One Sunday in boarding school, one of the most hated teachers on campus took the podium to give us a sermon. We all expected the usual. "Respect your elders, be on time, study hard, learn at night, blah, blah, blah". We get it.

He and his whiskers (I'm not trying to be funny. Dude has WHISKERS) mounted the pulpit. And he prayed. And he said, "Are you living or are you existing"? Of course, it was a rhetorical question. But I began to listened and I tried to answer the question with my 15 year old sans frontal lobe mind.


Am I living as in, am I enjoying this life that has been given to me? Am I finding out what life means to me and am I taking advantage of the moments?

Or am I here? Am I just breathing? Is my heart beating for a purpose? Or I am just alive?

Growing up, we all thought there was this big occasion going to happen soon called life. An occasion where we finally reach a destination and settle. But as adults we have realized that, it is not an occasion. It is a journey. The destination is called death. So with this in mind, I want you to answer

"I,(insert name) am I living this life or am I alive?

Living is appreciating the moments that each day brings. Smells, aromas, chats, glances, contact, flavors, thoughts and what not. That is living. That is life. Each moment you encounter or are a part of is your life.

When you are en route to work and you see beautiful trees and people greeting you, that is a moment. You appreciating it and giving it back is living. When your child is telling you about their day and the drink Danny spilled on Anna's book, that is a moment. Your child laughing and you appreciating it and laughing back is living. That is all life is giving at that point.

On the other hand, rushing to work with earphones in your ear and bumping into people without apologizing because you want to be 30 minutes early to work not 15, is being alive.

The Hustle and the Bustle.

You are not living nor appreciating. You are existing. To work. To impress your bosses.

Your little one is telling you this story about Danny's juice. She thinks it's hilarious. You are there but you are thinking about Rachel Ray's newest recipe. Seems like something you can make for Christmas, yet it's May.

You lost a moment. To be present. You lost it to worrying about a recipe you know good and well you will not use because you will end up making jollof for Christmas anyway.

Your place of work gives you a break for an hour. Yet you rush your food and chow it down in 20 minutes. You did not even realize the presence of ginger in your Singapore Mei Fun because you swallowed instead of savoring the food.


You missed a moment to live because you were in a hurry. To nowhere.






-Nana Ashanti.