Thinking about good old days in junior secondary school, where our minds were 100% focused on the two break periods accrued to us; the short break which lasts 10mins immediately after 80 minutes of the first two classes; and then the long break which also lasts 40mins, where we had the opportunity to dust off those boring mathematical formulas our arithmetic teacher tried to force into our heads, creating a tabula rasa for beta play.

With this introduction, you would wonder where we’re heading; it looks like a huge digression. Far from it! In truth, the point I’m trying to drive at is the intensity and energy with which we chanted our marching songs and the power of the lyrics behind them. As we sang with great enthusiasm and marched in rows, heading to our various classes, we paid less attention to the power behind those songs. If there are lessons to be learnt from them, it is the fact that they always emphasized greatness, progression and the “forward ever “mantra.

We may have grown beyond the high school classes and the morning devotion school routine, but we must not grow beyond the power of the songs that shaped our feeble minds and gave us an anchor on which we are standing today. While we allow the daily thoughts of hardship and survival overshadow our well being, there must be an already made antidote that must keep us in check to be strongly glued to the formation of our yesteryears. Everyday we live is a march forward and a thinly veiled attempt to reach our ultimate goal.

There is obviously only one way to go, and believe it, a sane mind wants to go forward. Learning to occupy our minds with positives and seeing the sweetness beyond the bitter leaf sets the motion for a jolly good ride. When we press forward and march on, we shame negativity and ignite hope; hope for a better tomorrow, power to forge ahead, zeal to keep going and strength to keep at it.

Everyone talks about taking a sober reflection at the slightest opportunity or during the course of a festive celebration. That’s not a bad idea; but while we do this, our focus must hinge on the ultimate goal of being better than we already are and changing the status quo.

Walking down memory lane

While we made that elevation to senior high school, the focus became clearer. Here, we had the opportunity of choosing exactly the department we wanted; and that decision formed the basis for our life, post-secondary school. “Do you want to be a roadside mechanic”? Was the question most of our teachers would ask at the time, No! We all chorused. Some of us went as far as saying “God forbid”. We didn’t want these disgraceful affiliations; we all wanted to be Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Pilots and so on. We didn’t even want to be teachers. We psychologically chose all the flamboyant professions and stayed away from the less attractive ones. Good choice! But it was beyond raising our hands in class when the teacher asked what we would like to be in future; it was about effort; effort to study relentlessly and burn those midnight candles; effort to be consistent in our school work; effort to have a positive outlook towards life and effort to carry on when the storm gathers. At that moment, it was clear that the future was ours for the taking.

In our everyday lives, we must apply that principle of taking life seriously and design a blueprint that will see us stand the test of time. Walking down memory lane gives us the luxury of evaluation and re-evaluation; so that we can apply those nuggets we gathered as junior high school students and then slot them into our daily living. Selah.

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