Yesterday was the first Sunday of the month of November so it was not unusual to have Thanksgiving Services hold across the various religious institutions in Nigeria. Thing is, though being thankful is not limited to first Sundays or any other Sunday, many individuals and families communicate their gratitude the most on this particular day of the week. Interestingly, this culture is not limited to Christians alone. Looks like something about Sundays for the most part, puts us in an euphoric mood. Offline and online communities are bursting at the seams with people showing appreciation for one thing or another. There is some degree of warmth and interconnectedness that we feel that is truly inspiring.
My family and I decided to eat out yesterday. The kids had an awesome time playing and had tonnes of fun on the one hand. On the other hand, it was relieving that I did not need to prepare any meals for the day since we also ordered some take-homes. Summarily, we had fun on a budget and it felt good.
Later that evening, my husband and I settle down to watch TV after the kids had gone to bed. We were met with the news of the most recent church shooting that occurred in Texas, USA. As I imagined the horror and what the last few minutes of the dead were like before their passing, I had an eerie feeling. What state would the family of the victims be in?
A quick look at my Facebook timeline and I saw a post about the loss of Bola Tinubu’s first son. His son died of cardiac arrest. I had heard of the demise of his son a few days earlier but I only just read the ex-governor’s statement on his loss and the grief that his family was going through. Again the article and attending comments was unnerving.
Thankfully I received a call from a friend and our engagement helped to douse the gloom and ill mood brought about by the recent happenings.
Still I couldn’t help thinking about all that happened. I recalled the very many deaths that have been brought about by acts of terrorism, hate crimes, religious extremism and political radicalism in Nigeria in recent years.
We may never know when, where or even how death would come to us. We may be helpless at determining the length of our days or time on earth. How about we focus on the bits that we can – the quality of our now – today, this very minute, this moment?
Are we wrapped up with plans for tomorrow that we lose out on the moments building up to the life we hope for? Are we available to our immediate family, circle of friends? What is the quality of our relationships with our significant other and those we’ve sworn to love? Have ambition and our get-up-and-go lifestyle left us dissociated from our loved ones? Do our children have to pay for our attention via tantrums and planned outbursts? Are we available only on Sundays or special events? Are we really here? Are we alive? Are we present?
* I saw this simple but profound image (attached) by Inspirationde on Google photos that speaks volumes.
I am here today, (where) are you?