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Most people, especially those in the Western world are in a hurry. They hurriedly go to work, make money, do that one more thing before the “biological” clock stops ticking, and do other things that are either necessary of unnecessary. However, those who do not seem to be in a hurry will say that it was one defining moment that made them realize that they were chasing things that were not as weighty as they thought they were. These moments may be characterized by the death of a loved one. They may also include the loss of something precious, sickness, or a near death experience, amongst other issues. Such an incidence happened in my life. It only took a phone call for this to happen. The message from the other end of the line was that a close friend of mine had lung cancer. This was my Lefebvre moment.

Most people perceive cancer as a death sentence. There are cancers that give one a fifty percent chance of surviving while others are almost fatal depending on the stage. My friend’s cancer situation was almost fatal. It was so severe that the doctors recommended a lung transplant. He had to be put on the organ recipient list. Although the doctors said that they could remove the majorities of the cancerous tissues and then remove the rest by administering chemotherapy, his chances of leaving a cancer free life were still few. This was a moment of change. He was more than a friend to me. I saw him as a brother since I did not have a brother. He was both a brother and a friend to me and now I was about to lose him.

When we finally met with him, I saw what I did not expect. I did not see a sad face and someone who was sorry for himself because he was about to die. I saw somebody who perceived the world, and life from a divergent perspective. This was the man who was on the edge of life and yet he saw life from a fresh perspective. I even looked as though I was the sick one. He gave me a message of hope. He told me that one should look at life’s challenges from a perspective that is different from the norm. He asked me to perceive it as a wake up call to slow down Instead of perceiving the disease as a death sentence. He told me that he realized he was always in a hurry to head nowhere in particular. He always wanted things that were not as weighty as he thought they were. He would prefer taking up an extra client for the extra money instead of spending that time with his loved ones or helping someone.

Truly, throughout his treatment period, his lifestyle changed. He made me re-examine my own life and to change it too. Despite the moment’s positive impact, there was the negative aspect of it. He spent all of his funds and health insurance on treatment. There were times when my friend spent weeks in hospital. Although this was his sickness, it was my sickness. The hospital became my second home. I created time for him by either going to the hospital or by calling him. I realized that money was not everything, as the majority of the people perceive. There were days when my friend did not have any visitors visiting him. Even the money he had always searched for could not be of comfort during these times. I tried to tap his positive energy as he constantly encouraged me to look at the positive aspects of the moment. There are times when he had to breathe with the help of machines and tubes. I usually wondered whether he was angry for getting such a sickness. Sickness associated with tobacco consumers even though he had never consumed it. The people who concur such moments refer to themselves as strong.

Fortunately, my friend got the lung transplant and the chemotherapy helped in killing the cancerous cells. He is now seven years free from cancer although he constantly goes for his checkups. I thought that this attitude towards life would not last. Surprisingly, his attitude and perception towards life have not changed. He constantly weights the importance of a task or an issue before undertaking it and so do I. It is, however, not as easy as put down. We are humans and so no matter how focused we are, we still make mistakes, misjudge or let down the guard. Nevertheless, my priorities are different from how they used to be before this moment.

Michel De Certeau has a different perception to such ordinary events as sicknesses, accidents or other circumstances that might otherwise be overlooked. In relating the Lefebvre moment with Certeau theory, Certeau explains that there are diverse ways of operating. They include situation dependency, establishing a level of creativity and plurality and circumstantial features in a mode that is useful for an individual (Certeau, 1984). Further, in the context of a consumer, the author introduces “La perruque”. He explains this as the techniques used by workers in tricking their employers that they are using the company’s resources for the benefit of the company while, in fact, they use them for their own benefits.

When my friend chose to look at life positively instead of feeling sorry for his situation, he wanted me to be inspired. However, he also used this tactic to strengthen himself in the Pretence of strengthening me. Through showing that he could fight cancer and change his life, h was able to change it. This further justifies the consumption concept in Certeau’s readings and his work. The message passed by the producers may not be the same message received by the consumers. The message passed by my friend or the purpose of the message passed was not the same I received. Lefebvre states that,  “At the level of everyday life, this intervention would be translated as a better allocation of its elements and its instants as “moments,” so as to intensify the vital productivity of everydayness, its capacity for communication, for information, and also avove all for pleasure in natural and social life” (Lefebvre, 2004). Such a statement not only applies to individuals, but it also applies across social classes.

When in visiting my friend in the hospital, I realized that the hospital accommodated people from various social statuses. Unfortunately, these people were all in pain. Those patients who were rich could not feel any better than they were even by thinking about their wealth. Unfortunately, the poor ones had to think about their hospital bills among other financial problems, but their pain did not get any better than it was simply because they were poor. Similarly, the social status of the family and friends did not make it any better. For example, there was no amount of wealth that could cure an incurable disease. During my visits, I saw wealthy and poor people lose their loved ones. It is the individuals that made the difference.

Just like Certeau, Lefebvre feels that one should articulate and foreground the everyday experiences (Elden, 2004). The individual is a plurality of social relations (Napolitano & Pratten, 2007). In addition, culture refers to as, “systems of organization combination,” (Highmore, 2001). In relation to this, my friend, amidst other events that took place within this period of my life and his life, showed me diverse perspectives of what seems ordinary. This moment not only showed the breaking down of a social class, but it also showed the changing of perceptions and information receivership. One ignores a pain or an illness which may later change his/her life. Later, my friend admitted to me later that he had constantly ignored the tell-tale symptoms. This is because he thought that a trip to the best hospital would take care of his illness. He thought that he had plenty of time to take care of his health if he became wealthy enough. According to him, rich people did not have any problems.

By making me  part of his healing process, he changed my life and his life. He knew that he wanted to derive hope from somewhere so he used the positive outlook approach. Like the textual poaching described by Certeau, I was not a dormant recipient. I understood that he was not just inspiring me. He was also inspiring himself. The wealth that he had anticipated would help him was not of much use at this stage. He decided to use his individual approach and the realization that the social status was of no significance as far as sicknesses, accidents and other mishaps concerned. As the Lefebvre moment establishes, there are events that make my life and his life different even as they puncture them at the same time.  It is about the offering and reception of the same.

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