by Endy Noble
Mr. Smart and Mr. Smarter, illustrates a childhood grasping tendencies and ambitiousness
|MR. SMART AND MR. SMARTER
Growing up as a child was full of fun. One certainly lived under a clever but elusive imagination—always thinking one was clever enough to outdo every other person around; a belief which constantly push one from one adventure into another.
Amidst these many adventure is an accompanying weak will to obey anything instructions or follow the too morally inclined routes. One’s self-imposed morals were always far from expected. And the accompanying exploitative tendencies were incredibly high.
Although, it was good, because it was such a path finding which lead to discovery of truths and this is a true representation of human nature—a reality which crouch men on every side.
One of such occasions as I could straightforwardly remember is stealing fish from the fish basket.
My parents had kept some fish in a basket inside a kitchen store. While we all sat watching television in the sitting room, it came upon me a memory of the fishes, how good looking and sweet they are. Then I began devising how I could smuggle some out for myself without the knowledge of my dad, mum or the other of my siblings.
The memory of a formal foretaste suddenly drive me into “I must have it now spirit”, irrespective of the tight situation; a desperation which lore me into planning how to stealing some fishes. So I started planning and designing ways to get it out and get lost for the time been.
In all, I have four feasible options. Each of these options holds its own promises and danger and I analyzed each looking for merits and safety.
The first which was a no go area was to enter the kitchen, carry the fish and start eating it with all boldness. This option I considered a no go option because I lack the courage to execute such. I could not even dare ask them to give me one of the fishes not to think of such courage as to boldly go for one in their sight. I have nowhere to forge out such boldness. I was just a lad and such boldness was exclusively reserved for adults and grownups.
The second option was to hide the fish inside my pocket and leave the house. But this could raise suspicion. Besides, the danger of this option is that I would have to pass through the sitting room where everybody was sited. I might get caught with the fish because of the aroma of the fish. I know two of my siblings have very sensitive nose for smell. This makes the option even more dangerous.
The third option was to remain in the kitchen and eat the fish there since every other person was watching television in the sitting room. But what happens if my dad or mum or any of my older siblings come around and catch me there? The danger is too immediate.
The fourth and the last option which was my most preferred was to keep the stolen fish on the window then I will go out free and pick it through the other side then I will hurry away. This seems a perfect option. This now is the best option—a blue print which embedded within itself both cleverness and hope. No one will know my plan and no one could debug it. I will even use glove to pick it so that my hand will not smell fish.
Hum! Quite intelligent and interesting!
Even if someone protests my going out, I was not carrying anything so no one could suspect me of having stolen anything. If somebody else saw it before I reach there, I will simply deny it.
I was very sure this was going to work out. I was already celebrating my wit—because with such a concrete plan I am outwitting my dad, mum and other siblings. So I went straight into execution. For me, such a composite plan has no prospect of failure. The danger is also negligibly small.
Having completed such a concrete plan, execution was nothing to be seen a difficulty.
I succeeded in the first two steps of my plans—going into the kitchen and placing the fish on the window; at a position I considered most suitable enough to allow me easy carriage. Then I comfortably and confidently walked out of the house with silent jubilation.
The final step which was to pick the fish from the window was not only disappointing but also humiliating.
On reaching outside, I discovered I was too short that my hand couldn’t reach the window. I quickly picked a block which was lying-by to aid my height. It was successful and my hand can now reach my stolen fish. Then the unfortunate happened.
As I place my hand to pick the fish, another hand quickly landed on mine—grasping it so tightly that I couldn’t withdrew it from the fish. It was my dad’s hand.
The surprised grasping of my hand made me jerk and the block fell off my legs so that I was left hanging in the air. I swung in the air like a pendulum bob set vibrating about a fixed point—in my case, between my dad’s hand and the stolen fish. I was too defeated to remember been witty.
My dad had entered the kitchen when I left the house and had either accidentally stumbled on the fish or he had suspiciously monitor my behavior and had discovered the fish on the window. Whichever way, he discovered the fish and so lay his own trap in wait for whoever had kept the fish on the window. I supposed he had said to himself, “Whoever kept the fish on the window will certainly come to carry it away”. Unfortunately, I was the one and had come as he logically supposed.
If my supposition was true, he was right up to the utmost truth. But for me, it was really ridiculous and embarrassing. All my siblings came out to see me hanging as my dad invited everybody to catch the fun of the moment. I was the five fingered rat that always steal meat and fish from the kitchen.
All my wits and cleverness melted away as my siblings laughed at me. I was embarrassed and I cried my failure as I would have celebrated my success.
More so, I wonder how my dad did know. This remains a mystery to me till date. Had he possibly read my content, smell a fish or even knew my plans all along? Had it all happened by accident? Only God knows. This was left covered from me.
I accepted the reality of the fact that I was caught but how my dad came about the revelation is a mystery left for me to figure out with my imagination for the rest of my life—perhaps, when I become a dad too, I will know.
One thing that was obviously clear to me is the fact that my clever imagination, fabulous ideas and tricky plans were all beaten by my dad’s in one move. He outwitted me, though he meant no harm and did not inflict any physical harm or punishment to me. He only means to teach me a lesson.
The lesson was clear; he was more intelligent and wittier than me. He proved every bit of this point by hanging me on the window with my stolen fish. I thought I was smart but somebody else was smarter—my dad was smarter.
This brought me to one of the lessons of life. That our fore-sights and fore-thoughts alone cannot give us hundred percent success(es) unless we are able to learn, know and debug the fore-sights and fore-thoughts of our enemies. It is easier to have a successful plan than it is to have a successful execution. This becomes the marked difference between dreams and realities.
Childhood adventure is one stage that everybody who was once a child passed through. You may not have had the opportunity to steal meat or fish from the pot or where they are kept. Or better still, such may not have been considered a violation in the house or place where you grow up. But we all have one form of childhood boundaries and limitations or the other.
For some, they cannot go out to play with other children of their age. Others have no right to open pot without permission and yet, some others, this petty fears and boundaries were self-imposed—maybe for fear of mummy and daddy.
However, we have this curiosity and desire with intense propensity towards doing that which we have been prohibited from doing. This propels us into some kind of smart ideas, elusive imaginations and clever tricks. Sometimes, we even think that we are smarter than our parents.
But at some points, we discovered in a hard way that our parents are actually smarter than us. This in reality is the first rule of life—trying to put us thru the lessons that we are not as powerful as we thought ourselves.
In essence however, this is how the quest for greatness or power begins—your ability to welcome your own ideas and further your imaginations as being noble, superior and outwitting. It does not only go into forming our personalities. It also goes into determining our character—such that, if we don’t encounter the transforming grace, it follows us into adulthood. For those who find this grace, it becomes fun; but for those who never did, it becomes an unavoidable habit.
For me, Mr. Smart, I encountered the grace and it’s now all things for fun.
The point however is that I was manifesting my natural human nature without mortification. The greedy nature which make us to think we should have more than other people, at all cost irrespective of the prevailing tides.
It is no fault of man that we have this nature in us, but it will become your fault if you don’t change yourself for the better side.
Greed and selfishness is in the nature of man. To worsen it, we all are born into a greedy and selfish world which encourages us to embrace it. For us to overcome this nature-imposed monster, we have to acquire the knowledge that no matter how smart we are; God is far smarter than we can ever imagine and can superimpose this smartness of His in any mind so chosen.
Remember, greed is an attribute God has imputed in us to help us achieve salvation not to acquire excessive wealth at the expense of other people. God want us to protect the first line of defense but not to make other people defenseless and vulnerable. That will only make us Mr. Smart.
In the story, we are Mr. Smart and our heavenly father, God was Mr. Smarter. We are selfish but our father, God is not. At least, if He were, He would have punished us severely.
God’s love goes beyond accumulation to sharing. But selfishness is hoarding the generosity of God on the assumption that what we have (what He had given to us) will not be enough to meet our needs or the needs of the people around us. This erroneous assumption keeps us bound in the prison of greed.
But the most effective option which never existed in my options was to ask my dad for the fish. Matthew 7:7-11 says, “Ask and you shall receive……” and verse 12 say, “Do to others whatever you should like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets”.
If you would forget everything that was said in this story, don’t forget this, salvation is the desired end of earthly journey, therefore, everything we acquire, earn, gain or accumulates and everything we do are mean(s) to that end; not the end itself. Therefore we must keep the end in view within every mean we seek.