By Lumepa Apelu
Achievement, is it a desk where you sit for many hours, in solitude, learning the mysteries of this life?
Is it a pat on the back of your children, because you made them up to be honest and kind?
Or is it the plenty buildings that rise up from the sweat of our hard work only to be crumbled in the wake of the sea, or the fury of the wind?
Every heart is out on a break when we look up to the white clouds after a stormy day.
Seems we lose in the battle no matter what. Something is amiss, if you ask me. Only I give credit to the green grass and the swaying leaves for the faith instilled in me.
There I have found the peace of God and the wrath of the downtrodden.
There I have seen eye to eye my own bleeding hero. She is a child with her curled body lain on the moon of dismay, reaching out to the smiling flowers. And she is beset by the change of heart from the soil, begging her to be braver, to keep believing in love and nothing less.
The child who is losing hope, is not alone. She is one lit candle amongst all lit candles that light up the wretched way.
That same child is seen in the deep eyes of the lowly and in the faded hearts of puppies when someone callous kicks them on the back. They each, return the favor with a soft reminder, that if we should forget our kindness, our fairness, our compassion, then we would always be lost.
But we don’t need a church to confirm these things. We don’t need academia either. All we need are our eyes, and the wholeness of common sense which live in them. We are stupefied by the flaring colors of achievement so much, that they blind us from the real needs of the earth we walk on.
This life is only done once. Our identities, they too crumble up. To own this life with fear is a journey, but to win it with love is our destiny. What old man wrinkles up his eyes with a smile if you should demean his life with just a big thank you? No, the meaning of this life is to dance with him. Make him rise up from his tired feet, throw out the walking stick and sway like leaves till he coughs out the wisdom of an earnest life.
There is much to learn still. The children we are raising raise us on pedestals. We have to sharpen our tools of understanding. We have to speak out the injustices on the lowly, for they need us as we need those who carry our pockets in their offices, and make decisions with the signing up of our names to follow them.
If there is a hero to define, I would say that she or he is the one whose flames burn out the things that we fear the most. The heroes are those whose passion is confidently stemmed in justice. They know we are different, but they embrace that as a frangipani would to a rose. They know deeply that flowers like children, are crying everywhere for hope.