The Law According to Rob: Message from the Morning Man
by Kojo Yankson
19th April 2016
One of my closest friends in England was my work colleague, Rob. He was also an Estate Developer like me, but was based in Manchester, where he managed the West Midlands team, while I, in Nottingham, was in charge of the East Midlands team. We spoke every day, and met once a month in London for corporate briefings.
Now, Rob was quite a character. He was very bold and outspoken. He also had this weird sense of justice which was bizarre, but strangely fair. He believed for example, that victims of crime should choose what punishment is given to the perpetrators. That one alone had generated some interesting conversations between us over the years.
I remember one afternoon, during a meeting in London, we were on our way back from lunch when he noticed that a dishevelled looking beggar at the entrance to the Kings Cross tube station was drinking a can of beer. Rob cursed under his breath, marched over to the man, snatched his begging cup from the ground in front of him and started rummaging through it.
I was gobsmacked. What on earth was he doing? The old man seemed even more baffled than I was. He shouted “Hey”, and reached out to grab his cup back, but Rob kept it out of the man’s reach and just glared back at the man, who suddenly seemed to have recognised Rob.
At that point, the beggar calmed down and simply said, “You can’t take it back”. Rob said nothing, and kept rummaging through the cup until he extracted five pounds in coins from it. He then gave the cup back to the man and returned to where I was standing.
In response to my look of absolute bewilderment, he said, “I spent five minutes talking to that man this morning, before I gave him a fiver. He swore blind that he wasn’t going to use the money for booze, but look at him standing there with a can of Stella in his bloody hands”.
We walked a few minutes in silence, until Rob spotted another beggar. This one was an Eastern European woman with a baby. Rob walked over to her and, with a smile, dropped the five pounds worth of coins into the bowl in front of her. With tears in her eyes, she thanked my friend profusely for his kindness.
That was Rob.
I remembered this incident last night, when I was sitting down to write this message, because it suddenly occurred to me how relevant it was to an experience that almost all of us have had at one point or the other in our lives.
How many of us have had failed marriages? How many of us have been laid off work? How many of us have attended interviews and not got the job? How many have bid and not got the contract? How many have been refused loans? How many have failed to get admission into the schools or universities of your choice? How many of us have had visa applications refused? And how has that got anything to do with my friend Rob taking his money from a drunken beggar at King’s Cross?
Of all the human experiences, rejection is still the most painful, and in many cases, the toughest to deal with. Some of us have been rejected so many times that we’ve started to believe that we are actually not deserving of any person, job, school or nation, and at this point, there’s really nothing anyone can tell us that will change our minds. I mean seriously, after that many failed relationships, is it not obvious that the problem is us and not them? This one too, which kan motivational speech will change the obvious fact that we are just not good enough?
Well, let me try.
My friends, God made you. He made you to fulfil a purpose. You are a resource to Him, and God does not waste resources. He will not waste you where you are not needed. He will not send you where you won’t be appreciated. If you didn’t get that Visa, perhaps He doesn’t think your talents should be wasted cleaning toilets in Kuwait. If He didn’t keep that marriage going, perhaps he knows there’s someone out there who doesn’t just want you, but needs you. If you didn’t get that job, perhaps it’s because the job where you will really make a difference is yet to come.
Rob, like all of us, is definitely made in God’s image. He’d rather take his money back from a beggar than see it unappreciated and misused. Well God would rather take you away from any person, place or thing that would not consider you an absolute blessing.
So enough crying. You ARE good enough – just not for that woman. You ARE competent enough – just not for that job. You ARE smart enough – but that school is not where you have been appointed to shine. God made you as a gift, and He intends to be thanked for you. So don’t fight it – embrace the rejection. God will only send you where you’ll be celebrated, not tolerated.
My name is Kojo Yankson, and God is not going to let me go to the lowest bidder.
GOOD MORNING, GHANAFO!