Anthony Kila, Centre Director at CIAPS Lagos, salutes the courage of ordinary people and the seemingly simple things they do to make life meaningful
Today, I write to wish to you a happy new year on a very personal note; I am doing it just now, yes just now deliberately so.
Now that I feel we have all exhausted our ritual “Compliments of the Season, “Happy New Year greetings etc. that are mostly done robotically to all the people on our list of friends, families and other associates.
Let us face it, a lot of these greetings and the messages of good wishes and prayers that accompanies the greetings are done out of a sense of duty to revered individuals and benefactors, a quest for recognition and desire to be remembered by potential patrons, a craving to be associated with rising stars and trending villagers.
To each, his own. I judge no one, rather I fully understand: These longings are practices and necessities borne out of tradition and genuine instinct of survival. It takes the grace of depth or the folly of delusion to lead a life free of these instincts of survival.
Besides and beyond greetings though, it is in our nature as human beings to enter the new year with hope and desire that new year is better than the past year, we are leaving behind us. Every new year, the best of us reflects over the past year and crave for a better year. The purely religious ones amongst us entrust their hopes and desire to prayers, the more proactive and pragmatic ones of us plan and make resolutions. It is something we do every year, and we have done it for centuries before now.
The year just gone past is however a year that truly stands out for most of us. Needless to repeat the peculiarity of 2020, if you are here reading today’s epistles, you definitely saw 2020 with its full peculiarities in display. Two things need to be shared however about that year though: One is that we all can be vulnerable regardless of who and where we are. In 2020, we clearly saw that there are situations and problems to which no scientist, no government or system can boast of a proven answer.
The second thing is that ultimately, it is the little simple things that matters most in life. The best answer we could come up with in 2020 is the simple but precious command: “touch less and wash more”. I propose that we all reconsider the importance of simple and little things in our lives and operations and that we put them to the fore of our consideration in the choices we make.
On a very personal note, as I was saying, my Happy New Year to you is to share with you, images of very ordinary people doing simple things that have really struck me and, in some even cases, inspired me in the year past.
Their acts and ways, I share with you with the hope and desire that you notice them too, even ponder upon them, and perhaps celebrate them if you can.
Who knows, if like them we start to act when we can, we and the world might just be slightly better without a victory resultant from competition let alone single gunshot.
There is no doubt that we need extraordinary people and deeds but this last year I pass on them and I focus on simple little things. I ask that we look at normal people doing simple little things. Whilst others made their marks through battles of building castles and winning crowns or inventing tools and theories. My heroes of the year past simply led their lives and gave me thoughtful smiles.
My heroes of the year past are:
Those who love to sleep but still wake with good humor
Couples who still greet with a kiss or two
Those who do not delight in saying no
Those who work hard but even play harder
Those who though in a hurry never honk by traffic lights
Those who when late never fabricate excuses
Those who remember that others owe them nothing
Those who can remember that you might just be in error
Those who make it easy for others by saying what they mean
Those who mean what they say and say what they mean
Those who do not miss the flaws in their heroes and leaders
Those who leave their phones and TV to chat a bit with others
Those who are double happy when they get half
Those who wake up early to help a friend
Those who find time to be honest with themselves
Those who remember that you might just be tired
Those who are formal but never miss the crux
Those who when sad, do not display anger
Those go through life with the enthusiasm of a little child but with the wisdom of an adult
Those who call to say I was wrong
Those who remember to say now I understand what you meant
Those who see gloom only when it is dark
Those who don’t always try to make a point
Those who don’t wait for a thank you
Those who do not feel comfortable with not caring
Those who don’t wait for the new year to be a better person.
My very Happy New Year to you and all you care for.
There is no doubt that we need extraordinary people and deeds but this last year I pass on them and I focus on simple little things. I ask that we look at normal people doing simple little things. Whilst others made their marks through battles of building castles and winning crowns or inventing tools and theories. My heroes of the year past simply led their lives and gave me thoughtful smiles