Honesty

Today, I had a long day, but it was a good day.

The quote by ice hockey player – Jason Spezza came in handy –

“A big skill, if you want to play for a long time, is just being honest in assessing how you’re playing. If you wait until the coach tells you you’re not playing good, a lot of times it’s too late.”

I am thankful for the gift of being brutally honest with myself.

A good meal

Today, I had a soup that took me back in time.

Nsala.

It was one of my favorite soups when I lived in the East, and I was scared the chefs here might spoil the memory for me.

But I gave in and ordered a plate.

They prepared it even better than my Eastern chefs. I had to remember my home training and not ask for more.

I am thankful for a good meal. It brightens the day.

Miracles

Today, I was sent pictures from a surgery my friend went through.

When I saw the cystic peritoneal masses brought out from the abdominal area, my jaw dropped.

The human body is a miracle.

As intelligent as humankind is, the biological functions that help us to keep going, require no conscious input from us. They are perfectly pre-designed.

Doctors get to see miracles daily, and then they set up a system to make miracles possible.

I am thankful for daily miracles.

Last words

Today, I got a call from a friend, complaining bitterly about the difference of opinion he had with his dad.

I listened with a smile.

In the end, I had only one advice.

“It is a privilege to have your parents alive. They provide wings you can always run under, even if they live under a rock. No one knows how great that privilege is until death draws the curtain. Whatever you do, make sure your words to your parents are words that will not judge you, if they happen to be the last words to them.”

It made him quiet. Hopefully, it got him to call back, apologise, and reconcile.

I am thankful for the gift of loving parents, and last words which comfort.

Sleep

Today, I had a good siesta.

The type you wake up from and get confused about the time – Is it evening or morning?

The usual suspects did not call, and the unusual ones were ignored.

There was a time in life I was forced to have my siesta. These days, I am lucky if I get any.

A reminders that it is wise to maximise the moment, because the inconvenience of today can easily be the luxury of tomorrow.

I am thankful for the refresh sleep brings.

Possibilities

Today, I made a new commitment on giving.

I will find NGOs doing work that matters to me, and give 10% of my upfront allowance as support to their cause.

No transfers will go into personal accounts. Only registered NGO accounts.

For accountability, I will track contribution and impact.

Each NGO to be supported must have a track record of multiplying joy beyond their means. Not plans, but verifiable action.

Hopefully, it helps somebody out there to live a little better.

I am thankful for those who sacrifice a part of their being for the possibility of an alternative ending.

Time capsule

Today, I plugged into an old playlist to lift up my spirit at the end of work.

As music is a powerful time capsule, a flood of memories came rushing in.

One of those memories stuck around, and made me place a call to an old friend.

Immediately he picked, his first words were – “Let’s go there.” It is a catchphrase from the club banger by 9ice – Party Rider.

I followed with the usual response, “We do not know what tomorrow holds, but one thing is sure, we will enter it dancing. Let’s go there.”

I am thankful for time capsules.

Nothing

Today, I got my usual monthly call from my banker, trying to sell loan packages.

After exchanging the usual pleasantries, he moved into salesman mode.

I asked him a question, “What is in it for you if I take this loan?” He gave a dishonest answer, “Nothing.”

I then asked him another question, “What is in it for me if I refuse to take this loan?” He gave an honest answer, “Nothing.”

I then summarized, “I prefer to do nothing right now.”

I am thankful for the ability to do nothing, especially in circumstances where incentives are not clear.

Family

Today, I was reminded of how much hurt is concealed within families.

If you draw close enough to any family, you would marvel at the stories each member bears.

Family is the perfect story of how imperfection can still be beautiful.

I am thankful for family.

Keep going

Today, I applied my learning of first finding out if someone truly wants a problem to be solved, or not.

For some, their problem is all they have. They share not for you to take away, but for you to sympathise.

Like turtle, they carry their problems as a shell and recoil into it at the first sight of danger. Taking away their shell might make them lighter, but it also leaves them unshielded.

I stopped when I found out I was dealing with such a person today. I thanked him for sharing his problem, and praised him for being so strong in spite of it. He beamed with pride.

I am thankful that humans are designed to still keep going, in spite of needless self-inflicted burdens.