I had an encounter today that really inspired me. An experience that really changed my perception about the journey called ‘life’. I sailed in the company of knowledgeable colleagues and experts, across the shores and borders of Rivers State, to Akwa Ibom State, all in Nigeria.
As we sailed huddle-free, through the potholes-free roads of the city, amidst the comic extravaganza supplied by one of our guests on board the natural AC-fitted bus, I noticed something on the busy pedestrian lane. A small girl, she looked in her late sixteen, selling oranges. Ordinarily one would ask, “What is so spectacular about a girl of sixteen selling oranges?” trust me, in this case, as you read on, the answers would come naturally to your conscience.
The site of this little girl broke my heart; I have not felt so downtrodden in a long time. I felt so sober that my eyes could only respond, as I blinked, by letting go of the waters it had in them. She was, despite being scotched by the sun which was shinning as though it was in a contest, struggling to make sales. Our bus sailed past her and immediately made a turn at the next curve. It occurred to me that we had arrived our destination – the famous Ibom Hall. We had arrived just in time for the seminar which promised to have the best of resource persons from all areas of Internet Marketing and Networking Business.
We were ushered to our seats in grandeur and the chilled conditioning of the hall made me wonder if I had just alighted a flight in Australia. Thoughts of the girl I saw outside kept me in a state that would have rendered my stay in the seminar a waste because my concentration had gone on a sojourn of no quick return. I took a walk out to the streets in search of the little girl. Luckily she was barely a few blocks away. Relief greeted my heart as though seeing her had changed her situation. Then it dawned on me that little Prisca, as her named turned out to be, was not just in rags; she was also blind.
Despite these challenges, Prisca had a smile of an angel and looked neat even in rags. “Customer buy oranges!” was her first words to me as she sensed the presence of a potential client. Her tone melted my heart more and I bought some oranges. I asked if I could join her and she obliged without hesitation. She had a clean bench to serve as seat under the palm tree that formed her shade.
We had not discussed far and I couldn’t hold back a few tears. Prisca had just lost both parents in an accident that almost took her too but only succeeded in taking her eyes. She has been abandon to fend for herself and she has quickly adapted to her new condition. In the few minutes I spent talking to Prisca, I must confess, I learnt enough. I learnt, in tears; my heart bled that in over two decades of my existence, a girl of that age could teach me something of that magnitude.
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I asked what motivated her and she told me that she inspired herself to whatever she is doing today. She said she developed a slogan to guide her. “Giving up is a sin” she told me in smiles. She taught me that giving up is as grave a sin as fornication and the likes. I find that discussion worthy of sharing because of the lessons I learnt. Albeit, I will only outline the key lessons and I believe at the end of this post, you would have learnt why giving up is a sin.
From creation, notwithstanding the religious perspective you want to view it, the Creator has never given up on man despite man’s shortcomings. If the Creator has chosen not to give up on you, why should you give up on yourself? Do you not know that if you give up on yourself you will be letting the Creator down? Do you not know that letting the Creator down is a sin?
I was wowed by this analogy. Prisca broke my bones with her perfect analogy. I agreed immediately that giving up is a sin. She did not stop there; she gave further reasons why it is a sin and bad for anybody to give up .
Apart from the fact that giving up amounts to letting the Creator down, you do not know who is watching and you cannot afford to be the reason anybody should let the Creator down. Even a lizard knows this; have you seen a lizard give up before?. A lizard climbs up a wall, and in attempts to climb higher, falls down to the ground; it nods its head in encouragement and starts climbing from the scratch again. It does that because it does not know who may be watching; it is not discouraged by the fact that it will have to climb all over again. Do not be discouraged because of your challenges or your failures; your not being discouraged may encourage and inspire somebody somewhere. YOU DO NOT KNOW WHO IS WATCHING!!
Prisca told me a story about how her not giving up despite her challenges has inspired many around her. She said recently a woman approached her to thank her for inspiring her children. In life you never know who is watching you, you may never know who you may be inspiring by not giving up despite the challenges and your many failures; just know it that somebody is watching you. It does not matter where you find yourself, it may your friend, your siblings or a distant admirer; you just can’t tell! Giving up is not an option and should not be an option.
“When I started selling oranges around this area, I was the only person selling oranges here; but look around and you will see how selling of oranges has turned the major line of trade in this area”. Truly, as I looked around, what I noticed made me wonder if I really have a life. A girl of her age, not minding her challenge and not deterred by her disability, has inspired over seven persons into starting a trade. Amongst these persons were two disabled persons (two young men who had no legs).
My colleagues had a swell time in that seminar, but trust me, I would miss it over and over again just to learn what I have learnt from little Prisca. At the end, I have learnt that giving up is a letdown on the Creator and that I do not have to give up because I do not know who might be watching.
What is that situation you have found yourself? How hard is life throwing stones at you? Do you know that the Creator has not given up on you? Trust me; if little Prisca can do it, you have no reason at all to give up. Keep fighting hard, you just do not want to let the Creator down and also discourage that person who is watching you and is being inspired and encouraged by your struggles. Giving up is a sin!!