It was my second day at school. I had started my first grade the previous day. Unlike some of my friends, I did not enjoy the luxury of being dropped at school in the morning and be picked by the parents or the family driver later in the day. If you were there with me ,we’d do the physical exercise everyday, going and coming to and from school.
On the first day I had the pleasure of going in the company of my elder brother and sister. On the second day after school I waited for my brother, waited and waited until I thought, “it will soon get dark and I have a faint idea of how I came here. I better hit the road and get home fast. This was a distance of about two and half kilometres. Being a high density suburb I had to take quite a number of twists and turns before getting home. As I headed home I took a wrong turn and confidently continued along the wrong path.
It began to rain and I thought it wise not to increase my pace but to actually sprint as fast as I could. Rubingo, do you know that if you increase your pace in the wrong direction you will get there faster? The rain pounded on me and confused my head. I began to see myself getting home in no time. To my utter surprise and chagrin, I found myself approaching the school gate! Oh my word! How did I get here?
Before I pressed the panic button, I was exhilarated to see my brother approaching from the school gate apologizing for having made me wait for so long. I understood and forgave him. Did I mention that I had grown impatient and attempted to go home and found my way home back here? There is wisdom in the words that silence is golden. I remain mum on that one.
As we were going back home I made sure I meticulously observed the way back and noticed where I took the wrong turn. I advised him that I’d not need him the following day as I had mastered the way. Surely the following day I easily found my way back from school. That experience of losing my way home made me more aware and observant as we returned home. Were it not for this experience I could have taken long to know my way home.
My adversity became my advantage.
You may have heard the story of the little boy who was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she agreed as long as he’d take care of it.
The caterpillar began to go through a metamorphosis to become a butterfly. The little boy was thrilled as he watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge.
One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out. The little boy became concerned, seeing the butterfly struggling so hard to get out. It looked like it was not making any progress! The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get a pair of scissors, and snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!
As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shrivelled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.
But neither happened!
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings. It never was able to fly.
What impeded its flight? The boy took away the struggle from the butterfly through the tiny opening of the cocoon.
Through struggle it was supposed to push the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly can never fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.
As you go through life, always remember that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.
A lot of people look at their past struggles as wounds they should heal from when in actuality these are muscles that you developed enabling you to do extraordinary things that ordinary people can’t do.