Dear Dalitso

Everyday lessons for tomorrow

Dear Dali

April 17, 2024
Letter #37

It’s been a while since I gathered the courage to write anything meaningful here. What can I say life happens. We lost a dear friend, your godmother. One wonders why bad things happen to good people. All I heard in the eulogies about my departed friend was that she was a good wife, a good mum, a good Christian, a philanthropist, etc. I can personally attest to her philanthropy and that is the point of this piece. Happiness was a giver of her money, time, and compassion. She stood with me and your mum at a very difficult time when we could not have a child. Helped us in our prayers and then you were born. She always called you, her baby. I heard so much more from people who had interacted with Happi.

Throughout the entire time of grieving and trying to make sure we put a decent sendoff, I kept thinking about the value of a human being. Granted- we are all going to die at some point- then what is the point of it all? It seems to me that the value of a human being or a human soul should not be weighed by how much one accumulated. But rather on how much one gave away to others. Indeed, the founding principle of Christianity is that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave it all away so that we who were living in sin could receive it. Giving it away and not hoarding/keeping it sounds like a great plan. Perhaps it could help us alleviate the greed-driven framework that has fractured society. Happi’s greatest contribution to humanity was that she shared the little of her time, money, and skills with the rest of the world. She did not just give to family and friends. She gave to strangers and significant gifts too. The gift of praying for another soul is priceless- she prayed for many.

I may have just learnt the most invaluable lesson about life through her death, to give. If only we could embrace that, we each have something to give. We can give of our time, networks, kind words, skills, and money, then this country and indeed the continent would be a better place. We have witnessed especially in my professional life that we are not all accustomed to the paradigm of giving. Despite having plenty we usually exhibit a scarcity mindset which perhaps explains why the so-called ‘elites’ find meaning in things and yet have no peace of mind. We could resolve most of our problems through a giving-based mindset and development framework.

A human being should not debase her/himself to measure who they are based on possessions that they hold. I am not yet clear on the best possible framework for measuring the worth of a soul. Maybe we should start off by focusing on the lives that we touched. Start off by asking who will mourn for you. Happi had a big send off and many of those who came had their own very personal stories about their interactions with Happiness. Even in her death, she taught me something. To give of yourself for the betterment of humanity.

Go well, my friend!

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