It’s been a while since I was read in this column. I keep promising avid readers I will be back and write more articles. As to whether this one is to serve as a heads-up, I will never say never like Justin Bieber said in his lyric to any good purpose. Now, I can breathe.
Few days ago, I went on a brisk health-walk for a number of kilometres. While returning back home, I reached a point when I momentarily said “now I can breathe.” Later, I recollected some incidents which caught my attention. I then began to relate my passing feeling to all those places and people-their circumstances at the moment as well as other issues of life.
My mind then identified itself with people living mostly in wooden structures situated in mushy areas. The previous day’s rain had flooded their dwellings and caused them a lot of inconveniences in an already deplorable environment. It was therefore welcoming to them when the sun peaked up days after the heavy rain. To them, it was a moment of –now I can breathe for the temporary relief brought by the sun. When you look at the other sides of the city, you can appreciate better such vicissitudes of life.
Street beggars depend on the generosity of commuters to survive. Now, I can breathe resonates with them on such bad days when they are on the point of starvation and rescued by the pittance literally thrown at them by the good Samaritan for a meal to keep body and soul together. Indeed, the thorny issue of increasing income inequalities and the declining economic prospects at the rural areas need to be addressed by policy-makers through pragmatic and sustainable policies to control the steep surge in rural-urban migration with its related problems.
COVID-19 has inflicted pain on many people either directly or indirectly. For those who were infected by it, they never forget to share their peculiar experiences with the public after they had recovered from the disease. They give life to their experiences with many counts of –now, I can breathe. Thus, the COVID-19 survivor, the slum dweller and the street beggar used same expression to connote their conditional reliefs but they did so in those economic, sociological and medical contexts with such variants of understanding or feeling.
In that spirit, we can relate our impulses with some of our life experiences when such momentary reliefs gave us cause to say-now, I can breathe. Don’t you remember stories of abusive, painful or manipulative relationships (marriage, child labour/abuse etc) when the victims exited and later found solace in-now, I can breathe? That said, you can consider the case of a worker who experience constant burnouts or stressors look into the crystal ball and exit from a toxic work environment characterised by sheer disregard for occupational safety rules. In another flip, employees of a company heave a sigh of relief with cheers of-now I can breathe to the news of a retirement of an authoritarian boss.
Also in focus is the news of coup d’état in the republic of Guinea. The military led by the Special Forces Commander, Mamady Doumbouya on 5th September 2021 ousted from power, the 83-year-old President, Alpha Conde on the grounds of wanton corruption, economic mismanagement and poverty. Multitude of people went to the streets of the capital, Conakry to jubilate over the coup. As expected, the international community including ECOWAS has condemned the coup.
Nonetheless, the body language and the spontaneous jubilation of the crowd which greeted the dramatic way President, Alpha Conde was overthrown sent a strong signal with that feeling of –now, we can breathe; and free from his authoritarian rule. Hehehehe, power sweet ooo! As we say in here, President, Alpha Conde has now seen his “smoothness level” in the hands of his people. Who born dog? Lord Acton is still alive in his doctrine “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In another variant of same like COVID-19, is that the best way to know the character of a man is give him power.
The verdicts have always been there. There again, the paradox of military interventions can take of a life its own. It is just a matter of time- the vindicator of all situations will show how the military will overcome the issues which gave birth to the coup d’état. I will, therefore, not make further comments on it.
From these episodes, we can, therefore, punctuate on the fact that Kairos moments always come like lights at the end of a tunnel-a moment of upliftment or relief from any situation you might have encountered in your life. There and then, you look into the horizon and evoke the spontaneous feeling of – now, l can breathe. I hope you can relate to many of such other personal experiences in your office, home or elsewhere. You know them more than I do. Now, I can breathe and so do you.
Gershon is a Chartered Banker and a Corporate Backroom Strategist with diverse working experiences and expertise in Governance, Risk and Compliance in the financial services sector. He features in the Business & Finance Times as a Columnist with about 200 distinct articles (2017-2019). In the midst of the Banking Crisis, he was consulted and wrote the lead feature- “Calm after the Storm, the Future of Banking in Ghana.” A special Publication on the Banking Industry in 2019. Email:[email protected] Contact: +233 596 048 820