Work is a spiritual endeavor of the highest magnitude. A man who is willing to work can enjoy the favor of the orisa and the support of his contemporaries.
Yoruba culture is filled with proverbs, songs and stories that extoll the virtues of work. The Yoruba say, The sun rises and the lazy man hisses in contempt but the hard worker rejoices. They go on to say, Work is the antidote to poverty. And so, when you see a man who prospers as a result of his labor, you honor him and celebrate his success.
Conversely, a lazy man, who refuses to make use of the resources provided by his prenatal choice, is not worthy of praise. A lazy man is an enemy to himself and the community. Such a man is not worthy of devotion. One verse of EjiOgbe makes the lesson very clear:
"Do your work"
"I am not working"
This was the Ifa cast for the lazy person
He who sleeps until the sun is overhead
He who relies on that which is possessed through inheritance
exposes himself to suffering
If we do not toil and sweat profusely today
We cannot become wealthy tomorrow
"March through the mud"
"I cannot march through the mud"
"If we do not march through the mud
Our mouths cannot eat good food"
These were the declarations of Ifa to the lazy person
He who possesses strong limbs but refuses to work
He who chooses to be idle in the morning
He is only resting for suffering in the evening
Only toiling can support one
Idleness cannot bring dividends
Whoever refuses to work
Such a person does not deserve to eat
If a lazy person is hungry, please let him die
Dead or alive, a lazy person is a useless person
- Holy Odu EjiOgbe
"He who chooses to be idle in the morning is only resting for suffering in the evening" is a warning. The morning represents youth. As a young man, you must become addicted to work if you truly intend to walk among the champions later on. By extension, the morning represents the beginning of any endeavor. When you start something, be willing to work hard until it is completed to the highest standards possible. Thus, willingness to work is a fundamental attribute of nobility.
And so, it comes as no surprise that Chief Lanre Dada Okemuyiwa is esteemed, respected and honored everywhere he goes. Among the youth, as well as the elder priests he is a recognized authority. In the midsts of lawyers, businessmen and politicians he is respected as a leader. Within his family, he is cherished and shown deference without hesitation. All of this is the result of decades of focused and diligent work.
Ijimere, the diviner of physical fitness and beauty
Cast Ifa for Arisemase Idireterete
He was asked to sacrifice in order to work
And not be afraid to work
The sacrifice; a ram, a hoe, a machete and a dog
We asked why?
Ifa said, a hoe never fails to work
A machete is never sick
A dog gets to work relentlessly
A ram fears no opposition
- Holy Odu Idinleke
The Yoruba say, Many want to make a mark without effort, yet without effort, no marks can be made. Chief Lanre has made his mark in the world. I pray that Olodumare will continue to bless him with the resources he needs to make a legendary mark upon the world. Ase.
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | OrisaLifestyle.com