I’m a vibrant young man from one of the famous cities in the Southwestern part of Nigeria. I was so privileged to be born into a Christian home where passion for God is the ultimate and concern for Western Education is nothing less. During my elementary and high school days, I had an unforgettable experience from which God taught me remarkable lessons I can’t just let go.
During my days in the high school, top on the list of my favorite subjects was English Language but unfortunately it was the hardest for me to perfect. I can hardly speak in English; I commit lots of grammatical blunders. Poor me, I could write in English but couldn’t communicate verbally. Before long, the experience began to constitute a major limitation in my life; I could scarcely relate my ideas to colleagues and teachers in the class. Most of the times, my head is full of worthwhile ideas, but I lack expression since I couldn’t fluently speak in English. This continued a number of occasions when my teachers asked us question which I had answers to; I dare not raise my hand so I don’t get to be ridiculed by my fluent colleagues. The ridiculous experience forced me always to be quiet even when relevant ideas and solutions bubble within my heart. As a result of that I became the quietest pupil in my class. In the mean time, people who were not in the know of my pathetic ordeal began to remark me as the most quiet and serious student. I’m sure the case would have being the reverse if they knew why I was always quiet in class.
The fear of becoming a laughingstock to my friends, classmates and outsiders kept me in serious bondage of silence. This shameful experience continued until a brother—a university undergraduate then—on a fateful day, dared to ask me why I was often quiet. The joy of seeing someone who is interested to know about my predicament made me to open up my hidden experience. Having known the reason for my regular quietness, he challenged me that I don’t need to resign to fate – concluding I’ll never be able to speak in English fluently. He confidently told me that change is possible; if I can dare my fears and doubt my doubts. Through this fellow, I was made to understand that change is possible if I can generate an inner indignation against my inability to fluently speak in English and determine to do whatever it may require to improve. Besides, I was made to realize that my deliverance is not in staying silent, but in speaking out those my heavy grammatical blunders so others who are good could correct me. Hearing, accepting and pleased with what I was told, I became bold in expressing my ideas, no matter how bad my grammar. I determined to improve my spoken English skill at all cost; I became bold to ask people for correct pronunciation of English words.
Meanwhile I also formed the habit of always consulting the English dictionary for correct pronunciation of words while I bought English textbook of highly recommended authors. Just like magic, my spoken English started improving. I wrote my Senior Secondary School Examination, gained admission to study Journalism in a tertiary institution within the country and finished my program successfully. Today, I communicate fluently in English, practice as a freelance journalist and touch people’s lives via the platform of my profession. With my real life experience, dear reader, I can tell you boldly, just like that gentleman told me few years ago that, “change is possible.”
WORDS ON MARBLE
Dear friend, whatever may be the current state of your life or the type of challenge you currently face, change is possible. Your life, home, academics, profession, destiny and so on could experience positive transformation if you can…
…develop inner indignation about the current state of your life.
…dare your fears and doubt your doubts.
…determine to seek for transformation (positive change) with all your possible strength.
…dissociate yourself from mediocre, complacent and lethargic set of people.
…be ready to pay the price that the change you seek for requires.
…speak out to people who can help you.
…be open to constructive criticism and amendments when and where necessary.
…ask for God’s help daily.
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BY Sola Alabi