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Live in the Now: No One Knows Tomorrow

February 25, 2013

It’s been a long week and certainly, the weekend could not have come at such an opportune moment. All the same though, the week that has just ended could not have been as crazy as the valentine week was. It was hard to believe the week had exactly seven (7) days just like all the rest. For some reason it felt like that week had longer hours than normal. Well, I guess I will blame this feeling on the events that happened then.

It started with the AFCON finally coming to an end in an amazing fashion, what with the unexpected finalists; well at least in the case of Burkina Faso. To be sincere I had not expected them to be in the final two, but hey, it happened, and I salute them for displaying great talent from beginning to the end. Even before the dust could properly settle, it was time for UEFA Champions League, which resumed two days after AFCON ended. Everywhere there after was football talk for breakfast, 10 O’clock tea, lunch, 4pm tea and dinner! Worse still was the fact that just a day before Valentines day, there was one highly hyped up match.

This particular match was quite odd because it saw the highly glorified Cristiano Ronaldo playing against his former team, the Red Devils. Actually it was very confusing for me because at some point there I thought Valentine had come early. Talk about all the Red Devils’ paraphernalia like T-shirts, caps, socks, neck scarfs, etc, being show-cased on the streets on the 13th of February. I saw them all on that day, even though some people really looked odd wearing some of that stuff in Dar Es Salaam; I mean, how do you wear a winter-scarf around your neck, in February, in Dar Es Salaam? Sorry, I digress. Back to the match of the day.

Well, having played for them for as long as he did, Ronaldo must have been very aware that good old Sir Alexander Chapman "Alex" Ferguson (SAF) is notorious for complaining about referees’ “erroneous” judgments especially when the Queen’s team is playing. I guess this thought was at the back of Ronaldo’s mind when he set out to score the one amazing goal that he did for Real Madrid. Simply put, it was just sensational, almost surreal! Even SAF was dazed by the genius of Cristiano Ronaldo. Personally I wish he had put in a few more, but maybe next time he will.

Then came Thursday. Valentines Day. The day all streets would be painted Red. Unfortunately in South Africa, one Oscar Pistorious, aka the “Blade Runner” did not get to paint the town red. Instead, it was on this day of love that he killed his girlfriend. Speculation is rife as to whether it was an accident or a pre-meditated murder. We leave it to the relevant authorities to prove him innocent or not, but in the meantime may the soul of his late girlfriend, the model Reeva Steenkamp, rest in peace.

Come Friday morning, another shocking story broke out; the former Big Brother Africa housemate from Nigeria, Goldie Harvey had died. To many, she and Kenya’s CMB Prezzo (as he is fondly known) were the darling of the house during the last season for the reality show held annually in South Africa. Their relationship had blossomed to a point where there was high speculation that they were planning on getting married. Unfortunately the hand of death snatched her away from him and once again, all we can say is may her soul rest in peace, and may God grant Prezzo and Goldie’s family the strength and grace to cope with the situation.

Looking at the major events that took place that week, they were quite heavy on those involved, be it directly on indirectly, and it seemed like they were happening too soon and too close to each other. It is no wonder then that I felt the weight of the week and that eerie feeling that the week was longer than usual.

If you look at everything I have highlighted, none of it was expected. All of it was surprising and shocking, even the classic goal by Cristiano Ronaldo and the finalists’ position acquired by Burkina Faso’s National Football team. The deaths, to say the least were not only saddening, but they were so sudden, untimely and totally unexpected; that sounds odd because death is rarely expected, but I believe you understand what I mean. It is not like the celebrities were sick and therefore died a slow death. No. Just in the twinkling of an eye they were gone. This forms the basis of my article today.

In life, we never really know what is going to happen when or where, especially when it comes to negative things such as accidents, sicknesses and death. You can never be prepared enough for what is going to happen next but all you can do is try. For instance, how often do we have “beef” with our friends, relatives, workmates, etc? At home, how often do we give the “silent treatment” to our significant others just because someone did something that rubbed you the wrong way? In the office, how often do we refuse to help those below us simply because we do not want them to step a notch higher? Let’s use a practical example for you to understand where I am going with this.

Assuming today you are actually having beef with your significant other and left the house in a huff, not caring to inform him/her what your intentions are, then somehow and angel comes to you and tells you that you only have 2 hours to live, would you still be “beefing” with your spouse? Would you have behaved/reacted the same way you did if you had known about this before leaving home? I don’t know about you but I know for a fact I would not. I would try as much as I can to make sure I leave everyone in a peaceful way.

The thing is, neither of us knows what is going to happen tomorrow. The only thing we know is that Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed. One minute we are laughing, the next minute we are crying; one minute we are well and full of life, the next someone is lying in hospital sick like a puppy. Like someone sang, life is like a mist that appears for a little while and then disappears like it never was there in the first place.

In conclusion I will say this to all of us; as much as I know it is not easy, we need to try as much as possible to live like this minute is the last minute we have to be alive. If you have “beef” with anyone, take that beef, cook it and share it as you iron out your differences. If your significant other has in any way wronged you, find a way of forgiving him/her and open the communication lines, otherwise you might live with regret for the rest of your life for letting your ego come between you and the one you care about. If it is at work, do not hold back on your team members. In fact, what you need to know is that you never lose anything by giving; actually when you hold back you lose a lot more.

As we begin a new week, may we live every minute of our lives like it is the last. Remember, no one knows tomorrow. No one knows what the next minute holds for them.

PS: Article published in Tanzania's Guardian on Sunday on the 24th of February, 2013, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words"

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