To Young Folks

April 12, 2023

To Young Folks:

Days ago, I had the opportunity to witness a very sad occurrence. I saw two little boys (very playful ones) in a school. I didn’t know what had transpired between them, but suddenly, the bigger one roared like an angry lion and got so mad he attempted to strangle the other boy to death. I haven’t seen anyone like that before. He kept bashing the smaller boy with everything he laid his eyes on. Broken chair piece, the cane by the classroom exit door, someone’s school bag, food flask. Anything. Everything.

You might be thinking, “So, what did she do?” Well, I shouted to try to wake the big beating boy’s senses.  But, even as I shouted, I knew it was almost fruitless. And yes, I couldn’t do more than that because it was too dangerous for me to interfere. In fact, it was dangerous for anyone to. The big boy was mad. He would beat anyone that interfered too and not simple beatings, but mad ones!

I’m sorry I couldn’t do a lot. My name is Mercy Leshi, not Jackie Chan– I don’t dodge planks for a living.

Anyway, after too many shouts, he stopped the beating. It was clearly a bad day for the smaller boy, a very bad one.

When asked the reason for his totally intolerable act in a school system, the bigger boy stammered in between tears, “I…I have… have..been…been….telling..him…to…to…stop!”

I was confused as to why someone who just beat another person terribly could be the one crying the loudest.

“To stop what?” a teacher asked.

The big boy couldn’t talk. He was so weak and tired and frustrated that he couldn’t speak a word.

The smaller boy sat in a corner crying hurtfully too after (probably) the heaviest beating he’d ever gotten in his life.

But the mystery was that no one knew why.

After a handful of question-and-answer episodes, accompanied by so many strokes of the cane for both parties, the reason behind the incident was uncovered.

Apparently, the bigger boy was a newcomer in the school, and the small boy has been attending the school for such a long while now that he thought he could play around with everybody.

He had been messing around with this bigger classmate of his since the morning, disturbing him, seizing his possessions, falsely reporting him to the teacher, and getting him beaten.

To the small boy, it was fun. Pure school cruise. Just one of those things to pass time.

On the other hand, the big boy had been grunting, telling him he didn’t like the torture he had to suffer at his hands, telling him to stop playing mind games and frustrating him.

Yet, the small boy never stopped.

And quite unfortunate for the small boy, his “object of joke” had a very bad temper and gave him his due share of it. Quite unfortunate.

Listen to the simple, silent warnings and signs that come from things you do before they aggravate into something you regret.

Pay attention. Try to think twice, reevaluate, and notice the difference that comes with things you do.

Sensitivity is a response, and you have to listen to hear, know, and notice before you respond.

Imagine how being sensitive would have benefitted the small boy. Just imagine. He wasn’t really senseless, he just didn’t let his brain interpret what his senses saw. He saw the bigger guy grunt. He heard him say “stop.” He “smelled” his discomfort. And he definitely felt his anger. But he refused to get the message.

If so much physical insensitivity can cause so much tragedy, imagine how much spiritual, emotional, and financial insensitivity can cost us.

Until you activate your sense organs consciously, you’ll be a victim of many unfortunate circumstances.

Be sensitive!


Mercy Leshi is a Nigerian creative writer, content creator, and scribe. She’s a lover of art and creativity beyond the average. She currently studies at the Federal University of Technology, Akure. Her works have been featured on DeAltar, a religious writing organization, and SYNW, a society of Young Nigerian Writers, and has work forthcoming in Blue Marble Review, among others.

Featured image by Aedrian on Unsplash


Thank you for this piece, more inspiration to write more