One day, my aunt returned home from work very late and she felt I would have been hungry for a very long time, so she quickly rushed to the kitchen to prepare rice. Before I could say Jack Robinson, the rice was ready and she served me.

        When I took the first spoon, I realized the food was not well cooked or not done as you may like to put it. Then a lot of thoughts started running through my mind; though the food is not done but I could still manage it, after all there was no way I could have eaten it raw.
        Furthermore, I noticed that it was not the same quantity that was cooked that was also served, of course it had increased. Then I arrived at this quote:
To become bigger, you must pass through something
……..wale balogun
In order for the rice to increase, it had to pass through the process of cooking i.e. by being boiled in water.
        It did not take long before I was able to relate the situation to happenings around me. Many a times we have had to pass through/find ourselves in various situations at different stages in life, some that we know about and some others we cant explain, but nothing in life happens without a reason, irrespective of that, we all call them ‘’Hard Times’’.
        Hard times can take different forms, as it can be periods of; lack, depression, sickness, disappointment, betrayal, loss, hatred, rejection, stress, temptation, childlessness and so on. Next is the question who can experience hard times?
        The fact remains; hard times are no respecter of men, but what everyone experience can be at different stages, types, and/or degrees.
Hard times are like oven, when we pass through them we always come out different. It all depends on our attitude whether we come out better or worse
..wale balogun
No wonder some people said thank God we dont look like what we pass through. What this means is that when we are in ugly situations, it does not make us look ugly facially.
        Therefore, the problem is not in hard times itself, but how we respond to them (attitude). For instance, how long do you think a young secondary school leaver who seeks admission into higher institution should try before giving up? While some give up at the first trial, some also give up after some attempts and few others remain resilient until they achieve what they set their minds on, which is always as a result of right attitude (perseverance), and this is not limited to admission seekers alone, as it applies to other life situations.
Let me quickly tell you a story: At the 6th convocation ceremony of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko (AAUA) which was held on Friday 18th December 2015, a young man from the Department of Physics and Electronics, Faculty of Science was announced as the best graduating student for 2013/2014 graduating set with the CGPA of 4.81. isnt it amazing? What got me thinking was the message in his valedictory note, where he said:
        ”I was rejected by this school (AAUA) at a point when I sought admission in 2007, but I was not defeated. So I went to a Polytechnic where I got my National Diploma Certificate, after which I applied to this school again, now with my ND certificate as a Direct Entry student and here I am today having surmounted so many hurdles with a lot of cash prizes both from the school and other private bodies”.
                 Attitudes can either be right or wrong; the young man was rejected (hard time), but he was not tired (wrong attitude) rather he tried again/refired (right attitude) and this time more equipped and well prepared. Another thing is that, he didnt get carried away by the Polytechnic education (settle for less) but chose to pursue the University degree being his ultimate goal (expected end), without losing focus.
                There are lots of questions we need to ask ourselves during hard times: am I patient enough? Is the passion still alive? Am I still focused? Am I ready to take anything or bend my standard? And so on. We will come out better if only we are able to find positive answers to the various questions.
        Back to the story of undone rice; I am very sure the reason the rice was not done was that my aunt was impatient, which is quite understandable because she felt someone needs to eat as fast as possible. What if she had waited for five additional minutes? I retorted, do you think the result would have still been the same?
N.B: Patience is not when we have no option, but when we see a short-cut and still decides to wait
……wale balogun.
 Remember! During hard times, we are not to panic, give up, or retire, but maintain the right attitude by believing that:
what doesnt kill us makes us stronger
a very hot weather usually precedes rainy reason
though darkness may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning
there is light at the end of the tunnel
Therefore, dont wait for the rain to be over, but learn to dance in the storm. Let us also be mindful of our words, because what we say, we will see. Let us confess to ourselves what we would want to see happen, the right things. SHALOM

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