MOVE!: Message from the Morning Man
by Kojo Yankson
7th April 2016
In a small village on the outskirts of Lincoln, East Midlands, there is a twenty-year-old man called Adam Grazer. He works in a fish–and-chip shop. His father, Alan, works in the same shop. So does Alfred, his grandfather. Three generations of Grazers working in the same chip shop. The weirdest part is that they don’t even own the shop. Each of the Grazer men had come to the shop as a teenager looking for a holiday job, and had never left.
The BBC heard of their fascinating situation, and travelled up north to interview them. The host asked Adam whether he had always wanted to follow in his Pa and Grampa’s footsteps. He said “well I wanted to be a stockbroker when I was in school”.
“So why didn’t you?” asked the bemused journalist.
“Cos there’s no stock exchange in the village, is there?” quipped Adam glibly.
The BBC man was still confused. “So why didn’t you just move?”
Adam was quiet for several seconds. “Never thought of that”, he said with a smile.
I remember smiling at this young man’s total lack of ambition for about five seconds, before I was struck by the thought that so many of us are just like him in our own ways.
For many of us, the only thing separating us from our dreams and destinies is movement. The only thing standing between what we have and what we want is movement. So why don’t we just move?
Vacation classes. The smart, pretty girl, or the clever, dreamy guy who sits on the other side of class from you. For a whole long vacation, you stare at them. You daydream about them. You write long, expressive letters of undying love but never deliver a single one to them. You tell every single friend of yours how badly you’re crushing on this person, but never once do you even walk across to them and say hello. You know what you want, it’s sitting right there across from you in the classroom, and you’re doing nothing. So why don’t you just move?
The office. For all the years you have worked there, you have complained to everyone who would listen about how inefficiently things are done. How management don’t understand the staff, how they don’t understand the customer, how they are wasting resources, how they keep promoting people who don’t know wat they are doing. You attend staff meetings and sit in the back, rolling your eyes at every mediocre proposal, idea, contribution that your colleagues make. But not once will you actually open your mouth and say a single word.
Vacancies in management come up every other month. Opportunities to actually step up and fix the problems you have complained about your entire career. But you don’t even pick a form, let alone fill and submit it. You just sit at your desk for ages, mentally restructuring the company. You think you can make a difference, but you’re just sitting there dreaming about it. You see the problems, you know the solutions, and you’re sitting there wondering when someone will be bold and make a move to change things. So why don’t you just move?
You turn on the radio and there’s a bank advert talking about some new product. It sounds wonderful. The interest rate is great, and you don’t need much to qualify. You think about your own bank. Their service is horrendous. You queue for hours and are rewarded with rudeness and a total lack of concern for your needs at the end of your wait. Every month, they sit on your wages for a few days before they release it into your account. You try to use your ATM card and it never works. You try to pay for lunch with your debit card and it’s always getting declined no matter how much money you have in there. You call to complain about it and nobody answers. All these thoughts pass through your head while the advert is playing, but once it’s over, you do nothing. You hate your bank and there are better ones out there. So why don’t you just move?
My friends, there is absolutely no justification for settling in life. There are millions of us doing jobs we don’t like, dating people we don’t love, living in homes we hate, and all we have to do is make one decision to do one thing: move! Get up and move! Don’t just think about it. Move! Move from what you have to what you want. Move from what you hate to what you love. Move from where you are to where it is. Nobody ever achieved their dream by doing nothing about it. Even lottery winners had to first buy tickets.
So let’s do this, people. Let’s take a decision. Let’s own our destinies. Let’s change our lives. Let’s move.
My name is Kojo Yankson, and I’m just one move away from my destiny.
GOOD MORNING, GHANAFO!