Let’s not reach out to others only in times of need

I recently got a call from an acquaintance from the past; someone I was with in college and one with whom I never really stayed in touch after that phase. 

With social media, a lot of people have been able to stay in communication if they really wanted to. Basically if there is somebody you have not looked for or reconnected with, it is because neither of you wants that to happen. 


So when this chap contacted me out of the blue, I was like wow, long time. It is what followed that really threw me off my feet. They are getting married in March next year and the reason for contacting me is so that they could get permission to add me on a WhatsApp group for preparatory purposes. Unbelievable!


What sort of nerve does one have to contact someone for the first time in over 10 years simply because they see the need for them to contribute to their wedding? First and foremost, I do not believe in contributing towards weddings, I consider them personal, intimate and if you are to really get any sort of support it should come from people very close to you. 


Being one’s colleague or fellowship mate is not close enough to receive random invitations to contribute towards weddings and other ceremonies in that league. That is why people talk to their closest relatives, and those they see all the time and their best friends. The rest of the people out that circle should only contribute if they got wind of the plans and felt touched to participate.

Recently I felt bad joining an apparent clan WhatsApp group to raise funds for the burial of an elderly member of the clan who had passed on; out of more than 50 ‘relatives’ I only knew four. What was that? 

Why do we tend to wait to be in serious need before we look for support from all sorts of people? Why not nurture a giving culture all through? What has stopped us from forming groups and associations whether as colleagues, people in the same industry or families so that we are together in times of joy and need? What makes it hard to achieve that? 

I reckon talking to a neighbour in the village about organising a fundraiser so that her husband who was ailing could receive proper medication. She dragged her feet and a few days later when he passed on. But the amount raised towards burial arrangements was way more than what he needed for a minor surgery. 

Majority of us rarely reach out to people to join us for a meal or a thanksgiving prayer but will quickly collect contacts for other arrangements that need a boost. There’s need to build a culture where we congregate regularly for personal and group development sessions and for discussions on how we can jointly or communally save for life eventualities like these ceremonies. That way, we ensure everyone is responsible for everyone’s wellbeing.  

Follow Jackie on Twitter @JackieLumbasi


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