“To whom much is given, much is expected.”
This weeks marked a special moment in my life, the day of my birth. It’s a gift to be alive and to share amazing moments in that very journey with the people you love & care about. I was lucky to spend moments leading to this day with my folks in the village. As always being with the Big Man, one always has a moment to learn and gain insights about the workings of the world. On this occasion I was reminded of an article I did last year on rights & responsibilities reflecting on the series Inside Bills Brain and further reinforced by a short article by Melinda F. Gates on her Approach to Philanthropy: the principle of social responsibility. As Melinda states, “If you are successful, is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.”
Spending the weekend with my Dad having lived for over 60years, he narrated his experiences from a humble family to being lucky to get education which was his ticket to a better life. As the first generation in the family to get tertiary education, he had a different experience and perspective on what life would be. On his account, from a vantage position he had the task to stand tall and be there for the family. Supporting his younger siblings through school, fending for the family while at the same time raising his own family. Such experiences shape our outlook on life. In his regard, responsibilities shaped the person he became. He had to work hard & smart. He had to envision a better future not only for himself, his children but for every other person within his circle of influence including students he taught in school. His commitment was to make them see life in a different perspective and acknowledge that heritage was not a life sentence but rather a pedestal to launch from.
On the eve of my birthday, as I travelled back to the city, I kept reflecting on our discussion with a focus on what I was grateful for the year that has been. In hindsight, I believe it’s the gift of responsibility. As much as we are in a society where we wish we had fewer responsibilities, it is these that define who we are and what we stand for. We take responsibility for our actions, inactions, animate & inanimate creatures in our environs among others. Responsibility gives us something to work for, to live for and to look forward to. That better future and this forms the compass upon which I envision to guide my steps into the new year.
Ps. I earlier made a commitment to write a thanksgiving reflection towards the end of this year here. I’m coming around on this and will ensure I do a series on the people who have shaped my professional life. Tune in.