It was one of the most horrible experiences of my adult life several years ago when a bitter ex-girlfriend reported me to some people she knew in one of the Armed forces for what I didn’t do. I will save you the details on what actually went down save to say that the matter gave me sleepless nights but eventually the officers at the base saw that it was a vendetta agenda/false accusation and dismissed it immediately. I still shudder at the extent this lady went just because our relationship went sour. However, she later made peace with me before I left that zone.
“…we must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.” Martin Luther king Jr.
Several months later while driving through Ojuelegba, (a street in Lagos, Nigeria) guess who I saw? – The lady who falsely accused. I parked the car and called out her name. After exchanging pleasantries, I now reminded her of the incident months back and also gave her a little lecture/advice on how small the world is and why we should always treat each other fairly. Any way, I gave her a ride to where she was going.
Where I am going with all these, is just to let you know that in life you shouldn’t mal-treat people just because you have the power or connections to do so. The evil you do and thought you have escaped will/may catch up with you somehow. You never know who you would meet in a “no man’s land”. You can never tell whose help you will require tomorrow also. On your way out, don’t slam the door or burn the bridge because that may be the only bridge available to you in future.
I recall the story of a company executive who was reported to be very wicked to the staff under his care. Many years after he had retired and left his position his son went for an interview at a particular place. I was told he was at the last stage of the interview when he was asked by one of the interviewers if he was related to a certain family. He answered in the affirmative. The man now told him to go back home and tell his father that he met MR XYZ (name withheld ) and that as long he (MR XYZ) remains an executive in that organisation, the boy will never be employed there. Why, wickedness of the boy’s father to others when he had the power over them. As they say, the chicken has come to roost.
“People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they cast on the waters comes floating back to them poisoned”- James A Baldwin.
Yes you may not acted the same way if it was you, I agree, but that was what happened. He lost the job opportunity because of something that preceded him. Whatsoever a man sows the same shall he reap is what the Christian Bible tells us. Whether you call it Karma, Retributive Justice etc, any evil you do does not end the day you did it.
Experience has shown me in life that people who were once in authority can become men of zero position. The very rich have become the very poor and the very poor have become extremely rich. No condition is permanent. Life has shown us Landlords who have become tenants to their former tenants even there have been cases of tenants who bought the houses of their former landlord due to economic adversities that came . Great men have fallen from Olympian heights to the grassroots. Treat people fairly. Be merciful to people as one day, you may require mercy too.
I remember another story shared with me by my Hausa gateman called Nasiru. As an okada rider (bike rider) he carried a man of Ibo extraction to a particular location and when the brother disembarked at the agreed destination he told this Hausa boy that he had no money for the fare. Nasiru said he wanted to be angry but when he saw that the brother had a genuine case he decided that the brother should go without paying. Whilst he was waiting for maybe another passenger, he noticed that the Ibo boy did not have the fare to enter ABA motor (a town close to Port Harcourt) and was begging the bus drivers going in that direction but no one listened to him. Nasiru then went back to the brother and asked him if truly he doesn’t have the fare to get out of town. He answered yes. He said he now gave him N150:00 which was the fare required that day and rode his bike away from the place. Several months later, Nasiru said he rode his bike to ABA town to transact some business and as he was returning, he accidentally knocked down a boy who crossed the road without observing the traffic. He said in a few seconds a huge crowd had gathered around him with sticks and stones ready to start lynching him. Guess who was the first person to raise a stick. The passenger he helped few months back. As the huge stick was about to land on his head, their eyes met and the stick froze in the man’s hand. He cried out “aboki na you” ? (Meaning, my friend are you the one I am seeing). “Don’t touch him o”. He warned the crowd. “This is the Hausa man that I told you paid my fare from Port Harcourt several months back when I was stranded” . Nasiru said this was what saved his life. This brother quietened the crowd. Promised the wounded boy that he would pay for his treatment and sat with him (Nasiru on his bike) as he quickly led him out of the accident scene till they got to the outskirts of ABA to ensure he was safe. He later called in the evening to find out if Nasiru was okay and to report that the boy he knocked down was also alright.
Message be good to people. The man you help today may be your solution tomorrow. When Nasiru refused to get angry the day the Ibo boy didn’t pay for the fare and he even went ahead to pay for the Ibo boy’s transport to ABA he didn’t know that he was redeeming his life from instant death that day.
You maybe at the top today. Use that position to build people not pull them down. You never know what tomorrow may bring. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Don’t talk to people any how. That someone is not a big man does not mean he can’t make a positive input into your life. At times, you can even forgo your rights to help another. Kindness is a virtue that we all should imbibe and practice.
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