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On big, shiny baubles

There’s a video clip on Twitter which you may have seen. It’s of a leopard with a prey between its jaws. When the leopard sees…

There’s a video clip on Twitter which you may have seen. It’s of a leopard with a prey between its jaws. When the leopard sees another prey, it drops the one between its jaws to go after the new one.  In the end, both preys elude it and it ends up with nothing. I thought the leopard got what it deserved. It doesn’t end up with nothing because it is lazy (it already caught a prey after all) or because it isn’t skilled at hunting (again, the prey it caught is proof that it’s got skills) but it loses out because of something completely unrelated to talent and ability. Perhaps it is greed. Or lack of contentment (which is arguably a definition of greed).

I don’t know if wild animals are capable of learning from their past mistakes, but if they were, then that leopard must have learned an important lesson that day. And it is a lesson that is useful for humans to learn too: do not be distracted by the next shiny thing, keep your greed in check and stay committed if you want to succeed.

That leopard lost out on food because it was too busy looking around even though it had already hunted down an animal. It allowed itself to get distracted by another prey that it might have thought was bigger or smelled tastier or whatever than the one in its possession. It wasn’t committed to what it had hunted and caught, never mind what he had trapped was an animal that it had thought worthy of being hunted in the first place.

Reminds me of the scandal brewing around one of our major stars. Me, I’m not naming names, but you all know who he is. It feels like every day since a woman in the US claimed to be pregnant for him, women who claim to have been pregnant for him but terminated the pregnancies because he asked them to, have been coming out. And some of them have receipts that show that they were sleeping together (if not receipts of the claimed pregnancy). And this is a man in a serious relationship (abi they are married sef?) with a woman he seems to really want to be with.

I don’t know what damage the scandal is causing in their marriage, or to the assurance he’s given his main woman that she’s his one and only, but he should do well to remember that women have ended marriages for less.  

It’s not only in romantic relationships that humans behave like that leopard. Folks show this lack of commitment in other aspects too. I used to know a woman who started every business that she thought was lucrative (often businesses that were lucrative for people she knew), only to drop that business and pick up another one that proved to be lucrative for someone else. Her eyes were constantly roaming, looking for the next, shiny thing that she didn’t/couldn’t commit to whatever business she had at hand, which is naturally no way to run a business.  

There will always be distractions, and debatably, greed is the major reason why we allow our commitments to waver. The married musician with roving eyes jeopardising their relationship; the woman I used to know who couldn’t stick to one business but ran after each new one that crossed her path; the leopard who let a prey go free to chase another one: they all were motivated by greed, by the lure of something more than what they already had. Not necessarily better – because there is a carelessness to the way in which these new ‘goals’ are hunted. There is almost no thought put into it. And they are not motivated by ambition either because greed isn’t ambition.  Greed is gratuitous wanting whereas ambition is underscored by a firmness of purpose.  

May we never be like that leopard ooo. Let us always remember that talent and skill can bring us so far, but commitment and focus (maybe they are the same thing?) is what will really take us across the line. It’s the difference between Chef Hilde and the million and one wannabes who up and started cook-a-thons without adequate preparation, and who most likely will be distracted by the next, big, shiny bauble.  


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