The Signs We Don’t See

 

ignore sign 3Recently I watched a movie where this guy had just had a terrible day. He lost his job, got beat up by thugs and was practically fed up with his “mediocre” life as he succinctly put it. After having an argument with his wife that evening, he left the house frustrated.

Driving on a highway, he decided to call on God. He asked God for help, unknown to him, there was a sign post that read “caution ahead”, but he didn’t see it. Still driving frustrated and desperate, he was still talking to God and asking him for a sign. Just then, a big truck drove in front of him with different road signs sticking around it, the most obvious sign being the ‘stop’ sign.

This guy drove around the truck still asking God for a miracle. Not long after, he was distracted for some seconds and he drove into a lamp post on the roadside.

Guess what? He blamed God for the accident (although he was unscathed).

Most of us (me inclusive), have done, are doing or might do (hopefully not, after this post) exactly what that guy did. There are signs everywhere that God has placed around us to help us navigate our lives just so we don’t fall into the ditch. The sad thing is we either don’t see them, or we choose to ignore them.

 

I was returning home from school one afternoon and my friends and I were waiting for a tricycle (popularly known as keke marua in Nigeria). One tricycle stopped for us but for one reason or the other (I can’t remember clearly the reason), we didn’t enter it. We decided to walk the first part of the journey. We hadn’t walked up to five minutes and behold, ahead of us was the tricycle we rejected lying on its side on the road. It had been involved in an accident (thank God it wasn’t ghastly). Whatever happened, I don’t know, but I was grateful to God for sparing me.

This is a wake-up call to you reading this. Be grateful for what you have and where you are. Trust God to take you to that expected end. Stop ignoring the signs and start being perceptive and discerning because ignoring the signs either intentionally or not, is a recipe for disaster.

 

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THE CLEANING LADY

IMG-20160325-WA002 Hello, everyone! It’s been a while since I posted. I won’t even say I was busy because that is the excuse everyone gives for not doing something. There’s something I’ve been meaning to talk about though. An experience I believe is worth sharing.

During the Easter, I attended a church convention where I worked in the sanitation department. It was a humbling experience for me. I was picking up trash, cleaning toilets, sweeping and mopping floors. I was usually exhausted at the end of the day to say the least. How I managed to thrive on three hours of sleep baffles me till today.

There’s this expression that you don’t notice how many people limp until you start limping.  This was true in my case. I had not realized how tough it is to be a sanitation worker until that time.

Beginning with picking up trash around the convention ground at intervals, I had run-ins with people of different characters. Some appreciated us, others were downright rude. Whenever someone was rude or annoying, I’d just think back to someone who was nice and it reduced the hurt or anger depending on my mood.

In the morning on the second day, we had just cleaned, and the floor was wet. I decided to watch the floor till it dried so people won’t mess it up. A young man was about to walk on it when I told him the floor was wet. He replied by saying I shouldn’t worry and he walked on the floor. I was livid and had to calm myself down. It just made me realize how people are to sanitation workers.

The third day, I was at the toilet, monitoring the place to make sure people flushed and was cleaning the place at intervals. Some ladies would not want to flush just because they only peed. It was surprising to notice that odd behavior but I didn’t blame them because they didn’t know.

In the process, I learnt many life lessons. I learnt to be patient, calm and tolerant in dealing with people. I am not a patient person by nature but the experience helped me. It humbled me so much. When I initially donned my uniform and gloves, I felt a little bit shy and local. I was saying to myself, you’re an intelligent undergraduate student and you’re looking like a local person. With time, I dropped that notion and I embraced the job with joy.

I thought back to those people out there who do this everyday, for years even,  just to support their family. I salute and appreciate them so much. We all should do the same. They deserve it.

I made a new friend during the program and she was so sweet. My fellow sanitation members were caring and nice and we looked out for each other.

Not just anyone can be a sanitation worker because it is a humbling job for humble people.

 

 

AFRICAN TIME

I got to class at 8:02am only to realise that I was the only one who had arrived for the Investigative Journalism class that was to start at 8:00am.

It is common knowledge that an African man is never on time. This is so much so that, Africans now have their very own special time. You all know what I’m talking about, it is called “African Time”. This is the time that a good number of us go by (correct me if I’m wrong).

African time is simply being an hour or two late. I know some might defend themselves by saying they are being “fashionably late”, but that is just wrong. Nowadays, even in invitation cards to seminars/conferences, immediately after the time slot, you’ll see in a bracket, “No african time”.  Despite those three words, people still walk in two hours late. This is the main reason why most African events never start on time. time quote

If you had a very important job interview by 7:00am, I’m sure you’ll be there guaranteed by 6:30am. imagine if it was for a contract worth millions, I won’t be surprised if you got there two hours early. 

Every meeting you have is important, so consider it as such. Yes! even if it’s a meeting with a friend. Some might give the excuse of the other person not being punctual by nature, still, make it a habit. Once people begin to see how serious you are with your time, they start to take you seriously. It even gives you an air of importance and you are respected. 

My Lecturer once told me that he always got to a meeting at least 5-15 minutes early. Whether the meeting started on time or not, after about an hour or two, he would stand up and leave. I have decided to start doing the same. It shows that your time is valuable and precious to you and to everyone. 

William Penn says, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst”. Let’s value our time.