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My boss used to say that I’m a good learner. He considered it one of my values. He also said, I rarely make the same mistakes twice.

It’s because my mind does this weird thing. It takes a pictorial snapshot of important events and then recollects the feelings and sensations years after, as if they happened yesterday. My life is a series of Ebenezers; timeless memorials.

I vividly recall when it hit me that certain values were becoming rare in Nigeria. Hard work, diligence, loyalty, love, honesty. It was 10 years ago.

I was on a date with a B-List Nigerian artiste and we were discussing poetry and life. He asked about the things that defined me and I reeled off a list of values. He looked me dead in the eye and proclaimed that if I didn’t drop all these “high falutin ideas”, I would never get laid.

Perhaps, he intended to shock me. Instead, he saddened me. You see, I intuitively knew getting laid wasn’t that difficult. So, I was more concerned about his complete dismissal of ideals. I wondered exactly how he planned to build a decent career if he thought them unimportant. What sort of team did he hope to attract? What did this disdain say about him too?

If you go on social media, you will find that the sentiments he expressed are commonplace. It is no longer fashionable to do the right thing in Nigeria. Especially, when you don’t have money. Wrong has become right and right has become odd. We reward evil and punish good.

However, life has an uncanny ability to reward those who persevere. Sometimes, it does so by introducing you to markets that will pay for your effort. Other times, it does so by attracting like-minded people to you. Life also blesses you with peace. And, it makes you relevant in societies that treasure what you have to offer.

Don’t give up if you have good values and don’t lose hope if you’re excellent. Instead, expand your world. Use the Internet to interact with other cultures and communities. You are bigger and better than your current location. The stone that the builders rejected will one day become the chief cornerstone.

Don't give up if you have good values and are excellent. Instead, expand your world. You are bigger than your current location. Click To Tweet