Eventide Reflections

By on November 26, 2018

Towards the end of every year, it seems customary that there is often a struggle for dominance between joy and sadness. Either the floodgates of tragedy open and several lives are lost just before the year approaches its evening or there is a race to get in as much happiness as possible in form of weddings, parties, travel and all avenues of merry making. Most times, tragedy and celebration are struggling for one last shot at being the ultimate memory of the year.

The human race often tends to suffer at the hands of this never-ending battle and more times than I can remember, tragedy seems to win. It is very rare that the year ends and I am hoping for an extension of it or a few more days of it. Most times, I breathe a huge sigh of relief, take a few shots of a potent drink and hope that the year ahead turns out better and happier. Of course I may have had several happy moments to look back at but it is often difficult to celebrate and make merry when your neighbour, relative, friend, colleague or country mate is in pain and sadness.

And so every year end is more reflective than it is celebratory – and this is not for lack of reasons to celebrate. It is very difficult to have loud celebratory party music when next door there are people lining up to eulogize a dead relative. Research shows that despite the unprecedented interconnectivity the human race faces today, we are increasingly become more inward looking. More and more people are getting online and thus widening the web for one to make friends online. Sadly, it is reducing the number of people who are able to interact with you physically and thus making us more susceptible to loneliness, isolation, despondency and depression. It is all just one huge paradox but it is what it is.

Knowing all this, it would appear almost obvious that we as human beings would work towards being there for each other more especially in the real world. True, being close to 1000 people online is quite beneficial in more ways than I can tell. But being close to even 2 people offline could be just as beneficial if not more beneficial. Sometimes in life you don’t really need 5000 people to LIKE your picture. What you truly need is one person to sit down with you and listen to the story behind the picture, just one person to see beyond the beautiful make up, the glamorous story and the wide smile on the internet. Sometimes you need just one person to be with you in the real world.

At the risk of sounding like a Philosopher or Preacher, I would like to hope that while Uganda as a nation is witnessing tragedy after tragedy, there will come a time when we shall look at the scars and smile because we shall have healed. The healing is not so much in forgetting the pain because the pain can never be forgotten. The healing is in learning lessons from these various tragedies. It is very heart-warming that whenever people lose lives, we come together as a nation and pay our respects to the departed. We may even rally together and give support to the families of those who are left behind. And this is very wonderful. However, beyond this, one would like to see a more comprehensive healing process. A healing process that entails learning lessons from the tragedy.

Most of the tragedies that occur in this great nation, like anywhere else in the world are really down to accidents and mistakes by one or a few individuals. And while innocent people often pay with their lives, it can be agreed that no one wakes up in the morning fully aware that their life is ending that day. It is also true that many of the tragedies that occur are actually quite avoidable. As a nation we need to start to look at these tragedies as an opportunity to learn something – as callous as this may sound. I will desist from naming tragedies and what lessons we can learn from each because there are better placed people to analyse these things. Also, as is always the case, investigations are undergoing. But I know in my heart of hearts that if just one little thing had been done, perhaps tragedy X and tragedy Y would not have occurred.

It is almost obvious nowadays that whenever something tragic happens, whether it be a kidnapping, mud slides, a horrible fires, a fatal accident or a gruesome murder, the Government will put out a strongly worded statement regarding how measures will now be put in place to ensure that no such tragedy happens again. And I often want to believe that they mean well and are actually serious about curbing these tragedies. Sadly, as is now common knowledge, our Government very rarely walks the talk. Whenever the president addresses the nation after a tragedy, there is a sense of ‘this will not happen again under my watch’ but as we have witnessed, things never cease to go wrong.

I have said this before and I will say it again that I am tired of blaming the Government for the mishaps that happen in this nation. We as the citizens need to wake up and become each other’s keepers. As the festive season approaches and celebrations get underway, we need to each be mindful of not just our bodies and properties, but our friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbours and country-folk. Certain precautions that could give us an extra day of life do not require the Government – they just need us to wake up and be more mindful. Don’t drink and drive, be mindful of your property at all times, don’t move around with heavy wads of cash, stay in the company of familiar people at night, have emergency contact numbers written down somewhere in your pockets, let at least one person know your whereabouts at all times, maintain alertness and always scan the people around you, always carry only what is necessary, when in crowded places be alert for thieves and pickpockets, think about alarm systems for cars and homes, never leave the elderly, children and women alone at night, always listen to your gut feeling, wear a seatbelt and don’t use your phone while driving, always have the phone number of a police officer in your area etc. These are just some of the simple precautions that may not require you to scream at the Government for help.

It is true that when the ugly hand of death is picking victims, it never really cares how careful you have been with your life and if your day has been decided upon by the powers that be, you can do very little to change it. However, I personally think if death is coming for me, I will not make his work easy. I am not going down without a fight! I shall do everything I can to make sure I am safe and if my day comes, I shall go knowing I did my best to postpone the innevitable.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” ― Mark Twain

Bernard
a.k.a Beewol
The Talkative Rocker
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Beewol – The Talkative Rocker

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Baldie. Ailurophile. Social Media Junkie. Blogger. Pluviophile. Fixer. Sober Drunkard.
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