As far as the reality of life is concern, all human beings have their respective goodness and badness. We all have our various points of strengths and points of weaknesses. Every human being has an innate goodness and virtue in him. And there is no one that is so perfect to the point of excluding all possibilities of defects. The abundance and varieties of unique individual talents already makes this point clear enough. For instance, to one is given the natural talent of the art of public speaking, to the other of writing, to the other of singing and composition, artistic and aesthetic appreciation etc. One student is extraordinarily gifted in the sciences, the other in the literary subjects, the other in calculations etc.

Yes, you can! They will tell you it is all about determination, confidence and believing in yourself! While this is true that “you can”, in some and certain instances, you must also be courageous enough to accept that which “you can´t”. So, rather than focusing your energy on that which you can´t, your energy should be channeled to those things you can. We spend so much time talking about things we can´t (things we are not able to do) to the point of neglecting those which we can (things we are able to do).

Be fair to yourself. The journey of life is the journey of self-discovery. The Ancient Socratic saying “Man know thyself” captures this very fact succinctly. The educational process is a learning process that is aimed at helping you discover yourself. Part of this self-discovery is the discovery of “what I can do.” The other parts will consist of “Who am I”, “Where am I” and Where am I going” etc. The question: “What can I do?” also embodies the negative question “What can´t I do?” Trying to do everything is an attempt to be ´a jack of all trades´ which only leads to mediocrity instead of excellence and proficiency.

The Nigerian Educational process modelled according to the Western education, exposes every individual child to all the possibilities in the primary and secondary schools. In the last years of the secondary education, a child already identifies his or her strong points and will wish to channel his or her time, efforts and resources to that which he or she can do better. In the university, obviously, there is a certain level of specialization based on that which one can do best. There are also others who feel they can embark on something more practical, away from the so much theories of the university system. Persons like this are advised to pick up vocational training after their secondary schools. This is also a valid educational process. This educational process already tells us that we as unique individuals cannot do everything and that we are not all the same. We are all unique in our own way!

Be fair to yourself! There is no need to sit down and wish you were this other person or that other person. Within you lies a unique beauty, goodness, capacity and ability. Discover yourself and maximize the time you have and perfect your strong points. Do not let what you cannot do deter you from doing that which you can do!

Valentine Umoh