Friday, June 26, 2009

The finer things in life!

I know I cannot ,and am not supposed to always see life through other people's spectacles.But something flashed my mind to issues one cannot ignore,in a society such as where I live.Here is a place where you would rather sit and be bored than listen to news.The reason's not farfetched-gory,ghastly,hijjacking,murder,suicide,rape,abuse,molestation,corruption and labour unrest make popular headlines than not.When I first arrived here,I found the contents very unsettling because,even though am not coming from'Saint Island',I couldn't compare the two.One was far ahead than the other.The latter would be my homecountry.We are tagged as one of the most corrupt nations alive,my people are said to be the top ranked in Computer fraud...!One would have thought such talent would be put to better use,like being an inventor for instance ( I wish).Nonetheless,the palpable situation in my beloved country has not subjected the impoverished to suicide,on a scale in comparison to SA.

So,in my meditative moods,I do ponder and wonder why the finer things in life get the least attention.This isn't a question one would usually get answers to for the already stated fact.I have been richly educated being abroad and I see myself putting this wealth of knowledge to use,if am financially endowed in my lifetime.I thought of an abstract issue like 'Mental Health'.I know this isn't a famous hobby for people my age and generation.But I honestly don't join the wagon,so would follow my own path,my own way.What struck me was the fact that,I come from a developing nation with high level of poverty and a declining illiteracy (thank God for that)!A common petty trader and corner shop owner would strive and sacrifice his or her last penny,to get his or child (or children as the case may be) educated.This isn't gainsaying,I see it happen all the time.This is not a yardstick for the rate of the citizenry's well being unfortunately.The emphasis and value my people place on education is such that,they would starve and go hungry to go to school,even be indebted.A stack illiterate mother would go all the way to ensure her child does not go the way of the forefathers -mostly farmers and petty traders,usually half or uneducated.It has become indeniably evident that,education liberates the intellectual mind.People who wish to live better lives,put education first.And so,even though I do not have the statistics,I am aware there is a mass number of graduands from the Medical school,evry single year.Year in,year out,they keep producing medical practitioners,who either remain miserable in this non-financially rewarding profession,or miserable and desperate,all combined together.

My concern isn't even whether thery're 'half-baked' or'incompetent'.I am more concerned about their reason for studying medicine in the first instance.Another peculiarity of my people is their obssession with status.This is a societal plaque because,people do not usually like to be 'the odd one out'.I have seen cases where parents would force their child into a'pressumed' high profile profession.People want to be called and addressed as'the father or mother of Doctor' so and so,than their own nomenclature.It's just silly,but people do it anyway.So,my worry is,how come none of those'certified' practitioners took note of the ignorance and neglect of'mental health'?All these famous pandemics have overshadowed little but important aspect of living synonymous with everyone.I know I used to wonder why we have so many'crazy people' (mistaken for destitutes) on our streets.I mean,as kids,we would be walking to school and dread meeting some lunatic on the way.Some were more tolerant and just wanted to tease and be teased.And there were the violent and angry ones,who would grab traders' goods from the stands and run away with it.They may even add salt to injury by being very abusive and overtly annoying.But what would the victim be called if he or she goes chasing a mad person?Another mad man or woman,simple!

Another case is that of the 'underworlds'!They are the neccessary ills of a society because,in their own misfortune,they have given perspective for some thoughtful and retrospective ,minds(I'd like to believe am amongst those). They make them appreciate the finer things in life and not take 'people'-not things,for granted!I believe the society should pay more attention to values like the old saying,'be your brother (or sister)'s keeper.I know this theory might not work in a society like my country home because,a reporter of a crime is usually the'perpetrator'.You call the police to rescue your neighbour who's under a robbery attack,and you're handcuffed as the mind behind the crime.How more ridiculous can the law enforcement (or is it dis-enforcement) get?Except of course,there's been a turn around since I left home.I stand to be corrected.That would be wishing for a miracle.But since miracles do happen,it's not a wishful thinking then!

A very recent personal experience got me very deep in thought and reminded me why I used to wonder as a child,the reason there were crazy people all over our communities.I shouldn't fail to mention the fact that my people are also quite fettish.So,the answers I would get for this question range from,being cursed to karma!Yes,the law of reciprocity is said to befall the wicked.They are said to be paying for their evil acts and machinations-something like a 'backfire' or 'boomerang' if you may.And since that seem fairly reasonable,I wouldn't argue.The most popular of these unfounded mythical beliefs' that,some people cannot stand being second to the best,so they'd rather eliminate their countender."Elimination" does not necessarily have to be'death',to be mentally challenged is as good as dead!

But this is my theory,something I have concluded on because of my personal experience and what I have picked from the societies I've found myself.When the people we know have problems,we do not always think of the simplest and inexpensive support we can give.I emphasise always because I know this for a fact,my people are very compassionate and accomodating.This doesn't mean there aren't a few exceptions.Everyone's not out to get you!We stand by each other in trials,but we then expect the bereaved to carry on with life ASAP!What people usually do is turn to religious activities and become fanatics,at some level.It is their readily accessible consolation.I do not think majority of the enlightened population even reckon with medical conditions like'Bi-polar,Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,Post natal depression and the list goes on.Their ignorance or negligence of the condition does not eliminate its existence.We internalise so much it gets to a point of no return.Children may become aggressive and rebellious because their strict father never gives them the listening ear they need when troubled.The trait is genetic,so it becomes a vicious circle.We often don't bother what an unstable emotion does to the mind.Someone would have turned up mad and end up in the home for the mentally challenged before we realise they had unresolved emotional baggage.

The worst of this scenario of course is what is evident here in SA,suicide!I have tried to go into the minds of these victims.I think,it's more of negligence than ignorance.We act like'it doesn't really matter','you're depressed,so what?You'll snap out of it'.These are the attitudes that leaves some of these people into thinking nothing of their lives,the hopelessness and the betrayal they feel.The unworthiness they feel that 'no one cares'.The disappointment and rejection becomes unbearable and they just take the easy way out.Faith is an abstract subject and not everyone's endowed with the comprehension that tere's a Supreme Being overseeing our affairs.Those of us who are fortunate to have chosen that path should be their torch to walk through those very dark moments.To rekindle their hopes and be their medium to the Overall giver of peace and happiness-our Creator.

I have been feeling very low of late,and not been able to reach out made it almost unbearable.In my depressive moments,I made out time to be a shoulder to lean on for another friend.I even rejoiced with another for finding her better half.She had no idea what was on my plate.And somehow,I feel better for doing that.I feel better putting a smile on another worried face than lament about my personal problems.It's good to know that,even though we feel down smetimes,the people we care about still get a chance at happiness.I tried reaching out to an old friend,but was 'technically' ignored.I got the message and withdrew.And when I least expected it,I got a call from thousands of miles away,and my distant friend put a smile on my face.I had to express my gratitude,so I told her she made my day!I had not been able to access the Internet for a little while.And today when I did,I saw another friend online and we chatted.It was my second blessing.I was able to let out some emotions.......and it left me better than I was.Now this doesn't happen often for known reasons.So here I am,hoping that,even though am miles away from my beloved families and friends,they know that I hold them very dearly to my heart and will always be here for them when they need a listening ear.I've always done that,and do not plan on stopping now.Am sure they know,am just reiterating it for re-assurance!Thank you to the few friends and my dear cousin who showed they care.I am grateful!

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