Another Lesson On Love, Understanding, Trust, And Innocence
I was in Nigeria recently during the holidays. I used the period to embark on a filmmaking project. It was tough and challenging but I learned a lot. However, a particular experience stood out for me. It helped sustain me through the period, and continues to cheer up my present days.
I was producing and directing the said movie, as well as playing the lead role. The pressure and demand on me was therefore a little on the high side. It was tough and very challenging to manage the crowd of several excited cast and crew members. One of such days, as we (film cast and crew) were shouting and commanding each other trying to deal with the day’s schedule, my attention was somehow drawn to a bunch of toddlers happily engaged in their world a few feet away. Though in the same environment as we were, the toddlers calmly but happily went about their business oblivious of the world of worry, concern, and demands of the surrounding cast and crew members.
The toddlers were a three-to-four year-old girl (Nneoma, my niece), a two year-old boy (Chidorom, my nephew), and a three-to-four year-old boy called Bobo (I had met him for the first time just days before). Bobo being of Yoruba parentage could only speak Yoruba language. He could not speak or “understand” English or Igbo, which happened to be the dialect of Nneoma and Chidorom. Nneoma and Chidorom being of Igbo parentage could only speak Igbo language. They could not speak or “understand” Yoruba language, which happened to be Bobo’s language. Recently, my mother had visited my brother in Lagos and had developed likeness for Bobo. She therefore convinced Bobo’s parents to let my brother bring Bobo along when next my brother was coming home to the village. So it was that my brother took Bobo along from Lagos (Western Nigeria) to Imo State (Eastern Nigeria) a journey of about 12 hours by road to celebrate Christmas in my village in Imo State, Nigeria.
On this day, as I noticed the playing kids, I got the nudge to shut out the rowdy and noisy world of the adult cast and crew members and to instead tune in to whatever the toddlers were doing. In a moment, I observed that the kids were happily sharing food; feeding each other the remaining crumbs they were variously holding. Upon closer observation, I realized that the kids were speaking with each other as they interacted with themselves. “But what language are they using?” I quietly asked myself. I drew closer to them and listened even more closely to their utterances. Behold, Bobo was speaking Yoruba language, while Nneoma and Chidorom were speaking Igbo language, and from their interaction, I noticed that they completely comprehended each other.
IN A MOMENT
In that brief moment, I learned (or was reminded of) what could have taken me a long time to appreciate (or remember). These were beautiful souls encased in physical flesh as a Yoruba boy called Bobo, and two Ibo kids named Nneoma and Chidorom. They spoke different languages by their lips, but communicated by their hearts using the universal language of love. They trusted and believed in each other. They were honest with themselves and their innocence opened the door of love. Therefore, the barriers of the physical world such as tribe, language, parentage, society, language, were non-existent as such limitations would not thrive at the level from which these kids operated - the level of Soul consciousness.
The innocence on the faces of Bobo, Nneoma, and Chidorom as they happily interacted and communicated with each other remains within the grasp of my vision, and the feeling of that manifestation of love continues to pleasantly touch me within, even as I write this piece.
I have been taught or at least reminded of the power and transcendence of love beyond all things. I hope to cherish the memory of this experience for a long time.
MY TEACHER MY PAL
Perhaps I should mention that from time to time, during the shooting of the film project, these kids especially Bobo, who became my pal, came around
every now and then, and in the peaceful, loving, and innocent way they
went about living, they reminded me to take things easy and approach the challenging situation with the much innocence and love that I could muster.
I am grateful for that.
THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE
And when we learn to loose the grip
Of our hold on the tenets of mankind
Set by standards of the temporal world,
And when we no longer give reign
To that manner of communication
Trusted to the limitations of the ear,
And when instead we learn to live
With the innocence of a playful child
Sharing with all in true honesty
And when we’ve woken to our being
Letting the trust of our confidence
Enjoy the true place of precedence,
Again we shall regain the gift of self
To live and speak from the depth of heart
With the eternal gift of the true self - Love
©Oliver O. Mbamara,
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Oliver Mbamara is an Administrative Law Judge with the State of New York.
He is also a filmmaker and a Published Poet and playwright. For more on Oliver, please visit
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