If you want something, go get it! Period!
- Will Smith in Pursuit of Happiness (2006)
Friday evening, at some minutes past 10, I was in church for vigil. I was searching for inspiration, I wanted something motivational I could write and share. Luckily, I found one.
Not from the pastor’s preaching or the choir’s rendition or the Holy Bible but from a kid — a little girl of Nursery 2 (about 4-5 years of age).
This girl’s kid sister was playing with a flashlight on a pile of plastic chairs with slightly concave seats and no arm rests. There was no electricity at that moment so she lit the flashlight to help her sight.
The flashlight has a semi-round top were its white LED bulbs come on; with a slim, almost-rectangular sides linking directly to the base where you could hold on to it. It’s one of those you can plug in directly to a power outlet to charge. So, even at the base it has its in-built plug that you could slide in and out, which makes the base not outrightly parallel if you were to place it on a flat surface.
So you should know how herculean a task it could be for a girl of 3 years to balance or find an equilibrium for that kind of flashlight, on that kind of chair.
More so, an elderly person sighting her meant an abrupt end to her ‘experiment’ or ‘meaningless play’ (as most Nigerian adults would say). “Stop that! What if you drop it on the floor and it shatters into pieces?” would be the natural comment of well-meaning and disciplined folks.
But who can blame her, she does not know any better. She was not old enough to distinguish her right from her left. Anyway, that’s not where I’m headed.
She was lucky anyways, as the only audience she had at that time was me (I thought),and I was weirdly fascinated by what she proposed doing, probably because I graduated as a Physicist and she reminded me of ‘equilibrium of forces’, so, I was grinning helplessly by now.
She tried and tried but it kept falling, she just couldn’t find an equilibrium without having an extra support for it. Then I drew closer giving her smiles of approval and ‘come on, you can do this!’. Nah…I didn’t help her out. I tried anyway but I could not as well. I was only trying to push her to try harder, it was not my job to do.
Then the elder sister (the Nursery 2 pupil) came closer, she apparently had been seeing us struggling with it and was smiling gleefully too as she approached us. She took charge, offering a helping hand to her kid sis and started her own tussle with finding equilibrium for the flashlight all to no avail.
“I will give you fifty naira if you can balance the base of this flashlight on this plastic chair”. Yes, that’s me (I’m feeling like a motivator right now).
I challenged her, I set her tender brains working. Of course, fifty naira is a big deal to a 5 year-old.
Seconds after, this girl hit the big idea! She took the flashlight off the plastic chair, cleaned the surface of its seat with her palm of very small surface area, making sure the concave seat was free from dirt or dust of any kind. Then she tried once more… and yes! You guessed right. She nailed the ass of the flashlight straight and balanced on the seat of the plastic chair. Against all odds!
To be sure it was not a fluke, I inspected it, took the flashlight off the chair and handed it over to her again to repeat what she had just done. And she did it again. That was awesome! I took it from her and tried also. And I did it too; she obviously had paved the way, that’s the spirit of pacesetting.
She has in her what Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong Church calls ‘the spirit of a pioneer’.
I was impressed but not to the extent of adding to the fifty naira I earlier promised though.
At this point, the kid sis also tried again but she just could not do it, and was no longer interested in achieving that feat again, all she wanted was her own fifty naira. Well, later I told the elder to give out ten naira of the money to her little sister. She went on to give her the whole lot and asked her sister to return forty naira to her. Hmmm…that completely won me over!
I hope you find your own lessons to draw from this! There are just so many to highlight one after the other.
Kindly drop your ‘afterthoughts’ in the comment box, share with us your unique view –they matter a lot! Have a pleasant week!