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Hold unto substance!


There are people simply incapable of putting themselves in another’s shoes for one second. They are usually those who can go on and on with “me, me and me” without giving much thought to one simple fact about life-UNPREDICTABLITY!

I was listening to a guy narrate to his friends about a lady he’s been communicating with (on the phone). Apparently, they met on the social media. He said that they have agreed to meet very soon and that at the end of that very discussion he said to her, “I HOPE I AM NOT COMING TO MEET A CRIPPLE!”


At that very juncture, I shut down (from listening to the rest of his gist) and occupied my mind with something else. I mean, what sane human being would throw such careless comment at another? Should she jump into the lagoon then, if she was one? How exactly is one expected to feel, if indeed that (disability) is her situation?

Doesn’t the guy know that if the girl in question is one -that he’s just succeeded in killing her spirit and throwing her physical challenges in her face all over again? Do we realise that such a thing is capable of making one commit suicide or go into depression… if everyone she meets has to make her feel less human due to her challenges?

Does such a guy even realise that something could go completely wrong tomorrow and he may end up being the one, that some girl would be saying I HOPE I AM NOT COMING TO MEET A CRIPPLE to? I bet we do not factor in such intricacies of life when we are flying with our THOUGHTLESSNESS.


Constantly, life’s happenings keep teaching us that NO CONDITION IS PERMANENT and conveniently, we keep forgetting about life’s unpredictability. There’s always that selfish tendency NOT to see beyond our noses.

What I expected from the guy is this… Since everything seems to point to the fact that he likes the lady – going from her intelligent discussions and other tale tale signs of a PROMISING FRIENDSHIP between them – he should have just resolved within himself that even if they eventually meet and there is a “K-LEG” in the setting, he can stay friends with her.

He doesn’t have to deal with a setting he is not into, but we just should not (by our attitude) make others feel that their physical condition has doomed them to some form of FRIENDLESSNESS.

If the reverse is the case, how would he feel if someone he’s been communicating with eventually meets him, yells “SO YOU ARE A CRIPPLE,’ suddenly turns and takes to her heels-because he is on a wheel chair? Would he not hate life and even wish he were dead-at that minute?

That’s exactly how KILLING our attitude can be to the spirit of others…when we make them feel LESS worthy/human-due to their physical limitations. Is it that we can’t look beyond the physical and get to meet the INNER MAN, instead?


Some of them are even a lot better and more valuable than our so-called PHYSICALLY COMPLETE friends…if substance is a decider. The next time you accept to be a friend, please don’t wear your expectations as a badge. Don’t forget that the other fellow has their expectations too and the fact that they are NOT wearing it as a badge does not mean that such expectations are nonexistent.

Friendship means (first and foremost) to accept the other-in whichever package they come in. Once you rein in this ‘thought pattern’…every other blessing that makes each friendship unique will begin to unfold.

Some years back, my elder brother obtained a form for me to write a certain examination when I was still fresh in my senior secondary education.

He must have had his reasons for wanting to toughen me up academically but I was almost caving in-psychologically-until the morning of our mathematics (my dreaded subject!) examination.


A young man, who was in a wheel chair, was having a last-minute revision with other students. As soon as he was done with them, he wheeled his chair towards me and asked why I was disturbed? To cut the long story short, I found myself relaxed in that examination hall.

The words of my new friend had given me courage.
That encounter also began the story of one of my most priced friendships till this day. I found a motivator in him a motivator, a friend and a confidant. I mean, you get to a point in life when what feeds your soul has nothing to do with a physical attribute in another.

For goodness sake, if every friendship isn’t defined by physical pleasure-why then should we have a problem reaching out to all and equally accepting their hand of friendship or at least not making them feel less human?


In this article:
Chukwuneta Oby
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