• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

Treat people as you wish to be treated

Do not live a lie ‘managing’ your abuse or abuser, speak out!

A diligent student who was from a poor background and was supposed to graduate with a first class GPA, fell back into the second class upper grade because his lecturer made a vow that he wouldn’t become the best student in that department.

The student’s offense was that he publicly corrected the lecturer during a lecture, and because of that, the lecturer marked him as one of the students he would not allow to graduate with a first class.

The student had thought that the lecturer had done his worst by marking him down. But a surprise awaited him on the day he was to collect his NYSC posting letter. He had lobbied to serve in Lagos state, but he was posted to Kebbi instead. Walking out of school depressed, he met the same lecturer who, rather than congratulating him, mockingly told him how he was the one who orchestrated the posting to Kebbi instead of the student’s desired state. “It doesn’t cost much to give your details to someone at NYSC. I want to see how your computer knowledge will be useful in a state where you can count the number of computers. You feel you know something. I will see how you will make it in this profession.” The lecturer mocked him and walked away.

The student intended to work for an IT firm in Lagos and had negotiated a N30,000 monthly salary with his prospective employer.

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But this lecturer, whom he had offended, cut short his dreams. A few days before leaving the NYSC camp ground, a man approached him to enquire if he knew anyone who could fix a laptop urgently. The student, now a youth corper, volunteered to repair the laptop as this was one of his specialties. After the repairs, he wasn’t paid. The man, however, collected the youth corper’s phone number.

The youth corper thought he would be assigned to teach in a school for his primary assignment as was the custom. He was surprised to see that he was posted to the office of a Senator representing one of the constituencies in the state. The posting was facilitated by the man whose laptop he had repaired.

His salary was over N80,000, with a furnished apartment and medical allowance. He had access to cars, and the first contract he executed made him a millionaire because he was asked to procure laptops and accessories for all the senior civil servants in the state ministries. After his NYSC, he worked with his employer for three more years and was awarded a scholarship to study in the United States. His studies culminated in him bagging a PhD in Forensic and Information Technology.

On one occasion, he spoke at the conference of World Forensic Scientists in Japan. After delivering his lecture, there was a standing ovation from the participants all over the world, of which his lecturer was one of them. Being a well-behaved child, he walked up to his former lecturer and exchanged pleasantries with him. As the lecturer was not able to place his face, he assisted him in recalling by saying the exact words the lecturer said to him. “I am the one you said, ‘Let me see how you will make it in this profession’.” His former lecturer felt ashamed and surprised.

“Not only have I made it from this profession sir, but internationally I am recognised. You must have seen my publications. I paid $5500 to sponsor your trip for this conference under the auspices of GRAND Inc. I own the company.

“Sir, every year, you will be invited to speak at a conference like this. It’s my way of saying thank you for influencing my posting to Kebbi state that particular year. If you had not done it, I would not have made it to where I am today. You meant evil, but God turned it into good.

“I hope your hotel room (Room 312) has a nice view of Tokyo.” The student told his former lecturer. At this time, it was like the ground should have opened up for him to be swallowed. The lecturer later sent an apology by mail to his student.

This lecturer is lucky to have done this to someone who did not repay him with evil. The outcome would have been different if that was the case. Don’t be a stumbling block to another person’s progress. Do unto others what you want them to do to you.

Awunli Eghosasere

Writing Consultant and founder, Hapiwifey.site, a digital platform that curates resources to help young women unlock their potentials