Since this fateful day, I have had a fair share of experiences, challenges and lessons about life, people and just being. I have also had plenty of time to reflect on my life as was before, as is now and as such attempting to figure out what will be as days break and evenings close. I started moving about fairly a month ago. I have resumed duty in office(half day), though I am not able to do as much as I used to before or as I desire to. I have also had a lucky shot at my consulting service, God willing I will try recovering on so much lost courtesy of new found inabilities. Once more, thank you Al Shabaab.
I have been running errands every Friday and Saturday for the last month or so; going to the farm to pick up ripening groceries and distributing as such. With this, I have met several people, interesting people that I wouldn’t have crossed paths with on a regular day. One such gentleman happens to be a Chef with IBIS Catering at the DHL premises in industrial area, Mr. Muthumbi. His hair has greyed extensively; his goatee and bumpy neck suggest he is in his sixties. There is a passion with which he talks about his work as he explains what tomatoes bring about which kind of stew, which ones make for the best salad and such. He does this while picking different types of tomatoes from the crates. As he does this, there is always an impatient waiter at the kitchen trying to get an approval from him, some other supplier, mostly a gentleman distributing bread from Supa Loaf in a rush to get his invoice signed so he can go on with his supplies and such.
Muthumbi, with an authoritative kind of physique hardly acts like he looks. He speaks politely, addresses one issue and person at a time and seems to be in no hurry getting anywhere. He just wants surety and clarity in what he does. I remember the first time I was calling him for directions to his premises, usually I am rush in getting to the point…detail and getting over with my mission. So as he tried explaining to me how many times I will drive past railway crossings and so many turns, skipping I don’t know how many paths on my left and right before getting to his place… I cut him short asking him which landmark to look for. He retorted; ‘Young man, I am at the landmark, just be patient and listen to me.’ It was such a humbling experience for me on phone that I pulled over to the roadside to obey his orders. So when I met him I was obviously keen to know about him and he was quick to tell me Life is much more than rushing to get to a point or somewhere. Again, he spoke to me in a way that interested me to appreciate something, Humility.
So I have observed him, over weeks. The weekend before this past one, I delivered tomatoes when he was off duty. His assistant was quick enough to pick the tomatoes and issue invoices, which worked for me since I was really tired and badly wanted to grab a drink somewhere and just relax. It happens that Muthumbi had preferred that I deliver large sized tomatoes for salads for his menu plans then. Muthumbi was not so happy when I arrived with my delivery; he explained to me how his menu plan was affected the past week because of the tomatoes I brought. While it was not my fault for having not been furnished with description of the required tomatoes, the gentleman went about telling me how he works his menu’s and how his clients review the food and how supplies end up affecting his kitchen morale positively and negatively. A regular Chef, client would have been quick to even dismiss the week’s delivery.
Anyway, I have learnt a lesson about Humility. Wikipedia defines Humility as the quality of being modest, reverential, even politely submissive, and never being arrogant, contemptuous, rude or even self-abasing. Humility, in various interpretations, is widely seen as a virtue in many religious and philosophical traditions, being connected with notions of transcendent unity with the universe or the divine, and of egolessness.
Well, I am not as humble, but I will try learning being even half of just that. As a kid, I was always in a rush to please, or to win. Often when Dad wanted a glass(read yellow enamel cup) of something from the kitchen or Mum needed me rushing to the shop for an egg, I would end up breaking a plate in the process or coming back with a chipped nail or bleeding toe from running about aimless. I have always had problems allowing someone to bring fourth a point the desire to. In business, on occasion I have concluded for a client what they needed sometimes cutting them short. In an argument with a loved one, I have over years probably not given a chance to air something that would have made a difference in one relationship or another. Rush, Ignorant so to speak. We learn with time, with experience… through people. I am learning better. People are the greatest lessons, people are also the greatest adversities… people also make greatest strides from experiences. Observe, learn, become. Have a pleasant week.
Playlist: ‘We can be New; Amel Larrieux’