Although it is generally recognized that life is sweet and indeed worth living, it is also true that for a lot of our compatriots life is an unending sad story of struggle replete with suffering, hunger, anger, betrayal, intrigue, deceipt and torture. Can you remember the many so-called successful people who have died wretched? Life is as complex and illusive as it is unpredictable and unfair. For a lot of people, life is what you make it and they live the life they love and love the life they live.
Late Israeli academic Abraham Dantus will tell you that Time is life…that what you do with your life is what you do with your time. This late Galilee college lecturer says it is a misnomer to use the term time management because he believes one cannot manage time but rather manage in time.
Time is perhaps the only resource you cannot manipulate or adjust to suit your convenience. It is you who have to fit into it. If you have two hours to do a particular task, then you start a whole hour late and cover only half within the given time, you have not managed time … you have only succeeded in doing a bad job as you cannot stop time.
When you walk through the City of Freetown you encounter beggars on the road sides. Some sing out to attract you to drop a coin in their empty begging bowls, others call out to you for alms and others simply sit quietly waiting for help. Do you really wonder what the aspirations of this so-called scum of the earth were in their young and vibrant days? When they see their primary or secondary school mates parking their big jeeps by them, almost crushing their wearied legs, how do they feel? I always look at life as a race … you all start at the same point but you do not finish at the same time. Some do not even finish! I think it was the Amputee chairman who said recently that everybody is a potential disabled.
In fact I will say that we are all disabled at different stages in our lives. As a baby you cannot talk or walk, in manhood your disability could be many other than physical. In old age you are no better than a kid since you have to be supported in so many things like walking. The energy goes and your sight may be less effective. Do you see what I mean? Have you watched Pastor Dick on video? Please do and see the wonders that a disabled can perform. Indeed we all have a purpose in life.
This author used the wheel chair for four months at the military hospital after an accident. Whenever I see somebody in a wheel chair, I think of the near leg amputation I escaped by the Grace of God. I am sure no body prefers death to disability.
Perhaps why disability in a country like ours becomes painful is because it is almost synonymous with more poverty. Because your state and condition reduces your livelihood options, people erroneously write you off as a permanent candidate of the poverty school. Some relatives and friends even abandon you.
There have been many occasions in which disabled people are branded witches and wizards. Some people even attribute the disability to some wrong doing for which they believe God is punishing the person.
How can people be so heartless! How can we explain the death of unborn babies or week old ones? Do you ever ask yourself why you will die one day? Do you sometimes get the feeling that people have died who were better than you in so many ways? Yes that is the way of the world … the wicked seem to live longer than the good, probably to have more time to repent or change. Strange eh? Perhaps the best attitude to life is to always think that you will die the next day, rather than pretending that death will never catch up with you.
As a young man in the early 80s I used to say that old age will always be 15 years ahead of me. Now a bit older than Sierra Leone, I am having a rethink.
By S Beny SAM