“Did you tell me your aunt cannot make you smile even if she opens the heaven gates for you?” My classmate Jared asked me as I tried to hurry and complete my assignment before the next lesson began. Firstly, I did not bother to answer as it was his usual antics kept me from turning my assignments on time. However, he came closer and patted my shoulder to make certain that I heard him properly. “Hey, I am talking to you.” At this time, I got bothered and turned towards him frowning in a way to scare him, but he seemed very confident to engage me further. Stevenson in Just Mercy (11) states that “I am pressing on, the upward way. New heights I’m gaining every day,” which relates to this situation since it echoes our motto in school and in a way to avoid any distractions that can deter me from achieving my educational objectives, I evaded all people that had once appeared entirely unhelpful, and my aunt was one. I hated her, but Jared made me regret the way I view a person’s humanity aspect after meeting him or her for the first time.
After completing my primary education, my mother allowed me to go and visit the relatives that I would choose. At that particular time, we had not interacted with the eldest sister to my mum, and even if I did not know her closely, I had an inner desire to visit where she was working since it was near a beach. I loved adventure, and I had to make everything count in a way to entice my mother to prevent her changing her mind. My aunt was living alone after she got frustrated with marriage life. As she came to narrate to me later, her husband was an excellent case study of what happens in the society and a role model to many people, but almost exposed the family to abject poverty after he lost his job due to drunkenness. As a result, my aunt became the sole breadwinner in a family of five although the situation was manageable in the beginning. She was patient enough to give her husband ample time to search for a new job, but he did not seem bothered. As time moved on, my aunt lost confidence towards a happy life, and the best way was to restart her life on her own.
At first, I did not get very impressed with the case since I thought she had a role to ensure her husband changed his habit even if it meant rehabilitation. More so, with the money she earned, there could be enough to start a small family business which her husband could run, but that was not the case. He had to suffer on his own, and there was a possibility of desperation playing a crucial role towards his increased drunkenness. To me, all the narration did not come out well since it made me change my perception towards my aunt and see her as inhuman, impatient, and uncaring of some of the fundamental principles that define humanity. After the holiday was over, I did not aspire to meet her again and every time I met her earlier husband in the nearby town, the hatred increased.
“Why are you asking me that question? I asked as I looked at Jared keenly and my determination to get a convincing answer grew intensely with every second that passed without him talking. “What is your general thinking about her? Just open up and say it to me.” Jared responded. For once, I dropped my pen, and my eagerness started to grow due to his increased probing. “I just hate her although the reasons are very private,” I answered. In a minute’s time, the head teacher came and called both of us since we had a visitor. Surprisingly, it was my aunt but what bothered me was the reason why she invited Jared as well.
When we entered the staffroom, she greeted both of us, asked about how we have been doing, our performance, and gave us presents as well. To my shock, Jared is my cousin and a child of my aunt, but they had kept it in secret. I knew it that day. It was a bombshell that gave me sleepless nights in the coming days, and as I came to learn later, Jared knew we were of the same family but was advised to keep it secretive until my aunt told me. After the breakup of his parents, Jared remained under the care of a surrogate mother. However, her mother, now my aunt, used to support them in all ways although his father avoided them altogether. Due to my tender age during their breakup, I couldn’t recognize any of her children as we grew up, and since we did not connect often, it was also hard to know our family members. More so, Jared supported me in all ways concerning educational and other needs. He usually got enough provision, and all the materials that we required for schooling were available when we required them and in sufficient amount as well.
I left the staffroom in tears and realized that one cannot define other people’s caring aspect after meeting them once. Also, I came to understand and concur with the views of others on humanity. Firstly, the little things that we offer one another are the ones define people (Standage 54). Jared only assisted me in simple ways but meant a lot. Secondly, unless one understands others situation, it is not advisable to judge them (Bowers 73). My aunt separated ways with my uncle so that she could be in a position to bring up her children well and to help others. I was a beneficiary of her life’s plan although I did not know. More so, an essential help comes from where we least expect. Regarding that, it is imperative to treat people with respect they deserve while avoiding judging anyone depending on where or how we find them.
Bowers, Pamella. Willy the White Squirrel: A Tale About Judging Others. Xlibris Corp, 2009.
Standage, Tom. An edible history of humanity. Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2009.
Stevenson, Bryan. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Spiegel & Grau, 2014.
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