Jews were despised and maltreated in Europe and America, but one generation decided to end the insult. Jews are now treated with dignity and the nation of Israel will always say, “Never again!”
I have gone through these pictures and others, several times, since I got them.
There were very insulting situations I experienced in life while growing up that I never wanted my children to experience.
1. There is a sense of inadequacy and complex that poverty tends to impose on you, when you come in contact with children from elite homes.
My wife and I ensured that we worked very very hard to break the yoke of poverty and inadequacy that we experienced from our poor backgrounds. It did not take place at once, but it was a concerted effort at pulling down the image and structures of poverty. The images and structures are attitudinal and dispositional. It was a deliberate and consistent effort at filling the social gaps we inherited.
We sacrificed a lot so that they could get the best education. We never compromised on education. We sold a lot of landed properties to train them in Europe. We had to send Ufuoma twice to Massachusetts in the United States from Europe to work and get the American Experience.
We were living very frugally, then, and till now.
People called us all kinds of names. We refused to respond. At a point, my mentees in Ughelli were ridiculed. Today, they are admired and desired instead of being derided.
When they told my father to marry another wife because he had only two of us, boys, and my elder brother was mentally retarded, he said he would not get an erection unless he finished training me as a medical doctor. He never wanted the insult of illiteracy to be transmitted to the next generation.
The dish you want to cook determines the ingredients you buy.
2. After graduation as a medical doctor, the father of my colleague in the Warri Central hospital asked me, “Whose son are you?”
He wanted to know my pedigree.
There was nothing to boast of about my father. He was a gateman in a hotel. He was a refuse collector before then. I left a mud house at No. 12 Oki Street, Okere, to the University.
I turned round and cursed the mud house as I was leaving, that may none of my descendants ever live in a mud house. That was 1979; I was 20 years old. When I got back to the doctors quarters, I swore that nobody would ask my children that same question without a matching answer.
I deliberately decided to build the name, Apoki Charles, into a brand. I wanted my name to go before my children.
My eldest son called me from the airport when he was going to Europe, “Daddy, someone knows you here”.
3. One rich man once told my father, when he could not pay my school fees, when he was retired, that he should not have sent me to an expensive school like Government College Ughelli.
My father cried bitterly. When I saw my father weep, I swore that I must never experience that with my children.
One day, I needed to deliver a lecture in a place, and it was one of the descendants of that family that held my walking stick.
4. A young lady once told me that she could not marry me because we were not in the same social class.
She wondered how she would introduce me to her father. Many years later, the father was so excited to meet me when I sent for him to come meet me in his pastor’s office, where I was a guest preacher. Today, my children can marry into any class and any race.
Don’t fight those who insult you; get insight from insults. Do the needful and produce results. That’s the best way to answer them.
Don’t hand over insults as an inheritance to your children.
I have received a lot of insults and mockery in life, but I have learnt to pay the price for the prize.
Great results are the best answer for insults.
My prayer for you is to get insights and grace to silence your mockers in Jesus’ name.
God Bless You.