Virtues Not Taught In A Classroom

There are lot things which the education system does not teach you,and the worst part is you never know that you don’t know till you are in need of that skill- the same way you never need money until you lack it. You never really know how much you didn’t learn in the education system till you get out of it. And no, I’m not talking about the fact that our class six pupils can’t solve class 2 arithmetic. It also has nothing to do with our secondary students’ inability to construct grammatically correct English sentences,or even communicate fluently without mixing up languages. You elewa what I’m talking about?Since a comrade is always right, I won’t delve into First Class Honors graduates who can’t make a PowerPoint presentation.

Here’s what I mean;

Tolerance– Our education system is churning out all manner of zealots; ethnic, religious,political zealots,you name it. We have people who can solve complex mathematical problems but can’t withstand differences in opinions. These are individuals who can design architectural marvels,formulate poverty alleviation policies, analyze electromagnetic radiation formulae and perform all those feats cerebrals pride themselves in but cannot just stop spewing hatred towards those who aren’t their own. These are the ones who post tribal remarks,make sexist statements and are generally disrespectful to everyone whose culture,gender or beliefs are different to theirs. It is their way or no way!And social media provides the perfect platform for such.

You just have to take a look at the student union elections in our institutions of higher learning to know that tolerance is a skill so much lacking in our curriculum and it’s until you graduate that you learn how much this skill is essential.

In the ‘real world’ you will have that coworker whose post-lunch rituals drive you up the wall but you have to tolerate him because he is such a good system debugger. You will have to tolerate that neighbour whose morals are so loose that it makes Jacob’s daughters look like saints because she unhangs you clothes when it rains while you are at work.Don’t forget about that neighbour whose aroma of hot ugali will wake you up at 5am when the only thing in your stomach are traces of black sugarless tea that you had for supper.

Free tip on tolerance; in every ‘bad’ person, there’s something good in them. Explore their virtues and embrace their inadequacies.

Tact- “Honesty is the best policy”. This will always be drummed into you at the slightest available opportunity. And I’m all about honesty and truth. However,you learn that the world appreciates sensitivity and tact more than it does give rounds of applause to the honest,and so you have to adjust accordingly. Thanks to brutal honesty, Manny Pacquiao recently lost a Nike sponsorship deal rumored to be about $2m.

Now,I’m not advising anyone to become an inveterate liar but a garnish of sensitivity and tact in your honesty will take you a long way. And make you more friends. You don’t have to be a jerk to be honest. Even Sheldon Cooper gets nice to those around him at times!

Telling your prospective employer that you should be given the job because you got bills to pay won’t endear you to the interviewing panel. Neither will honesty on your gambling addiction help your cause. Admitting that your greatest fear is an encounter with organ harvesters won’t land you the offer either. Asking him when your wedding date is on the first date won’t make him go down on his knees but rather take flight. And gents,telling her the weave makes her resemble a squirrel won’t be taken with the light touch you hoped for. And you require tact in dealing with those intolerant morons I mentioned in #1. The world rewards those who are tactful and sensitive.

Patience– When I was in the university, delayed examination results were the ultimate test for patience. We wondered what they were doing with the results several weeks after a 5 month holiday. You couldn’t tell the ladies that you were a 3rd,4th or 5th year without the results–a cloud of uncertainty hang over your head,and campus ladies don’t do uncertain. You weren’t really an equal to your mates until it the exam results confirmed you had proceeded to the next year. Exam results vindicated you of your hedonistic lifestyle and shushed the whispers of the puritans attempting to point you out as a good example of bad examples.

The other times was when your bodaboda guy was delaying the delivery of fast food and drinks after you had invited a lady over to your room and you thought he had been compromised by the roommate you had exiled only for him to arrive saying he had taken another customer somewhere and ran out of fuel midway back.

It is after you’ve left school that you learn that patience, truly, is a virtue. Your friends will get and even change jobs while you are still roommates with your parents, classmates will start families when your love life resembles a telenovella script minus a happy ending. That’s just how life is. People will promise you jobs which don’t materialize and big companies will take forever and a day more to call you for an interview. It sucks to apply for a job and get an interview invitation when you have forgotten you sent an application to that company,but that’s just the way it is,so you got to wait. The “We will communicate within one week” that comes after a month or never comes at all will test your patience. There are times when you think the HR is playing #WasteHisTime/#WasteHerTime hashtag games with you but you can’t call to tell them they are soulless monsters. You just have to wait.

Then there are those small and medium size companies who never tell you they don’t have a vacancies, they tell you to call tomorrow which never comes, and soon your contact person in the company subjects you to the same treatment you have been giving that girl in the neighborhood crushing on you- tells you he’s busy and will call back. Like you, they never call back. It is important to continue sending those applications, and soon enough, you’ll have your breakthrough. You just have to wait.

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