Just a week ago I happened to attend a mentorship program at the San Valencia board room. The topic of discussion for the day was drugs, from the definition to the types; from the harmful use to the effects; the sad state of addiction up to and until the point of redemption, it was all covered. The knowledgeable facilitators had their share of drug-related experience as both, a male and female, had been bound in the chains of alcoholism and other substance abuse. As they shared their story, my mind couldn’t help but travel ages ago when I was growing up. One Mr Paul or rather “Baba Jonnie” was a renowned smoker…or rather a chain smoker. He would do up to ten packs of the cigar a day without hustle.
Despite his being such a chimney, he was a rich man, very humble and had a generous heart. He was the only one who owned a car back in the day in the whole of our village. The car, an old model of the Toyota k-70, was everything and anything you would want it to be; an ambulance in case of abrupt sickness but more so it was used to rush expectant mothers who were about to conceive (sad to admit but my friend was almost conceived in this same car),a village bus as Mr Paul would not pass you by walking on the road and he would not hear of it if you refused that he offers you a ride. The vehicle was just heaven sent.
Despite Mr Paul, being a heavenly soul, his cigars were not. He puffed all times while driving while having a drink with fellows, while walking, all times. This was unusually irritable when he did so while driving. This smoke choked everyone, woe unto you if you were a number of people enjoying the ride, then you would wish that you walked. This particular habit made people avoid his rides at all costs unless it was indispensable then you would have to pay the price. I particularly remember walking to the market with my friend and seeing Mr Paul come our way at a distance; I kid you not, we jumped into the nearest Napier grass and hid there till he passed. We chose to rather suffer the stings of Napier grass than the choking smell of tobacco.
So dear folks, a good heart accompanied with good habits are worth more than gold, therefore lets be mindful of the actions we make habits. They influence our interactions with other people and at the end of the day create a good name, as the bible would have it, “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…”