Cowards aren’t we ?

Cowards are said to be the yellow livered scamps that take flight at the slightest indication of fear or trouble. Their surmise is based on the understanding that if they flee trouble then trouble and its woes will give them a wide berth. How wrong.

In this life that I have lived on this earth I have learnt that running away from problems might defer their bite but like the proverbial demon, they always come back seven fold. I have learnt that postponing what I can do now is basically upping the price that I will eventually pay when I get the courage to do the avoided task.

Cowards are not the only people who pay the price for our cowardice. Even those we are supposed to reach out to , those we are supposed to free by apologising to , those that we are supposed to forgive etc., all suffer untold pain because we are cowards scared of taking the bold steps and make things right.

At times we run miles , run up serious bills , cause irreparable damage when all we could have done is be courageous enough to eat humble pie and apologise. Instead we build legal facades, stonewall, hedge ourselves and build ourselves into an imploding summit that will eventually bury us.

At times we prefer to talk about people than with the people. We are so cowardly that we will go ten miles to discuss the woes of a neighbour whose ails just need our shoulder to cry on and a prayer to sooth their pain. And we boldly attest to being brave!! Cowards aren’t we?

We watch relationships die, marriages die and all we do is talk and gossip about what we see instead of walking across and sharing the pain and providing answers. We are scared of sitting down our troubled brothers but will rack up bills talking them down to our transatlantic kin. Cowards aren’t we?

We watch our friends die and we can’t offer to take them to a test station but we will gladly stand up to offer an obituary and tearfully and accurately state all the stages of their demise. We watch kin burrow themselves into alcohol and drugs and we marvel at how clean we are.

In this life I have lived I have learnt that one that will not speak to me about their concerns is a coward. Life’s cowardry is drawn from the fear of facing ourselves. It is centered on the fear of rejection or repulse, but I rather be rejected and repulsed on the basis of a courageous truth than to be welcomed and adored for plastic and fake loyalty.

Cowardice and pretense do not only affect the actor but also the poor soul being misled. Show me a man bold enough to bell the cat and I will show you a man who goes to bed with a clearer conscience.

Cowards. Aren’t we??

take a shower

Many years ago while working for some retail blue chip company as a contract sales assistant, I happened to observe someone unfortunately spilling a black fizzy drink on the marble white tiles of the walkway in the shop. Being a client, they profusely apologised and the manager waved away their efforts to get a mop and clean the syrupy mess and the unenviable task fell to the nearest shop floor assistant who happened to catch the manager’s eye (some of us had already perceived the oncoming task and were already busy nitpicking imaginary cotton flint on merchandise that was on display with eyes down cast).

A mop was brought and the effort to cleanse the mess began. After some minutes of trying to sponge off the fizzy drink all that remained was a wider circumference of a messy brownish stain that lead one of the supervisors to ask the mop driver if he was cleaning up or evenly redistributing the spilt fizzy drink on a wider scale.

This incident struck me today as I took a bath. I really mean no offense but how does bathing in a tub leave me cleaner? The water that I cast over my head flows down my body back into the tub taking with it whatever skin would have peeled off, whatever wax my ears would have surrendered etc.The same water rinses my armpits (at times with a new larder and bubble of soap) and flows back into the basin only to be redone again until the whole body is wet and scrubbed. That is when one gingerly steps out of the tub, reaches for a towel and declares self scrumptiously clean!!

But how am I clean when I have been using the same water to ‘cleanse’ myself. How does the soapy, murky water that flows away when I pull the basin plug certify me clean? Honestly if I use the water that removed my dandruff to cleanse my feet does that render me clean?

Change setting. Picture this. One gingerly steps into a shower and rinses from head to toe. The water does not accumulate but flows away with the layers of sweat, grim and dirt accumulated. Actually as the water flows down the body from the head it collects and removes all attachments foreign to the body and sweeps it away to the drain and when one walks away from the shower cubicle they can confidently vouch being clean, actually cleaner than the one who sat in a tub and recoated themselves with soapy water.

This set me thinking. Re-inventing the wheel and coating ourselves with the same grime of the past does not make us new persons. Redistributing our flaws instead of exorcising them does not make us better persons. Evenly redistributing our emotional issues and making them far spaced does not make them go away. It is the same like taking the grime from our feet and applying it to our hair and marveling at how clean our feet are not knowing the catalyst for dandruff that we have just kick started.

But taking an emotional shower is the deal. All the flaws go down the drain. All the ear wax that we put as a pretense or defense flows away never to reoccur. All the flax from the eyes flows away never to be seen or conjured when we conveniently want to be blind to reality.  A shower deals with all sticky aspects, sweeps them away and avails a new and fresh impetus.

Here is my take. If the sun is going to shine brighter for you tomorrow then the emotional tub and basin must go away and in must come the cleansing shower, hence my urge; take a shower !!!