Of Pockets, Carols and Resolutions

Penny Wisdom

By Emeka Uzoatu

An old year is over and a new one’s just begun, to paraphrase a song I know. Like we know too, every year dies singing same old songs. Called carols, they all serve to reemphasize the past and future comings of Christ the King, purportedly born in the season many years ago.

And like it or not, there’s this thing about these unique songs. Call them whatever-be-it else, they always have this uncanny capacity to raise their notes anywhere. Even in unwanted places. 

Like you could be in or out of town, coasting home to some unholy places. Whatever disguise or subterfuge you’d have been wallowing in cannot stop the music blarring away at the speakers.

And there you are – exposed for the Saint you are not. Yet ahead you go, spending as though there were no tomorrow. Housekeeping money, school fees and other sundries can go to hell or any other constellations they’d occupy at the end of time.

Thus, though the speakers rant on, it just ends up a la the storied dog barking at a caravan. The season is beckoning and all a guy has to do is hearken. Like there’s a time to live and die, you reason, there’s also different times for saving and spending.

Of course, once the seasons is rolled over by time, you cannot but return to that selfsame old shell you are perhaps dying to shed. Suddenly, pockets rather than our emotions take over the reins and once more we fly to the patronage of often-fond resolutions.

As if designed to be unmet, it has some even desiring to regulate the quantity of the very air they breath. Just to make ends meet. 

Electricity tariffs increased.

Some others end up rueing all the cache of balances they hard spent on mere ephemerals. Like that extra ride bought to be differentiated from the pleps. And, or all that Benjamins splashed on wines and spirits.

As always, this has some recalling their freewheeling and showboating swings on end. Regretting their every indulgence back then, many end up in so hard an existential straitjacket. So much that they can’t but suffer a relapse as soon as their subsistence curve evens.

So, all said and done, all that’s implied is that all should be guided by the size of our pockets. For no reason should one be misguided to overspend one’s limit just to flow with the Jones’s.

Or to impress a stranger. Male or female, these intruders’ intervention in our prudence only results in woes. And weeping is often kind when it’s done on the shoulder of its source agent. Go figure                   

This sermon is most pertinent this time around. Given that our nation’s predicament is in the most precarious of positions. Not only has the nation’s currency taken a beating at the exchange rate market. But to even source foreign exchange at the declared rates has often proven a hill too high to climb.

Apart from use by businesses in the payment of foreign receipts, the lonesome guardian seeking to pay a dependent’s fees abroad is often the hardest hit. And often the affected students are left stranded in a no-man’s-land. 

All the more so, presently we have seen governments all over the world abdicating all their social responsibilities to the populace. O yes. After all, time was when education was free in this country.

Back then, with the rise in petroleum products causing hardships to individuals and businesses, government also had cause to subsidize them for cushion. Now, however, all kinds of subsidies are being removed without let.

Additionally, tariffs are been hiked with reckless abandon with not even a whisper to be heard about the alignment of the minimum wage to it. Sadly, the dogs of the labour unions that used to do battle with governments about this seem to have lost their biting teeth.

With personal and national finances left in tatters, what is now in vogue is government borrowing from all permutation of lenders. Of course, this would have amounted to a norm. That’s assuming all things are equal like economists have declaimed since time.

But what we find pervading every space is where these funds, more often than not are being used to meet the extravagant lifestyles of our politicians and their nuclear and extended families. 

Even when these borrowings are avowedly embarked on to build infrastructure, the contracts are often bloated out of reach. In the end, the often compromised end products end up parodies of how not to spend a nation’s commonwealth.

Like it stands, from the reminiscent songs of Christmastime we have arrived the eferverscent caterwals of New Year resolutions. Let’s all therefore resolve to meet its most-abiding legacy of making this year better than the last. 

Apart from not living beyond the depths of our pockets, let’s also resolve to help our leaders cope with the enormous responsibilities they are saddled with. More than toadying to their every whim, though, this time is perhaps the best of times to make them live up to their responsibilities.