Why me, why not me?


Ozodi Osuji

“People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.”

“To accuse others for one’s own misfortune is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.”
― Epictetus

I do not know about you; I often ask why what happened to me happened to me; why did I have the fate I have (you would not want to be born with my body, I inherited Cytochrome C Oxidase deficiency, Spondylolysis and Mitral valve prolapse and is almost always in pain).
As an African I ask, why did Africans have to be degraded by Arabs and Europeans? In the contemporary world just about everyone looks down on Africans.
Folks want to be like successful people and do not want to be like those considered not successful. Since Europeans are at the apogee of human civilization, folks, including Africans, want to be like Europeans and since Africans are at the bottom of the world’s indices of modernity, no one wants to be African; indeed, even Africans do not want to be like Africans (African women bleach their bodies trying to make their bodies look white and fry their hairs to make them look straight like white women’s hairs; African men try to seem as successful as they think white men are).
Why were Africans enslaved in the Arab world and in the Americas, and to the present are still seen as subhuman beings?
The rest of the world see black folks as unintelligent; this part I can tell you with total certainty that no race is more intelligent than Africans; in fact, in about 100 years no other so-called race can out-compete Africans; Africans will be at the top of everything men value; when, at last, Africa begins producing public interest oriented leaders, instead of the thieves that currently rule the continent, and Africa is well governed, no other group of human beings would do anything better than African).
In the meantime, other races look down on Africans and Africans ask why us. I have asked that question all my life and could find not one acceptable answer.
Without knowing the truth of why we exist and exist as we exist, only God knows that truth, here is what makes sense to me.
Why us, why me? It is because it is for us, it is for me to have the fate we have, that I have. Could it be different? Of course, it could be different but that is mere wishful thinking. What matters is what we can see right now. What is right now is what is right now (it could be in infinite other ways).
We do not understand why things are the way they are, but they are the way they are. A realistic person must accept the self and world he finds his self in as it is; he must accept that wishing for alternatives to what is, is a waste of his time and energy.
I could be six feet, six inches tall, but I am not. I could be the most handsome man on earth, but I am not. I am what I am and that is who I am.
One must accept the cup that life has given to one and make the most of it; how do they put it, if life gives you lemon make lemonade.
(I believe that we choose our bodies, where we are born, our parents, what happens to us and choose our lives, but I am not going to get into controversial metaphysics here.)
In this essay, I just want to state the here and now reality facing each of us. What is, is what is, such is life, c’est la vie. Deal with the hand that nature and nature’s God gave to you. Do not cry over your fate, do not waste your time wishing that you were a different person or that you were born in a different race etc.
The only contribution that you can make to life is doing best with what you have in the here and now world.
Life gave me a problematic body; that body made it impossible for me to be athletic despite my wishes to be so. Indeed, my medical issues made me feel inferior (but inferior to who, you, you cannot compete with me in the department of thinking).
I had to sit or lie down most of the time. I used that opportunity to read and reflect on life. I believe that my philosophical nature is a reaction to my problematic body. If I had a healthy body, I doubt that I would be introspective and thoughtful. I see physically healthy folks and generally see mentally deficient folks.
I often say to me that I chose my problematic body, chose my kindred (their people’s high priests), chose my grandfather, a man of action who when he spoke men listened, and generally chose my life’s circumstances to produce my self-concept, self-image, and personality.
Is the idea of choosing one’s fate true? Science, in its superficial ways, tell us that we are the products of the blind concatenation of accidental events.
Why me, why not me? Why do I have my fate, why shouldn’t I have my fate? Why did what happened to me not happen to me?
Why were Africans enslaved by Arabs and white folks? Why shouldn’t they have been enslaved by those two groups?
(in passing, let me say that superior people do not enslave inferior people; Arabs and white folks are inferior folks and that was why they enslaved Africans; they projected their inferiority to Africans and felt delusionally superior to them. Enlightened people like Jesus Christ love and forgive all people, including those who harmed their bodies and egos but could not destroy their immortal souls.)
The question why me, why us is generally answered with speculations; as we all know, speculations are not the truth.
The deeper causes of why our lives are the way they are, are not known to any of us. Is there God or life after death? You do not know, and I do not know.
We must accept that certain questions are unanswerable and make the most of our lives in the here and now world.
As my warrior grandfather, Joseph Osuji-Njoku, used to tell me, look, Ozodi, Nwam (Ozodi my son) a warrior lives fully with life as it is and does not waste his time wishing for things to be different. Live fully so that when eventually you die, as all of us must die, you do not regret passing through planet earth and when you meet our ancestors, you tell them that while on earth you did your best.
Osuji-Njoku died a warrior; he simply laid on his bed surrounded by his sons and grandsons and held my hand, the grandson he loved most, and nobody was in doubt about that, he said that I reminded him of his self, fearless, stubborn on behalf of the truth.
Even as a child, I was 8 years old when grandfather died, I spoke the truth as I knew it and you could stand on your head and talk and go blue on your face and if what you said did not make sense to me, I was not going to agree with you. I was stubborn on behalf of the truth, as I understood it, anyway; I was willing to die at any time rather than accept lies; I cannot live lies; life is already too painful for me and I did not have to add psychological lies and their accompanying psychological pain to it.
I end by saying that we cannot answer the question why us objectively; I do not know why I was born in my pained body, why I was born an African and have the dreadful fate of Africans; I do not know why Africans are treated shabbily.
What I do know is that one must accept what one is given. At the belief level, I believe that we individually and collectively chose our lives. I cannot explain this belief, but it makes sense to me. I am not going to argue with you over beliefs, for what a man believes is true may be considered rubbish by another man.
Existential uncertainty regarding the truth notwithstanding, a warrior does what grandfather Osuji-Njoku, his people’s war leader, did, live his life to the fullest.
No excuses are accepted for one not doing what one must do that life asks one to do; the exigencies of our lives are different in each of us; our specific problems require us to understand and solve them; one should not run away from one’s life’s challenges.
Why do we live? We live to solve the challenges that our lives pose for us. Why me, why us; it is because the problems given to us are those we must solve and in doing so contribute to human advancement.
African Americans, for example, were given racism; they must not run away from it; it is in solving it that they help the mostly underdeveloped human beings called white folks grow up.
If you are developed you automatically know that the best lived life loves and respects all people and helps all people to be the best they can be, and not retard any one’s progress in your neurotic (deluded) pursuit of false superiority (to mask your underlying sense of inferiority).
There are no inferior and superior people; we are all the same and coequal.

Ozodi Osuji
March 24, 2021

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