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Does your life add value to humanity?

A FRIEND and workmate, Moono Nkonde, recently lost a mother and I was among those that attended the funeral service held at Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka.
The tributes and sermon delivered at this funeral service really touched my heart and I believe they are worth reflecting on.
As family members, friends and church mates delivered their glowing tributes in honour of Ms Selina Mapani, one thing was evident – we were bidding farewell to a life that had impacted many.
Ms Mapani, a widow who died at the age of 70, was a pillar of support to her family and people around her.
Despite her age, she was a hard worker who never ate the bread of idleness.
From the tributes, it was evident that this lady brought joy to many lives. She was a selfless woman who considered others first and had mastered how to nature relationships.
Apart from giving her services to family and friends, the late Ms Mapani found pleasure serving in the house of the Lord.
Though I had never met Ms Mapani when she was still alive, I could easily relate her attributes to her daughter, who is my workmate.
It is evident that she did not only live an exemplary life but imparted her values to her family.
Her 70 years on earth was not a mere existence but real value to humanity.
Father Robert Sihubwa of Anglican Church could not find a better sermon than one woven around this great life that added so much value to humanity.
In his sermon titled ‘Does your life add value to humanity’, Father Sihubwa related the life of late Ms Mapani to that of Dorcas in the Bible (Acts 9:36-42).
Dorcas was a woman who devoted her life to serving others. She impacted lives around her such that when she died, the widows in her community petitioned God until she was brought back to life.
The lives mentioned above provide us with valuable lessons as we journey through life.
Through these lives, we are reminded that the value of life is not in the number of years one lives, but in the service offered to others.
Albert Pike once said, “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Winston Churchill once said: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Today, we have so many people who are wealthy and perhaps in more privileged positions than the women mentioned above, and yet add very little or no value at all to humanity.
The Bible forewarns us that in the last days, terrible times will come when men will be lovers of themselves. And I believe those times are here because we have people throwing away food, yet someone next door is starving. We have people changing cars like shirts, yet a child next door has dropped out of school due to lack of finances. We have people spending so much money on alcohol, yet a child next door cannot afford a pair of shoes.
It is saddening that we have so many people in our society who are but a mere census statistic because they only live for themselves. Even if they died today, nothing much will be remembered about them.
Their entire lifetime was a mere existence void of value to humanity and their Creator.
In the words of Father Sihubwa, these are people whose existence is a mere waste of oxygen.
The reason why God put us in this big family called humanity is to add value to and be each other’s keeper.
As I listened to the sermon by Father Sihubwa, I could not avoid taking an introspection of how much value I have been to humanity for the many years I have spent on earth.
I throw the same question to you. For the years you have been on earth, how much value have you added to humanity?
If you died today, what will be said about you?
Will people mourn over your death or celebrate because you were a curse and not a blessing?
In your current state, can God boast about you, like he boasted about Job to the devil?
You do not need to send your answers to me, but use them to adjust your life accordingly and live a useful life.
Benjamin Franklin said “I would rather have it said, ‘He lived usefully’ than ‘He died rich’.”
And borrowing from the words of French-born American Quaker missionary, Etienne de Grellet, we shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that we can do or any kindness that we can show to any fellow human being, let us do it now. Let us not defer or neglect it for we shall not pass this way again.
The author is Zambia Daily Mail editorials editor