We live in a time where friends think they know each other yet in essence very few know each other beyond the diplomatic surface level interactions. I realized that I am well acquainted with most of my friends’ updates on social media, possible weekend or evening locations (if the geo-tags are true that is) and probable relationships based on the selfies uploaded yet I do not know them personally. Some we may even chat on WhatsApp, send encouraging messages to each other and occasionally have “cheers baba” moments during meet ups yet the term friendship has no real meaning.
If we were to be very honest with each other, we would all come to the conclusion that most of our friendships are mostly acquaintances and most of what we call deep friendships are very shallow. Sometimes we even get sad thinking we lost friends yet in essence “You did not lose a friend, you just realized that you never had one”.
Having watched the burial proceedings for the Late Hon. Gen. Nkaiserry, I was left in awe of the memories shared by his best friend for 43 years, Rtd. Colonel Mugambi and the witty stories by Rtd. Captain Kung’u. I found it a real beauty how friends can be real, blunt, honest, loyal and faithful with each other over decades. It was beyond an “awwwwww” moment to hear a military man refer to his “faded” General that “it was love at first sight” when they met. Mark you this is a Meru man and a Maasai moran in the 70’s. Moreover, the fact that the friends acknowledged the role of his wife “Mama Hellen” in the man’s life and even narrated how they led SNATCH missions to capture each other’s wives was beyond a box office movie. So my mind fast forwarded in my life and I wonder how eulogies in our generation shall be?
‘‘Love at first DM slide?” ……. “Love at first retweet?”….. “Love at first turn up?”……
Jhumpa Lahiri stated that, “The essential dilemma of my life is between my deep desire to belong and my suspicion of belonging.” All of us have the natural need to want to belong and be accepted. However, what our generation does is that we offer friendships based on TORs (Terms of References). Our friendships are based on hype, wanting to be cool, social upgrades and more of “what do I stand to gain”. Consequently, most friendships I see seem very fake, very plastic but who am I to judge. I am Kenyan :)…
I came to realize this after several cases of people deciding to end their lives due to depression. We all know cancer, HIV & Aids and other diseases as causes of death but a silent killer looms around stealing the lives of brilliant people with amazing potentials. Depression is real my friends…….
Get an A in KCPE/KCSE………..Get a First Class honours.. Study abroad……… Get a high paying job……Be your parents’ pride…….Live in a particular neighbourhood…….Date a particular kind of guy/lady (heterosexual reference)…….Have a certain class of friends…… Does your phone have an “I” prefix? …. Is your car an “Uber” type or not?……Have a particular hangout spot……. The list is endless of many “standards” that society has consolidated over time unconsciously. Seems dumb or foolish right?? Maybe, Maybe not we may let Mr. Kalonzo choose for us.
“One man’s meat is another man’s poison”. You may think my list above has no relation to your goals or pressures in life but to some people that list has caused death, lose of hope and grief.
Along the corridors of medical school there lies a heart in depression because of a failed unit…………… depression.
Deep in the concrete jungle a young couple has realized they are pregnant, none of them has a solid income, they aren’t sure of their feelings for each other and they suddenly didn’t know that sex causes pregnancy so there is confusion…………………………..depression.
Along the engineering labs, lies a young soul confused that they do not seem to fit within the circle considered to be termed as “brainy” since the father saw a vision that his son was an engineer even though the grades showed otherwise so he feels trapped……………depression.
Someone is about to lose their job. Their only source of income and feels trapped….. depression
Someone relocated overseas hoping for greener pastures. Things seem to fading and they feel alone…….. depression
You have been searching for a job. You are learned with sufficient paperwork but nothing viable has come along the way. Your friends seem to be miles ahead and you feel as if you are a failure…….. depression
There’s a heart somewhere that feels lonely and unappreciated because the man she seems to love has no feelings for her and she feels less of a person…………………………depression.
A fellow cheers baba feels hurt that his biashara went down yet his friends seem to be swimming in the profits…………………………. Depression.
A young man feels lonely because his parents fight and he does not know what to do……… depression.
Day in day out our sample of friends detach from society. Their social pages are filled with cobwebs due to their inactivity. We replace them with new friends and months down the line we find ourselves attending funerals. Promising ourselves to be more proactive to our remaining stock of “friends”. Our profile pictures change to reflect grief, our dedications seem to portray grief and the loss of a Major General in our lives….. Yet we let our friends die as we watch. We fear to pry and look nosy. We choose to be comfortable. Ultimately, we find ourselves raising money to purchase a coffin yet less money would have been used to seek help for your friend.
We all have problems or issues at one point or many points of our lives. People ask you “How are you doing?” yet all they truly mean is “Are you over it yet?”. You fake a smile yet internally your heart is in pieces. You tend to feel alone and no one seems to be able to understand you without invoking their virtual law degrees to judge you or offer quick fix solutions as as to escape you. I even notice now more than ever that sometimes those who try to keep others happy are the loneliest people.
I do not know if you ever found yourself feeling alone or that your life has no meaning either because of a mistake, failed ambition or circumstance in life. Maybe you have tried covering it over time. The only thing more exhausting than being depressed is pretending that you are not. The world needs you and your life is valuable. You are loved by someone…. Your life matters…. Whatever circumstance it is, your life is greater.
Dark days come and go. Sometimes we never even realize that we were in the dark until we sense the light. If you are a true friend reach out to others and if you may be undergoing depression, don’t detach, reach out for help. It does not make you weak on the contrary it saves your life. God restores happiness, even when it seems unreal.