"Nnanibaémaélianpö, Awachialiöñöaköröafele ( When two blind people share a dish, who gets more from the soup is a matter only the gods can decide)"
A better way to begin an understanding of this Annang saying is by explaining its etiology. The African dish popularly known as foo-foo among requires two separate dishes: one for the dough or foo-foo itself and the other for the soup. Since the Annang soup for the foo-foo requires lots of green vegetables, some individuals may exhaust such soup before the foo-foo. Good table etiquette requires that the soup be eaten well along with the foo-foo so that the former is not exhausted before the later. Community sharing of a meal allows individuals to keep an eye on each other and act as a check against those with a habit of finishing the soup before the foo-foo. With the blind, such a check is not possible because of the lack of sight. Thus the Annang saying that ascribes such responsibility to the gods is an acknowledgement that what is difficult for humans is not so with the divine. The saying was used to stress the divine attribute of omniscience in cases where proof and evidence was lacking. Sometimes, certain situations are beyond human control.
The need to be in control sometimes pushes us to act in ways that can bring problems to us. We always want to be in control and to take charge. When we feel such opportunity is slipping away from us we panic and attempt to exert our power so that little doubt is left about the need to be in control. The fact is that it is difficult to control certain situations and we have very limited ability to control anything in this world. Sometimes we think we are in control when in fact, we are only comfortable with the familiar. The only thing we are capable of controlling is our minds. The Buddha is quoted as saying that “If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” We can control how we see the world and how we interpret the lack of money. We can control the effect of the bad news that we receive and how we react to a break up of a relationship. We can control how we react to the loss of a job or what we think about ourselves, but we certainly cannot control the actions of others or what others think about us. We can control our reactions to the events of today, but it may be hard to control the uncertainty of tomorrow. If we truly believe in the cliché that no condition is permanent, for example, we can endure a little suffering now and move on knowing that a change will come in the future.
Do you feel like you must always be in control? Do you find yourself demanding every detail? Do you find yourself impatient with those you think are not fast enough or brilliant enough? Do you sometimes feel like you are the only person with the right answer who actually knows what to do? If you answer yes, chances are you like to micro manage. Such an attitude can burden you with stress. We can control very little in our world so take control of the only thing that you can which is your mind. We play God when we claim to know everything and we expose ourselves to stress when we insist on being in control. Hope you can find time today and let go of some of your anxieties.
Adede (Dr.) Ezekiel Ette
For Annang Writers Association (A division of Annang Heritage Preservation Inc.)
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DISCLAIMER: Views expressed here are solely that of the author and do not represent the official position of Annang Heritage Preservation Inc. or any of its affiliate.