I have frequently told my friends that our lives are scripted even before we are born. I am not talking about predestination in the sense of divine influence or anything of that sort. Before your emergence at birth into society, there already existed some form of code that regulated the behaviour of community. Such a code could be a formally established law, which usually would have agents for its enforcement such as the Council of Chiefs (in more traditional settings), or an informal/unwritten code that exists in the form of culture. In functioning to regulate human behaviour, they also implicitly are restrictions to human freedom. A fundamental instinct in the human being is the will to be free. But to what extent should freedom be allowed, especially considering the selfishness that is human nature? A friend once joked, “Your freedom to swing your fist ends where my eye is located.” This is an easily understandable way to express the justification for the limitation of human freedom by law. Formal law is based upon the principle of justice and serves to protect man from the excesses of his neighbour. The mere fact that formal law is characterised by differences in content in space (i.e. location) and in time goes to demonstrate that morality is really a fluid concept.

But this is not a law class and I am no lawyer. My interest is merely to point out the fact that such codes (whether formal or informal) exist and existed even before you were born. In writing about the regulation of behaviour by society, sometimes I will be referring to formal codes and at other times, I would be referring to informal codes (i.e. human culture). These DOs and DON’Ts of society have their advantages and disadvantages and function as some sort of “life script”. The great Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” How right he was! In actual plays, actors have the right to turn down roles and there would be no consequences. But in the “life drama”, you are not allowed such a boon of choice. For some people, the script would read thus: You are male. Therefore you will sit in class and get an education. Marry a woman and give your parents grandchildren. Buy land and build a house. Fulfill your responsibility to your family, and conduct yourself as prescribed by our culture. Grow old and then die.

Most of the time, many people are okay with the script. Not because they are stupid or uncreative, but perhaps because they just happen to fit into the role given to them. But what if they only fit into the role just because they were conditioned from birth to fit in? This in itself is not a bad thing and whether we accept it or not, everyone in society exhibits conditioned behaviour. We are like a sponge born inside water. From the moment you are born, you get soaked and stay soaked till you die. Therefore whenever the sponge says “me”, the self it is referring to is not just a sponge but a water-soaked sponge. Such is the relationship that exists between a man and his environment. Sometimes it is hard to tell where the man ends and where the environment (or culture begins). Again, man is not infallible, therefore whatever code of conduct he upholds must reflect his flawed nature. This also means that this code will not always be favourable for everyone. Consequently, there would be the emergence of the spectacle called rebellion.

A rebel is a person who resists an authority or a generally accepted convention. Many kinds of rebellion fill the books of human history. Some rebels are remembered as villains while others are celebrated as heroes. My concern is what I will call heroic rebellion, which is quite an interesting phenomenon. It is an important determinant of what life script gets handed down to the children of subsequent generations. Rebellion helped governance to transit from the monarchy to democracy in some countries; rebellion both noisome and quiet, from both black and white, led to the abolishment of the slave trade. It is the reason why “a woman’s place is in the kitchen” has been struck off the life script of the female folk. Rebellion was when our great grandmothers in 1929, in a time when they were without empowerment, revolted against the injustice of colonialism, an insurrection that is now known as the “Aba women riot”. It was the spirit of justified rebellion that possessed great men in history such as Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. Notice that three of these were murdered. The only one in this list that was not killed got to spend 27 years in prison. We kill our heroes and then celebrate and even deify them later. That is the barbaric process of change that marks the evolution of man’s social consciousness. It takes the sweat, tears and blood of heroes and martyrs to wet, blur and eventually cleanse the human script.

The struggle for LGBT rights has not been different.

The dream of a world where homophobia will cease to exist depends entirely on us, on our action or inaction. LGBT heroes are therefore an urgent need for our time. But not everyone will be a hero. That’s just the way it has always been and that’s what it is. A hero is a person who speaks when it matters and refuses to keep silent in the face of oppression; heroism is when you stay faithful to your truth instinct even when it will bring you pain. Your heroism may set you against the tide of public opinion and possibly against the opinion of other intolerant members of the LBGT community. Trueness to your ideals is how the seed of a unique self will blossom into flowers of expression, that disperse potent ideas into winds of change, leading to the fertilization of like-minds. Thus will heroism beget heroism.

Some are born heroes. From the cradle, they complain loudly when their rights or the rights of others are being trampled upon. They either forget to be afraid or are too consumed with zeal to remember their fear. But some heroes are made through inspiration and influence. For the heroes among us who want to duplicate themselves in others, know that you cannot induce heroism in another by criticising, mocking or bullying them. Heroism is spawned by inspiring words, motivational logic and GREAT DEEDS.

But we see that many have sworn to live in the closet for the rest of their lives, and with the recent anti-LGBT legislation, some went ahead to build underground apartments with bank vault doors deep within the closet. Humanness is required to understand human weakness. Being human, we should empathize with and not judge other members of the LGBT community for being afraid, succumbing to societal pressure or running away. The biological survival instinct can induce either “fight or flight” in an organism and both are legitimate means of self-preservation. But we are intelligent beings, and therefore we reason that there is a right time for everything; a time for flight and a time for fight. If our dreams will come true, we simply cannot run away every time. There must be heroes, some who will flee more than they fight, and others who will fight more than they flee. Time and time again, we hear a clarion call for heroes. But rarely have we sat down to count the cost and prepare ourselves for heroism.

Like I already said, we hunt our heroes down and sometimes kill them, only to sing their praises later and be forever indebted to them. In your endeavour to stand against society as an LGBT person, you should know that the journey will be a rough one. I invite you to psyche yourself for the troubling times ahead.

Heroism in an LGBT person could take several forms. It could be a decision to come out of the closet, a decision to stay unmarried in spite of enormous societal pressure, or a decision to speak up concerning LGBT issues whether as a person who is out, closeted or married to the opposite sex. The more heroic you are, the stronger would you attract the ire of society. Really, you should brace yourself. I am not asking you to tell us about how strong you are. We all know that heroism manifests itself not in the comfort zone but in the face of adversity. The true heroes of the LGBT community may even be the silent ones among us, who in peace and quietly detonate anti-homophobic bombs.

Dear hero, brace yourself for pain because it will come. To think that this whole process will be a painless one is to tell yourself a lie. Society is very severe on those who depart from its ideals. But every pain you feel, like the pain of childbirth, is a blessed pain. It is not coincidence that the labour room, from whence the entire human race emerges, is a place of great pain. It also happens to be the place of one of the greatest joys known to man. The universe itself is an expanding process and must keep expanding. The social consciousness of humanity being a subset of the universal process must also therefore obey the law of expansion. This is why the metamorphosis of human culture cannot be stopped. Being creatures of habit, humans will always resist change. But expansion and evolution must happen, and so painful cracks appear at points of resistance and rebellion. There will be pain, but we could either surf it or get consumed by it. Something is fundamentally wrong with the world but it took great pain to make us see it. Many were driftwood on the shores of life until a painful event woke them up to reality and induced in them a passionate attitude in a precise direction. Pain can make you alive; it can be the wind in your sails, the fuel in your engine. It really depends on HOW YOU RESPOND and ADAPT to your experience. Will this pain make you even more heroic and ALIVE or will it break you?

You can board an airplane and escape from external pain, yet there is a pain you cannot escape from; the pain that smoulders within. Sometimes this pain will be felt as depression, at other times it is pure anger. You may not be able to regulate the external world and its attitude towards your ideals, but you are always lord of your inner atmosphere. The internal instrument with which you process your experience can be adjusted by you in such a manner that your distress is less and your burden is lighter. The hurt and anguish you feel can be transmuted into a fire that will drive you to achieve goals you never thought possible. With some mastery, perhaps that most elusive feeling called happiness can be achieved.

But how can you be different yet happy? That is the question.


Written by Sensei

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  1. Mandy
    September 23, 06:05 Reply

    Some times, it is such comments made by TDC and such articles written by sensei that set off a chain reaction of braingasm in me.
    This message is powerful, sensei. POWERFUL!

    • JBoy
      September 23, 07:28 Reply

      Yeah, Mandy, you’re so right.

  2. Francis
    September 23, 06:31 Reply

    Early morning dose of realism. Moving against the tide hurts sha no doubt even if we sometimes act as though it’s nothing. Being (faking) a cold bitch sucks but its the one of the many ways I’m dealing with walking a different path. Keeps some people away and scared of reacting when I take an unpopular stance.

  3. Jon Snow
    September 23, 06:36 Reply

    **sigh** Every single day I bless God that I have someone like you in my life. And have the privilege of listening to your wisdom one on one.

    #SweetSenseiBaeOfLife ???
    The one person I can listen to from now till eternity.
    Can we get married already???

    • Pink Panther
      September 23, 06:38 Reply

      *stepping between Jon Snow and Sensei* Back away from the sensei, Jon Snow.

      • Jon Snow
        September 23, 07:07 Reply

        Oh… good morning pinky **Nicki Minaj smile**
        Sweet Sensei **bats lashes** I bought a new lingerie, along with cuffs and whips you asked me to get. And I have some sweet nonsense…meant for your ears alone. Meet me at the usual place ??
        **sashays off**

  4. Zephallon
    September 23, 06:56 Reply

    This is very much alike to an article I wrote but differs also in so many ways. I can only but understand that the need to bring about change is most times a slow one given that man is habitually comfortable with whenever he is, even in the face of obvious war.

  5. JBoy
    September 23, 07:35 Reply

    Thank you, Sensei.

    You’re so much Blessing and very ‘Brainsome’.

  6. pete
    September 23, 07:44 Reply

    Sensei encapsulated my thoughts into words. Wish there will still be space on my wardrobe door by the time I finish pasting all the sense in this article

  7. Django
    September 23, 07:45 Reply

    This article came from Sensei? I mean, I know his name is under the written piece… *sigh*

  8. Teflondon
    September 23, 08:23 Reply

    Not a fan but even I will admit this gave me some chills. How would one person be so knowledgeable on so many issues. Your view to the world and how you see things, should be admired.
    Back to the topic raised, it’s an innate human nature to hack down what seem different or what they don’t understand. It has always been like that from the beginning and sadly it will always be like that.
    Even to the smallest of community here KD; we have seen time after time people hacked down for daring to be different. Hypocrisy is the order of the day with Humans. People come out to say this but then go on to do the opposite. Political correctness rules the world.

    Your discription of a Hero; felt like you were discribing me. Did you have a mental picture of me? Or Maybe not. According to your discription, I want to beleive Am the closest thing to a hero here.

    • Colossus
      September 23, 09:16 Reply

      Quick question Tef. What are you not a fan of?

    • Max
      September 23, 09:54 Reply

      His last paragraph always ruins everything…

      • Andrevn
        September 23, 18:41 Reply

        I’d like to think he had a certain MAXmillan textbook in hand from where he lifted that last paragraph. MAXIMUS

    • Tiercel de Claron
      September 23, 18:26 Reply

      It shouldn’t always be about you,Tef.
      Time you did some growing up.There is a hero in all of us,even those with reinforced-steeled bunker in their closet.

  9. Colossus
    September 23, 08:32 Reply

    Every man has his role to play. Hero or coward, activist or moderate, play your role just right.

    • Max
      September 23, 09:55 Reply

      Which one are you playing? I see a perfect spot for you right there.

  10. Peak
    September 23, 09:21 Reply

    Words are failing me right now to describe the brilliance scattered all over and dripping from this piece.
    I would be needing a couple of rereads to fully digest this article. #Bookmarked

    **Standing Ovation**

  11. Masked Man
    September 23, 09:45 Reply

    #NP “Heroes (We Could Be)”

    Alesso ft Tove lo

    Theme song for this amazing piece.

    Well done Sensei!!!

    ….. …..

  12. sinnex
    September 23, 11:11 Reply

    Is this going to be a weekly thing or what?

    I would be lying if I say I read this post to the end.

    I guess the Sapiosexuals in the house would like this.

  13. Keredim
    September 23, 11:17 Reply

    Quite profound and as usual sapient.


    Let’s practice not tearing each other down for a day… Or at the very least on this post…✌?️✌?✌?

  14. Khaleesi
    September 23, 14:23 Reply

    Wow! Sensei – the power of your intellect is like a jet blast, blows me away every time! It’s such a privilege to read from you!
    @Tef-Mushin, you need to shut the fuck up, calm your saggy tits down and stop trying so hard to be controversial and attract attention to yourself, you’re trying too hard and it’s so painful to watch!

    • Teflondon
      September 23, 21:17 Reply

      Why am I not surprised this comment didn’t get deleted by pinky. Of cause if I’m on the receiving end of a bashing its a joy to watch.

      As for the one that commented; I don’t hate you, neither do I like you.. You mean nothing to me. Absolutely nothing. You just another one of the many irrelevant beings around.

    • Pink Panther
      September 24, 04:48 Reply

      Khaleesi, please pay Teflondon no mind. When you see someone trying too hard to stir controversy (a poor effort, I might add), don’t give him the satisfaction of responding to him.

  15. spade
    September 23, 14:51 Reply

    Long story, slept off.

  16. Andrevn
    September 23, 16:29 Reply

    “Trueness to your ideals
    is how the seed of a unique self will blossom
    into flowers of expression, that disperse
    potent ideas into winds of change, leading to
    the fertilisation of like-minds.” “This is why the metamorphosis of human culture cannot be stopped. Being creatures of habit, humans will always resist change”. These here is POWER!!!!!! Just like I screamed yesterday when I saw it.

    Anyone would be privileged Adol to be associated with you. And I’m honoured and blessed to be your son, learn under you, watch as your eyes twinkle in moments of transcendental insights, stare as you cruise into #MonaLisaOverdrive while unravelling mysteries of empyrean bearings, hear hard words fall from your lips in languid motions of honeyed balm.
    *I owe you an apple pie dessert, Pops*

  17. Mike Daemon
    September 24, 09:29 Reply

    Brilliantly written, does it good, and such an article should not just be here on KD, could top other popular sites. Good read.

  18. ofunwa
    September 27, 15:17 Reply

    Sensei, u’r indeed a genius. I rarely coment on kd articles but i just couldn’t pass by on dis one. I don’t even feel like it needs critic; just acceptance nd recommendations. For this, i wil want to knw u more. email me so we can arrange… pls.

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