In one of my final examination question papers, there was a funny case study where we had to use our own moral judgment to decide who was wrong or right. In the case study a certain girl, Thelma, and a guy, Steven, were madly in love but they lived on opposite sides of a dangerous river infested with crocodiles.
None of them had means to cross the river and the only way to meet was to ask David who lived on Thelma’s side of the river to take her across the dangerous river in his boat.
But it wasn’t going to be that simple. David agreed to deliver her into the arms of Steven, on one condition: that she sleeps with him first. Desperate to see Steven, Thelma gave in and after the ordeal, David kept his promise and took her across the river.
But Thelma was so overwhelmed with guilt that she decided to tell Steven what she had to do to see him. Appalled, Steven broke up with her, calling her all kinds of names.
A distraught Thelma told her best friend, John, what had happened and John feeling so angry beat Steven to a pulp for being ungrateful after what Thelma had to go through to see him.
I am not going to tell you what my moral answer to the question was but it sure deserved me a good mark. But I can tell you now that if I took that question paper to da Tura and asked some guys what they thought of Thelma, you would have heard them calling her all types of names from “she is a b****h, she is a whore, she is a vuile pop (dirty)”. If I asked the sisters in da Tura, I am sure they would have something different to say. What about Steven? Was he not a wimp? If he were man enough and loved his woman, would he perhaps not have tried to find a plan to cross the river like the things men do in the romance books to find their princess?
Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.”
The recent meeting between Prime Minister Nahas Angula with the ‘struggle kids’ led me to think of how ungrateful we really are.
The PM offered to assist the desperate young adults to acquire skills that could land them jobs. I will not dwell on this subject too much but I was shocked when they flatly refused with some saying that they were too old to go to school, while others reasoned that they wanted jobs and would pay for their own education.
I mean, how will you pay for your education if what you demand is a job as a cleaner? If you do not qualify as a war veteran, how old can you be that all of a sudden it’s too late for you to go to school?
There are so many things we ought to be grateful for, especially people who did some heroic deeds to give us better lives, whether it was during the war of resistance or the liberation struggle, we ought to honour these people.
Yesterday was one of Africa’s most heroic leaders, former South African president Nelson Mandela’s birthday, yet you should have heard the things that were coming out of the mouths of some people. Well, you could have your opinion, but keep it for the right platform.
In our daily lives, there are so many examples that one can make of how ungrateful we are but do not realise. When someone opens a door for you or holds the door for you, you can say “thank you”. When someone gives you right of way at an intersection or lets you into the lane, you can express your gratitude by honking your horn or a simple ‘thank you’ with your thumb.
When somebody accidentally bumps into you and says sorry, you can acknowledge them by saying “it’s okay”, instead of giving them a nasty look like you are about to give them a snotklap. Sorry Ngo!