Wole Soyinka and a ‘young man’ tat asked for his seat in an airplane.

Restrain! Learn how to walk n’ yet not how to
not all walks lead home or your chosen destination
this I teach you today on your way to life’s college.

Learn not how to talk or rant about e’erything you see
Wisdom is not recognized by what it says
in the marketplace, however good its intentions.

If you’re in the blind learn how to solve problems,
but be humble to admit those you can’t resolve –
man is mortal, God is Almighty; solicit higher powers.

Learn how to cry when Grieve comes your way
there’s nothing unmanly about it, but learn also not to cry
through the eyes of your oppressor least it makes him superior.

Laugh not at another’s misfortune or fiasco
When e’erything for him goes from bad to worse;
Life’s sores are a full circle, e’eryone gets a dose someday.

If your clothes are made of cassava leaves
take not a goat as a friend; learn these words
of wisdom if you desire length of days to be yours.

© Ndidi. 2019. All rights reserved.

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