Bits of ME
The story of a married man who deeply fell in love with an astoundingly beautiful woman he encountered in the forest was a regular tale my mother so often narrated while growing up.
My mother would recount that this man would sneak out of his marital home into the thickets to meet this dazzling crush he hoped to lure, until one day when she revealed her secret: “I have only one breast!”
That did not put him off! Sensing his seriousness, she made a condition that if the man got her another breast, they would be together.
The man rushed home, dismembered one breast off his wife leaving her lifeless and ran as fast as his legs could carry him to meet his new ‘Angel’
On arrival in the forest, the woman was nowhere to be seen! It is believed that this tale is the origin of the Luganda saying, “asobedwa ewaka ne mukibira (He is in disarray at home and in the forest).
While many of these folktales have been labelled mythical fictional narratives created to draw lessons to younger generations or uphold moral values, my grandmother, however, often reiterated they are accounts of fact!
Fact or fiction; whether narratives from holy books or not, the faith in the lessons is key.
I ponder upon such stories and try to incorporate lessons learnt in my daily life, but do you?
Bits of you
Why for instance would you walk 400KM or 30KM to Namugongo annually in honour of a 137-year-old story?
What lessons are there to transform your life?
The horrific story of Kabaka [King] Mwanga II who mercilessly massacred 45 Uganda Martyrs in 1885 and 1887 for refusing to denounce Christianity is a tale my mother recounted to us before even Sunday school.
His father Mutesa 1 had ten years earlier taken the brutal account of Muslim martyrs.
For what it is believed or imagined, spiritual ideologies religion among can transform a person’s being. It becomes their mirror in life on which they reflect on what decent living means.
The moral of the story
I recently ran into two staunch believers in their spiritual alignment.
One was heavily cheering pilgrims as they laboriously drag their feet in traffic, one leaning on the hand of my side mirror (I didn’t snap out; I admire the courage); the other Christian castigated the act, “What they are doing is ignorance: the pilgrimage is not written anywhere in the bible.”
The believer in the pilgrimage shot back, “It is the spirit and lesson in our own lives to believe in the cause up to the end.”
That punchline made it for me. The believer immediately won over two more in the group who had towed the scripture line.
Turning to my twitter followers who I asked whether they’d been to Namugongo or not; while some said the story of the Martyrs was inspiring, others sidelined it as overly exaggerated and a section of monarchists called it a betrayal to the Kabaka at the time.
Had society derived on just the written word, or factual oath, I ponder “wouldn’t it be devoid of a sea of memories, ideas, lessons, virtues, etc.?”
Have you met pilgrims who say “every time I make the journey, I receive revelations of rewards”
The spiritual world folks
In retrospect to Pope Francis’s visit to Uganda in 2015, this statement he made stood out for me.
“But we do not need to travel to be missionary disciples. In fact, we need only to open our eyes and see the needs in our homes and our local communities to realize how many opportunities await us.”
He meant the spirit.
Today, if you are a participant in the pilgrimage whether by foot, vehicle/any means including following the event through the media, you are a pilgrim! Use this day to imitate the virtues which the story implores us to emulate.
Whether you are a vendor, politician, student, banker, entrepreneur, your pilgrimage for survival will meet an executioner (the unwanted taxman, the thief, corrupt, backstabber, etc.) determined to break your spirit for the good of it.
The executioners incursions will impress the ego; but your spirit/good deeds/work/lessons, will be timeless.
To the village mate I met at the grocery who cursed those responsible for high commodity prices for own gain, I said, “keep talking about it, perhaps some will listen, don’t vanish the spirit,” for it exists forever!
May this bible verse evoke that spirit.
Philippians 2:4 NKJV: “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”