WHENCE WE GO?

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By Ronald Rwakigumba

Only the other day, i asked the wonderful waiter, whether it was in order to be served a raw banana, her standard response was “that is what is available”. After moments of thought, she picked the banana, only to return with a similar one. Upon summoning all the calm that grace provides, I advised that it was better to tell a customer that the banana’s were raw than to deliver raw bananas.

Her standard response again “Sir that is all we have, and besides other people do take them like that, they may seem raw on the surface but they are ok.” On inquiring for the bill, she boldly included the banana. To tempt fate I paid with a larger note just to see if logic would allow her chance to correct her error.

And with a smile she said, “I will give you more balance, since as it appears you have not taken the banana, thus I will not charge you for that” I knew it! There is plenty of good in all of us, only the courage to exploit it that lacks. Given my travel’s I cannot for a fact say the customer is king, but simply that life goes on.

There will be good days, and not so good days, even in the most customer dedicated climate. I am uncomfortable with killing a man because he killed a thousand others, since that makes me just like that man, only that I killed nine hundred ninety nine less. And if I kill a thousand of those kind of men, then where is the difference?But seems that rest of the planet is ok with that, and I will have no qualms about that.

An enthusiastic soldier the other day explained to me why the world is hay-wire about poverty. He theorises that the world does not really suffer from poverty, but that the world is full of people who are not content with what they have. He argues that in the past people were not so exposed and thus did not have as many desires and discontent. Pictures of children carrying water from eternity along the roadside, of mothers hopelessly cultivating barren ground, amidst images of sheer desperation on the faces of people attest the contrary.

9 years ago, I carelessly commented in the Eagle magazine, that our generation has sent men to the moon, invented numerous cures, climbed very high mountains, took convenience at a whole new level, yet also, this generation has taken poverty, immorality, desperation to a whole new experience. I fear I still agree.

The other day, two adults failed to control their vessel of transportation, with  two round wheels, a pedal, and a carrier at the back. They found urgent settlement right in between the front two wheels of my vessel. Having recounted the incident over and again, I am still not sure whether the break and clutch should take praise for the continued life of these men.They looked confused and puzzled getting up from the ground, like to say, ‘shouldn’t i have died right there?’ Sorry guys not that easily, you have many more days to impact the world, to change lives, to truly live, there you go. But i will never forget the smiles of the crowd that gathered, the cyclist who came by my window to say “boss, bonga ko”.A few months back when my fortunes where different, the ground was all up in arms, and i had to summon poise, eloquence from Jupiter just to get the situation under control. Then I was a villain, and today I am sort of a hero. I looked at the smiling faces and quickly thought how those very faces would have spat venom and death if the last few microseconds had gone differently.

I am not certain whence we go, but there is still a disquieting voice reaffirming that we still have the power to do so much good, transform lives, change the world, one, two, or even three lives at a time.

Tonight, I observed my pen against the light and found just enough ink to write, but only this far. This is effectively my final drawing of life as I find it. So long. Curtains, curtains please…

<The Writer has had more jobs than ten cats have lives. He is taking a hiatus from writing , but we all know that once you go pen , you don’t go back >

This article originally appeared in the WorkZine 31 which is available for download here

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