The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at. Jesse Owens
When I grew up in Nigeria it was the custom for young parents who lived away from their tribe to send their children to the grandparents for training and schooling. So at a very tender age I was sent to live with my grandmother, starting life over in a small rural village.
Traditional beliefs were strong, and sometimes ran wild. One quiet afternoon as we children played happily and old men rested lazily under large trees in the village square, gunfire suddenly erupted all around us. Men with sharp machetes shouted that ghosts were in the village, and all hell was let loose. People ran screaming in all directions as the terrified women herded the children to their homes. Fortunately, there was no loss of life or limb on that occasion. It ended well, but made for an uncertain environment from day to day.
The mission school near the village was a pleasant oasis in this highly unpredictable environment. We loved the Bible stories and injunctions we were taught, but they did little to allay the fears that seemed a natural part of growing up. I had many unanswered questions, and sometimes held up a religious class with my questions about life. The answers didn’t satisfy me, and nothing changed much until my junior year, when I became dangerously ill.
Two years in the hospital were painful, difficult, and lonely, culminating in heart surgery. Although I survived, I lost the ability to speak, write, and walk. Struggling to relearn these abilities was much harder because I completely lost my confidence.
Having to relearn everything I had already mastered as a child was so much harder this time. I was really starting life over now. I could no longer write with my right hand, but had to start all over again with my left. Eventually I recovered and went back to complete high school.
After this inexplicable experience, I struggled with even more urgent questions about life and why my illness occurred. If ever a person was searching for answers, it was I.
Around that time, I learned about the Lemurian Philosophy, and while at a university in the U.S., became a Lemurian student and finally began to find answers to my troubling questions about life. They were clear, unambiguous, logical, and intensely practical. By applying principles the Philosophy teaches, I learned much more and began to deduce many answers for myself, and this education continues today.
My self-confidence began to return. I completed my education and returned to my homeland as an engineer, feeling reborn. My accomplishments mean so much more to me because of all I have been through, and I will always be grateful to those wise and kindly Great Ones who help us in our times of extreme need and watch over us through the surprising twists and turns of our ongoing, sometimes even helping us through starting life over to fulfill the purpose of our lives.
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