Love and Kindness
I went to boarding secondary school. And just like most boarding students, there was this need to look out for each other, most especially your roommates, classmates and close friends.
I consider myself a very empathetic person. It’s easy for me to “carry people’s problems on my head”, so much that one would be tempted to remind me that it’s actually not my problem. I feel people’s pains very easily, most especially if they are close to me. However, while at boarding school, I noticed I was more empathetic towards a certain group of people, the bedwetters.
I had a friend who suffered the problem almost throughout our time in secondary school, I mean from our first to final year. We were roommates at some points and I took it upon myself to help as much as I could.
I drink a lot of water, so I wake up at least once every night to urinate. I had a touch light I used to keep under my pillow just incase NEPA did their usual. Whenever I woke up at night, I made sure to wake her up so we could both go to the bathroom together. I tried my best to wake her at least twice every night. I made sure to remind her not to drink too much after 6pm. This method helped a lot, because she bed wetted less.
There were nights that our efforts didn’t stop her bedwetting, and there were nights that I overslept and forgot to wake her. I would rush out of my bed very early in the morning (while silently praying a miracle happened and she didn’t do it), go straight to her bed, touch her mattress and find it already wet. Each time this happened, I always felt disappointed in myself. I blamed myself for her bedwetting because somehow, I overslept and didn’t “perform my duty” of looking after my friend. I would then try to make it up to her by helping her wash up and tidy up.
I used to fight anyone who made fun of her. I carried her matter “on my head” like it was my personal problem and responsibility to look after her.
One thing though, she was VERY GRATEFUL. And that gave me the encouragement never to stop helping her for as long as we were roommates. And even when we stopped being roommates, I would still sometimes wake up at night, walk down the hostel corridor to her room just to wake her up.
If I knew what I know today, I would have been of greater help to her by taking her to go seek professional help. But I was only a little girl who thought she was drinking too much water and sleeping too deep, so the solution was to get her to drink less water and wake her up at least twice at night to use the bathroom.
I don’t know why I did all that for that girl now a woman, but seeing some photos we took about 16 years ago (in our JS1/JS2), I was taken down memory lane. The last time we spoke which was more than 7 years after high school, she told me that her family took her to see some professionals, and they were able to help her to a permanent solution to her problems. I was so delighted for her.
Fortunately, she was just a normal girl but for her bedwetting problem. She was very intelligent, and she did very well in her class. So, I wasn’t surprised when she told me that she graduated well in her degree.
I was neither a psychologist nor a doctor, but I did the best I could to help her live through her problems. 11 years after secondary school, I’m thinking back to those nights, and I’m very proud of myself that as young as I was then, I still had the heart to help so selflessly, upto the point of inconveniencing myself.
We’ve all got battles, and life challenges, thus we all need people at some points in our lives. Everyone of us is a part/full, temporary/permanent solution to another person’s problems. In all we do, and no matter how busy we are, it would be great for us to take out sometime to show a little love and kindness, be a solution to people’s problems, and help put smiles on the faces of others. Yes, yes, yes we can leave the world a little better than we met it.
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