Expression of how we showcase our lifestyle is a stage. It is that performance we enthusiastically give, grudgingly impose, and inquisitively evaluate. Either expressed with humor or sarcasm, it is that ACT we love to display and want the world to see, and most likely will crave admiration.
Our stage displays our performance. The world we live in is our stage. Our audience, comes from a variety of un-assuming spectators. Sometimes they cheer us positively on that stage, and sometimes they boo us off that same stage! The after-effect of the occurrence of our performance on the stage is powerful. It can either break us or make us. Hmm, totally bizarre!
During my teenage years at my church parish, Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos I’d joined other selected kids invited to a neighboring parish for an after-mass visitation and dinner. It usually was with my favorite priest, Monsignor Gabriel Osu. He would usher us (4 kids) into his powder blue Volkswagen beetle and during the drive will allow us to chatter freely, especially on sensitive issues we were dealing with as teenagers both at home and in school. After talking about our future plans of stardom and greatness, we’d all conclude with…’and oh, the world will love us! (Our performance).
One of his resounding advice then was, “Handle life like you are the builder of the stage, that way, your performance is genuine, your act is second-skin and allow your creator to be your spectator” It’s been almost 30 years now…and every time I hear the word stage, the message resonates!
Oh well! That message didn’t mean much to us then, after all, our mind was focused on the extravagant feast of fragrant savory beans, meats so tender they could be shredded with a fork, crispy-sweet fried plantains. It was good and beautiful, prepared and served with love and the hope that it would do more than quiet our rumbling stomachs.
So, our stage is that elevated platform in our life. It is that moment in our life when the spotlight is on us, a time of raised podium or terrace of exhibition (show time) either exalted or inflated. It is that period when we are pushed forward by courage to display our creativity. We become actors and actresses of our gifting. Sometimes, we get drunk in the moment, with life’s cheap exotic brewery of arrogance. The mic gets too heavy for us, the audience gives a disdain look, we get carried away with stage-fright and say too much or we get intimidated and loose our balance. Our stage. Ah! A place of reckoning.
As we begin to count down into a new year, let’s examine our stage. Does our act suck? Does our performance on our stage speak well of us? Do we climb our stage with a mind full of gratitude or look down at the audience with contempt? Are we still afraid to step up the podium, unto our stage? Ignoring the fancy scenery and battens support? Do we welcome mistakes and then fix them? So much of learning arises from the errors we all make. Do we remain receptive and positive to mistakes as markers for future improvement? Healthy evaluation stimulates progress, while excessive self-criticism raises anxiety and creates unrealistic expectations.
Embrace your stage today. Ascend it with hope. Descend it with a legacy. Act on it as if you are the builder. Influence people with your performance. Entertain people with your God-given talent. Expect more when the audience gives you full attention. Exit your scenes with a grateful heart and a promising attitude. It’s okay to be teary-eyed when you get a standing ovation, because you have positively encouraged and elevated someone! I pray that our stages are recurring platforms of support and comfort to others!
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, All the World’s A Stage by William Shakespeare.