THE GIFT OF EXPERIENCE

I remember every bit of that movie, “The Ultimate Gift” – and its sequel, “The Ultimate Life.” Those movies changed my life in more ways than I can report here. Just a quick recap: Jason’s billionaire grandfather, Red Stevens, wills almost everything to him, but needed to get him transformed, being a spoilt brat, before having him take possession of an empire he built from ground up with his sweat and blood. Before his demise, he prepares a series of 12 ‘personal’ gifts Jason must first receive before landing “The Ultimate Gift” – insane wealth! Steven’s lawyer was to see that Jason performed satisfactorily on each ‘gift’ before the billionaires fall to his laps. The gifts of work, learning, friends, giving, love, perfect day…

Now, what that movie particularly did for me was get me searching for other unsung gifts; gifts God, family, friends and even strangers give us by the day and yet we take them for granted, yet we fail to acknowledge and appreciate them. What I’ve come to realize is that some of these unsung gifts are even more important than the gift of cash and the likes. A personal example would do.

September 28, 2018 was the day. The day I was given the gift of an experience that changed so much about the way I see this country. A family invited me over for a party at a facility on the Bonny Island. All I was to do was appear at their Trans-Amadi jetty, identify myself, join “Confidence 1” – and that’d be all, as they’d be waiting for me at the other end.

But that wasn’t all. That was also my first travel on deep waters. That was my real first experience of how important being on that boat makes you, as we had two Nigerian Navy gunboats escort us from the very start to the finish of the 1.45hrs-long journey. So I don’t end up saying too much, lemme end it already by saying that the experience on that island was just like heaven on earth, and left me with the conclusion that there are different ‘types’ of Nigerians and it’s up to us to choose our type. I made my pick on that island.

When I was good to leave, after a thrilling night with Okey Bakassi and Dan the Humorous, my friends looked at me in gratitude and thanked me profoundly for making out time and taking the risk of coming in search of them ‘at the very end of the earth.’ I looked at them and smiled. Perhaps they didn’t know they’d given me more. They’d given me the gift of a life-changing experience, one I’ll always be grateful for.

Back to the ‘gifts’ gist. I’m convinced that the gift of experience is as important as the gift of cash and other material items. And I think we should be as grateful for the gift of experience as with other ‘tangible’ gifts.

Your No.1 fan,
Cornel

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