In Nigeria, we have the Atilogwu dance performed by the Igbo tribe. A dance I love watching. Fast paced, beating of traditional drums, acrobatic, engaging. Puts you on the edge because of the stunts they perform. Beautiful, not to forget colorful.
Then I am intrigued by the Jola dance performed in Gambia called the Pat-pat dance. To even call this a type of dance is beautifully unbelievable considering the fact that it does not involve the rhythmic movement of the waist, legs etc. as I am normally used to.
Latin-America has the tango to offer. Involves the graceful positioning of a male and female as they glide their feet in a very synchronized fashion across the dance floor. I will say quite sensational.
The list goes on……
As I sat to watch the beauty in world’s dance diversity, I thought of the pace at which some of the dancers took. Some were fast, some slow. Some did not even involve the movement of the body at all like the pat-pat dancers. Then I began to make the connection with life. My life. My life in comparison with my friends, my siblings, my children, my colleagues etc. Everyone around me.
Observing these people, indeed we have been called to live different lives. I look at my siblings for example, despite the fact that we all originated from the same mother DNA, our genetic codes still differ tremendously hence the different lifestyles, belief system, ideology etc.
Life Dance is not a Synchrony
Observing some the dancers in the above pictures and video, 2 things stood out to me.
Synchronized dancing and sometimes constant observation of the next dancer to ensure they are not out of tune.
Unfortunately, this is what a lot of people do in life. You constantly observe or should I say compare yourselves to people who God has placed in your life. You compare your lifestyle, your spending habit, your paycheck, home size etc. My goodness some people even compare lawn sizes. Can you imagine?
Compares can be positive, inspirational
There is a good side to comparing your actions with others. This is when someone’s lifestyle serves as an inspiration to modify yours. Yes, someone’s lifestlye can be inspiring. Their character, manners, discipline, patience, wisdom can be a source of inspiration. Even the way a friend/family arranges their home can inspire you to re-arrange your own.
Negative emotion that accompanies comparison
My brother/Sister, besides source of inspiration, there is no good in comparing your life with others. It is unhealthy and unsafe. You walk on very thin ice when you do it. It can crack under your feet anytime. When you do this, you rob yourself of joy, happiness and peace of mind. You create negative emotions and sometimes enemity between you and the person you are comparing yourself to. If care is not taken, because you think you’ve tried so hard to meet up but for some reason you are unable to meet up (which is what you believe), envy, jealousy set in. My sista/broda, jealousy is dangerous. It is a disease. It leads man to do hideous things. You don’t want to find yourself in this position.
I leave you with this….
Life’s dance is not a synchrony where everyone has to follow the same step, same time;
Don’t be a copycat. Be an original;
Find your rhythm in life and dance till you drop……
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Atilogwu Dance- Tour2Nigeria
Pa-pat Dance- Bino and Fino website