Be a gardener not the lawn cutter this year


Few people – and those are Donald Trump fans – can confidently say 2016 was an amazing year for them.

For the rest of us, it was a lemon cake with sprinkles of icing sugar to cover up the bitterness. If it was not hunger here, it was a drought there. If there weren’t floods here, there was an earthquake there.

Even at a place oozing nothing short of divine presence – UCU, 2016 left hallmarks of agony     when it sent also 75 percent of staff  to Allan Galpin Health  Centre courtesy of Staff Day food.

But   despite the challenges,  the  hiccups, the lives  lost and the targets unmet, we still made it to the end and now, yet again, we are celebrating the beginning of another year – 2017. Ebenezer!

Physically though, there’s nothing different about a new year save for the calendar shift. Then the sun still rises and sets as in the previous year, lunch time is still 1:00pm and every human being still has 24 hours a day to live.

What the new year offers however is another opportunity to do things right. The prospect to reminisce that time moves progressively and not retrospectively and that every year that passes moves you and me an inch closer to the end of our world.

The above feeling excites and terrifies me simultaneously. I have to remind myself every day that I can’t afford to make unnecessary yet costly mistakes anymore. That I have work to do in preparing how I want to be remembered.

Legacy is    important –  even to a 25-year-old because this world  we  live  in now is an anything-can -happen in the environment and we all strive to leave something behind.

It doesn’t matter what I do as long as I change something from the way it was before I touched it into something   that is like me after I take the hands away.

That way when people see this child, book, tree, garden – anything, I am there.

Hence, the significance in celebrating a New Year is not in the fact that we have another 365  days to just pass through and thump our chests once again on December 31 that we made it.

It is in the realisation that we have a fresh page on which to write the stories of our lives.

Before you write anything on that page, stop and ask yourself: Is this the story you want, stained with blood of an innocent soul, a trip to a shrine perhaps to appease the gods, a back-stab of workmate because you anticipate a promotion, a copied coursework?

I told a friend recently that I don’t set   New Year resolutions. But if you are the kind that does, on your list just before visiting Hawaii, getting that first-class degree, buying that dream car, moving into that dream house and learning French, please add doing all the good that you can.

As Ray Bradbury explains in Fahrenheit 451: “The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching. The lawn cutter might as well not have been there at all but the gardener will be there a lifetime.”

So, before you ask what 2017 has in store for you, ask yourself what do you have in store for it?v

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