I was an average student and during one of my school years, I barely scraped through, scoring 35 out of 100 in one subject and failing terribly, scoring 17 out of 100 in the second subject. When I saw my results, I choked and started wondering what I am going to say to Grandma? I thought to myself, ‘I can probably try and manage Grandma, but what about Uncle?’
I reached home with anxiety and fear but I had no choice but to discuss the results. I was afraid, not knowing what would be the outcome. Grandma was cutting some vegetables to prepare dinner for the evening. I sat very close to her and she detected that something was amiss, as she slowed down the speed of cutting the vegetables.
I told her, “I want to tell you something.”
She promptly asked me, “What do you have for me today?” as I was a mischievous boy?” I remained quiet. Then, she stopped her work and gazed into my eyes.”
I told her that I did not do well in my exams.
She asked me, “What was the result?”
I told her, “I fared badly.”
She said, “So, how do you plan to pass the year?”
I said, “I don’t know.”
“Well, think about it and we’ll talk later after I am done cooking.”
The hands on the clock, that made so much noise was moving slowly when I wanted it to move fast. It was getting darker and each passing hour brought more fear in my eyes, as I kept looking at the door to see when Uncle would come home. Finally, he arrived at 9:00 PM and I promptly wished him, “Good evening and asked him how was his day?” He said, “Travel was difficult and work was very busy.” Then, I offered him some water and after, he was relaxed, I mustered some courage and told him that I wanted to share with him something. He probably sensed, “Problems.” so he told me to make it brief. I told him that I just scrapped through one subject and failed in the other subject with poor grades.
He looked at me with anger and I was getting so scared with so many questions running through my mind and started wondering what would happen next.
He looked around and said, “Godfrey, failures and setbacks are part of life, tell me where do you go from here now?”
I replied, “I don’t know.”
He said, “You must have seen speed breakers (speed bumps) on the roads.”
I said, “Yes.”
“Well, no matter the price or type of vehicle you drive, everyone must slow down and cross it with care. Then, everyone starts afresh after the crossover.” He continued, “First, I admire your courage, acknowledgment is the first step.” You will see scores of data throughout your life. Some will make you smile while others will disappoint you, but numbers definitely don’t define you. Focus on your knowledge and astuteness to transition from one stage of your life to another, as you travel this journey of life.
He exclaimed, “I have only studied till Grade 2, so I cannot help you, but I will ask someone to teach you for three months only.” Then, he said, “Smile when you encounter setbacks, as this is a reflection point.” When you learn to handle it with grace, setbacks will soon start disappearing away. After all, this experience in life gives you an opportunity to gather yourself and fight for a better future. Always remember to make right choices after you have eliminated some of the bad ones. He ended by saying, “The choices you make will define the path you take and this will lead you to your final destination.”
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