‘We do what we have to do in order to do what we want to do.’ –
Forest Whitaker, The Great Debaters.
I have seen this film a couple of times and I am almost losing count on how many times I saw it. I also keep asking some people around me to sit and watch. The lines get me thinking and they leave me with some unanswered questions. While there are so many lines I never want to forget, one of them is the one quoted above.
It appears as a very simple line but when you take a second and deep look at it then you realize it is not as simple as it sounds. It’s loaded. It can change your life. It’s a statement you can run with for the rest of your life and it will change so many things effortlessly.
It says we have to do what we have to do. It means that there are things we must do. They may not be convenient. They may not be easy. They may also not be the things that we like to do but they are what we have to do.
If you are a student you have to go to school. If you want to be great in life you have to get an education. Education is not what really makes you great but it opens up your chances and probably gives you limitless possibilities. You will be stuck with the faces of some teachers that you may not want to see for a couple of years. That’s what you have to do.
Those who are husbands or wives with children know that they have to work very hard in order to make a living and keep the family going. You may not like to lose your sleep too early in order to make it to work in record time. You may not like having to return late when your kids are probably in bed already. Someone out there may be hurling insults at you as though it’s a hobby and you have to keep mute until your pay cheque is in your hands. That may be what you have to do.
If you do not do what you have to do – the compulsory or even unpleasant things – you will not be able to do what you want to do – the pleasurable things. Some people have turned the statement around. They want to do what they want to do – what they feel like doing and what they love to do – before doing what they have to do – the compulsory things. It does not work that way.
You do not enjoy before making sacrifices. You make the sacrifices and then begin to enjoy. You are not supposed to get some returns on investment until you have invested. Nobody gives you profit where you have no laid down something.
The other side to this is the fact many people are waiting for others to do what they have to do. They think that when those other people do what they should do then things will favour them. No! if other people around you do what they have to do and you do not do what you have to do, there will still be a problem. This is because it is not just the sacrifices of others or their commitments that make things work for you. You must make your own sacrifices and commitments as well. They may be hard in the beginning but when you do what you have to do, you will then be able to do what you want to do.
The decision is yours. You can decide to do the pleasurable things now and hard or compulsory things later. You can also decide to do the compulsory things now so you will have more time to do the pleasurable things later. Remember, we all must do what we HAVE TO DO so that we can do what we WANT TO DO.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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