Cheer Up, There's More to Life

Feb 8 , 2020
By Eden Sahle

Four years ago, I met a couple through a project I was working on. Their life shocked me as much as it inspired me.

The couple had grown up together in a poor neighbourhood. They had loved each other from the moment they met. No one can claim to have had a simple early adulthood, but their difficulties and how they would address them did not come until they finished their high school studies and decided to wed.

Unfortunately, following a medical examination, the results came back HIV positive for the woman, a devastating revelation that would ruin almost any relationship.

From doctors to family members and friends, everyone pleaded with the man to end the relationship. But he believed that this was yet another obstacle that could be crossed with determination and goodwill.

They ended up getting married. Through medical prevention methods of transmission from parent to child, they even became parents of a healthy boy and a girl. The man remained HIV negative. Living in a tiny one-room mud house, the couple was able to create a home.

“We love our life, and anything that comes in our way is just a challenge we need to overcome together,” the husband said to me, when I asked what gives him strength.

I will never forget his answer. Poverty, HIV diagnosis and the wave of disapproval they endured did not succeed in making them resent life.

In this precious thing called life, we have become victims of our success. Many of us are not kind to ourselves and we do not believe that we measure up to the standards we have set for ourselves. Most are more frustrated with their lives than appreciative of it. If they do not say this out loud, it is evident in how they conduct themselves.

The daily chore, the division in our society and our dirty politics wear us down. The bills that are piling up and the responsibilities we can barely shoulder could be infuriating. Every day, a new dose of irritation and exhaustion is injected into our lives.

But this should not make us fail from appreciating life. We forget that everyone has a challenge. Even the children of the wealthiest people. Their challenges are only different, not non-existent. No one gets off scot-free.

We can deal with frustrations, difficult and challenges and yet we can look past that and live lives full of joy and contentment. We do not need to have it all to enjoy our life.

The life that we have currently is the only one that we get. Disliking it is not an option. Our attitude affects our life more than any outside circumstance ever will. Each day is a new opportunity if we go through it in great detail. Progress and loving life should be part of our life. Worrying, comparing and resenting ourselves only damages and drags us while life passes us by faster than we think.

How we manage things and our life is directly linked to how we feel about ourselves. It will determine our actions too. This is why it is important for us to learn to filter, keeping what is beneficial and discarding what is leading us to the point of hating ourselves.

“We took good care of tomorrow, but died on the way there,” has said Warsan Shire, a young British poet.

It will be a waste to live life in such a way. Sadness, frustration and disappointment are facts of life. They are inextricable strands in the process of living, and to try to cancel them out is not only impossible but destructive.

When we accept ourselves for who we are, we can accomplish amazing feats. We can excel. It is true what they say - life is indeed 10pc what happens to us and 90pc how we react to it. If we are sad about everything, we can lose ourselves when it keeps on piling up. We should learn to let go and live in gratitude irrespective of our circumstances.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 08,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1032]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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