I use my right hand to do everything, which includes writing. That means I can’t write left handed. So, what is this all about, you may ask. Keep reading on. I hope you’ll find the answer. If you don’t, then we should blame it on the fact that I can’t write left handed after all.
I have just come back from my morning run. Because my device wasn’t able to locate GPS signal, like it has always done in the past, it only recorded the time spend without the distance run. How did this happen when I ran one of the distances I have run several times? You would trust Strava to extract data from my previous runs and have something to show for today’s run.
Instead, Strava posted the following statistics
Distance: 0 km
Avg pace: 1:08km
Just before I saved today’s run, I remember seeing a time of 01:38:34 and no distance because Strava could not locate GPS signal. I had to check data from the last time I did the same distance, which happens to have been two months ago! Here is the data:
Distance: 11.1 km
Avg pace: 7:53
I Can’t Write Left Handed
Much as it has been two months since I ran the same distance, I would have expected Strava to remember my last run and do the right thing. Doing the right, in my case, would be do anything but not post today’s distance as 0 km. I actually noticed there was no GPS when I was just about to leave the house. I switched my Strava on and immediately noticed that GPS wasn’t working. Yet I ignored it and hoped Strava would do the right thing. Which was a huge mistake, that I regret and glad to have gained valuable lessons from.
It’s all in the data
During my run, I was listening to music. One of the songs I listened to was John Legend’s ‘I Can’t Write Left Handed.’ The song got me thinking about the many things I am not able to do anymore due to a disability I have brought upon myself.
Most of it has been accidentally acquired from the people I have associated with along the way. It is like data has been stored in my memory. Of course, the data started influencing the way I talk, think and do things. In a way, I reached a point where I can’t write left handed anymore. There are many I wanted to acquire because I thought they would make me become a better person and enable me to be more effective. However, that has bot been the case.
I used to think having more money would enable me to solve problems facing my community. Instead, I ended up building an impregnable wall around me where the things that used to unite me with my neigbours no longer have the power to do so.
Let me explain.
Learning to write left handed
All of the 8 different places I have stayed in had the same features which sort of united us. We used a communal toilet, bathroom and split the electricity bill amongst us. We also used modems to access the internet and had additional problems, issues and challenges that brought us together.
Our doors were always left wide open to allow our neighbours’ children’s to come and go the way they wished. We also walked or took matatus to church where the only people who sat on the same spot were either the minister or the choir members. No one gave fumed when they found someone had sat where they had sat the previous Sunday.
It is three years since I moved up the ladder – in terms of where I am living and attending church. Learning to write left handed has affected me a lot. I have picked up things I am not proud and don’t want to associate with. Let’s start with where I stay. I have stable internet and don’t share WiFi with my neighbours because they have their own. I am paying my own electricity and water bills and when I fail to do so, don’t enjoy these services.
My door is always closed and because I am not used to writing left handed, my heart remains wide open. I keep hoping my neighbours would allow their precious children to push the unlocked door wide open. But that seldom happens. Do not go to other people’s houses, parents warn their children. It is bad manners to push people’s doors open, they add. Strangely enough, most of these neighbours belong to the same church I attend.
Coming to terms with Strava’s failure to extract previous running data
Having reserved myself to learning how to write left handed, I find myself in an awkward spot. This is not how I was wired to operate as a caring human being. I remember growing up and learning how to show love, compassion and care. I grew up knowing I am supposed to welcome children into the house, give them something to eat and provide guidance.
This brings me back to today’s run. As I hit the save button, I trusted Strava to do the right thing. The truth is, I woke up at 5 am and spent one-and-a-half hours running. Yet Strava ended up saving 0 km after I had done 11.1 km. It was then that I remembered I had not fed my phone the right data. When I usually prepare for my morning run, I make sure my WiFi is on so I can activate my Strava’s GPS.
That’s what I did today. However, I remembered that I had changed my WiFi’s password and did not bother changing it on my phone. Had I done so, Strava would have shown the right statistics for my run. My mistake has made me realize the effect and influence of what we teach and model our children. If we teach our children to hate others and use dishonest means to acquire things, then we will reap the same as a society.
It is no wonder that our country is where it is right now as a result of what we have been doing behind closed doors. What are data are you feeding into your child’s growing mind, heart and soul? Are you sowing seeds of love, compassion and care? Or, are you sowing seeds of hatred, discord, greed and selfishness?
I am glad that my failure to feed the right data to my phone reminded me that I can’t write left handed. I have decided to do all I can to feed on the right data. My focus is going to be on being more loving, compassionate, caring and considerate of other people’s well being. I am going to do all I can to model character, conscience and courage into the boys I mentor in juvenile prison.
I am not going to allow my comfort zone to blind, deafen or mute me. Saying good morning to my neighbour will be a ritual I am going to resume even if my neighbour won’t be as enthusiastic. I will scoop up a smiling child and throw her in the air and disregard her mom’s disapproving look.
I will stop fighting over parking spots and ‘my usual Sunday sitting arrangement’. I will seek those who I haven’t seen in awhile, keep singing happy birthday and do what I can to bring a cheer to a weary soul. This will enable me to accept that I can’t write left handed. This journey starts now.