I’m a firm believer in the Bible. Right now emphasis is on the scripture that says God loves a cheerful giver. I’m here to tell you that it’s not just God. Me too. I love cheerful givers. I’m sure you do too. It can’t be just me and God.
I believe that giving is even a form of self gratification, considering how it actually has the power to make you feel good about yourself. But therein lies the problem. Sometimes, we give, not because we ought to but because we want to feel good about ourselves. Not always a bad thing, but sometimes…
And there are sometimes when seriously, it’s just better to keep your gift to yourself. Because seriously, it does no good. See Cain for example. Nobody forced him to give ooh, he just went by himself and caused trouble for himself.
Two recent events brought this up for me and somewhere along the line, you will probably say to yourself argh Chioma! You this girl! Your own is too much! You are too proud! But then, I hope you get my point.
About two weeks ago, I was supremely broke. I mean, crippling, I-cant-even-leave-the-house-‘cos-I-don’t-have-transport-fare kinda broke. I had used up my remaining cash to help a friend and I hadn’t gotten it back. One of those times when you think giving is a bad idea. However, as broke as I was, I had some foodstuff in the house. Just the basics. Rice, beans, spaghetti, macaroni and ingredients to prepare them. I also had a carton of Cornflakes. Tea. Milk. Sugar. If I was alone, I wouldn’t even bother. That’s food for a long time. I would just lock myself in my room till month end, drinking tea everyday and waiting for money to show up. And I had gas to cook.
But I was not alone. I’m currently squatting* this other lady who doesn’t have a place to stay yet and I have been cooking to keep up appearances. If you know me, you know I don’t like cooking and you know I can go a month on tea and cornflakes and beans. Not very healthy but you get the picture.
I don’t know what was going on in her head but one day she came in and handed me a plate of something cold. Her friend had asked her to give it to me. She thought it was ice cream. I will not lie. I was excited. I mean, ice cream in Bauchi, not very common. In fact I have not had ice cream since I started serving here and that was August last year.
I was so happy I decided this friend of hers decided a personal thank you from me. He was waiting to take her out so he was still outside. When she was done dressing, I followed her out to say thank you. I didn’t even look inside the bag.
“Good evening.” I said. “I just wanted to say thank you.”
“Oh it’s all right.” Said he. “She told me you people don’t have food.”
My dear people, I literally stopped breathing for a moment. She told you we don’t have food? First thought that came to mind was, how embarrassing! Then I started wondering why he had brought ice cream and then it clicked. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh. I was so embarrassed. And so angry.
I ran back inside and looked inside the bag. Ice cream my foot! It was a plate of frozen rice and chicken. The saddest looking fried rice I had ever seen. The chicken was big though but I was mad. This man had turned me into a charity case.
I was so angry. I gave the food away. Not just because of pride (though I could have been starving and I would not have touched that food) but because I had food. I had cooked that evening. I had food to eat. I wasn’t hungry. I was broke.
Later I explained to my friend why I was mad at this man. It looked like he had opened his freezer and said what can I even spare for this girl, oh! This frozen plate of rice has been here. I’m not eating it anyway. She can have it. Later, my temporary roommate confirmed my suspicions. That’s exactly what he had done. And note, he didn’t bring the frozen food for us. He brought it for me and took her out. Thank you very much sir, but no thank you.
My point? If you want to give, for the love of God, do it well. Don’t just bring out some old nonsense you would never use and give it to somebody. Like clothes, fine you are giving the less privileged (I wasn’t even less privileged and you can imagine) but give them clothes they can actually wear not old, torn clothes.
Or in my case, horrible-tasting frozen rice you could not eat. I know it was horrible. My friend told me so.
As for the person I was squatting, I never told her I was angry. Here I am, trying to manage myself and against everything I know and like, accommodate you and you go telling your boyfriend that we don’t have food. Seriously?😏😏😏
I said two events. Check out my next post for the second event. This is not for suspense, this post is already too long.🤓
*Squatting – I don’t know what the correct word for this is. It’s slang for when someone is staying with you for a while pending when they get their own place.