St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1278) gave a burn so profound; it has been remembered for 785 years. He was a genius and a brilliant theologian. He was quiet, gentle, full of wonder and the size of a fullback.
People mistook his innocence for idiocy when he was a young monk, they used to call him The Dumb Ox. One day his fellow monks ran up to him and said: “Thomas, come see! The pigs are flying in the sky!” Thomas jumped up and bounded to the window. The other monks shrieked with laughter. Thomas was silent for a minute, then he replied: “I would rather believe that pigs can fly, than that my brothers would lie to me.”
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918-2013) was studying laws at the University of the Witwatersrand, a white professor, whose last name was Peters, disliked him intensely. One day, Mr. Peters was having lunch at the dining room when Mandela came along with his trays and sat next to the professor. The professor said, “Mr. Mandela, you do not understand, a pig and a bird do not sit together to eat”. Mandela looked at him as a parent would a rude child and calmly replied, “You do not worry professor. I will fly away,” and he went and sat at another table. Professor Peters, reddened with rage, decided to take revenge.
The next day in class he posed the following question: “Mr. Mandela, if you were walking down the street and found a package, and within was a bag of wisdom and another bag with money, which one would you take?” Without hesitating, Mandela responded, “The one with the money, of course.” Professor Peters, smiling sarcastically said, “I, in your place, would have taken the wisdom.” Nelson Mandela shrugged and responded, “Each one takes what he does not have. “Professor Peters, by this time was about to throw a fit, seething with fury. So great was his anger that he wrote on Nelson Mandela’s exam sheet the word “IDIOT” and gave it to the future struggle icon. Mandela took the exam sheet and sat down at his desk trying very hard to remain calm while he contemplated his next move. A few minutes later, Nelson Mandela got up, walked up to the professor and told him in a dignified polite tone, “Mr. Peters, you signed your name on the sheet, but you forgot to give me my grade.”
John Joseph Pombe Magufuli (1959-2021)gave a heroic reply to the Westerners when wanted to help Tanzania in the fight of the Covid 19. He said, we do not need your donation, if you want to help us in the issue of Covid 19, then get rid of our debts so that we can fight against Covid 19 by using those debts.
A Story of a Teacher and a Student: A young man meets an old man and asks him: Do you remember me? And the old man says NO. Then the young man says that he was his student. And the teacher asks: What are you doing, what do you do for a living? The young man responds: Well, I became a teacher. Oh, good, like me? – said the old man Yes. Actually, I became a teacher because you inspired me to be like you. The old man, curious, asks the young man what moment inspired him to become a teacher. And the young man tells the following story:
One day, a friend of mine, also a student, arrived with a beautiful new watch, and I decided I wanted it for myself and I stole it, took it out of his pocket. Soon after, my friend noticed the theft and immediately complained to our teacher, who was you. So, you stopped the class and said: Your friend’s watch was stolen during class today. Whoever stole it, return it. I didn’t return it because I didn’t want to.
So, you closed the door and told us all to get up and you were going to rummage through our pockets until we found the watch. But he told us to close our eyes, because he would only look if we all had our eyes closed. So, we did, and you went from pocket to pocket, and when you got to mine, you found the watch and took it. You kept looking for everyone’s pockets and when you said: “Open your eyes. We already have the watch.” You did not tell me anything and you never mentioned the episode. You never said who stole the watch. That day, you saved my dignity forever. It was the most shameful day of my life. But it was also the day my dignity was saved from becoming a thief, a bad person, etc. You never said anything to me, and even though you didn’t scold me or call my attention to give me a moral lesson, I got the message clearly. And thanks to you, I understood that this is what a true educator should do. Do you remember that episode, professor?
And the teacher wisely replied:
“I remember the situation, the stolen watch, which I was looking for in everyone, but I do not remember you, because I also closed my eyes while looking for it.”
A Story of a Boy and a Passenger in a Bus: A boy was in a Taxi eating Chocolate, then he took another one, then a Man next to him asked a boy, “Do you know that eating Chocolate in excess will damage your teeth?” The boy replied, “My grandfather lived 132 years.” Then, a man asked a boy, “Was it because of eating Chocolate?” The boy replied, “No, he was always minding his own business.”
A STORY IN A CLASSROOM: During a prank, a student stuck a paper on his classmate’s back that stated that, “I am Stupid”, and asked the rest of the class not to tell the boy. Thus, the students began laughing on and off. Came afternoon mathematics class started and their teacher wrote a difficult question on the board. No one was able to answer it except the boy with the sticker. Amid the unexplained giggles, he walked toward the board and solved the problem. The teacher asked the class to clap for him and remove the paper on his back. She told him: “It seems that you do not know about the paper your classmate has pasted on your back. “Then the teacher looked at the rest of the class and said: “Before I give you a punishment, let me tell you two things: First, throughout your life, people will put labels on you with many nasty words to stop your progress. Had your classmate known about the paper, he would not have gotten up to answer the question.
All you have to do in life is to ignore the labels people give you and seize every opportunity you have to learn, grow and improve yourself.
Second, it is clear that he does not have any loyal friend among you all to tell him about the sticker. It does not matter how many friends you have; it is the loyalty you share with your friends that matters.
If you do not have friends who can defend you behind your back, who can watch over you, protect you and who genuinely care about you, you are better off alone.
A STORY OF A YOUNG MAN AND HIS GRANDPA: A young man asked his grandfather, “Grandpa, how did you live in the past without technology, without computers, without Internet connection, without TVs, without air conditioners, without cars, no cell phones?”
“As your generation lives today, there are no prayers, there is no compassion, there is no respect, no real education, there is no personality, there is no shame at all, there is no modesty, there is no honesty. We, the people born those years, were the blessed ones. Our lives are a living proof.”
- While playing and riding a bike, we have never worn a helmet.
- Before school then we played and again after school until dusk and hardly ever watched television.
- We played with real friends, not virtual friends.
- If we were thirsty, we would drink tap water, or water from the hose, not mineral water.
- We never worried even as we shared the same cup of juice with four friends.
- We never gained weight by eating plates of pasta every day.
- Nothing happened to our feet despite roaming barefoot.
- We never used food supplements to stay healthy.
- We used to make our own toys and play with them.
- Our parents were not rich. They gave love, not stuff.
- We never had cell phones, DVD, game console, Xbox, video game, PC, internet, chat, but we had true friends.
- We visited our friends without being invited and shared and enjoyed the food with them.
- Parents lived nearby to take advantage of family time.
- We may have had black and white photos, but you can find colorful memories in these photos.
- We are a unique and the most understanding generation, because we are the last generation that listened to their parents.
- And we are also the first ones who were forced to listen to their children.
“We are a limited edition! Take advantage of us. Learn from us. We are a treasure destined to disappear soon.“
“A ruler cannot measure wisdom.”
Maximilian Kikwembe, Swahili Apologist