I grew up in my fathers’ stone house in a quiet area of the town. On evenings when usually there is no electricity we sit on mats outside the house to listen to an array of moonlight tales delivered by my mum but authored by those that came long before her. The stories were so engaging that you couldn’t leave without knowing the end, sending us on errands during these periods saw the fastest response time in history because nobody wants to miss a part of the story. After the stories we lay down looking at the skies and count the stars, noting the fading ones and the bright ones.
It is in this phase of our evening enjoyments that we usually notice that sometimes, white clouds cover up the stars and then the winds get cooler than before, when this happens, the adults will tell us to pack up and go inside because rain was a likely possibility. So the rain clouds obscure the beauty of the night sky even if just for a moment, the beauty is replaced by threatening, heavy and dark clouds that change the atmosphere from joy to terror.
This is not so different from our lives; the rain clouds are the threatening uncontrollable situations and environments we find ourselves in. It could be triggered by the people we work, live or interact with regularly, who cause us to react in ways that for an instant hide the beauty of our lives from us and from others that are looking. Have you seen a close friend in the heat of anger, righteous though the anger may be, but at that moment he looses every appearance of the human being you know. He is snarling like a dog and threatening fire and brimstone, he is shouting at the object of the anger and looking for what to destroy, he is uncontrollable, and you wonder, where the beauty is. Somebody described anger or more correctly fits of rage as moments of temporary insanity, is he far from the truth?
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
Sometimes the situations that we are thrown into trigger off severe emotional reactions that obscure for an instant the beauty we possess. You are trying your best to be tolerant in the office and so you complain less and overlook more, but a colleague sees it as an opportunity to ride roughshod over you because he feels you lack the capacity to respond to him as is necessary. But one day he does the one thing that is equivalent to the “last straw”: when you approach him you don’t shout, you don’t scream, you just sit him down and for thirty minutes you just dress him down, you assault him with words and when you finally let him go, you know within you that his perception of you has changed forever. Nobody will ever think your tolerance is borne out of cowardice or foolishness again, they will see you from a different perspective from henceforth.
There are not fifty ways of fighting, there’s only one,
and that’s to win. Neither revolution
nor war consists in doing what one pleases.
Sometimes it is fair and trite to cover up your beauty roll up your sleeves and get in the mud. There are some things due you that you can’t get unless you fight for them. Not just fight but low down dirty brawling. In the words of the country musician Don Williams,” sometimes you have to fight to be a man”. The difficulty here is in choosing how and where to shield your delicate beauty so you can achieve your due reward.
Few things in life are worth fighting for and fewer yet are worth dying for. You should fight for your dreams, you should fight for your loved ones, you should fight for the things that you are passionate about, you should fight for your wife/husband, you should fight for your children, and you should fight for your tomorrow. Preserving the “beauty” of your character should not be important when there is a need to fight for what you hold dear, for instance : to liberate your child from forces you know you are stronger than and even if you are weaker than them beauty should not keep you from trying. Maintaining your demeanor before your boss as he demeans your wife may help keep your job but has definitely killed your marriage, love is worth fighting for.
Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.
We are men and women not robots, our feelings don’t work on switches. Our feelings don’t have “feelostarts” so that when they reach a particular level they are automatically shut off. Our being intelligent beings allow us to make intelligent choices about emotional decisions especially ones that will change our lives.
A woman has been known to have singlehandedly lifted a Volkswagen beetle that ran her child over and the kid was trapped beneath the car. Fighting is our heritage but we have lost the sense of what to fight for.
It’s easier to see husband and wife fight over divorce settlements than fight to save their marriage, as siblings we fight over inheritances instead of unity, we fight over politicians instead of fighting for good governance, and we fight over who to worship instead of over how to live right. Misplaced priorities are what plague our lives in these days, we are all fighting for something, and the question is, are you fighting for the right thing?
Families ain’t just born; you got to work at ’em,
even when there ain’t much to work with.
The rain clouds may eventually go away without bringing rain and sometimes it only goes away after a torrential downpour. But after the rain comes the sunshine, after the dark clouds comes the clear skies after the weeping comes the smile.
May our rain clouds prepare us to fight for the right things, things that will outlive us not things that will expire before us.