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Often we get so used to things always working out for us. As children, we expect our teachers and parents to always have the answers. For those that write to Santa, we expect (even in Nigeria) what we ask to appear under the Christmas tree. At the beginning of the school year, we expect our fees to be paid. We expect food at home every time and expect water to come out when we turn on the tap. These little things we expect and often just assume that they run by themselves.

As we grow older, we understand that foodstuff have to be bought from the market. Fuel actually finishes in cars and we need money for some basic things. Our hairdressers actually charge for making our hair and so do our barbers and we actually have to study to pass.

I’m at the point where I know that houses are not free, bills need to be paid, the air conditioner actually has to be filled with gas (I never thought about that at all!!!) and little stuff like bulbs blowing out and wall sockets melting actually cost quite a bit when accumulated.

We often get so used to things working out with our parents or guardians when we’re younger and as we grow older it becomes clearer the details of what they do. It should make us appreciate them more and try as much as possible to ease the pressure on them. I don’t care if your father can afford the world and you’re asking for only planet earth – Be reasonable!

A friend of mine told me about a week ago that he appreciates now our parents work because he has to be up by 5am every day and he’s at work till about 5 – 6pm. Just that little glimpse into adulthood proper and he’s already realising the sacrifices they make.

Imagine a mum waking up at 4 every day to get ready for work, make breakfast for her children, and pack lunches for her husband and kids. Then she wakes up the oldest child, say 9 years old, at about 6am. The child grumbles and mumbles all the way to the bathroom and back out to dress up. The 5 year old is up at let’s assume 6.30am. She’s an angel until breakfast time when she starts complaining that she wants something else for breakfast. With time running out, mummy tries to get her to eat at least a little which she does but then cries all the way to school. Daddy by the way left for work while Master 9 year old was in the bathroom. After dropping the kids off, mummy goes to work for a grumpy boss who makes work a living hell!!!

Daddy meanwhile, not as stressed as mummy goes to pick the kids up from school and drops them at grandma’s then heads back to work. Mummy picks them up and the first thing Miss 5 says is that her parents are wicked for dropping them off at grandma’s every day when all their friends go home immediately. Mummy just smiles and tries to cheer her up and when they get home starts dinner. Master 9 says he wants something for dinner that isn’t available at home and mummy promises it the next day but he still sulks through dinner. And the day goes on and on …

The first definition of appreciation that jumps out at me is ‘understanding of the nature, meaning, quality or magnitude of something’. The next two are ‘an expression of gratitude’ and ‘a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation (yes appreciation)’!

You get the picture now though. We usually take things for granted. I get that at a certain age we are very selfish but we should learn even from very young to be selfless. We should not however be afraid to stand up for what we believe in. There’s a difference between standing for a cause and wanting things to go your way ALL the time. I’m hoping you can differentiate.

That’s all I have to say for now … Appreciate people around you no matter what situation you find yourself in, appreciate your family and be selfless … Its the best way to build and maintain relationships!!!

Lets countdown to 2012 part 2!!!

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