For those who have been urging me to do another romance-themed piece, bear with me, dealing with the aftermath of projecting such emotion is not a walk in the park. In the mean time, hope you enjoy the one you are about to read which I initially wrote for a children’s play…
Chidubem, at 16 knew he was as different from his peers as different could be. His parents tried their best to raise their son to become a fine young man, this they did by instilling good ideals and moral values in him. They hoped that despite the period of adolescence usually marking the formative years of an individual where he or she is on the verge of exiting childhood and entering adulthood causing them to rely more on the opinions of their friends rather than that of their parents,that their son would grow up to be the cynosure of all eyes.
One day, at school, Dubem’s class teacher asked her students to do a write-up on how they contributed positively to their environment and that this task should be completed in 2 weeks. On the designated day, Dubem stood in front of his class and read his story which went thus;
My name is Dubem, I’m 16. Before this assignment was given, I usually find myself wondering about what I can do to make a difference. The opportunity to do so came in form of a homeless man who I met while going to empty the bin at a dump site. He looked so tattered, dejected, hungry and cold that my heart quickly went out to him. I walked up to him and asked his name but he simply chose not to speak, this did not deter me as I could still be helpful without knowing his name.
I ran home immediately, told my parents and with their permission, I took some of my father’s old clothes, food from the kitchen and a blanket back to the man. I kept doing this for a week until one day, I went by to give him some things and he spoke for the first time. “My name is David” he said. The sound of his voice was startling because I had gotten comfortable with his silence. I asked if I could sit, to which he answered in the affirmative. As I sat beside him, I asked what his story was, that was how I learned that he lost his wife and 2 children in a house fire that started due to an electric fault and since he was away on a business trip, he got spared. He felt so consumed by survivor’s guilt that he was beginning to question the very essence of his existence.
After telling me his story, I took him home, introduced him to my parents and made sure he took a bath. Before he left, he said to me, “Thank you for saving my life, I would never forget this and what you’ve done for me, I hope to do for another”. In that moment, words couldn’t possibly capture the exact way I felt. Here I was trying to do the little I could, not knowing I was literarily saving a man’s life.
Last night he wrote a letter to me, please permit me to read it out because it might mean something to everyone present here;
In the course of living, we meet people from different walks of life. People whose race, religion, belief and social status are different from ours. Since meeting you, I have come to realize that if you find yourself in a situation where you can make a difference by doing something good, it ceases to be a matter of choice, rather it becomes one of responsibility which we owe both to ourselves and to humanity at large.
No matter who you are, what you do, or how old you are, you can always do something no matter how little to contribute to the growth and harmonious swinging in whatever environment you find yourself in. You did not care about my being a stranger, you did not care about the filth on my body nor did u care about the color of my skin. Rather what mattered to you the most was doing something good by helping someone out in the time of their need.
Courage is what makes us do the things we do and honor is who we are. What you did for me took courage and only a man of honor could possibly achieve that. After our brief encounter, I’ve been hoping for courage and trying for honor.
Last week, a little boy came knocking on my door to ask for something to eat, the joy on his face as he ate what I offered him made me feel I could soar like the eagle, which is a way I’d never felt before because the man I was would have turned that little boy away without second thoughts.
My prayer each day is for the strength to continue striving to be a true human being in every sense of the word and also for you to continue unwavering on your chosen path. May the Grace of the Almighty rest upon you.
Your friend, David.
When Dubem finished reading this, you could feel the instantaneous change in the atmosphere brought about by the chord Dubem’s story had struck in people’s heart. When the teacher called on another student to read his story, the boy asked the teacher if he could have another week to do something really worthwhile, other students rallied behind him because they too never took the assignment serious.
The next week, you could hear amazing stories of how the children either stopped to help a much younger child cross the road, dropped money for the beggar they usually ignored, helped their parents out with chores at home, took food to the motherless or just took a minute out of their schedule to volunteer for one activity or the other in their places of worship.
This goes to show that you don’t have to do something mind blowing to make the difference, our little acts of kindness whether noticed or unnoticed goes a long way in adding value to someone’s life or beauty to our surroundings.
This brings to mind the words of our Lord Christ, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”, for in essence, what we do for our neighbors, we truly do for ourselves!