I saw this post on wordpress reader (I love wordpress reader, the posts there replenish the IQ points I lose when I visit certain gossip blogs). It reminded me of an experience I had several years ago about idle words and consequences.
I just entered 200 level and narrowly missed getting hostel accommodation, that year Uniben introduced a crazy system where students would have to queue (according to their faculties) in front of the students affairs building to get the hostel application scratch cards. Complete madness I tell you, getting the cards was harder than an elephant going through the eye of the needle. When I finally got the card- they closed the site. When they finally opened the site… I got to the cafe late and couldn’t secure a system (I hadn’t yet learnt to use my feminine wiles, big wink), by the time I got a system, the spaces were exhausted.
With bed spaces going for exorbitant prices which this Mbaise gal wasn’t going to pay for; even on an angel dust trip, overcrowded rooms and dirty hostels were not even my thing in the first place. Had no option but to consider moving off campus, my friends (who were in the same boat) and I formed a house search network and farmed ourselves to different places to search. Lectures had started and 2nd year pharmacy isn’t beans by any stretch of the imagination, we had to search fast and get settled. Finally we found a place in the dingy outskirts of Ekosodin- the notorious den of robbers and cultist, but desperate girls don’t ‘curr’. It was just one room and three of us had to share it, at that point I was even ready to buy a hostel bed space sef. We paid for the place, arranged it and moved in.
I was the last to move in, my situation was less desperate than the others, I was staying in my uncle’s house near Uwagboe (a suburb in Benin-City. I moved in on the third Saturday in January, and settled in that day. The next day, after church service, I decided to go and read in one of the LTs at the Faculty of Agriculture. On my way there, I ran into a friend who was also going in the same direction and we talked and talked.
I explained that I was going to be sharing a room with two other ladies and he had a violent reaction to my news. He was totally against the idea, three women in one was a sure recipe for quarrels and fights, we’d never get along. A part of me got incensed. How dare he say such things about women, (never mind that I’d had the same thought, us sistas have to stick together and defend each other in public at least) so I kept telling him “we’ll live in peace and won’t quarrel, we’re adults afterall, besides we three are nice people” for the next 500metres we kept at it, finally I got to my destination, went in and read. End of story?
Not quite! Two years later my roommate and I were talking about unreasonably foolish men (our second favourite topic) and she said “remember that your friend that was insisting that we’d quarrel and fight daily” I had no idea what she was talking about, she stated the location and time and I was flummoxed! You see, I had no idea she was even going out that day. She not only heard that conversation, she remembered it word for word! Now what if I had said something bad about her, or just said something unflattering about the new living arrangements? I would have soured the relationship before it had a chance to start. I had tears in my eyes at her next words, she said “and that’s when I knew we were going to be sisters, I knew then you’re an okay babe”. Till today I get shivers when I remember that incident because Chinwe is one of the biggest blessings of my life and I’d have soured it by a few loose words.
Matt 12vs 36 says we’ll give account for every idle word spoken, this post is not about the power in words and speaking positively but being mindful of what you say anywhere you find yourself, you never know who’ll be walking past. Let me close with a story I saw online.
In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”
“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”
“Test of Three?”
“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to test what you’re going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
No,” the man said, “actually I just heard about It.”
“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”
“No, on the contrary…”
“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?”
The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.
Socrates continued. “You may still pass though, b ecause there is a third test – the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”
“No, not really.”
“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?”
The man was defeated and ashamed. This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem. It also explains why he never found out that Plato was banging his wife…
The last line is a kicker, innit?