In the previous part of this article, I explained how there are often replays of flashes of moments when one is dying and why it is important for us to remember the moments we have lived. I also emphasized the pertinence of writing and telling our stories as well as sharing our experiences in order to guide ourselves and others. This time, I will be sharing with you how we have been lucky to survive through several moments of our lives and what each second could weigh in terms of danger. By the time I am through, you would have learnt how to appreciate every moment you have seen though- even the sad moments of your life. So let’s begin!
Do you know that as much as every minute or hour costs opportunities to become come better persons, so it costs dangers to make us worse as well? As one man puts it, “Do you know how many dangers that never caught up with you today?” Do you know that every action you take no matter how ‘safe’ constitutes risks and every second embodies unseen danger?
After our SS2 Mock exams back in Air Force Secondary School, Port Harcourt, everyone was so happy. Anyway, some feared though. Mock exams are even more difficult than SSCE, so if you failed, you would repeat the class. The boys- as well as the girls- were so excited after a tough period of reading and writing exams, so decided for the first time in a while to play football. The excitement made Eric, my classmate, jump in order to grab the iron rod of one of the goalposts of our football field- maybe to hang on there for a while. But guess what? The poll fell down and smashed his face. Suddenly, the razzmatazz of the moment had turned into chaos as Eric’s face was flooded with blood! Students rushed in to help. In the next few minutes, an ambulance came and carried Eric to the hospital. Good news! Eric is alive today and doing great, but he was never the same again. For the next few months Eric had to undergo treatment and some plastic surgeries. When Eric returned to school after it all, his face had completely changed and he remained under dark eye glasses. Eric’s twist of fate had happened in few minutes!
In one of my travels, I met a young lady in a bus. As we were chatting I noticed her palm was disfigured, then I asked what had happened. She said that one day, when she was still a toddler, she woke up from sleep and quietly walked into the kitchen where her nanny was working and touched her. It was at that point the nanny was trying to transfer hot water from one place to another, so the shock made the nanny react and the kettle immediately fell on her, making the steaming water pour on her body. The lady said that for the next three months, she was under intensive care at the hospital. The nanny was beaten and sent parking, but she has since lived with a disfigured body and wouldn’t wear any other clothes but long sleeves and trousers. In a moment her life changed!
During the Ateke Boys and Asari group fights sometime in 2005, Port Harcourt, an area called Town was a rough zone, though there was sometimes tranquility. In a suburb called Borokiri, cult boys were all over; one just needed to be careful, because fraternity fights endangered the lives innocent residents. A sales girl in the area testified how she narrowly escaped death. One day, she sat at the veranda for hours before a pregnant woman came to patronize the shop. She got up from the chair and the woman sat down, while she entered the shop to get the goods as the woman ordered. Under two minutes after she got in, a stray bullet came from nowhere and hit the woman to death. Not more than 2 minutes!
Not quite long after a woman had gotten into her bathroom, she slipped and hit her head. It resulted in a brain damage and serious consequences till date. “Not quite long after she got into the bathroom!”
Something just itched one man in the eyes, the next thing, he couldn’t see again! All medical efforts after then proved futile. “The next thing, he couldn’t see again!”
Just after one bump her car went through, a woman bled and suffered a miscarriage. She lost her baby instantly. “Just after a bump!”
A lady was sitting in her parlor, when suddenly fire struck. She narrowly escaped, but all her certificates were gone. “Suddenly!”
In one night, and his medical status changed for worse. “In one night!”
Just a push and her head was hit against the wall, then she immediately fell down and died. “Immediately!”
Just within a minute of trying to change-over, one boy was electrocuted to death! “Just within a minute!”
A sudden hit on her back and she became lame henceforth. “A sudden hit at the back!”
Two years ago in Lagos, a man was driving when a trailer fell from a bridge and crushed the car and passengers. It happened in seconds!
The list is endless, but the truth remains the same. In few seconds or few minutes, terrible things can happen! And more terrible is the fact that most times, they are unpredictable.
Are we then fortunate to have survived all the minutes of our lives unhurt? Do you still have your eyes, legs, brain, intact?
Now let’s do some calculations! There are 60 seconds in one minute, 60 minutes in one hour, 24 hours in a day, 365/6 days in a year. Say you are exactly 27 years, you have lived 60 x 60 x 24 x 365 x 27 seconds = 851,472,000 seconds of escaped danger!
Say you are exactly 42 years old, you have lived 60 x 60 x 24 x 365 x 42 seconds = 1,324,512,000 seconds of potential risks!
Remember that the danger capacity every second is capable of delivering ranges from small to great.
If we have survived through all the moments of our lives and still remain sound, let us indeed be grateful. However, if there were seconds which landed us irreversible twists of fate; moments which we look back and wish were never part of our lives, let us still be happy, knowing that millions more seconds could have delivered worse catastrophes or even death.
In all, let us thank God for protecting our lives through moments we have lived!