, they are confined within the ordinary, too far from extremes; living for nothing extraordinary.

I was born into an average home and had relatively all my necessities provided for. During my late senior secondary academic level, the family business crashed and things fell apart financially. Every member of the family was to cut their coats according to “that size”, “our assumed size”; a size of “lack”. However, my siblings and I chose to cut our coats according to the sizes of the extremes we had already chosen in life. I had learnt to play the piano and was (still) a good singer. The circumstance and the advice of some people suggested that I drop other extreme dreams and ambitions, focus on my musical engagements and watch them grow. That was a good suggestion but I believed I could be more. I wanted my musical talents to grow with other dreams and ambitions that were feasible to me before the financial mishap.

Still keeping up with my musical engagements, I pursued my academic dreams. I was admitted into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to study the course of my choice; And you should know that I wrote my JAMB examination on a morning after an all-night musical concert where I was actively involved. So neither of the dreams died, that’s beyond the ordinary.

In the University of Nigeria , my commitments were propelled by my stand for greatness and not the then limiting circumstances. In my penultimate and final years, I was Geography Departmental Librarian and a leader in my campus church where my musical talents were well expressed. My involvements were so demanding that friends advised me to cut them down. Ordinarily, they were right but extraordinarily, I was right and I chose to live the extraordinary life;Far from mediocrity and close to the extreme. In giving, I gave what I needed to, and not what my pocket suggested. There were challenges but by God’s grace, I graduated as the Best Graduating Student of Geography Department UNN, 2012; that is not “mediocre” in description. So you can actually do it beyond the status quo.

Satisfaction is never a character of those who pursue great extremes. They are always contented with what they have and who they are but they go for more because they are not satisfied with just the ordinary; Also note that the movement towards great extremes is not a call for selfish ambitions, but a call to serve humanity.

In the quest to serve, great works are accomplished, potentials are put into use and good endowments are shared with others. In an attempt to share, I have written a couple of articles and recently published a book-“The Force of Attraction”, all geared towards serving mankind with the quota of extraordinary extreme deposited in me. You have a quota of an extraordinary extreme in you that the world is waiting for. Step out of the ordinary; we are waiting!


Okwara Uchenna Hillprieston is a believer with dreams a size too large. He can be reached via facebook, https://www.facebook.com/okwara.hillprieston and he tweets from @priestonO.

30 Days, 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians from across the world to share their stories and experiences – creating a meeting point where our common humanity is explored.

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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