Africa

Take a Clue from the Frog

We live in a world where everything around us teaches us lessons. We learn from fellow human beings, trees and animals, living and non-living things etc. The question is “do we learn from things that present to us opportunities to learn or do we just gloss over them?”

Have you ever passed by a pool of water with frogs croaking and jumping up and down? Do you wonder what is happening? Well I heard this story and I learnt a lot from the frogs in a pool of water, croaking and jumping up and down.   

A group of frogs jumped into a pool of water which was a bit deep, and they found it difficult to jump out to land. As they struggled to jump out, one of the frogs said to the others out of frustration and despair,

“We can never make it out of this pool no matter how we try. This pool is too deep.”

On hearing this one of the frogs who appeared very frightened that he would drown replied, “Then I can as well die to end this torture,” and on that, he just died.

While the remaining frogs “yelled and cried” in fright and apparently waiting for death, one particular frog kept on trying to jump out to no avail while others wailed. The more he tried, the more the others cried in desperation and yelled at him to stop.

“Quit trying. You will never make it. Did you not hear what frog A said, ‘We can never make it out of here, no matter how we try.’ You even get us more scared by that unfruitful attempt of yours,” they cried.

But the more they screamed and yelled at him to quit, the more persistent he tried. And finally he jumped out of the pool. Seeing that he had succeeded the other frogs cried the more. Unfortunately for the successful frog he could not hear them, so he just answered,

“Sorry guys, but I am deaf and do not understand what you are saying.” All the while he was trying to jump he actually thought the “screams and yells” were to encourage him to press on.

That story reminds me of our great nation Nigeria. Nigerian citizens and the Nigerian country itself are faced with similar scenario whether or not to forge ahead with life. By life here I mean both the physical life and otherwise. Socio-economic upheavals and political instability in the country make its citizens have a thousand and one questions to ask, without a single satisfying answer expected. The future looks so bleak and scary for the ordinary citizen – lost hope, nothing to look forward to and everything to worry about. Frustration, panic and stress are all on the increase giving rise to societal instability and high crime wave.

Therefore we are all faced with difficult times and struggling to survive, well painted in the scenario with the frogs in the pool of water. With the frustration and despair due to the economic situation comes a lot of suggestions, advice and otherwise which we have to contend with. Most times we are discouraged either by what we see and know that is happening around us, or by what people tell us.

Like the frog story above it is all about self determination or dependence that can see us through. If the successful frog was not determined, he certainly would not be able to fight to the end. At times it pays to be deaf to discouragement and just be focused and determined. It all depends on you – be determined and depend on yourself to deal with the situation. The situation around him became a stepping stone for this particular frog.

On the other hand, we equally need to give or take encouragement from people to get through life. The successful frog, being “deaf” to the real situation, was actually encouraged by his comrades. Their “screams and shouts” pushed him forward and he never gave up.

There is this friend of mine who I respect so much due to his wisdom. Often times I just visit him to tap from his wealth of knowledge and experience. A lot of people come to him for one help or the other, and on such occasions they leave with a smiling face. When he sees the puzzled expression on my face after his discussion with people he says to me,

“I do not always have the solution to the problems of the people coming to me for help but I cannot leave them hopeless. So I give them a ray of hope to keep them hanging on for a while.”

He realises the fact that such people have so much confidence and trust in him and he cannot disappoint them. He told me that people come to you for help when they see a possibility in you to help, and so turning such people down could end life literally and in the real sense of it for them. Like the frog that gave up, a discouraging word cost him his life.

But when you encourage people not to give up in life’s struggle, they hang on and press on with life. They remember your words – Don’t give, you can make it – and that continuously rings a bell whenever they feel like giving up. They remember that you have confidence in their ability, and so build and strengthen their weakness on your encouraging words. They end up being successful and will remain ever grateful to you for seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for them when they could not see it themselves. Like the deaf frog who assumed his colleagues were urging and encouraging him to keep trying, his success came through by their “encouragement”.

 

Words are powerful tools which can either make or mare a man. Use them constructively.

But the other side of the truth is the fact that there are bound to discouraging remarks; we should expect that occasionally. But my advice is, “Never allow people to set the pace about your life for you to follow”. You can be that encouragement you so desperately need to hear from others.

 

Always remember these quotes and the poem adapted online when you need encouragement.

 

“When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.”

~ Unknown

 

“Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can.”

~ Unknown

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

~ Alexander Graham Bell

 

“He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.”

~ William James

 

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. “

~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down. “

~ Mary Pickford

 

“It doesn’t matter how many say it cannot be done or how many people have tried it before; it’s important to realize that whatever you’re doing, it’s your first attempt at it.”

~ Wally Amos

 

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”

~ Japanese Proverb

 

“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.”

~ Flavia Weedn

 

            Poem

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow,
Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”

~ Unknown

 

 

Reference

Great Inspirational Quotes to Inspire Your Life Moments

http://www.great-inspirational-quotes.com

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