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wisdom nugget

 How to maximise the rest of the year using the wisdom nugget

by Church Times

SNF Vol. 3, No. 001, 01/2022

“Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms.” – Sterling K. Brown

Thanks be to God for His indescribable mercies! We are almost through with the first three months of the year. But then the year is still evolving. A lot can still be achieved in the next nine months.

As usual, I intend to tell a story that will shed light on our path as we journey into the year.

Please enjoy it and be open to learning


“Once upon a time, all the animals in the bush devised a plan to put the lion in a cage because it was killing them indiscriminately. They succeeded and put it in a cage.

One day, a certain young boy was passing by the cage. The lion, seeing the boy, pleaded with him to come to its rescue. At first, the boy refused but after much persuasion, he became compassionate and agreed to free it on one condition: that the lion will not kill him upon its release, without hesitating, the lion agreed and the boy opened the cage.

As soon as the lion came out, it thanked the boy but pleaded with him further to complete the good work he had started.

How? The boy should present himself as food for the hungry lion! Reminding the lion of their agreement, the boy retorted, “Why do you want to repay a good thing with a bad thing?”

The lion replied, saying: “In this present world, bad things are used to repay good things. Good deeds are repaid with evil”.

After a very long debate, the boy and the lion decided to ask any three animals to confirm whether good is used to repay evil or vice versa (good for good/evil for evil). If all the animals say that bad things are used to repay good things, the lion would devour the boy but if otherwise, the boy would be free.

The first animal they met was Goat who said, “It is true that bad things are used to repay good things. I am a living example. My faeces is used as manure for farming but when the crops are harvested, I am never allowed to taste what my faeces produced. Human beings always pursue and prevent me from tasting any part of the product from my dung”

Then, the Lion turned to the boy and said, “1:0.” So, they went to the dog and the dog said, “Bad things are used to repay good things.

Everybody knows that I go into the bush for hunting. I assist faithfully to kill an animal and when it is time for that same animal to be eaten, all I get as a reward are bones. Besides, at night while others sleep I stay awake keeping watch and even used oftentimes as a sacrificial lamb for the thief’s bullet.”

Again, the Lion turned to the boy and said, 2:0 “One more chance.”

The tortoise response

The third and last animal they met was the tortoise. In answering the question, Tortoise said: “Before I give you my response, I need to know how this argument started and, also, we have to go to where it started.”

So the trio went to where the argument began and the boy narrated the whole story and scenario. Then Tortoise asked the boy:
“Where was the Lion the first time you met him?”
“In the cage,” the boy responded”
“Go back into the cage,” Tortoise told the Lion. So Lion entered the cage.

When the Lion went back into the cage, Tortoise asked the boy: “Was the cage open or locked at that time?” He answered: “It was locked”

Then Tortoise locked the cage and said to the lucky boy, “Let’s go. There is nothing more to say.”

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be crazy, by those who could not hear the music.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

In your quest this new year, please:

1. Always seek to hear a story from its start-off point before commenting or passing judgment. It will help you to know the proper thing to do and or how or why you could be of help.

2. Don’t use your wrong experience to mislead others – refuse to spread hurt. NOTE – The two other witnesses were not wrong from their point of view, they are grieving based on what has been meted out to them but applied wrongly in the boy’s case.

3. Let’s be careful of the narratives if we are not the ones involved in a particular situation, it is the same sun that melts ice or wax that hardens clay, and the same boiling water that softens the yam hardens the egg.

4. To better understand people’s stories, it’s better to know how the stories started. Probe, inquire, and or query to know more! Before condemning someone or a situation, make sure you know both sides of the story to understand the perspectives.

5. The boy helped the Lion because of his compassionate heart. But he forgot that despite the lion’s assurance of his safety, it’s difficult to change someone’s traits, nature and attitude overnight. So, when dealing with people in 2022, remember the hidden 90% of the iceberg!!!

6. The lion can only get out of the cage with others’ help. There are many cages in 2022, it is people that you know that will open the cage for you. So, find a community of people to belong to, be deliberate to get to know people outside your domain and profession.

7. It was another animal – tortoise, that helped the boy out of the imbroglio he found himself. So, don’t ever give up on extending help to people even when you’ve been burnt in the past. In my culture, the elders have a saying that “it is through people that you get help” – (Ara eniyan loore wa).

Look for opportunities to help

In 2022, always look for opportunities to be of help to people unsolicited. Through such actions, you are increasingly loading your own account, which will be available for withdrawal later in the year or unforeseeable future. I think that is why Jeff Warner wrote that “We are not put on this earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”

8. What saved the boy from the ungrateful lion is the tortoise. Here, the tortoise represents wisdom. The preacher said, “Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom, and with all thy getting, get understanding.” (Eccl.4:7). Friends, you need wisdom this year to navigate successfully the uncharted terrain.

You can get the WISDOM by praying, creative thinking, strategic acting, deep analysis of issues, being proactive, readiness to assist others, belonging to relevant communities, reading good books, being in the company of those who are better than you and you’re willing to learn from them, watching great videos on relevant projects and events to learn, etc. That’s is your JOB this spectacular year. Tie your loins, roll up your sleeves, and get to Work!

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do have a great day. Please enjoy your day with friends and loved ones. Note that the warmth of family is better than the moon of distant acquaintance.

© Dr. Oyewole Sarumi
Coach. Trainer. Speaker


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