Habits and character formation

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Habits formed as a person emerges into adult life might not make much sense in real time. This observation is made in reference to the social circles one could choose to move in, for instance.

Looking back to what it felt like when I started meeting folks from a vast range of African countries, I absorbed a lot of information that has turned me into the person I am today, even though I had no idea that I was changing or developing through my actions.

It is possible that folks had preconceived notions in those days about my world view and ways of functioning. Those ideas were influenced by a trope that was in circulation about beneficiaries of the Nigerian “oil boom” era. My life story was actually quite different to the one they imagined, but I gave as good as I got in the cut and thrust of public discussion.

Fast forwarding several decades, I have a fair idea of some values that folks of African descent might share in common. I didn’t go in search of that knowledge when I first started associating with the people I met back in the day.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” is a saying that makes a lot more sense to me now than ever before. Is there a lesson to be learnt from this?