It has been said over and over again that man is the architect of his own life and destiny and sadly it has also been mentioned that the spiritual controls the physical; it is believed that whatever happens in the physical has before now been pre-determined in the spiritual. If whatever happens in the physical has already been decided by the unknown beings (gods) how is it the responsibility of man if he lives up to what have being written? I believe most of us are familiar with the book the god’s are not to blame by Ola Rotimi which is an adaptation of the Greek play Oedipus Rex. Well, if you are not, let me bring you up to date.
The play is about a baby that was brought before the oracle to foretell the future of the child. It was discovered that, the child would kill his own father and marry his mother. The parents of course could not let this happen. Amidst their joys and sorrows they decided to kill the child as it was the only way to avert this calamity. A messenger was sent to kill the child but because of his love for the child, he gave it away to a foster parent. When the child Odewale was of age, his uncle told him about his future; for fear of hurting his parent, he ran away to avert his tragic expectations but he was never told that the people who he knew as mother and father where not is biological parents. Odewale ran very far from the village he grew up and settled in another village where he worked hard and purchased a land which he farmed on.
One day, an old man came claiming Odewale stole his land; the land which this young man has been working on for years; he insulted him and called him thief but Odewale did not reciprocate but when the old man insulted the land in which he came from or should we say the land he thought he came from, he got angry and replied the man. The two went into a duet which was mostly fought with charms but the old man was more powerful and Odewale took his hoe and hit the man on his head and he died. This incident made him run away again to another land name kutuje. The people of kutuje just lost their king and because of this some neighboring clans where trying to take their land. Odewale came and saved the day and in appreciation, he was made king and married the formal king’s wife.
Tragedy began to happen in the land and as a good leader, he sort every means to find out the cause of this plague. After a lot of search, it was discovered that a taboo has been committed. He made a decree that if the culprit was found, he or she will not be spared however as one event led to another he found out that he was the culprit. He realized that the old man he killed back then was his biological father and the woman he is married to now, is his biological mother and so the prophecy of the gods came to pass: he blinded himself and went into exile with his children.
Now, if a man is actually the controller of his destiny how come every time he tries to make a U-turn there is always sabotage. Did he choose this fate? I don’t think so nor did he wish to kill the old man because if he had not, there is a probability that the old man might have killed him; so he was only defending himself. But man has been made to carry such a heavy burden and they say the gods are not to be blamed. Right now, all I can see is a young man trying to be a better person but the gods says, No lets continue playing. So many ways this destiny could have been averted, the parents could have risen up the child to know his mother and father and when he has come of age, then let him go, or the adopted parents could have told him his origin, but no, they did not. Even the uncle who told him about his painful fate did not even mention to him that he was an adopted child so how would he have behaved? Because he did what every human will think is the right thing to do but the gods still toyed with his fate.
Some reviews said if only he had controlled his temper he would have been better off but I do not agree totally to it because, every man has a weakness and it is his weakness playing. He tried as much as possible to keep it in check but failed at every turn. If the truth of his identity was revealed to him on time maybe it would have helped him.
This brings me to an incident that happened to me years ago. On this faithful day, I was dressed with a short and a white top going out to see a friend of mine, in Edo state Benin City. If you have been to Benin before, you will discover that the soil there is red. So, on this faithful day, it rained during the early hours of the day and the road was a bit messy with mud everywhere. I was about crossing the road when a jeep with a tinted glass just drove past on high speed splashing me with mud waters. I was so furious and bitter that I cursed who so ever that was in the vehicle and raised my hand to say waka (a kind of non verbal insult in Nigeria). I was still at the road side sympathizing with myself when I saw the car reversing back. At first I was ready to vent my anger on anyone in the car but then I became scared because I noticed the car belonged to a military personnel and in Nigeria, you don’t want to be caught up with a soldier. So in my mind, am done for; but as the car gradually came to a stop in my front, a uniform man stepped out and he said, am so sorry about this; is there anything I can do to help? With shock and surprise, I said no thank you is fine. Never in my wildest dream would I ever imagine that a soldier will apologies to me but you know what? That apology healed every ill feeling I had towards myself and the man. I was no longer ashamed to walk back home even when eyes glared at me. Would you say I was wrong to get angry or mad?
We all wish to do or react better when certain things happen to us but somehow the reverse is the case. Whether there is a god somewhere or not, one should always strive to be good to all men no matter the circumstance. We are all gods at one point in time in the life of someone or even presently. Make the right decision for that one and be a better god that will be remembered and not blamed even when you pass on.
Please comment below. I will love to hear your opinion. Thank you.