So Christmas is here again? Twelve months ago seems like only yesterday yet so many things have happened between then and now.
The Daily Times of December 25 last year carried a story on its front page titled “Let’s be better people” in which President Peter Mutharika was pleading to Malawians to change their ways and be positive in their thinking. The good president was then honest enough to admit that the country was sailing through turbulent economic times that needed a miracle to abate.
That time, the dollar was trading at K498 but Malawians were still moving around with craggy and frustrated faces. Their only hope was the then new year, 2015. Twelve months on, 2015 is folding its mat ready to go but we haven’t seen the good life that the good president promised in his last speech last year. The dollar is now selling at K665, prices of commodities have gone up, public services continue to be provided at a chameleon pace while corruption is thriving worrisomely. We have not become better people of a better nation that the President would be proud of. And he has also not been a good president that we can be proud of. But he is still our president and we just have to love him for the next three or so years whether we like him or not.
And we should be thankful that despite always having presidents that are perfect examples of how presidents must not be like, life goes on for us and we are able to celebrate as if everything is normal. We are not like our sorry friends in Burundi who are dancing to the rattling tunes of gunfire while their streets have become scarlet with blood of butchered people all because of one Pierre Nkuruzinza’s insatiable lust for power. We are better off here compared to others, aren’t we?
All I am saying is that while accepting that we are a nation that is economically hope less and morally battered, we have so many things that we can be very thankful and proud of. For instance we are perhaps the luckiest nation on earth to have a president who has the courage and honesty to go on BBC to admit how ignorant he is on national matters. You need to watch the Hard Talk interview our President Peter Mutharika recently had with BBC’s Zeinab Badawi to appreciate how Mutharika is honest with his ignorance.
Sometime back, my teacher at William Murray Secondary School, Miss Dibbie McCoughan, encouraged me to always spot something to laugh about even when it is the most painful of situations. For instance she told us not to grumble about mud and instead celebrate the rain that comes before the mud. According to her, we waste our days complaining instead of looking at the positive side of things.
The other day, my friend, who by some misfortune found himself jobless, remonstrated against me when I complained about frequently knocking off late from work. To him, I have no reason to complain since I am fortunate enough to have a job, while out there, people like him are yearning to have a job and they don’t mind whether they work round the clock. I did not agree with him initially but later I found much sense in what he told me.
Take for example, while we have the freedom of celebrating Christmas like we are doing today, In Somalia people are not as happy as we are. They just cannot be allowed to celebrate Christmas for fear of upsetting some sensibilities.
I work in an environment that is always bustling with life and has so many characters for one to put up with for a day. Some are irritating, some are moody, some are amiable, jovial and what have you. But when you sum it all up, you realise that these are the very people that make your life worth living because they are able to bring out some things that otherwise couldn’t have been noticed.
Not long ago, I used to make fun at how my two-year-old niece used to pronounce the word guava. She used to pronounce it as gata. Now she correctly pronounces guava. You can be shocked that instead of me celebrating that she is growing up, I always miss the fun of the days she used to mispronounce things.
In this life we have so many things but we fail to celebrate them since we do not appreciate their value. If we are reading this, it means we have been lucky enough to see the light of Christmas of 2015 which will never come again.
Today, I chose to celebrate and be thankful for everything and I am offering you all to join me in this mellow mood.
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