Homage to helpful people
If I had the power to institute a day to commemorate something worthwhile, I would institute the “international day of helpful people.”
And I would bestow on deserving persons befitting honours for their labour of love.
The day would be “international” because the generosity of helpful people spans the globe, touching hearts and lifting up the vulnerable.
By “helpful people,” I’m referring to those who are supportive, caring, and accommodating—people who are ready to lend a helping hand to others.
Through such kind-hearted people, others have been assisted to move on in life, doors opened and opportunities extended to the helpless and needy.
We remember the setting all right: a relative or a parent’s friend who gave you a place to live while attending school. But for such people, life’s journey would have been more tedious and frustrating.
There was no middle school at Buamadumase to advance to when my mates and I were done with the primary level.
For many of my mates, that was the end of their education. With nowhere else to go, they dropped out of school, unfortunately.
My father had a close friend in the village whose first wife lived in the twin town of Adwinase-Abenase in the Ejisu District.
Maame Ama Dapaa received me warmly and was like mother to me at age 13 as I entered the good old middle school.
Today, I still salute Opanin Kofi Nantie, my father’s friend, and his wife who opened her home for me and others. They are no more, but for years now, their children and I are like siblings.
Then, while at Nalerigu to complete the middle school, I lived with the kind-hearted family friend Mba Salmanja and his family, along with several other boys they accommodated. To such people in our life, we pay the due homage.
You’ve probably remembered your own story. When growing up and schooling, with whom did you live away from your parents and home?
You certainly remember their acts of kindness and how but for their help you would probably not reach where you are today in life.
Recently when my wife and I worked on her biographical dateline, she was full of gratitude as she remembered her older brother Bright Alimoh and sister Felicia with whom she lived for schooling at different times.
For some people, the unfortunate story is that they lost a parent bread-winner or even both parents and had to be taken in by someone else.
One grateful lady told me how a relative she lived with when her parents passed away treated her like one of her own children; she was caring and supportive.
After middle school, I travelled to Tamale to find out what was in store for me in the world. Living with my sister Lamisa and her husband Damka for a while opened a wide door for further studies and training.
I know a couple whose home is like a guesthouse. Ever since I’ve known them for over two decades now, they’ve played hosts to young people from their families, the church and neighbourhood.
To all such people, Hebrews 6:10 says, “God is not unjust; He will not forget (their) work and the love (they) have shown Him as (they) have helped his people and continue to help them.”
Of course, I know stories of pain as young people who were placed in the care of relatives were mistreated. I wrote a novel titled Grief Child in which I traced the heart-rendering true story of a boy who suffered severe maltreatments in the hands of someone who was supposed to take care of him.
Also, we shouldn’t gloss over other situations where needy persons brought into a family display bad behaviour that destabilises the peace of the benevolent family.
However, despite these negative incidents, there are many positive stories about people who lived in peace with their benefactors, successfully pursued their education and are gainfully employed today.
As one good turn deserves another, it befits beneficiaries to return the good gesture by extending such helping hands to others.
One of the rewarding aspects of helping others is when, years later, you see them succeed in life. Several of those who have passed through our home still visit us with good news of their achievements.
This is especially gratifying when they learn from family devotions and good manners and become god-fearing and respectful.
You have no idea who you are helping for he or she may become a prominent person in society to help many others.
The writer is a publisher, author, writer-trainer and CEO of Step Publishers.