During my NYSC, (NYSC is a compulsory one year of National service for every Nigerian) I took strategic management classes at ISMN – Institute of strategic Management Nigeria.
It was both fun and a great learning experience.
The fun part was getting ready for classes with my roommates, 4 lovely ladies, chartering a cab and arriving the venue in style.
Fast forward to the not so fun part- Exams. Sincerely, I did not prepare for them. And I relied heavily on what I had learnt in class with head knowledge to get me a pass and certified.
On exam day, we were lined up in this big hall, and called in according to our registered number. My assigned seat was not anywhere close to my friends and that was actually fine by me.
I could answer about 50% of the questions without stress and I struggled with the other part, but I did what I could and left the hall.
Fast forward to some weeks later, I receive an anonymous message on my phone, along with a beautifully designed card delivered to me.
Oh, a secret admirer, I just thought. I mean it was NYSC, and the guys were not lacking, neither were they slacking.
I eventually got to meet this admirer, he invited me over to lunch, I won’t bore you with all the details. A nice young man I must say.
His place of primary assignment was a school, and he had got the students he taught to make me a card. To this day, it’s one of the kindest gestures I have received from a complete stranger, with no strings attached.
And guess why? he saw me at the exam hall, and was impressed because I did not interact with any one, just answered the questions I could and left.
Actually, there was a lot of communication in the hall that day. And I was among the first people to leave, because after answering all that I could, I saw no point in just sitting there.
I did not do that to impress anyone. It was a personal choice to not cheat. Was I tempted? Oh yes! Was I aware anyone will be watching? No. But someone was, and in retrospect, I am glad I made a conscious decision to not compromise.
Lesson: Keep doing what you know is right. Not necessarily because you need a reward, but because you know it’s the right thing to do. Someone somewhere is watching and you are having a positive impact on someone’s life.