- “One cannot both feast and become rich.” – Asante proverb
As a people, we have forged our own fetters. Our current state of affairs is but the reaping of a harvest we sowed in the years past. Our challenges are the result of our unwillingness to promote honest individuals, seek out creative ideas, separate our emotions from issues, and the many acts of indiscipline in the past. Many of us simply live without realising that life does not simply happen. It takes sweat and sacrifices for life to be enriched for your convenience. It is probably not surprising that many of us do not know how much we owe to those faceless and unknown individuals who deny themselves prestige and pleasure, and allow themselves to be trampled on for the peace and protection we are enjoying.
Quite the majority among us do not think about how what we do and the ways we live our lives impacts all of life. Perhaps our curse is that we are not fully aware of how interrelated and interconnected we are to each other. More often than not, it is only in challenging times that we remember in our hearts and in our souls that we need each other. When the going is all rosy, the majority of us are less considerate of others in our aspirations and ambitions. We would do anything to climb the ladder; be it lying, cheating, conniving with others to cause harm – and if need be, selling our souls to attain power, prestige and pleasure.
What we often ignore is that there is a price for every action or inaction in life. Sadly, the rise of the “we-will-do-whatever-it-takes; damn-the-consequences” attitude inspires us to think less and less about long-term consequences. We are letting our fiercest and most debased passions control us. Thus, we have become emotionally driven instead of rationality-driven, ruthless instead of compassionate – all the while rejecting the entreaties to consider that our actions will shape tomorrow. Some of us even boldly proclaim the Pharisaic attitude of “let the blood be upon us”, and thus spurn the opportunities which would enable us to subdue our evil impulses. Over time, this blind obstinacy has grown into truly detestable attitudes.
The future is mercifully veilled from us because it does not exist by itself. It will come, but it will seep out of what are doing today. Life was before we were born, but the ‘state of life’ we have now is the result of all our actions and inactions from yesterday. Like the proverbial ‘little drops of water making a mighty ocean’, the attitudes we displayed in the past have resulted in what we are experiencing now. Likewise, what we are doing today will determine what tomorrow is to be. We can be assured that when we sow virtues today we will reap a lot of goodness. But our future will almost certainly be a bagful of sadness if we continue to sow and promote vices.
We have to grapple with the reality that every ray of light we reject darkens our lives the more. Every passion we indulge in diminishes the opportunities we give others. And whenever we rubbish the ideas of others, we encourage more and more individuals to stop dreaming. All in all, our actions or inactions are seeds we sow which will yield their harvest when tomorrow comes.
Whatever our attitudes are or may be, they affect and influence others more than we are aware. While it may be hard to know the direct impact, it is even harder to accept that before you act or decide not to act you would have pondered over whatever it is – giving it some amount of energy, a life-force that goes forth from you to touch and weaponise other forces of life.
The final outcomes of our attitudes may be beyond our control, but we can be sure they are usually a synergy of what we spewed out. It is the basis for the adage, “you reap what you sow”. Thus, we need to often ask ourselves “What are we sowing?” Many of us act in ways which solely benefit us and still expect society to flourish. How is this possible? We work with the assumption that as long as life goes on in its unvarying rounds, life will always be good. This false sense of security is what inspires many to adopt a selfish posture and yet expect life to be free-flowing.
The present state of life is a solemn warning to all of us who are trifling with the notion that we can do all things. Yes, you can – but not all things are good for you. We need to understand that the sum total of every possibility does not amount to a flourishing life. Rather, when we are conscious about what we do, as in we think through how our actions will shape tomorrow, then we can be sure that our future will be better than our present. Where there is no discipline of attitudes, there is no flourishing of self-determination…
Kodwo Brumpon is a management consultant and life coach who inspires individuals, groups and corporate bodies to think and feel that which is true, and helps them positively respond to that which is beautiful while nudging them to let goodness govern their actions. Comments, suggestions and requests should be sent to him at [email protected]