Hey guys, how was your night? Great I hope. Mine was cool. When you sleep with the knowledge that the next day (and the day after) is a public holiday, you tend to have a more restful night. Happy Sallah guys!
Yesterday I was talking about giving and how sometimes, we just don’t do it right. I promised a second story in my next post and this is it.
So this second event happened a few days ago. Early last month, my neighbour here at Games Village wanted to travel. She asked me to warm her room. In other words, sleep in it, give it that lived-in air till she got back. It was a sweet deal for me. She had some facilities I didn’t have and I had two people sleeping in my room. I needed to get away. Gist for another day.
She came back a few days ago. It was nice to have her back. I noticed she came back with these large tubers of yam. Not surprising at all considering where she came from. After I told her welcome and gave her back her keys, I headed out with a friend (same friend I gave the frozen rice from yesterday’s story).
When we got back, the temporary roommate informed me that Neighbour had brought some things for me. I went to her first, said thank you and then went back to my room to inspect the goodies. Two mangoes (1 big Benue¹ mango and 1 small normal mango) and a small tuber of yam.
Now this is where the problem started. First of all, this tuber of yam was small. I had seen the yams she brought back and none of them were small. As a matter of fact, when I saw them, I had joked about Benue people and their yams. Where did this small tuber come from?
Secondly, this small tuber of yam looked too familiar. Like I had seen it before. I know right, how can a tuber of yam look familiar? This one did.
I looked at it each time I crossed it and then I realized that it was familiar. I had been looking at this particular tuber of yam, with another one for the past one month I had been sleeping in neighbour’s room.
Maybe she forgot that I had been sleeping in her room for the past one month and so I must have seen the yam. Maybe she just didn’t care. But Neighbour came back and gave me the small sickly tuber of yam she had left in her room all this time she was away.
This would not have been an issue but you see, the yam was spoilt. Well, a very good chunk of it was spoilt. And you could tell even before you cut it. She must have known.
And so I ask, did I tell this lady I was hungry for yams? She just wanted to give. Give spoilt tiny yams when you just came back from Benue with good healthy tubers? Let it not be like she came back empty handed. Is it by force? Do you have to?
See, this is exactly what Cain did. I was so tempted to return the yam to her and tell her that I wouldn’t be eating this, thank you very much but I decided against it and when I discussed it with my friend, he agreed that I was right not to have confronted her.
We need to understand that giving is not by force. If you have to do it, then your gift should be good and true and should come from a cheerful heart.
The sad thing is I wish I can say that Neighbour just made a one time mistake. Two days after she came back, my friend (whom she had seen a couple of times since she got back) was walking past her room (which he had done a couple of times since she got back) and she called out to him. Hey, I wanted to give you this since I got back. I kept forgetting.
She gave him a Benue mango. You guessed it. It was madly overripe and this close to spoiling. Simply not good for consumption and definitely not what you give to someone else. He took it from her and continued on his way to his room. Immediately he got close to a trash can, Oga threw it away. This is someone who loves mangoes, even when they are really soft. He couldn’t take this one.
Our guess was that she kept it and when she saw that it was spoiling, she gave it to the first person who happened to be walking by. My friend whose room was just a few doors down, on the same block and on the same floor happened to be that person.
In conclusion, people don’t just love gifts. People love good gifts. Not spoilt mangoes and rotten yams. Not frozen food given out of pity or torn useless clothes. Things you can’t even use. Again, you might say I’m proud and that we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth but like I said earlier, who is forcing you to give me stuff? Certainly not me.
If you are going to give at all, give well. Or it doesn’t count. Always remember Cain and Abel.²
Barkar da Sallah! May God bless you and your loved ones with Peace! Happy celebrations guys!
¹Benue mangoes are really big species of mangoes. I can’t finish one. That’s how big they are.
²Their story can be found in Genesis 4:1-16