The Servant Girl & Why I Do What I Do


graphicMy friends think that America’s Got Talent and the Jerry Springer’s show are in the same category. I think they’re ridiculous for thinking something like that. Chances are, I am alone on this one, but I actually quite like America’s Got Talent. I like watching Howie, Sharon, and Piers squirm; but even more importantly, I love seeing people pursue their dreams with gusto. It’s amazing. So amazing that sometimes I get teary eyed.

You see, last year, I found myself cleaning one of the bathrooms in my parent’s house in Nigeria. As I viciously scrubbed that toilet down (TMI), I was thinking about the servant girl we called Mary. I could tell that she had been broken to the core. Mary didn’t know her real name. She didn’t speak English. Couldn’t do simple arithmetic. She didn’t even know her age. In my eyes, the only escape she had from being a servant for the rest of her life was to get an education. I saw promise in Mary so I started teaching her English and basic arithmetic but the more I thought about Mary, the more frustrated I felt.

I couldn’t understand why she didn’t see in herself, the same gift I saw in her. Why couldn’t she see that she was intelligent? and that she could be more than a servant girl? Right there and then, somewhere between the bath tub and the toilet bowl, I realized something about myself that I never knew. Nothing. Absolutely nothing moves me as deeply as seeing people pursue the things that they are most passionate about.
I now realize that I cannot teach passion and I cannot force passion, but I can write passionately. I can speak passionately, and I can inspire passionately.

That’s what this site and most of my speaking engagements are about: equipping people to live with passion. We all have those moments when we need a little nudge to give us the courage to be different. My goal is to make a great place to find all the nudging you need. Until next time, stay motivated!

5 thoughts on “The Servant Girl & Why I Do What I Do

  1. This was such an interesting read. I often wonder why some people do not understand their potential. I think that sometimes we humans have the ability to EASILY fix everyone’s problems but our own – funny how this ties into your post. Looking forward to reading some of your other stuff!

  2. Thank you Kasie!@
    sometimes, I think many people know their potential but it’s much easier to “go with the flow” than to swim against the tide you know?

  3. I have these same feeling of trying to make people feel more useful than they imagine they could be,i go all out to organise free trainings (to which people attend reluctantly)
    Not too sure if this is an African attitude or a global one?i am an African and i live in Africa
    The reason why people feel so despondent about their potentials,i think is from their very bad orientation from growing years-for e.g,the ‘Mary” in your analysis might have been introduced to slavery from age 5-so,she is simply accustomed to that and nothing else makes meaning to her,her mum was probably a house help who got abused by a house boy who later became her father!
    Keep writing about it,keep talking about it,education is a good ‘change agent’-we will get there,God willing.
    By the way,have I said i love your Blog?

    1. very well said! thank you so much for that comment, O.K. I’m excited that so many people are finding value in this blog. to respond to your thoughts: i agree. it really does start from a young age. I was recently invited to facilitate a series of development sessions for 6-8 year olds at the Center for Leadership Development (CLD) in Indiana. At first, i was reluctant to accept the invitation because i thought the kids would have a hard time grasping the concepts. Then i realized that the seeds that are sown in a person when he/she is 4, 5, 6, or even 7 years old have a HUGE impact on who that person turns out to be later in life. Needless to say, i am now looking forward to those CLD sessions with the kids. with education and the Grace of God, we can make change happen

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