Expensive toys can’t make up for your absence
Posted Tuesday, July 31 2012 at 19:00
Growing up, I always envisaged the perfect life. In my mind, this perfect life involved getting a good education, an excellent job, and above all, a great loving family.
While I may have achieved this, I still find myself yearning for more, and caught up in the rat race.
A few days ago, as I was preparing to leave the office, my car would not start. Even after fiddling with the battery terminals, it still would not start. Frustrated, I called a friend, who gave me a ride home.
The following day, I was engrossed in work and forgot that my car needed the attention of a mechanic. I only remembered that the car still had a problem later in the day, but by then it was too late to call a mechanic.
Wondering how I would get home, I decided to try to fix it again. This time round I succeeded. I looked at the fuse box and realised that one fuse was burnt. I replaced it and the car started. However, the headlights were not working since I had removed the fuse from the head light circuit to solve the problem. Quickly, I headed to a garage. I explained the problem to the mechanic I found, who purchased two new fuses at Sh20 each. Within a couple of minutes, everything was working as it should.
The fuse is a very small component that costs almost nothing. However, it is a very important device that provides safety in an electrical circuit.
In life, we have many fuses that we seem to ignore at the expense of the bigger picture, yet life is not only about the big things. In fact, at the end of the day, it is the small things that count. Making friends and nurturing relationships is one of those small things we take for granted.
Nowadays, we are so busy working, we forget to bond with those who are dear to us. Consequently, we meet close friends and relatives only at weddings or funerals. Our children are growing up not knowing who they are and where their roots are. Parents are much more preoccupied with making and enjoying money than nurturing those healthy relationships that cost nothing.
We cannot afford to always be busy, engaged in work and forgetting that we have lives to live. We need to take time off for personal renewal. This is what Stephen Covey refers to as “sharpening the saw”. Each of us owes it to ourselves. Once in a while we need to relax and unwind, slow down the tempo, and take a back seat.
Taking a walk while holding hands should not be only for young couples who are courting; rather, for everyone in a healthy relationship.
Take a break and play a game you loved as a child, take a moment to savour the smell of the soil after rain. Once in a while, sleep early and wake up late — you do not have to always stick to the programme. Be courteous and always remember to say, “thank you”. It is the small things that make a big difference.
Let us all be the fuses that our relationships need. We need to take charge and not be driven by events. Life is made up of much more than this; it involves many simple pleasures that need to be experienced with open minds and hearts. Regular thoughtful acts towards your spouse and children throughout the year can have a greater impact than an annual expensive holiday.
What am I saying? We do not always have to spend a lot of money to be happy. Think about it, your children may be much happier spending regular time with you than getting new clothes and expensive toys.
As Robert Brault aptly puts it, “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were big things.”