"How can it be that something that appears virtuous could lead to the king's ruin, while something else, which looks like vice, brings him security and prosperity? Such is kind of riddle Orunmila himself encountered when he had been named as king of orisa for having successfully tended to all the needs of man and deities alike without fail.
Unbeknownst to all, despite his successful service to all, Orunmila was suffering greatly. He asked for support but nobody came to his aid. Eventually, Orunmila 'added two cowries to three' and went to consult Ifa. The babalawos told him that he had to done well by taking care of everyone. But his performance had also convinced them all that he had no needs himself. And so, they told Orunmila to give all the orisa their taboos. He complied. Almost instantly, the orisa all assembled at Orunmila's shrine: "Orunmila! Why?" He explained his problem, how he had been tending to the deities but none of them were tending to his needs. They all understood and agreed to lend their support to Orunmila. All he needed to do was ask. And so it is with us all; the more you achieve, the more necessary it becomes to compel others to support your endeavors. Because although it is true that the one who cares for others so much that she neglects her own affairs can look to Olodumare for support, it is also true that closed mouths don't get fed. And when you are a leader of many, the only way to remain useful to those you serve is to be able to focus relentlessly on the activities that yield the greatest benefit to the most people. In this way, you must ask for what you need so that you can focus on what matters most. This is what it means to live the medicine."
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