You are nothing, you are worth nothing.
Watching Tyler Perry’s Madea’s neighbor from hell resonated deep within me. How often we think people and even ourselves worthless in certain environment. How feelings like that make us feel helpless and unwanted, and how as people the desire to be needed by someone somewhere is inherent, but sometimes we feel like we have nothing to offer.
Every day during devotion at work, my boss would always insist that every one of us gave an input after the passage from the bible was read. Of course that suggestion was met with initial resistance. Not many felt like they had something worthwhile to contribute by way of a message, but overtime and with relentless efforts, everyone has begun to pitch in even without being asked. It has accomplished in itself opening a pathway to greater communication, and right at its core, a salient truth: Everyone has something to share.
We have been created in the image of the greatest being, and that being—God has placed within us gold that should be mined; milk that should be drunk by others. We cheat ourselves and the world when we deny ourselves the chance to share what we’ve got; what we have learned from nature, nurture and our vast experiences in the ocean called life. What the tides have taught us, and how each ripple has affected us. I find that life is a lot more enjoyable when we are not scared to live. When we are ready to teach and learn. When we learn that everywhere we go lies a need to be discovered and it is our duty to find how much of a difference we can make.
“There are scores of people waiting for someone like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our encouragement, who will need our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give”—Leo Buscaglia
More importantly those lessons can come from anywhere, even places we least expect to receive them. That sometimes the student may turn around to become the teacher, so we must learn to pay attention to one another.
On occasions I am taken back to my year in a small village in Benue state where I served my country. I am transported to an image of myself throwing pieces of bread to the mother goat and her kids, my neighbors who sought shelter in the cool shade from the scorching heat of the sun. Of how I tried every day to get them to feed off my outstretched palm and the feeling of helplessness when they got tired of me and went away. Then a girl of 6 whose class I coached in the Christmas carol competition just weeks before, teaching me how to approach these animals, make them get used to my presence, the sound of my voice, patience, persistence, engendering trust from these animals, and in time the fruits of all that effort came. I finally got them to feed. This lesson has helped in my relationship with people too.
Some of the greatest lessons we learn don’t come from big gestures but the little ones.
No man is worthless; within everyone lays a gold mine. We must be willing to build confidence in ourselves and share what we have irrespective of how insignificant we think they are.
Let your feet leave an imprint in the sands of hearts.