The goat that haunted me


Where’s Billy
Originally uploaded by lekowala.

There’s a goat under that pile of kids. I remember I was just surveying the school compound when out of the blue, this kid came running to me from 20 metres, carrying a goat almost as big as himself and asking a “fataw”. That scene is running in my head. If I may offer a metaphor, that moment was like a beautiful snowflake formed at the confluence of heaven and earth.

So its left me totally dazed and confused. Its made me think that I have missed the point, and I’d like to think that most of us are oblivious to that point being sorely missed in out lives.

A close description of the situation about people who missed the point is keenly spelt out by an article written by Adrian Tan“Why we are unhappy even in good times”

“POLITICIANS and civil servants around the world share the view that voters are always unhappy (and ungrateful).”

“This means that our efforts to make ourselves happier, by working harder so as to earn more and spend more, are often self-defeating because others are also earning and spending more. We do not get much happier and neither do others.
And working harder in order to be wealthier could make us more unhappy if we do not have enough spare time. For, interestingly, rivalry over income does not extend to leisure, as the same Harvard study shows.”

Whilst I agree that lots of people are unhappy trying to maintain their urban cage (see “Rage against the machine”), I think the main issue here is not leisure but a sense of purpose. Leisure can be dissipative and leave one spent. Why build a cage, work to maintain it and then from time to time leave it and only to return to it? As the sentinel puts it- the nest has a natural and easy relationship with the sky. Recently I saw people with a sense of purpose; and even though they are displaced, there is no hint of despondency nor a hint of sadness but a clear and focussed purpose and their lives become meaningful. Have we found meaning in our lives…?

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2 thoughts on “The goat that haunted me

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