Therapy Session: Retirement Blues

Johnson Babalola

By Johnson Babalola



By Johnson Babalola @jbdlaw

“Good morning Mr. Naija. Nice to see you again and congratulations on your birthday!”

“Good morning Mr. West. I feel ashamed, showing up again for another session and I have nothing to celebrate”

“No reason to be ashamed. We all go through difficult situations from time to time. This is your 61st visit to our office?”

“Yes, it is. I thank you for being there always. While I understand you get paid for your services, I must state that you are always dependable”

“No reason to thank me. If you cannot find a local Therapist and require my services, I will be there for you”

“That is exactly my problem. At 61, I should be retiring soon but I have nothing to retire to. Nothing!”

“Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are still young, and you have a lot of positives in you”

“Young? Positives? Hmmnnn! I cannot see them”

“Your diversity is a plus. Your population is a strength. The high numbers of youths among your children and other family members should be turned into opportunities. Be positive Mr. Naija!”

“You sound like a motivational speaker”

“I am sorry. That was not the intent. I just wanted to help open your eyes to your strengths”

“Strengths? I feel weak. My children and their children are divided by many things: ethnicity, religion, politics, class and so on. I am worried about my legacy. Many are leaving me in my old age for greener pastures in other places. I have no savings left for my retirement and for them. The loans are stunting my growth. Corruption in my household is deep and has become a way of life. I am tired.”

“Same issues we have discussed for 61 years. How is your health?”

“Not good. I cannot sleep well. My children and their children cannot move freely. I am always by my phone for terrible news about my family including kidnapping, abuses, extra judicial killings, money rituals, corruption and so on. The sleeping pills are not working any longer and my doctors are not willing to help anymore”

“Are you sure the pills are not fake?”

” I don’t know. Too make fake products around me. My children will destroy themselves in their quest for financial gains. I thought I raised them well”

“Do you think if you had invested in their education and trades, things would have been better?”

“I don’t know. I tried my best, but I know I could have done better. I know though that some of my children are not interested in education”

“What are they interested in?”

“Wealth. That is all they are after. They don’t care about good governance as long as they are rich”

“Do you think they learnt that from you?”

“What do you mean?”

“Search your soul. You throw parties daily. You spray their Naira and dollars. You build houses in every major city in the world. You spend state resources to take care of your favourite children, wives and concubines and leave your other children and wives to suffer. Now you blame the forgotten children, grandchildren and wives for their unruly and unpatriotic behaviours?”

“It cannot all be my fault. How about the behaviours and the incompetence of my siblings: Judi and Legit as well as my nephew and niece Siteti and Lokal?

“They are probably looking up to you for leadership”

“Even some of my children, grandchildren and other family members are part of the rot”

“Again, they look up to you for leadership Mr. Naija”

“But I keep imploring my children and others to use their ballots to make positive changes and vote their upright siblings into positions”

“Your election process is too expensive and corrupt. How do they even take part in the election process if they have no funds to buy food to gain strength?”

“I am tired, and I worry about my life, post retirement”

“We have discussed what you need to do for 61 years. Let me remind you again”

“I recall our discussions: promote and embrace equity, strengthen my institutions, address security issues heads on, invest in education, healthcare, agriculture and natural resources leading to economic gain”

“Are you done?”

“We discussed dealing with corruption heads on and ensure competent individuals are called upon to manage different aspects of my life”

“Bravo! Anything else?”

“Ensure the youths are meaningfully engaged. Fight corruption in every aspect of my life. Build instrastructures”

“You are smart, and you know what to do”

“I know what to do and I have tried to address a few of the problems. There are just too many problems. I am overwhelmed”

“Maybe you need to start with restructuring. Genuinely have a national dialogue about your life. Allow your children, their children, and others to manage some aspects of their lives. Let them learn. I can assure you that they will grow through their mistakes”

“I need investments to secure my retirements and the future of my family and others”

“Investments will come if the environment is enabling. Take care of security, ensure a stable judicial system is in place, address corruption heads on etc and investors will knock at your door. You have all it takes to succeed Mr. Naija. You just need the right people helping to manage you”

“Thank you for your time always”

“No worries. Please do not return next year with the same negative outlook. Source for competent local Therapists and genuinely work on solutions to your problems so that you will have peace of mind in your retirement. This will lead to a positive life for every member of your family. Enjoy the rest of your day.”

*Johnson Babalola is a Toronto, Canada based Immigration Lawyer