On Tuesday morning, I woke up very sad news. Unizik FM, the community radio station where I volunteer as a Reporter and News Editor, lost a Staff. The man was the Engineer and Chief Technologist of the radio station. He was married to children and has other dependents too who he caters for.
The surprising thing was that the man was at work the previous day. He was hale and hearty. He argued, talked and interacted with everyone the previous day at work.
Last week, my faculty also lost a 200 hundred level student to illness. A few months back, he was full of life. He had high hopes of being a Lawyer in a few years time. We held candlelight for him and prayed for his soul.
This sad news brought forward so many thoughts that I have pushed at the back of my mind. I wondered again the essence of life; why we all are here. What’s the need of the struggles humans go through every day? As a student, you read to pass exams, a graduate works hard to get a job. Parents struggle everyday to give their children the best things in life. Sometimes the student dies without getting to graduate, the ‘workaholic’ kicks the bucket without enjoying the fruit of his or her labors. What’s the essence of the struggle? This is a question I cannot answer.
Hold on, I do not want to scare you. However, these things are what we need to sometimes think about. Thinking about how short life can be, can help us live better lives. With the thoughts that you could drop dead any minute you make strive to live your best life.
Truth is, someday we all are going to die; the rich, the poor, the able and disabled, the normal and abnormal. Some may live long (till old age), others may live but for a short while and die young. But none is going to live forever. The most important thing is how well you lived while on earth. What would people remember you for? What memories would they have of you?
I remember the man who I told you died earlier in the week for his kind-heartedness. Of course like all humans, he had his flaws.
However, he interacted with everyone in a jovial manner. Over three volunteers (including I) stated that he had one time or another extended his kindness to them. He never failed to ask me ‘Barrister, how are you? How is studies?’. He never failed to advise you like a father. Twice or thrice he had squeezed some naira notes into my palms and said ‘ use it for your transport’. Another testified that he had done the same for him too. Understanding the fact that the volunteers at the station were students, he sometimes buys bread for a few persons on his way to work. He had his flaws, but these are the memories of him that come to mind when I heard the news of his death.
This brings me to the question, how well are you living? In your little corner, how many people have you touched their lives? If you die today, will there be people who will say, ‘he came to my aid once or twice’? Being a Christian is not just about praying, speaking in tongues and calling down fire. It is not staying at the Chapel 24/7. It is not coming for masses for the seven days of the week. Being a Christian is not ‘veiling up’ and dressing like the Virgin Mary. All these things may matter. But what is most important is how you relate to others.
Brother, you fast for 21 days, say all the prayers you know but you are yet to forgive Chike who offended you last week. Sister, you sleep at the Chapel, belong to many societies in church but those clothes you would have given to your mates at the village (whom you are better than), you burnt them. You, yes you! A friend asked you for help but you refused because he is not your family member, or he offended you a few months back. What impact have you made in another person’s life?
The Church listed the corporal works of mercy to include; feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, amongst others. How many times have you done any of this? How many have you helped someone at his or her lowest moment? How many times have you tried to reach out to others and offer advice and words of encouragement at least? It does not end with taking ‘ Sunday medicine’ of going to church. Your actions to me count more. Life is difficult for some people as it is. Be kind, be polite, be forgiving and more importantly be human!
Being a Christian is not just an art but an act. You need to show your spirituality in actions. Moreover before religion, we are humans first. I pray you to take few minutes if your time to reflect on these words; ‘what impact have you made in another’s life? What will you be remembered for? ‘. Analyze the years you have spent and check how well you have lived. Do prepare, for you do not know the day the creator will call you!
In the end, none of us is leaving here alive.