By George W Nyabadza
“GEORGE, your driver has been involved in an accident and your car has been wrecked! He is OK though.”
had just completed my first free leadership and personal development seminar in Harare and had just finished speaking to the last of the delegates who had stayed behind for deeper engagement with me. I had no idea that something was wrong as the message bearer delivered the news.
I had worked with this young man (George) for several years and he knew me reasonably well. On his face was no picture of panic or concern at all. In fact, he delivered the bad news so matter-of-factly that if one didn’t understand the dynamics between us one would have thought he was joking. His demeanour reflected his understanding of me and the life transformation journey I have undergone ever since we met, in a “bosssubordinate” role that actually turned out into a “coachmentor” process.
While he was not guaranteed of my reaction, he knew for a fact that I was able to exercise my power of response-ability to deal with the matter. To a great extent we are responsible for what happens to us in our lives, especially as adults. But there is that minor fraction of events that occur to us – which we have no control over – such as accidents in your car when you are not there.
I am also a great believer that if one is in sync with the Spirit of the Creator, there is a constant process of divine intervention that ensures that events that occur in your life have the seed of greatness in them, the opportunity for further growth on your part and on the part of those involved in the event.
I had spent three hours engaging in a deep process of personal transformation with over 130 delegates attending the free seminar. Key to the success of the seminar was my ability to plant seeds of greatness, possibility, response-ability, choice in decision-making and ultimately an understanding that there is no life challenge that has the power to destroy us.
I am a living example of these beliefs. So when I heard the news of my run-around car being wrecked, knowing the impact on my plans to do some fun stuff with my son for the rest of the weekend, and without moderating my response for the hearer’s sake, my ultimate response was: “Life is fun, it keeps providing all these challenges for growth, let’s go and check the man out.”
In that moment my concern was for the young driver’s mental health. They had told me he was physically well but I was not sure what the impact of the accident was on him. He had been on a legitimate rushed errand for me so there was no issue of mischievousness on his part.
Before arriving at the scene I called him and joked around about carelessness and messing up my weekend plans just to lighten the mood. As I had thought, uppermost in his mind as he was staring at the accident mess was concern over my reaction. I have worked with this young man for several years and he had as much knowledge about me as the message bearer. But to him, at that moment, this was to be a test.
I am not sure if he even thought of it as a test of my true character because the accident scene is always too terrifying a place to be having motivational thoughts. He was deeply concerned about my reaction. On reaching him and viewing the car wreck I simply said: “Wow, what a challenge for all of us to go through, it’s OK young man, let it be!” and that was it.
It was such an anti-climax for this young man because eventually when we parted all I asked him was to let me know the lessons he had learnt in all of this. Life continually challenges us and there is no need of trying to hide away from what comes our way. All we can do is learn and grow.