One of the many many sayings we learnt in our formative years said something about the bull that has broken its leg going back to the pen. Since these sayings were said by Wahenga, we can think of them as useful and handy tools which can be investigated for wisdom in life matters.
The bull going back means it went out of the pen. We can think of the pen as home. Home is where all the safety and comfort is, but at some point we do leave home. It’s ironical. Why leave a place of calm and satiation? Everyone knows that the world out there is wild. It is unfamiliar and one can expect challenges and hardships.
But we leave home anyway. It’s because we have to. We need to leave home so that we can grow. It is an essential part of growth. It helps us to discover more about ourselves and what we are capable of. When we meet challenges and overcome them, we realize that we actually had the ability to overcome that particular challenge. It had just never been activated before. Overcoming the challenge is a source of happiness and joy too. All adults are aware of how fleeting and elusive happiness can be.
Leaving home also allows us to discover new things in the world. The spirit of adventure and exploration is a thrilling one. New people, new cultures, new foods… The list goes on. Monotony will take a backseat. If we were to stay at home, monotony would firmly plant its booty in the front seat, driving us to madness.
We get productive when we leave home too. In the process of seeking employment, other people benefit from the services that we sale. The world becomes a better place.
So yes, leaving home is dangerous. But the alternative of staying home is slow death. The world is not all about dangerous things either. There’s beauty, joy and peace mingled with the bitter experiences. It would have been awesome to have everything else in the previous sentence without the bitterness but hey, this is not heaven. It’s the best we’ve got and we should appreciate that.
But you would argue that all the good things cannot compensate for the evil in the world. That’s a valid point. No amount of good can compensate for evil. Evil just needs to be done away with. But that’s not happening tomorrow so what next? We certainly have no problem receiving good news, but what do we do with the bad news?
The bull went back home after it got injured. We need a home to go back to after suffering affliction. Home is the place where our injuries will not be aggravated any further. Home has the ideal conditions for healing our broken hearts. Those are the qualifications of home. It may not necessarily be our parents’ place but we need home. The mere fact that we are participants in a world where evil exists means that we need home. As we fight our battles to thrive and prosper, let us not forget to build a home.
It’s more than the structure. It’s about the people in the home. When our integrity is violated by men in the world, it is men who can repair it again. It’s a stroke of genius that people actually fall in love. Relationships exist to motivate us to be better people but they are also a sanctuary. A place of rest when the battles of the day are done. Challenges are tackled outside, but back at home is where we retire at the end of the day to lick our wounds and celebrate our successes. Yes, success tastes better when you have people to celebrate with.
So the question to ask is, are you misusing the only sanctuary that you have by fighting battles in it? When your partner comes back home, wounded and dejected, do you spear a bleeding and broken bull by saying ‘Oh I told you so?’ Are you the world or are you home? You gotta pick one mate!
We need challenges to thrive. We also need a place where we can take a break from challenges, celebrate and re-energize to face the next day. There’s always the risk of forgetting that each is equally important.
And we forget that we should deliberately make sure that we ourselves are a place of rest for the people that expect us to be so. If a lion met the bull out there then its unfortunate but at least the bull expects something like that could happen. Maybe it was even prepared just in case. But a lion in the cowpen? Just waiting to pounce on a wounded bull? That’s just unfair man. It’s so out of place that we consider it to be wrong. Sadly, we play the waiting lion sometimes. We should stop that. There’s a place to be a lion but it’s not the home. If there’s a lion in you, you can unleash him all you want outside there but lock him outside the gates when you return home. Because even lions get injured. Then where will you go to now that you converted your home into a battlefield?