“The short successes that can be gained in a brief time and without difficulty, are not worth much.” -Henry Ford.

When I was much younger, doing my laundry was a major issue. It was like being punished and was always dreaded. Doing my laundry was worse than actual punishment. However, being in the boarding house, as a junior student, left me with very little options.

Back then, there were two different soaps usually available to me. One was green, big and very solid called Canoe soap. The other was yellow and much smaller called Cross soap. These soaps had their different attributes.

Canoe soap is much bigger and very solid.  However, you need to put in a lot effort in the actual washing of the clothes as it always took forever to lather (if it ever did). With canoe soap, you would always get more laundry done as it lasted for long and the clothes were always very clean. My problem was the time it took to finish with something as small as a handkerchief.

Cross soap, on the other hand, was my favorite. With very little effort, you will get so much lather. In fact, within seconds of usage, the lather would go up so high that you would think you were playing bubbles. The effort required was very little. As a matter of fact, time was when all I had to do was to dip the clothes a few times and assume it was clean. However, a lot of times, the smell the soap leaves on the clothes is usually very caustic that some may need re-washes. White materials could also get stained with the yellow color that will require another round of washing to remove. 

Life will always present us with opportunities. Life will sometimes come across like a bed of roses. The differentiating factor between success that is transient and that which will outlive us is usually the effort required in achieving the desired results. Opportunities may come as requiring seemingly very little effort which we all love to grab because going the whole nine yards is usually a ‘waste of time’.

We may seek easy ways out to achieve our desires but the ‘smell’ such success will leave may be too caustic for us to stand. Some have even tried to use the lather from ‘cross soap’ to do their laundry with the false assumption that it is as good as clean. This has taken them way back to the very beginning simply because no enduring success comes cheap. Some people, due to the get-rich-quick syndrome, have been stained by the colors of their successes and these stains have not only become very difficult to remove but are also a stigma.

Most times, opportunities manifest as difficult and requiring too much effort with results that seem almost impossible to see. The ‘soap’ of our effort may not lather and may seem worthless and pointless. If only we can persist just a little longer, our success will be visible and enduring. Nothing is more refreshing for a man than seeing the results of his efforts with the knowledge of how these results have been achieved, even though the effort may be too much to bear. People may not even appreciate what you have to offer. There may be no sense in what you are trying to do. Time may be against you but always remember that the lather does not determine the wash.

In the journey of life, the effort we put in should be that which we will be very proud of, results of which will leave lasting impressions in our generation and those yet unborn, the joy,   happiness and satisfaction that will remind you that there will forever be dignity in labor.

Ladies and gentlemen, which soap would you prefer?

Written by Adeola Akinjomo (adeola.akinjomo@yahoo.com)