I was terrified, to say the least. What would have been the reason Opanyin Baadu would summon me to his house?
This was a man who is highly respected and revered in the village and the last elder everyone resorted to for conflict resolution.
Tried as I could, I was unable to figure out what I might have done to someone to report a teenager like me to Opanyin Baadu.
As I had heard many times before in the village, if you are summoned to the Chief’s palace and you don’t remember your wrong, ask your manhood. I bothered not to ask mine because that little organ at the time had not ‘’seen’’ anything before in its entire life.
‘’My son, I have observed you for some time and I have noticed that you are different from most of your peers in the village. I want to encourage you to continue the good work. Be respectful, work hard and shun alcoholism and womanizing. Never forget where you come from and let that motivate you to greater heights’’.
These were his words to me on the day I made it to his house. This day changed my life in many ways and I have always been grateful to the Oldman for his wise counsel. I go to see him any time I visit Kwamoano.
From my parents who gave and taught me the basics to the folks who helped in diverse ways during my school days, I have always been grateful to them.
From the lady who knew me from nowhere but gave me the first opportunity in mining to the many lovely and experienced professionals who have taken me under their wings and have nurtured me to this day, I owe it all to such people.
I have met people in Church, at bus stations, airports and other places and they have become great inspiration in my life.
Every stage of my life has enjoyed one opportunity or another offered by people and society and being mindful of this makes me humble and appreciative.
I was talking to a young business executive the other evening and oh my gosh! I haven’t experienced such a braggadocios moment in my life, ever. This chap was full of himself and sounded as if no one has ever had a hand in his life. He just went on and on and on.
There are many people like that in society today and I dare say that’s not a cool sign, is it?
Folks, wherever you are and whatever you do today, someone has directly or indirectly had a hand in it.
Someone gave you your first deal or contract although there were many firms or businesses that were equally qualified. Someone had the confidence in you and gave you the first shot in corporate career even though there were many candidates who were more experienced and better qualified.
The good book says it better in I Corinthians 4:7, ‘’…what do you have that you were not given…’’
Truly, a life of gratitude is a life full of humility.
Take a moment today to appreciate all the people who have had a hand in your current being. Your basic school teacher who left her own children to make your educational success her priority, the driver who defied the rains to pick you up that rainy day and the janitor who takes pride in ensuring that the washrooms are clean all the time at work.
Forget not the immense contribution from your family and from your society, for they have together shaped you to be what and who you are today.
To quote Zig Ziglar, ‘’ Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will even have more to express gratitude for’’.
Today, I humbly ask you to pause and express gratitude for you do not live on an island all by yourself.