27 October 2020

Life is a Pot of Beans

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“This life na one… but if you do am well, one go do”

Recent happenings have made me think a lot more about the meaning of life. To understand things we can use metaphors to simplify them which is good for communicating complex ideas in simple relatable terms, like beans. By comparing life to a pot of beans I stuff all the complexity and vicissitudes of life into a single phrase. It just makes me understand it better. “Life is a pot of beans”. That’s been my response to things lately.

I heard it for the first time one evening in Volpi Boys after talking about the day’s Twitter trends and some Kanye west shit (idk man), Akanimoh paused and in a philosophic tone said “Life is a pot of beans” and it stuck on me immediately. Life really is a pot of beans. Now allow me to flog this metaphor :)

Life comes with different things

“If you don’t eat yam for the sake of palm oil, you’ll eat palm oil for the sake yam”

Do you like beans? In my secondary school it was considered razz to like beans but I loved it partly because it was sweet, like sugar sweet. Anyway, we ate it every Wednesday and though many felt it razz (because peer pressure) everyone came to the dining hall on Wednesdays. Why? Because some wanted just the fish, some preferred just the dodo, you sha came for either the beans, the fish, or the plantain.

That is how Life is complete with different people and experiences. It would be premature to think that you will always feel the way you feel now, or that you will always like the things you like or that you won’t meet more interesting people in the future. Life just has too much to offer so the propensity for change is enormous… There are a lot of stupid people, a lot of funny people, dry guys, basic babes, good times and not so good times, it’s just part of it. The life you choose will come with different things so just take it like that.

Life can be anything you want

“Anyone can be a Golden Boy, na lifestyle”

Beans is versatile and variable. You can make any kind of beans it’s up to you same way Life can be both satisfying and excruciating, it’s part of it. You can be almost anything you want these days you just have to, first of all, aspire for it then move towards it. Your life can be exciting or boring as hell, it’s not always up to us but most of the time it is.

Do something different with your hair for example see how that goes. Then next week give yourself a mad nickname and demand everyone call you that for the entire week. For this week I’ve chosen Oba of Niggatown.

Life has good and bad parts

“It’s part of it”

Like beans, your life will have the good and bad, it’s part of it. There will be stones, weevils, uncooked beans, and that Maggi that refused to melt. If right now you are eating the bad parts, keep chewing it gets better. Because you chewed on some raw pepper doesn’t mean the whole food is bad nau, that’s just part of it. Be like “Omo raw pepper. But also, Oshey fish”.

Life takes time

“Best time to start cooking beans is yesterday”

Unless your intention is to give yourself explosive diarrhea you have to cook your beans for some time. Don’t disregard the process of cooking, even if you are using a pressure pot it’s not like Indomie. So relax. Start cooking, just be cooking, just be cooking. Hopefully, everything will come together so long as you keep cooking. In the same vien, Life takes time but also goes by really fast. “Day to day it will seem like nothing has changed but when you look bak you will realize, everything changed.”

Life is unpredictable

“2 seconds everywhere burst”

Maybe when you were picking your beans you imagined by now it won’t be like this. You wanted the onions to still be showing but they have disappeared. It dey happen. Things just happen, look at this year whowouldathought it will be like this. We all have good ideas for how our lives should turn out but sometimes they don’t happen exactly the way we plan. There are things outside our locus of control, don’t try to control them because you can’t. you dey mad?

You can’t determine exactly how your beans will come out, all you can do is put in the ingredients and turn on the stove. Take care of things that are within your control so that at the end of the day you can confidently say “it is what it is” knowing you did everything you could.

Lives are not the same

“Everyone get their own way”

Everyone cooks their beans differently, some cook it chunky, some cook it watery, some cook it burnt. There is no “better” beans, just beans. If you eat yours with apple slices and cinnamon more power to you brutha. If you just prefer classic plain Oloyi beans, that’s okay too as long as that is what you want. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t general principles that you should follow; you don’t cook beans in a microwave, only cultists do that. But details like whether to put all the ingredients in the beginning or gradually don’t really matter. Na still beans we dey cook. That’s how lives are different.

Let your life serve your purposes if not you will despise living. If your neighbor wants to lose weight they will add ingredients that help them achieve that goal, which doesn’t make theirs better than yours just makes it different. The things you add to your life are to help you become the ideal version of yourself. So don’t look into other people’s pots, they are cooking the beans that best serves their purpose.

Short exercise: Guess how many times I mentioned ‘beans’ in the entire article (without counting o, just guess) and post it in the comments. 1k to the winner before Friday.

Disclaimer: tl;dr I don’t know what I’m talking about :) Have you met people that claim to know how to cook beans because they just did it once? That’s me. Just like when you are in the kitchen, take all this with a pinch of le salt. Think about each comparison and decide if it makes sense.

Emmanuel Segun-Lean
for Stallion:Review 🐴 💛 🖤

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