Saturday, July 26, 2014


(PLS note that the word ‘odour’ is herein used in its negative sense; a foul, unpleasant smell)

Around everyone there’s a smell. For some, its an odour, others it’s a fragrance. Over time it will reflect and come to be identified with us, just like the company we keep.

The above is a slight modification of the words of my pastor back in my University of Ibadan days. He said it at every meeting so it stuck in my head but it never really meant more than the sense it made since he never went ahead to build on it.

Now, about 5years after, it has come to life in the center of my current thoughts.

I have loads of ‘friend’ requests lined up on my facebook page. They’ve been there for days, weeks, some months; and they keep coming in. Most of them destined to be ignored.
I became ‘selective’ and started sieving the people I let into my world of friends on facebook when I hit 1,000 friends.
It wasn’t pride, no.

I had simply come to understand that friendship isn’t meant to be a passive concept and friends couldn’t possibly be dormant (even when you’re not in constant touch). Just by being friends, people either make or mar you.

Today I received a friend request from an unfamiliar name with whom I only had 2 mutual friends (usually I would consider the number of friends we share and what kind of things you have up on your wall before any other thing). See, 2 mutual friends to me means we never shared a common activity that spanned long enough for us to have become friends. Acquaintances maybe, but you are not my friend. So I was all set to delete the request when I decided to check who our mutual friends are.

Adelusi Oluwatobi and Tosin Ayo are mutual friends...
And I clicked “confirm friend”

It struck me instantly how I had made up my mind and changed it in less than 60seconds and it was because of just two persons.
Of course I had requests from people with whom I shared about 45mutual friends and they were never added because somewhere in my subconscious I had come to attach more value to these two people than 45 of my past school mates put together without even thinking about it.

Really, it wasn’t them afterall. It was the VALUE that they represented.
The last time I saw Tobi Adelusi was 2012 and I don’t even remember last ‘seeing’ Tosin Ayo (so I’m not selling either of them, just putting up their names for originality sake) but I get to view their daily posts on facebook and it always bores down to VALUE.

So here’s what happened in my head within those sixty seconds;
Click! Hmmm, I don’t remember you and we only have 2 friends in common so you probably don’t mean much to me… but hey, wait a minute, if these two are your friends, then you’re either a person of value or you appreciate people of value enough to keep company with them. Either way, you’re on your way to greatness so you can be in my circle.
And click!

As simple, short and ordinary as that may come across, it is just that much and not more that opens doors in our real lives outside of social media and its immense pretense culture.

In reality, the bulk of our ‘wealth’ and pass key to places are in the people around us. You don’t always have it all but I can conveniently say that with the circle of friends I have, there’d always be someone to call (even if I have to chain link millions of people) to give me a car ride, a good word of advice, some extra capital for my business or cash in my pocket, a place to stay in a strange town, a link to Mr president (yes ke) if I genuinely need any of these and more.

Sometimes, it’s not just the ‘who’ but the ‘what’s we have around us. Between my laptop, my phone (not internet connected o) and just three out of my wealth of friends I believe I can have any information I need (Frank Edoho can try me and see…hehehe).

What’s on your laptop and phones?
 Movies? I love movies (got tons of them) but are they the kinds that educate or just entertain you?
Music? We all love some music but do the lyrics stimulate your mind or just your body?

I have to go. Check your circle. If what you have there isn’t making you any better than you are by yourself, get up and out. Find yourself a better circle.

They say a single tree couldn’t possibly make a forest but I always knew that even a thousand withered bitterleaf ‘trees’ cant make more than a mini bush.

Bukola T. Odu

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