People the world over are gearing towards a time of unwinding and relaxation. Everyone is making plans for the festive season and how they would spend time with family and loved ones. Some still go to work physically but the mind and spirit have already gone on vacation a long time ago.
This is very much understandable because it has been an exhaustive year. So much has happened in a year that would happen in half a decade. Everyone is worn down physically, mentally, spiritually, and even financially. One may even have to feel much more pinch during the festive season as prices for fuel and food continue to skyrocket.
As much as the year has been one of ups and downs, emotional turmoil and despair, there are also lessons to be learned. The first lesson that can be learned from this year is mainly that as much as we may plan, be it short-term or long-term, things may not always go as planned. Therefore, for this reason, as we plan, we should also make room for the unexpected. There should be room for the accommodation because of the fact that as much as we plan for our individual circumstances, nature, or other people with plans at a grand scale may end up ruining ours. Not only that these could affect one’s plans adversely, but our plans could also turn out better and beyond our expectations.
One other lesson that could be learned from this year is that as much as situations and circumstances may be unpleasant, there may also be indirect benefits. Sometimes the best opportunities present themselves during times of challenges. Times of adversity can bring people together. In the process, relationships are restored and strengthened. Compassion, which has become a scarce commodity, yet is what the world needs more than ever, gets an opportunity to remind us that we are all one. Times of adversity tone us down to reflect not only on life in general but that of our own. That as we are reminiscing the departure of another, to remember that one day it will be our own.
Of all the lessons that could be learned from this year, there is one more that may be simple but significant and magnificent. Although it is in plain sight, for some reason it always seems to miss our attention but if learned may affect our lives fundamentally. As we go about our day jobs, planning and working hard towards our goals, we should not forget to live. We should not forget to stop and take a break every now and then. We should make a commitment to continually be in touch with others and not wait for the festive season only. This is because one just never knows what tomorrow may bring and some may need us long before that vacation or festive get-together.
This is for the fact that the only real time that we have is not the one on the calendar. It is only and truly the perpetual now – the ever-unfolding present moment. The past is only a memory, the future is an imagination, and tomorrow may never come.
Uncommon Sense is published every Friday in the New Era newspaper with contributions from Karlos Naimwhaka