Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Life Owes You and Me

One day in the midst of my phase of teenage rebellion, I got into an argument with my uncle. I told him that despite his statement to the fact, I did not think he understood how I felt because he had never known how it feels to lose a mother. Angered beyond reason he calmly told me
"Raymond let me tell you something, I owe you nothing, the world owes you nothing. I only do this because your mother was my sister and I loved her."

I have gone through life with those words seared in my memory. One of my uncle's long lasting lessons is that I should expect no kindness because I am not owed it. For a long time those words taught me that I should do all in my power to expect any sort of kindness. I should start the process by being kind and I guess that is what they will always mean to me. My uncle was not the kind of person to say something that mean. We parted ways at some point after that. I saw him many years later at my grandmother's funeral. He got up to give the eulogy and broke down halfway through. I was standing in the back shedding my own tears and I could not help but feel that now he knew how it felt. I have always wanted to have a chat with him. To say thank you for the lessons, sorry for the trouble and to ask him why he did not bother to sit me down and teach me about love and kindness.

Despite carrying that memory with me, I have come to know that I should expect something of life. As sentient beings each and every one of us knows and feels things. I have known and felt profound love and life has taken it from me. It owes me. It owes us as humanity because we feel each other's pain, even the pain of those that time has forgotten. It owes you and me peace and happiness and we are here to collect.


Spartakuss said...


Spartakuss said...

agreeing *(and almost nodding head of his shoulders. some strange guy once told me in a cold callous moment, right before he reached into my suitcase to take my bread and samaosas, that "the world didnt owe me a living". I resented him and then it dawned on me.
A few years later we were inseparable, were shot at together, were best friends, shared girlfriends and what not.
It doesn't owe us, but we are made in the image of a God who reaps where he hasn't sown, so we shall collect.

Basics said...

Not too shabby Rhino
love the way you have written it out...

the antipop said...

Chilling. That tale about your uncle i mean.

But i have to disagree with you Rhino. Life doesn't owe us jack. You milk what you can from it and then make your exit. Life's nothing but work and worries. You work at getting happy, work at remaining happy, and worry about when the next doom will strike.

P.S I loved your mom

Sleek said...

Antipop has a point there...ours is a constant struggle; u and X may do the exact same things but won't necessarily get the same results simply coz life doesn't owe u jack. if it did, it'd pay in the same currency,all the time

Rhino said...

@Spartakuss, socks to u too whatever that means, I just know it's kul.

@ Basics, thanks.

@ Antipop, that's your uncle too! I think we all have expectations of life, otherwise there would be no point to it. We shouldn't have to work at these things, they should be second nature to us. I guess that's why you always hear people say you gotta do what you love.

@ Sleek I guess even life experiences a credit crunch hence the disparity in payments.

Safyre said...

Yes, it owes us peace and happiness, and a lot more. That was touching. I'm here to collect too.

~ gnuts ~ said...

Aha! You've been using '@'too.