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Wait a minute.... I didn't make a mistake. You are a matchbox and I am the matchstick. Much as I want to tell you I mistyped the above title, and that my keyboard refused to cooperate with me, I just can't. I take full responsibility. I am so sure about this I feel like saying it again.

You are the matchbox, I am the matchstick.

Neither of us is superior to the other. Just like ying yang (hey, who the heck is ying yang, by the way?) we are perfect, with our imperfections and all, together. Just imagine that! You and I need each other, just as the matchbox needs the matchstick if they are to light up anything be it a fire, a candle, someone's private property or a heap of my manuscripts.

This means that you and I need one another if we are to impact on the world. I know the world has so many problems (for those out there who like focussing on the negative!) and you and I cannot solve all of them by a sinlge click of a computer's mouse, or a gun, or a bomb or whatever you use to impact on the world. There is no one (as far as I am concerned) who have achieved anything without getting help from others. We don't achieve anything on our own. Success doesn't happen or take place in an empty vacuum. Hey, can you believe I have just said an empty vacuum? A vacuum is already empty, isn't it? Anyway, that is besides the point.

What I am saying is this. Nobody gets anything done by being a lone ranger. Even the Texas Ranger (Chuck Norris) on TV doesn't rid the county of the bad elements all on his own. He gest lots of help from the others. At times it could the bad guy's burst tire or his gun runs out of ammunition. We need one another, just like the colours of the rainbow. Though they are different, they all come together to make up a beautiful spectacle. Think of this as the scales on a fish or a crocodile. Or the different threads that makes up a clothe. Or the different voices in a choir. The list is endless.

There is something profound when we all come together (as diverse as we are) for the common good. Believe me results do happen when this happens. Look at this way. I first drafted this piece by hand (I tell you my handwriting is nothing to write home about) which meant I used my right hand. The hand didn't do it alone. I had to use my fingers after a command from what I want to believe is my brain. The way my body system works amazes me. It is a mystery I thank God for.

The idea, that you are a matchbox and I am the matchstick, came to me while I was cooking dinner. I had spent the day chatting to Nilima Raut, from which Iearnt that DAAL & BHAT is her favourite food (I hope Nilima isn't reading this). After chatting with her I got inspired to eat rice and beans for dinner that night. My brain came up with the idea of what to write about. My hands wrote it with a lot of help from the fingers.

I have five fingers on each hand. They are differetn in length (I wonder what would happen had they been the same length) came together, in one accord to write this. Now suppose one finger had refused to cooperate, what do you think would have (or not) happened? What if one colour was to fall off from the rainbow? Suppose all the matchsticks refuse to ignite when rubbed against the matchbox? Suppose one voice (take your pick which one) refused to sing in the choir?

I will tell you what would happen. Nothing would happen. That is why we should all come together. And even though we all know the benefits of all the races, religions, creeds, tribes and social classes coming together, we still want to go apart thinking we are superior to the other. When this happens we become actors who come in and go out of each others lives without giving twenty-five-cents worth of a care about what the others is feeling. We do everything, not because we are concerned about the common good, but because we are in it for self-preservation, self-enhancement and self-exhaltation. That is why we hear of women, children and the elderly suffering, getting raped, going hungry, or we see their unattained dreasm go down the drain (a drain filled with filth from our bloodletting).

It is high time we stopped watching from the sidelines. It is time we got involved. It is time we became part of the rainbow, the choir and the crocodile's scales. It is time we became the matchbox and matchstick, that when rubbed together can spark up a fire that will compel us to work toegther for the good of Mother Earth.



olutosin's picture


When will you stop amazing me guy? Love your writings.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


lifesong's picture


how about adding you to my yahoo messenger what do you say? besides you are still to tell me about IBA by ASA.

Thanks Olotusin

James Ouma,

Life's a Song
Sing it, dance it, live it!

nilima's picture

hey james, i am infact glad

hey james,

i am infact glad to be the part of your writing heheh

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