Action or inaction either state has its consequences, cause and effect you might say. The way something is done as well as the how also has its separate result. Much like the stone that’s thrown into water and the ripple created spreads out in ever widening circles until it finally abates, that’s the way relationships tend to behave. The people involved affecting each other and vice-versa and the circle of influence ever widening until only echoes remain.
During the tsunami that shook the world, I would have sworn that I didn’t personally know anyone that was affected…only to discover that a close friend had gone on holiday and ended up sleeping in a temple for a few days. This brought the tragedy up close and personal and made it more than another news item.
The same thing occurred during the Japanese reactor crisis earlier this year.
Times of celebrations or tragedy tend to draw us closer (family, friends, acquaintances and strangers alike) and we become warmer and more ‘real’. Defences are lowered and vulnerabilities revealed during these periods. Incidentally it’s also during such times that we come to recognise (and sometimes understand better) the other person (or people) involved.
The truth of the Yoruba saying, ‘omi leyan’ (i.e. people can be likened to water) is brought to the fore when incidents in far flung lands are reported and you discover that it’s not just the natives there that were affected, but in a small way you were as well because of that one person you happen to know. This knowledge might be tenuous at best, but that connection still exists and the emotion that it elicits is tangible and binds you to that occurrence, howbeit even if it’s only for a while.
When you make contact with another person (no matter the degree) and a bond is formed, the effect of this can be much deeper, bigger and longer lasting than the original contact or relationship. As is wont to happen in life, things happen and on this side of eternity we will not know the degree to which a chance encounter changed the outcomes of various lives. Some we may be able to trace logically e.g. when you connect a friend to an acquaintance in a new place to which they have relocated.
We meet to part and part to meet and this continues on a daily basis and it’s only in these meet-ups and break-ups that we eventually make sense of why you had to meet a particular person in order for others that would eventually relate to do so, in one way or the other and to benefit from that initial relationship. As complex as it sounds its simple enough and will continue ad infinitum. Nobody is an island and in this festive season more than ever we ought to appreciate these precious relationships and try and do them justice.
Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year everyone!! God bless…