It’s been a while…I actually don’t know how this week flew by without me writing here despite wanting to. But I made it here in time to share something important I learnt this weekend. Sit back and enjoy how I found myself in a situation, got my eyes opened to the reality of other people’s experiences and reaffirmed my duty to always be a helping hand.
It happened that I was supposed to be at a program and was already about an hour behind schedule as I had to visit someplace nearby before heading there. On normal days, it is usual of me to take lots of water. On hot days, I take even more. Today was one of such very hot days and I sure had a couple of opportunities to fill myself to my satisfaction with the blessings of water but, for some reasons I don’t know, I refused to stay hydrated. Even when I had to stop by my apartment briefly to drop something, I was lost between taking water or not, but I shrugged off the feeling. Telling myself I’ll be fine, I dashed down to the program as that was all that was on my mind now. I didn’t know I just threw away my last chance and dug my own grave.
I admitted I was going to arrive at the program very late, but I was determined to be there anyways, so I hastened my steps, walking briskly like some superwoman. The sun was shining fervently, I could feel the heat on my skin, the wind was very dry too, and my throat started getting a little itchy. “Don’t worry”, I told myself, “it will be gone as soon as you arrive at the program and seat under conditioned air”. Whether I could count on that encouragement, I could not say. I just wanted to leave the sun and rest my legs.
Few minutes after walking and still not anywhere near the venue, I realized I was now really thirsty, and worse still, what I was feeling was one of the strongest thirst I had experienced in a long while. I mean, I really hate to be thirsty, I carry a bottle of water everywhere! But unfortunately, not today.
Plainly exhausted, I got to the entrance of the venue only to see there was nothing to show any related program was going on there. You know those few seconds you try to rearrange your brain and at the same time wonder if you got the venue right and what on planet earth you’re supposed to do next? (yes..that!) that was when these two ladies on their way out of there were coming towards me. I masked my weariness and greeted them nicely, I asked about the program and they said it was in another venue few blocks away from there. I thanked them and made to leave.
At this point, I was already exerted and the averagely short distance looked like a journey through the wilderness in the days of old!
It was not funny at all. My throat was patched dry and I could hardly walk. Memories of fresh drinking water back home, and everywhere else I could freely get it, tormented me.
I encouraged myself to be strong and in time got to this other venue only to find the gate closed. I was torn. I felt like crying. There were no shops or kiosks around to get water or anything, and home was now quite far away. With the level of my thirst, I could buy a sachet of water for ten times its actual price. If I can make it to the mall I could get a bottle of water to chill off but what if I died on the way? (LOL- I was sure I couldn’t die anyways, was just being dramatic…cos the thirst was so bad! Hahaha!) I felt lost and turned to leave.
Just on my way, to my right, I saw a young man who was outside a nearby building in which a conjugal event was ongoing. Guess what he was doing? Washing his hands with bottled water! Cold one! …I was dejected. This was me in dire need of water and this innocent wedding guest was being generous in making use of his, probably after devouring a piece of delicious beef.
…see life oo…
For a moment, I thought to walk into the ceremony and get myself a bottle likewise. Nobody will know I’m not a wedding guest, I said to myself. I dusted off the thought eventually, and resolved to test my endurance limit by making it down to the mall…like the superwoman that I am! LOL
At that moment, I started thinking…of how poor people watch the rich spend lavishly…oh! The pain in their heart! I can imagine the way I felt being very thirsty and watching a stranger use his own water. I felt cheated, unlucky…and should I say, unfortunate! Then, I began to understand better, how the less privileged in the society suffer in deep anguish for their lack, how the needy in their distress cry to God for help, and the destitute for reprieve and rest. Then I wondered…If only we all could feel their emotions and pains, maybe we would not be so quick to neglect them like we do. Maybe if we truly understood what it means to be in need and be helpless at a situation beyond our control, we would be eager to lend a helping hand to our fellow humans.
Truth is, someone who has ever being in a really bad situation won’t be able to turn away from anyone in a similar position without trying to help. And this is how we ought to relate with one another in these things…treating others as we would love to be treated. When we put ourselves in other’s shoes, perhaps we’d be more humane.
This is a simple example of being in dire need of water. And not getting it! I want you, also, to ponder on this.
Do you turn away those in need even when you have? Would you like that to be done to you? Someone who has once been naked will not hesitate to cloth another because they know exactly how it feels! Someone who has felt hunger and want before will not hesitate to share their meal or give of their substance to those who are in need. No wonder the Great Teacher, Jesus Christ, said to do to others what we would have them do to us! This is why it is important to put ourselves in other people’s position to know how best to respond to issues.
I write because a lot of us have forgotten where we have been and the pain we felt when in need ourselves, and have developed a heart not-so-tender to those in need. If I had gone into the wedding program and asked for water, I am not sure the response I would have gotten. Would I have met a kind heart who sees beyond everything else to meet my immediate need of quenching my thirst? Or would I have been turned away cos I am not ‘part’ of them or not on “aso-ebi” (a cultural uniform for wedding guests). I don’t know. I didn’t find out.
But I, being extremely thirsty on a very hot day, got reminded of an important lesson: sometimes, people find themselves in dire situations outside their control and we should learn to help and support people as much as we can. This makes us human.
A cup of water can bring such great relief to a thirsty soul.
A pair of sandals would be well appreciated by that poor kid on your street, who walks on hot ground barefooted.
The old woman next-door, whose children have abandoned, will be extremely grateful for a pack of meal that came in time.
Being mindful of one another, and taking time to be thoughtful and kind, will make this world a better place, a person at a time.
Who knows, that person looking sad and dejected is in need of something you can provide. Would you take the bold step to see if you could meet their need?
They will be glad! And their soul lifted up in praise to God and gratitude to you.
Matthew 25:40 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Let me know in the comments section times you found yourself in need of something and how you would that anyone could help! How did you make it through? What are your thoughts on being mindful of one another and lending a helping hand? Will love to hear from you!