Our world is full of things that have the ability to make or mar our personal or collective attitudes towards life, and if we don’t take out time to step aside and relook life for the purpose of unlearning and relearning, we just find ourselves stumbling through bricks and mortars trying to figure out how best to be ourselves. Right now, the cost of living in almost all the nations of the world has gone higher than usual and many are really in desperate positions right now with not so many options available for an escape. The war between Russia and Ukraine has added more pain to more people than victory to any one of the two warring parties, just as the wars and rumors of war in other parts of the world are also not helping matters. But in as much as this is the reality in most nations of the world right now, could it also be that these events have come to give us the chance to step out of the maze we created and called living, just maybe we can have a moment to unwind and reset our sails, unlearn to relearn, unplug to get reconnected deeper and maybe live life like newborn babies do? Why newborn babies? Let me share something with you.
I recently started answering questions on a social media/encyclopedia called quora.com. It’s a platform where people can just post any kind of question for anyone who has an answer to respond. Someone posted and asked this question: Is it hard to take care of a newborn at night? If this question had been asked, let’s say about three months ago, I would not have been confident to offer any answer or even an opinion. But my family was recently blessed with a baby boy and I could tell that from my less than three months of experience, I could share one thing or two with the person asking. So, I responded with the following:
One of the most amazing things about a newborn is that they are sent our way to remind us and to bring back our humanity. With their little selves, they teach us patience, compassion, selflessness and all the beautiful things about our humanity that we have forgotten. And because they have no control of anything around them and also cannot tell you what or how they feel, they use the only language they understand, which is crying. They will cry for food, for comfort, to be held, to be spoken to, to be left alone when they are tired and to even sleep. The first few months towards one year, they will literally “colonize” your entire life, they just cannot help it. So, when it all gets overwhelming as it will be sometimes, remember to breathe and tell yourself you are nurturing life and no cost is too big for that beautiful life in your hands. For newborns, there is no night or day, just life. Life is all that exists to them and they make use of it for themselves, irrespective of how you feel at any given time. So, prepare yourself to have sleepless nights and busy days too, for it’s all part of their growth process. Remember to enjoy the moment, for these young humans grow very fast and any part of their growing phase that you miss, you won’t get it back. Have fun.
A few others also responded to the question and I will share maybe one or two of those answers. Someone wrote and said:
“I hate to break it to you, but for the first year or more of a baby’s life , it’s their world. You are there merely to serve. Relationship with a newborn is one-sided, and they are the ultimate high-maintenance person.
Human infants are not born with any ability whatsoever to care for themselves. NONE. They don’t even know when they are hungry, sleepy, cold, frightened, or have a stomach ache. They just know something is wrong, and it’s entirely your job to figure out how to fix it— lovingly— no matter how hungry or sleepy, or frustrated you are.
Thank God the prevailing wisdom is NOT to force a newborn onto a schedule, not to introduce solid foods too soon, and not to pottie train until the baby is ready.
If you have a little baby, don’t allow the relationship become a power struggle. The house cleaning can wait. Your personal grooming can wait. Your sex life can wait. Before you know it, that demanding baby will be walking out the door to go to prom, then packing for college, then walking down the aisle. And you will long for these “simple” days when this baby was totally dependent upon you, and, truth be known, you were totally dependent on her.
Deal with your newborn baby with utter, total, unconditional love. She deserves it. You deserve it. And as she will eventually remind you, she didn’t ask to be born.
Another writer said:
“It’s not hard, it’s just exhausting. You have to do it, though, because newborns have to eat more often than older babies.”
Self-abandonment because of trust
There is a lot to pull out of the various responses shared above, but some things stand out for me. Babies know how to live life without the worries and cares that bother older people. Babies can trust anyone without having to scrutinize them. Babies don’t know the difference between night and day, good and evil, they just know life and they live it out. Babies really don’t know, so they don’t care if you are hungry or not, they just want to be fed. It sounds like a selfish tendency, right? But is it? Or could it be that that’s really how we are supposed to deal with life, where we allow ourselves to be humans while giving God room to be God and Father in our lives? Think about that for a moment.
I don’t know about you, but I think it will be kinda cool to be a baby again, especially when you really don’t have to worry or bother about anything. Because the truth is that, even though it’s not always easy not to worry or bother about how things are going in our lives because we are humans, things really don’t change when we bother or worry. They just put us on edge and that is not advisable for good health. But beyond all these that I have noticed and also mentioned about babies, I think there is what we all need to learn, we have to relearn how to be patient, compassionate, and selfless and to reconnect with all the beautiful things about our humanity that we have forgotten. There is no better time than now that we need a new direction towards our collective humanity and the beauty that our hearts can birth, for ourselves and those around us.
We must dare to be free to become better
We have somehow become too professionalism conscious that we are fast losing our simplicity of humanity. No one needs a degree to treat others with kindness and love.
Life is full of events and random things that happen, whether we are aware of them or not. We all have dreams, aspirations and the various things we want to achieve in life. But life is not just always about what we want to achieve but much more about what we become in the cause of achieving those things. A man will live the footprint of his life on the sand of life not by his achievements but by what he became both to himself and his world. Many are losing their souls, destroying their humanity, and putting everyone else’s lives in danger just so they can attain their so-called dreams and they don’t pay attention to the monster they are becoming. We published an article a few years ago in this magazine titled what are we really chasing? The article asked some critical questions about life. Take a look.
We are mostly here to serve.
This may sound off track with many people, especially those who think everyone else owes them something, how often do we forget the fact that, just like we are to children in service, so are we in service to all of humanity? And by saying we all are in service to all of humanity, I do not mean that you have to do everything or be part of everything going down in the world. It’s not even possible or attainable. What I mean is this, just like ripple effects happen when we throw a pebble in the river, so do every of our actions, words, thoughts and even inaction have ripple effects on our world. Meaning that a whole generation of humans on earth can go haywire and out of course just because someone in the name of being a scientist or philosopher created something that others followed but which has no bearing with the good of mankind. Lots of these have been done, case in point, the madness called Covid-19 and the various scientific lies that threw the entire world into some evil fear, breaking down systems and even families that have been for ages. In simple words, each of our actions and even inactions have ripple effects on the general outlook of mankind. We just have to realize how powerful we are as humans and how that power can be used for good and evil.
Is there a lesson to learn from babies? Absolutely. A lot. But that is if we allow our hearts to be tender enough to learn, unlearn and even relearn life. So, remember to enjoy life and the precious moments life presents to you, for just as babies grow very fast, so does life move very fast and any part of that movement that you miss, you won’t get back. Remember to not forget that life is mostly about service to humanity. And while doing that noble act, also remember to have fun.
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Samuel Phillips is a writer, graphic designer, photographer, songwriter, singer and a lover of God. As an Afrikan content creator, he is passionate about creating a better image and positive narrative about Afrika and Afrikans. He is a true Afrikan who believes that the true potential of Afrika and Afrikans can manifest through God and accurate collaborations between Afrikans. Afrika is the land of kings, emperors, original wisdom, ancient civilizations, great men and women and not some road-side-aid-begging poor third world continent that the world finds joy in undermining.