Challenged Champion I

By: Ely Lagajino

Pride will destroy a person; a proud attitude leads to ruin.Proverbs 16: 18 (NCV)

At lunch break in a provincial public elementary school, a student leader organized a game called survival jump.  “Anybody can join as long as you donate the prizes like money, candies, marbles, and rubber band for the winner”, he announced.

Everybody should complete a jump from the rooftop of one school building to the other with one meter in between. One classroom was newly built with a galvanized roofing.  The other classroom was an old schoolhouse with asbestos roofing, and both had no ceiling.  The old schoolhouse stood half a meter lower. The roof of the new building served as the starting point.

At a signal, each contestant jumped one after the other successfully. Jumping from the higher rooftop to the lower appeared too easy but it became a great challenge jumping back from the lower level to the higher spot. I protested to change the game because it was too dangerous. Just missing by an inch, the sharp galvanized sheet may cut the toes, knees, stomach, or we could fall and break our limbs. Many refused to jump for the second time but the older grade six boys, continued. In the end, Bigboy emerged as the champion.

All the pupils clapped their hands, cheered, and shouted, “Good job, you’re the most athletic in school.” One of the louder boys cheered.

“Come on and claim your prize, Bigboy” as the leader signaled him to come down after the declaration.  But proud Bigboy enjoyed the cheers so he made another jump towards the asbestos roof, this time the highest he could make holding his two knees together as if jumping from a diving board into the water. But suddenly, “crack…crash…thud”. A portion of the brittle asbestos broke into a perfect circle and dropped in as Bigboy disappeared.  We all ran inside the classroom and saw Bigboy hanging for his life between the hole he created. Finally, our acrobatic stunts successfully pushed him out, back on the rooftop, but Bigboy walked without a word down the room, refusing to receive his prize.

The Bible is right, pride goes before destruction.

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