By Jackie Jennings-Bates
We are certainly living through days of uncertainty, the most profound in my memory.
I’m sure my grandparents raising young children through the Second World War would wonder what we’re worrying about, but it is all relative, of course.
The daily onslaught of negative news about COVID, the turmoil south of the border, global climate change, it all leaves us wondering what tomorrow will bring.
I am a big believer in trying to imagine living a day in another person's shoes.
In our travels to the Samburu region of Northern Kenya, we definitely got to see and appreciate how the other half lives, and I am referring to the less fortunate half (or morel like 90%).
Every day for them must be uncertain. Out of necessity, they would have to walk to the nearest source of water to bring home as much as they could carry for themselves and possibly their livestock.
There was no guarantee water would be there. Certainly there would be no reason to expect it would be clean. They often have to clamber down into dangerous crevices to find any, and then scrape away the scum or animal faeces that have settled on the top.
There could be predatory animals watching their every move. There is no certainty they will survive another day. Yet somehow they celebrate life. We were always welcomed with exuberant song and praise.
- Dreams and goals
- Plans for their children to stay in school and go away to college
- Hopes of starting a small business.
During the pandemic, some of us may have found time to ponder things. I often look back on the privilege of being able to travel now that we are restricted and think about what I have learnt.
I am inspired by these beautiful people who live daily with uncertainty, but don’t dwell on it. Instead they get on with life. I think they are more used to hardship than we are.
We look to other people to take care of us, especially the government. We think it is our “right," but really what is the government other than persons elected to represent us, so really the government is us.
Taxpayers’ money is our money, which is why it should be spent wisely. There is no Fairy Godmother out there coming to make this all go away.
So we should take some lessons from those more attuned to hardship, just get on with things the best we can and find any excuse to celebrate what we do have.
Be thankful that tomorrow you don’t have to walk in somebody else shoes and trek many dusty, dangerous kilometres for water before you can brew your cup of coffee.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.