A few years ago, I had an experience that left me with so much wisdom about life.
I was in the midst of four colleagues from different countries. They were talking about a particular game they played when they were teenagers in their different countries. For me, I grew up in a family where we never played computer games. The most experience I had in playing games was the hand-held Nintendo games.
As the conversation continued, they figured that I was not contributing.
One of them asked me why I was not talking. I told them I did not have anything to say because I never played any of those games they talked about. They all laughed hard in jest of me. One of them said, “David, your childhood must be very boring if you did not play any of the games and I am very sorry you were robbed of your childhood”.
On a normal day, a statement like that would not get at me but the statement hit me very hard. I covered my pain with a smile. A good childhood to him was playing computer games. What a funny thing!
One of them then said, “If you did not play any of the computer games, which cartoon did you watch?” ‘These guys have decided to disgrace me totally today,’ I thought within myself.
I told them I never watched any cartoon as a child. They laughed and made a loud jest of me once more. I only watched NTA news and Ewejoko dramas on NTA Ibadan every Sunday evening. I also watched Iriri-Aye by Kolawole Olawuyi and listened to Eyi-Ara on Sunday mornings on Radio Nigeria.
The following day after this conversation, I moderated a policy session on technology and I made sure I used a lot of stories from my childhood in my speech to the standing ovation of the whole room including these four colleagues who thought I never had a childhood because I didn’t watch cartoons and played computer games. There was no way I could have made sense of computer games and cartoon characters in my speech like I made out of my humble childhood stories in Fiditi.
Millions could have watched cartoons and played trendy computer games. Good for them. I am not one of those millions. I am one in a lifetime. My experiences are unique and they are worth telling in thousands of stories that will inspire millions of cartoon watchers and computer game players.
1. Don’t let anyone make you feel you have a bad life because of a single bad day.
2. Beautiful stories are not always from trendy stuff, inspiring stories often times come from unpopular experiences.
3. Your stories are worth telling even if your childhood was in the mud.
4. Trendy childhood does not mean a brilliant future. Get that straight.
5. Finally, your dreams are valid dear friend.
Oluwaseun David ADEPOJU