Friday, 4 November 2016

Unique and standing out


“Like stars on Earth, every star is there for a purpose”

Have you ever taken time to stare at the sky at night and observed how beautiful they light up the sky. At times you even observe a pattern if you look well. While there are nights when you find so many stars and you can’t help but marvel at the awesome sight you behold, there are nights when the stars are not much and there are nights you do not see any at all.

In the midst of all these, you observe that some stars are heavily clustered together; some are sparsely clustered while some just stand alone by themselves.

It’s amazing that you this same trend is observed in both animals and human beings.
You observe that some people attract crowd as in they cannot be anywhere without people wanting to be around them. Most times, other people want to be like this type of people. They want others to see them and like them, they want to attract a crowd wherever they are.  While looking up to someone as a role model  or aspiring to do great things  like someone else is not a bad thing by itself. The evil in it is in losing your identity as a person in the process.

The process where people always feel they have to be like someone else starts from an early age. Parents, Care givers, Teachers unconsciously instill this in children. They do this in different ways. Some are:

·         Comparing the abilities and  achievements of a sibling with the another
This is a very common practice. If Child A is good in athletics and has won prizes because, we are quick to condemn Child B because he/she is good in athletics. We forget that we are all created with different abilities and our achievements will differ. While Child A might be good in athletics, Child B might be endowed with the gift of images i.e. he/she can draw virtually anything they see or imagine. When we compare child A with Child B, we are indirectly but powerfully saying STOP expressing your gift, your gift is not valuable, your gift is not worthy. Be like Child A because his abilities are better person than yours.

·         Measure the intelligence of a child with another child:
Here, we measure the rate at which a child learns with another. When a child has difficulty in meeting up in their academics, we call them words like Dullards, Slow- Learner among others. The child hears these words on a constant basis and grows up believing themselves as they have labeled. For some children, they are able to defeat this demon within and excel while some are not lucky and spend the rest of their lives with this mindset. Thus, they do not attempt to try their hands on anything relating to academics or activities they required them to task their brain. How sad and disheartening.

·         Utter disempowering words to children when they do not meet with a “particular standard”:
What are standards but the meaning we give it or the importance we ascribe to it? So, is it really worth it to sacrifice the mental health of a child for these so called “Standards”? But the opposite is the case because we see parents, care givers, and teachers say words to children that disempowers them for life mentally except they are opportune to witness a shift in this mindset to an empowering one. In the words of Praise Fowowe, the problems of the world are Adults, remove them and you would have a beautiful world” Given all the points listed above, you couldn’t but agree that Adults are really the world’s problem.

 I watched a cartoon where a girl had to realize her worth when put through some test and the words are   “That lone star is there for a reason, it doesn't have to fit with others, it just has to be itself”. Awesome statement don’t you agree?

We are all different and unique in ways incomparable to another. Let's not condemn each other because of our uniqueness rather, we should appreciate God's creation in the unique attribute he has bestowed on us and mold that attribute to a strength.


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Sincerity where you least expect it

                  “Never let the world take the sweetness out of you due to past experiences”

  Hello there, so today I had to stay back home and attend to some issues. You never know how burnt out you are from work until you get a chance to rest and it seems you are lazy because you want to sleep at every slightest opportunity. The truth is your body is just taking the deserved break it needs. I have been quite busy lately waking up very early and sleeping very late. I know I should rest but I can’t because there is much to be done plus I would be feeling guilty if I slept. Anyways, I was able to steal a few minutes to sleep before setting out.
The area is quite far and very remote so I am advised to look for a known face to drop me and pick me up when I am done because I would not be able to get a means of transport back home easily. I search for a while but when all means proved abortive I decide to go hoping for the best since I am beginning to run late. I get someone not known to take me there and on getting there I ask if he could come and pick me up. He agrees and I collect his number to enable me place a call to him when I am through.
I attend to the issues and its time to go home. While there, I met someone who knew from way back when we were kids. She offers to drop me at a place closer to my home thus saving me from the hassle of getting home. But remember, I had planned for someone to come and pick me. Well this did not matter anymore since it all served the same purpose. We gist and I alight eventually promising to stay in touch.
On getting home, I am faced with other things.  Obviously, I have forgotten about the person I booked to come pick me but he did not forget.  The twist to this incident is that I had given him the fare for going and returning but I just took it as one of those things that happen.
Later in the night, I receive a call from a number I did not recognize and it turns out to be the commuter I had booked to come pick me up. I was humbled and touched to the depths of my heart at the display of sincerity from him.
This is someone I had never met before today and probably wouldn’t have recognized him if I saw him another day. But he actually called back because of my money with him. You rarely meet such people in the times we live in.

The following options were open to him:
v  Take the money and absconding with it. I should have known better than to give my money to a stranger I did not know.
v  Take the money and give excuses when I called about being far from where I was. Thus, not being able to meet up with the appointment
In the two instances above, he would have played a smart one on me. I would not be able to tell anyone my story because I would be blamed for being gullible and naïve.
In that instant, the beauty of seeing the good in others and trusting that they mean well for you was justifiable to me because I have always had that as a “weakness” and though the story does not always turn out this way but if one out of a hundred turned out well. Then I am encouraged to continue trusting and seeing the good in others no matter what.
I could have lamented over my money being taken away but I chose to ignore it and in return I was wowed.


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Excuse me?

 “Nothing has any meaning except the meaning you give to it”    Source Unknown

In life we give excuses on why we have not been able to achieve what we want,  we give excuses on why we scored low on an assessment, give excuses on why we are where we are and so on.
But we do not give ourselves excuses on why we achieved somethings, why we passed while some failed. Most times, more often than not, we use excuses to justify our present situations, predicaments amongst others.  While we are quick to give excuses to justify negatives, I realized that another way to use excuses would be use them for positives instead especially when we are still struggling with making firm decisions.
How do you mean? You may ask. Below are some ways you could:

Ø  Weight Loss:
You are overweight and you know that this is not healthy for you. So you are trying to shed the excess fat. On your weight loss journey, you have managed to shed 10 kg in your first one month and this result warms your heart with delight and you cannot wait to shed more. You are feeling good about yourself. What’s more, everyone has started complimenting you that you look good. Suddenly, you have a relapse and you add more than the 10kg you had shed initially. How exactly this happened you cannot explain. As it would seem, you binged without knowing and this contributed largely to you adding more than before. So, next time the urge to binge comes to you. Give yourself a good excuse on why you should not take that chocolate, extra portion of the food, that fizzy drink or whatever it might be. You could say, I cannot take the extra portions because this extra weight is causing me more pain than gain in terms of opportunities I can’t take up, dresses I can’t wear, places I cannot go due to self esteem issues, not being able to do fun stuffs  with friends, family e.t.c

Ø  Taking Action:
Doing brings clarity and in doing you know whether you should be charting a particular course in your life or not. But you give yourself excuses on why you cannot take action. You say things like I do not have money to take this course, I cannot afford this program, its too expensive e.t.c .  A good way will be to give yourself excuses as to why you should be doing the course and what not doing it could cost me. I could say if I do not do this, I will continue to be in difficult situations without good choices.  And if I really cannot afford it at the time, I will start with what I have and plan towards it for the future and not just give excuses on why I cannot do it.

Ø  Fulfillment:
You are not where you felt you would be presently in life. You do not feel fulfilled and you have all the excuses to justify why you are not progressing (if I went to a good school, I would be better off, if my parents were richer, I would be more exposed and so on). A better way is to give yourself excuses on why need to be fulfilled regardless of the circumstances. You could search on what you that could do that will bring the fulfillment that your job, marriage and finances are not providing. You might have studied and gotten a good grade, you might have waited and taken your time before getting married but that not necessarily mean that it will bring you the fulfillment you seek. So what the key  is to start searching for things  that would bring me fulfillment because nothing is worse than living an unfulfilled life.

Ø  Interpersonal Relationships:
We are bound to relate with other people in our lives. We meet people of different personalities. Some people are so easy to relate with while some are not. Some find it easy to make friends while some do not. For someone who  does  not have a good interpersonal relationship with others you could give excuses  on why you aren’t able  to do so and feel good but another way to would be excuses on why  you  need to relate with people better because relationship are key to making it in life. If I don’t relate well with other people how would I learn, how would I connect with people who can guide me because they have more experience than I do.

The points above are but a few ways I thought to share. You will be amazed at the empowered state you will be in when you give yourself these kinds of excuses but then it is important to move beyond this stage when the self- will becomes stronger.


Monday, 31 October 2016

The Frozen Smile


Growing up for me was full of adventures, stories and enough spanking because I was stubborn. I am still stubborn but I know better now. Like I watched in the shadow, anything that is part of you but you try to keep away from the world will use you if you do not learn to use it. So my being stubborn, I accept and has proved valuable in some circumstances. Yes, there a lot of stories plenty but there is one I like to share with you
Sure you will be like what the frozen smile all about? Smiling…….be patient for a few minutes and you will know.
Well, part of growing up for me was I did not get plenty compliments.
Being  tall from an early age, I would be sent to the back because I was the tallest and I wished I was shorter. Why? Standing at the back meant you were seen by teachers and any slight misbehavior meant some form of punishment plus the way you would be told to go back sounded like being tall was not good. I would hear things like “Long enough to exhaust the cloth” translated from Yoruba and used for tall people. I never heard anything said to shorter peers and for a long time I did not like that I was tall. But my height is not the topic of consideration today.
As I grew up, I smiled a little and most times I was told to smile else I would have wrinkles and grow old very soon. That was my reality but I never paid attention to it.
But something that actually impacted me. Whilst a teenager, I had gone to a boarding house and I was told I was not pretty plenty times that anything short of that was alarming to me.
On this particular day, I was at a family friend’s house and something happened which made me smile. An older girl told me I love your smile. Immediately, the smile froze and the next thing I did was cover my mouth. My ears could not believe that someone said something like that to me. Worse still, I did not believe it and I thought she was making fun of me. For a long time after that I would watch myself smiling and I stuck to this pattern of not smiling or covering my mouth when I smiled. As I grew older, I would hear it more often than not and I began to believe that it was actually true.
Words we say to ourselves go a long way in shaping the way we see ourselves. I did not believe there could be something about me that someone would compliment neither could I believe it. My point is that we should learn to see the good in ourselves even if people do not see it because if we do not, we could spend major part of our lives not doing what the world might benefit immensely from part of which in my case was my smile
Well, that’s history for me now because presently I smile at every opportunity and I can never get tired of smiling.
So how wide is your smile?