Irreplaceable – By Natalia Oparka-Kharma


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About a week ago I had an absorbing chat with my mom about household appliances. It all started when I bought an iron and my mom complained that she was forced to purchase a new one as well since her 9-year-old iron was playing up. She did not hide her disappointment while I was stunned that it has been working perfectly for 9 years!! It got my mother started on how “things used to be better” and how people used to fix things instead of replacing them with new more technologically advanced ones. After we finished the phone call (just to be clear, we haven’t reached any conclusions; it was one of these talks when you tell people what’s bothering you and they mentally hold your hand) I started wondering: does this routine of throwing old things away somehow apply to the way we treat people in our life. Is it possible that we replace old models with new ones the moment we discover some minor malfunctions? Are people disposable?


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I knew I had to do some research to get to the root of the problem. I started with myself: carefully analysed the relationships in my life and in some cases I may have given up too soon or broke things off too quickly. After a couple of conversations with my peers, i have noticed that we all have that in common. It may mean ending a friendship over a weird misunderstanding or splitting up with your partner. In both cases, one thinks “It’s just too hard. Life is not supposed to be this way”. Or is it?

My mother, as a representative of the old generation, is a firm believer of fixing things. “Too difficult” doesn’t even exist in her dictionary. When I call her up in the middle of the night (oh, yes. Another heart to heart expecting someone to mentally hold my hand) she always tells me to toughen up. And perhaps that’s what we all should do. Toughen up. Man up. NOT TO GIVE UP. Try as we might, we will always have to let some people go. It’s virtually impossible to get through life without hurting or getting hurt, yet we may minimise the losses. That’s, in my opinion, a challenge worth taking.

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