You Take Away Joy

You take away joy from the lives of those who know you, from the lives of those who love you; when you don’t make the most of yourself. When you don’t clean up yourself, other people close to you must often do it for you; and it’s such a headache! Everyone has enough trouble of their own in this Topsy turvy world. It is true that we help each other bear our burdens occasionally, still everyone should try their best to not always be on the intensive care list!

Over my recent past ten years, I have come to have a glimpse of what God might be feeling regarding us not going straight when we don't. I mean, when you have kids you expect them to exhibit certain maturity traits as they grow up. And we die inside when we don’t see what we believe should be happening in them. But that’s with kids: we judge them too early; jacket them up too quickly, cutting them no slacks! Whilst most of the time they are really about to get somewhere but we are too impatient to see!

We know God is long-suffering, but if we were Him, we’d have wiped off the world a long time ago. When we have our acts together it is not an assurance that we won’t hurt, or be embarrassed or suffer pain. No. If we ourselves are together and any of our friends or family members is 'messed up' or can’t seem to find a bearing to life, we’d be dragged into every complication they create. And you know, we would feel their discomfort too; regardless of how together we ourselves may be!

So, I make a promise to myself to not be a burden to my family, near or far. Not to my country, nor to humanity at large. I vow to myself to not cause pain to anyone; whether blood-related to me or a stranger, by the choices I make and the actions I take or don’t take. I commit myself to raising my children to being complete in themselves, needing each other for the sake of family, supporting each other, being there for one another; but not necessarily depending on each other. I expect every one of them to make it through life in their own standing as bonafide members of the universal human family . Much better than I have done, I expect them to mind their affairs very well so that whatever their situation, whether external factors are favorable or not, they’d still live independently with dignity. Achieving this is a tall expectation even if you have no one else factoring themselves into your equation in a world which has become unstable in all things. How much so when you have others to carry?!

Much as we desire to get to our planned destination, because of these inherent and seeming diversions I came to the philosophy that perhaps they are all part of the journey. The intrusions, the distractions, the diversions and setbacks that are brought upon us by our relationships all seem to me to give quality and description to the story of our lives. To avoid or evade them would mean to be less than we could be. When the stories of our lives are told the real essence is in those moments when we apply the brake and get off our rides to give some one a helping hand by the wayside.

Now, there is my dilemma. I hold that people should make individual personal effort to prevent having to need others to bail them out like they're experiencing natural disasters. Yet people need people, and it’s been said that the ones in need are the greatest kind of people. But, should we encourage laxity in living on the part of some so that the others feel good with themselves bailing them out? Now, won’t that be a merry go round!? Is meaning and reason for this life so difficult to find that we'd have to seek to create it in this way? By others living constructively, while others live destructively; and that including organizations and nations!

Though time and chance is known to happen to all at sometime or another, if we looked well enough, we’d see that for some it buries them, while for others it slows them down a little and then they get right back on track. How nice it will be to have a world where everyone would be doing the right thing! It would not be as boring as some thinkers have said; after all, God expects it, and He is yet to be proven wrong on any issue no matter how you look at it. Were we all to commit to making effort, we would be near perfect, if nothing else; and that will cut down on the avoidable pains in the world.

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