The view, they sometimes say, is better from the top. Sometimes, there is just more to a view than the height of the aerial shot or view. It could be the message the view as been able to impact or even how much we can connect to it. However way it makes us feel, it is sure not always about the height.
A couple of years back, I took on the habit of always trying to reproduce my favourite views in my sketchbook, wonderful habit I must say; it helped me develop my drawing skills. Though, it did not stand the test of time, the impact had a ripple effect. Two especially meant more than just a sketch to me; one of an old railway track I had known since my early days at school and the other was of my grandma’s flooded street. The former reminded me a lot of how far I had come and the latter was more about the realities of life people had to face daily. Both seem to evoke a sense of gratitude, whenever I flip through my sketchbook.
As we approached this small settlement that laid parallel with the shores, everyone in it seemed engrossed in whatever it was they were doing, we were left to enjoy this short film that was about to unfold unto us. The opening scene was that of a man squatting on one end of a canoe, enjoying the endless pleasures of the sea breeze that rubbed across the face of his butt, as he passed out several mounds of excrete into the river, the sequence continued with a group of young men enjoying the therapy of water as they floated in the river. Next, was this somewhat awkward view, at least, awkward enough for me not to want to discuss the nudity of a fellow man that stood right at the shore not bothered by the passers-by. I assumed he was preparing to take a dive. This was subsequently followed by a bunch of kids who seemed to be having the time of their lives, as they ran around in no particular pattern, one trying to catch the other. And as we were about ending the slide show, there was a committee of older men, enjoying the bitterness of a locally conjured alcohol. They all seemed happy; at least, from how much i just saw.
As we concluded what seemed like a short film directed by life herself, I and most people around me was taken aback by the scene of what seem to embody true happiness, maybe a few sanitarians could still not comprehend the thought of swimming in the same water that served as someone else’s restroom. That obviously didn’t matter to these people, who were not going to let their environment stop them from being happy. This to me was true happiness.
Just over the weekend, I wouldn’t stop scathing myself because a shirt in the washing machine had just bleached on about 3 of my shirts and chinos. I kept on complaining when I still had enough to go at least a week or two. These people I’m sure would jump at those bleached on shirt with all gratitude and I was there making a fool of myself, what an ingrate I was.
A lot of us do more than this every day, we worry and complain to God about things that we don’t need, instead of being grateful that we have something someone somewhere can’t afford.
I’d be really annoyed if I was God, at the way most of us complain and keep asking, when we haven’t even thanked him for the gift of life we have, amongst many other things we enjoy each day. We have it all, from the smartphones we barely optimize, to those clothes we haven’t worn in weeks, some in months but instead we prefer to complain about the shoes that someone stepped on, like it can’t be dusted.
Why don’t we start something new from today on; say ‘thank you’ before complaining, ask less and be more grateful.