You have probably read of the wealthy Igbo woman who scorned her neighbour because she was poor and came borrowing severally.
One day, the latter came borrowing as usual but was told off rudely. She returned to her house humiliated but determined to have nothing to do with her wealthy but proud and inconsiderate neighbour.
True wealth is not in the number of riches you’ve accumulated, it is the product of a wealthy/wholesome lifestyle.
Then, through an unexpected twist of events, the wealthy woman needed a cooking ingredient which though common as water, was not to be found in any part of her house that day. She didn’t have enough time to rush to the market to get one as the soup was already on the cooker. Self-judging but having no other option, she turned to her neighbour for help. Though still embarrassed to think of their last encounter, her kind neighbour, who had suffered ill-treatment, overlooked her ordeal and focused on the present crisis.
She gave her neighbour what she needed, without recalling the embarrassing event, whether at heart or on her face. Knowing she didn’t deserve the gesture in any way, this wealthy woman gratefully accepted and left her neighbour’s threshold a wealthier woman than when she arrived, not only because of the ingredient she’d received but also because she had learnt a valuable life lesson and would become a better person as a result.
And isn’t that true wealth, the true wealth we all should earnestly seek after?
Now, on to my experience at becoming wealthy.
I’m intelligent, beautiful, confident and outspoken. Added to this is a good knowledge of the Bible due to the fact that I hardly miss church services or personal Bible study periods. Now, because of the qualities mentioned above, I had a tendency to assume I was better than the average person; I might not show it outwardly but it was there in my heart nevertheless.
Due to my diligence in church matters, I was soon appointed the leader of a small group. Though it was an extra duty, I was pleased and went about leading my group as I saw fit.
Note that the key word here is ‘I’.
Even though I was to appoint subordinates and groom them to take over from me when I stepped down or became unavailable, I still ended up manipulating things to work out according to my plans.
One day, there was to be a small program which members of the group had agreed to after I had suggested it, I planned every detail of the program and worked round the clock to make sure it was perfect and fun; It was supposed to be evaluated by a superior and I wanted to prove myself.
The hour of the program came and went; no one showed up. I was desperate, I couldn’t leave the venue as I had no one to stay on guard. To make matters worse, I couldn’t start going around at that hour to start searching for my group members. I dialled their numbers over and over but there was no response from any of them.
Finally, when the hour had passed, one of the members showed up and gave a flimsy excuse, then left almost immediately in the face of my anger and harsh words. The one fortunate thing that happened that day was the no-show of my superior. She too, fortunately, or unfortunately, had been held down in another program held the same day by another group.
The next meeting day, I was miffed at my group members and planned to give them a talk down, I wasn’t expecting their reactions. Apparently, it had been decided by all of them that they wouldn’t show up at the event but they didn’t tell me about it, partly because they didn’t want to incur my anger and forceful suggestions or demands and partly because they were tired of my bossy attitude.
They reminded me that they hadn’t really wanted to hold the program but I wouldn’t be dissuaded. I was, to say the least, shocked! I left the meeting that day devastated; someone else had to take over from me as I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for discussions and pep talk.
When my superior got wind of it, it was another session of revelation. She apologised for not showing up but said it was probably for the best. Then she said I should work on having another program, one that my members could feel a part of and contribute to as well.
I wasn’t willing to try again but at her insistence, I went back to the group and after a lot of cajoling from my superior and apologies from me, they agreed but demanded that it be on their terms, I readily agreed. The toll the last preparation had taken on me was still fresh on my mind.
A few weeks later, the program held, and I must confess that I was pleasantly surprised. The members had organised the program amongst themselves and each person had been assigned a role. I saw otherwise shy, taciturn members display that day I had quite a number of good laughs. We gathered around for group photographs and till today, those memories and pictures are dear to me.
I left the event that day concluding that I had been truly unfair, selfish and inconsiderate in my dealings with my partners. They were supposed to learn from me but I hadn’t given them much chance. Then, through an unexpected and shocking twist of events, God had used them to open my eyes to see what I could lose when I force people to do things my ways alone.
Since that day, I became a wealthier person in my relationships with people: shy, outspoken, bright, not-too-bright, young, old, and all sorts of people.
One other lesson I learnt was the need to let people be what they are best suited for. They will enjoy themselves, I will enjoy myself and we’ll all be better for it.
Lastly, let people make their choices even if you think they’re making the wrong ones. To you, it’s stupid; to them, maybe not. Know that some people would rather make wrong decisions to slight you rather than follow that seemingly right one which you want them to make.
There’s nothing like deserved loyalty. Earn it and men will be yours: body, spirit and all.
Thanks for reading, I hope you learnt a thing or two.