Increase and multiply.
When the bible told us to increase and multiply, many of us thought it meant quantity. But today, I’m here to open your eyes and mind to the true meaning of that command. Increase and multiply – Quality – Enhance, improve, illuminate, shine, dominate, uplift, take charge. Take responsibility. – When I came to the UK, I began to hear – responsible adult. A child must always be under the care of a responsible adult. Note that it did not say an adult – but it says, a responsible adult. It means not every adult is responsible to take charge of another human being.
As creatives, leaders and entrepreneurs, are we responsible enough to increase and multiply our God-given talents? As a creative, you have a responsibility to bring to life what others can’t see. Bring out the best in everything you touch. That is why I love makeup artists, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, singers and performers, writers, presenters. I love creatives so much. You guys are the salt of the earth.
As leaders, you have a responsibility to see and bring out the best in people, encourage, love and unify, you have a responsibility of honesty and care.
As entrepreneurs, you have a responsibility coming up with solutions to solve problems for people, the community, the world. To make life much better for others.
Taking up these responsibilities doesn’t always have to earn you awards and accolades. Because it is not just about awards but the impacts.
Now tell me for what purpose is it that a person wins 10, 20, 30, 50 awards, yet that brother or sister in your network has never been recognised for their hard work, you never see it fit to nominate and put forward others to be recognised for their hard work. You are no different from the billionaires and millionaires who hoard the world’s wealth while over 80% of humans around them can barely feed.
Lifting others up may not win you awards and accolades or even appreciations from those who receive it but, it surely will earn you honour and generations after generations will continue to reap from the impact of your existence.
One other beautiful British say – put your money where your mouth is”, reminds me…
Black History Month was just celebrated last month. During that time, I reflected every single day what that means to you and I. Unfortunately, as I discussed with my young children, it was the same old, same old. Same old regurgitation of slavery, civil rights and pains of people who look like me. An opportunity for some speakers, organisations, artists, to make money. Any opportunity for corporations to window dress their organisations as diverse and inclusive (a word I so despise), only to go back to same old ways of ignoring the best brains, denying and rejecting the best ideas, simply because of the colour of their skin, their religion, educational or economic status, their political leaning, or some other weird reasons.
These use to worry me but not anymore. Not after understanding what it means to increase and multiply. The moment you are able to grasp this, I hope you too will unlearn some of the internalised rhetorics you have been stuffed with for far too long.
I hope that you will learn to kick away the box and take up your space in the world – not as a black or minority, not as one to be pitied and included in their space, not like someone who doesn’t know or have roots.
But, as someone who is fully aware of who they are, as a person who is a human with the right to exist, excel and enjoy every single bit of the world’s resources and spaces. As someone who has the insight to increase and multiply, who understands that he has a responsibility to create his world and not wait to be rescued by a fellow human. Someone who is not waiting to be called to the table but will go on to build his own table and invite others to join. Someone who will not succumb to finger-pointing as a strategy. (I remember when I first came to Lagos, the first things my brother told me, the words still guide me till date. He said, “There is no free lunch anywhere and the world has never been fair – you create your fairness”).
As a full member of the team who is willing and able to play their roles to the best of their abilities and to aim to share equally from their contributions. To have the audacity to stand up and take up the responsibility of seeking and proffering solutions to the world problems and expect to be fully and fairly rewarded for their achievements. A person who will go out of this space today and begin to think deeper into every offer, every opportunity, reflecting on the long term effect of those offers not just to yourself but to those who look like you and to the entire human race. Now, the command – increase and multiply will begin to make sense and mean much more than numbers but impact.
I see almost everyone say they’re fighting for equality and justice. Let me break it down. We are all created equal and will equally die. However, it is what you accept through your actions or inactions that will keep you where your creator places you. It is your mind that you need to work on to liberate yourself from self-imposed inferiority complex.
*Joel Osteen said,
“Sometimes God doesn’t remove the obstacle because He’s using the obstacle to develop us. He’s getting us prepared for where He’s taking us. We don’t grow in the good times when everything is easy, everyone is for us, things are falling into place. Of course we all like that much better. But, we wouldn’t reach our potential. We grow when it’s difficult, when we’re uncomfortable, when we have to stretch, when there’s resistance. That’s why you can’t pray away every difficulty; you can’t pray away everything you don’t like. If the situation is not changing, then God is using the situation to change you.”*