My son comes up to me last night, looking all innocent and wide-eyed and is pleading “Mummy, please can I watch The Next Step today?” ‘The Next Step’ is a program on Disney Channel, but my son is pleading because he knows he is not allowed to watch TV during the week, so he wants an exception. “If you let me watch TV today, I will not watch TV through out this weekend, I promise!” At this point he has his hands together in front of him as though he is saying a prayer.
So of course being his Mama, I saw a teachable moment right there. I say to him, “how long is Next Step?”, “45 minutes”, he answers. “And for 45 minutes now, you want to give up the whole weekend’s TV?” “Yes” he says. So I go on to tell him the story of Esau and Jacob, how he sold his destiny for a bowl of porridge, gratified an immediate desire for a future and continuous blessing/prosperity! I then went on to describe his whole weekend, almost hour by hour and all the TV he gets to watch when he is not at karate or at lesson and after describing all that, I ask “do you want to give that all up for today’s Next Step? Because if you still want to, you can watch it.” To which he says “No’ and starts to go away forlorn.
I call him back, and say “Son, could you have bargained better? Could you ask instead that you would like to watch Next Step today and said, I would like to watch it because, I have finished all my home work and I have studied?” Could you then have gone on to say “since I have done that, can I watch? In exchange for watching today, I will do XX more chores for free, (my son gets paid for his chores see post here) and I will reduce 1 hour from my TV time on Sunday/add one hour of study time?” I went on to teach him, that he must always ask and bargain in HIS own favour while also giving to the other party so that we all win.
By this time in the conversation, he was already excited and started telling me of exchanges of Lego where Kamsi or Bowunmi, his best friends, bargained better than him and vice versa…
Anyhow, this morning I think of you and I. How many times have we bargained amiss? Given our all to someone, something or a cause, that is giving nothing to you. ALL, for NOTHING, doesn’t seem like a good bargain to me! Keeping the company of friends, who make your heart palpitate when you see them, because of the abuse, negativity that goes on! Doesn’t sound like a good bargain to me! Pricing yourself, your product, your time, way below your worth, whether it’s as a result of low self-esteem or lack of confidence, it doesn’t sound like a good bargain to me! As I thought about it, I recalled this poem by Jessie Ritten and wanted to share it with you! Enjoy it, think about it and re-negotiate that position!
I BARGAINED WITH LIFE – A Poem by Jessie B. Ritten
I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;
For Life is just an employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid.
Ciao! Life will pay you what you ask of it! Today, go out and expect the best. Set the highest standards, invest in yourself, your product, your service and your skills, and then, go on, ask for what you are worth (whether its to be treated right in a relationship, paid what you are due…). Why? Because you matter! Because you create your tomorrow today! Because any wage that you ask of Life, (and insist and do the work to convince it), Life would eventually pay!