We take sickness more seriously than health.
We take death more seriously than life.
Such is the irony of our lives.
We don’t bother greeting a healthy person in front of us but we’d be busy sympathizing and giving attention to a person who is ill. We may not have spoken to that person until that time. But suddenly when we hear they are ill, we gather all the time from our ‘busy schedule’ to go and mark our attendance with that ill/dying person.
On birthdays, we leave a message through some form of social media or messaging systems and wish people. Phone call is reserved for a few. Why did we message and not call? We never gave it much of a thought. One day you get to know the person is no more. Would you regret not having called and spoken to them?
If someone is unwell, we will be sure to ask them how’s the pain or how’s the illness? With the best of intentions, we accidentally shift their attention to something not okay.
When someone is unwell we’d be sure to keep asking them about that illness or ailment each time we see them. Even if they forget they were ill, we will keep reminding them. We prove that if you want attention, the sure-shot way to get it, is by falling ill! We celebrate and give attention to illness! If someone is healthy, we only say ‘hi’ and walk past. That’s not a reason enough to pause and talk about good things. Only illness gets that extra attention, that extra greeting, that extra question, and that extra concern. I m guilty of this too. I recall visiting a friend when she was unwell. But I never went to her house all the zillion times she invited me over to have a cup of tea. I am not saying don’t visit when they are unwell. Please do, if you think it helps and doesn’t cause a disturbance. Show them you care and show them you are there – but don’t completely ignore them when they are healthy and happy. Spend more time celebrating health than fearing illness. If we spare that time while the person is hale and hearty, we give them an extra boost to be even more happy and healthy.
We make time to travel to cities and continents to visit people when they are no longer In a condition to talk. How happy would they have been if we went while they were still in a position to engage with us. Alas, we make time when they are no longer conscious of our arrival nor departure!
What a shame that we have to wait for death to celebrate life! That we realize something only when we are about to lose it or already lost it!
Rather than make people feel lonely when they are alive and missed only when they are gone, how about spending time with people who matter while they are still conscious. So that they know they matter to us. Our immediate family might matter the most. However, it doesn’t end there. There are others who matter too. If we realize in time, we can make time for them too. So no one waits to know they are loved. And no one dies to know they are missed. They live knowing they are loved.