Same rain for bitter leaf and sugarcane | © Fola Daniel Adelesi

There is a a popular saying among the Yoruba speaking tribe in Nigeria which can be interpreted as, ‘the same rain that fell on the bitter leaf also fell on the sugarcane.’ Sometimes some people use this saying when trying to show that what happened is not the problem but the reaction or the person that it happened to. I have heard this from several people for several years and some said it again recently and it struck me in a different way. Do you realize that what is happening to you is happening to other people as well?

The problem is not what is happening to you but what you already have inside you. When rain falls on the sugarcane, it grows and becomes sweet. When the same rain falls on the bitter leaf, it also grows but becomes bitter. In case you don’t know about the bitter leaf so many people think it is medicinal and they often pluck the leaves, wash in water and later squeeze for drinking. As a child, our parents would do this to us when they think we have had too many sugary things. Some other people also mix this leaf with the soup they cook and some sick people take it as well.

I can’t prove that the leaf is truly medicinal but I can tell you that it’s truly bitter. However, that’s not even my focus. The initial point has been that the same rain falls on the bitter leaf and the sugarcane yet the former is bitter while the later is sweet. That should tell you that something can happen to different people but there will be different results. The same thing that can make one person freak out or lose his mind will just see another person in a very calm state.

Think and examine yourself right now. Is there something that is happening to you that you have been blaming for your woes or the poor results that you are having? Think again! And please remember that the only reason the bitter leaf will be bitter after the rain is because all it had within was bitterness! That also the reason sugarcane will bring out sweetness because all it has within is sweetness. When things happen to you, while we are quick to blame those things we need to to also remember that they just brought out what was already in us.

Nobody can make you do what you really did not intend to do or what you did not have the capacity to do! Whatever you are doing, even if it is a reaction to a provocation, is what you are capable of doing or initially premeditated to do. Take for instance someone who starts drinking heavily and says it was because he was jilted or abandoned by a loved one. It was not the jilt that made you drink! While the jilt may have been bad for you, it is also true that you took solace in something you have always wanted. Events or circumstances have no capacity to push us into some habits that we don’t have.

You need to work on yourself and make sure it is a very hard work that you are doing on yourself because when tough times come, they will simply show who you are. If you have been tough, the tough times will show your toughness. If you have been empty, your emptiness will simply become obvious. Remember, while the rain brings out bitterness in bitter leaf, it brings out sweetness in sugarcane. What that situation does to you is to bring out what you had in you!


Fola Daniel Adelesi
President/CEO,
Edible Pen.

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