15 for 15 challenge- Bloom where you’re planted


Hello everyone,
Today’s post is my February entry in the 15 for 15 challenge. The purpose and rules of this challenge are stated here. When I heard about this year’s challenge,  I jumped on it but pondered for weeks on what theme I’d choose and couldn’t decide on any. My thoughts are usually totally random and there is no guarantee that I’d be interested in my theme by the time July rolls in.

This morning while I was working on my blog’s layout and putting up categories on my side bar, “random posts” category caught my eyes and I had a (an?) eureka moment. My theme for this challenge will be random inspiration, and I hope I’ll stick to it.

   Now to today’s gist. I’m currently serving and my CDS centre is at the Lagos secretariat of the NYSC. The secretariat is exactly 1.08km away from my house (shorter route) and it’s easier for me to walk down to the secretariat than it is to get to the bus stop first and board a keke napep. The first problem is that you could wait for at least 30 minutes before the maximum number of passengers board the tricycle and the second is that I’d still have to pay after waiting for so long in a hot vehicle.

   Enough of the background info, until I get a car I’d keep walking. A few metres from the secretariat is a canal, the canal is pretty long and pretty much covers the whole of Surulere. There’s a bridge that spans the canal at its Babs Animasaun end and while I was on that bridge I saw this


   Unfortunately, my phone’s camera couldn’t capture the exquisite beauty of the canal water lilies, they were so pretty and the contrast between their beauty and the canal was sharp


    Immediately I saw them, the phrase “bloom where you’re planted” dropped in my heart. The phrase is popularly attributed to Mother Teresa. The flowers didn’t think of dimming their glory and beauty because they found themselves in a dirty canal, instead in spite of their surroundings their true and beautiful selves were revealed. It occurred to me that if they were human beings, they’d absolutely refuse to bloom. They might grow and thrive but bloom? No way!

  They’d say the environment is not conducive for blooming, no one would appreciate their beauty in their surroundings or that the filth around them would affect the flowers. Sounds familiar? The excuses you and I give for not exploring our full potential or improving ourselves are going to be inconsequential in the long run. Like the water lilies of Surulere, let us give our all wherever we find our selves. Whether it’s a crappy job, a cramped house, a faltering marriage or a country heading for chaos.

  When I “googled” the title of this post, I saw an anecdote that is popularly attributed to Mother Theresa of Calcutta who on receiving a letter from a housewife who wanted to join the mission but couldn’t go because of her family.

“Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta.
Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely
right there where you are.
in your own homes and in your own families,
in your workplaces and in your schools. …
You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have
the eyes to see.
Everywhere, wherever you go,
you find people who are unwanted,
unloved, uncared for, just rejected by
society — completely forgotten, completely left alone.”

PS: less than fours later, the lilies were gone. The waste management agency has a vehicle it uses to get rid of weeds and other debris on the canal and they did a sweep of the canal. If I’d decided to wait until after CDS to take the picture, I’d have been writing about failing to seize opportunities and that would have been really sad.

Have a beautiful weekend and don’t fail to let down your hair… Unless you’re bald then I take it back :-p



  1. Bloom where you are planted.. The first time i heard this line, it was from the lips of the famous Chude Jideonwo as he signed on my book.. Its amazing yeah, how Humans are the only life form that limit themselves?! How every other part of nature blooms (lives to their full potential) at every opportunity, animals celebrate and play even in the midst of dire want.. But we humans limit our joy and happiness, moderating them based on condition and situation.. I loved this post Otunne, and its officially my best post yet in March.. Bloom where you are planted ba.. be it in the gutters or on the Mountain top.. Bloom where you are planted.. I sssooooo love this post.. It speaks to the me inside.. and the crowd goess… Yyyeeeaaaaahhh mehn!

    P.S: You are doing really great with the challenge Bubba, you see?! Look! It is the same she who was dragging her feet earlier that is now churning out the most enlightening of posts.. At this rate Bubba, you are winning material for the challenge oh. Ooosssshhheeeyy. Turn down for what Mbok?! I wanna be like you when i grow up biko. **Wears Mr. Nigeria smile. xx 🙂


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