Simple gestures keep the world going

family

Human interactions, regular contact with family, friends, neighbours, workmates and others matter more than anything else.

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What you need to know:

  • Human interactions, regular contact with family, friends, neighbours, workmates and others matters more than anything else.
  • The human being is wired to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.

We have so many things that occupy our time and minds, that define what life is all about.

Could be our morbid fascination with the shenanigans of our politicians; the daily grind of earning a living; a beer with the boys; the drama of the Football World Cup, Formula 1 racing or other major sporting event.

For some it could be a good book or music; a walk in the park; an evening at the theatre; moments of worship; counting the stars in the night sky or just watching the grass grow.

Whether best in noisy group activity or in peace, silence and solitude, these are the things around which our very existence is built on.

Rationale for being

But all too often we forget or take for granted what should be the most important rationale for being. And every so often something jolts us out of regular routine.

We come to the brutal realisation that humdrum existence can never be eternal and will every so often be shaken to the core.

We are reminded of the frailties of life, that none is immortal, and that as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, we will in the regular cycle lose a loved one and that in due course our turn will come.

When that happens the earth will still continue to revolve around the sun, our politicians will continue to bicker, and Brazil will still be favourites to win the World Cup.

All those things that take our time are important indeed, but not one of them will ever be more important to keeping the world turning than the people around us.

Human interactions, regular contact with family, friends, neighbours, workmates and others matter more than anything else.

There can be no life without fellow human beings and particularly the closest ones around us. And there can be no pain greater than losing a loved one whose very closeness you might have taken for granted.

So as we keep glued to the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat out of the ongoing World Cup in Qatar, we must also continue to maintain and jealously guard special compartments in our hearts, minds and bone marrow for the most important interactions of all.

It does not have to be one or the other. Watching football, toiling to make ends meet, engaging in favourite hobbies, moments of worship or other essential activities do not have to be at the expense of the more important relationships.

The human being is wired to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.

The separate compartments for football, work, family, study, fun and games can all be humming flawlessly at the same time, but it remains our responsibility at every moment to determine which ones will never close.

The World Cup in Qatar will come to a finale, and we will wait four years the next edition elsewhere on the globe.

Wakanda is with us again. Industries are shutting down. Kenya Power continues to switch us on and off. Our politicians are entering campaign mode for 2027 even before the dust has settled on the last elections. Cartels are importing maize.

All these things are so routine and predictable. We can draw up timetables for elections, sporting events, hit movies, industries shutting down, failing rains, collapsing buildings or dry taps.

But we will remember that there are things we must never take for granted.

We keep in mind that there is no off-season, time out, on-off switch, episode 2 or retrenchment in the special place in our individual constitutions that remains eternally open and running.

We must keep it that way. A pat on the back. A hug. A special look. A whispered ‘I love you’. A locking of fingers. A shared activity. All cost absolutely nothing, yet they are more important than anything else that makes our world go round.

Special role

Do it because you have a special role to play in keeping the earth rotating on its axis. That is too important a task to be entrusted to the government, the United Nations, Bill Gates, the Pope or some of the myriad NGOs or development agencies that straddle the globe.

It is you, the individual, who bears that sacred responsibility. Do it now, reach out and make that call. Just tell someone you treasure them. It doesn’t have to be your spouse, child or parent. Anyone you are in regular interaction with deserves such a simple gesture.

Do it now, for tomorrow it might be too late.

[email protected]; www.gaitho.co.ke. @MachariaGaitho

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