It Happened To Me

Will You Ever Tell Them?


A few days ago, I came across the Facebook page of an old school mate who passed on rather suddenly last year. His page was still kept active by his incredibly strong wife. And as I read the messages on his wall- I was convinced that he had made such a huge impact in the lives of people around him…..and then I wondered: Did he know he made such an impact when he was alive? Something tells me he did- but I questioned, what if he didn’t?

As I pondered on this, I remembered attending the funeral of a friend last year who also had passed away suddenly and played back the amazing things everyone said about her- her positiveness, her ever present smile, her great presence…..and then I wondered: Did she ever know how much of a difference her smile made?

I couldn’t help but bring this closer home; last year, I attended the funeral of a family member- my step mum to be specific. And at her Service of Songs, there was a call for anyone who had something to say about her, and of course I did – being one who’s never shy to take the microphone and say something that needs to be said. I spoke about how great she was, how she taught me to wash glass cups as a young woman, wash my Dad’s big bed sheets, helped me learn to debate intellectually the many times I sat with her after watching NTA 10 news as a 12 year old girl……and then I wondered: Did she know she contributed tremendously to the young woman I have become? Well I knew the answer to this one: NO! She didn’t, I had never told her!

And so I wonder: How many people have walked this same journey of mine and thought the same or perhaps wished they had said those amazing words?

To think how we sometimes feel the need to tell people how little we think of them when they wrong us! We justify it by saying: “I can’t keep it any longer, she needs to know….” Or we sound spiritual and say “…The Bible says, if you have anything against your brother, go and settle it” (paraphrased).

But then I ask myself; if only we were this passionate about telling people what they do or did right….
If only we were consumed by the desire to tell a friend that their encouraging words kept us going through tough times….
What a difference that would make…not just for us but for the recipient(s).

So I ask, not as someone who feels she has the audacity to tell you what to do but as a friend who knows how easy it is to overlook this little, yet so important act called APPRECIATION, that you pick up the phone; arrange the meeting; go on the visit; send the “thank you” card; send the text message; ping them on Blackberry; buzz them on Yahoo messenger; … whatever you need to do to let them know how much their kind acts or words have made a difference. Do it NOW, not later….because you just never know.

So please don’t wait till the next Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or your next wedding anniversary or their birthday- let them know now how much you appreciate them for everything they have done and still do….

So whether its:

  • The Mother who chose not to abort you, or
  • The Father who accepted you as his and stayed true, or
  • The Woman/Man who is sharing a life with you
  • The Brother who always looked out for your best interests, or
  • The Sister who was always at the other end of the phone when that relationship with your ex failed, or
  • The Friend who encouraged you when you lost your job, or
  • The Buddy who put in a good word that eventually got you that job, or
  • The Pastor who never gave up on you when you were a “growing Christian” or
  • The Chemistry teacher who always believed in you, or
  • The Professor who you know went the extra mile for you during your dissertation, or
  • The Boss who showed you the ropes and taught you to be better at your job, or
  • The Friend who believed in your dream even more than you did, or
  • The Aunty whose love and affection for you helped build a positive self image, or
  • The In-law who took you into his home when you first moved into that new city/town, or
  • The Grandma who taught you to be a hardworking woman and never to quit, or
  • The Grandfather who taught you what it meant to be a man, or
  • The Friend who never let you settle when you thought you “had arrived” but kept pushing you forward, or
  • The Colleague who let you have a go at that sales presentation in his place, giving you the opportunity to shine before top management, or
  • The Uncle who told you to believe in your dreams and helped you set up your business, or
  • The Cousin who always told you were a great photographer, and now you are a well established one, or
  • The Ex-girlfriend who told you your writing skills were great and urged you to write more…and now you’re a leading columnist, or
  • The Relative who gave you your first platform to speak publicly, and now you are a renowned Master of Ceremonies, or
  • The Boyfriend who told you “you sing like a bird” and encouraged you to go for those singing lessons; and now your beautiful voice is what you’re known for, or…

The list is endless, but the message is precise: Someone somewhere contributed to the success that you are today. Do they know?

So go on, call these people and let them know how valuable they are, for indeed the Yoruba adage that says “Ènìyàn l’aso ìbora mi” stands true. For my non-Yoruba speaking friends, it simply means “It is people that cover my nakedness”

Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.

If you have been inspired by this, then please spread the word, forward on to your friends, click the “share” tab to post on your profile and share with your family and friends…..and let’s start “The Revolution of Appreciation”


Writer – Temitope Olonilua is a passionate person who loves people, shopping and helping people look good. She runs Teeloni’s, an outfit that is into Personal Shopping, Image Styling, Gift Services and Special Events

Go on…..write the letter
Go tell Grandma…..
Tell your friend….
You grew up together as young boys but he made such a difference……
Tell your sister how much it meant to you….
Yep…show it even in the work place
Yep…he has been great too. Had he not given you that chance, you wouldn’t have got the promotion…
And if you can’t do it face to face…..send them a note/letter and make their day
Go on…tell your spouse
You know she went the extra mile for you cos she believed in you….
So do it now….Pick up the phone and make that call…..

Click to comment




    August 1, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    am so loving this , thanks for reminding me to be appreciative of people around, i realise it is so easy to remember the flaws of people or how they contributed wrongly to our lives. Maybe it’s high time we started thanking God for bringing various individuals into our lives. it’s for a reason.



    August 2, 2010 at 8:41 am

    thanks so much my mind just went straight to my mum and yes i have to give her a call today and tell her that she has changed my life
    thanks for sharing



    August 2, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes cos I could feel you talking to my heart.
    I saw flashes of the contributions that people made in my life- big and small, and it realized…..they really don’t know!
    Thank you for reminding me to appreciate. God Bless you.



    August 2, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes cos I could feel you talking to my heart.
    I saw flashes of the contributions that people made in my life- big and small, and I realized……they really don’t know!
    Thank you for reminding me to appreciate. God Bless you.


    Le Dynamique Professeur

    August 2, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Oh my oh my! I enjoyed reading this. Indeed, its kinda easy for us to tell people when they’ve wronged us but to let them know how good/awesome they’ve been; takes us to get out that “is it really necessary” or “I think she/he knows already” coat.

    Appreciation motivates and encourages our loved ones to even do more for us.

    Thanks for sharing Temi.

    – LDP



    August 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

    my eyes wz blurd wit tears readin ds piece,it’s such a gud remindr to appreciate dos dt av actually made an impact in our lives nt jst 2 tel dm wen dey wrong us bt also let dem knw thier positv impact in our lives.’I pray, God creat in me an appreciatv heart’.


    Aderonke aderonmu

    August 2, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Aww..I love this,really touched d part of me.Thanx TEMITOPE.


    Miss Kikky

    August 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Thank you for this and for the mama who gave me life


    Myne Whitman

    August 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    This is such a touching article, I will certainly be making some calls.



    August 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Wow…Thanks for sharing Temitope.

    This is a huge reminder…and as i settle to make some calls and send some messages…I also want you to know that your article has blessed me and I’m going to share it.

    ….and Shola…You know we loooooovvvvvveeeeee you!!


    Nike Oni

    August 2, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    this is great, appreciation goes along way


    Ayokunle Falomo

    August 2, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    This is a very inspiring article. It is also a reminder to everyone of how special the people around us really are. In the spirit of appreciation, THANK YOU for writing this.


    toyin akins

    August 3, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Thanks 4 d right word of the season.My heartfelt sincere gratitude goes out to everyone that stood by me thru d toughest moments of life; esp my family i wouldn’t av asked 4 anything better,my pastor, and friends.Thank u all and I love u from d bottom of my heart!!!!!!



    August 3, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Hum…. very true, i should start with u..thank you Tope for this reminder!….Thanks Mum for believing in me and all ur kids and not giving up on us….Thank you lord for always being there, for ur provisions, for ur mercy, for ur kindness…i can’t thank u enough…thanks you friends for being true..Naza..for being more than a friend, Peace….(Efico) for being my reading partner…Thanks Seun for suggesting this site to me… Thank you everybody who has been part of this agent of change…..THANKS


    Ekamma Akan

    August 3, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Thank you so very much for this piece, i was moved as well as encouraged to go oin a tell-it-all rampage and let everyone who has ever done something positive in my life or around me just know about it!!! please keep up the great work and thank you for making my klife better with this article… just thought you shoukld know!!!


    Ekamma Akan

    August 3, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Thank you so very much for this piece, i was moved as well as encouraged to go oin a tell-it-all rampage and let everyone who has ever done something positive in my life or around me just know about it!!! please keep up the great work and thank you for making my life better with this article… just thought you shoukld know!!!


    Naija Model

    August 3, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Thanks to the leaders who have taught us how NOT to lead or live – Naija Model!



    August 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Thanks 4 ds T, n to everyone who have been part of my life in any way i appreciate u all. Its bin grt bin a fan of Femme Lounge ur msgs hv contributd +vely to my life, kip d flag up.



    August 3, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    We need reminders like this from time to time.
    If only we were as quick to acknowledge people’s little deeds as we are in laying bare their shortcomings, we would be in a better world.



    August 4, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Thanks so much for the reminder. my mind just went straight to my dear mum. l really appreciate her so much.l wouldnt have become what l am today if not for her support. l am very proud to have you as a mother.


    adelol esther

    August 6, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    hi tope,
    tanx 4 ds piece it brought tears to my eyes am so touched.glad that at some point in life,we met and you r impacting pple.good job proud of you


    Akinrinde Funke

    August 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    God who always has my back,
    Pastor Chris who has been my coach and mentor teaching me how to rule my world,
    My husband who is always there to remind me of who l am,
    My lovely Sophia who stresses me at times but still reminds me that l’m a mother,
    To my father who laid a good foundation which l’m building on now but couldnt wait to get the dividend for his hardwork’
    To my mother who has been my HERO from time past,
    To my brother who has been so protective of me mostly during my adolescent age,
    And my sister’s who taught me to be fashionable.



    August 13, 2010 at 9:59 am

    wow!….this is soooo true, thanks namesake, i guess it’s better late than never am definitely making calls sending texts all of today, thanks for sharing…and shola i don’t have your number but this one’s for you; thanks for allowing God use you to touch and change lives, girl you are the bestest ever!!!!



    September 1, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Thank you for this great reminder.God bless you. we really do take things and people for granted. Life is too short and we all have to remember that always.



    September 3, 2010 at 8:51 am

    I have no words to say, but tears are just coming out of my eyes, thanks alot of such a big challenge, am so challenged and I wondered when did I last appreciate my family, my loving spouse, Am in tears, thanks alot and be blessed, am very challenged!

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