Many would say that lessons are to be learnt from certain experiences and I totally agree with that but that day, I just couldn't see the lesson I was supposed to learn.
Few years back, say three years ago, I was just chit chatting with some of my friends at a youth meeting. The monthly youth meeting was a gathering of youths to discuss certain arising issues and possible ways of fixing the issues. I was very less concerned about the meeting, "after all it wasn't affecting me directly" I thought.
I noticed that I was getting piercing stares from the youth coordinator but that didn't bother me either. I kept chit chatting about trivial issues forgetting where I was.
Everyone's attention was drawn when we heard " please may the following youths step out". Names were listed and my name was the second to the last name called. I stepped out with an innocent face.
Leadership positions were given out and then I was called upon. I walked close to the lady that called me and she said, "behold thy youth secretary",with a smile on her face. "Youth what?!" "Secretary? What do I even know about being a secretary?" I asked myself, lost in thoughts. I was brought back by the loud clapping I heard from the audience. I feigned a smile and walked back to my seat majestically. "It's a new dawn" I sighed.
From that moment, I had to start taking minutes. I was a novice to all these things and so I did it the way I could. I went home,proofread, edited and typed the minutes with little or no supervision. It took me a whole week to do all those things.
I took a sample copy of the minutes to the youth coordinator and she waved it off. She didn't even read it. All she said was, "it's okay" and that was it.
I returned home and made many more copies to be distributed on the day of the meeting. That day finally came and it was a very bad day for me.
On that day, adults, parents and youths were at that meeting. It was a big meeting. The first setback was insufficient minutes to go round everybody. I was scolded and embarrassed. I took it in good faith and acted as if nothing happened.
I was called upon to read my minutes. I apologized for the insufficient minutes and went ahead to read. Everybody seemed to have a correction for my minutes.
My feet began trembling, my voice became wonky. I was sweating when the room was perfectly ventilated. That was the moment. The moment I dreaded the most. I never expected so many corrections to my minutes.
After the meeting, I was summoned by the youth coordinator and I was given the scolding of my life. She said so many mean things to me. I got home and cried my heart out. I later came to a realization that crying won't salvage my situation and so I decided to take things into my hands.
I did my researches, watched video, searched for past minutes and I was good to go. The next minute I made was very good. I had only two corrections which were wrong spellings of people's names.
I felt accomplished when I finished reading the minutes and I heard a round of applause. It felt very good. I came to the conclusion that certain things need proper knowledge and supervision. If I didn't do my research, I probably would have gotten more rounds of scoldings and embarrassment.
The first terrible minutes was a great setback but I came off it and waxed stronger. As a matter of fact, I've become a great secretary and a good example to other aspiring secretaries.
It took hard work and perseverance but I still scaled through thanks to the embarrassment and scoldings I got. Presently, the youth coordinator and I are very good friends. I learnt a lesson and also retained a good friendship.
With love, wongi 😊.