Is PNG headed for a bust? And another rebuild, regain, restore?
What I was told

Thoughts of a grandmother


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

THE full moon shone above the peaks of the mountains while the cool breeze caressed our faces as we sat around the fire.

My grandmother talked as she chewed her betel nut, telling us little secrets of life.

“It’s not the big things that help you live a peaceful, happy and harmonious life,” she said. “It’s the small things. Do them right and your life will be good.

“I was the second born of six girls. I had responsibilities at a young age because mother was blind. But I took it in my stride. I learnt early in life to accept my responsibilities and not complain.

“I went out of my way to provide for my siblings and to take care of my mother and father. I found joy, peace and happiness in that because I loved them.

“Complaining, gossiping and nagging about things don’t bring you good. They only bring trouble. Be a hard worker and never leave an unfinished task. Complete any chore you start.”

My grandmother got married but my grandfather decided to have two wives. Reflecting on this situation, grandmother said she never wanted to share her husband. She accepted it, but not without putting up a fight.

“I quarreled a lot with my husband in those days. We always had arguments and fights, but I realised that fighting was harming my family. I decided to love your grandfather, accept his decision and forgive him and his second wife.

“Forgiveness helped me remove the bitterness in life. Now I am at peace with myself and those around me. I dedicated my time and life to raising six children who have excelled and that is my greatest joy.”

Nine years later, I am a young woman with a family of my own. Sometimes I get tired of the responsibilities but I find peace and solace in the words of my grandmother.

I’ve accepted my circumstances and everything that comes with them because I know that is the only way I can live in peace and harmony.


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