First of all I will start by apologizing for my absence and explaining that between a much needed trip away from Kampala to Mombasa and a return right into the deep end at work, I have surely slept on job here. But I’m back with more stories and adventures to share. This week Sir Alex Ferguson (SAF) retired, a great shock and its amazing what football has done to the world, because despite nationality, region, club, like/dislike, tributes have followed reactions to a great man. This post will be 2 fold – a tribute to SAF and a discussion of tributes vs eulogies.
I think if I’m not wrong that a tribute is a celebration of an achievement of a person, dead or alive, but in most cases alive. You achieve and people pay tribute to your achievement. On the other hand a eulogy is a tribute to a deceased person, a celebration of a life ended. Now we live life, walking so many journeys and touching so many lives and sometimes we are paid tributes and other times we are eulogised…..But personally I prefer tributes. WHY you may ask?
Over the past few years I have attended funerals of truly remarkable people, I have truly been inspired by them and some I didn’t even know but I am sad when I imagine I did not get to know such remarkable people when they were alive. Out of respect to those who lost their loved ones I will not mention names but I will pick 1 or 2 examples. Once I was at a good friend’s mum’s funeral and I sat there listening to speaker after speaker and I honestly thought to myself what a remarkable lady this was, a lady who cooked food for her four children but when 8 relatives showed up she would not complain but simply share that little, she was not rich by any standard but even to her sickness and death she opened her heart to even strangers.
Sometimes we take such things for granted but how many people do we know as remarkable as these??? I was a friend to this guy for years but despite meeting his mum on about 3 occasions I had never experienced just who she was and here I am at her funeral service, almost moved to tears that people are this nice in this day and age, my loss for sure for not having spent more time with her. Another example was a funeral of a girl I knew from hostel at campus and I always knew about her kindness, charisma and friendliness but what I did not know is how many people she had touched in her simple life. Taking bodas in the middle of the night to help complete strangers and now she has gone and people are sharing just what she meant to them, sad I tell you.
In short so many times we meet people and after interactions with them we ask ourselves, wow, what a person, they touch our lives in ways we realize much later at times and we continue to live with these people without ever explaining to them just what they have done for us and before we know it, they are in a coffin right in front of us. I dislike eulogies and even at my own mother’s funeral I had little to say because somehow I felt that all I had to say was to her and even attempting to explain it to a church full of people would simply remind me of the many times I failed to tell her to her face, at a birthday, anniversary or just an ordinary day that I thought to myself what a remarkable woman she was but never told her, even when she was just next to me. (Happy Mother’s Day to her tomorrow btw) Many people miss this chance and all they have left are eulogies.
But why not go one better than giving that brilliant eulogy that no one will ever forget and give the tributes to people when they are with us? Every time you think “Wow, what a nice gesture by Bernard”, why not tell him straight up??? I don’t know about heaven or the afterlife but I want to believe now is the only time they are listening and we need to let them know just how remarkable these people have been to us. So I challenge all of you today to read this and start living life appreciating all your people, all those who touch you daily directly or indirectly, tell them today, tell them at a dinner, birthday, anniversary, think of that eulogy and turn it into a tribute there an then, so that this way someone goes knowing just what an impact they had on the world and what appreciation the world has for them.
So Sir Alex Ferguson aka fergie retired this week, many did not see it coming and instead of concentrating on the why now or what next, I will take a moment to pay a tribute to him, because that is what is important now, for him to know that he touched more than Man Utd, more than England, more than football but the world itself and for him to know this today. I have read tributes from his friends like Mourihno, Redknapp, Big Sam, Capello and also from his old adversaries like Arsene Wenger & Benitez. I am an Arsenal FC fan (Gunner for life!!!) and have been so for about 14 years and as such Fergie would be one of my enemies but I must say that even over the years, even as I hated Man Utd (and still do as our rival), I still always had nothing but respect and admiration for Fergie, the guy beat us, built new teams, competed with the old guard (Keagan) and new guard (Mourihno) and kept adjusting his winning formula with the times keeping him so competitive all the years. Now if that is not a great man, I do not know who is. So I have learnt perseverance, adaptability, positive competitiveness and love for this game from watching fergie over the years and I intend to use these traits in my very life and maybe I can be a success too. So today I stand up with millions across the world, as we toast and pay tribute to a great man, Sir Alex Ferguson, nothing but admiration for him. Good rest Fergie!!! (But may Man Utd now falter……..lol, could not resist!)
So my good friends, fergie is just another example of the importance of tributes vis a vis eulogies, well if it’s too late, I have no problem with eulogies but I would prefer to tell the person while they are here and so as usual I will continue appreciating and paying tribute to all the special people in my life. So thank you all for reading this and consider this my tribute to you. Tomorrow is Mothers Day, a good opportunity for many to pay tribute to these remarkable women that have mothered us (ranging from mums to sisters to teachers) – HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!