Of Man, His Ambition and Happiness

Ambition Green Road Sign Over Dramatic Sky and Clouds.

Many of us want to be somebody without understanding or knowing how or who we want to be like. We envy others and want to surpass them in achievement without appreciating their peculiar pains and limitations, costs and compromises, sacrifices they offered and sins they committed in their ascent up the ladder. We fight for fame and falter on faith and fidelity and in  our quest for office and power, we kill our conscience in killing and kidnapping even our consorts, co-travellers and confidants.

We openly declare before large congregations that God is our refuge and His banner over us is love, yet we stoop very low in certain covens in darkness at odd hours of the night, genuflecting before dead objects and mere mortals who lack our own gifts and grace to seek succour and protection because of our ambition. We seek the face of Allah or the heavenly Father for fortune and forgiveness, yet we follow fools and fortune-tellers with famished faces and frail fingers as our pathfinders to direct us on our ambitions. Because we want to make it so fast and so cheap in our aims and ambitions, we cheapen our God-given authority and trade away our integrity for a morsel of eba, a sheet of kilichi, a plate of edikang ikong, isi-ewu or a slice of bread with a N50 note insert.

We seek perfection in our character and demand decorum from others; yet we engage in the denigration of our human essence. We seek salvation and serenity of our soul from the machinations of the Great Enemy; yet we mortgage our peace of mind by our pride and conceit, and the pains we inflict on others to protect our vested interests or prove our power, place and position. These are the colours of ambition but these are also the limits to attaining the ultimate of ambition, which is…Happiness.

Are we indeed happy? Do we understand or appreciate the true meaning of Happiness? However, between the Stoics and the Epicureans is a vast field of variation on the definition and experience of pleasure/happiness and of adversity. Yet, these two experiences or values underline the motives, intentions and actions of most us. Nobody lives to experience pains and adversity or relish it all, which however is part of the realities of our everyday existence.

We suffer losses and experience disappointments, for many almost daily not even occasionally. Our expectations fail and aspirations are unmet even when we have toiled and labored so hard. We fervently and feverishly pray and offer so much sacrifices and many even are tempted to ask, why are we so cursed. And for many too, life is just so good, so sweet, so smooth that everything they lay hands on just turns gold. They have the Midas touch, without the asking. For them, things are taken for granted. And we expect them to be happy. But we also have the saying that the rich also cry.  The doses of predicaments that are invariably contained in our diets of life ultimately measure the extent of our happiness. The fewer the doses, the more likely are we to be happy; the more of them, the more we suffer depression.