I don’t know why these thoughts have been coming to me lately, since four weeks ago to be precise. I was on a mental journey on the Masauko Chipembere Highway, the new double lane road.
I was walking, not riding any metal. I realised several truths or assumptions. One, that walking is the best means of transport. No tyre puncture, no engine jerks, no traffic police. You are sure of reaching your destination so long you are well.
Walking makes you meet people and see things, issues on the road. In a car, you are detached from the real world. You see a distant world.
On the ground, while walking, you meet people. You see magicians doing their work outside Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. You see people seeking help from the magicians or just passing time by watching them help or cheat people, often those desperate for a relief from some kind of pain.
Distance, I also realised, is best measured by time, not kilometres. It will take 20 minutes of walking from point A to point B. That gives a sense of distance in kilometres.
If it were not for the rocks, you would walk for 10 minutes. Thus we know the distance is short in length but there are so many obstacles on the road which is part of life. One can live briefly but suffer a lot during such times. I have seen children born with diseases that cause a lot of pain; children who live six or seven years of pain and die at eight.
These are lessons from life, journey of life in which we meet people on the via, on the way. All such thoughts came to me during my mental journey. But I still don’t know why these thoughts were puzzling me.
But one fundamental lesson I got during the walk is courage and being adventurous. We must never be afraid of changing lanes. Whether you are on the left or right, the journey remains one to Limbe or Blantyre. Life is bigger than one lane. Come on! Move from one lane to another.
That is life. To stick to one lane, one thing, one place, one destination, is not practical and not part of the journey to better life. The idea of sticking to one whatever is for those who are afraid of new destination.
All roads lead to one destination. Only that some roads are long, others short. Clever people, those who know what they are doing, walk on the possible short route, yet walking all journey, in its fullness. And fullness can be in turns, a circle kind of.
Another lesson is that it is not harmful to go back. It is a question of what you want to do when you go back that matters. An American man was saved from a hospital that was on fire and upon remembering that he had kept $1,000 in his pillow on the hospital bed, he went back to get the money. (This amount, in 1902, was a lot of money.) Now hear this: he became the only one to die in the fire accident.
A boy in Liberia once joined his friends running away from a rebel attack on their village. After about a 100 metres, he remembered he had forgotten his Bible. He went back home to carry it. Just then, all his friends who were running away were shot. He became the only one to survive and tell the story. He was left to tell.
Both the man and the boy went back. But one went back to salvation while the other went back to destruction. These choices are part of the journey of life, on whatever road you are walking.
You can go back and forward. Nothing wrong. But have a meaningful aim for going back. You can change lanes, nothing wrong but have a meaningful goal for doing so. You can run or jump.
Nothing wrong. But have a good goal for doing so. You can stop and talk to others on the way, the via. Nothing wrong, so long you are in a profitable talk. You can jump over a space. Nothing wrong, so long it is a necessary step on the journey towards your goal.
Such is life, a journey of questions and answers. Those who find answers to their questions move on, and they proceed. Those who don’t, well, I don’t know what happens to them. You can guess.
My plain view is that I don’t know why I am writing about these issues. I don’t know. May be they touch your soul, but still I don’t know why I am writing about these issues. I don’t know.