Published: 30 May 2011
I have a few mantras that have carried me through my nearly 24 years of life and that have always stood out to be the resounding truth in every situation.
A few of them being:
“you can do anything you put your mind to…”
“be the friend you wish you had…”
“ you do not need to fight for that which is yours to start with”
“a rolling stone gathers no moss”
One of my newly found mantras is “Pole Pole” which I believe is Swahili for “slowly slowly…” now, don’t pull out a Swahili dictionary on me because I did say ‘believe is…’ and no one has the right to condemn a man for his or her beliefs right…lol.
Well, expressions like life is a rat race and the tough get going when the going gets tough are commonplace in a society that makes it so that the economically stable foster a workaholic lifestyle, But at what cost?
Do we as humans ever sit down to consider the opportunity cost of each of our actions or in this case, our inaction? What are the opportunities foregone of working overtime to buy that BMW we are coveting? What is the downside of that new mansion we are eying in Kabulonga (an urban area in Lusaka), what is the detrimental factor fueling our acquisition for a better lifestyle?
Don’t get me wrong…it is our human right to be able to have access to the best of what the world has to offer. But I put it to you, that maybe our perspective is all-wrong, and like someone used to tell me; we may be looking at life through a foggy lens.
Africans know better that “Ichuma Bantu” – as a slogan in the latest Barclays advertising campaign reminds us…which (I believe) is a Bemba expression encapsulating that the value of money lies in what it can do for the people one cares about.
And it is for them that we toil, it is for them that we sweat and bleed. So let us not lose focus. We should be hard workers but insure that the opportunity cost is not the quality of our relationships with those we love, that the side-effects are not dysfunctional families and resulting in a society of close strangers.
Please hear me on this; life is all about balance. And as written in Ecclesiastes 3:
There is a time for everything!
So today, I am imploring, that we make a little time for those we love… slowly – slowly.
by Getrude Mashano
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