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THIRTY YEARS AGO, I was this skinny sickly eight year old kid with plenty of courage. I remembered now with a huge smile on my face as my mother’s eyes usually sneaked up on me with her brows knitted in a frown because of my escapades. My dad was a lecturer at Florida State University but the rest of the family were still in Nigeria and anytime he came home, I always love reading those green Encyclopaedias he brought home. There, I believed was where I learnt a lot of things. Although I was a studious kid but I also loved to play hard. We lived in a picturesque town called ‘Ilorin,’ it was a neat little town where everybody practically knew each other then, our apartment block nestled nicely in a leafy part of town and every evening, kids would troop out playing one game or the other.
We lived on the top floor of the five storey apartment block, one day, out of boredom, my friends and I gathered at the veranda of our apartment. We began regaling each other with stories, when it came to my turn, I told them about what I had read in my father’s encyclopaedias, about jumping from a plane and stuffs like that.
One boy looked me in the eye and asked, ( I can still picture the snarling face!)
‘Can you jump out of a plane?’
‘Yeah, ‘ I replied unconvincingly, I bet he saw my hesitation and played on it.
‘I’m sure you can’t jump from here to there,’ and he pointed to the ground.’ Mind you, I forgot to tell them I hated heights but because I wasn’t going to let anyone see my fear, I said with forced gaiety.
‘Of course I can but my mum won’t let me.’ My friends pondered on that and agreed but that boy refused to let it go.
‘How about we arrange some stools and chairs and make a little mountain, can you scale the stool and jump?’
‘Yeah! Why not?’ I said without hesitation and watched as he dashed into one of the apartments and within minutes, he was back, carrying stools. Some of my friends did the same and before I knew it, the stools looked like Mount Kilimanjaro.
I watched with growing trepidation but I was too proud to say NO! When they finished, the boy asked me to climb the stools. You can all guess what happened. I managed to navigate my way to the top and looking down at my friends, I hesitated and as if on cue they started shouting,
‘Jump! Jump! Jump!!!
And I jumped.
That was the last thing I remembered. The next time I opened my eyes, my left leg and left arm bore the brunt of my fall, my leg and arm were in bandages and when my mother’s tearful eyes met mine, I simply turned away. Believe me guys, that was not the end of my ordeal but I won’t go to that aspect of the story today.
Where am I going with this story? Please don’t JUMP, stand your ground, don’t bow down to pressure from so-called friends to do what you don’t want to do. Since that day, I became my person, I can stand my ground and face any foe. Throughout my primary, secondary and university days, I held my ground, fought off bullies and lived in relative peace.
Life is too short to be easily swayed by others. Like that picture, you’re a shinning star, let no one tell you otherwise.
Have a pleasant weekend and don’t forget, ‘don’t jump! Refuse that sneaky little voice that said you are helpless, you’re NOT! End of story!!’
Much love, always! 🙂
The longer you live the more you know that what others think of you is not important, and since you no longer care what they think of you, you are happier. Good advice here – Thank you. – pjs.
Thanks for reading Paul, your comment gladdens my heart, always. Have a great weekend!
hold my ground, fight off bullies and live in relative peace… I’m needing exactly this advice!
I hope you’ll succeed in your quest, and I do appreciate your visit! Have a pleasant weekend dear friend!
Definitely don’t do something because someone tells you can’t when you know it would be silly to do it. Glad you didn’t take too much physical damage from it
Glad I didn’t but the experience shaped me to who I am today, though I was an eight year old girl then, nonetheless, I should have stood my ground but I didn’t. By the time I got to high school, the bullies paled into insignificance! Glad to read your comment Alastair, have a great night rest and a pleasant weekend.
As it happens, I have just done a post that is about bullies. I am glad that you were near enough bully free in high school.
Have a good night Seyi.
Same to you dear friend, and sweet dreams too!
I am so glad you survived to share this wisdom with us! 🙂
Blessings ~ Wendy
Thanks Wendy, that experience stayed with me for a long time, and it helped me in a way, now, I always follow my heart. Thanks for stopping by, my love to all that is yours, have a lovely weekend.
Much love. 🙂
Very well written… 🙂
I believe that it is wise to always “evaluate” inside the head – both criticism and praise
– why it is said as it is said – if there perhaps is a hidden agenda… 🙂
Cheers dear friend, I agree totally with you, I bet I was too naïve then to evaluate properly. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it! Have a blessed weekend!
To climb is to struggle, the challenge, planned, thought through, where to jump is but an instant in mind, and decision, but the fall can vary, the fall will always meet, and greet you with the gravity of it all.
Yes it does, my poetic friend, thanks for that soothing piece, wished I had heard this 30yrs ago! I love it! Have a beautiful weekend!
You too 🙂
Great post. I love that sunset 🙂
Thanks Kai, I’m glad you do.
Wow, glad you are OK!!!!
Thanks John, have a great weekend!!
I was a cautious little girl: there was a bully in our class that everyone feared. Rather than confront her i pretended to befriend her, so she didn’t pick on me. That was dishonest, but I was too afraid of her to confront her and too nervous to ignore her. Where will I be on judgement day?
You’ll be fine dear friend, that happens often in high school, it’s called ‘protecting oneself,’ it was part of the peer pressure I was writing about during those formative years and you know better now! Thanks for stopping by!
Liebe Seyi einen schönen Samstag und viele liebe Grüße das sind ja tolle Fotos der Schnee bedeckte Berg und darunter die grünen Pflanzen ein sehr schönes Foto sei herzlichst gegrüßt Klaus
Thank you dear friend, I’m glad you love those pictures and I do appreciate your visit! Have a great week.
I enjoyed this post very much. It brought back remembrances of my childhood and some of the crazy things I did at a challenge. I’m from the South in the States and a joke we have is: What’s the last thing a “redneck” says before he dies?— “Hey. Watch this.” Luckily many of us survive.
Thank you, Seyi. You’ve made me smile.
That’s interesting to know Danniehill, the things we do as kids, but I’m glad you survived!! And I’m glad I made you smile!!
Learning achieved, even if only “the hard way”.
Yeah Ben, it was learnt the hard well! 😦
I have jumped when I shouldn’t have and paid the price, but as you have, learned through the pain to find the lesson of grace and mercy….and to find strength in God to be the person that He has called me to be, even when others are going along and “Jumping”. Thank you for this reminder and blessings to you my friend! Mary
Thank you Mary, we’ve all jumped at one time or the other and like you rightly said, God can use our misadventure for His glory, I appreciate your visit!
Much love. 🙂
Happiness is what we should endeavor to cultivate on a daily basis. We can’t afford to dwell on the negative views of other people about us, or try to please them by altering what we know is morally good for us. I have made the mistake of “jumping” a couple of times in the past. I wish I had stood my ground back then.
But you have learnt something my dear brother, you won’t jump again. Life is funny because history tend to repeat itself and I’m certain if faced with the same choices now, you would make a better choice. Thanks for your visit, I’m grateful!
That was a beautiful piece. I have my share of peer-pressure miseries, but sadly, I didn’t learn the first time. I experienced it over and over again for approximately nine years. Just two years ago, I realized I was ruining my life.
My family was and is always there for me. Because of them, I muster all the courage I can and walked away from the “bad” pressures, standing on my own. It was one of the best decisions I made. I may always be alone now, but I never felt more peaceful and, surprisingly, happier.
You’ve done great my dear friend and I quite applaud your courage to do the best for yourself! And I hope you’ll stick to your peaceful life my friend.
Being alone is a gift at times, times to revaluate your life as new doors open for you! Thanks for stopping by!
Encyclopaedias are fantastic, I miss leafing through them…the internet has ruined that magical aspect of learning. Sticking to our goals will bring us all happiness, although I think it would be safer to have jumped out of a plane my friend…if you fancy doing that…?
No I’ll pass 🙂 My husband has teased me endlessly to do it for fun but I don’t think so. I’m not scared about heights anymore but I don’t think that’s among my to-do list in life. You’re right about Encyclopaedias… I don’t think many people even realise they still exist. Thanks for your visit Ste J
always a pleasure to pop by and have a nice read and become immersed in your words.
Thanks Ste J, appreciate that! 🙂
Oh, the foolishness of youth. You did what! Anyway, all is water under the bridge but what a great lesson. I only thank God you lived to tell the story, as they say 🙂
We do learn the hard way, don’t we – sorry you got hurt from it. Not sure if I’d jump off stacked stools!! though I did jump out of a plane.
Good story 🙂
Liked this one too! Thank you for sharing! Not sure why I can’t click on LIKE when I come on to post here it keeps saying LOADING… Anyway I did like this! 😉