Hello darling. How have you been faring since my last letter to you? I received a missive from you recently and it gladdened my heart to read you were working on the advice I gave you. You are a blessed child and your kids will listen to you too.
Recently, I met a young lady who is a daughter to a friend of mine; you should know this friend, Mr. Layiwola who lived on the same street as we did in Ikotun-Egbe. He lived in the three story building two houses away and drove a Peugeot 505 in those days. You remember him, right? Well, I met his daughter.
That is not the remarkable thing though. When I met this young lady, Peju by name, she was in her final year in the university. The same as you, now that I think about it. I met her last year and you were also in the final year of university then. When you come around, I’ll find a way for you two to meet, I believe you’ll learn a lot from each other. You are both vibrant, happy individuals.
I’m digressing…..forgive the ramblings of old me. You know, when you get to a certain age, your mind tends to wander and you might end up boring your audience.
Back to my story. When I met Peju, she had an issue with one of her lecturers in school. Her project supervisor wanted something that was rather unworkable from her. The man categorically told Peju she was not going to graduate from the school if she did not do exactly what he wanted. What did he want? Simple: He wanted Peju to have sexual relations with him to cement her graduation.
Now, this was totally against what she believed in. She had bragged to friends that if she ever found herself in such situation she’d rather fail than commit such an act. She vowed to take such monumental steps that the lecturer would regret ever asking for such. As you know, it’s easier said than done.
She found herself in the situation and she couldn’t in a million years carry out her threats of fire and brimstone. She kept praying, hoping things would change but they only got worse. Her life on campus was a living hell. She was caught between a rock and a hard place.
After thinking long and hard, she made a decision to defer her studies till the next year. As Joseph said, ‘how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’ thousands of years ago and ended up in prison, so did Peju find herself back at home, helpless and hurt at the unfair treatment.
She waited a whole year while her contemporaries were graduating, while they were mobilized for service and while they moved on with their lives, she was at a standstill; she couldn’t go forward neither could she go backwards. When the year ended, she resumed in school, got appointed a new project supervisor and is now a proud graduate.
Why did I tell you this story? It took a lot of courage for Peju to take the decision she took. Thousands like her had fallen for such ploys from their lecturers but she chose to stand out. She dared to be different. Was it easy for her? Definitely not. It took everything in her to do that.
In life, circumstances will be thrust at you that will want to have everything of you. Every iota of your breath and being will be demanded of you and you will be so pushed to the wall. You need the courage to hold on and stand firm or you will be blown away like feathers in the air. You need courage to stand by what you believe in, no matter what, in the face of adversity, in the likelihood of failure or even at the threat of bodily harm.
Such courage doesn’t come easy, it starts from little things like having the strength to say ‘no’ when you want to study and your friend invites you to a party, having the courage to say ‘yes’ when responsibility is thrust on you and learning how to stand for what you believe in when the going gets tough. Martin Luther King, Jr. did it, Winston Churchill did it and you can too.
As the saying goes: the winner takes it all; it takes courage to become a winner.
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