Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Gift of a Mother

When we are born, we come with a clean slate of mind. Everything our eyes see, the things our hearts perceive, the knowledge planted on our minds all came to us from a source we had little knowledge of. As new day approaches and add times to our little lives, we begin to see a light. Actually, this light has been with us all through. This is the light that threw its beams on us so we have life, so we can give out our first cry in the new world we find ourselves in. Mothers, the first beauty of  light we all began our journey of life with.

A mother's role in our lives is not scripted neither is it enshrined in the fabrics of womanhood. Every mother chooses the role they want to play in the lives of their little ones and surprisingly, they do it amazingly well. My mum gave me the first hint of who a great man is. She isn't a man herself but she could pick and mould a great man with her eyes closed. She said, "if someday, people will look up to you, if people will believe in the kind of person you are, don't you ever lie. Great men didn't make lies their stronger point." Well, I didn't understand then but I do now. I'm not that older but honesty has brought me farther than a lie could fly me to. 

The greatest thing I've ever felt in my soul is the power of imagination, the ability to see what is not there. That too I got it from a mum. Usually she will tell me stories of real life situations and ask me "Do you see what I'm talking about?" Well I cant see what you're saying mum, I can only hear. Then she will say "crazy boy, put yourself in that situation and feel what it is. There's no need to think all the time, feel it too.let it get to you and you'll understand it better." There and then, another episode of human enlightenment was opened to me. I began learning and judging from other people's experiences. 

How a mum gives dreams to a child is magical to say the least. It's like some sort of prestidigitation perfected from the beginning of time. Who we are, and what we will become is already moulded by the hands and kind words of mum. What is left is for us to be cast so we take the shape of Mama's mould. Sometimes I ask myself "how do they do that?" No mum is proud of a stupid child so from the onset, they take the Steers of our lives and drive us to where we will be applauded. My mum will usually say "I didn't waste my time to give birth to you so you become a handsome fool, you better buckle up and live like a man." Even the anger on her face while saying that is beautiful.

I remember one dawn, a distinct sound woke me up. It was mum talking to someone. I looked around the room but there was no one there. I kept wondering, "who's this "witch" talking to?" She kept murmuring and talking then I heard my name in her talking, I woke up and walk to her, she put her hand around my neck and kept on talking. Then after she had stopped talking she turned to me and said "Don't sneak on me while I'm praying, you get me distracted." That was my first knowledge of prayers and that was my first time of knowing there's a man hiding somewhere who will listen to us when we go to him with our worries. I took it up from there.

Today, I see a soldier when I look at my mum. That woman has fought so many battles and won. Few times she lost but she never coiled into her shells. She will always come back and win like the fighter she is.  I believe many mothers out, who have also done their part to see a new better generation of humankind. A day to celebrate a mother will never be enough, everyday, every step of the way, we should hold them in our hearts with prayers. These are the ultimate soldiers who raise little warriors for battle. 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

To Be Happy, Learn These Five Lessons

Every day when I wake up from bed to start a new day, I tell myself; “I don’t want to be anything today but happy.” I want to go through the day with some sort of exuberance that will not be easy to extinguish. Very often I fail. Few times I experience happiness in patches. In the night when I’m about to sleep, I go through the day’s life all over again in my head. I usually end up saying; “I could have been happier today than I actually was.”

To be happy, there are lessons most of us have been taught never to forget. Most of this lessons we forget them because we are too busy thinking of the next step. Today, I present what most of us already know about happiness but have forgotten or refused to put in practice. Below are just five of those lessons:

1.      Forgive, don’t wait for an apology before you do.
We are yet to feel the full effect of forgiveness as individuals. There’s nothing refreshing than letting go of the grudges you hold with people in your heart. Holding grudges is like allowing unwanted people live rent free in your heart. Life becomes very light and less cumbersome when we accept all the apologies we never got in the first place.

At a lecture in school one day, the lecturer before she began lecturing warned the class to put all phones off or on silent. Because if she should hear any phone rings during the lectures, she will send the culprit out of the lecture hall. Just about thirty minutes into the lectures, a phone loudly rang! Everybody was steady waiting to hear what the lecturer would say. Then the lecturer said, “Don’t worry, let’s move on. I know the one whose phone rang is sorry and I accept his apology.” Instant forgiveness, that’s what it is.

Forgiveness doesn’t come cheap, but if we are able to, it sets our souls free like a kite in the air. When we forgive others, we give them a promise. We promise them that we are never going to hold what they did to us in the past against them. We are setting them free cos we also want a freedom of heart. On the other hand we appreciate the kind of lesson they’ve taught us.

2.      What you have or don’t have do not define who you are
Things are just things and that is where it ends. We don’t need everything that we think we need to live a fulfilled life. We should be able to create our own culture.  We shouldn’t go about copying everything we see on TV, or consume every fashion we see from the magazines, and we don’t have to take in too much of the cosmetic empowerment these media seems to be promising each day.

We should rather find the strength to fill our time with meaningful experiences that have connections to our lives.  The space and time we are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if we’re worrying about getting the hips of Joselyn Dumas or the skin colour of Yvonne Nelson before we can be happy, then we are dis-empowered.  We’re giving our lives away to marketing and media trickery, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and be a certain way.  This is tragic, this kind of thinking.  It’s all just advertisement brainwashing.  What is real is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, your plans, your fears, etc.

Very often we are told we are not good enough until we get a degree, get a job, get a car, get a house, and keep on getting.  And it’s sad, because someday you’ll wake up and realize you’ve been tricked. True life is what you create for yourself because you enjoy living it.

3.      It’s not anybody’s job to love you
It’s your job to love the person that you are. Often times we give lots of love to others whiles we starve ourselves of it. Yeah, it’s good to show love to some individuals but the ultimate love should be given to yourself. No one ever accomplished anything without giving themselves the love they need.

Stop looking at yourself from the spectacles of those who have little value of you. Look into the mirror and talk to the person you see in there. Today let someone also love you for who you are, for all your weakness and for all your blemishes. Let someone see value in yourself and let that person be you. It’s your job and no one else’s to love you.

4.      Failures will come, don’t let it turn you into a quitter
At a point in our lives, failure will show itself in the things we do. However best we sometimes prepare, failure will still find a way to encroach our space. We should not let failures of today turn us into quitters. 

Whenever we fail, we are presented with two choices; either to give up totally or rise up and try all over again. We should always let the latter be our choice. Successful people usually say that success comes at the step just beyond the point where we nearly gave up.

Most mistakes happen because we had no means of avoiding them. We should learn to forgive ourselves when those mistake comes.  It’s not a problem to make them.  It’s only a problem if we never learn from them. The difference between a master and a beginner is that the master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.  Behind every great piece of art is a thousand failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us. Look beyond your failures, light comes after darkness so does success shines after our failures.

5.      Death will come when it will come, no need to be afraid
We usually make jokes with the phrase “Life is too short to…” but the fear of death rains supreme on the mind of the average man. Shakespeare made a very sincere observation in his Julius Caesar play. He said; of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come.”

We have no control over the time and space when we will meet our necessary end so why need to fear? We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know. Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss is what dies inside of us while we’re still alive. While we could have done something with the life we still have. 

LIVE your life TODAY!  Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either.  Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action.  Be bold.  Be courageous.  Be scared to die, and then take the next step anyway.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

All Life Could Be....

Life! A simple word that causes a lot of confusion in the minds of many. Many people have tried to define life in so many ways that are different from each other yet makes sense in their differences. Ages ago, wise people will spend hours un-end pondering on all issues of life that bring a simple meaning to our existence. Every definition of life leads to another definition which eventual leads to a maze of questions that have never been answered. So today, I put it to you; what is LIFE?

Once upon a time, there was a girl who could do anything in the world she wanted.  All she had to do was choose something and focus.  So one day she sat down in front of a blank canvas and began to paint.  Every stroke was more perfect than the next, slowly and gracefully converging to build a flawless masterpiece.  And when she eventually finished painting, she stared proudly at her work and smiled.

It was obvious to the clouds and the stars, who were always watching over her, that she had a gift.  She was an artist.  And she knew it too.  She felt it in every fibre of her being.  But a few moments after she finished painting, she got anxious and quickly stood up.  Because she realized that while she had the ability to do anything in the world she wanted to do, she was simply spending her time moving paint around on a piece of canvas.
She felt like there was so much more in the world to see and do – so many options.  And if she ultimately decided to do something else with her life, then all the time she spent painting would be a waste.  So she glanced at her masterpiece one last time, and walked out the door into the moonlight.  And as she walked, she thought, and then she walked some more.
While she was walking, she didn't notice the clouds and the stars in the sky who were trying to signal her, because she was preoccupied with an important decision she had to make.  She had to choose one thing to do out of all the possibilities in the world.  Should she practice medicine?  Or design buildings?  Or teach children?  She was utterly stumped.
Twenty-five years later, the girl began to cry.  Because she realized she had been walking for so long, and that over the years she had become so enamoured by everything that she could do – the endless array of possibilities – that she hadn't done anything meaningful at all.  And she learned, at last, that life isn't about possibility – anything is possible.  Life is about making a decision – deciding to do something that moves you.
So the girl, who was no longer a girl, purchased some canvas and paint from a local craft store, drove to a nearby park, and began to paint.  One stroke gracefully led into the next just as it had so many moons ago.  And as she smiled, she continued painting through the day and into the night.  Because she had finally made a decision.  And there was still some time left to revel in the magic that life is all about.
Don’t waste time thinking of what could be or what could have been, that isn't all life could be. Don’t waste time living in pains of what yesterday was. That isn't all life could be. Don’t waste your time in the anxiety of what tomorrow will bring. That too, isn't all life could be. As far as you live, there’s a decision to make and that decision should lead you to a better tomorrow, a better life and a fulfilled mission. Forget about other possibilities. Use the possibilities of this moment and revel in the possibility of a better tomorrow.  The sun will shine tomorrow, the moon will lit a trail in our darkest moments. The stars will overlook on us giving us signals of a better happiness. Choose to live and make it worthwhile.