JUST DON’T QUIT – Evans Atuick


Evans Atuick - Just Don't Quit.jpg
Evans Atuick - Just Don't Quit.jpg

Are you in a situation in which you feel your whole world is crumbling amidst a desperate feeling of hopelessness and despair? JUST DON’T QUIT

Are you confused about what you are doing with your life now and contemplating giving up on your dreams? JUST DON’T QUIT

Are you pursuing a degree, career or investment that is taking a high toll on you so much so that you want to quit? JUST DON’T QUIT

Are you about giving up on life and even contemplating suicide? JUST DON’T QUIT

We all Face it – Just Don’t Quit

This write-up is for you if any of the above questions reflect the situation you currently find yourself. In many instances, we’ve been faced with situations depicting stagnation in the pursuits of our dreams, and aspirations. These experiences can leave many of us frustrated, whilst triggering a “is it worth living in this world” question. The emotional anguish is worsened when your close relations, and friends appear to be having a swell time, but nothing seems to work for you. The questions would continue, as you battle yourself; in an attempt to find the answer to “what is everybody doing right, that I am doing wrong; why is everyone succeeding, yet my every attempt is met with failure”.

Truth is, you must never give up! The obstacles would always show up in different forms, but the only way to win is to keep pushing on regardless of the encounters. Giving up is actually more of a loss than the persistence required to overcome the hurdles. Remember, you have more to lose than to gain when you give up on yourself. The difference between people who make it in life, and those who fail is tied directly to the ability of the former to quickly learn from their challenges, and turn to better ways of realizing their dreams. If others can make lemonade out of the lemons you too can. One thing you must know is that, it takes
focus and ingenious outpour of work to achieve your dreams. Therefore, in times of distress, you must always take solace in the fact that as long as you are alive, there is always hope of achieving that dream or aspiration you desperately are pursuing. Just Don’t Give Up.

At this juncture, I will like to share with you a story of a bird regarding the promise of life. The story of this proverbial bird is drawn from the rich folklore of the Bulsa tribe of Northern Ghana; among whom proverbs and stories encapsulate the trials and tribulations of daily life as well as survival techniques. The story is told of this bird called “Yeng” (a bird of the rail family, which lays and broods eggs on the ground) that will always abandon its eggs and flee at the slightest sign of danger. Before flying away, the said bird will exclaim “nyovuri ale soa gena” [life gives eggs]. Thus, for this bird, saving its own life by fleeing was more important than saving the eggs from predators; once there is life, there is hope of having more eggs, and by implication, more offspring.
We must learn from the philosophy of life (more life means more eggs) of the Yeng, and keep believing that we can achieve anything we want as long as we are alive and kicking. Therefore, our dreams and aspirations in life must remain alive, and within reach, as long as we are alive. So, Just Don’t Give Up!


In the next few paragraphs, I shall share with you the story of an interesting but thought-provoking dialogue between an African and a whiteman, and the lessons we can draw from that to improve our lives. This dialogue between an American Anthropologist, Paul Stoller, and Adamu Jenitongo of the Songhai ethnic group of Niger occurred during the former’s research project in the area around the 1980s. It has very interesting lessons for people struggling to survive in this world, and so worth sharing. I draw a lot of inspiration from it and it is my expectation that it would be useful to many a young person. 

Here is the background: Adamu Jenitongo was Stoller’s mentor and teacher in the ways of the Songhai. One day, the Oldman is relaxing in his hut and sees his whiteman “son” walking by and motioned for him to come and sit by him. After Stoller sat down, Adamu spat out the kola in his mouth and begins the conversation in Songhai language by asking:

“What are you doing?”
Stoller: ” I’m sitting here with you.”
Adamu (not satisfied with the response):
” what are you doing?”
Stoller: ” I am not sure what I’m doing.”
Adamu(nodes): “That’s a good answer. Can we ever be sure about what we are doing?”
Stoller (admittedly): “I guess not.”
Adamu: “The most important thing is to do things that are worth doing.”
Stoller: “But how do you know what it is worth doing? Can you ever avoid taking the wrong path?”
Adamu: “No you can’t, my son. It’s very easy to take the wrong path and waste your time and energy. We all make those choices. But if you are patient, life will teach you what is important and you can concentrate your energies on that.”
(Stoller 2007, Ethnography/Memoir/Imagination/ Story, 178- 179).

What lessons can we draw from this interesting dialogue? Perhaps, an important question to ask is, “are we always sure of what are doing in life?” The fact is, we sometimes make moves or choices that derail our plans and aspirations in life and leave us wondering whether it is worth living.

However, in times of despair, think of the alternative! You could have been dead like others (but you are fortunate to be alive). Does that not give you hope that you could still make amends, pick up the pieces and succeed in life? So why give up on yourself or try to commit suicide because you made a mistake or someone dear to you betrayed your trust or broke your heart?

Like an Indian philosopher once said, “the only important thing in your life is that you are alive.” Never give up on your dreams; you may fall 100 times but you must rise 100 times, keeping your eyes fixed on the goal as you forge on. Remember YOU MUST FINISH!

As human as we are, we are bound to make mistakes and wrong choices in life but we must learn from such experiences and forge on. One can minimize the chances of making such wrong choices by being patient and learning from one’s experiences in life. You can also learn a lot by associating yourself with the right people with a winner mentality; those who are either more successful than you in life or are more focused and have demonstrable winning mentality in whatever they do. REMEMBER, JUST DON’T QUIT!!

Evans A Atuick
Graduate Student
Anthropology Department Building
1000E University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here