Opinion: Lessons From Pilgrims As We Come Towards Martyrs Day Celebrations

By Kigudde Ivan Goodheartll

It is Thursday 16th May at around 3pm. Along the road entering Kiryandongo town is a long line of pilgrims walking to Kampala, to Namugongo shrines in commemoration of the martyrs day. They really look tired. For their individual and group reasons, I was amazed by where they get such courage and commitment from to walk a distance that I was already finding so draining in a comfortable vehicle. I am aware that most of them from this route walk from Gulu, Arua, Yumbe and beyond, every year.

“A positive attitude and mindset towards the practice”, someone whose opinions I respect intervened with a lot of confidence. Below is what I picked from our long discussion about the subject.

Once you set your mind to pursue something with inner conviction that its fulfillment is the only way to achieving a given desire, you naturally develop a strong and uncontrollable emotion that assembles your physical and mental infrastructure for a one way journey. It is only circumstances beyond your control that can pull you back. Even when you are faced with such circumstances, quite often you will discover a given kind of energy in you that will push you past your known abilities.

It will cease to be about succeeding or failing and will only be about delivering yourself to a given destiny. Once there, you will ask yourself how you managed to register such an achievement but won’t even remember all details about the means. Now this is how these pilgrims walk those distances. It is how some doctors with their pay that can never be enough, sacrifice and risk their own health by missing meals, sleep and other entitlements and luxuries to save lives. It is a mission they set, a mindset and attitude of saving lives at any cost. Note that there are many with a very different attitude and mindset.

Some of these pilgrims are old, sick, and others disabled but they reach. Most of them get wounded on the way, swollen feet, they face unfriendly weather among other challenges and effects but they reach. They reach simply because they set their attitudes and mindsets towards reaching, with such reasons as assurance of paying for their sins, exhibiting their faith to God, some as peer pressure and others because the family does it.

We should all borrow a leaf from these pilgrims in everything else we do in life. Whether a business, a job, academics or any project, your attitude and mindset towards it is the first achievement you will register or non at all. You must put it at the forefront of your programs. It should be able to find a good place on your priority list otherwise your life will not have a clear purpose.

These pilgrims find resting places in some towns and villages. It is healthy otherwise they are not robots, they would break down. So find time to relax. It is the nature of a human body and mind. This helps you to freshen up for yet a whole new day of challenges as a continuation on your journey.


As a standard, everyone should have a moment of self-reflection when it comes to financial and social salvation. Ask yourself what you have done, what you can do or what you are going to do to change your own life and maybe make life softer for your family but also to bless another person or society through your work. God blesses a lot through such efforts.


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