I Do. In school, my teacher used to call it Present, Simple, Tense. It has got to be shorter than the famed scripture “Jesus wept.” Unlike the events recorded in the bible, when we say I do, generally our results don’t walk out of a grave wrapped in clothes, ours, mortal men, take a life time.
When I first said I do, nearly 6 years ago, I had no idea what I was getting into. Bliss? Hell? Thankfully for me, I have enjoyed every minute of it, I would do it all over again. But not so many people say I do and live to enjoy it.
You see present tense means its right here, right now. You are alive in the moment and you do. But this short sentence also has no time frame, so I wonder, would my English language teacher call it Present continuous tense? When you say I do, you literary remove every notion of time – you do, and for as long as you live, you continue to do. That’s what I do means. No wonder, its aptly followed by – you guessed it – till death DO us part! That’s why death is with us, now and forever.
“…Though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil…”
The valley of death – there death will certainly DO part life from its owners happens to be all around us. In Malaria, and HIV, and TB and Malnutrition, every day, we live through the valley of the shadow of death – 800,000 children contracting the HIV virus every year, (UNAIDS 2013 Report); In 2012, malaria killed an estimated 483 000 children under five years of age. That is 1300 children every day, or one child almost every minute – (See WHO Malaria Report, 2013); Children are the most visible victims of undernutrition. Children who are poorly nourished suffer up to 160 days of illness each year. Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year–five million deaths. Death is surely doing its part in doing us apart!
So what do we do? What about this valley of death shall we say – I do? We need to say I do, because in this shortest statement, we suddenly make the longest commitments of our lives. And in this valley of death surrounding us, there are going to be hundreds of life long commitments that will need to me made.
An HIV Free Generation is one of those commitments, for which I am happy to say I Do.
To know that my children would grow up in a society that respects the freedoms of all persons – if I have a part to play in this, surely, I Do.
To know that every mother who is HIV Positive will deliver in the hands of a trained professional, in the comfort of a health facility – every single mother – I Do.
As of 2008 (2005 statistics), the World Bank estimated that there were 1,345 million poor people in developing countries who live on $1.25 a day or less. Now this should make you want to Do something.
To know that every HIV Positive person will have free access to their drugs, and will have a service near to where they live, so that they can walk through the valley of the shadow of death – to this, I Do.
To know that my daughter will go to a school, where her health and well being will have as much priority as her education, to this every parent needs to say – I Do.
To share and advocate for the knowledge of safer sexual practices, that would bring an end to senseless transmission, not just of HIV but other STDs, among young people – this is a very exciting one, I Do.
To grow a movement, an entire generation, that will rise up to the Stigmatization of HIV/AIDS victims, and to see entire communities rise above this senseless discrimination – to this, we should all say, I Do.
So tell me, when you look deep in the eyes of the one you are getting married to, and say I Do, is that all there is to which you can devote your life long devotion and commitment, for better or worse, till death Do you part?
Or is there something else to which you can say, I Do.