When I was young the family car got stolen. It was a yellow Toyota station wagon that my grandfather used to drive. That day he went to the Central Market, and came back from the market with goods but no car. I was upset, and I asked him
“Grampa why don’t you call the police and get the car back?”
“Well granddaughter, the car needed fixing, and that would cost money to repair. Whoever stole the car saving me from that burden and to besides, that car money could go elsewhere.
“What you mean grampa?”
“Cars need gas, and servicing and tyres and I could spoil my grandchild with that money.”
I never understood what he meant at that time. Maybe I was too young to understand, but some years later when I turned 17 I asked again.
“Grampa can we get a car now”
“No grand daughter, It’s not a priority and its too expensive”
I even asked my mother, but my persuasive methods never moved her 😦
Maybe my grandfather has a second sight, because as luck would have it, 3 years of university fees came up to the price of a brand new showroom quality car. Granted, even though I still walk, and I travel, my degree is my car. But its the “car” that no one can take away from me.
Recently I was working with my father, and one of his constituents had a problem with landslips affecting her home. I paid her a visit. In her yard were 4 cars. Four nissan cars, B14’s and B14’s with chrome rims and customised paint jobs. The kinda of paint job where it’s all pearly and glittery and two-toned. I must say the cars looked great. The woman then said to me,
“Dat paint job dey cost 10 grand, ah did it last week”
So she takes me inside her house. It was simple and modest. I counted 3 bedrooms, kitchen, dining and living area, but there was no bathroom. We reached the back door and she showed me the landslip. As I was about to step into the yard she shouts.
“Doh walk dey, dais where we does throw we waste an ting, we doh really have a bathroom nah”
I was shocked. They spent 10 thousand dollars on a paint job, but still couldn’t find the money to get some decent plumbing, or a toilet, or even self a latrine? Is having a the best customized car so mandatory to one’s existence that basic sanitary necessities are non existant?
Then I remembered the conversations I had with my grandfather and I realized that he made a sacrifice. He sacrificed his car and relative convenience for more cash in his pocket. Through his sacrifices and my mothers as well, I was able to go to university and get my degree so that one day I will be able to rake that high paying job where I would be able to buy my car through the sweat of my brow.
Seriously though, there is a thin line between sacrifice and stupidity. We make sacrifices now so we could benefit from them in the future. A question to ask yourself when you reach a point where you have to make a sacrifice, ” Will it help me in the future?” How can it benefit me” If you can’t answer any of those questions then you should rethink your decision.
So folks, choose wisely. Think about the sacrifices you want to make in your life and how it can benefit you best in the future.