We Should Help Those That Want to Help Themselves.

The Wicked Orchard by Sidra Owens
5 min readAug 18, 2023
Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash

The title of this article may have you thinking,” Hey, she just misquoted a bible verse.”

It may surprise some and delight others to know that this popular quote did not originate in the bible.

I guess that goes to show that we can learn something new every day, but more to the point, the title indicates the lesson I learned when I was 14 years old.

In many ways, I was not a typical teenager. I wasn’t obsessed with popularity. I wasn’t trying to go to the games or waste my time hanging out at the mall when I didn’t have any money.

I was an introvert and extremely practical, much like I am as an adult, but the two things that I was missing, which falls in line with just about every teenager who’s ever lived, were patience and grace.

One day in civics class changed all that for me.

As I said, I was fourteen and a sophomore in high school. This particular morning our teacher was making us read over the chapter out loud. At that age, I often wondered what the point of that activity was. I figured it was the teacher’s way of getting out of having to actually teach. But nevertheless, we were reading out loud, but instead of going through each student one at a time, our teacher was asking for volunteers.

After a few students volunteered and read their portion aloud, a Black girl sitting in the row next to me, raised her hand, and the teacher called her name.

Her name was Kokita. I remember her name and her face vividly, because she stood out. She was a sophomore like the rest of us, but she was five feet tall.

Maybe a little shorter.

She was very petite, with fair brown skin and short hair that was just long enough to create a short, somewhat spiky ponytail at the top of her head.

When the teacher called her name, nearly the entire class sighed vocally in exasperation, and I can admit, I did, too, but inwardly.

Why did we sigh?

Let me tell you.

Because Kokita did not read very well. She read slowly and had difficulty pronouncing words. And as I mentioned earlier, this is sophomore year; so, it’s a civics class full of…