By Kwami Nyamidie
Our long associations create the familiar which we gradually become numb to, ignore and under appreciate. We function in an ocean of familiar things. The oxygen we breathe. The canvas shoes, the cotton shirt, and wool sweater we wear. The salt and sugar and spices that satisfy our taste buds every day.
It’s the nature to take for granted the ordinary. The electricity that’s always on when I press the switch. The tap of water that runs every time I turn on the faucet. The needle that sewed the fabric on my car seat. The paperclips that hold official documents I print to notarize. The Velcro on my jacket. The duct tape I use when packing books. The toilet paper.
I often forget to appreciate how all of these have enriched my life and those of many millions around the world.
As with things, so with people. The individuals I am close to and with whom I share the same living space. My fellow country men and women. Old friendly faces. Family members and relatives far and near. Often, I take them for granted.
As with things, tools, and people, so are mundane and powerful ideas I am numb to. The invention of the numbers we use in our everyday arithmetic. The concept of switch off and switch on—the foundation of computers and the digital world. The concept of money. Democracy we enjoy with the rights of the individual.
There’s so much of the familiar around. Plants and flowers and butterflies and rain and snow and frost and sky and sunrise and sunset…
Whenever I want my heart to throb with excitement I pause and wonder at the familiar I take so much for granted.