This was a week when death was in the air and on the air. On Sunday renowned educationist Lawrence Mukiibi died in a Kampala hospital following a fall in the bathroom at his home. Mukiibi, the proprietor of a chain of schools, has been a prominent figure in the country’s education sector for the last two decades, a trailblazer whose legacy will not be easily forgotten.
In the same week South African based Ivan Semwanga, was buried I his home district Kayunga in a funeral that was more memorable for the money and booze that joined him in the grave than for any moving eulogy during the event. Semwanga is famous for lighting Kampala’s night life up as the leader of the “Rich gang” in recent years, with lavish parties and ludicrous displays of conspicuous wealth. It is also reported that he owned a few schools in South Africa.
Two Ugandans with differing legacies brought together only by the fact that they died within days of each other. It is unlikely the two men shared the same company.
"The self-improvement industry has numerous suggestions for how to live to one’s full potential. One that is particularly fitting this week is the suggestion that one should imagine his funeral and imagine what you would want said about yourself by your relatives and friends on the day, and then live towards that ideal...
A kind of reverse engineering.
Of course the nature of the tributes you envisage will be a function of your current state of consciousness, your perspectives on life. So if you are currently an achiever with huge ambitions what you imagine may be grander than the village drunk who looking forward to the epitaph, “He live his life to the full, never saw a beer he never liked or finished”.
Jokes aside such an exercise may spur one to greater things when they were just currently coasting through life or force a u-turn on a life that would inevitably lead to self-destruction or allow one to redefine success or even hold steady on a course which while not showing success currently will eventually lead one there.
Thinking ahead gives many people headaches because it imposes on one the burden of living up to an ideal self. But they say that if you don’t know your destination any road will lead you there.
The question is that what is the purpose of your life?
But first off why should we even have a purpose to our lives beyond getting by everyday, paying the bills and generally just existing?
You are either growing or you are dying. Growth suggests improvement. Purpose is at the end of that growth or improvement. To reach for higher purpose is what helps you get up from defeats you will encounter along the way, soldier through the challenges and just as importantly know when you have arrived at your destination.
As suggested above to attain ones purpose you have to grow to the size of that purpose. How big you grow will depend on the size of your purpose.
"The highest achievers down history had purposes that stretched far beyond their selfish or parochial interests. If they rose to fame or accumulated great wealth this was often a by product of a life of service to people beyond themselves...
Bill Gates’ initial goal was to have PC on every desk in America. His perspective on life changed and he has now committed himself to ending world suffering. Henry Ford behind him wanted to build a car that would be driven by the masses. In recent times Mark Zukerberg set out to connect everybody at his university Harvard before stretching his purpose to the whole world.
Interestingly the greater the achievement the more humble these giants of our time are. How can you be proud and arrogant when people are still dying of Malaria – in Gates’ case or how can you be arrogant when there are still at least five billion more people on earth to make active users – in Zukerberg’s case.
When you are truly committed to huge goals pride and arrogance do not occur because you are too busy trying to make your huge dream come true. Its only the little people who can afford the luxury of pride and arrogance.
So, what will they say about you at your funeral?