In her early twenties she’s one determined lady who would plan something and go about accomplishing it. Not that she always succeeds, but she never gave up without first trying. But she also had spots too soft for our age. As sensitive as she is negative comments easily sent her to bed early. In a way having learned from experience she had vowed never to talk about her plans and stuck to it. When one little slip came a few weeks back it proved one big hit to her self-confidence.
“What is troubling you?”
“Nothing; I’m alright.”
“No, you aren’t anything wrong with your family””
There was nothing wrong with her family. The story was that she had plans to resign from a not-so-well-paid job and go into business by herself. Her plans were three or four years down the road she’d open up her own café and slowly go into the hotel business. Where does she plan to get for the money for opening up a café which is not as simple as said these days? She plans to work on two, three jobs and she has already landed her second, three-evenings a week job. She told no one in her extended family but is confident that some would stand by her side when the time arrived.
But then the slip came. She runs into a seasoned relative of hers who owns some business and was doing good at it. After some small talk she tells her about her plans. Now, if there was anyone who could advise her on how to go about it is someone who already was in it.
“I wanted to talk something about you. I want to start my own business.” She says her relative acted as if something pricked her somewhere around the seat. Maybe they don’t make seats as they used anymore!
“I don’t understand.”
Then she talks about her plan. The relative appeared to be all ears. She wasn’t!
“What you’re talking about!”
It was the turn of the young lady to feel that invisible prick. Half-heartedly she repeated what she said in its entirety.
“Are you out of your mind? Do you know what you’re saying?”
Then she goes on telling her there was no way she could do that. She was not telling her about difficulties, pitfalls, headaches or the like which might await her on the other side. She was telling the young lady that she couldn’t do it. That she was not going to succeed because it was not for her and things like that. It is like “You, a business woman! You should have your head checked.”
The wound inflicted dug so deep the young lady hasn’t yet recovered. Unfortunately, there are many who blatantly you’re not fit to do this thing or that. If you expect for reasons as to why they are saying that forget it. You won’t hear anything like that. Many of us have become so ignorantly pessimists for no reason at all many drop out half their way into one plan or another.
“Where have you been lately? It has been some time since I last saw you.”
“I’m busy and don’ venture out that much.”
“It must be something big.”
“Can I ask what it is?”
“I am working on a novel.”
“What! What did you say?
“I said I’m working on a novel.”
“Sorry, I think I haven’t heard you correctly. Are you reading a novel or wri…– I don’t believe I’m saying this –….writing one”
“I’m writing a novel. Do you want me to use a megaphone?”
You! You writing a novel!” and he goes on cutting his friend to pieces telling him that writing novels wasn’t for him! The person saying might be who wouldn’t read a whole book a year; or one who he never opened a single book after leaving school.
“What do you plan to do after leaving school?”
“Become a businessman.”
“What, you a business man! Are you telling me you plan to be businessman?”
“Yes; what’s so strange about it! You sound as if I told you it’s ten minutes to the final midnight for our planet.”
“Look, you wouldn’t mind if I gave you some advice, would you?”
“Why should I! In fact, any advice from you or others is welcome.”
“Then what you should do is forget the business nonsense and employment in some government enterprise.”
“What! What kind of advice is this?”
“I’m telling you what is good for you. By joining a government enterprise your retirement is assured.”
(Incidentally, maybe by some design of fate parents of a twenty-something think not of the immediate years but of retirement some three or so decades or away! Strange as it might sound, you can’t deny at least there was some form of optimism there. Unlike our age, they could plan decades ahead. “My son, when you reach your retirement age…”
“Are you telling me I’m not fit to join the business world?”
This wouldn’t generate a direct response. But the words don’t have to be voiced; the verdict is “Yes, you’re not fit! You don’t belong in that world.”
The weatherman ‘predicts’ the day will be a sunny one. You go out with a T-shirt and those snow white sneakers you kept for occasions. The professionals have told you it would be bright and dandy and you’re not to let such a blessing slip through your fingers! And what happens? The rains, that’s what happens. The rains pound the entire city with vengeance! And if you know what it takes to clean snow white sneakers you’d suspect there must be some conspiracy about it all. Who is to blame then? The satellite images, the computer hardware and software or the humans who have to do all the decoding?
Of course, ours hasn’t been a society where you wished to be something and achieved it. But the carpet-bombing of plans and visions of the innocent we see so frequently these days is keeping many young people behind the curtain for fear of their hopes being nuked out of their souls.
Oh God, give us our daily bread…and keep the hope-crashers at bay for us! They’ve already done too much damage!
The Ethiopian Herald October 24/2021