FOUR years ago, I got the opportunity to intern with one of the reputable investment banks in Ghana. As an individual who wasn’t from a very well-to-do home, I had grown up struggling with an inferiority complex. This internship was my first shot at work, and the work environment was very challenging for me because of the kind of colleagues I met.
These were people from very rich homes who had had a lot of exposure and experience I couldn’t imagine. I recall that one day, all the interns were invited to a meeting by one of the senior staff members.
During the meeting, I was made an object of ridicule by the senior staff for no reason.
I felt very embarrassed, sad and angry because I knew I was trying to build a life, therefore, my lack wasn’t supposed to be a reason for someone to mock me. I left the meeting with my head down and intentions of quitting my internship.
Contrary to this experience, we had a staff called Ruth King. She was with the HR department. She would come to my office most of the mornings, check on me, and sometimes make fun of me. She would worry (in a positive sense) me whenever she met me and she always approached me with a smile.
With all the struggles I was having with my complex, she made me want to stay without knowing. By being unconditionally nice to me, I was undergoing a healing process she knew nothing about. In other words, her being human to me helped me fight my secret battle. Today, I look back and thank God that she was with the firm when I got there.
In the animal kingdom, the elephant, antelope and other animals are the lions’ answered prayer. The lion doesn’t need to pray for food as long as these animals are available. To humans, some insects are our worst enemies but the praying mantises, scorpions, etc. “love” them because their existence depends on them. This dependence in the animal kingdom is similar to what Urie Bronfenbrenner describes in his ecological systems theory of child development.
Simply put, this theory “explains how everything in a child and the child's environment affects how a child grows and develops. He labelled different aspects or levels of the environment that influence children's development, including the microsystem, the mesosystem, the exosystem and the macrosystem.”
I, for one, think that this process goes on in adolescence and adulthood in a slightly different way. An anonymous writer agrees by saying: “People need to learn that their actions do affect other people. So be careful what you say and do, it’s not always just about you.”
From when we wake up to when we go to bed and even in our sleep, we affect others directly and indirectly. This means that whether we like it or not, how we feel, what we say, what we do, how our life turns out doesn’t affect only us.
I stand to be corrected but I don’t think it isn’t right for anyone to say, “Leave me alone and let me live my life anyhow I want to” because of how intertwined we are as a people.
Imagine being on board a flight and hearing the pilot say, “All my life, I have been living for others but it ends right now.”
This may come to some as a surprise but your success is someone’s answer to their prayer.
Think about it, when medical students ace their final exam and are happy because they’ve become medical doctors, little do consider that by becoming a doctor, they would be the answer to many families because of the lives they would have saved. Interesting enough, these families weren’t there when they were struggling with their coursework.
Some of these medical students even go for loans to pay their fees. You can’t afford to fail in life. Too many people are waiting for you.
On a daily basis, people desperately need your presence to be happy. Someone is in dire need of your smile to be encouraged. Others need a hug from you today to feel safe.
You have to be nice to people regardless of what is going on in your life. You are the answer to their prayers.
Can everybody be unconditionally nice to others such as Ruth was to me? People are hurting. Others are fighting battles they are ashamed to tell others about.
Some are also looking up to you. Regardless, you being human is the answer to someone’s prayer today. Know that people depend on you whether you like it or not.