Have you ever been barefacedly insulted because you did something exciting? No? Good for you. I have.
I was probably in junior high school then. I got into a conversation with a boy in lower primary school, on our way home one day.
The boy’s intelligence and depth of knowledge impressed me and I tried to test his limits.
I began asking him to translate words from Ewe to English. I threw at him, the Ewe word “gate”, and he was stunned for a moment.
“Gate” means “cornmill”. He clearly didn’t know the answer but managed to come up with “maize machine”.
I examined the answer in my head and realized he was technically right. Corn is maize and a mill is a machine.
The boy won my respect and I decided to reward him with some cash that was left on me.
About three days later, I met this boy again, around the same spot. This time, however, he was walking with an older boy about the same age as I.
The older one beckoned on me to approach and slapped me with a statement I least expected.
“This boy said you’re so foolish that you give him money when he answers a question correctly”.
I stared hard in the young boy’s face and saw, “yeah, I said that but who cares”, written all over it.
For some reason, I was neither moved nor offended. Right then, I asked him another question which he got wrong. And I told him, I’d have dashed out more money if he had it correctly.
The few times this incident played back in my mind, I wondered whether I was so stupid indeed or it was something else at work.
Then I came to discover that in life, it is better to exude good morals regardless of the dictates of the outside world, than conform to the world’s instructions.
Don’t allow your environment to spoil your character. Don’t, in retaliation to a bad treatment, cultivate a misconduct in yourself.
Keep your virtues no matter what. They are priceless.
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