The man is Dead.
Wole Soyinka wrote a novel titled, ‘The Man Died.” When you begin reading the first chapter, you smell death. Then you realize at the end that Seinde Arigbede did not actually die even after undergoing so much torture. Yes, the man would be described as lame but not dead.
You are left to start wondering whether we do have levels of death. Maybe some people literally die and their memories fade into oblivion from our minds. The others literally die but still live in our hearts for ages. Still, others die and we continue living with them every single day because like Arigbede, they did not literally die.
In the last two categories, those who die and live in our hearts are not the same as those who die and we live with them. The first statement means that yes, the people who live in our hearts and minds have actually died but their memories and inspirations live on in our lives.
In the other case where these guys are dead and we still live with them means that these people are alive, but they are dead intrinsically. Also, they could be alive, but some of us choose to edge them out of our lives because of myriad reasons.
Emerson said, “The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant, friendly party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away,” In other terms, if we are not maximizing the value of the days we live on this earth, if we are not making use of the gifts bestowed upon us while we live, we are as good as dead.
Arkad, in the book The Richest Man in Babylon, was a very rich man. He lived a good life. He lived so to say because from him, went forth great gems of advice to other men on how to become successful as he was. In the sharing of that that was richly bestowed on him, he touched many people’s lives.
In same Babylon, there lived two people. One was Bashir, the chariot maker and the other one was Kobbi his friend. These men seemed to be living but even inside of them, they felt the void of life itself that was missing.
Until they developed the desire to change the course of their lives, theirs was a roller coaster of moving through life one day at a time. Living one day at a time is a principle that so many of us use in our daily lives. However, we ought to audit how we live that one day at a time and if that living does have any jot of life in it.
“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today,” are the words f Dale Carnegie.
We choose to die today because we anticipate living ten years from now. Many of us keep promising ourselves to do something for others in the future when we will have more money and an abundance of resources. But truth be told we live a richly filled life even without the abundance of material wealth.
Like Emma Goldman, we ought to see the big picture. She said that she would rather have roses on her table rather than diamonds on her neck. A rich life is as simple as smiling at the guy who sweeps the road or speaking kindly to that waiter in the restaurant. It is waking up in the morning, greeting your loved ones, and wishing them well. It is visiting a sick person and praying with them.
Some of us died a long time ago when we decided that forgiveness will never be part of us. If anyone wrongs us, we better learn to forgive and simply take the lessons. Failing to forgive hampers our living like people and we die daily.
Mark Twain remarked, “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that crushed it.” Imagine you walk on a beautiful flower and you crush it. Then you smell a nice fragrance out of it. The flower reminds you that you did it wrong but it chose to repay you well.
Walk on healthy grass. When you think you crushed it, it rises again healthier and stronger. The lesson therein is that don’t hold grudges. Avoid carrying regrets throughout life. Learn to forgive always and rise again.
Yes, the man is dead. But he is not actually dead. He can resurrect. The man can live again. There is still a tinge of life in him. All he needs to do is have the right attitude. Let him be crushed physically, but mentally not be jolted an inch. The man will live again.
The man is dead, but he will live again.