Today at around 3pm I asked the members of my whatsapp group what topics they would like me to write on Medium, as most of them are fans of Medium and some of them do appreciate my views, observations and insights in the form of articles. So it was during this dialogue that one of the youngsters in my group asked me this question….
“How can I live my life to the fullest?”
I smirked when I read the sentence.
Then I smiled.
Finally, I laughed to myself…..
Because here was a young man who was completely brain-washed and whose upbringing was flawed.
HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT LOY MACHEDO?
HOW CAN YOU ACTUALLY SAY “his is completely brain-washed & whose upbringing is flawed?”
In fact, you can even use the typical defensive statement most youngsters & self-righteous college students use “who are you to JUDGE anyone..”
Sounds familiar right?
These HI-FI high-moral value sounding words?
Well… let me tell you why I branded him as a young man whose “upbringing was flawed”
You see, where this young man is questioning how he can live “LIFE TO THE FULLEST”…. I see him as a man whom life has offered EVERYTHING TO THE FULLEST….but he doesn’t know how to appreciate it… simply because he was not taught how to have a heart of gratitude, how to use his mind and observe the blessings he has and how to tame his spirit to be in the ‘here’ and ‘now’.
To make it explicitly clear to you…. I saw him as a young man who has…..
- A Mother & Father
- Family that has money
- Citizen in a country that has peace
- House to live in
- School he can study in
- Internet facilities
- Smart phone
- Laptop or computer
- Relatives & friends
- Food to eat
- Career he can pursue
- Hands, Legs & Good Health
Do you know how priceless and invaluable these blessings are?
Ask a child dying out of hunger in Somalia or a family living in fear in Syria or a Refugee unemployed in Europe stuck in a no-mans-land refugee camp.
Oh, Im sure you would say….Oh cut that out Loy Machedo….. that is the typical internet, religious, feel-good, motivational stuff….
Well… given that this is a public domain and I do not wish to be banned by Medium…. I will put this as politely as possible.
I want you look at any of my photograph and ask yourself…
Would you like to swap places with my life…?
I was molested, raped, tortured and tormented for nearly 20 years of my life.
My Father abandoned me as a baby.
My mother never had time for me.
As a 7-year old child, my step-father beat me every single night until I would bleed from every pore of my skin.
My uncle sexually molested and raped me.
Forget the Internet — My parents locked me in a room with no TV, no Radio, no phone, no friends — not even a story book but only my school books.
They refused to let me go out to play with anyone.
In fact, I had to remind my parents to wish me on my birthday every year.
And did I forget to mention — good food was kept for them and my step-brother…where they lived as a family and slept in the bedroom…..while I was made to sleep on the floor in the living room?
But guess what…. even with all this — I enjoyed “life to the fullest”…
You know why?
Because I focused on what I had.
I was grateful for what I was given.
No one told me I was supposed to enjoy it.
There was no ‘mentor’ or ‘guide’ or ‘youtube’ or ‘article’ I could read that would tell me “count your blessings”.
I just was happy with whatever I had.
Not even my parents taught me this but I learnt to be grateful for the rare moments life would give me a precious blessing….
It could be a lollipop that a friend wanted to share with me…
It could be a rare moment of generosity that my step-father would display by giving me a few cents to buy myself a ice cold Pepsi or ice-cream.
Or it could be a shop-keeper allowing me — a totally bedraggled & dirty little neighborhood kid walking into a his store to read few pages of a magazine.
For me — those were moments of happiness, moments of joy and moments where I lived my life “to the fullest”.
When I see today’s generation, I squirm my face with disgust.
Today’s generation — thanks to the nonsense that is being promulgated by the internet — they consider it a right or a hopeful dream for a iPhone or Samsung Note 9 or Lamborghini or the cliche “Billions of dollars”……
Today’s generation have it locked in their hearts and minds that they will be happy….
- When they win the heart of that beautiful girl or when they get married to that XYZ
- When they achieve a million dollars in the bank
- When they get millions of followers online
- When they get millions of likes
- When they get their Lamboghini
- When they become a ‘global brand’ or when they have an amazing career….
Funny right, that even though today’s generation enjoys more health, more facilities and more privileges than any other generation in the history of our planet….yet they are even more miserable, even more unhappy and even more dissatisfied with their existence?
For a guy like me who was told was a “mistake” and “better if he would die” right from childhood, who slept on the floor his entire childhood, who cleaned toilets for a living, and who tried to end his own life because he was one day penniless, homeless and hopeless on the streets of life….for someone like me…. Life is so beautiful.
Every single day, I can wake up knowing fully well — I have 2 hands, 2 feet, Eyes, Ears, Mouth, Nose, A good looking face (make that average looking), a wife who loves me, a baby who is good health; With my fingers I can type and do what I love — blogging, with my mind, my eyes and my mouth — I can communicate to the world my views… I have an internet connection that works (can you believe that? I live in a forest)… I have books to read — can you believe that blessing? I have food to eat! Fresh food!!! every single day!!! I have the air to breath and I live in a country where there is no wars, famine, floods or political turmoils……
What more blessings does a guy NEED?…..
Trust me when I say this…… I am living each and everyday of my life… to the fullest… You know why? Because I live a life of GRATITUDE… being GRATEFUL… for the SMALL BLESSINGS I enjoy in life…. I am conscious and aware of all that I get FOR FREE which so many people in their lives may not have had or have….. But I enjoy…
I live my life in Gratitude & complete Awareness knowing fully well — I never deserved any of these….but I was given all of them… FOR FREE….. And this thinking, this way of living and this method of reflection is what makes me “LIVE MY LIFE TO THE FULLEST”……
I live each and everyday of my life as if it were my last
I live each and everyday of my life being present in the moment
I live each and everyday of my life with complete and total gratitude and humility knowing fully well, there are millions out there who do not have what I have….and maybe if I am not respectfully and genuinely grateful to my blessings… I may one day lose it all…
So I am truly grateful, happy, joyful and blessed….
And that is why — in this spirit, in this kind of thinking and in this feeling of gratitude….I know and I live each and everyday of my life….to the fullest
So now my dear friend…
I ask you….
Are you living your life….to the fullest?