Categories
Africa reflection thoughts

Story about the Tongue

Once, a chief told one of his servants to bring him the best meat from the market.

The servant brought him a tongue. The next day the chief told the servant to bring him the worst meat from the market.

The servant brought a tongue again. “What?” the chief said. “When I ask for the best meat, you bring a tongue and then you bring the same thing for the worst meat.”

The servant said, “Sometimes a man is very unhappy because of his tongue and sometimes his tongue makes him very happy.”

“You are right,” the chief said. “Let us be masters of our tongue!

Categories
human rights opinion politics reflection thoughts

Opinion: Eurasia & Nagorno-Karabakh 2

Is enough not enough?

Civilian casualties

In peaceful times, it is easier for the victor to reconcile with the vanquished.

It’s ten days already and I kept wondering why these two governments prefer to use force over dialogue. I regret that the Armenian political leadership failed to engage the Azeri in peaceful talks when they had the upper hand (after winning the 90’s war and occupying western Azerbaijan). If they had acted on that maybe we would have some peace.

Nagorno-Karabakh is officially Azeri territory, but settled by ethnic Armenians. Let’s look at a scenario where the Armenian Government used the occupation period to rally and hold a referendum for the breakaway state. Let’s assume further that they did attempt to make peace with Azerbaijan while rallying regional and international support for a plebiscite. Azerbaijan would either say yes or no. If no, then something could be done to pacify them. Give back some occupied territories (not Nagorno-Karabakh) or agree to grant the territory a greater autonomy under Azerbaijan. If the Azeri accepted, then all this stress will be long forgotten. The two countries have legitimate claims but can only find a solution by consensus.

Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh and some Azeri areas are under heavy shelling. Two neighbours constantly exchanging fire as both record military and civilian casualties. News agencies play videos of destroyed homes, offices and farms. Few months ago these people, now victims of war suffered from Covid-19 pandemic. Now that the impact is gradually reducing, a war greets them.

It’s in every human nature to want freedom from where they feel marginalized, threatened and subdued. In fact, many places still seek self governing status. Denying that leads to rebellion and conflict. This happened in Biafra – Nigeria’s bloody war and is still happening in Ambazonia – Southern Cameroons.

Role of External Influences

It’s obvious that each side has a cheerleader and also has a national ‘pride’ to protect. So it hurts some pride to want to cease hostilities first. My anger is that innocent people bear the brunt of the war. What a waste of resources and lives in these hard times.

Turkey has openly pledged support for Azeri forces, while the Russians are committed to Armenia where it has a military base. Greece (recall the territorial issues with Turkey) supports Armenia. It now seems like an unfolding ethno-religious war. Syrian mercenaries are fighting alongside Azeri forces. If care is not taken, this may escalate into a full scale regional war. This time, Turkey, Greece, Iran and Russia will be drawn into a direct conflict with each other.

Since Nagorno-Karabakh is the bone of contention, why not administer a joint plebiscite on the territory with international agencies as observers? Excuse me, but you can’t force a cat to be a dog. Whoever anyone chose to be, well let them be!

Role of the United Nations

I have a couple of questions to ask the UN, the warring nations and humanity in general. The first is for the United Nations: should we continue to look away while people die in this meaningless war? To conflicting nations: Hasn’t the Corona virus done enough harm to your people and economy already? And now to everyone: Does it occur to you that some nations are trying to use a regional or global conflict to resuscitate its economy or influence? It may not make much sense until it does. Time will tell.

The United Nations needs to wake up before it’s too late. I don’t know how the protocols work but the UN can mobilise a peacekeeping force to help broker a ceasefire, create a buffer zone and return all parties to the negotiation table. Why do we always wait for the last minute to act?

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love Nigeria reflection

Nostalgia: Hills I Call Home

I sit outside my granny’s house, clad in blankets and a pillow. It was a rainy day and a very cold one. The cold extended into the evening and early night. The village is surrounded by streams and hills and this must have contributed to the extreme weather. I left town a few hours ago but the rain caught up with me.

One good thing about this place is it’s hilly countryside – it’s nested in-between ancient hills and surrounded by forests. So morning is a beautiful sight to behold. I remember how scared I was to walk through the path blanketed by tree branches. Trees stuck out their branches, covering the roadside and sunlight. During night time, I mistake those branches as ghostly fingers waiting to grab their victim.

One time I missed falling millipedes as they lost their grip and fell from tree branches. I won’t forget the funny scenario displayed by a friend when a pair of millipedes fell into his shirt. I have witnessed a monitor lizard slain. I also have seen several rodents and snakes disturb the bush. I have seen an owl hunt in the moonlight and soldier ants visit frequently. The hills are their playground. Even now as a young man I feel indifferent towards the hills and her numerous inhabitants. I am suspicious of any movement near the bush path.

Back to my lonely reflection: I feel welcomed by insect zithering. They sing a disturbing lullaby. Sometimes I wish them away. There’s no frog in the vicinity, thankfully. A crazy frog choir would have been worse. Some insects stroll into my room. Crickets hide in cracks. Moths marry my torch-light, sun-flies drive me crazy during the day, wasps and bigger moths buzz about, investigating the lamps around the house and other light craving insects play out their hearts. Indeed, insects are a restless bunch. I know a lot of them but not their names. My favourite is the handsome lady bird.

The cold hands of night grip this tranquil village. It’s very dark out here safe for few stars, which are dots imposed upon the dark sky. I’m familiar with this hilly climate.

Now lightning take images of the clouds and grassland. I see tree skeletons with each flash but the hills are invincible without much illumination. It seems it will rain again. It’s good to be home.

Categories
opinion reflection thoughts

Opinion: A Divided House

China and America
I was wondering what the world will look like should China attack America or vice versa. It’ll be a disaster, a man-made catastrophe. But I’m not only weighing the destruction that will follow a war between the two but the economic stress it will cause the world. Or maybe I’m a bit exaggerating over two giants fighting for global economic leadership and control? Let’s imagine a situation where human progress (medicine, agriculture, education, health, infrastructure etc) and civilization came under attack and all had to be wiped out. What a collosal waste it’ll be! The happy fact is that wars are avoidable. All we need to do is sit and talk around it.

America is gradually driving away Chinese products and excluding their social media apps from her internet space. On another note, I’m aware that China has in operation before now the Great Firewall which blocks Western internet structures from accessing information from China. The Great Firewall also censors and blocks her people from accessing foreign websites. So this Trump and Xi dilemma has turned a tit for tat affair; a tooth for a chin, an eye for an ear.

Let me stray a bit. But if I was president, I’ll draw up a table to count costs of war against the costs of peace. If peace, which is in fact costless can get my nation more jobs in place of economic hardship, more food in place of starvation, more life instead of death then I’ll definitely chose it. I’ll dwell on lessons from past wars – that alone should be a good deterrent for anyone. Unfortunately, some world economies are built on war that is why some are beating their drums of war. Sad indeed!

A Divided Chinese House

A house divided against itself cannot stand. Abe Lincoln

I read stories of young Tibetian volunteers who helped carry supplies to the Indian army stationed at the Chinese border. And they often did this by carrying heavy food and equipment on their backs through some of the most uninhabited and inhospitable ranges on earth. It’s strange to see members of a country help a rival prepare to fight their own nation. Something is amiss.

When people are held against their will, freedom of expression becomes costly. Its pricetag go a little extreme – imprisonment or worse. There are concentration camps in a supposedly ‘peaceful modern society’. Yet there’s no war. I’m left to wonder the rate of human rights abuses recorded in China and how easy it is to cover them up without drawing public attention. China is making progress economically, this is what we in the so called Third World countries believe. But success in material things is not good enough.

I’ve a couple of questions to ask. How can a society, economically and militarily powerful stand on the rights and privileges of it’s greatest resource – her people? Is the Chinese public aware of their government actions and decisions but chose to keep silent? If yes, does it mean that they are helpless just like other minorities?

The ‘Chinese nation’ is divided. Hong Kong protested the new law, Tibet is seeking her own nationhood (with a government-in-exile), Taiwan is on red alert for any Chinese aggression, Xinjiang is reeling in oppressive concentration camps.

Shouldn’t this be a clear warning to the Chinese government and her advisers that all is not well from within?

Categories
love reflection

Parenting

Power in words

This is a touching story. When I read it I felt very bad. It’s not imagined.


In South Africa, an 11 year old child committed suicide on his mother’s birthday as a birthday gift to his mother.

He left a letter saying, “On today’s special day, I want you to be the happiest ever. Everyday you used to say that happiness left your life the day I was born. You told me dad left because of me. So today, I want to change things. I want you to be very happy and live as if I never existed. You told me you’d never look at me with love but I always loved you and admire you as the best mom on earth. I hope one day you will think of me, I hope in heaven you will finally hold me and kiss me. The best gift I could give you is leaving your life as you’ve always told me you wished I was never born. I love you mom. Happy birthday”.

Please parents be careful of what you say to your kids. Words do cut so deep.

Categories
opinion quotes reflection thoughts

Racism

It costs absolutely nothing to be kind

Live and Let Live

An Igbo (African) proverb goes thus: Let the Eagle perch, let the Kite (bird) perch also. Any that forbids the other from perching let his wings break!

We say that as prayers in West Africa because it’s a reminder and belief that all men are born equal and so must have equal rights and privileges and (I add) should be free from ALL prejudice and discrimination. When I talk about men, women and children’s rights are included. All men are equal and everybody should have the opportunity to be their best selves. In summary the above idea is founded on the African concept of live and let live.

Racism

Consider racism as a weed. It’s existence can suffocate other useful plants in the garden. Racism is worse than cancer. When it attacks, it destroys the human soul. It’s like locust infestation which leaves behind destruction.

Racism is an evil root that is no good to anyone. If it stays unchallenged it may grow deeper and can alter a society’s sense of reasoning.

Pumpkins begat pumpkins. Not only that, little pumpkins will learn to be one either by association or emulation. Children are easily influenced with what they are taught or perceive.

We can never foretell the full extent or form racism can take or assume. For instance consider Hitler’s hatred for Jews and the consequences that followed.

Humanity will die when good people look away from racist acts and words.

Truth and Love

Good news is that many people are joining the fight against all manner of racism and oppression. That’s a good thing to be thankful for. At least there’s some good out there.

Truth is a bitter pill when swallowed. But it can set the world free! When we truly understand that we are one people and that we are equal before the law and society then a bulk of the problem is solved.

While we talk about the truth we must know that love is key to our fight against racism. Racism can be stopped when we let true love reign. Love suppresses discrimination and prejudices. It stops mistrust and fear. It’s the foundation of all human values.

With truth and love we can lay a greater future for our children and their children. Live and let others live.

Categories
Lessons from Experiences lifestyle Muse reflection

Time

Make hay while it shines

This talent of mine…

This is one talent I find solace in. It’s an avenue to paint my heart on ink, to play with the soul of nature and record lovely and beautiful memories. In my mind I create a happy and peaceful world; where I live in fine images and thoughts. It’s safe from all manner of pollution. I guard this world jealously.

Each time I pick a pen to write, thousands of little word fairies cloud my mind. Sometimes it feels like magic and other times I’m just the squirrel jumping off the tree. Haha! I’m left to pick the deserving, to mine and enjoy this wealth. It’s really nice to have such a gift. It’s a blessing and I’m grateful for it. I hope every writer, budding and established can relate.

Time

This evening as I write I feel my eyes lazy, my thumbs almost numb but time strings surge forward consuming moments and events as it went. I’m cold but time won’t pause while I fall sick.

Tick tock,” says the clock, “I wait for no man.”

Time is like a moving train. Its seconds and minutes can never be recovered or reversed. Something becomes nothing with time, vice versa. Even nature’s acts have it’s way of working with time; dew can’t wait for the sun, frogs croak when it rains at night, the moon and fireflies light up dark skies and worms burrow when the sun shines. Everything plays its role with time.

Now time won’t mind the weak and lazy, nor those who refuse to work. It flies on, because it’s a pompous but precious commodity. I wish I could spend more of it creating. But if I do I may starve! So I must find a better job to make ends meet, to make income to buy important things like pen and paper. The stress and pressure is so awful but I really want a job related to my gift or turn my gift to work. Either way I could have fun while doing what I love most. I also hope many writers relate.

Epilogue

I do read something before I retire each night. By that I train my mind to make a record for reading time. Also when I read I allow my characters to interact with my real self and other characters from people’s books. In my mind, I can be anything. I can be the emperor, the nun, a horse rider, the little daffodil, a waterfall sometimes and even the stars and sunlight. I can assume any role and find joy playing it. Time is very precious. It’s nice to find some of it to study.

It was a long day for me. I hope that we will never give up on our gifts and learn to manage our time. Have a good night.

Categories
opinion Poetry reflection Series thoughts

Poets Corner: Difference between Wisdom, Knowledge and Education.

My take on this…

It’s generally believed that knowledge is power. Yet many find it difficult to differentiate between wisdom and knowledge. For me knowledge is having the stuff while wisdom boils down to application of the stuff. To differentiate both from education is even a thing of further logic.

In my opinion education should come first, followed by knowledge and wisdom. That’s the order most of us acquire them in.

What’s the difference?

My aim on todays blog is to identify the differences between education, knowledge and wisdom through the minds of writers and poets. Have fun.

Suzanne Uchytil offered that “Education isn’t a type of intelligence – it’s something that is usually forced on us. Whenever someone is called educated, it usually means they’re knowledgeable (they know facts). Education can be good, though, if we choose to gain knowledge from it. (For instance, I’ve never had a college class that I didn’t find at least interesting and learn at least a little bit from, because I approached all my classes as opportunities to gain knowledge.) Then wisdom means applying that knowledge in real life and understanding consequences.” This sounds exactly like my thoughts.

Gareth John Jones opined that knowledge is understanding and remembering your education (formal or not). Wisdom is knowing how to use your knowledge. I surely agree with this definition.

David Franklin has this to say “Education is when people try to stuff knowledge into you. Knowledge is what you know for yourself. Wisdom, though, that’s something else. I know very knowledgeable people who are fools, and fairly simple people who are very wise. It’s about using one’s judgment about situations, knowing which piece of knowledge to apply when. Knowledge may be power, but wisdom is control of power.”

For Fiona Margaret Jones, education is only what can be given to you. Knowledge is what you take from it and wisdom is what you make of it.

Jimi Gardner says that education is received for outside. Knowledge is created by testing education. Wisdom is created by diligently observing the outcomes of testing knowledge.

David Gilbert observed that one can’t buy wisdom, education means plaque on the wall gates opened and knowledgeable is your cumulative wisdom.

Annette Bergman has this to say: “Selling real estate for over 30 years I can say I have met educated people who were not very knowledgeable. For instance I showed a house to an Engineer and he asked me what the line out to the garage was. It is an electrical so you have lights in the garage. Another engineer went directly to the sellers and negotiated a small possession problem. He agreed to 60 days after closing for possession.I praised him for his brilliant compromise. I will bet money when he had two mortgage payments to make plus his two months of rent, he had to have figured it out. It takes all kinds and the creative people only need a skilled traded to make a great living. Another college education person said to me. Those of us who went to college know that The United States wasn’t founded religion. She probably still thinks that and will vote accordingly.”

J Christopher Harman showed his disappointment on others opinion. He said, “How sad that so many of you have such poor views of education. Education should be the key to both. What a shame we live in a world (at least for most countries) where education is such a dire experience.”

I hope this discussion was helpful. What is your opinion on it?

Categories
Africa opinion reflection thoughts

Farewell Nkosi, the Black Panther

Life like the mist is temporal but legacies live and last forever

The Black Panther

I get easily bored with movies. It’s hard to see me watching TeeVee anyway. No matter how much I try, I can only watch National Geographic Wild and Discovery Documentaries. But when a movie gets me hooked I can see it a hundred times without losing interest. I saw The Black Panther early last year. Then it didn’t make much sense to me (again with the little interest on movies). But I saw it again and again because I was impressed with a lot of things. First the casting; the actors and actresses were top-notch. I was impressed with the display of African culture and tradition: the casts intonation, dressing, setting and more. Talking about the setting, Wakanda portrayed beautiful Africa. Each scene even the fighting ones had a view of something spectacular at the background: hills and vales, waterfalls and rivers, chains of mountains and vast forests. Diverse tribes fought for dominance and this added some taste to the plot. This was Wakanda (Africa), an advanced modern technology driven society which managed to maintain her ancient tradition despite contact with external forces. I was excited that the directors brought in reality too. The rigour and stress of power tussle shown in the movie reveals the norm in African societies. Such tussles normally drain the people and her resources. I give Marvel Pictures a big thumbs up. Also, the use of domesticated Rhinos as a war animal kept me glued to the screen. I wanted to see more, though afterwards I was left to ponder on the directors ingenuity. The Black Panther is a good movie. No wonder it is Marvel’s biggest hit yet.

Chadwick Boseman

I can write a long story about this down to earth actor, but that won’t be today. Instead I aim to highlight the exceptional qualities that made him a true king both in cinema and real life.

Chadwick’s fictional character brought colour to the movie. Just like Bruce Wayne with his Batman and Peter Parker with the Spiderman, he switched from being the kind King T’challa to being the strong community vigilante (Black Panther). The good thing is that he used his powers to protect and lead his people. But there’s more to the man who played the Black Panther. He was open, humble, kind, considerate and determined. He wasn’t the loud type so I barely noticed or heard him on the news.

Chadwick’s determination is worth emulating. He didn’t give up when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Instead he went forward to gift the world great movies. It’s sad to know he did these movies amidst chemotherapies and treatments. Nothing could be depressing. It’s even sadder that he was just starting to a greater future. Who knows, he could have been the next Denzel Washington or Will Smith.

To the King T’challa I’ve this to say: “You brought hope to many African youth“. He has taught that we can be anything we want to be. I picked another lesson from the life of Chadwick Boseman: never jump to judge people because you don’t know the secret battles they are fighting.

Rest in peace King, the Black Panther. Africa mourns you. Wakanda forever!


**Nkosi: King

Categories
Africa History love reflection

Mary Slessor and The Killing of Twins

Tradition can be wrong

Sometimes tradition can be wrong. This story is a good one because it tells of a good hearted woman who saved innocent babies and it’s a gruesome story because it exposes the wickedness of ancient African tradition.

Mary Slessor

Mary Slessor, Scottish missionary in Eastern Nigeria, was born in 1848 in Aberdeen. Her father was a shoemaker and her mother a deeply religious woman. The family moved to Dundee in 1858 where Slessor began working in the linen mills at the age of eleven. She joined the local Christian Youth Club and became convinced of a call to be a missionary.

In 1876 the United Presbyterian Church agreed to send her to Calabar as a mission teacher. She worked first in the missions in Old Town and Creek Town but in 1888 went alone to work among the Okoyong. For the rest of her life Slessor lived a simple life in a traditional house with West Africans, concentrating on pioneering. Her insistence on lone stations often led her into conflict with the authorities and gained her a reputation as somewhat eccentric, but she was heralded in Britain as the ‘White Queen of Okoyong’. She was not primarily an evangelist but concentrated on settling disputes, encouraging trade, establishing social changes and introducing Western education.

Slessor frequently campaigned against injustices against women, took in outcasts and adopted unwanted children. In 1892 she was made vice-consul in Okoyong, presiding over the native court and in 1905 was named vice-president of Ikot Obong native court. In 1913 she was awarded the Order of St John of Jerusalem. Slessor suffered failing health in her later years but remained in Africa where she died in 1915.

Mary Slessor lived for a long time among the Efik people in Calabar in present day Nigeria. There she successfully fought against the killing of twins at infancy. Witchcraft and superstition were prevalent in Nigeria when she arrived there because traditional society had been torn apart by the slave trade. Human sacrifice routinely followed the death of a village dignitary, and the ritual murder of twins was viewed by the new missionary with particular abhorrence. Her dedicated efforts to forestall this irrational superstition were to prove a resounding success, as photographs of Mary with her beloved children testify.

She died in Calabar in 1915 and was given a state burial.


My mother lent some of her knowledge: Though as a growing child in thee village, she recalled twins being disposed in forests. As she told this story I imagined crying infants, left in the open forest, clad with nothing but blood fresh from birth and when they cease to cry what fate that befell them.

Mary Slessor was indeed an angel sent to liberate natives of West Africa from barbaric traditional practices.

Categories
Africa Inspiration/Motivation opinion quotes reflection thoughts

Quote on Courage

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Nelson MandelaAt a time colonial forces and indigenous South Africans fought over land rights and freedoms, a courageous man spoke up for his people. He was imprisoned for decades but that didn’t deter him. His resilience contributed to a free South Africa. We call him Madiba.

Categories
Africa painting quotes reflection thoughts

Muse: The Happy Wind

Poem: The Happy Wind

Greet the happy wind,
Tell him when I waved
My fingers got him bursted

When morning dew is upon the tree line
The sky is sometimes blue and grass is green
Far up the blue horizon the sun shine

Birds sing from the trees all morning
Yet the happy wind: timid and soft will bring
Her entourage to fly on their backs and wings

I open my curtains and window to feel and behold
The beautiful sight of trees, grass and happy wind
A perfect picture never to be imagined

Explaining the painting

This is the first in my paint-writing attempt. I like to paint and then write about the inspiration behind it. I’ve several imperfect drawings and paintings scattered here and there. Some are on the internet, some in the drawer, some under piles of books and others lost.

This is a painting of three palm trees under the hot sun, cloudy skies and strong wind. It may look like grasses on vases but on closer observation will reveal that it’s a view of the horizon. Initially I thought of featuring the Iroko as its greatness will play a better role on the little poem above. But the Iroko is perceived as a great tree and the king of trees in West Africa and it’s not common to see one. Three Iroko trees standing together will even be a bit of stretched imagination.

The bulk of work fell on determining the best layout for the skies. I’m sure no one can define perfectly any natural colour and infact those of the cloud. It will take more than human ingenuity or imagination to achieve that. So no painting can illustrate natural things exactly. Painters just assume. It might be sunny and the clouds blue, it might be rainy and it won’t. I made the passing clouds look like the skies by mixing two blue-based hues. But this is my own version of what the clouds look like.

What do you think? I’ll be doing more painting this weekend. It’s a beautiful morning here. Have a great weekend. ❤️💚

Categories
Christianity Inspiration/Motivation Love and Christianity opinion quotes reflection thoughts

Quotes on Resilience

You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ Joel Osteen.

A difficult time can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose. John Maxwell.

I love the light for it shows me the way to go, but I love the darkness more for it shows me the stars. Og Mandino.

We can’t speak about resilience without speaking about hope. Hope is the bedrock of resilience. Reeta Roy

You can stay fours days without food, but the minute you lose hope, you’re dead! Eliud Kipchoge


Always remember that when battles are like a flood there is a standard, a red line it cannot cross. We gain strength by overcoming obstacles.

Ever had to give up? Remember why you started at first. That purpose is the reason why you must persist. Have a great day.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love opinion reflection thoughts

Reflection: Counting the Costs 1

At times you need to stop everything you are doing to sit by yourself and mend your broken wings.

Cold evening and a To do list

I sit outside. A cold evening out here with me. A community of crickets quizzing through the grassland. A gust of wind upon my face, swinging my helpless lamp back and forth. The crickets, just like myself must be musing over the changes in weather conditions. Before now the noon was hot. Strong wind blew hot air and it has been two weeks since we saw the last rain. So all is dry. The mud on the once flooded road is cracked up, exposing the debris. I overheard an elderly man speak that the harmattan will come a little bit earlier this year. To me it’s too early to predict. Maybe the earth is recovering after all. I think.

The year is far spent and almost over. Memories of New year’s eve still fresh on my mind. I remember my wish to start my graduate education and to support some friends and relatives with their endeavours. Then the coronavirus pandemic struck and had most plans canceled or postponed. In spite of that, I’ve made outstanding success in some areas. But the year is not over yet.

On relationships

I’ve learned many things about relationships (dating). Sometimes it scares the trees out of my head to even think about those.

I’m not an expert when it comes to dating. In fact I’m not into one at the moment. I’ve observed my close friends try and it’s crystal clear that managing another person’s emotion(s) can be one huge task. Toxic people and relationships can suck the life out of other people. I’ve seen it happen. Yet I know that many relationships can change things for the better.

Categories
education Inspiration/Motivation lifestyle quotes reflection thoughts

Quotes on Helping Others

1. Nothing makes life sweeter than making people happy.

2. The people you help today become your soldiers in the battle of life tomorrow.

3. To invest in properties is good, but to invest in people is far better.

4. To make money, make people.

5. Your greatest trophies are the tears you wipe away from people’s faces not the things you acquire.

6. Your greatest achievement should be raising achievers.

7. People will defend, stand by you & honour you when they realise you value them.

8. Don’t let other people’s ungratefulness stop you from making others great.

Categories
Inspiration/Motivation reflection thoughts

Selflessness

Someone is an answer to your prayers as you are to others

Seasons: Things just don’t happen

One beautiful thing about life is: there are seasons for everything so things just don’t happen. Everything happens to serve different purposes. Even in nature there are seasons. There are times for flowers to blossom, time for the night and day and time to eat or rest. In West Africa we have the rainy season and dry season. Each season has a role to play and must fulfil it’s purpose.

Selflessness

Here is a story from ODM that talks about selflessness and compassion. The lessons in this story goes beyond self.

A man was out taking pictures of eagles on a Sunday afternoon in Bellevue, Nebraska in the United States when he witnessed a Sedan (car) containing 3 men which lost control while crossing rail road tracks. The vehicle is a fire hydrant (big container where water is stored to put out fire) and then landed upside down in an ice-cold pond. According to ABC News Omaha affiliate station, KETV the man said “The car just came right in front of me; they hit the fire hydrant and I don’t think they even touched the ground They were airborne”. The man heard the occupants screaming for help and immediately jumped into action. He panicked when he heard the voice of one of them say, “Get me out, it’s filling of water”. But he overcame his initial fear, took a dive into the freezing water and managed to pull one of the car door open. Immediately he did, water started gushing out of the car. The man who screamed for help started making his way out of the car. He pulled him and got him out. He pulled another man and there after pulled another man. Gradually, he got three men out of the overturned and submerged vehicle. The man who was later hailed as the hero for saving the lives of this three men, said he will always look back at the pictures he took that day and be thankful because his timing was right and that he was lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

Remember always
Everyone on earth is here for a purpose. No one is extra human or excess human being. Abhijit Naskar reasoned thus, “Without purpose, we are just good looking animals.” Life is a place of inter connectivity! You were created to be an answer to somebody’s prayer. You are someone’s bundle of joy and someone was made to be your bundle of joy!

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love opinion Pastoral reflection thoughts

Poem: Twilight

Beginning and end
Light after dark
Dark before light
Darkened skies
With dancing fireflies
Breezy evening
Joyful moonlight
And glittering stars
A shepherd’s lore
Down the country
Sheep and goats,
Green and gold,
Patches of life,
Water and fire,
Dust and wind,
Heaven and earth
All in fine contrast
But happy unison
Shallow roots shoot
Masqueraded shadows
Of life or death,
Again beginning and end

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love lifestyle opinion reflection thoughts

Beirut

Beautiful Beirut and AUB

I’m writing about this lovely Mediterranean city because of my connection and attachment to it. I’ve seen several YouTube videos of it’s beautiful landscape and neighborhood. Beirut combines the tranquil setting of ancient history with the thrill of a modern city. I followed some Beirut based vlog channels and it’s always exciting to see another video made in this fine ancient city. Honestly I fell in love with Beirut.

The city lay on the foot of swift flowing and tumbling waters of the Mediterranean sea. AUB videos showed white beaches under the mild romance of sunshine. Date palms and coconuts, typical of such climate stand here and there. Perfect weather for outdoor reflection and relaxation, one unique only to Beirut’s position and location. Tall buildings block away the sun when the day was far spent. And just behind those skyscrapers you will find the view of spectacular mountains. I also saw restaurants preparing mouth watering dishes and surely this appealed to me. I love good food and admire places known for it. Paris and Beirut are my favourite good food cities in Europe and Asia respectively.

What actually brought my attention to the city at first was my application to the American University of Beirut (AUB). During this online application process I met compassionate and kind people who turned out to become friends. One in particular helped to keep me informed of school activities. Fortunately my application to the Master of Finance (MFIN) was accepted at the Olayan Business School (OSB). But for financial reasons I deferred this offer.

Unfortunate events

Few months ago Lebanon suffered from economic depression. The national currency lost its value and inflation went hyper. Food was scarce and cases of suicide was reported. At the background, reports of human rights abuses were rampant. Domestic maids who came from Africa and Asia were abused and many left unpaid for months long. Echoes of modern slavery rang out through this beautiful hilly country.

Early August, an explosion devastated the port and surrounding neighborhood. Hundreds died and more went missing. The wounded was in thousands. Hospitals and medical centres were overwhelmed. It was horrific. The video I saw captured the fumes as it enveloped the port, sending shattered glasses and debris across it. Cars and buildings were overturned and damaged. The cost of lives and property destroyed in this blast was in millions of USD.

Pray for Beirut

I read some heartwarming news. Several countries sent aid to Beirut. Greece, France and others contributed to this aid. Even the French President visited Beirut. This shows that the world stood with the people of Lebanon at this trying time. I also read promises made by other nations and corporate individuals.

No matter what led to the explosion or what really happened on that fateful day; the reaction and aid from the international community proved that Lebanon is truly loved. I only hope that the cruel treatment of domestic workers are stopped and that the radiant beauty of this city shine forth upon her residents. I’ll always remember Beirut in my prayers.

Categories
culture/tradition education lifestyle Nigeria opinion reflection thoughts

Opinion: Leadership Woes

Admitting imperfections are great ways to becoming a better person, people and leaders.

City of Talents and Resilient people

I was born and raised in Ogbor hill, a suburb of Aba, a city in Southern Nigeria. Aba is known for its industry and export of labour to many Nigerian cities and overseas. The city is full of talents and all manner of craftsmen and women live in it. As a manufacturing town, traders and private businesses such as leather works, pottery, brick, electronics, food processing, plastics, metal, cosmetics, distilleries, and fabric call the city home. Most of these factories are owned by private residents. Many foreigners also trade in the city’s large markets and the enterprising spirit in Aba can be likened to none in Nigeria. The city itself is a big market. Aba youth is highly skilled. It’s common to see graduates turn to business as means of livelihood. This enterprising spirit led many to pick up different skills and develop talents to fit in with Aba’s resilient business environment.

Little is done to encourage the budding enterprise which has been in the city for decades. Yet Aba can contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth if her potentials are well harnessed.

Sadly I remember dead startups and factories and even more on their way to moribundity.

Leadership woes

Like most African cities, government neglect is common. Lack of proper economic planning and public infrastructure kept the city running in circles. With no visible economic plan on ground, Aba records low growth and decline in economic activities each year. In civilized economies, a city that shows promising private ventures involved in wealth creation and industrialization is aided by the government. When government steps in, it should be to create an enabling business environment. But this is not always so. There are key areas to focus on should the government decide to fix Aba’s unique economic landscape. First and foremost, good road network and stable electricity should be in place. Sadly, Aba’s road and drainage systems are in a state of limbo and contributes to road accidents recorded each year. In Aba electricity distribution is epileptic, or let me put it in milder words: not consistent. This push away investors and increases cost of production as businesses resort to generators for power.

The Way forward?

The two best ways to start government intervention is by bringing uninterrupted power supply and building good roads in Aba. This two can go a long way in encouraging businesses and startups. Providing clean water, markets, tax incentives and holidays, patronising local content will help too.

Not only will good road networks encourage inter state trading, it will enable access and more businesses to thrive in rural places where electricity is cheaper. If steady electricity is achieved, government can work to reduce the electricity rates paid by startups and businesses.

Despite years of government neglect, the city’s people had grown thick skin to negligence and the saying that life must find a way vividly applies to the city’s hustle and bustle. Aba will continue to live because it is a city made resilient and popular by her own people.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love education Inspiration/Motivation lifestyle opinion reflection thoughts

Keeping Valuable Relationships

Sometimes those who crown kings don’t look like kings and may never become kings but they can help one wear the crown.

A short story

There was a poor man who wrote a book at the age of 40 and decided to launch it on his birthday. He had no money to fund the launching and so he decided to seek help from a millionaire in his community.

He made a visit to the millionaire’s home and after they exchanged pleasantries, he told his host what brought him. The millionaire told him to take out a piece of paper and pen. He said, “I’ll give you a test. If you pass it, I’ll give you the money you need and if you fail, I’ll still give you the money”. He then told him to write down the names of 10 people who could give him 10k each for his book during the launch. Surprisingly, the man could not write even 3 names.

Relationship is a currency

It’s not enough to have talent and skills. But there is much gain in building valuable relationships. A wise man once said, your network is directly proportional to your net worth.

Relationship is a stream of income.
Everything in life actually reproduces on the basis of relationship. Men are lifted through men. Many are talented but lack the right direction and person to announce them.

Who one knows matters a lot in life. There are heights and opportunities one will never attain if one don’t understand the power of keeping valuable relationships. Classmates and colleagues at work may be the ones that will lead one to his/her destiny helper because you have no idea who they know.

It takes just a recommendation to change a story. Don’t despise anyone. They might be needed one day.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love lifestyle opinion Pastoral reflection thoughts

Story: Be there for someone


An old man once told me the story of how as a young man, his mother used to ask him: “What is the most important part of your body?” Through the years, he would take a guess at what he thought was the correct answer. First time, his answer was: “The ears.” The mother replied: “No, many people are deaf. But you keep it and I’ll ask you soon again.” Several years passed before she asked him again. His second answer was: “My eyes”. The mother told him: “You are learning fast, but the answer is not correct, there are many people who are blind.”

Then a year later, his father died. Everybody was hurt. Everybody was crying. Then the mother looked at the graveside and when it was their turn to say their final goodbye to their father, she asked him, “Do you know the most important body part yet, my son? He was shocked when she asked him by the graveside. The mother said to him: “Don’t be confused or shocked. This question is very important now and it shows you have really lived in your life. For every body part you gave me in the past, I have told you that you were wrong and I have given you an example why. But today is the day you need to learn this important lesson.” Then the mother looked down at him and threw her head to his shoulder and hugged him. With tears in her eyes, she said “My son, the most important part of your body is your shoulder.”

Wow! This young man was forced to ask: “Mum, it is because it holds up my head?” She replied, “No, it is because it can hold the head of a friend or a loved one when they cry. Everybody needs a shoulder to cry on sometimes in life. I only hope that you have enough love and friends that you will always have a shoulder to cry on when you need it.” There and then this young man knew the most important body part is not a selfish one. It is made for others and not for yourself. It is sympathetic to the pain of others.

People will forget what you said and did. But people will never forget how you made them feel in their crises times. Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them, but you always know them when they around you. No wonder a wise man said “If you want to be wisely selfish, care for others.” Yes! It will come back for you. Be someone’s shoulder today.

Culled and editted from the ODM.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love culture/tradition education lifestyle Love and Christianity opinion reflection

Mechanics of Savings: a Christian perspective

Mechanics of Savings and Financial Intermediation

Savings as described by financial analysts are the portion of income which are not used for consumption expenditures. They are referred to as investments, because huge portions of such savings in financial institutions constitute the capital extended to businesses, governments, individuals and other entities as loans. This is done through the process of financial intermediation. Financial intermediation involves three key parties, the Surplus Economic units, the Deficit Economic Units and the Financial Institutions. The SU’s are the economic units that their current income exceed their current consumption expenditure thereby leaving them with more funds. The DU’s are the economic units that their current consumption expenditure exceeds their current income thereby arousing their desire to borrow to supplement their income. The SU’s and the DU’s do not have direct contact, rather a medium or some kind of intercession is provided by financial institutions. Both SU’s and DU’s can be governments, private individuals, businesses or firms etc. Savings is an important factor in any economy and as such its role can not be overemphasized.

What the Bible says about Savings

The Bible teaches that saving money is a wise practice for many different reasons. God is our source and provider for everything we need.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). One of the main ways God provides for us is through money, and it is our job to steward that money well (Matthew 25:14– 27). We are accountable to God for how we use everything He gives us in this life, including money. Saving money demonstrates good stewardship of the resources God gives us. Saving money allows us to be prepared for the future, and being prepared for the future is good. Proverbs 6:6–8 shows us that this principle is lived out even in nature: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and its food at harvest.”

Planning ahead and saving money makes it easier to accomplish goals and allows us to be more effective in ministry (see 1 Corinthians 16:2). When we don’t plan ahead and save money, we are more prone to go into debt, which the Bible tells us is unwise (Proverbs 22:7). Of course, there are plenty of wrong motives for saving money. If we’re saving money out of
fear of the future, it shows we’re not really trusting God to provide (see Luke 12:7; 2 Timothy 1:7). Miserliness is sin, and it’s foolish and arrogant to make money our security. “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it a wall too high to scale.” (Proverbs 18:11), yet riches “will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle” ( Proverbs 23:5). 1 Timothy 6:10 warns against greed, saying, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” To fully understand the value of saving money,
we must remember what the Bible says about giving. God desires His people to be cheerful givers (2 Corinthians 9:7). It’s impossible to out- give God! “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). Sometimes when God gives us things, be it money or something else, it’s intended for us to give away. Other times, He gives us things that are meant for us to keep for ourselves and use in His service and for His glory. It’s wise to hold everything God gives us loosely so that we can give it away if He asks us to.

More Study Texts:

Proverbs 6:6-8
1st Corinthians 16:2
Proverbs 21:20
Proverbs 13:11
Proverbs 10:4-5
Proverbs 13:22

Categories
Inspiration/Motivation lifestyle opinion reflection thoughts

8 August: Birthday Wish

Birthdays are rare
They come once in a year

Unique Birthday: A set of Eights!

Ah, it’s today. 8th day of 8th month of the year 2020. I usually write poems or stories to celebrate but this year’s birthday is unique. So instead of a poem I’ll muse about the actual numbers that made my birthdate special. My birth certificate reads that I was born on 8.24 AM in the year 198*. Even the minutes are multiples of 8, haha! If I had to scribble out my birthdate it will read thus: 8.24 AM, 8/8/8*. One princess from the United Kingdom share exactly this day with me.

How do I feel?

‘So how does it feel to be a year older?’ a close friend had asked me over the phone. I knew it was a rhetorical question meant to reflect on what I’ve done with my time and self since the last birthday. Normally I would have said I feel nothing since the question focused on my self. Personal achievements are not a yardstick to measure overall success.

‘I feel special. I feel alive. I feel fulfilled and I hope for better things to come, not just for me but for every good person.’ To be honest this is what I feel, at least for these past few months. The year 2020 had been a tough one. It brought death, disease, drought, and man-made disaster. Poverty is still at large. Many lost loved ones. I lost a sister, an uncle and some relatives and friends. The lessons I picked broke the mirror called self. I started engaging in humanitarian work and volunteering online for charities, foundations and organizations. This threw me out of my introvert shell. I met great people who had become a strong network. The opportunities I sought before the pandemic came calling and I grabbed them with both hands. I’m glad to be helping other people with my talents, no matter how little. That’s what I count as real achievement.

So I won’t dwell or reflect on my personal success. If I do, I’ll say I achieved very little this past year.

Birthday wish

What do you wish for? This is the big birthday question. No one can give an appropriate answer in one response. At the moment, it’s futile to wish for some things. Nevertheless, I’m just happy to see others happy and successful.

So I make this wish for myself today; for longlife to continue in service to my faith, my nation and humanity, for prosperity to help the impoverished, destitute and be the voice of the voiceless, and for success to inspire children and other youth around the world. Finally, I wish that the world may know tolerance, peace and love. I wish myself a happy birthday.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love Inspiration/Motivation lifestyle opinion reflection

Happy Belated Friendship Day

– Friends are family we chose for ourselves.

Didn’t forget

I didn’t forget about the World Friends Day. I do write about friendship because it’s dear to me. I was extremely busy with personal and family errands. I also volunteer online for a company based in North America and so had little time to pen my stories, thoughts and poems. At the end of each day I’m left weak and tired. So I sleep earlier nowadays.

Friends are Family…

I’ve so many friends. Strangely, my friends are not limited to street, school, church pals or any human acquaintance made. I’ve adorable friends too: babies and little children, dogs, birds, ants, even plants and trees. To me friendship goes beyond the physical. It’s a mutual thing ordained with understanding, respect and loyalty. It falls in-between trust and love. True friends can give up anything even their life for one another. Take for instance the story of Antonio and Bassanio in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.

Everybody is capable of friendship

Someone, somewhere look up to you. It might be a person or a pet. It might be the old milkman walking by your window to see you smile and say good morning. It might be a pair of rose flowers dangling in a vase waiting for its daily dose of water and care. It could be anyone.

I ask that you check on your friends. Times are tough. A simple call or chat can bring back hope to the heartbroken or depressed. Hope is a strong force. Remain a loyal and trustworthy friend to someone. You might be the reason someone looks forward to another day.

Here is to wish you my friends and family what I should have these past few days: Happy belated Friendship Day. And I love you so much. Stay safe.

Categories
Love and Christianity Pastoral Poetry reflection rhyme Series tips

August Poem

august

August is a beautiful month and my month of birth. In seven days time I’ll be a year older. Have a beautiful month!

Categories
opinion reflection thoughts

Thoughts on Global Tension

An African proverb goes thus: when two elephants fight the grass suffers. The only issue in the case I’m about to discuss is that both the elephants and grasses suffer.

News
Before the advent of novel corona virus, the world knew some peace. I mean there were wars, civil unrests and some economies wobbled on unsteady legs, but the world never came close to this level of distrust, hate, and xenophobia towards one another. Before corona virus we could sit and reason on the same table but this is not the case anymore.

Each day I wake to heart breaking news. Nations isolate, build wall boundaries as the US did across its southern border with Mexico and Brexit from the EU. Other nations focused on territorial expansion and conquest: China, Pakistan and India in Kashmir and Lakda; Israel and Palestine Territories; Greece and Turkey; China, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR and South China Sea. Spying and economic sabotage is the new. Corona virus for example crippled some economies. Suddenly more satellites are sent into space, more equipment are purchased for armed forces. India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other countries are purchasing military equipment. Lands (and islands, previously without military presence) are rapidly fortified. Economic guru’s say the world economy is sitting on a keg of gunpowder. Countries retreat into their shells, to withdraw from alliances and agreements. Nationalism are on record high. It had overtaken common human reason. The human selfish and greedy nature is awoken. Nations pledge loyalty to their benefactors or brethren. Communism and capitalism engage in a ruthless tug of war. Yet the world is faced by other pressing issues like rising poverty levels and insecurity, unemployment and lack of quality education. Lebanon’s economic woe has more than our eyes see. Hong Kong, an important international financial hub is no longer under the influence of the West and this is causing ripples globally. Religion is persecuted and minorities silenced or sent to camps in Asia and Africa. Freedom is gradually suppressed. At this time, things don’t look good for the human race. The truth is that the world is heading for a conflict.

What am I really talking about?

I’m no politician but I follow political trends. I need no gainsaying to know that the world is very sick. I also don’t need a soothsayer to tell that corona virus is not the major bone of contention. Why should America and Europe bear the brunt of the Corona virus disaster while China, where it came from record lesser cases? I don’t want to buy into theories. Not yet.

Every nation and region has a fair share of internal disturbance. This shows that no national ideology is perfect. So we must stop trying to impose on others our ideologies. America and the rest of the world is still contending with racism. Recent global riots on racism and black life matter protests attest to that. China is grappling with human rights violations like the case of the Uighur muslims. The EU has shown its weakness by taking biased decisions. The UK is not perfect, Scotland is dissatisfied and nationalism is growing. The German, French and Italian economies are not that strong anymore, Brussels has a big job to do. Talking about economy, Venezuela, Lebanon, Zimbabwe and some other nations suffer from hyper inflation. Does it look like someone is testing how inflation rates will look on selected samples from each continent? Sine Fein wants political and economic unification of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Middle East is divided into factions; Iran and Saudi Arabia leading different factions. The war in Yemen is one of selfish interest and does not reflect what the average Yemeni wants. Turkey is fighting for her interests in Libya and currently having a roll with Greece. From Burma, to Thailand and Malaysia human rights abuses are recorded. We don’t need to talk about North Korea, it’s a very secretive country. Siberia just like Biafra and Catalonia demand their independence and liberties from Russia, Nigeria and Spain respectively. This is a global uproar.

To summarize, I have few questions that I’ll like to answer. First, why the sudden land grabbing, territorial expansion and intent to exercise economic and political influence over other people? I know this has been happening before now, but why the sudden intensity? In my opinion, I’ll say with the look of things, it seems that some nations are grabbing resources and spaces in preparation for something. What is this something? Whatever it is, it won’t spell good for anyone.

I’ll end with a rhetorical question: do you agree with me that there are forces anxiously fighting to destroy the global economy and possibly ignite a worldwide conflict?

Categories
quotes reflection virtues

Four Quotes on Humility

Perfection is impossible without humility. Why should I strive for perfection, if I am already good enough? Leo Tolstoy.

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. Bill Gates.

True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue. Martin Luther.

I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men. Lao Tzu.

Categories
opinion quotes reflection

Quote: Dream big

You’ll never know… Just dream. Dream big.

Categories
Inspiration/Motivation Lessons from Experiences lifestyle opinion reflection

Abraham Lincoln’s Story

Abraham’s Humble Story

When Abraham Lincoln became the president of America, his father was a shoemaker. Naturally, egoistic people were very much offended that a shoemaker’s son should become the president. On the first day, as Abraham entered to give his inaugural address, just in the middle, one man stood up. He was a very rich aristocrat. He said, “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family.” The whole Senate laughed; they thought that they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln.

But certain people are made of a totally different mettle. Lincoln looked at the man directly in the eye and said, “Sir, I know that my father used to make shoes for your family, and there will be many others here because he made shoes the way nobody else can. He was a creator. His shoes were not just shoes; he poured his whole soul into them. I want to ask you, have you any complaint? Because I know how to make shoes myself. If you have any complaint I can make you another pair of shoes. But as far as I know, nobody has ever complained about my father’s shoes. He was a genius, a great creator and I am proud of my father.”

The whole Senate was struck dumb. They could not understand what kind of man Abraham Lincoln was. He was proud because his father did his job so well, with so much enthusiasm, such a passion, and perfection.

Attitude matters, a lot…

It does not matter what you do. What matters is how you do it of your own accord, with your own vision, with your own love. Then whatever you touch becomes gold.

Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.

Moral

No one can hurt you without your consent. It is not what happens to us that hurts us. It is our response that hurts us.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love Lessons from Experiences Love and Christianity Nature opinion reflection Series

Self Confidence

When you believe in yourself anything is possible.

Why not?

If you are lucky enough to find your passion, then how could giving up be an option? Giving up means accepting a lifetime of wondering what could have happened if you just believed in yourself enough to follow through. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, just keep going and don’t lose hope.

But you may not achieve much if you are not self confident. So let’s consider attributes of a self confident person.

Like a blog like this? Click here to start

Attributes of a self confident person

Smile: For me, smiles are facial dresses. People love and admire people who smile. Not the one that begins and ends with the mouth, the one that starts from the eyes. Genuine, loving smile attracts people, creates friendship and unlocks doors! Be a genuinely happy person and show it by smiling at people. Smiling makes one confident.

Humility: Humble people don’t lack self confidence! In fact it takes humility to have self confidence. When you learn to accommodate all class of people, you learn to serve others. That makes you grow dynamic and open minded. You also learn to be respectful and submissive to authorities.

Confidence: Confident people are attractive any time. Knowing who you are, pursuing your dreams, vision, passion and goals makes you a confident person worth investing in. When you find your passion you approach life with a positive mind set. You become energetic and believe in yourself. You have a sound self esteem and people are irresistibly drawn to you.

Friendliness: Being friendly is different from being desperate. When you go out, attend positive programmes, conferences, seminars, workshops, symposiums and serve in your local church or volunteer, you build a network and grow your confidence. So enjoy meeting people and getting to know them purely for friendship.

Generosity: Be generous to people. Be generous with your smile, love, talent, service, money, prayers, whatever you have that can bless lives. Generous people are like magnets, they never lack admirers. Compassion is a beautiful virtue. It builds self confidence.

Forgiveness: Forgive your past. Forgive all who disappointed you. Practice advance forgiveness, forgive people before they hurt you, because more people will offend you. If you find it difficult forgiving people, you will grow bitter and that kills self confidence when people stay away from you.

Intelligence: People like and admire intelligent people. Know when, how and where to talk. Know what is going on around you. Read about every topic. Know a little of everything. Intelligence builds self esteem.

Neatness: Dirtiness does no good. A disorganized and rough person lacks coordination to say the least! Take good care of yourself. Haircuts are essential. Tattoos and rings are not made for everyone. Appearing neat and presentable boosts self confidence. Because you don’t need to worry how you look or smell. Is it not said that cleanliness is next to godliness?

Dress sense: Wear something that fits you, not what is in vogue. Get a good tailor who can sew clothes that fits your body shape. Learn about your body shape and wear something that flatters your figure. Make-ups should be moderate. A good dress sense makes you sweet to look at and simply irresistible! Remember, the way you dress is the way you will be addressed.

Love yourself: You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. Celebrate yourself and your uniqueness. Accept yourself the way you are, because you are simply the best. No one will be as unique as you. Don’t envy people because not everyone has what you have.

Godliness: Godly people carry golden virtues. Those virtues are in fact the summary of all attributes listed here. Honestly people find good godly people irresistible.

There’s a goldmine in you!

Take charge now. Start working on that talent. Bring your ideas to life and never stop believing in you. If not now, when? If not you, who?

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love opinion Pastoral Poetry reflection

July Wishes

Dear Friends,

I’m grateful that we made it to July 2020. You’ll agree that the year has been a stressful one. I hope you’re well and keeping safe. Don’t be anxious, things will make sense soon and we’ll live to testify.

Few hours before new year, I made a wish that I wanted to see a happy me in a peaceful world. New year arrived with a Greek gift. While we got news of this strange virus, I lost my elder sister and several relatives. I even lost several academic and career opportunities. Then came global rioting and demonstration caused by the killing of George Floyd in America. The world wallowed in suspicion, distrust and economic warfare. We never had it this tough for decades. I’ve never seen anything like it.

The outbreak exposed human fallibility. We trusted so much in science. The outbreak exposed that human activities hurt our environment. Yes it exposed science and its weakness. It exposed that we only love in lip service. It exposed how selfish, ignorant and wicked hearts of men can be. It exposed that governments don’t really care about the people. It exposed the beast – greed in man. Nature recovers slowly. We can’t help much, but we can encourage it.

As the world face a pandemic that knows either creed nor colour, we need to love more and show strong faith. Love is mother of all good things. Yes, the world can heal with love and faith gives the assurance of a better tomorrow.

July is here and we’ll surely progress through it. Remain focused on your goals. Show compassion. Be kind. Be courteous. Forgive freely. Remember the destitute, the homeless, the ones without food and clothing, when you give. Pray for one another.

I have this prayer for you: The sun, the moon and the stars will shine for your good. Divine Providence shall protect you. You shall prosper in good health and riches even more than your expectations. My soul rejoices with you for great testimonies. Happy new month.

With Love,

Oke’

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love poems Nature nature poems reflection

Peace: Declare war on War

Let storms clap and rain fall heavily
To wash fields free of blood & grease
Let snow clog boots & war machines
Let air blow deadly fighter jets off
So darkness may turn to green fields & blue skies again
Let the world know undiluted peace
When Nature declares war on War!


I pray for peace in our lives, communities and societies, and in all nations on Earth.

Categories
Poetry proverbs quotes reflection

Quote: Compassion & Confidence

Categories
Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Poetry reflection rhyme

The Day May End But Not Our Love

image

Look into my eyes
And see how special you are
Feel my heart jump with joy
That is because you are here
Let’s watch the setting sun
Let’s admire her jealous laughter,
With a kiss she says a goodbye
The day may end but not our love


For everyone who loves genuinely. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Categories
culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry reflection rhyme tips

Imagining Love

Imagine riding a horse into sunset
Or sitting with kids to hear rare stories
Or listening to country late into the night
Or picking beautiful flowers & berries,

With the one you truly love…

Start a blog here.

Categories
lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature opinion Pastoral Poetry reflection

Warm Hugs from Africa


Dear Friends,

We wake up to awful happenings around the world. The media churn out stories that make people sick. Nothing makes sense anymore. For the past few months horrible things had happened. We lost many good things and people.

But don’t despair, don’t give up yet. There’s still good in the confusion, we need to keen our minds to see it. This cold morning I send warm hugs, prayers and thoughts your way. Stay safe and sane, trusting that things will make sense soon.

Please send someone a beautiful message of hope and love. Let’s have a beautiful week ahead.

From Africa with Love ❤
Oke’
Categories
Africa education haiku lifestyle Nature opinion Poetry reflection rhyme Series

What I think of Poverty (Poetry)

What if I told you a poem of poverty
Will you wave it off and call me silly?
I will tell you what I think
Why communities continue to sink,
School children trek miles to get a bus
Their worn-out shoes make it worse,
Bright girls will deliberately miss school
Sanitary pads their excuse, without it a woe,
There is a lad sitting near the street bend
His foot sore, his hair torn in the wind,
He is a victim of poverty, he has no home
So he and others sit it out, in rain and storm,
Slavery, a grandchild of poverty takes
People, in order to help for goodness sake,
She humbly breaks the back of hard-working men
And throw their conquered will into her mothers den,
Cold night won’t help anyone either
She is cruel to both the rich and the pauper,
Poverty gave a meal once a day
To wish deceitful luxuries away,
If poverty was a product and so man-made
It is dished as soup in fancy bottles of pomade,
Now will you sit with me and reason
About wealth that is tactfully hidden
And enjoyed by those we trust with votes?
You will agree that poverty is not by choice

Categories
lifestyle Pastoral Poetry reflection rhyme

Draw the Sun

summer-sun-wallpapers-1024x768

Draw the golden sun, let it shine on dreams,
Trust little beginnings, hope for the best,
Reach for the stars, live this colorful dream

Start you blog today.

Categories
Africa education lifestyle Nature opinion Pastoral reflection

Letter: Heal today

Dear Friends,

I always talk about forgiveness because someone out there needs to let go. Life is designed in such manner that people may not always have it as they wish or want. So disappointments, heartbreaks, hurt, betrayal and pain are unfortunately part of life. Being good does not guarantee that people will be good to you. Loving does not guarantee a returned love. But letting go is best attitude. It is in our best interest to let go. Never go sour because the world is sour. Be different and heal your world.

I want you to heal today. I want you to let go of waiting for appreciation or apologies, of worrying about unreturned affections, of crying over the past. I want you to forgive yourself and everyone who had wronged you. A life lived on gratitude, love and peace is priceless. May you receive the love you put out there today.

Love ❤,

Oke

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education Nigeria opinion reflection Series

Amnesty Int’l Letter: Children’s Day 2020

Dear Okechukwu,

I wish a happy Children’s Day to all the children in your life.

But as I write to you today, my heart goes out to all the children detained in Northeast Nigeria and caught up in endless violence at the hands of Boko Haram and the Nigerian military.

They were taken away from their families and had their childhood revoked – they were forced to become child soldiers and child wives, subjected to atrocious violence. They were detained unlawfully, often with adults, in grossly inhumane conditions. They were ill-treated and tortured.

And now, as they attempt to recover, hundreds of schools remain closed – 75% of children in Borno State are out of school.

We’re launching a report on the toll of Nigeria’s Northeast conflict on children today.

Nigeria must swiftly reverse its course and bring redress to children in the Northeast.

Kind wishes,
E. I.
Campaigner, Amnesty International Nigeria

***

I received this heart breaking email from Amnesty International Nigeria. As I read through, it dawned on me that there’s little or nothing to celebrate today. Bad leadership, political unrest, insurgency, religious crisis and poverty contributed to issues faced by children today. I always mention bad leadership because it is at the centre of it all.

It’s frightening when I look at reported cases of abuse (and what about unreported cases?) Children rights are abused on daily basis. Even as we celebrate their day, many will go to bed without food, many will never attend school in their lifetime, many may never have the chance to live (a normal life). What is really going on?

Start blogging today.

Is it not awful that in today’s civilized world which had conquered diseases, deserts and drought, that children rights are taken lightly? They have become main victims of forced labour, teenage pregnancy, sexual/physical abuse, trafficking, child soldiers etc. I hope that things change for good.

I dedicate the poem below to children, all over the world. I echo what many may never have the chance to ask for:

Give me books and a pen,
Promise me nothing but education
Teach me words or to count one to three
And I’ll paint the world for you to see

Today being Children’s Day, I wish that every child has access to quality education, that every child live in a world free of economic, religious, political, or sociocultural discrimination and finally that we all put children’s rights first and contribute towards their happiness, peace and progress.

Good night.