Perhaps it’s a Nigerian thing, but in my clime, we have a habit of asking people to partake of our meal. You come across as uncultured when you don’t beckon on those around you to share your food with you.
Of course, on most occasions, the act is merely perfunctory. The one who invites you doesn’t mean it. Deep down, he doesn’t want you to shorten his ration. He is only fulfilling all righteousness.
Meanwhile, the norm is that those called to join in the meal will decline the offer. The call is just a display of courtesy or social grace by the caller. Only on rare occasions will you see someone who takes the offer literally and partake.
Well, I was once a victim of such an exception to the norm and it wasn’t funny.
I’ll share the story with you…
It was back in my high school days, during one of our break times. I had visited the food vendor and bought a place of rice for lunch.
Rather than go to an isolated place to enjoy my meal, I chose to sit among my peers, right at the vendor’s stand. As expected, I feigned niceness by calling them to partake of my meal.
Guys, join me in eating o, I mumbled
Hardly had the words left my mouth when the rascals descended on my food. Cutlery materialised from nowhere. Those who couldn’t get one nearby helped themselves to the food with bare hands. Before I could spell ‘goodness’, my precious meal was over. The foodlums had cleared the plate of the last grain.
I doubt if I had 4 spoonfuls before it finished. I was hungry for the rest of the school day.
That day, I made a promise to myself never to ask a soul to partake of my meal going forward, even if such an individual really needs it. Never again!
You find it cruelly hilarious, right? Well, it was infuriating at the time.
I shared the experience because I wanted you to have a good laugh. We live in difficult times, so we can do with some humour now and again.
However, beyond the humour, there is a message to draw from the story.
That incident made me resolve never to ask anyone to partake of my meal – not even someone in dire need of something to eat.
Once bitten twice shy. I had been nice to folks and they had taken advantage of it. They made me feel miserable for my good gesture, and this pushed me to the extreme.
I wasn’t upset because they dared to eat the food with me. After all, I invited them to partake of it. What incensed me was that they went overboard in their participation. What happened to leaving a good share of the meal for the owner to eat?
The experience brought out the worst in me.
Bringing it Home
It happens to the best of us. In most cases, the circumstances will be weightier than that of the experience I shared…
- You lend people money and most do not pay it back.
- You give counsel to a friend and it backfires on you.
- You go the extra mile for someone and they end up rubbishing your effort.
- You are always been nice to people but you seem to be always treated unfairly…
Then you say, Never again!
Truth is, we do not have control over how people respond to our good deeds. Some will be grateful for it while others will make us feel like fools for it. We, however, can control our reactions to their responses.
No matter what, never regret an act of kindness, even when it goes south. Just some respond unfairly to acts of kindness doesn’t make being kind outdated.
Know these, Know Peace…
- No matter how small, an act of kindness never go unnoticed.
- It’s never about you but entirely about the other.
- Never have high expectations concerning the good you do. People will be people.
- Not everyone appreciates kindness. Some are just terrible humans.
- The reward for your good deed will not always come from the recipients.
- Be kind anyway. Sometimes, the thought of your goodness is all the satisfaction you need.
- It doesn’t always have to come with a reward.
- Being kind isn’t the same as being gullible, stupid and vulnerable.
- Be discerning. Know those who only want to take advantage of you, and avoid them.
- God’s the rewarder of all.