WHEN TOUGH TIMES LAST, TOUGH PEOPLE DON’T
We are very much familiar with Robert .H. Schuler’s “tough time never last but tough people do” dictum. My student walked into class looking dumb founded. He seemed lost in his words and suddenly burst into “tough time never last but tough people”. I looked up at him and asked, why do you say that? He said, that’s what people always say.
The student seemed right to have alluded his predicament in preparing for his university matriculation exams as tough times and yearned to be free. In his opinion, he was the tough guy but I did not see anything tough about him.
Robert Schuler’s statement follows the crowd school of thought which appeals to sympathetic minds. You hear some folk say, “c’mon bro, we are just going through tough times, we’ve got to be tough and come around this” and he patts the friend on his back.
I have observed against this school of thought that when tough times last, tough people don’t. You may raise eyebrow. You’d be thinking, what’s this guy talking about? Is he trying to redefine a standing belief? Sure, and certainly.
You do not have to be tough to get through tough times and tough times last your lifetime. Coming into the world was tough time. You squeezed through the heat of your mom’s womb and prayed every day for God to bring you forth into the world and you did not have to be tough to be born into the world. Having you cry your first time was tough times, yet you were not tough. You faced tough times having to drink only milk and wished you could eat what your mum and siblings were eating and finally you were given your first “rice” and you did not need to be tough.
When you faced tough time learning to walk and wishing you could be like every other person, tell me you were tough. At last, you began school and had difficulty learning and mom said these are tough times, junior you have to be tough. You escaped tough times in primary school and through secondary school tough time never seized, rather it increased.
Getting your senior school certificate was tough times and you were not tough. You pushed through to the university and hell let loose. You consoled yourself in Robert’s book. Offcourse, many a student only learn the mystery in books after getting into the university and discovering they would need some motivation. Yet you were not tough. Do you remember there were times you got through some courses at the university and you wondered how you did it?
Getting out of university was tough time, and you searched for job, tough time. When you got the job, you had to please the boss, tough time. You considered marriage, another tough time. Children came, tough time. If children don’t come early, tough time. Large salary and the huge extended family, tough time, if you have no money, tough time still knocks. Your child’s health fails and your parents are fast catching the ageing sickness, and there again tough times. When you seem at ease, your thoughts aren’t. Yet you say tough times never last
Wait! Can you really boast of being tough? You can’t be as tough as Hitler, Napoleon, Saddam, or even Gaddafi. These were allglobally acclaimed tough people. Yet when they had tough times where you would expect they live up to their billing, they cowered.
One attribute of tough people is that they create problems for themselves. They cause trouble and act out as “commando” trying to resolve them. They make people see them as gods and often their “hand caused” troubles bring them down.
Those who claim being tough often cannot face tough times. They are the easiest to lick. All the renowned tough people the world over often come down like a pack of cards. Ah! You should not forget Abacha and the apple story.
All through our years on earth are tough times. What changes is the degree of toughness that increases as our minds develop.
Tough times don’t end because a tough you overcomes them. No. if it were so, you would have wearied out by now having to face all the tough times. Rather, we are blessed with Grace and function in Hope.
Grace don’t come to tough people and often tough people don’t hope. They think they have all they need to get through life. Grace goes to weak everyday vessels, leading them towards their hopes for as long as they consider themselves not tough.