With falling life expectancy, man ought to make best use of his short stay on earth. It is the smart thing to do in the circumstance. Enduring rather than enjoying our abridged lifetime is double loss. Today, draw up and henceforth religiously keep a list of deal-breakers.

Life is regulated by choices. Countries have written or unwritten constitution to offer citizenry checks and balances. Organisations and associations have byelaws, which are a microcosm of the constitution. Even the dead leave behind a law document, will, to guide the living vis-a-vis red lines.

Are there actions or words you cannot tolerate? That is, something you cannot take from no-matter-who? What is the worst that could make you abandon family, marriage, mentor, helper, boss, etc.? Would something that your priest says or does force you to leave your place of worship?

Would you drop out of school because your teacher angered you a certain way? Would you quit a political appointment -as a Nigerian living in Nigeria- because you no longer like or respect or believe the person who appointed you? In a money-crazy society, such as ours, would you quit a lucrative business relationship on finding out that your partner is gone beyond be-careful? And, going spiritual, can you be so provoked you declare for Satan?

If your people are not conversant with your deal-breakers, please make that happen now. Stop tolerating every Tom and Dick’s nonsense. Life is too short to spend it being the dustbin. Live deliberate, surefooted and businesslike so that nobody toys with you.

A list of deal-breakers is wisdom, courage, restraint, warning and tact packed into a punch. It signals you when enough is enough. It warns those who encounter you to beware of invisible dogs. Like the golden rule, this one list teaches you to remember that others also have own deal-breakers.

You get the point now? We all have our individual list of deal-breakers. You choke me, I walk away. I choke you, you move.

As you bring up your own list, here’s mine meanwhile. First is the combo of distrust/mistrust. Second is the threesome of being undervalued, sidelined or thought a fool. Third is the quadruplets of dishonesty, disloyalty, dis-this and dis-that.

Fourth is arrogance. Fifth is violence. Sixth, to complete the dozen, is injustice. I walk away every time from even the best people who keep trampling on these no-go areas.

For instance, at the nick of time, I left one of the best men I ever worked with -a great listener and an even greater doer- when naysayers got him to suddenly start doubting my sincerity and commitment. I wasted no time; in fact, I left the day before. I don’t coexist with people who’ve trust issues. Ditto those I find incurably arrogant, dishonest, dishonourable, insulting, selfish, suspicious, unfair, ungrateful, untrustworthy, and violent.

Nobody should walk away from a violent relationship. Yes, nobody should walk; everybody should flee. Of course, this includes especially marriage. Dear wife, dear husband, if your spouse is violent even in speech, please don’t walk away: flee; fly away.

Too many men and women are dying like flies, globally, because of believing the societal fallacy that marriage must be till death do you part. Sssh, shut up, not all marriages qualify for such lengthy honour. Never allow something as earth-limited and heaven-insignificant as marriage consume you or you would have died a most miserable death. If your spouse talks let alone acts violently, and doesn’t heed advice by family, church or community, please don’t stay too long inside to pray: flee first.

Another crucial area of critical interest is business. Never be in bed with a dubious partner. Once your client or partner starts acting or sounding funny, break away immediately -no matter the juiciness of the deal. Better to later regret breaking away than to find yourself running around courts or hospitals or even dead because of having left matters too late.

Of course, this brief treatise won’t be complete without including an in-season element. You’d find deal-breakers quite useful if not fundamental in politics, as well. Show yourself political lines you can’t cross in conduct, speech and action. In addition, don’t suffer fools gladly or be prepared to play along forever.

Furthermore, never side with injustice, never make excuses for mediocrity, and never tolerate violence. Once you do, you lose moral authority in the eyes of God and man. These are natural deal-breakers. Yes, like the human race, like animals, like religion, like sport, like everything else, nature too has its deal-breakers.

People who accept political appointments must realise there are two eternal choices before them. On getting in to find a different ball game, either resign and forever be free or rough it to the end and thereafter forever keep shut or speak only in praise of the person who appointed you. Deal-breakers are a double-edged sword, a two-way traffic. They work for you, and can also work against you.

Learn to reject political and such other life cakes, if you can’t deal. However, after you’re done eating them never attempt to raise a finger against the giver(s). Ingratitude is a heartless sin; a satanic deal-breaker. Condemn no-one whose benevolence you chopped and cleaned mouth.

Again, never tolerate A and reject B today only to turn around tomorrow to accept B and pooh-pooh A because it no longer favours you. Inconsistency is itself a deal-breaker despised by all men of good conscience. Thou shalt not be a deal-breaker, thyself. A hypocrite cannot and should not complain.

… Cont’d next Monday

A different kind of 20 Questions

Let’s find out how many marks man would amass. Each question carries five marks. If you are ready, let’s play.

1. Man is daily killed mostly by … a) God b) Animals c) Man.

2. The worst thief on earth is … a) Nature b) Man c) Alien.

3. The blame for wars globally goes to … a) Man b) Land c) Food.

4. The murderous senselessness in Ukraine is caused by … a) Man b) Snakes c) Lions.

5. In 4 above, the worst victim is … a) Wealth b) Man c) Future.

6. Still from 4 above, the mindless destruction is being sustained by … a) Satan b) Birds c) Man.

7. Man’s greatest hater and worst enemy is … a) Air b) Disease c) Man.

8. Weapons of mass destruction are manufactured by … a) Rats b) Man c) Lucifer. 9. In 8 above, to kill …? a) Man b) Houseflies c) Scorpions.

10. All of man’s greed is against …? a) Man b) Money c) Satan. 11. All of man’s education is to conquer …? a) God b) Man c) Satan.

12. Of all, … is the most unprincipled: a) God b) Angel c) Man.

13. … has brought the world the worst pains and shame: a) God b) Man c) Weather. 14. Who makes laws but disobeys them? a) Man b) Judge c) Satan. 15. … is the king of slander, libel, gossip, blackmail, and subterfuge? a) Man b) Parrot c) Ghost.

16. Climate change is … work a) Divine b) Man’s c) Satan’s. 17. The greatest criminal on earth is …  a) Poverty b) Fish c) Man. 18. The main opponent to global peace is a) Jesus b) UFOs c) Man.

19. Man makes poison to kill …? a) Principalities b) Man c) Alien. 20. Therefore … is behind the world’s chronic headache a) Man b) Development c) Rainfall. Enough of the shadow-chasing, the scorer of 100% is clearly the problem of the world: man should therefore stop disturbing God with unnecessary prayers and instead look inwards to fix his world -starting of course with the madness in Ukraine!

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