Ordinary people 3.

“Its the little things that matter”.
I can’t remember exactly where i came across that statment but i beleive it to be true. Ponder over it for a minute as you enjoy the concluding part of this series. We meet again at the end😉.

It has been a long day and I’m glad that working hours are finally over and I can be on my way home. I’m standing at the bus park among a throng of people all waiting for buses that would take them to their various destinations. The sun is setting already, a gentle breeze blows once in a while, picking up discarded nylon bags from the road and carrying them up, up, up, before leaving them to free-fall slowly almost in a dance-like manner to the ground, the smell from the rubbish heap nearby goes unnoticed as everyone seems used to it. I see people chatting, smiling, making phone calls and some others just stand alone silently as if oblivious to the world around them. The stores around are closing for the day, everyone is packing up, locking shop and heading home.

Two little boys chatting happily walk in the direction of the bus stop, both wearing worn out clothes, one has a huge hole in front of his shirt underneath which you can see his dark brown skin, his hair is almost golden and I wonder if it was dyed, a result of malnutrition or just the natural hue. The other doesn’t look much different, both of them are skinny as little chickens and jolly like puppies with no shoes on their feet,one has a stick in his hands that he uses to propel a small-sized tire that is rolling in front of him, the other seems excited by the trick and is clapping his hands excitedly. As they come closer I realize that they aren’t even speaking English and in my mind I doubt that they can. They pass by and I watch them for as long as I can, caught up in their own little world, till they take a turn and disappear from my line of vision..

Finally, a bus arrives and I have to struggle not to be left behind, this was not a place to be gentle, suit or no suit I fought my way through the crowd and got on the bus. Settled in with a mixture of different breeds of people around me, all giving off different body aroma that threatened to choke me. I let my mind wander again over those little boys. i tried to create their story in my head. They were probably born into a home where the mother was a house-wife and the father earned something less than enough, or maybe the mother was the one who worked a menial Job and the father cared little about his responsibilty, or maybe just maybe they were homeless with no one to see to their welfare, they most likely didn’t go to school, probably had to do some hawking for their parents just so they could feed. Either way i tried to weave it, the story seemed bad, but yet they had hardly looked sad, why? Could it be because they were young and naive? Or is it possible that being happy requires a lot less than we’ve always believed. All they had was a worn out tire and no shoes, yet they smiled.

I wonder about the fate that made me who I am and caused them to be where they are, what if roles were switched? what if I had been born in some remote village with no idea what civilisation is? what if the most successful person I knew was a farmer in my community and my only aspiration was to be just like him? what if I had been born in a country where disasters and wars are commonplace? I let my mind mull over all these possibilities, how different my life would have been. Somehow I was born here in Nigeria to parents that could provide for my basic needs and see me through school, could it have been anyway else?

“Omole..!!” The conductor’s voice brings me back to reality and i quickly reply “O wa” so as not to miss my stop. The bus comes to a halt, and as I step down and begin to walk the rest of the way home, I say a sincere prayer to God, for giving me the sensitivity to notice these little things, the ability to see people for who they are -living beings who walk and breath and live- and for placing me exactly where I am. Some have it better, some have it worse but i have it this way, and for that much I’m grateful.

life-lessons are all around us DAILY, in people, in situations, in the most mundane things. Don’t be too busy with life that you forget to actually live. Don’t be too self-absorbed that you miss the pain of the brother beside you. It’s not all about you.


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