Fate: Aim for the Best but Expect the Worse

“These things have I taught you so that [ye] repeat not the mistakes
of those before you…”
– Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), paraphrased.

The very essence of studying history is to know what happened during the era that is being studied and to understand the misunderstanding of the people of that era and from them, learn how to structure our own lives so as not repeat their own mistakes and/or experience the disasters they experienced.

In the pursuit of greatness, it is agreed that one is likely to get an easier take off if he is taking off from the shoulders of giants. Hence, I in particular have interested myself in the study of men of great significance and learning from them the best I can. This has been the theme of this series of articles and its sister series, ‘Mohammad Buhari’s How to Win in Life’. In this round up part, I discuss the most important message of President Goodluck Jonathan- his life,
his person, his presidency and finally his defeat- for the Nigerian youth.

President Goodluck Jonathan has been branded as a man who got to where he is only through the goodwill of nature and luck. People assumed that he had just been able to get to the position of a president only through luck and most people do not even acknowledge the roles he plays in the things that occur in his life and in the course of the country he runs.

In the same vein, a lot of Nigerian youths believe that things can just happen to them. They pray, fast and go to places of worship daily in a bid to get lucky. As a matter of fact, I know of young men who do not plan their days. They sleep, eat, drink, make love-if they are opportune- and wait for the day when some magical tunnel will capture all of the luck in the world into their lives and better their situation. Put in a single phrase, they wait for life to happen. And if by any chance you try convincing them to discard their belief that things can just happen, they are quick to mention President Goodluck Jonathan as a man whose life and elevation just happened.

Contrary to their assumption, however, President Goodluck Jonathan is a man who has shown that he is proactive and participatory in making things that ‘happen’ to him happen. He has actively participated in local politics in Bayelsa state and that active participation brought him into the notice of the PDP and made him a deputy governor. His principled life also kept him from dabbling in the copious corruption that was around him and when ‘the wind blew’, he was spared. Notice that this happens on rare occasions: that the governor will be found guilty of heightened
corruption while his deputy is not. Even if Goodluck Jonathan was involved with the corrupt practices of his governor, he was active in cleaning up after him. This character of being proactive brought him into the limelight of national politics and it elevated him.

The events of the 2015 election campaign period have shown that even if President Goodluck Jonathan is ‘lucky’, he definitely doesn’t take chances with putting in work. He campaign thoroughly through the months leading up to the presidential election. His adverts were on every website. At a point, you can find his adverts even on a Wikipedia article.

He put in work to make his desire of being a president for a second term becomes a reality and he
did so using every avenue that he could.

What is more?

When the results of the polls were announced and the votes were against him, he had peace knowing
that he had put in his best.

So, what are you doing to improve your condition? How are you doing this?

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity; so get up and work and when you fail, at least
you did your best!


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