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In the Scheme of Things, By Michael Ovienmhada

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Insights on Edo 2024, By Michael Ovienmhada

These are uncertain times. These are interesting times. I believe these may also be curious times. If you live in Ukraine, Yemen, Israel, Gaza, or Northern Nigeria, these may be sad times. Wherever we find ourselves in the broad spectrum of life, we must find a way to do life in the way that it serves us. The labyrinth of life is often so complex that even in so-called ‘normal’ times, there are individuals, wholesome beings who are acutely pained by mental illness and a certain level of paranoia that drives them to take the lives of others, innocent people who have nothing to do with their sense of solitude or madness. Such was the ill-luck of 18 people whose lives were snuffed out by a solitary gunman in Maine, USA. For him, he had reached the end of the road. He felt the need to make an exit away from the burdens of his existence. He had to take some people with him. Sad life, sad ending, multiplied.

As the killer in Maine was wrapping up his mayhem, another drama was unfolding in New York. A man who had been suffering from depression thought he was hearing noises from above his apartment. Alas, it was the demons that had built a home in his psyche. He was a time bomb waiting to explode. He detonated, taking down a father and his son. He had reached the Cul-de Sac of his life. He needed company in his journey to the great beyond.

In one’s alone time, one tends to sometimes ponder the complexities of our existence. Why do we exist at all in the first place when we are all going to die eventually—anyway? Answers range from the scientific to the religious. Wherever your reasoning takes you, find a way to embrace it and do your own life as much as possible, in a community-beneficial way.

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Over three weeks ago, we were all awakened to the dreadful news, almost unthinkable phenomena of a devastating attack on the ‘impregnable’ State of Israel. The world held its breath as it awaited the response by Israel, a country literally surrounded by enemies who wish them ill up to the point of total extermination. Two years ago, I encountered a Palestinian Taxi driver in Copenhagen, Denmark. I offered him extra money to spend some time with me deconstructing the great dilemma of our times. For him, there was not going to be any conversation about a compromise until the Jews quit the geographical area known as Israel which the Palestinians claim as theirs. My interaction with the gentleman helped me to understand why Arafat could not accept the Two-State solution deal offered by Ehud Barak and Olmert subsequently, which would have guaranteed a safe co-existence devoid of continuing uncertainty and pain. These people live in a community of paranoid existence colored by blind hatred, obfuscated historical interpretations of right or wrong, and pure, unadulterated religious beliefs all of which in my opinion have lost one thing in interpretation-// Humanity. If all sides to the conflict would just set aside their history of right or wrong and put humanity on the table, we just might find a resolution. Would it be safe to assume therefore that there are some problems that just can’t be resolved?

In the last two weeks, another brand of malfunctioning appeared to have finally resolved itself as the Republican Party finally appeared to have found themselves a Speaker. He hit the ground sprinting right into dysfunction. He has put a bill on the table that is pretty much in the realm of pouring gasoline on an already horrible situation. Will his extreme position on issues be a gift to Democrats in 2024? Only time will tell.

As 2024 approaches, with a Trump and Biden rematch as possibility, American voters find themselves in a bind, having to vote for one or the other old man. They are not alone in this. Add Pelosi and McConnell to the mix and you will begin to wonder how America can continue to be an example of a great democracy where old men do not see the need to give way. How can they therefore quarrel with other climes where people rule for life? Should we therefore be looking for forms of men rather than forms of government?

As the world turns, my beautiful country, Nigeria, continues to present an intractable problem to a hapless population. The suffering is palpable. Unemployment is at unbearable and unbelievable levels. Inflation is biting hard. Options are narrowing for the people. Hope appears to be fading away for our judicial system. The more the people suffer, it appears, the less caring the leaders appear to be. Have we reached rock bottom, or is there some more distance to travel to get to rock bottom? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

Michael Ovienmhada.
Author, Poet, Playwright, and
Public Affairs Commentator.
[email protected]

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