One Week, One Proverb #24

Mud wall (pic source:
Mud wall (pic source:


Case 24:

There is no compound with mud walls in whose chinks and cracks that lizards do not inhabit.


Insight/Background Story:

On the second day of my visit to my parents back in July, Dad and I decided to have our haircut at his barber’s salon. As we drove to the place, I started a conversation about the poor state of some of the roads in our area. What baffled me was the quick breakdown of the roads after they had been ‘repaired’ some months ago. Dad, in his critical way of addressing societal issues, replied, “A well-constructed road is like steel; it lasts for a very long time. On the other hand, a poorly constructed road is like a rusty piece of metal; it wears away with each passing day. That aside, do you remember we had an argument about these roads? You were of the view that they would endure just because the companies contracted to do the repairs were working on the failed spots.”

I didn’t counter what he said. It was obvious to me now that I failed to see what was actually going on.

As I nosed the car into the street where the barber’s salon was situated, my father used the road—which was recently work on, but now filled with many more potholes—as an example of how a sub-standard work could further worsen the state of a road. He concluded by saying, “Covering a road with laterite is definitely not the final stage of road repair or construction.”



Nothing good comes easy; there is always a price to pay or a sacrifice to make.

Take the road to the barber’s place for instance. Because the standard of repair was compromised, the result — a few months afterwards — was a heavily potholed road.

In a grocery store, it’s the mark of quality that differentiates stocks that serve the same purpose. A similar thing could be said about genuine accomplishment; there is no shortcut to success.

So, how does the sketch of your life chart look like? Have you been able to face the challenges of life the best way you can? Or have you at some point decided to settle for less because you have a low opinion about yourself? Well, I believe that  everyone is born with the potential to succeed. It’s just a matter of digging deep. It’s a matter of trying to better who we were yesterday. To build on this each day. To claim our lives and be in control. Always.

51 responses to “One Week, One Proverb #24”

  1. Yes! Digging deep–essential, and yet so challenging so much of the time, Uzoma. Thank you for your lovely post—colorful, inspiring, wise. A rich stew that has gotten me reflecting–thank you, as always.

  2. Well said, Uzoma. I agree completely. I have surely had some struggle in my life, but everything I have today (and by “have” I mean friends and loved ones, and reasonably good health), and who I am at this moment is directly due to perseverance.

    And for the record, we have some poorly constructed roads where I live, also.

    • That’s terrific, Mary. Many happy years to you! Perseverance, surely, is vital for living and key to pulling through against all odds.

  3. Great words, Uzo. I believe, too, that everyone is born to succeed. I’ve found your One Week One Proverb really inspiring; I always learn something from each post, or it always reflects something I’ve previously learnt.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom!:)

    • Awww, thank you, my brother. Finding wisdom is like finding the greatest treasure on Earth. I admire old Igbo men when they talk in their pensive mood. They tend to use proverbs at intervals, LOL 🙂

  4. Thank you once again, Uzoma, for this opportunity to reflect upon our choices. Having spent the last year and more renovating my home I’ve had to learn when to paint the old and when to replace with new. Didn’t always get it right, but came around in the end, hehe! 🙂

    • Yahoo! That is SO interesting! They say “practice makes perfect” — yes, I know that’s cliche, but hey, that’s a fact. Replacing the old with the new certainly brings in the ray of new life; it gives one that special happiness and confidence to forge ahead.

      And hey, I didn’t do so well with the painting of my living room the first time I tried. See, it has two colors — white and chocolate brown trimmings and pvc ceiling. The white encroached on the brown so much! But I had to re-do it again with the help of a professional and now can do it myself 😀

      • I’ll let you in on a painting secret: tiny brushes…! Our city building inspector loves to check out my bucket of brushes and passing tourists ask if I painted the whole house with my little brush, lol! 🙂

        • LMAO. You can’t be serious! 🙂 A little brush? Well, that can be true if it’s a magic brush 😀 😀

          Now I imagine you’ve artistic signs on your wall too, right?

          • How did you know that we have artistic carvings under the eaves!? Reminds me that I still have to design one that symbolizes an electrical sine wave… So many things to do !! Lol 🙂

  5. Everyone is there own map maker, each draft will find improvements, new places, and directions to travel in thoughts, actions, and participation. Making repairs along the way is but a fraction of the journey we walk, but we need to make them stand strong. Enjoyed the proverb above, Uzoma, and the sharing of the conversation with your father. How was the haircut, and the journey home?

    • Ah! The haircut was good–I appreciate your asking. The barber is an oldtimer — almost thirty years in the profession.

      I absolutely love your take on this:

      “Making repairs along the way is but a fraction of the journey we walk, but we need to make them stand strong.”

      You addressed the topic better than I did 🙂

      • But I had to read yours first to ponder the topic 🙂 and you have so much more detail to the proverb. Experience has it’s advantages in many professions.

  6. Great post Uzoma, I’ve had several negative experiences in life that has spurred me on to greater heights, I always refuse giving up and I think we all need to adopt that as our survival strategy! Hope you had a nice bonding with your dad and the haircut was nice! 🙂

    • That’s the mark of a champion in you, sis! They say Rome was not built in one day — surely, there were setbacks along the way but the journey to its completion remained on course to the very last moment.

      I also admit that I’ve experienced setbacks on various fronts. Some of them were so painful I don’t wish to even come across them in my dream.

      Sure, dad I and had a good time, though I’ve to admit that he’s not flexible on certain issues. Oh, the haircut? I can proudly say it’s worth my money.

      Blessings, sis.

  7. Read about you in Eric Elagan’s post. Very honest and inspiring post. I connected immediately to the last para thats what I am telling myself daily.

    • Thank you, Indira, for dropping by. Eric is an extraordinary gentleman.

      Glad you could relate with this subject — I also tell me that I can do more if I say “yes” to my all of belief 🙂

  8. The repaired roads —–

    Quite often, I make at least a dozen revisions over several days before uploading a post on my blog.

    I respect my readers, and the time they invest in reading my works, too much to simply dash off something after the first draft. Yet, I get it wrong sometimes – typos and all. Perfectionist? No, but it humbles me to know how untalented I am and propels me to do better.

    But I doubt whether I would ever be satisfied and settle for anything less.

    Peace and blessings, my friend,

    • Perfecto! Your thoughts on this proverb are well-founded. For me, constructing a new post for my blog almost feels like a nightmare — write, edit (the best I can), write. Knowing I have a community of intelligent readers compels me to put up the best of what I have.

      But you, Eric, are doing just fine. Your community of readers is a reflection of the efforts you make each week. And I would like to add that you have some unique features on your blog like Brother Grinn and then an interactive platform for other poets/poetesses and writers to approach a topic (yours) in their own way.

      Blessings, too, my friend.

  9. This is an absolutely beautiful post. You are passing on to others all that is of value within yourself. Life can be so terribly difficult for so many. At times it would appear that one is not doing their best – but simply throwing away his/her life which indeed they are. Then comes along another, one of a loving nature. They see the value within the one wasting time. A loving nature that sees value in another can spark all that is good in another so that a fire and explosion takes place and the lazy one sees the good in himself/herself and begins to make the most of themselves. It does not matter if one is a doctor, a baker or a candlestick maker. If one does it well without a loving nature it will be of little value. If one does it with great love it will be a gift to the world. I am so glad that Eric introduced me to you Uzoma.

    • My o my! What a wonderful comment, Liz. I’m so blessed you weighed in with your thoughts on this topic.

      I admit that there have been times in my life when I doubted my abilities, when I wished I could be someone else. All because of the pain and setback. But over the years, I’ve realized that failure isn’t the end itself. It’s just a catalyst to achieve something valuable, if one is willing to dig deep.

      With wisdom, you wrapped your comment so nicely. And here is what I love especially: “If one does it well without a loving nature it will be of little value. If one does it with great love it will be a gift to the world.”

      Thank you for checking out my blog.

  10. Hi Uzoma,

    Actually, your story of the roads reminded me of something that would happen regularly along an outback road in the country in the Northern Territory (Australia) where we lived for some years.

    the monsoon rains would come and wash sand over some parts of the dirt road and a man and his backhoe would be hired to shift it. What we noticed, though, was that he always shifted it to the side of the road that would wash it back across again. If he took it the other way, the problem would be solved for good.

    The answer, of course, was that then the man and his backhoe would not be hired again to “fix the problem”. The council that sent him to do the work never inspected and never knew that it might be done a better way. The man was keeping himself employed by doing the job in such a way that the problem was sure to come back.

    Sorry for being a bit off topic to the point you are making, but I’m sure his work reflected on his inner being as well.

    I agree with all you’ve said about how and why people settle for less. It’s very much about their world inside. You are spot on.

    Cheers 🙂

    • A handsome feedback, Allyson. Please I encourage you to share the stories and news from your end of the globe. I’m eager to hear it 🙂

      The story of the man and the backhoe is quite similar to what these private construction companies did in my area. Because I usually love to keep the stories for “One Week, One Proverb” very brief, I didn’t have the chance to explain what actually went wrong with the repair of the roads in my area.

      Unlike your area where no supervisor was sent to supervise the work, the state government here did send a supervisor. I was told that he was bribed by the companies involved, so he could turn a blind eye to what was going on. Well, that bribery and corruption have been a nagging issue for sometime in my country. Everyone wants to make quick money and travel to abroad 😦 Only a few of our leader are people-oriented.

      • That sort of corruption is everywhere – bribery, too – and I’m beginning to wonder about ALL our leaders. Still, it has to swing back sometime, it’s gone pretty extreme lately. I believe every evil-doer gets what’s coming to them, so they might think they are getting away with something, but they really are not.

        Cheers to you.

  11. Love that you got to spend time with your dad. It’s such a blessing to talk with the wise. And the message of your post is inspiring. I’m one who takes things much too seriously in life. I’m also one who takes forever to change/grow. But I do believe that its better to do the job right the first time around just because I don’t want to have to go back and fix anything. 🙂

    • Oh, there is nothing as good as spending quality time with family 🙂

      Your approach to getting a job done is commendable and worth emulating. I have realized that there is no sense in trying to do a haphazard job. It’s wasteful and time-consuming.

  12. Yes my friend, this is true, we should never settle for second best in our lives. We do have the strength in our makeup to strive for better and should never feel ashamed for wanting what’s best for us.

    • Yes. I’ve learned to look on to bright side of things, trusting that I can be better if I put my mind and strength to it all. Glad we are on the same page.

      Cheers, Steve.

  13. What you said is so true. Making an effort is the hard part. But once efforts have been made in the right direction, the resulting fruits are delicious

    • Exactly! Mum always tells me: “There is no harm in trying again and again.” Once we are on the direction, the resulting fruits, no doubt, are delicious 🙂

      I appreciate your contribution to this proverb.

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