As I drove into my compound about 5 minutes ago, the question popped into my head. Truly, what makes life beautiful? What is the essence of life? Why were we ever even born? What is the whole essence of existence?
My dog, Molly, came wagging her tail at me the moment she saw me. I was uninterested, I had had one of those long depressing nights where I let myself down again. Why couldn’t I be like her? Be indifferent to life’s details, allow someone else to take care of me and just live each day under the sun while appreciating the meagre meals.
I parked my car, and opened the door but sat in for a while with one leg out touching the ground and another in the car. I watched Molly, she was excited that I was back even though I could not care less. I watched her let out tiny whines as she craved the attention that I did not have to offer. Suddenly a thought hit me, perhaps I will be happier if I learn to take life as it comes.
The previous night I forgot my favourite work shoes outside. For some amazing reason, I had not taken it inside like I normally would. Molly found a friend for the night and by morning my shoes were in pieces. When I opened my door in the morning to find only pieces of my shoes, I beat her so much that I was scared she would die. Now less than sixteen hours later the same dog was super excited to welcome me back home.
As I sat and pondered on how she could still love the same person who hit her with sticks that morning, I remembered the conversation I had with a client that afternoon. Alhaji Dattijo was a great client, one I always loved having around because of his liveliness and friendly ambience. I manage the insurance for some of his vehicles but had never paid much attention to his age. For some reason, today while we spoke, he revealed he was 67! I screamed, it was impossible, he could easily pass for a 55years old man.
Overwhelmed and mesmerized, I asked him how he managed to stay so young. He simply said, ‘’I do not smoke, I do not drink and if anyone offends me, I forget and move on in seconds’’. Molly had found the trick to youthfulness, she lived every moment and never kept offences.
It was a tough one for me to learn. As an overthinker, my favourite job was taking almost every thought too far. Somehow it was good because I have used this skill to push myself to this point. However, it has been hard learning what to keep and which to let go of.
Anger is fuel, but it is bad fuel. Pain is seductive, sweet now, but way too costly to dwell on. Mistakes are part of the game, if I must thrive then I must learn to pick the lessons and move on. Most importantly, beyond forgiving others I must learn to forgive myself and like Molly never take too bad experiences to heart. Maybe there is some more balance to this lesson, I wouldn’t know. I may also not yet know why we were born, I may never. But for now, I am just going to take things easy on myself and love myself even when I played weakly.