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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What people will say...

He comes to my office today, asking me to lend him money.

I'm surprised because I know he made a few millions a few months ago after working on a project for almost six months. I remember asking him a day after he got his cheque what he planned to do with the money. He talked about buying shares and I remember saying something about investing.

So here he is two months later asking me to lend him a few thousands. What happened to all your money I ask him.

Well, here's his story. He spent 85% of the money to buy a brand new Jeep (4x4), another 10% to revamp his wardrobe and the last 5% finished a few days ago, so he needs a loan.

Then I ask him why he spent all that money buying a Jeep instead of investing some of it.

His answer leaves me speechless for at least 5seconds.

He says 'well, all my friends drive Jeeps, I have to join the club, besides how else can I show that I have arrived?"

Y'all don't wanna know what ensued after that and no he didn't get any money from me.

But this brings me to my question for today.

Do we humans do half the things we do because of what people say, will say or have said?

Do we get married because the society expects us to be married at a certain age and not because we're ready?

Do we refuse to walk out of a miserable, unhappy marriage because of what people will say?

Do we buy big, fine houses and cars just to impress people not because we really have a need for them? Why do some people have 6/7/8 cars? Is it because they really enjoy collecting cars or because it shows off their wealth?

Do we join a profession just because we think it's prestigious not because we have a passion for it?
'I want to be a lawyer'
'Why?'
'Because lawyers have a lot of respect'

Is that all we are about? Living for other people?

If he had said I bought the car with all my money because I needed it so badly...then maybe, but to say 'How else can I show the world I have arrived'

I don't think you need a car to prove you've arrived but some people don't get it.

So I ask again, do we do half the things we do because of what the society thinks or will say?

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

pls that guy is just plain stup has he never heard of planning for a rainy day or cutting ones coat according to one's size. i do what i want to do and do not care what society expects of me as long as i know my name and my father's name will not be soiled i just carry go. I always tell everyone to do what they think is right as long as they are able to live with the consequence of thier actions

Anonymous said...

LMFAO!!! @ how else will i show people that I have arrived...lol. Since he has arrived, he should drive his new Jeep to his 'big boys' club and do 'big boy' things...including borrowing 'big boy' money from other people who have arrived.

Anonymous said...

This is very popular among Nigerians...you know everyone wants to be like the 'Jones'. Sad but true...c'est la vie! Great post Linda!

Ladi said...

Thats so true especially in so called posh cities where the rich have it all and the wannabees and desperately trying to get 'there'

See Nigerian musicians who don't have D'banj or Tface paycheque but still using their whole cheque to but a hummer jeep when the haven't thought about whether or not their next album will actually sell and continue the inflow.

In our little ways we always think about what people wil say but there are limits!

Ladi said...

Thats so true especially in so called posh cities where the rich have it all and the wannabees and desperately trying to get 'there'

See Nigerian musicians who don't have D'banj or Tface paycheque but still using their whole cheque to but a hummer jeep when the haven't thought about whether or not their next album will actually sell and continue the inflow.

In our little ways we always think about what people wil say but there are limits!

Anonymous said...

LOL!!!...my head hurts!
Please tell me dis person is ur tennage lil' brother or something.
I was thinking recently about ur question tho (the marriage part)...i know the bible says be fruitful and multiply, but most pple's lives seem to be concerted. go to school, and w/in a certain age range, get married...pple doing it d other way around or pple not completing the cycle usually gets frown upon...is this a made up rule? must we do one b4 the other? or one after the other...or r we just trying to fit the quota?

Nma

temi said...

talk about spending money you dont really have ......
to buy what you really dont need....
to impress people you really dont like...
wild goose chase...if u ask me!

truth is some peeps may never like you or be impressed by you or have good things to say about you...
so give it up already!!


and do your thang!........because you really want to..

for you....

ababoypart2 said...

Adnan Khashoggi once said "Its the appearance that matters". Most Nigerians I know live that quote to the letter.

Anonymous said...

sorry to start off like this linda, but it is not him asking you to borrow him money, but lend him money. if it was the other way round, you'd be the one borrowing from him.. no disrespect, but we learn everyday right?

back to the topic, i don't blame him one bit cos we live in a society that demands that kind of stupidity. however sad and twisted it seems, he does have a point in the sense that he has probably gotten more respect cos of his presumed elevated status. one just has to be extremely disciplined and humble to ignore what is expected of us from society, but do as it pleases us to do WITHIN our power. in other words, cut your coat according to your size.

its just sad that a lot of people have fallen prey to the ridiculous expectations that have somehow been placed as a yardstick in measuring ones place in society.

God dey sha. i hope your friend will learn his lesson after now and realise that human needs and wants are different things entirely. im damn sure before he got the millions he was saying to himself, 'men, if i get that money, i am made.. i can do this and that..'.. he got the car, he got the new baffs and BOOM, the money's gone. the list is endless when we suddenly get money, but when he did not drive the jeep he was still alive and well. if he was truly suffering, he would have managed it better.

wo, i don tire for people.

Rita said...

True talk...many of us are driven by what the world would think or say about us...which ultimately leaves us empty...

I really appreciate this post, especially for the wisdom you have shared. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is we live life only once, if one does things to please others, you;ll look back at a unhappy and unfufilled life. There is nothing wrong with living well and large as long as it is done with ones' own personal intent and not what others think or want.

Jarrai said...

I am first!!!!!!

Jarrai said...

Ok..this guy has priority issues, am glad you didn't give him any money. His reasons for being broke are just due to reckless spending laced with lack of focus on what he really needed...i mean he bought a jeep because his friends had one, what does that say??

We can say society demands we dress, talk, and live a certain way. However we all have choices and control in what we do for ourselves...sadly most of us want to comform and be part of the "cool crew"

seyi (not my real name) said...

YES.

Thats the simple awnser to your lenghty question...

it is sad but true....especially here in Nigeria....

it takes a strong xter not to join the bandwagon....becos you may end up with no friends on the side u choose!


hey...SO BLADDY WHAT!

Wild Boy said...

You have come again linda.... however, i must concede that it is indeed true. I'm not much for commenting but i think what most people do is for others..'what will they say?' It is an entirely global tradition..or maybe 'black' one and i dont know how soon such will be eradicated.People really go out of their ways to satisfy society and the real few people who don't are labelled 'rebels'. You and i'll be surprised at what people real are and what to be (behind closed doors of course) but are other personalities for all to see. I think this makes a whole lot of us fake, phony ...pretenders. I'm not excluded this time around. Cheerio.

edede said...

Great point. Its sad but one must ask how this came about.

In Nigeria, its all about, who you are, what you drive, who you know...and if you come into a place humble with flip flops and a scarf on your head, you will be treated with disregard. The yardstick for success in our culture is material wealth and how well you "rock" what you "own".

I won't blame him entirely. It is the mentality that has to change.

Mystique said...

I don't think it's humans per se.

I think it depends on your culture and you as a person. I remember there was this white girl that lived on my halls when I was an undergrad. she didn't look poor, but she didn't look like her Dad was hella rich either. She drove a toyota corolla (new one of course), and wore shorts and t-shirt to class. When I found out who her Dad was at graduation, I was shocked!

There was another black friend of mine, whose dad was a lawyer. I swear you will think her Dad was bill gates. Don't let me even get started with Nigerian politician kids that are international students in America. Okay, let me say some not all. :-) (because I know most of you are on blogville too). I don't want rain of fire on my head. lol

My point is It's 90% our culture. Our culture promotes that we show our wealth with what we have.

I personally don't like to show off. It just makes life a whole lot easier when you don't feel like you have to impress everybody. It's sweet. Y'all should try it. :-)

Jan said...

Hello Linda, I've always visited your blog just to see what you have posted but today, you posted one of the most profound thoughts I have seen. So sad about that young man but it is quite true that we live our lives because of what people will say. I almost made the mistake of marrying the wrong man because the pressure was just too much but at the end of the day after thinking about it and listening to my inner mind (intution), I knew I had made the best decision by not getting married at least for now...I had so much peace in my mind once I took this bold step. It's the same for a lot of people within most offices. Within the organisation I work for, a lot of people are preoccupied with buying the latest designer bags, clothes, cars and all kinds of luxurious things instead of planning for their future. However, some of us have remained focused and have gone to establish our own businesses by the side while leaving the foolish ones (as i call them) to continue to leave their lives according to what others may say. My personal mantra is this "life is too short not to spend it well doing what you know best how to do cos you're not going to leave it alive anyway". Thanks for this post...it surely made my day

Anonymous said...

How will u show that u've arrived when you do not have the money to buy gas in your car, and drivw around to show off your new clothes. Myopic thinking sha!!!!

!!Estella!! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
!!Estella!! said...

CORRECTED POST

Ona Brown, a great motivational speaker here in USA said the other day at a conference in my church: "GET BEYOND THE GOOD OPINION OF OTHERS"!

Simple! Kapish!

Like I tell people, ME, I NO SEND!!

I guess the biggest shock I had when I returned to Nigeria in january (after 7 years in USA), was to see the level people would go to 'belong'!
To me, that was DISGUSTING with a capital 'D'!

C'mon, Bill Gates more or less invented the 'business casual' wears during the IT era in USA Where you can just go to your office in your jeans and T-Shirt, just throw a Jacket to make it look kinda formal!

But, a typical Nigerian man in Lagos would deck on an Armani Suit that cost him over 1,000 Euros, in the hot sun, at a meeting he could very well have worn his garbadine slacks and cotton shirt to!

Nigerians OVERDO the impression thing!

ME, I NO SEND!!! If you aint paying my bills or feeding me, why should I give a rat's fart what you think about me? Well, - I DONT!

Sure, we all should live upto our 'standard' and comfort, afterall, we worked very hard for it, but I have a big problem with people LIVING ABOVE THEIR MEANS!!

Someone I had respect for before made me lose it for him the day he told me that if I climed an okada he would never talk to me again! Just because the traffic holdup was too tight and I just wanted to go home and use the loo....eat and rest, and we were like 10 minutes from my house!

Meanwhile, this person drives a car he cannot afford! And sees nothing wrong with asking me for gas money every day!

Typical Nigerian for you!

Its sad!!!
I heard of a guy that got some N6million from their 419 thingy in lagos, and next thing, he goes to stay at a hotel for one month with girls and money was gone! He didnt even buy a car nor a pencil. he just went and had 'fun' and came back 'broker' than before!

Why I respect white people here in US, is that you will see one that wears your regular $19.99 pants, $9.99 shirt, or the woman gets dress for $59.99. And she can cut coupons to buy grocery and looks for sales and discounts....you would be there feeling sorry for her 'economizing' habits, but wait till she shows you the amount of money she has in her retirement account, her 401K etc....and you would be seeing lots of zeros behind the dollar sign! As per in Millionaires! Cos they save for their old age!

But naija man would eat all here and now!

While white man can create a company/business that goes through generations, a Naija man's business packs up the day the founder dies! Cos we refuse to have the 'Save for rainy day' mentality!

KAM BABY said...

You know,,,i'm not that suprised. People live their lives for other people. Especially nigerians. Me, i do it sometimes too oh!

Iwalewa McDaniels said...

some pple just don't get it. Life shld not be abt trying to impress others. Why couldn't he go to one of those friends who he is now in the same club with (courtesy of his stupid decision to buy the jeep) to borrow money?

Anonymous said...

Really insightful and though provoking! Thumbs up

wienna said...

The problem about us Nigerians is that we like copying & conforming with others. Our people still want to live their lives according to what the society think it's right. Check for instance, naija women now have tattoos on their breasts, i've seen a lot of naija women doing that now. You see these naija music videos, you see the artistes wearing sunshades, even in the dark. I really don't understand my people men. We so want to copy the western culture all the time. We so want to copy the things in vogue without even checking to see if it'll be appropriate or not. I don't understand my people anymore o.

I'm so glad to hear that you didn't give the idiot the money o, if so, i for vex for una o.

Anonymous said...

thats so d lot ofmost people walkin d surface of the earth...it has a lot 2 do with parental upbringin....most ppleare shadows of there parents...doing only thereparents biddin wen the were much younger n this attitude tends 2 creepin into there adultlife...linda i tell u,majority of pple on this earth areshadows of there homes...only a few are pple made of there own fibres..sad 2 say but thats so d truth...least thats d way i perceive it...

Anonymous said...

A very good point u've got here....sad he and so many other people don't see it that way

Anonymous said...

Your friend has arrived, abi? Abeg deliver my advise to him.

1. Sell your jeep (probably for one-tenth of the original cost price)

2. Buy a pair of bathroom slippers to herald a second arrival - the arrival of poverty. He has a lot of trekking to do.

You do a great job with your blog, Linda. Keep it up!

Lagbaja
[I'm not the real one]

Anonymous said...

An afterthought - the poorest people appreciate wealth the most. We love to create an impression that we are wealthy while the ones who are really wealthy are so busy doing whatever it is that they do that they often forget to even comb their hair!

Lagbaja (again!)

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this is the bane of the Nigerian society, it's this "let them see me" mentality that has ruined the the honesty fabric of Nigeria. I am also tempted to say this is black man phenomenon. My one advise to anyone who is locked in that world, and i promise you will be grateful you did, get the book titled, "total money makeover" by Dave Ramsey. Your family tree will change forver.

Pete

got back from nija said...

i just got back from nija after visiting last 9 yrs ago...i have to say that i really couldnt relate to people trying so hard to be like the joneses..i felt like an alien from outer space....some going around with 4-5 cell phones...i was almost losing my mind..network or no network..i cant come to terms with it...afterall here in america..we dont always have good signals, but u dont see people with more than 1 cell phone or more than one car... i just couldnt get caught up with the craziness of peple trying hard to be what they are not...i just cant relate to that mindset!!!why are some poeple losing it in nija???it behooves me!!!are we selling our souls????

luvbogg said...

'Mr lend not borrow' i do not think you need superpowers to be able to be realistic and not lie toyourself, I do not think that you need to be 'extreamely disciplined' to realise and recognise your limitations!people buy cars,lcds and recently even go on vacation plus all the 'big boy' gadgets on lease, but they will never be caught buying houses, propeties or even stocks on lease,rubbing shoulders with people whom they have no business comparing themselves to......when they lay in bed at night at the end of the day what do they tell themselves? that is what i always wonder? 'o! temitope saw me in iv tech today!' or 'aah! so dupe saw me on oxford street!'? we can lie all we want, but the greatest lies are the lies we tell ourselves...that is what destroys us, eventually!

Anonymous said...

This is soo silly! Imagine him asking you for money bcos his small mind blew his cash on a 4x4 and having the guts to tell u he did it to show ppl he has 'arrived'! well, lets see if he can 'arrive' without petrol in his jeep (pun intended)!

I hope you gave him directions to the nearest bank where he can apply for a loan!

Anonymous said...

MMMMMMMMM nigerians!! majority are misguided

Yewande Atanda said...

in my own opinion, i think we hav 2 problems as 'black people'.

one is MISINTERPRETATION
two is SHOW OFF MENTALITY

sum people misinterprete other people's actions. e.g. when i bought a laptop 2 years ago to improve my IT skills and my business, my friends started shouting that i was trying to show that i'd arrived, but i knew inside me that i needed it and dat was why i bought it. when i bought a car that same year to enhance my business, my siblings started complaining that i was trying to show off. but the fact was that i needed those things. though they complained that i was too young (I was 17years and very smallish), that doesn't mean i shuldnt do wht will benefit me. my mum also told me i should invest my money on shares instead of the car that i was too young and that my elder ones may see it as something else, but i stood my ground. it was a case of Misinterpretation.

the second problem we have as black people is the SHOW OFF, that is wen people want to live above their means. they are desperate to show that they hav even wen it is obvious they don't. during my year 1 in sch, i was hanging out with a friend that normally tell everyone that cared to listen that he's a prince and that the parents are as rich as Dangote. he would buy people free food and also help other coursemates pay for their textbooks. for his extravagant spending, he became popular and went out wit so many chics, but unknown to me, this guy's father was the gateman of my uncle and he had been stealing my uncle's money to come 'show off' in school. i discovered this the day i went to visit my uncle during the holiday and saw him. that was the day my uncle terminated the appointment of his father.
its so sad to knw that black people suffer from these problems.

Anonymous said...

he bought a jeep so he could belong and now he is broke.....so bladdy what? over to you

Anonymous said...

@ lagbaja

u are so funny.

Anonymous said...

linda thank God u did not give him d money. let him go and ask those he was forming for.

They will start shunning him cos i know their type. neva try to pretend with all the so called big boys and girls cos when things go sour for u they will all drop u.

pple cut ur coat according to ur material cos ur size might be too big.

Anonymous said...

Good one Linda....and wonderful thots too guys.Let me call u writers out now:

@Anon 5:51am(Nma)- My dear, I like your questions abt the life cycle of a woman. Who the heck made that law? It must be my mumsy :)- go to sch, marry and then have kids). I belive they are all necessary but howeva u complete the cycle i.e . whether you born, then marry, then go sch doesnt matter, just try ur best to accomplish all.

One thing we fail to realise (our parents esp) is that school, marriage and havin children "no be for everybody".

@Estella- Na u know oh... Bill Gates this, Oyibo that.. woteva!!! I dey the America with u and no be so my dear. Some people are frugal or wise with money spending and some are not. No be "Akata people"(Black Americans) dey use paycheck buy Gucci and different designer purses meanwhile they aint paid the rent yet? Or the rappers/ballers that use their 1st big check to buy hse for " they mama's, fur coats and bling.... Abeg it's everywhere no be 9ja sickness only.. It's called "Keepn up with the Jones" here in USA.. im sure your familiar with that sayn.

Sola Folowosele said...

happy day of birth

Anonymous said...

is just pure madness. He is still going to cry with no water coming out of his eyes. he has forgotten that cars are just material things and anything can happen to it.
bless him, as sufferness is coming his way.
He is not the only one though, i know people in london that are driving expensive cars, had a lavish wedding and still staying in government house (in london).