Here is the thing about life. It comes to an end. It is why it is paramount to live it when alive. The first of these photos (from the left) was taken on the morning of 15th January 2019 as I exited the lift from our 14 Riverside parking lot. Some would wonder, why take the time to snap a photo that early in the morning? Well you know one of those days, you just wake up energetic and happy, put on your favourite shirt and have the morning start off with success at any plans or errands for the day? This was what was happening right here.
Moving on swiftly to the second photo some few hours later which would find me hiding crouched underneath a desk amid a seemingly non ending series of explosions and gunfire. Some would ask why I would take a photo at such a time. Refer to the 3 starting phrases of these thoughts.
The third photo I took yesterday, Tuesday the 29th of January, in our new temporary office. This is exactly 2 weeks after the now globally recognized #RiversideAttack.
Many would expect that I am referencing these photos and the events surrounding them in order to maybe discuss the event, my thoughts on it or even trauma from such an experience; but many as the thoughts maybe about all that, this is about my lessons from the event and life overall.
I have previously discussed existentialism in this blog and the questions or feelings I have about the whole idea of life and living. It would then not be too absurd to arrive at this kind of article after having such an experience, losing friends/acquaintances and experiencing just how much life is in a minute.
When you lose friends you had not met in a while as probably has happened to some of us, our first resolution is always to make more effort in meeting friends or family. My thoughts on this is that whilst this is a great idea, what needs to matter more is the quality of the time we choose to share with these people. I have observed that the kind of “hanging out” with friends that we have nowadays become accustomed to at a cafe, a bar, a road-trip has become an expensive affair. As such, “friends” meeting has become dictated by budgets and how far or close to the pay period the month is. And when it finally does happen, the choices of meeting places we get means we barely get a word in or find out how someone is doing. Mind you, I am not against the examples of hanging out mentioned above, they are in their way a form of living and must be experienced in equal measure too. But whatever happened to calling a friend for a 30 minute weekend visit just because you were in the area? Or passing by someone’s office to say hi because you were in the building? The quality I speak of is getting in a good 30 minutes in to find out what is happening in your friend’s life, find out what dreams they are looking forward to, find out what help they might need or what help they might offer to you. My point is: Do not end up realizing how much you didn’t know your 5 year or 10 year friend after they are gone. This is because life is like a melting candle standing in the a basin with a little water at the bottom. Some of us get to burn all the way down whilst some of us have winds that might choose to blow out our flames long before we burn to the bottom of the basin.
In relation to the above, the second realization is on how much we attach to the “memory” people will have of us once we are gone. We assume the more money we accumulate, the more fame we gain, the more power we attain or grab, that the longer our memory shall be held. My idea of leaving a legacy is not how far reaching the legacy is but how deeply rooted it is and how deeply it gets felt. Whether religious or not, we make choices every single day that determine the course our life will take. Same as with actions that become habits. As Key & Peele would put it CONSEQUENCES!!
Assuming the earth is around for another 2000 years or better yet 5000 more years. The most famous of today’s world, the legends of our generation, one day would be lost on everyone. My nieces have no idea who Bob Marley is. Sad, I know. There would come a whole new human generation that would have none of this history but in bits and pieces trying to piece things together like we currently try to do of any “Atlantian” civilization. Don’t quote the Internet and all we store there to me. 2 words, super virus. The technology we currently laud that would seem so insignificant after thousands of years. This is coming from someone who has lived through the introduction of mobile phones in Kenya, playing Towers of Hanoi on a Motorola T2288, to the first popular touchscreen phone (The Huawei Ideos) up to the level of technology and possibilities that are in a current smartphone. I have also lived to see the year 2000 or 2012 or quite soon possibly 2020 mentioned as “The Big Grand Future” in movies with all types of gadgets and gizmos and flying cars. This means anything is possible. We might regress (some people don’t believe in Global warming) or make leaps or bounds beyond what seems currently human in a few years. Leonardo was being crazy just some 500 years ago right?
It is hence my opinion that a legacy makes its journey across the sands of time because of whom you affected and how you affected them. When we choose to be better friends, better neighbours, better human beings, our small legacy changes lives years after we are gone. Your story could travel informally through more generations than a legacy created for the news might.
This is why as you are busy living which is very much the entire theme of this misshapen train of thought, do not let reality kill your dreams. Yes, reality, the financial duties we face and the comfort we so crave is something we must observe in order to sustain ourselves for a longer life but let not that longer life be just years added to a meaningless existence. Even if life forced you off your music career, never stop singing, for your friends, for your family, for your kids, till you cannot anymore. If the world won’t read enough of your work to make money from it, don’t stop writing, be it for your own catharsis or for your 10 readers, always have a hand dipped in what you love most.
And in the end as my smile on the 15th and that on the 29th depicts, as long as I breathe, I shall get up, let my feet hit the floor and oh crap to you life, because I’m up!