Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up

Recently, Prince Yemi Lana and I met in New York and he was so inquisitive about happenings in our town, Oluyole Ibadan.
He knows the only topic that can make me talk from today till eternity is Ibadan gist.

He started by asking about the APC governors that ruled our state in the past and I told him none of them were alive. Baba Lam Adesina and Egbon Isiaka Ajimobi are all dead.
But the two PDP governors are still alive – H.E Rasheed Ladoja, Chief Bayo Alao Akala and current CEO of Oyo State, Engr Seyi Makinde.

He said, “Oracle, do you think the death of these former governors in our state is coincidental?”

Philosophically, I answered that death is like the rain, it doesn’t have friends or enemies.

But the most important thing is to live a fulfilled life. We should not be carried away with the paraphernalia of the office we occupy because one day, we will be a visitor to that office.

I remember what happened to one of my respected brothers when I was in OAU, Rtd Colonel Ajiborisa, the then military administrator of Osun State.

Col. Ajiborisa was a wonderful military officer, humble to the core, just like my egbon of life, Rtd Colonel Rasheed Sekoni, former military administrator of Kwara State.

I had the opportunity to be very close to these two morally upright officers when they were in power.

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I learned from their humility. Their human relation is near perfection.

Col. Leo Ajiborisa handed over to the civilian governor, Late Isiaka Adeleke. After the inauguration and handing over of the mantle of leadership to the incoming governor, we proceeded to Lagos.

But something happened on getting to Ibadan tollgate. All the vehicles in the convoy parked and Oga alighted from his car, waved to us and continued his journey to Lagos without the convoy of cars that followed him. The escorts and all of us returned to Osogbo. He proceeded on his journey to Lagos, alone.
I was so curious and uncomfortable; I wanted to know why we couldn’t follow him to Lagos with the pool of cars and escorts.

Major Kayode told me that Oga was no longer the administrator of Osun State but a Colonel in the army. He is entitled to a driver and a batman. That’s all! When you leave an office, certainly, everything in that office will leave you except your character.
The thing is, no matter how smart, successful, good-looking or special you are, nobody likes a braggart. Nobody likes arrogance. Nobody likes cockiness.

It’s really important to practice humility to develop into a better leader and a better person. Humility and vulnerability makes us more likeable. I have a long way to go but each day I remind myself just how small I am in the amazing and wondrous world around me, that helps me to stay humble.

I am also quick to look back and think about how I started my life, my days in Primary School, Secondary School and the people that knew me when I was in the University. How on earth can I treat them as if they are nobody?
Most of the people we seized to respect now, we knew quite well that we couldn’t move near them when we were in the University. Some of them had achieved what we have now that is making us behave arrogant to them during their University days. Are we talking about cars, houses, the contact with who is who in the world?
And till today, they never come to our doorsteps to seek favour, despite our mirage that the position we hold in the society is second to none.

Some of us are short-sighted and judge ourselves with our fake lifestyles. We think our current office is the highest in life. We forget that pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.

~ Aare Wole Arisekola writes from Ibadan

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