My Change Inducer

Jump, Now!!! Those words rang in my head, as I took a drastic decision that changed my life for the better. 28th February, 2014, remains imprinted on my mind to this very day. I was a grade ten student of Bright Stars Model Secondary School. I had a couple of good friends, read my books, and made sure to be the perfect kind of son my parents wanted, I wanted. It was about 4pm on the said date, we had just finished our last class for the day, as the exhausted students scurried out of the school premises—the euphoria evident in them as they longed for home. I packed up my bags, said goodbye to my friends and boarded a tricycle home. I sat in-between a plump woman and a mid-sized dude. We had just passed a green traffic light, when an SUV in front of us collided with a minibus, as the bus tumbled to the side, crashing down on the pavement. Our driver tried to manoeuvre his way, in an attempt to avoid bashing the SUV. Just as he narrowly missed the SUV and drove onto the sidewalk, I saw this big tree, looming in front of us. Surrounded by a carpet of merciless granite stones, the thick, dense tree, situated itself a few inches from our tricycle. My thought at that fleeting moment in time, was that our vehicle was going to impinge on the tree and we would all be dead. The dude beside me jumped out, and without thinking, I followed suit, jumping out of a moving vehicle. That was a life-threatening decision I made in seconds. I closed my eyes and leapt out, face first onto the granite ground. Miraculously, I landed on my knapsack, as it scraped through the granite with fierce force. I was left with only a shallow wound but nothing serious. The event of that day marked a turnaround in my life. Two weeks after the accident—on my way back from school—I decided to head down to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. I went to the Accident/Emergency unit, my heart sank. I saw a whole lot of helpless, hopeless people, most of them lacking limbs. The looks on their weary faces sent chills running down my spine. I had always considered myself a staunch believer in how blessed I was, but that day showed me I had a whole lot more to be grateful to God for. I met this particular girl named Grace. She has lovely brown eyes and a cute smile, about 5'2 in height. She recently turned nine. When I got to know her well, I discovered that she suffered from a fatal car accident, one which wiped out her immediate nuclear family, leaving her as the only survivor. Her kneecap got smashed in, rendering her unable to walk. Her maternal aunt takes care of her at the hospital. I made it a point of duty since then, to always visit the hospital twice a month and make anonymous donations from my little savings, mostly to Grace's aunt for her welfare. A friend once said to me, “you start living—not just being alive—when you impact positively, on the lives of others.” It's starting to make a whole lot more sense to me now. I feel in a way, the accident made me a better version of myself, one that now views the privilege of life, as an avenue to help those on the verge of losing theirs. Surviving a ghastly car accident has taught me a few things in life, one being that life is fleeting, and can be cruelly snatched away at any instant of time. I believe in helping the needy. Each time I walk past a ward and see a kid I anonymously donated funds to, playing and jumping around happily, it gives me some sense of self-accomplishment (knowing I've been able to impact one more life). In my subconscious, the sayings of John Bunyan come alive, “you have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

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