Kimani: You mean to tell me that the reason why I’m so miserable is because I don’t love myself?
Old man: Exactly!
Kimani: Aren’t we supposed to love others before we love ourselves? I think Jesus mentioned that somewhere in the Bible.
Old man: Oh, he did mention something but you misunderstood it. If I’m right, it went something like “Love your neighbors as you love yourself”.
Kimani: Yes, that’s the one.
Old man: But you got it all wrong.
Old man: How can you expect to love others if you can’t love yourself. If you try to love others in the hope that you will be able to appreciate yourself, you are gravely mistaken. That’s what I call seeking validation from others so that you feel good about yourself. It just reeks of desperation. Whenever someone seeks validation, that’s a statement by the person that he or she is in desperate need of love and appreciation. Do you think you’ll ever get that love from other people?
Kimani: Hey! You can get such kind of a love from other people. That’s how it was with me and Asha.
Old man: But it doesn’t last, does it? If such kind of love was meant to last, I believe you wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be here and all would be well with the world.
Kimani: Wait, why are you here?
Old man: Who? Me? You know, just enjoying the last days of my life on this earth.
Kimani: No, that’s not what I meant. I mean why are you here now? Why are you here sitting with me here on this bench in the middle of the day? Don’t you have better things to do with your life rather than wasting your time talking to a hopeless drunk.
Old man: I’m actually enjoying this conversation. And don’t you worry about the time I have left. I hardly think about it.
Kimani: I still don’t get it. Why me? You could have been in church thanking God for adding years to your life.
Old man: Oh, I’m thankful but I don’t need to go to church to show how grateful I am. It seems you have little knowledge about who God is. I don’t think anyone on earth truly understands it either. Our brains are limited to knowing everything.
Kimani: Hey, I do know Him!
Old man: I bet you just know the facts. Making use of those facts is your problem. For example, we all say God is omnipresent yes? But why do we always have to wait for Friday, Saturday or Sunday to say what we want to say? Don’t you know She’s always watching? When you drink to your death. When you got suspended. Even when Asha left. She was there.
Kimani: She?! God is a woman?
Old man: No. I only referred to God as a she so that you could see that God is not limited to gender. I think that’s where everyone gets it wrong.
Kimani: So, who is God?
Old man: Everything. Everything you see on this earth and universe is God being expressed. It’s magnificent really seeing how someone can create such a place and run so well. It’s amazing. Even the new innovations you see being created didn’t come out of nowhere. Nothing can exist outside of God’s eye.
Kimani: Wow. I never thought of it like that.
Old man: Mind-blowing huh? I find it to be the most interesting topic of discussion.
Kimani: You were telling me that God is omnipresent and that He…or She…This is too confusing.
Old man: I can see. Just use what’s comfortable with you.
Kimani: Right. You mean to tell me that He is right here with me?
Old man: Yes. He’s actually talking to you.
Kimani: Are you God?
Old man: The question is, are you God?
Old man: Goodness me. People do read the Bible but seem not to understand it. You were created in God’s image, yes?
Old man: Doesn’t that make you God?
Kimani: There are 7 billion people out here in this world. You mean to tell me that all of them are God?
Old man: Come on, this should be easy for you to understand. I already gave you the pieces of the puzzle. Now, it is time for you to put the pieces together.
Kimani: Let me recall what you have told me.
Old man: Take your time.
Kimani: You have said the following: God is everything, God is omnipresent and we are created in God’s image.
Old man: Yes. Now try to make sense out of the three statements.
Kimani: God is everything, and He is everywhere and we are created in His image. That means we are all aspects of God!
Old man: We have a winner Ladies and Gentlemen!
Kimani: I can’t believe this! This is too much for me to take.
Old man: We’re just getting started.
Kimani: Tell me, in what sense are we like God?
Old man: That’s a good question. The answer is quite simple and yet complex at the same time. God is simply the creator. He created everything and created us, human, in His image to be creators. He created us to create. We are all creators in this world. Everything that you do is just you creating. From starting a business, coming up with a genius idea and even making babies, we are simply creating. That’s what it means.
Kimani: Wait. I need a minute. You mean to tell me I create everything that happens around me? You mean to tell me that me being a hopeless drunk is part of my own creation?
Old man: Yes. That’s the truth of all things. It never has anything to do with God when things happen to you. What God did was to give you the free will of creating anything that you desire. Be it good or bad. It doesn’t matter. Limiting one thing would ruin the process. Consider us being a playing field where we can create whatever we want but we all have one rule that guides us.
Kimani: What rule?
Old man: You know it. You think you don’t know it but you do. You’ve done your physics, yes? What was Newton’s Third Law of Motion?
Kimani: Every action has an opposite and equal reaction.
Old man: In other words, …
Old man: Oh, come on! I thought you already got the point.
Kimani: Can’t you just tell me already instead of making it sound we are in a Kindergarten class.
Old man: Where is the fun in that?
Kimani: Okay. Just tell me this one and I’ll play along afterwards.
Old man: Agreed. In other words, what goes around comes around. The law of karma. She really is a bitch.
Kimani: I get it now. Our actions have consequences. All actions have consequences. They can be good or bad depending on what you did.
Old man: Exactly. It seems, however, that karma has caught up with you already and it is about to deliver its final blow.
Kimani: What are you talking about?
Old man: You’ll see. Time is certainly not with us today. I need to leave but before I do so, I need to answer the question you asked earlier. You asked why I am here.
Kimani: Yes. Why are you here talking to me about all this?
Old man: Once again, you know the answer. You know of the parable of the lost sheep, don’t you?
Kimani: It’s one of my favorite parables.
Old man: Oh really? What’s your favorite parable?
Kimani: The parable of the mustard seed.
Old man: Great choice. How I wish you would apply it in your life but that may not happen. (becomes sad)
Kimani: What’s wrong?
Old man: I’ve just realized we never finished our conversation about loving yourself. It seems we talked about everything today but I have to leave. Don’t you worry, we shall meet once more. Not here exactly but soon enough.
Kimani: Uhm, okay.
Old man: You should go home and rest. You’ve had a long weekend.
Kimani: You know what? I think you’re right. I wish we could continue with our conversation. I’m learning so much from you.
Old man: I know. We shall meet again. Keep that in mind. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a play to watch. Cheers!
Kimani: Goodbye. Enjoy the play.
Old man: I certainly will.
The old man left and Kimani did too afterwards. He went home with a new sense of hope. He kept thinking about what he was told by the old man in the matatu. He looked around all the passengers knowing that every single person is an aspect of God. The driver, the rude conductor and the passengers. They are all creating their reality in this moment. It was amazing to see it from such a perspective.
His newly found sense of hope instantly turned into worry once he got to his apartment. He started feeling dizzy and nauseous. His legs were unable to carry him any longer. He collapsed on the floor struggling to breathe. As he was gasping for air, his vision went from being blurry to seeing a bright white light. At that moment, he felt a huge chunk of weight being removed from him. It’s almost as if he was free. Free from his worries.