What a life! They want bread with spread on it, and we have such fancy names for the spreads, like margarine! Of course, they are nothing but product names, and in this regard, reveal nothing about the true ingredients that make up the final product. That is usually left for the body mechanism to deal with. So, it is usually upon the consumer to know what it is they are consuming. The question here is, what is high life? What is good life?
I asked my friend recently, if they have ever given themselves anything that left them feeling happier, and with more love for themselves. All they had to say was that they wanted to go out swimming, eat in the best hotels, and maybe have some chocolate. A big number of my friends want to be taken out to have a meal. There is a likelihood that the meal would consist of fast foods, which is, in other words, a big composition of deep-fried foods. I choose not to give the list of such foods, as they are not a secret to us.
These are the foods that we are feeding our kids, especially those who are from well of families. For most of us, when we were in primary school, the teaching was always that education was our ticket to a good life. This was a life that was free from the grip of poverty. For this reason, we were under pressure to excel academically, as it was the only chance we had at experiencing this god life. It was about the only measure of success. So, by the end of primary education, we all knew whether we had a chance of breaking away from poverty, or not.
This, of course, was as per the secondary schools that we were appointed to. We had to excel, for us to also our parents from the very poverty that had been termed a disease. In other words, if one did not escape poverty, then they were infected with the disease, just like their predecessors, and so it would follow through to the ascendants. Nobody wants to be stuck in the vicious cycle of poverty. After the victim of circumstance completes secondary education, all eyes are now fixed on whether they will qualify for the University, or not. All sorts of pressure are now put on the young adult by themselves and society too.
This supposed good life, is yearned for, more by the parents who sacrificed a big deal, so that their children could be the ones to get an education, and therefore rescue them from the grip of poverty. For those who do not qualify for the tertiary level, especially the University, their chances at ever having a good life, or even creating a good life for their parents, are already dimming. These ones are said to need a lot of luck to succeed any further in life. Most of the time, going to tertiary institutions, is the only chance of going away from the country to the city. This is the beginning of the high life that the countrymen have been hearing about.
But getting into the city is just one thing, getting the high life is a different thing altogether. It will soon dawn on the young adult that, there is a lot to be done, to achieve the so-called good life. Most times, you need to make sacrifices, or do things that you have never done, to survive. And so, most people go through some sense of struggle, to acquire the good things in life. But on the other end of the rope are those who suffer. Yet there are still those who will leave the country life to go to the city to survive. Some of them succumb to the pressure of living in the city. They live hand to mouth, whereas if they stayed in the country, they would have been more comfortable.
For those who leave the country to go on to pursue further education, there is always an expectation put on them by those who are left behind, that one day, they will come back with something to show for the struggle that has been invested in their life, mostly academic. Humankind has perfected the art of competition, to the point that one can take the life of their opponent, just to be seen as the greater one. People love to be worshiped. That is why everybody wants to be at the top. We want to have the best clothes, best shoes, best home, and best car, among other flashy things. I wonder if these things are ever best for us, or they are just a comparison between one person, and the other.
Are you wearing the most expensive shoes, because your parents never had shoes? Maybe it is because you walked barefoot for the better part of your life. Are you trying to pay up for a time that is gone with the wind? It is gone like smoke, and we will never be able to catch it, even if we board the plane and fly in the sky. Why are we suffering, trying to make up for the past? I may be talking about time more than the topic, which is the high life, but they are intricately connected. Getting the so-called good life, does not compensate for the past life that you had, or an experience you supposedly missed out on.
I see most people of my generation judging life by what is flashed in their faces. With the influence from social media available to us, we are left trying to catch up with the trends of the influencers. Why are we chasing the wind? The good life of the so-called influencers is not real. And yet yours is. You should perhaps put the brakes on your social media content consumption. What would it mean to have a good life according to you? Take time to think about it. What I hope, is that you let the high life be an expression of the change that has occurred in you.
The term good life, or high life, to me, would mean that there has been an improvement, and not necessarily materially, in my life. I strive to be the best version of myself, with every chance that I get. If I respond better to something the next time I encounter it, then I consider that as high life. Good life, to me, is my ability to discern the evolution that I have undergone, especially in a period of one year. I can see the lessons that I have learned. And once I realize that the past was only a growth stage, then I can celebrate. Let us now give thanks.
“Beloved source of all that is, thank you for the sun that shines on my body, oh the sun gives me warmth, the sun makes the cells jump in joy and hug each other in love.
Dear sprit, thank you for my clothing and bedding, these protect me from the biting cold. Thank you for this day, for it is a blessing. And so it is.”