"Life is short...Make Haste to be Kind."

Recently, I’ve noticed how I get distracted by my phone. I spend more time than I will admit googling a dazzling array of topics (yesterday I even watched the video about Leonardo DiCaprio giving Lady Gaga “that look”). I’ve become aware of my little phone sucking time out of my life; back in the day, there would be a “tick, tick, tick”. The other day, I watched with some sad fascination that “distracted walking” is now a leading cause of injury or even death in the United States; we are literally walking into cars and buses while holding our phones.

Then, I’ve followed the news of David Bowie’s passing. It has been intriguing on multiple levels, not least of which has been to count the number of years he was given on this earth and what he was able to inspire and create during his time here. I read about the poignant goodbye emails he had sent to some he had loved deeply while here.

And my son, Evan, was recently talking about the statistical probability that each of us had to be born. It was slim, my friends, our odds were slim; we have been given a gift to be here today.

What am I doing today, I wonder? What are you doing today?

I also recently came to know a man named Eliud Ngetich. He was raised on a small farm near Mama Ada’s home in a place called Kerotet. As he told his story, I imagined a young boy who looked to the Kenyan skies some nights, with all his power of imagination to dream the most marvelous of dreams.

In Eliud’s words, “Growing up in these conditions was far from ideal. Fortunately, I was blessed with athletic abilities and eventually earned an athletic scholarship to attend university in the United States. I currently live in Rome Georgia, and I work for Suzuki manufacturing company as a market analyst. However, most children in Kerotet are not so lucky. The education system in Kenya is very different from American public schools. In Kenya, high school education is not free, and the fees are often crippling to families who are already living day to day off their land.

While the government offers free primary education, further schooling is far from guaranteed. It really does take a village to come up with the money to send students to high school. And sometimes this is not enough. Talented young kids with dreams of becoming doctors and engineers are forced to give up their ambitions every year because it is not financially possible to attend school.”

From his home in Georgia, which he shares with his American wife and young child, Eliud contacted us to say that he believes deeply in our work at The Mama Ada Foundation and wants to help us - to be our partner, holding hands under that beautiful African tree. He says, “I am joining hands with The Mama Ada Foundation to see dreams of many young people in Kerotet and other areas become a reality.”

So as I sit today looking at my phone, remembering David Bowie, and reflecting on our new friend Eliud, this quote comes to mind:

“Life is short and we never have enough time for the hearts of those who travel the way with us. O, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.” Henri-Frédéric Amiel

Yes, indeed. Life is short.....make haste to be kind.

- Julie Keller