10 April 2014

Hafiz Adewuyi


It rained this morning and today is a working day. That did not deter me though from leaving home for work, as soon as I was fully dressed. I got into the rain and walked as fast as I could (under a light drizzle) to Church bus-stop along Iwaya road. My destination was Sabo bus-stop. After some five minutes of my waiting at Church bus-stop, a bus stopped by, calling for Yaba bus-stop. He called for say, 3 minutes, which largely turned out to be a futile effort. Seeing this, he innovatively decided to aggregate both Sabo and Yaba passengers and his bus was half full in no time.

In another ten minutes, we were at Sabo bus-stop (my destination). I alighted, very conscious of the fact that I had no choice but to trek under the drizzle to Alagomeji (location of my workplace). No choice, because all I had on me was 2005 NGN cash; 2005 NGN denominated as 1000, 1000, and 5 NGN (the fare from Sabo to Alagomeji is 20 or 30 NGN). If you're a Lagosian, you will easily understand why I had to trek. However, for the sake of those who are not, here is the way things work around here:

1. virtually all road transport transactions in Lagos are done in cash;

2. for this reason, transporters are usually required to give change to passengers who do not tender exact fare;

3. many a transporter screams at the top of his voice while calling, that passengers should come in with exact fare (or find an alternative way to transport themselves);

4. generally, you will be severely scorned (almost beaten), if you present any denomination way higher than the fare. This is irrespective of whether the transporter actually has enough change at hand or not. This actually applies, in varying degrees, across most other cash based petty businesses in the state.

By the way, the distance between Sabo and Alagomeji takes about a ten-minute trek for a brisk walker like me to cover.

Now, to the main point of this whole philosophical article (I like story too much).

I took on my fate in good faith, remembering a blog I once read that mentioned that an easy way for a professional to stay fit is to get to work in the most inconvenient way possible (the picture showed a man jumping over a hedge)   ... going to look for image....

YEAH! I found it in less than two minutes :-).
During my brisk walk, the seeds for this article were sown. As I walked along the side of the road, not once but twice, I got water splashed on me, by vehicles zooming past; rain water from dirty pools on the road. Funny enough, I anticipated the first one, and for that reason, I was not startled. The second one was less expected, but by then, I guess I had gotten used to it. The point is, these incidents inspired little or no negative emotion in me. In fact, on the contrary, each inspired a subtle smile.

Getting water splashed on me reminded me of a story a colleague (call him Segun) told me recently. Segun told me that once, his uncle was driving his family (including Segun) in his (the uncle's) car. It had been a rainy day and as expected, there were myriad pools of water on the roads. At some point in the journey, his uncle had splashed water from a road pool onto by-standers on the road. When asked why he behaved in such a dastardly manner, he simply cited the reason that he had it done to him as well - severally - ,when he was a 'mere' pedestrian (with no car). Alas, his act was totally premeditated, intentional and could easily have been prevented. 

In the end, this blog is not actually about water splashing. No. It's purpose is to highlight the multiplying power of a single and simple human act. Do a stranger a good and he's more likely to do another stranger a good another day. Nonchalantly splash water on ten strangers today and tomorrow, your thoughtless act could have ten children and thousands of grand children, making the world a worse place for everyone to live in. Now, wouldn't you be proud of such productivity?

Why not ARK?
Some very good people, having grasped of the immensity of the power that a human act towards others can have on the state of the world as a whole have come up with different ideas to intentionally make the world a better place. I know of two:

1. ARK
Act of Random Kindness. This simply means doing one act of random (unanticipated, undeserving, unpremeditated) kindness, each day. 

2. Pay It Forward: 
I came upon this concept in a movie with the same title. The idea is to do three people a favour that they they obviously can not do for themselves. However, the catch is this: when they are so grateful and asking how they can pay you back for this, you are required to ask them to Pay It Forward as well i.e. do the same thing to three other people some day (and tell them as well). The vision is to make the world a great circle of never-ending good acts, in effect, making the world a better place for everyone to live in.



Pardon any spellings errors; no time to proofread. (proofread finally, knock me next time you see me if you see any errors).

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