Too little too late

A young man passed on recently and of the many condolence messages on social media one caught my attention. A friend of the deceased tweeted how she wished she had visited him the day before like she had planned. How many of us have found ourselves in a similar situation?

You receive a call that a friend has gotten ill and is admitted, you make a mental note to visit the friend in hospital ‘tomorrow’. That day comes and goes and for the next few days and weeks you keep promising to make the hospital visit but you fail. Then one day a phone call comes; the friend who has been in hospital (for a while) has just passed away and right in that moment a flood of regret consumes you. You wish you had responded as soon as you received the call. Problem is, it is now too late. You have no time to make good, no time to check on a friend who probably would have appreciated seeing you one last time.

The world is moving too fast and amid competing demands on our time and struggling to make ends meet, we have very little time for others. As a result, socially, many of us are surviving on false promises. We bump into each other on stairs, traffic lights or in supermarkets and in between hurried greetings we promise to create time to catch up but that does not happen. The trend is repeated with several other friends and acquittances and before you realise it, the list of people promised coffee dates is relatively long yet none has actually been seen. I am guilty of this myself and I know that over the last five months I have had virtual tea and dates with many friends. Right now I’m feeling very guilty and I intend to come up with a strategy to ensure the physical meetings happen. 

You could be in the same position as myself and the late young man’s friend. There’s probably someone who is dying to tell you something they feel cannot be told on phone and they’re looking forward to that time when you will stop saying you’re busy and can genuinely make time to meet. My appeal today is for us to realise that it is very easy and possible to lose time. If there is anything we can do today may we never ever postpone it to tomorrow. For instance, if you want to visit your grandma, do so today because if you don’t tomorrow might be too late. If you have plans to check on a friend who is hospitalised do it because you may fail to make it and either go there when they can no longer talk, recognise you or they are just no more. The sun has risen for you today, make it count. Call the people you love and care for, pay them a visit!

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