Today, I met a woman who taught me a lot and I will tell you her story…
She is married to a man who holds a blue-collar job. A man she has been married to for over 15 years.. Together, they have two beautiful, smart girls.
For these girls, they will do anything.
In their living room, you can’t do a full spin without bumping into a chair. Her husband cannot afford to buy a pair of good shoes for church because he’d rather put that money towards their saving for their girls’ school fees for the next term (they enrolled them in one of the best schools within their neighborhood…far above what is comfortable to afford), she, at some point, had to whip out her tools and become a road side food seller to support her husband towards their education.
She said, without stuttering, “I live only for them and I will do anything for them…anything!”.
On her husband, she said “I love him so much and I’m so glad God gave him to me, he is a loving, caring man, who does everything for his family. Even my relatives ask how we do it because if you see my children, you will not know they came from us”.
And she has dreams for them….big dreams, both her girls, who as of now, still haven’t decided what they want to become in future 🙂 They’re still at the stage where they change their mind every time they see something new or someone they admire on TV.
She wants them to, after their primary education, school in a neighboring African country for their secondary education, because she likes the way they speak and for their University education, she has said they will study in the UK.
But this is not the point of this story, although her words taught me a few things;
– Love has nothing to do with a bottomless pot of money.
– Anything is possible as long as you believe.
– Children are an extension of you, and it is important to ensure they get where you could not…they shouldn’t be limited by what limited you.
Ok, back to the point…you see, at the end of our conversation, very easily, without over thinking it and without me even realizing the topic had changed, she began to talk about God; she said it is important to live right because no one really knows how much time he/she has, she said all that is important is to make heaven, and that God will continue to give us the grace to live within His will as eternity in Heaven is the ultimate goal.
Because she didn’t even ask me if I was a Christian or not, it struck me that to her, it didn’t matter who I was, sitting in her living room – Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, she was simply talking about what she believed in, not in a forceful way, but with a passion that could only come from true belief. How did we even get to this topic? I wondered.
But I’m glad we got to that topic because it made me think;
– How many times have I held back my thoughts, opinions, beliefs because I felt people around me will be uncomfortable?
– In meetings sometimes, I keep quiet because I think people around the table will raise an eyebrow and wonder how I got there, so I simply stay quiet and have the conversations with myself.
– In gatherings sometimes, I hold back from disagreeing with certain things because I wonder if people will shut me out and label me weird, so I just keep quiet, smile, nod and say “I know what you mean”.
My encounter with this amazing woman taught me that what I believe is what I believe, it doesn’t change whether I keep quiet about it or shout about it, but you see, the chance that I will make a difference in someone’s life or add value to a process is incredibly limited if I keep my mouth shut.
For others out there like me, let’s do this, shall we?…the next time you find yourself in one of those situations where you wonder whether you should say what you think or not. Do the following;
- Craft it in the most considerate/sensitive way possible (as the situation demands).
- Ask yourself what the worst is that can happen
- Take a deep breath
- SAY WHAT YOU THINK!
Remember to come back here to tell us how it went 🙂