Permission First

When good intentions go wrong…

When I was young, I befriended an older guy. He was a family friend and a classmate of one of my older brothers. He was very poor and his mother was sick. She was always in a wheelchair at home. He took care of his mother. I really felt bad for them, but was proud of him.

One day, he was very sad. I found out his mother’s sickness had worsened and she was put on a strict diet. She needed to eat more vegetables and fruits. He was so poor that he couldn’t afford healthy food. It so happened that my father had a farm with fruit. I offered to provide them some fruit regularly. 

Without asking permission from my parents, I brought them fruit. I sneaked into our farm, plucked some fruit, and brought it to them. It almost became a routine. He was always appreciative and this went on for a while. He even offered me other things in return. 

One afternoon, I snuck into our farm to get some fruit for them. I climbed an orange tree and plucked some oranges. I reached out to pluck another orange not knowing that there was a bird’s nest hanging next to the orange. It had nasty, wild-red ants in it. When I snapped off the orange, the nest caved in and dumped the ants on me. I immediately let go of the tree. Down I went. I landed with my butt on the ground. I cried and yelled for help as I tried to get the ants off me. I was so itchy that I took my clothes off. My body was swollen from the ant bites.

In a split second, I was surrounded by family and friends. My mother was very upset but curious. She asked, “How did you sneak into the farm?” I told them the story about my friend’s mother’s health and wanted to help out. She said I should have asked permission in the first place. My parents decided not to punish me as they believed I had already gotten my punishment. 

As a younger adult, we get this idea that we know it all. We don’t seek permission from authority figures before making big decisions. I could have lost my life or gotten hurt badly without anyone knowing about it. Even with good intentions, you need to ask permission first.