Everyone could use a friend that loves unconditionally and offers relentless support. Our world today might place great emphasis on material gains. While this is important, we know that it is not enough. Have you noticed that despite the high technology and the increased opportunities for communication there appears to be decreased in-person communication? Have you observed that at a social gathering, people would rather focus on their phone than have a conversation with the person seated next to them? How about the fact that depression, anxiety, fear and stress levels are at an all-time high despite the many luxuries this current life has to offer? Truth is, we were inherently designed to have meaningful relationships (because we are social beings), we were not made primarily to acquire wealth.
There are three places that can help us alter our perspective on the real essence of life; they are the Hospital, the Cemetery and the Elderly community/or couple. At the hospital, you will encounter people stricken with illnesses, some of which are incurable. They might have all the resources to pay for specialized care, but it wouldn’t be enough. At the cemetery, you see the end of all mankind (man, woman, rich, poor, tall or short) and you begin to question your own existence. I once attended the burial service of a little boy who was killed by an adult that chose to text and drive. During the final rites at the graveyard, I looked around and noticed I was standing next to the tombstone of someone who was the same age as myself. I got the chills and quickly moved far away; I wasn’t ready to die (lol).
I realized that it could have easily been me lying there. I pondered the direction of my life and recounted the many projects that were still undone. Following that encounter, I embarked on an introspection and resolved to focus on forming quality friendships and relationships. It does take great effort, sacrifices and even inconveniences to find a great friend or to become a great friend; but it does yield immeasurable returns if both parties are willing to value and invest in the friendship.
At an elderly community, you will find that the happiest folks amongst them are those that have social connections/support. If you took a moment to ask an elderly couple about their perspectives in life and the lessons they have learned, you will be surprised to hear their response. I consider it a privilege whenever I have the honor of being counseled by a wise elderly person because there is so much to be gleaned from them. Below, I list 2 variations of an old African adage that still holds true today:
“What an old man sees sitting down, a young man cannot see standing up”
“An old man sitting on a stool can see farther than a young man who has climbed a tree”
Countless research has been conducted on elders and people at the end of their life’s journey. Overwhelmingly, they all regretted not taking care of their health, fulfilling their dreams and connecting with friends. It’s great to have riches and material possessions but there are certain things that money cannot buy.
For Christians who observe Easter, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by the world’s greatest friend, Jesus Christ. He was “in for a penny, in for a pound”. He stayed the course to ransom us although the experience was not pleasant, and through that sacrifice, we can have hope for the future. No amount of riches can pay for that ultimate sacrifice, all He asks is that we extend that same love to all around us. So, in the midst of enjoying assorted candies, the Easter bunny and Egg hunting, I hope you find time to reflect, appreciate and rejoice in the selfless sacrifice that the greatest friend of all endured on our behalf.
Have a Happy Easter!