A conversation

A friend emigrated to Canada a week ago. He left a great job as a top talent with promises of getting to the top, for a country where he had neither roots nor branches, but a promising soil.

He touched down in Canada to a literal cold reality – freezing temperatures, no job, no family, one friend.

When we got around to talking, I could tell the strain he felt with this change. So I asked him why he took the leap of faith.

His reply – “I felt powerless and continually drained in Nigeria, even as it intoxicated me. I had to leave to preserve my sanity. Money cannot long shield you from the slippery slope Nigeria is on. I reject the Nigerian hustle, as it is not what I want my life to be defined by. I do not want a struggle for relevance “in spite of”. I want an exertion for prominence “because of””.

He was committed to his new choice and felt the need to pull me along. It is hard these days to be committed to being in Nigeria, but I’m here, so I spoke up for where I stand.

In the debate that followed, one question made us pause and think.

“How can you flourish in a toxic environment and not be toxic?”

I reflected on it through the lens of work, relationships, business and life in general.

Plants provide the best example of how this is possible. Many plants do not just purify their toxic environments, they also provide nutritional and medicinal value to humankind.

The conversation continues.

– Osasu Oviawe

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