“You may cheat your way out in school exams. You may take lifts instead of walking the stairs. You may cheat and do away with it. However, when it comes to the ultimate life exam, there is no shortcut. No lift. You must take the staircase.”
Life is so tough that no one ever leaves it alive. That is the ultimate exam: how will you be judged after you die? Will you be judged harshly in your afterlife? Will your soul truly rest in peace or it could continue hovering for unfinished business in which case it becomes restless?
In your daily life, we all go through several exams. Some of them rotate about money. What to eat? Where to get money for school fees? How to earn during retirement? How to avoid and or overcome a major illness in the family? Or the daily ones concerning our ethics: should I accept a bribe or not? Should I pay a bribe to access a public service?
It is difficult to pass any exam without preparation.
As parents, the holiday season is when we get the opportunity to prepare the children for life exams. Can the children wash their own panties? Can they cook? Do they clean their bedrooms or someone else does it for them? Do the children lay their beds after waking up? Do they wash their plates after eating or they leave the plates on the table?
As a small business owner, you realize the training our children get from school does not adequately prepare them for life exams. Many youngsters have a certain sense of entitlement. Some think showing up at work is enough to justify their salary. The discipline of self-drive, taking initiative and taking fast action with a sense of urgency, attention to detail and ‘working within small means’ is always not demonstrated.
Yet these are the critical skills and habits to pass today’s life exams. Many young people have a ‘public service mentality’ of abundancy and rigid thinking – where you need to have lots of resources before you start something. However, in this era of technology, innovation and problem solving is the skill that is in much demand. How do you use scarce resources to overcome challenges? How do you demonstrate leadership by coming up with a simple and easy solution to big problems that would require others lots of money to solve? How do you start with limited means?
People who pass the life exam think differently. Such an attitude is attributed to upbringing and family experiences. Did the children wake up early to fetch water? Did they learn how to grind millet or harvest it? During holidays do the parents take the children to the village to expose them to such life experiences? Were the children exposed to situations that make them alert? You must anticipate the life exam and prepare. In my life, I have always avoided the situation of appearing before an interview panel only to be told that ‘we needed a person with a second degree instead of just one.” I take time to read the requirements. I invest in my education. I prepare and put my best foot forward.
During this holiday, prepare your children for the life exam. It is not easy. But good preparation makes life easy.
Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate all of you Parishioners for the great Golden Jubilee celebrations. Thanks to our Parish Priest, Central Organising Committee, other Church leaders, our Bishop, and all the clergy for the wonderful day. The Church was filled to capacity. The Bishop delivered a great homily and made the day lively. And thanks to the many couples who received the holy matrimony. May their marriages be successful and filled with God’s blessings.
May you always have ready answers to all life exams.
Copyright Mustapha Barnabas Mugisa, 2019. All rights reserved. For daily inspiration, visit mustaphabm3.sg-host.com