Lucas Marang'a

A man at 40

Strength In Helplessness.

We are living in very perilous times. Suddenly no one can say that they are swamped with work and they can’t meet with you to catch up. We are all available and loose thanks to COVID19. I watched a conversation on BBC sports about the consideration to postpone the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The only time that happened was during world war one and two. Does that make the effect of corona virus same as a world war? things are thick folks. May God get us through this intact.

This pandemic has revealed how helpless we are as humans. Yet many times we behave as if we are in control of the world. Last week there was a run at our local supermarket. Long queues made it look like it was 2022 and Quickmart resembled a polling station. This was largely caused by fear of the situation soon getting worse and we are forced to be on full lockdown. Panic is a normal human reaction to a crisis like corona virus, but it starts yielding diminishing returns soon after. I saw a funny message on WhatsApp showing how corona virus is spreading across the world. Among the various mediums of transmission like food, air, travels, handshake etc, WhatsApp was the highest medium of transmission. Of course it was a joke, but the message was clear.

We make a situation worse when we speculate and start playing broken telephone with the news we receive. By the time information is passed on to the third and fourth person it is almost fake news. At times of global crisis like this extra restraint is called for so we don’t make a bad situation worse.

I woke up in the week at those times when there’s no congestion in the network while dialing Sir God up above. As I sat up at 1.30am I wondered how to pray about this global pandemic we find ourselves in. I just can’t pray for my family alone because if my neighbors are sick then we will get sick too. If the virus hits at school, then my baby sharks will bring the virus home. I prayed for the world. It felt strange because that prayer sounded like just a recital that will have no impact.

As I sat in my loud silence, I felt more helpless because of the magnitude of the problem. I am just a kawaida Kenyan hoping for the best as I use hand sanitizer every half hour. Then I remembered my recent article on maximizing my three feet of influence. That encouraged me to still pray for this pandemic to pass quickly. I prayed that we the human race may nurture the brotherly love that peaks in times of hardships but quickly disappears when trouble subsides.

It may seem like nothing taking all the measures we can to keep the virus at bay within our circles. If that personal responsibility is repeated a million times over then we sanitize the world slowly and the tide back to a corona free world will start turning.

As helpless as we may feel folks, there is strength in numbers. Numerous small preventive actions will snowball and end this crisis if we follow through on our own small contribution. But if we stare at the damage globally then we will get discouraged and give up. Wangari Mathai’s Hummingbird story is an apt picture of how individual action can contribute to huge change.

We may feel helpless good people, but we are not helpless. Our strength at times like this is seen in personal responsibility. We can and we will get through this. Live long guys.

Friday, March 20, 2020 | Musings |

One thought on “Strength In Helplessness.”

  1. MG says:

    So true Lucas. I’m personally fasting from all media. I’m only checking updates from the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health, otherwise I think I’ll go crazy.. The crazy of mumbling incoherent things to myself and to anyone within earshot.

    What this has reinforced to me is our frailty as human beings. The good book says that we’re all like mist. I’ve also seen how interconnected we all are as human beings, and just how vulnerable we all are.

    We owe a duty of care to ourselves and to others. Coronavirus is an issue of personal and collective responsibility. I say this because I took my children for a drive last night. They’ve been home all week and cabin fever was getting the better of them. We drove past a pub whose parking lot was full of cars and it made me so sad.

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