As I listened to Ella Nnabuchi’s rendition of Beyonce’s song, I felt goose pimples on my skin and tears in my eyes. And when she made that presentation that got Bibi Brew crying on national TV. I had no doubts in my mind that Ella was ‘here’. Ella, the project fame season 5 ‘Wild Card’. She joined the academy late but she still ended up in top 7. She was ‘here’.
That song and Ella got me thinking. How many of us come here and are not really here. How many of us just move with the crowd and live lives that make no sense even to ourselves? How many of us just go through the motions of existing, the endless cycle of sleep and wake? How many of us have identified why we are here? But more importantly, how do we show we were here?
When you hear the phrase ‘I was here’, you, like me, would probably think of someone doing something great, like the first man who landed on the moon for instance. How he would have proudly inscribed the words on any surface he could find. He had done something no one had done before, something spectacular. He was here.
We can not all go to the moon, but we all have in us a capacity to do something that can make us proudly say ‘I was here’. I met someone recently, an actor who was determined to stamp her foot in the sands of time. She declared that if she was asked to sweep in an audition, she would sweep in such a way that she would stand out.
I remember a time in another young woman’s life when she was forced to work as a security woman. She knew that wasn’t where she wanted to be, but that was where she was at the point in time. And a security woman she was in a way that showed she was here. People still talk about that young lady and how she saved her department when their supervisor miscalculated meal tickets and labeled them all thieves, how she kept going through the papers over and over until she found the error.
So what is it you do? Are you a lowly door man? A dishwasher? A cleaner? Can you show through your conscientious devotion to work that you were here? Will people come back to do business with you or your organisation because you chose to give out a courteous smile instead of an angry glare when you got tired from so much standing, too much work? Can your coworkers say: ‘she was here?’
Do you work in an organisation as part of a team of professionals? Do you do your part and contribute to team work? Or do you rely on eye service, only working when the boss is around and becoming a minus to the group afterwards? If you left your job today, would your colleagues shed tears that they are losing a gem? Or would it be the relief of good riddance to bad rubbish?
Are you a student? What are you doing with your time in school? Are you just coasting along? Waiting to be spoon fed by lecturers or waiting on the ‘micro-chip’ to pass your exams? Is it just about the certificate to you? Can the school authorities say about you: ‘he was here’?
As you go through life, you will sometimes be tempted to go easy on yourself: You accept a bribe because everyone does. You cheat in exams because it is the norm. You render poor service because your customers seem not to have a choice. You lie because it is easier than telling the truth. You become like everyone else. But if you choose that path, if you choose the path well trod, the path the majority would rather take because it is the easy path, then rest assured that you may never be able to say: ‘I was here’.