Thursday, March 5, 2015

Lessons From The Elderly Man I Met In Traffic

I drive home on my way back from work taking same route every week day. Being a girl from a slower paced town, adjusting to the Lagos life did take me a while. Everything always had me wondering. I wonder at the variety in culture and the inexplicable level of energy exhibited by Lagosians. I wonder especially about the different street hawkers trying to call attention to their wares all at the same time and the very impatient drivers honking their horns for all and no reasons.

Image result for healthy elderly man clipartBeing stuck in a traffic jam for an average of two hours each day and spending like an hour on the same spot sees me exhibiting my social skills. When I am tired of flipping through radio stations and sick of trying to make sense of some accents I hear on the radio, I roll my windows down and allow the voices of the streets be the much desired music. I make little conversations with some of the faces that I have become all so familiar with.  We never discuss anything deep but they are much an enigma as they probably think I am. God knows I want to know the stories behind those eyes but I know better than to ask.

It is on one of those evening trips that I befriended an elderly man that also sells drinks in the traffic. I always marveled at the strength in his strides. One evening, I offered him some food stuffs I had in my trunk.That became the game changer. He looks for me in the traffic bearing little gifts comprising of different things for me or my child. I have tried explaining to him that he doesn't owe me but he wouldn't bulge. I tried rejecting many times but he always insisted.

His reaction to my own little gift makes me feel like I owe him even much more. I find myself making silent promises to myself to surprise him.

If majority of us were like him, the world would be a better place. People struggle with paying tithes and giving offerings because they think they are only enriching their pastors by doing that. This elderly man doesn't even consider that I might be 'better placed' than he is (in the eyes of the society) whenever he gave things to me. He just wanted to show his appreciation and that was all that mattered. In his gesture, lies the desire for me to do so much more.

Jesus doesn't need our gifts of cash or whatever but he tells us to give because he understands the blessings that are unlocked as a result of our seemingly little acts.

We need to change our attitude towards giving generally. There is nothing wrong with buying gifts for your boss in appreciation of a salary raise. Yes, he can afford it but the thought behind whatever you get him will be well appreciated and probably rewarded. Some of us are guilty of always expecting and never really thinking of the value we also can add to the lives of those we are expecting from. We act like that rich Uncle of ours owe us and even find it hard to say thank you when we feel the gifts don't measure up.

From this man, I have learnt that one doesn't have an excuse not to give. He reminds me of the parable of the widow's mite. I have been blessed and made wiser by his actions.

To wrap this up, I am just going to echo what you have probably heard countless times ‘Givers truly never lack’.


  1. Thank you for this, Fisayo. I have often been guilty of an entitled mindset in the past. Recently making committed, deliberate actions to change all that, and the negativity that such attitude has stirred up overtime. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, through your experiences.

  2. I love the advice to those who do not know how to appreciate others no matter how small because they think its their right to get stuffs..God will help us in life


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