Dear Dalitso

Everyday lessons for tomorrow

The essence of life

November 6, 2023
Letter #

Dear Dali,

What is life all about? Shakespeare in Macbeth put it this way.

‘Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player. That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing’

So really what is life? Is it about having fun, endless sorrows or just a hard slog. Others have said it’s what you make it to be.

It is all the above. Everything feeds into each other. To appreciate joy, you probably had to go through pain. Beauty is a contrast. It’s just not beautiful by itself. Those are just episodes or seasons of life. I have found one constant in life- problems of different weights. Could life be a series of problems? Does it mean we should look at life as consisting of problem-solving exercises.  I remember solving problems in my childhood. Consider for instance my fear of being bullied at school and solving that problem by absconding school (not a smart solution but a great attempt I must say). We have all negotiated around problems-some have to do with disease, poverty, lack, not knowing how to handle pressure.  We will never be without problems in this life. If, during all the challenges, you cannot learn to thrive when you find yourself, you will never find contentment. In other words, problems are a part of life- you cannot avoid them instead you have to find ways of addressing each problem that comes your way.

Shall we then conclude this matter by stating that life is a journey filled with problems. These problems present us with opportunities to grow, develop character, meet with others, and have joy.

The writer of Ecclesiastes says, ‘We should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals with the now and gives joy for, the now’ (Ecclesiastes 5:19, MSG). Learn to enjoy this wonderful gift of life in the present. If you do not, life will pass you by and you will never enjoy where you are right now.

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