It is a truth universally acknowledged that gentlemen, who aspire to attain sufficient success and achieve their God given purpose in life, must attend to the serious business of contriving material, spiritual and social security. Needless to say, they ought to exert themselves with all the discipline and ardor of mind they can muster in the pursuit of such a noble goal. Further they are best advised to address themselves to such exercise at an early age. This goes on a long way in preparing them to counter the blizzards that so often beset their chosen path. In short you can live the life you want, but be prepared to pay the cost and you had better start early.
Recently an acquaintance whom I hold in the highest esteem celebrated her 20th birthday. At the time I was reading the book Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (explains a lot I know). In light of the event, I sought to understand and find out what turning 20 would mean for me and what exactly I expect of myself and surrounding society. By now, If you read this blog, you already know where I am going with this. A major reason for why turning 20 elicits great felicity on my part is because it is at this time that my life objectives, goals, desires, ambitions and whole constitution come into serious play. It is a very significant time in which I am laying down ambition, strategy and dreams and then chasing after them with the alacrity of ten.
After a spirited and brutal self evaluation, one thing is clear: I am a sluggard in the business of self-command and use of time. There are times I do something meaningful like read my party manifesto, then bicker with people over the internet (who I will never see) and who hold a contrary political opinion. Then proceed to join my party leader and thousands of other loyalists in engaging in peaceful picketing and demonstrations (well no so peaceful). Please understand. On other days I would simply sit on the balcony watching vehicles cruise past on the Southern bypass. I must say people who often use that road have some of the finest vehicles in Nairobi. Thing is, I tend to have a lot of time on my hands and never really know what to do with it.
Now pursuant to the intermittent periods of meditation, I have since resolved to change on most things as I gear up to this “defining moment”. Strictly construed, my top priorities are the elusive graces of sense and sensibility. Everything I do should have a sense of sensibility or rather sensibly make sense. At this point I don’t really know what I am saying but I’m sure you understand. Purpose gives perspective and precision to everything. Everything I do must largely be intentional and aligned with my purpose, values and goals. Even when I fail at it, I will have learned how not to do it. I will watch the kind of friend and acquaintance with whom I associate. We all know bad company corrupts good morals.
‘a young man of twenty is not in general so earnestly bent on being busy to resist the solicitations of his friends to do nothing’ (emphasis added).
My bible has particularly been instrumental in this undertaking.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Making the most of my time means having to stop senseless talk even if I am married to it, seeking and always giving top consequence to the good and welfare of others even when I am opposed to it and doing what I must do despite my emotional disposition or inclination, in short- when it doesn’t feel like it (that is one thing that as a Christian I like about the Bible: It always reads you). Every minute of the day counts. Every opportunity matters. I choose to make the most of it.
The pleasantness of an employment doesn’t always evince its propriety…Elinor Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility.
In the prevailing period before August the 14th, I might as well put some of these things into practice so I wouldn’t have to struggle in their observation like most people who peg the effectiveness of their resolutions as contingent on the first minute of a new year.
‘I shall divide every moment between music and reading. I have formed my plan, and am determined to enter on a serious course of study’…Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility.
I will to the best of my ability pursue this noble ambition, retaining the hope that it will no doubt pay off. I should think the grace of subtle and noble use of time to be key among the many other hallmarks of every gentleman (which I leave to you to find out) and the mark of transition to adulthood.
“…..that is what a young man ought to be. Whatever be his pursuits, his eagerness in them should know no moderation and leave him no sense of fatigue.”
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Now go read the book. Haha.