Every surrounding we find ourselves at any point in time speak to us. We just have to look a little too closely.
I’m casually working with some of these IDPs and at the same time getting in my head over a few personal bothers. This little girl and her friend (Zainab and Fatima) kept following me. When I got a little spare time, I gave total attention to them. They looked at me with so much kindness and warmth. They loved my hair. Zainab offered me her snack and my first reaction was “Thank you”, as I smiled back. She frowned and offered again, I took a little and they both smiled even more.
Suddenly, I felt so small! Are you kidding me? I have clean drinking water to drink. I bath in what they consider as clean drinking water. I don’t have to desperately wait for someone to visit me with basic necessities or basic healthcare. I have never reached that desperate point of survival instinct when I have to steal or kill to eat. I don’t go about my daily activities with no shoes on my feet. But here I was in the midst of these children who despite their lack appeared so truly happy, so willing to extend a warm hand of friendship to me. Their eyes never held bitterness, jealousy or hatred.
They were happy in their torn clothes and houses made out of old wrappers! Knowing how badly they would have wanted my life if they were asked to choose, how dare I abuse that privilege?! My problems in that instant felt so bloody small!!
It re-emphasized the fact that ‘true’ happiness is worlds apart from ‘normal’ happiness. True Happiness comes from within. While you would feel anger, sadness, frustration and fear, being truly happy is our abilities to feel these emotions deeply and fully, but not lose sight of ourselves as we do. We remain aware and present to our thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them.
What defines true happiness isn’t what you have. What defines true happiness is the perspective you take in every situation.
More importantly, i made new best friends!
importantly, i made new best friends!
Jean Clare Ogechi Igwegbe is a Public Health practitioner currently working in the field of Mental Health and Addiction. Being an introvert, Jean loves to express herself through writing.