Over the years I’ve earned the notorious reputation among my friends for not minding my business. In fact, Stella categorically told me that there’s this way I keep quizzing people on stuffs about them without me realizing I’m doing that. After giving it a thought, I realized she was correct, and I owe those friends who don’t enjoy that “quizy” part of me apologies. Maybe I should just go master in Investigative Journalism. By the way, that’s the only way I know how to play friend; I can’t stand someone I call friend not being the very best of him or herself. To say the least, our friendship is my business. And I don’t fear the Red Card; show it to me and I gracefully walk away.
However, that is not the point I’m up to here. The point is that the results of most of the quizzes I dish out to friends are the same: “Cornel you won’t understand, I’m just too busy for that.” In fact, one of my friends, who is more of a mentor than a friend, had to go the extra mile of letting me into what her typical day looks like, how tough it is being a lawyer, wife of a very busy husband, mother of three, masters and PGDE student… This revelation made me feel really sorry for ever thinking she was being lazy. The good news is that we both came to the realization that she wasn’t that busy after all, that she could pursue her dreams alongside the discharge of her obligations. And she’s on it!
Now, it also got me thinking further on who the busiest human beings on the planet are. Although I can’t be certain about who they are, but my tunic pointed me in the direction of the Catholic Pope Francis and the US President Obama.
About Pope Francis: Every Cardinal who leaves for Rome for the conclave is usually not sure what to expect. He could become Pope. And part of becoming Pope is that you don’t get to return to your home diocese when other Cardinals start returning home; you’re now Bishop of Rome and Successor of St. Peter, and you’re henceforth pinned to the Vatican. Even a trip to your home diocese, which can only come months later, must be recorded as an official trip.
The Pope’s job is a particularly peculiar one: to preserve the 2,000-years-old Christian tradition. One may not understand the enormity of this job unless one thoroughly understands what it means to swim against the ocean current. In a world of sweeping social change and devastating social problems, growing secularism, unequaled moral decadence and religious intolerance, the Pope is in for one hell of a job. And his typical day must be something else.
About President Obama: Getting to the position of No. 1 country on the planet is easier than remaining there. And it is the job of one man to see to that. His name: Barack Obama. If there is one man that most people want to drop dead, it is him. And if there is one country that most people want to disappear from the face of the earth, it is his country, the very country that he’s sworn to protect with his very own life. Seen thus, there is no difference between his life and his country. And his Constitution authorizes him to launch all the nuclear warheads from all the silos containing them from any part of the world and to any part of the world if that is what he must do to keep God’s-Own-Country up and running. His security detail must be so paranoid that those mean looking men around him in black suites and dark glasses have pledged their lives as a ransom for him any time any day. That’s the situation Obama is in; it is this same situation Trump and Mrs. Clinton are currently bargaining for.
I suppose, you now see why I thought Pope Francis and Barack Obama are the busiest on the planet. Don’t be quick to reminding me that their aides number in the thousands. I know that pretty much. But truth be told, occupying such a position where none of those aides but you would take the ultimate responsibility for any mistake that crops up in the line of duty makes the job more difficult, which is why Nigeria’s Buhari got messed up with the budget scandal. And kindly let me know if your schedule beats theirs. However, if we all agree that they’re as busy as I thought, then let’s consider the following about them.
Do you know that one of the first things Pope Francis did was call his shoemaker to inform him that he’s now Pope and wouldn’t be coming back to Argentina any soon? Is that what a busy man should do? That simply reveals that he is not too busy to undermine his relationships. About Obama, he still does the things he loves doing. Visit the White House to find that he doesn’t joke with playing basketball, and he’s never joked with it since he got his first basketball from his father at age 10 or less. And funny Obama is so liberal with his sense of humor any time any day. And Francis and Obama never stopped writing; they’re some of the finest still.
What about you? Did you stop dancing because you got married? Did you stop writing because you’re now a banker? Did you stop swimming because you’re now a priest? As Pope, Johnpaul II asked that the Vatican got him a swimming pool and they did, and he swam every so often. What did you stop doing because you’re now too busy? Are you busier than the Holy Spirit, who though God yet fills the heart of the faithful every single time they ask Him to?
If you’re indeed too busy, then make your case on the comment box. I’m waiting for you.