[O]ne of my favourite television series is 24, the American television series produced for the Fox network, starring Keifer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist (CTU) Agent Jack Bauer.
In Season 2, CTU Director George Mason joins LAPD to inspect a garage as they follow up a lead on a nuclear threat. He gets exposed to a lethal dose of radiation in the process and is told that he has just a few hours to live.
With that knowledge, George Mason got in touch with his son with whom he had a fractured relationship. His son had resented his father for not being involved in much of his life. Well, they did make up and George was at peace as he spent the remaining hours of his life working to stop a nuclear bomb from going off on US soil.
Time and again, we have seen this kind of scenarios play out. The circumstances may be the different but the message is the same: the world is not a material world, it is a people world.
Sadly, a lot of people wait till when they are about to die to realise this and even though they make amends, they’re full of regrets because they suddenly realise that they could have done better.
Sometimes, it’s the other way round. Sometimes it happens when someone loses someone.
I lost an elderly cousin of mine to cancer a couple of years ago. I remember the intense feeling of anguish I experienced when we realised she wasn’t going to make it. We used to be very close and then I got so enmeshed in other pursuit I couldn’t find time for her anymore. She did complain and as much as I promised to better I just didn’t keep my word. I could have if I really wanted to. Perhaps, I couldn’t have been there all the time but they were other ways of keeping in touch. People just want to know they matter.
You may not always feel guilt because you do not have anything to regret when you lose someone but you get a strong understanding of the vanity of life with all of its glamour. You begin to question the true essence of life. You begin to question why you give so much attention to mundane things.
There’s nothing wrong in mundane things, just the prioritisation of them.. They were created for man, not man for them. So you cannot find meaning from them.
A more cursory look at life would reveal to you that you can’t be anything without people. You can’t be a teacher without students or a doctor without patients. You can’t sing without anyone to listen and you can’t write without readers. You weren’t made just for yourself alone.
So while you get caught up in pursuit of your dreams, remember what’s most important: your relationships, with God and those in your life.
Learn to be more understanding, less judgmental, more attentive, more compassionate, more forgiving and less resentful. Yes, some people may be almost impossible to deal with and no matter how hard you try, their attitude problems are always going to be in the way. Just be sure you’ve done your best.
Learn to give, share, contribute. Shun pettiness. Pettiness is for small, selfish minds. Look at the bigger picture. Take the high road.
Remember, there can’t be a life without people to share it with.
Have an awesome weekend.