….Ubuntu!!!

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There will never be the ideal time, that’s a myth in itself….we make out time for what counts to us (either by true perception or by sentiment, preferably the former) and the last few weeks have been a sad reminder of that. Just like Professor Dumbledore of Hogwarts in the fictional Harry Potter world, so many thoughts (like his memories so brilliantly captured in the movies) have been swirling round and round like a colourful kaleidoscope in this fascinating display I reserve in my mind. Special thanks to two outstanding individuals for being my muse this time around because I only needed to start with a word and they each in their own way nudged my hands. The Zeal behind Graeme Blaque and The Earl of Dunbroch (someday I’ll be honoured to be your guest).

Remarkably, I’ve been really occupied with stuff ranging from the inevitable daily unrelenting battles with myoclonus to the fervour of parenting combined with participating in putting together a reunion of my peers from College after 3 decades of that first encounter in the age long halls of our alma mater. And nothing so truly brings to life this truth that “Men and women are like wine, age bettering the good and souring the bad”. Needless to say that in every association, there will always be the good, the bad and the ugly (mind you, the latter actually comprises the first two and looks never really count). The task is aspiring to keep the balance tilted in the favourable position of the good or how else will change be wrought if we allow the seemingly natural dictate of today’s world, that so readily celebrates the bad and stultifies the emergence of good, to become the norm.

My buddy, The Earl so graciously shared this and with his tacit approval, I do same.

‘An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruits near a tree and told them that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he gave them the signal to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran ran together, then sat in a circle enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they chose to run as a group when they could have had more fruit individually, one child spoke up and said “UBUNTU, how can one of us be be happy if all the others are sad?”…’

‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa (Zulu) culture means: “I am because we are”

Now to many, this is just another of those many tales that gets hardly read before its so quickly shared on the scary and grossly misused world of social media but permit me to do what life has taught me, moreso since being diagnosed….it’s always in the details!

We have witnessed the birth of more than two generations now; the Generation X and the millennial so and so suffice to say that we have inadvertently been thrust into the world of imparting and mentoring but the question that begs answering is what can you give if you’ve got nothing. With the euphoria of reconnecting with so many distinguished individuals who inevitably played a role in making us who we’ve become, it’s very easy to get caught up in the rip tide of a river that’s been dammed for over 25 years and is now opened up. Nostalgic memories, childhood pranks, mischief and some choices that still haunt us today, like many of today’s kids, we had our own fill but now inexorably, roles are reversed and we have to give back…willingly or unwillingly, the choice is yours.

It is with a profound sense of pride that I can see representatives and peers strategically placed all over the world. From the glossy pages of the Forbes magazine to the pages of a cuisine book. From the oil wells in North America to the swampy but rich oil oilfields of the Niger Delta. From the sterile wards and surgical theatres of the best hospitals in developed countries to the derelict and abandoned communities in 3rd world countries where the almost forgotten are being taught community medicine. From the rapidly skimming boats and choppers conveying Safety Professionals and operatives from platform to platform to the Entrepreneurs slogging it out daily through chaotic traffic striving to grow their businesses. From the corporately dressed executives walking the halls of financial institutions in West Africa and Europe to the Stock Trader on the London trading grounds. From the literary uprisers to the parent who despite the looming recession, caters to the needs of their kids and home by whatsoever means possible. From the Metropolitan London Officer to the Investigator in West Africa. From the school administrators & teachers to the Optometrist working with kids in Europe, I can go on and on however just like a burst of pollen, we have all been dispersed by fate on the winds of life to wherever we find ourselves today.

Needless to say that we are who we are because we were inadvertently influenced by the lives that so sublimely surrounded us then and still surrounds us today. Now despite the frenetic and fragmented picture that today’s society shows us, we dare not stop fighting for positive change and development. It is so easy to believe that we are, simply because we did! Now that in itself sounds weird because no man is an island. We weather storms each day, and each day just like I do, I pick myself up regardless of how bruised I may be and I choose. I choose to reach out and grab just one more hand, grab that hand to pull someone else along towards the finish line because there is so much desolation out there and people just need to see that someone else cares. I have seen and experienced compassion from the strangest of places and the least expected however each tiny gesture aided me in making the choices by which I live today.

Now, life comprises season and every action proves a response or a reaction; equal or not. Now is the time for us to give back. Now is the time to reach across time and space, get someone else’s hands and pull each other towards fulfilment. Or how comfortable would you be with a stomach distended and engorged with the niceties of life while right across you, a homeless starving person is in your line of sight. Again, it’s a choice that has to be made but this thought I bring to you that notwithstanding where you are, what you are, the hue of your skin, the texture,tone or accent of your spoken words;  there’s but one common denominator to us all humans and that is, we all bleed red! No greater unifying factor than the blood that courses through our body signifying the presence of life exists, I dare opine.

As I mark this phase of life along with my compadres from every work and facet of life, battling each new day with its own unique challenges, I admonish everyone who has taken the time to accompany me on this journey that “I am because we are” and so let’s reach across every divide created by man, throw off the unnecessary weights of class, wealth, fame etc and link hands with each other and make our way together in the spirit of humanity and brotherhood to the celebration of life…..”BACK TO WAFFI 2017! Remember that the difference between ‘I’ and ‘WE’ is just one letter, let that one letter be at the very least someone else and no greater joy exists than one shared with others.

עד שנפגשנו שוב, אולי התענוגות שלו להיות העונג שלך לעשות

Adios!

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