What To Do With the Time That is Given Us

I grew up reading novels and  though like other young boys I liked The Hardy Boys and The Famous Five, I fell most in love with the Fantasy genre. Yes, the Harry Potter kind of books, though that series is nowhere near the best.

Tolkien, Joe Abercombie, Robert Jordan and George R.R Martin (Author of ‘A Game of Thrones’) are the masters of that class- a least to me.

"The road goes ever on and on.....- J.R.R Tolkien, (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor.

“The road goes ever on and on…..”
– J.R.R Tolkien, (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor. (Image from The Guardian)

My earliest memories of books therefore are made up of thousands of characters from thousands of novels but some characters have special places in that mess. One such character is the hobbit Frodo Baggins found in the Lord of The Rings Series, which may very well be the most famous fantasy series ever written.

After realising the weight of his burden, and thinking he cannot support it, Frodo seeks the counsel of the wizard Gandalf and the following conversation takes place:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

― J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Don’t we all wish some things had not happened to us?

We do, but as Gandalf says, “that is not for [us] to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

Gandalf The Grey (Later The White), a fictional character of profound wisdom created by J.R.R Tolkien

Gandalf The Grey (Later The White), a fictional character of profound wisdom created by J.R.R Tolkien. (Image from Wikipedia)

We can not direct the wind but we can adjust the sails, as the English say. Even though we cannot decide which times to live or the events to occur, we can decide how to live those times.

Let us decide what to do with the time that is given us, short as it is.

I am the African Youth.

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