What if Cinderella never got to go?

We all like a good fairy tale: Prince Charming finds Cinderella, they overcome the evil step mother and her daughters, they get married and live happily ever after, etcetera, etcetera.

But what exactly are fairy tales?

Are they beautifully told stories of luck that characters walk into amidst overwhelming odds? Are they stories of good fortune seemingly finding the most unsuspecting of persons? Are they stories that make us oooo and aahh and aaww when they are finally finished? Of course, they are, but they are also stories about something else. They are stories are about people who chose to do something to help change the situations around them for the better. They are stories about people who have chosen to give others a chance in an otherwise difficult world.

To meet Prince Charming Cinderella had to go to the ball, yet she couldn’t very well go in tattered, soot covered clothes. There was no hope someone like her would ever go to a royal ball, let alone meet the prince, but then in came the fairy god mother who conjured up a beautiful dress and glass slippers from her cinder stained clothes, a coachman and footmen from a rat and lizards, and a magnificent carriage from a pumpkin. Cinderella got to go and she met her Prince, and though she may have had to leave the ball before the last stroke of midnight, the stage had been set for every other fortune that would follow.

But what if Cinderella never got to go?

Without the fairy god mother Cinderella would have been stuck again by the fireplace, dreaming of what could have been; and later, she would have been regaled and taunted by her step family with stories of the beautiful night. Maybe she may have found a way to be happy with that dreadful life, now we’ll never know because the fairy god mother gave her an opportunity that changed everything.

One fairy god mother story I recently encountered is the story of a young man named Okechuwku Ofili, who in January helped over 16 kids (as at the last count) go back to school when he decided to help crowd fund their education on social media. Amongst these kids were ones with dreams of becoming designers, doctors, and lawyers, but with either ill, disabled, or poor parents, not much could be done to help them get a basic education, not to talk of realizing their dreams. Nothing could be done until this one guy said we had to help, and now 16 of them (maybe more) are back in school. Maybe one of them becomes President one day, who knows?

Another is this beautiful story of a picture that was taken by renowned photographer, TY Bello, during a shoot of Tinie Tempah in Lagos, Nigeria. A lady with a bread tray on her head was simply passing by when the most amazing photograph was taken. She blended perfectly into the scence and photographed so nicely that TY Bello decided to track her down (not accept that she had simply taken an amazing picture, get praises for it, and move on). The lady in the picture has been found, and now TY is helping move her life forward. Yesterday, she was on the cover of Thisday Style (one of the most popular weekly magazines in Nigeria), and now she has been signed as a professional model. Isn’t that something! I was unable to get permission to put up a picture in time for this post, but you can follow the link to see the story here, and see more here.

These are amazing fairy tale stories, but they happened because some people chose to give these Cinderellas the opportunities that made them possible. Fairy tales are not just random events of fortune that befall people, they are the result of deliberate actions by people like you and me, people who have chosen to help others realize goals that would possibly have never been more than dreams to them.

So, why don’t you go ahead and be someone’s fairy god mother today, you just may help discover the next big thing.

Till next time 🙂

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