The two teachers struggled to quiet the four-, five-year-olds cheering and chanting the names of every child who matched into the classroom — “Desola-Desola-Desola! Henry-Henry-Henry! Emeka!-Emeka!-Emeka! Amina!-Amina!-Amina!”
All of them seemed to be the stars in the class, not one child was singled out. Each child who was cheered joined the throng to welcome others likewise as they went in beaming, smiling, some more shyly than others.
The cheering wasn’t for the best athletes or the richest kids or the tallest or for any other attribute conferring honour or popularity among children or humans. I think the children just found pleasure recognizing, accepting, and loving each other.
I wonder where we grown-ups derail. Where and when did I unlearn expressing love, and appreciating other people without sizing them up? Is it due to a scarcity of resources — economic or emotional?
I want to be like those children. I want to go back to cheering and hailing the people around me whether they be bus-conductors or executive directors. God help me.
P.S. I watched the faces of some parents as they said their see-you-laters and went off to the day’s business. There were some smiles, one or two had tears.