Rising Above the Goat Life

Nigeria is reported to have the highest population of goats in Africa. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant to the Watcher. What is important to me is the parallel between the life of a goat and that of many supposedly intelligent men.

I grew up observing the tough lives these sturdy animals live. I noticed how they are left to forage for themselves in the village. In my formative years, I noticed the aggression with which a he goat seeks its mate and I could not but compare that behaviour with what I observed between “seniors” in my secondary school who routinely come to blows over who has the right to a particular girlfriend. Now I had also observed that the name for a goat in the language I spoke growing up is the same one for a fool in that language. You should therefore forgive me if my infantile mind held a picture of the ultimate fool being no different from that of a goat… I rejoiced in the knowledge that I was human.

As I matured, I was drawn into making a comparison between my human life and that of a goat. I was appalled at how much the lives of most of us mirror that of a goat! An elderly man has just died. He is survived by a retinue of children that he has fathered.  Say some twenty-two. But so did my champion he goat –that I aptly named Goatson after a certain Johnson.  He fathered kids routinely until his 90th birthday without a thought for the responsibility that comes with fatherhood. Luckily that is not the life of you and I. That was what I thought until I went further in my analysis. The goat perpetually forages for what to eat and spends his spare time procreating. Of course he rests in a shed at night or during adverse weather. I am appalled by how many of us do nothing but forage for what to eat all our lives. The foraging never ends. This is the goat life for me –a life in which the biggest motivation for the individual has always been what to eat. What to eat translates to your earnings.

A nation’s greatness is directly proportional to how many of its citizens have risen above the goat life. Find out. Here, the greatest of men will accept political jobs for no other reason but to guaranty his meals and that of his children. It is a goat life in which the individual is sold out to criminality to guaranty a meal. It is a goat life in which the individual continues to slave at a task he loathes and he’s unable to resign because he fears for his next meal. It is a goat life in which Paulo steals money to buy cars and yet attaches special number plates to them to herald his thievery!

Fear! Fear is the biggest slayer of men. It is the singular limiting factor and the motivator for several crimes. Yet it has been proven time and time again that the greatest men whose lives we study where those who overcame fear and lived a life above the goat life. The innovator who became rich and famous on the strength of his innovation, the musician who was made famous by the tempo he created, they had bigger motivations than the next meal. To be successful, you must find a purpose that is higher than simply guarantying your next meal. You must give yourself a vision that lives in your bone. Then follow this course boldly. The meal is for the body and the body is for the mind that lives in it. For most of us, it is the other way. It is no wonder that in this clime the objective for wealth acquisition is always to outshine your neighbor. Those that are truly successful know that a man is not called to outshine his neighbor but to shine upon his neighbor. The human being is not a goat at his best. No matter how the politicians who preach that everyone has his price wants us to look at things. Man is not only sentient; he is above the goat life. Albeit he routinely forgets who he is and slips beneath the life of a goat. I am rising above the goat life. I must identify the values that drive me lest I sell my birth right for a plate of porridge in the fear that the pang of hunger that I currently feel will kill me.

The Watcher is a self-help coach dedicated to helping the individual realize his true potentials. He can be reached at thewatcher@myfinancialintelligence.com