During high school, some of my friends had come to play cricket in an adjacent field. I don’t remember much but one of the balls my friend hit landed on the roof of a house that was under construction then. I walked up the stairs and picked the ball, when my neighbor shouted, “get down immediately, the cement is still wet and the walls may crumble anytime.” I didn’t wait for a second more to jump down straight from the first floor. Thankfully, I landed safely without any injuries. Only I thought so.
I looked upwards to check how high I have jumped and that’s when I saw them coming. Four bricks, each soaked in wet cement and as heavy as an anchor with unconditional love for gravity, came flying down and landed on my head; one after the other. One. Two. Three. Four. I must have instantly gone numb so I hardly felt anything, except for mild dizziness. I appeared from behind the building, rubbing my head to resume playing, and I saw my friends staring at me, scared out of their wits. They all came rushing and so did blood, oozing out from my head and dripping slowly through the nose onto the green grass.
I realized what I had done and the next thing I asked myself was how I’d face my mom with this? It was just another mishap for us boys but how bad would she feel? No, I couldn’t imagine how she’d react. I ran back home, opened the gates and slyly walked around our garden on the left side of the entrance; turned the tap on and sat under the cold water for a few minutes. Once I made sure I had washed off all blood from my face and head, I wiped it with a dry blue towel. After all strenuous, stealthy prep, I casually walked inside the home, tapped my mom’s shoulders gently and calmly whispered –
“Mom, a small injury to my head. Nothing serious, let’s go to the hospital.”
Two hours later, I came back home with four stitches and mouthful from my mom for being careless, ONCE AGAIN. I still feel proud of the way I managed the situation.
7 years later, it sounds funny now when I turn back and relish the memories. But the incident wouldn’t have had the same impact today. I wouldn’t be able to smile at my blood now, knowing very well the damage a skull fracture could do. I wouldn’t be able to afford and take some days off from work as I did in school, knowing I’ve responsibilities. If it happens now, the next time I wouldn’t be confident enough to take the same risk again.
I am very happy that all my 4 fractures, 5 bone dislocations and 15 stitches among countless other serious & mild injuries happened before I knew the risks involved.
Sometimes you learn best when you don’t know the consequences of failing.
LEARN LIKE A CHILD.
*I did not succeed, but I failed sooner, which gave me extra time to learn*
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We have a proverb in Arabic that says “learning at a young age is like carving stone”. Meaning that people learn faster when they are young and what they learnt won’t go away easily.