This is so sad – what’s going on?

Credits: Unsplash / Tyler Nix

The news and social media have been buzzing about the dissolution of the marriage of Dell and Sonya Curry after thirty-three (33) years. Dell and Sonya are the parents of basketball favorites, Steph Curry (and his siblings Seth and Sydel). Steph Curry, the affable Golden State Warriors’ point guard is 33 years old.

It’s sad to hear of this divorce, which leaked out on Seth’s (Steph’s brother) birthday (August 23) though the filing was done earlier this year on June 14 (ouch sadly on my birthday!).

The ‘perfect family image’ has been shattered.

What in the world is going on lately with marriages?! Sonya and Dell’s children, yes adults in their own right, appear happily married and I pray that their parents’ divorce does not negatively impact their marriages.

Earlier in the year, we also heard of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s, too.

Can we never be satisfied?

There are three things that are never satisfied:

Why are human beings never satisfied and assume that the grass is greener on the other side? Why do we allow an intruder (of things or another person) destroy our marriages, our lives, and all that has been built? I’m not saying that this was the reason for the Currys’ divorce though it’s been alleged by one medium.

In California, you do not need any reason to divorce. Most divorces sight “irreconcilable differences.” But one could divorce simply by saying that they’re no longer happy in, or they just want out of, the marriage. I believe that the reason(s) are tendered and reviewed for purposes of the presiding Judge in awarding (or denying) alimony.

A facade

The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). And the thief does it subtly while cognizant that if s/he is overt, s/he will be detected and thus fail. We all need to smarten up generally, and particularly married couples. God help us.

Why are we so easily deceived to allow a ‘fling’ to break up our marriage? Often those flings are on assignment to divide and conquer. Once the assignment is accomplished, they are on to the next victim. May it not be any of our loved ones. We must not be ignorant of the devil’s wiles.

It is no gainsaying that it takes two to get married and stay married. If one wants the marriage and the other wants out, there’s really nothing or much that can be done. Both have to want to keep the marriage. Both have to be willing to work it like a garden; you have to water the garden, fertilize it, pull out the weeds and thorns that choke and kill your flowers and plants.

Happiness, one of the reasons some file for divorce, is a state of one’s mind. Divorcing a partner and hooking up with another or remarrying will not make you happy. Hopefully, the person realizes it before the fifth divorce.

Also, if one has stuck the marriage out for so long, why break it to start all over again? Women are known to stay in “bad” marriages for the sake of the children. Men, generally speaking, don’t think of the children first. What are you thoughts on this?

Sadly, gray divorce has been on the increase. Why are the tides drifting? Is there ever a “good time” to divorce?

The irony of divorcing and remarrying is that both partners realize that the happiness issue is just an excuse because it is short-lived at the onset of the new marriage. But pride will not allow them to fess up. They will now both (the old and the new) forcefully endure each other and the habits they couldn’t tolerate in their previous marriages. Some will even bend backwards to try to please the other person. Only a few ponder on this and confess that if they had known, they wouldn’t have divorced. But, alas, it’s too late.

I realize that I’m all over the place with this post. It’s a big one and troubling. Please share your thoughts and

Let’s pray for the Currys and the Wests. Hopefully, they all realize sooner that the divorce was a mistake and give each other a second chance.

Nonetheless, marriage is still good and honorable.

When love is not enough

Can a relationship or marriage be sustained by love alone? What instances could love not be enough in marriage or a relationship?

I’m learning that people marry for different reasons, other than love. Call me naive if you want, but I’ve always thought that the only reason one married is because they love one another and have chosen to spend the rest of their lives together. Well, it’s become a rude awakening to find otherwise.

Secret Lover is a true story of two people who were passionately in love but ended up not marrying each other for different reasons. It was a triangle. The guy was in love with someone else, yet he married another lady for a few reasons other than love. The guy married couple of years before his lover. On the morning of his wedding, he called to check on her, though he was marrying someone else later that day. He even invited her to his wedding. What audacity you would say. Or is’t misplaced or misdirected love? Or is’t lust (uncontrolled passion)? Tell me what you think it is because I don’t know neither can I fathom or explain it.

The morning after the wedding, he called her again though she was intentionally out of town, on a vacation, to avoid the whole weekend event. But, after the wedding, he called to tell her that he was flying in to see her on her vacation. Rather than go on his honeymoon, he caught a plane the next day to Paris where his lover was vacationing. Maybe his honeymoon was intentionally postponed, who knows?

He married for the wrong reasons but was in love with someone else. How sad. Such is the case when one marries for the wrong reasons and/or marry the wrong mate.

People marry for different reasons; most for the wrong reasons. I wonder if love is even the main factor any more. Is love not enough? For if the marriage foundation is love out of a pure heart, there is nothing the couple can’t overcome. Let me know if you agree or disagree with this statement.

Some cultures betroth their daughters at early ages such that those marriages are devoid of love. While some might “grow into love” eventually, many live in prisons the rest of the years of their marriage.

But why subject oneself to that?

The wrong reasons for marrying include:

  • I can’t leave her because she’s pregnant with my child (this was the case with the Secret Lover,
  • He needs me now
  • We’ve gone through so much together
  • We’ve been middle school sweethearts
  • We’ve grown old together
  • I don’t want to disappoint (fill-in-the-blanks), etc.

Whatever the reasons may be, I ask, is’t worth going through?

Outcomes for marrying for the wrong reasons include:

  • Infidelity
  • Marital aches and pains
  • Having children born but not out of love, which leads to
  • Resentments
  • Unloving and, probably, divided family
  • Family conflicts – fighting over unnecessary issues and things.
  • Incessant conflicts in marriage will eventually lead to divorce, if not heart attack prior to the divorce. Why go through that?

I ask and write on this topic for younger ones, and even the few older ones, contemplating marriage to think it through before jumping in.

Nonetheless, I still believe that marriage is good and honorable.

Never Ever Give Up

Credits: Unsplash / Tony Eight Media

Once upon a time
I was the life of every party
It ain’t a party
If Joy was not at it.

Everyone who was someone
Clamored to be a friend;
Only the friendship were flaky, shallow,
And all about what’s in it for me.

Fast forward several years
And life happened
And my life turned topsy turvy.

Every friend disappeared
They forgot the good old days
Of when I’d take the blouse off my back
And give it to the one who needed it the most;
And the shoes on my feet
Went to the one who needed it more
And I’d empty my pocket
To share among them all.

Even my family no longer called
They now hovered
Around, over
And on to the next member.

They used to call everyday
Now they barely
Remembered my name
Let alone my number.

It was painful
How could people forget so soon. How could they be so vain.

In a world full of millions of people
Yet, I was lonely.

I felt empty inside and out
And had no friends nor family. To stand by me or lean on
Everyone and everything deserted me.

I wept
Till I could weep no more.
The tears have ceased to flow.

“How many bottles have you filled,
With those tears, Lord”
I ask everyday.
Those tears will become
Your precious gem
That I hope to trade up some day.

Then one day I awoke
It was all a nightmare

Life’s too short to waste
I’ve walked alone too long

In a world full of millions of people
Yet I was lonely

Even those who came near
Seemed so far away
None living in the present.

Lord, catch me
I wanna fly over into Your arms
Please wrap me up
Never to let me go.

But He said
“My daughter
I need you down there
Your purpose is yet unfinished
Many are waiting on you. Get back there
And get the job done.”

So, I did

I went for a long walk at the beach one day

And let loose.

My long weave bouncing from left to right slapping on my soft dark cheeks

The golden sands
Warming my un-manicured feet On a hot summer day
When was the last time
I skipped or danced
Or had a smile on my face

I have allowed those smiles
To turn into frowns
To no one in particular
Only to myself and
Age me twenty years over.

I muttered to noone in particular

But to the breeze
that blew so refreshingly
On my cold cheeks

I had stiffened up
And allowed life to tense me.

Your change can come suddenly

Out of the blues
A real human
Said “hello, my name is Amazing.”

None had said hello to me in years
Though I smile at everyone
Everyday
They just stared at me
With curled-up lips.

I turned around
And with the biggest smile ever
I replied, “ hi, my name is Joy.
I’m the child of the Most High God.”

Wow, I’m the child of Grace; Amazing Grace, that’s my full name.

Mind if I join you on your walk?

Sure
Though inward I felt like saying ‘No.’
Finally, someone noticed me
And actually said, ‘hello.’
And wants to walk with me.

Amazing Grace was waiting on her other friends
They were having a beach party just because

Amazing Grace had arrived earlier than all

The friends trickled in
One after the other

She introduced me to each one

Rich and Wealth live just down the road
And were married to Peace and Joyful

Patience was the glue of the party
She coordinated and checked
Off the friends list
Everyone was present
Except Wisdom

They were getting worried
They called him the ol Sage

Shortly after
Wisdom texted the group

I stopped by a friend who’s visiting from outta town. Okay to invite him, too?
You’ll all love him

They both arrived within ten minutes
Wisdom and Miracles were the most gorgeous guys I’d ever seen
Both standing over six feet tall would take the breath outta any lady

Miracles stared hard at me;
I blushed
Through my dark skin
You could see all the pink.

The oddity was interrupted
By Love, Hope, and Faith.
Who were laughing their hearts out as they joined the group.

Now all the friends had arrived
They invited me to their party
I already felt like I belong.

I married Miracles
Within the year
The group has become
My family
They are friends indeed

My life has never been the same again!

The rest is now
Herstory (my story).

It was a do-over.
That only He could have done;
May you have
A life do-over
The kind you dream of;
Allow Him
To do it His way.
If all the people
Had stayed
I would have been
Too busy with them
And would never have met
My new family.

Everyone needs these friends

Amazing Grace, Rich & Peace, Wealth & Joyful, Patience, Wisdom,
Miracles, Love, Hope, and Faith.

Having them in your life makes life worth living.

Can you think of other such friends everyone need in their lives? Write them in the Comments. May God add them to your life and mine.

Does It Take a Village? – Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

What would you do if someone left a disturbing comment on your blog? Let me clarify: I don’t mean a troll. I don’t mean someone who attacks you, or your post. When I say disturbing I mean more like, they write about how sad they are, or depressed, or how life is just horrible… So,…
— Read on wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2021/08/10/does-it-take-a-village/

It’s Sharing Thursday.

My post today was inspired by this post which I found yesterday.

LA, the author, has many legit questions that should set each one of us thinking.

Please read and visit her website, wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com, if you choose to, for more thought-provoking blogs.

Interesting to know your answers to the questions posed by LA.

Enjoy!

It takes a village … does it really?

Credits: Unsplash / Tim Mossholder

We are all too familiar with the saying “it takes a village to raise a child.” It is an African proverb that has filtrated the American and western cultures for decades. We can equally use the proverb in other instances; it takes a village to (fill-in-the-blanks)” to avert a suicide or a pandemic, save a marriage, etc.

As an African origin, I often retell childhood experiences of how neighbors, teachers, or even strangers ‘discipline’ you in the communities when you run afoul. Dare you arrive at your home and ‘report!’ It will be double-trouble for you. We didn’t construe it as an abuse; it puts us in check toeing the straight line. Albeit many of those disciplinary actions could have sentenced our parents to jail for life in the western world. To us, we endured and I believe that it has shaped us ruggedly and raised our resilience levels.

Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won’t eat you. 

~ African proverb

It takes a village … But does it really? Or when does, or will, the village “wash its hands off of the child?”

First and foremost, a village never washes its hands off of a child. However, when it deals with an adult, my answer will depend on the hat that I’m wearing.

As a mother, I could never wash my hands off of my child. When the child turns 18, and the authorities hands him/her a ‘bill of emancipation,’ those authorities don’t reveal or declare to them the multitude of responsibilities and expectations that go with the bill; leaving the adult-child to shockingly find out for themselves. It is at this point that most either learn to swim or drown. The mother is alongside, on her knees, crying to God for help for both of them and praying for wisdom, guidance, protection, and other things.

In the African culture, and I believe a few other cultures, too, sons and daughters live with their parents till they marry or are ready for marriage for various reasons. They don’t leave home at the turn of eighteen. It is a support system to assist the children save enough money before venturing out. I’m not talking about the part of the culture that forces their children in marriage to the men old enough to be their dads or grandfathers. I’m sure you’ll agree that there are both sides in every culture.

Most cultures, set the ‘freedom age’ at eighteen. But few, mostly Africans, the age is twenty-one.

The support system is what the saying “it takes the village …” refers to.

As a faith leader, I have seen the miraculous power of God. Why God performs certain miracles, and not all, is His divine prerogative. Because I have both seen and experienced God, I believe that God’s miracles are still possible and that no one is beyond redemption. Timing though will be different for each one. Patience is required in those instances when redemption (or deliverance) seems to be taking forever. In the interim, we stand in faith till it comes.

Constraints to virtual help

There is a wavering of thoughts and whether or not to render help, however, when the village is trying to save (not raise) an adult.

For the record, a village never raises an adult; the adult is a part of the village supposed to be raising the child. I’m not talking of an eighteen or nineteen-year old adult, but an adult in his/her late twenties, a thirty or even a forty-year old.

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” (Hebrews‬ ‭5:12‬)

Questions: what do you do when:

  • an adult “acts out of character,” or
  • an adult needs to be ‘saved,’ is seeking help or attention?
  • an adult acts or says things that are “weird?”
  • How do you as an onlooker discern which is which?
  • As a villager, would you jump in to help or, because the person is an adult, would you ignore and mind your own business?
  • Does mental health have a part in this and/or determine your reaction?
  • Does technology, trolls, and catfishes affect (or infect) your reaction?

Two ants do not fail to pull one grasshopper.

Tanzanian proverb

The Answers are relative

It’s easy to discern if the adult is a family member or close friend. But, I admit that it can be a difficult task when the adult is outside of one’s ‘community.’ Even harder in the virtual world of technology, trolls, and catfishes. If you are not a professional (therapist, counselor, social worker, etc.), you can misconstrue the act, right?

It takes the spirit of God to know what to do. We are gods (Psalm 82:5a) here on earth. Our Heavenly Father will not physically come down to save us or anyone. But, by His spirit in us, He will use us to save each other.

I once heard of a social media story about a young adult lady (early twenties, like 20 or 21) who needed help. She posted her story on her page. She found ‘solace’ in a ’pastor’ who offered her a place only for the pastor to start molesting her. One thing led to the other. Eventually, she was killed by the ‘pastor’ because she was exposing him.

I recount this sad story as I remembered it, though it was deeper. The young lady needed help but was driven away by her parents and probably friends into the wrong hands of fate. Could that have been averted? I believe that it could. However, who am I to say.

There’s still good in a somewhat gruesome world.

For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: And in multitude of counsellors there is safety.
‭‭(Proverbs‬ ‭24:6‬)

May God help us all to know when to speak and when to keep quiet; when to jump in to help and when to call others in for the help.

This post was inspired by a post of like title written by #LA, #Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50’s. I’ll share the post separately.

Women in Economics – IMF Blog

Women in Economics – IMF Blog
— Read on blogs.imf.org/2021/08/06/women-in-economics/

For Monday Financial Nuggets, I’m sharing an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Blog on Women in Economics.

As much as I enjoyed reading each lady’s contribution to Economics, I was disappointed that the Blog was biased in its showcasing, lacked diversity, and merely focused on one segment; in this case, the ivy leagues. A better title could have been “The Ivy League Women in Economics.”

I’m sure you will agree with me that there are more women contributors in the world than showcased. A sample of women from each continent would have been more relatable.

Nigeria’s very own Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was excluded. Okonjo-Iweala is currently the Director-General of the World Trade Organization. Prior to that, she was the former World Bank Managing Director; an organization she worked at for almost three decades rising through the ranks. Would we say that she’s not influential or important enough to make the list of Women in Economics (or Finance)? She studied Economics at Harvard. Which means that she qualified both ways.

Okonjo-Iweala was however included in another blog, People in Economics. Why she was in one but omitted from the other baffles me.

Well, it’s always great to read about women, their leadership and contributions worldwide. I just hope that the reads are inclusive; except of course, the title specifies to the contrary.

Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy reading the profiled Women in Economics and realize that it is only a segment of the whole.

The Recall

Credits: Unsplash / Brian Wertheim

The Preamble

1. My people perish for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).

Knowledge, not of books (academics), but of a thorough insight into all areas of anything, plaguing or concerning us. We need a holistic not peripheral view or lens. Grant us Your Spirit of knowledge and truth, dear God.

2. “So teach us to number our days, That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”(Psalm‬ ‭90:12‬)

Teach us oh God to think critically, and look beyond the prima facie so that we can see what You see. Grant us Your Wisdom and cast out man’s wisdom and that of the world from us.

3. “And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭8:2‬)‬‬

Help us oh God; deliver us from deceptive spirit and from ourselves. Think through our minds and speak through our mouths. Thank you Father God.

The Story

Gavin Newsom, the incumbent Democrat Governor of California (CA), is being recalled. The recall election is set for September 14th; about a month from today. How are you going to vote?

According to his top challenger, Larry Elder, a Republican, Newsom is corrupt, has led CA down the rabbit hole (my words) especially during the pandemic, and he (Larry) wants to save California.

“I’m running for Governor because the decline of California isn’t the fault of its people. Our government is what’s ruining the Golden State. …”

Larry Elder

Read more about Larry Elder and his ‘manifestohere.

Furthermore and according to an article, “The Recall would cost state and county election officials $276 million to administer.” Really? Can we pause a minute to imagine how many healthy meals can be provided to all children in public schools with that money and still have some change? Or how many grants can be awarded to enable students attend college? Or the number of homes that can be built to house homeless folks and clear / repair the dilapidated streets and freeways?

And guess who pays it back? We, the people, do in taxes and fees!

Man, I lost it when I saw that cost.

In Defense

It’s disappointing that Newsom cultivated a wait-and-see attitude and allowed the 1.5 million signatures for the recall to be collected unchallenged. Could he not have campaigned for his tenure and against the recall simultaneously when those signatures were being collected? I pondered.

Gavin Newsom has only been Governor for two years; smack in the middle of the pandemic. Like all of us, no one knew what to do with covid-19 or how to do the little we knew to do. Is’t fair to use the pandemic outcome as a yardstick to measure Newsom’s effectiveness as Governor of CA? I don’t think so. If anything, I think that CA faired better than most States regarding covid-19. Some States didn’t wear masks nor abided by the 6-feet distancing.

Yes, we expect a lot from our government, understandably. But that’s the whole reason we are disappointed in our government officials. We forget about the bureaucratic red tapes where a decision takes months, if not years, to make and signatories are required at each step. By the time those signatures are collected, the need for the decision has elapsed.

Granted that there are basic expectations of the government, covid, in my opinion was a grave exception.

Oh, I forgot about Gavin Newsom being at a party during covid, and all without masks. Is’t enough to justify a recall? To this I say, “he (or she) without sin, cast the first stone.”

What did Larry Elder and the other challengers expected of Newsom to have done in two years? Or during covid-19? And does Larry Elder, and the rest of the recall challengers, think that they can do better? We know it’s all political maneuvering. But, please, let not the people play their games because we, the people, will receive the outcome (wrong end) of it all.

“When two elephants fight, it’s the ground (or the arena where the fight occurred) that suffers.”                - an African adage

Lest they all forgot, Gavin Newsom became Governor of California in January 2019. All the issues raised by Larry Elder didn’t emanate the last two years. Those issues have been ongoing for decades. A good example is CA’s housing and homelessness issues. Prior CA Governors who had eight-year tenures couldn’t solve those issues. Why expect Newsom to in two years; which technically could be six months because of covid?

I am a Democrat on paper, but first a citizen of California and of the United States of America. My stand is not of party affiliation. I’ll take a stand if the Governor had been a Republican and the recall, in my opinion, does not make sense. I’m just tired of my people’s emotional rush and a lack of deliberate logical /critical thinking-through.

No to the Recall. It’s nonsensical!

We know that California is a political key state, having the highest number (55) of electoral votes, than any other of the fifty states. Understandably that political parties scurry for the State to be in charge. But, can we make it first about the people.

Any excuse or reason is good enough when people just want (not, need) a change. The reason could even be all lies and slander to bait the people. But, my people, it takes two to tango. If the politicians think that they can ‘fool’ the people, they’ll continue to do so. But if the people wake up, wise up, and say enough, the politicians will stop and change. They can’t without us. Let’s stop being gullible and frivolous people.

Credits: Unsplash / Hansjörg Keller

Similar Politicking

A similar occurrence happened regarding the Los Angeles County (LAC) District Attorney (DA) position. Anyone good enough could have replaced Jackie Lacey, the then incumbent DA. The people were tired with her, particularly with her (or office’s) handling of issues regarding BLM. Enter George Gascón, with an impressive resume, and bingo, we’ve got a great challenger to oust her out. Gascón won the race and the people were happy, or so we thought. But no. Less than three months in office, Gascón faced a recall. No kidding, right? What were the people thinking when they voted him in? Why allow ourselves and our emotions to go yo-yo at the flip of a button or do the 180-360 degree flips, beats me.

For Gascón, the recall supporters “must collect 579,062 signatures from registered voters in the county by October 27, 2021.”

Final Thoughts

Some might say that these two cases are what politics is all about; that politics is dirty. But, no. Politics of itself is about service to the nation and serving its people. Politics of itself is not dirty, but the people in politics are the ones who play the dirty games; just as being played in other professions as the Police, Prisons, Banking/Finance, etc. The point is that there are bad eggs/people everywhere; in families, community, work, etc.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

When people in politics put self, greed, and position above the people, we, the people, should not just stand and watch. We, the people, have the power to change it all. We can return politics to the service dignity comparable to any private lucrative profession. Time, we the people, start thinking and less talking.

Father God, I ask you once more to

“teach us to number our days, That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”(Psalm‬ ‭90:12‬)

We don’t understand why things happen the way they do, but we trust you and ask that you purify our hearts. Help us to think right. We don’t know how to vote, but we surrender it all to you. Help us to march forward always, and not backwards. Help us to think altruistically and not selfishly.

This Recall, in my opinion, is out of order. The reason(s) is(are) flimsy. How are you going to vote on September 14?

Thanks for reading. This post is longer than my norm, but not long enough to split in two. I appreciate your time reading till the end.

Loving Basketball: Welcome back, Ighi!

As you may or may not know, it has been a whirlwind in the NBA since August 2nd when the annual free agency trades began. With it came new mega contracts that’s making my head spin so hard; all in the bid to stack up on the best of the best of players onward to the 2021-22 NBA Championship race.

While some trades and contracts were shockers both on the acquiring and releasing of players, some made good business sense.

Of all the player trades, I am personally most pleased to see Andre Iguodala back with the Golden State Warriors.

Ighi a 37-year old veteran, still kicking it, has been around the NBA block since 2004 when he was first drafted by the Philadelphia Sixers; the Team he spent eight seasons with. He first joined the Warriors in 2013, had six seasons, and was invaluable in guarding key players during the Warriors’ Championships seasons in 2015, and the back-to-back 2017 and 2018. In 2015, Ighi won the MVP.

He was traded to the Miami Heats in 2019. It was a sad departure watching him leave and wondering why the Warriors couldn’t work out a better deal to retain him.

I hoped he enjoyed his two-season tenure with the Heats, but happy to see him back with the Warriors. Could this be his last dance with the Team and community that gave him the MVP? We will find out soon.

Welcome Andre Iguodala back to the Bay Area and the Golden State Warriors.

Want to read more about Ighi’s basketball bio, click here.

Bye to Oubre

As we welcome Andre, it was sad to say goodbye to Kelly Oubre Jr whose new home is now with the Charlotte Hornets. Thanks Oubre! I enjoyed watching Oubre fierce and fearless on the court and will miss him. I hope his new home is as comforting as, if not more than, the Bay. Wish you the very best, Oubre.

The Whole Trade

If you’ve followed the NBA in the last two weeks, you would have heard of the several mega and max contracts flying around. From Steph Curry to Luka Doncic to Kevin Durant to …., it’s jaw-breaking deals all over. Interested in knowing who has been traded from/to what Team, click here.

Tokyo Olympics

Credits: NBA

Finally, it behooves us to say Congratulations to both the USA Men and Women Basketball Teams for winning the Gold medals at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics.

Why You Shouldn’t Max Out Your 401(k) – Of Dollars And Data

Why maxing out your 401(k) might not be as beneficial as you initially imagined.
— Read on ofdollarsanddata.com/should-i-max-out-my-401k/

I think this is worth sharing for Monday Financial Nuggets. This is for you if you work 9-to-5, or have ever contributed to a retirement account, or are thinking of contributing.

Many, if not all of us, had heard that it’s good to max your annual contribution to the retirement/401k (or 457k if you’re a public/government employee) because of the employer matching contribution. Well, the same folks (financial experts) who touted the paradox of maxing out are singing a different song now.

If you’re currently maxing out on your 401k, this is a must-read for you.

I never maxed out; only contributed enough to have each employer I worked for match it. But I did know a few people who did. The few I knew complained about any and everything involving money; it was pulling strings to get them to take self or family to dinner or vacation. Whether or not it paid off for them, I wouldn’t know.

Anyways, maxing out surely puts a strain on available cash-in-hand and, as the article states, dampens the enjoyment of living, and missing out on one’s youth including other life essentials.

Of course, we’ve been taught that life is about opportunity costs. But about time we make life about equilibrium.

I hope you enjoy reading the article and learn something. Let me know your thoughts on this in the Comments.

apple.news/AT8WiqycJQ_y_ZjnzpxSH1w

Read this Wall Street Journal story about families dying of covid. Hope it inspires you to ensure that your family and friends are vaccinated.

It’s a sad-story outcomes of unvaccinated folks.

Don’t be a victim. Love your family, friends, or neighbors, encourage them to vaccinate.

Since the Herrings died, Ms. Parish has felt judgment from friends and acquaintances asking why her parents weren’t vaccinated—why she didn’t make them get vaccinated.

The vaccine ignorance is real. Help educate those closest to you.

Still Wearing My Mask

I’m fully vaccinated, but I live in Florida where only 49.8% of the population can say the same. Good old Florida, where the number of those infected…

Still Wearing My Mask
  1. Let’s do our part. We all need to be vaccinated against covid. It costs you nothing, but could cost you everything if you don’t. Ignorance does kill.
  2. Be fashionably informed – make a fashion statement, and Keep the mask on.

Is this what we’re drinking?

I rarely drink soda (also known as pop or soft drinks). The last time I craved some was over two decades ago when I was pregnant. Surprisingly, I craved some last night. So I included one in my food delivery.

After enjoying my dinner, I reached out for the bottle to open and gobble it down to ‘seal up’ the meal. I froze. The first thing I checked was the sugar content having recently been diagnosed borderline Type 2 diabetes.

I’ve made changes to my food intakes (I don’t diet! lol) and been watching my sugar as well. I love my hot tea and usually drink four to six cups a day, with cream and sugar! That’s however changed to two to three with sugar substitutes.

So, when I saw the sugars in the Sprite, the bottle fell outta my hand. Omg!

Well, some might say, you can have the no-sugar or Diet Sprite instead. True, but think of those who have no medical insurance and who drink the regular Sprite, think of those uninformed (or is’t ignorants, pardon me.) I used to be ignorant in that aspect as well when I used to enjoy endless bottles of Coke or Pepsi (Pepsi was my favorite; sorry Coca Cola). But not any more.

Drinking high-sugar content drinks is not healthy. According to the CDC, “Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with

  • weight gain/obesity,
  • type 2 diabetes,
  • heart disease,
  • kidney diseases,
  • non-alcoholic liver disease,
  • tooth decay and cavities, and
  • gout, a type of arthritis.”
You who are informed, should help those who are not.

Here’s an Harvard article on the nutritional source of sugary drinks.

Is the company, CocaCola, producing what the consumers want or just making products without cognizance to consumers’ long time health?

We can’t stop Coca Cola (or the other companies) from making its (or their) sugary products, but we can inform one another of the apparent or probable health risks.

As the Harvard article states, “concerted action on several levels—from creative food scientists and marketers in the beverage industry, as well as from individual consumers and families, schools and worksites, and state and federal government” is needed to “alleviating the cost and the burden of chronic diseases associated with the obesity and diabetes epidemics in the U.S. and around the world.”

Help do your part and spread the word; just as we need each one of us to spread the need to vaccinate against covid. Thank you.

How many daily blogs is too many?

Credits: Unsplash / Pineapple Supply Co.

How many posts do you write in a day? Is there anything such as a rule or framework for the daily number of posts/blogs? What makes bloggers post multitude a day? What is considered a reasonable number? Is the purpose simply because it aids SEO, analytics, etc.? Or is’t just to be seen as busy?

I don’t know. Do you? If you do, please share to inform.

I pondered on these questions when, this past weekend, I received post bombardment from one of my followings. In two days, I had received over two hundred (200) posts; on one day, I got over a hundred (113); all different posts. Another day, I had received fifty-three (53) by 9:00 A.M.! I wondered how many I would have gotten if I hadn’t stopped it? Your guess is as good as (if not better than) mine.

When I tried to reach out to the blogger, thinking that it probably might have been a technical glitch, I could not leave a comment on the website. What then do you do?

I recognize that some of us are busier on the blog than others. For some, it is their full-time business; while a hobby/pastime for others. Being busier (or rather hustling) than most means one would consistently churn out more blogs per day than others. But, how many is really too much?

Granted that there are no formal rules yet concerning blogs, blogging, or bloggers, the primary consideration should be on the readers. Will your reader be happy to receive all those mails in a day? Such bombardment is a turn-off to say the least.

WP community, have you received such posts bombardment? It was my first time being aware of such. What would you do? I hate to unfollow anyone, but such bombardment shows inconsideration for one’s followers who have to read them and whose emails are being clogged as a result. What do you think? Any suggestions for such bloggers who churn out 50 – 100 blogs a day? Please feel free to leave it in the comments.

One suggestion, I have which is really a no-brainer, is to spread those posts out; that is, schedule them to post few (I suggest a max of five) daily and rest.

Hope. Esperanza. Ireti.

Credits: Unsplash / Carl Hunley

There’s hope for a tree if it’s cut down, that it will sprout again.

And that the tender branch thereof will not cease.

Though the root thereof wax old in the earth,

And the stock thereof die in the ground;

Yet through the scent of water it will bud,

And bring forth boughs like a plant.” (‭‭Job‬ ‭14:7-9‬).

Allow yourself to be watered
How, you ask?
By moving closer to your Creator
By constantly staying in His Presence
And meditating and leaning in His warm embrace

He will renew your strength
You will soar on wings of eagles
You run and not grow weary
You will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31)

And you will be watered to overflowing.

Wait on Hope all the days of your life
Until your change and release come.

It will surely come. Wait on it.

This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” (Hebrews‬ ‭6:19‬)

“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. …”. (Romans‬ ‭5:5, Proverbs 23:18‬‬‬)

Put your hope in God
Hope in Him will never bring you to shame

He alone knows how to bring you to the expected end

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
‭‭(Romans‬ ‭15:13‬‬‬)

May all that you hope for come true … Your hope will never be cut short

Your Covid vaccine does not grant you perpetual immunity, but …!

Will covid ever be a thing of the past for us? Or is’t going to become like flu where we have to have the shot every year? I cannot wait till that day when we can heavily sigh “thank goodness it’s over!”

My precious daughter unfortunately just tested positive though she’s been fully vaccinated. She was the one that was zealous about everyone doing their part especially during the fatal widespread of covid last year. She was very concerned about us and made sure that we were all aware of everything, sending us CDC and hospital links, warnings about stocking up during those critical months, and doing our part to be protected and more. It saddens me that she tested positive. But, I’m nonetheless glad that she was fully vaccinated before testing positive.

Her symptoms are minor. Thank goodness. She’s really fine, compared to what I’ve heard of others; apart from her foods tasting bland, having to isolate for ten days from the date of contact (which is really hard to tell) or date of first symptom, and not being able to hug her. Her symptoms are still extremely milder than pre-vaccine folks we’ve read about.

Why are people resistant to the covid vaccine

Covid has been a terror from hell, but thank goodness that we have the vaccines. But we still need unvaccinated folks everywhere to get vaccinated. Really, it’s free? Do they know that it is – FREE?! I wonder what excuse(s) people have for not vaccinating.

As of today, 90 million Americans have not vaccinated. That’s over a quarter (27%) of the U.S. 329 million population. In my opinion, still a large number for such a fatal issue.

“According to experts, there are a variety of reasons:

  1. lack of access to vaccines,
  2. a refusal to see Covid-19 as a threat,
  3. concern about the vaccines’ side effects,
  4. little trust in the vaccines or the institutions behind them, and
  5. belief in at least one of several different conspiracy theories.”

Read more of these reasons here.

President Biden has, as an incentive, offered to grant $100 to newly-vaccinated folks. My fury take is “what else do they want?”

I’ve also heard that rideshare companies are donating free rides to help get folks to vaccine.

Companies and organizations should also do their best to mandate their employees to vaccinate. This is ongoing, but needs to intensify.

Better vaccinate than not

As we’ve all been hearing, being fully vaccinated does not provide you with perpetual immunity. But, it might prevent you from having the serious implications and hospitalization.

Even when the Government announced maskless, I still wore mine realizing that there were still folks out and about who have refused vaccination, and even during the critical months, to wear mask and or get vaccinated. Though the exemption was for vaccine-less people to still wear the mask, I knew that most vaccinated-less will join the vaccinated and not wear masks still! There’s no knowing of who had been vaccinated or not, so it was better for me to keep my mask on and still continue the sanitization/washing hands.

I hope you still wear your masks, too, both in- and outdoors to prevent yourself.

Everyone should vaccinate. Help spread the word.

Monday Financial Nuggets: The Poor, The Rich, and The Wealthy

The poor, the rich, and the wealthy: God made them all. Baring any financial inheritances, and level playing fields, God created all equal – one head, two eyes, and two legs. None was born with two heads and three or four legs, right? Such a being will no longer be human.

Why then are some poor and some rich or wealthy? Why isn’t everyone in a level financial field? And why is it that some no matter how hard they labor, it’s as if the money is being thrown into a basket with holes and yet have to worry about food, clothing and shelter? Yet, some only work a few and have all the luxuries of life and not a care in the world?

Is it right to say that God intentionally created some to be poor? God, the One who owns the hills and cattle on the hills (meaning that God is abundantly wealthy and owns everything) will desire that His sons and daughters live in abject poverty, while reserving the wealth for a few 1% (10%?)? That is not the kind of God I have come to know. Let’s think about this for a second.

The above verse has weighed heavily on my heart until I came across another statement, then I understood what the verse meant.

The Three Types

There are three types of people in the world: the poor, the rich, and the wealthy.”

Dr. Myles Munroe

“There are three types of people in the world: poor, rich, and wealthy.” This statement was made by the late Dr. Myles Munroe, the Sr. Pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Dr. Munroe went on to say that:

  1. Poor people always talk about money. “I don’t have enough.”
ThinkerTalker says: Change your words and start speaking in abundance and positives, lest it becomes self-fulfilling.
  1. Rich people think about “things” and what they have. “Look at my clothes, yacht, car, stock, etc.”
ThinkerTalker says:  Don’t let “things” be the yardstick for measuring your life. There are tons of invaluable feats that we can invest in. Let’s look for those.
  1. Wealthy people think and talk about ideas. They don’t think or talk about their money or things.
ThinkerTalker says:  May God bless us with multi-million dollar ideas and creative abilities.  Could it be that we are already blessed with those million-dollar ideas but we’re sitting and procrastinating on them or allowing fear to keeps us from moving forward with them?

Looking at the three different types of people, we can deduce the outcomes based on each’s mindset, focus, time and money management. Including each’s proactiveness and reactiveness.

In order to become a different type of person, one has to desire the type and vigorously pursue it. what it is that is done differently by those types.

Income Inequality

Put another way, there is income inequality and the gap has widened for the top 10% while shrunken for others. “Income allows a family to get by; wealth allows a family to get ahead.”

Credits: Federal Reserve, St. Louis

“Income is also a fairly common indicator of financial well-being.”

Education has been deemed a necessary tool to help in reversing the lack. Still some debate the need of education because of such people like Bill Gates and Steve Job. Such folks should engage in however means they know or have to stay informed,

Demography may not be economic destiny, but it is strongly related to financial outcomes

St. Louis Fed

In conclusion, we can reverse an unhappy financial situation, be it personal or generational, by investing early in life for the long run, having cash (or readily convertible to cash) in hand, spending wisely, and managing the money we have.

Thanks for reading. Cheers to your wealth and improved financial situation

Draft Picks Kuminga and Moody Ready to Get to Work with the Warriors | Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have added two new members to the 2021-22 roster following Thursday’s NBA Draft. Welcome to the squad Jonathan Kuminga (7th overall pick) and Moses Moody (14th)! Get to know more about the latest additions to Dub Nation and what they could potentially bring to the hardwood.
— Read on www.nba.com/warriors/news-blogs/kuminga-moody-20210729

Rep the Rookies!

Presenting Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, the newly-acquired Rookies. Both were selected, by Bay Area’s finest, the Golden State Warriors, (GSW) as #s 7 and 14 respectively in Round 1 of the 2021 NBA Draft yesterday. Kuminga originates from the Congo Republic in Africa.

Credits: Golden State Warriors

Click on the above link to read more about the Rookies.

Please welcome them, wish them well, and get to know them.

Here’s hoping that the addition will make GSW a better contender for the 2021-22 NBA Season.

ThinkerTalker wishes both the very best.

Article Credits to NBA.com and Golden State Warriors

Loving Basketball: 2021 NBA Draft Pick Is Tonight

It’s that time of year again for NBA Teams to pick their Rookies. It’s happening tonight at 8 P.M. ET.

www.nba.com/draft/2021

The above NBA link shows each Team’s pick number. Though I have several favorite players, my fave Team, Golden States Warriors, has the #7 First Round Pick. The Season’s Champions, Milwaukee Bucks, don’t get to pick, but they still have the #1 Round Two pick from a previous trade.

This CBS Sports link shows the prospects; a total of 102. An impressive list with at least ten (10) freshmen opting for the NBA. Africa is also ably represented with ten (10).

The Draft Pick is both exciting and emotional. Some are sure picks, but about forty percent (40%) will return home without a Team selection.

It is always interesting to see the final outcome of selections by the Teams. I also like to compare how close the Mock/Analyst selections are to the final outcomes.

I hope you will watch tonight; airing on ABC. Check your local channels for other airings.

ThinkerTalker wishes all prospects the very best.

Of Money Magnet and Money Repellant

Today’s post is all questions. Answering them, in my opinion, will make you aware, if you are not already, of your thoughts and beliefs. Thanks for participating.

  1. Does money flow to you easily or is money attracted to you and vice versa?
  2. What example(s) do you have of #1?
  3. Do you repel money?
  4. Give an example of an occurrence.
  5. Are you a money magnet or a money repellant?
  6. Are you a good money manager/ess or a good money mismanager/ess?
  7. Now that you are conscious of your money habits, what are you going to do differently?

We’ve all heard the sayings “a magnet attracts and a repellant repels,” especially if you were a science student or had physics class(es) in high school. Also, the phrase “like (energy) attracts like (energy). But is’t true when it comes to money? If true, how does one become a money magnet?

Being a money magnet or repellant depends on your beliefs. But it is not enough to believe, without some corresponding actions backing it up. For example, I believe that when I pray for something, I will get it. But I don’t believe that praying for money without working or doing something for money will cause the money to flow to one.

The money is found in the cultivation of a God-given idea.

ThinkerTalker

When people pray to God to bless them, God answers by giving the person an idea. But most folks still continue to pray and eventually give up concluding that God didn’t answer their prayers. The money is found in the cultivation of a God-given idea.

Anyone who doesn’t allow money to “rest easy” (aka stay in their hands or bank accounts) is a money repellant. As my sista, Kathy E. Garland, stated “A lot of us can generate income, but learning how to invest, instead of spend is a big deal.” That is so true for many. Money repellants make the money but unfortunately, the money comes in one way and goes out the other way. (could be a post for another day.)

Being one or the other could also be hereditary; the repellant more of a pathology that needs to be corrected and/or reversed.

Thanks for participating.

The Steve Graves Weekly: Finding Your Scottie Pippen

The Steve Graves Weekly: Finding Your Scottie Pippen
— Read on us10.campaign-archive.com/

Who is your Pippen or Chuck?

Two weeks ago, I had thought of a blog topic, using basketball as an allegory. The topic was “every MJ has a Pippen.” But with the Finals in full swing, I wrote the title, then shelved it for other topics. Guess what, yesterday, I got an article on exactly the same topic from one of the blogs I follow! I can’t help but share it.

I was like omg, Father God, what are you trying to tell me? That’s like Him – giving His people the same thing at the same time. My people, He is speaking and we all need to pay attention.

I believe that God is telling us to pay more and better attention to the #2s in our lives. And if you are a #2 to someone, know that you are special because God has taken note of you. Not that He just did, He’s being watching you keenly.

I was going to post a different blog for Sunday’s Jesus Ministry, but had to switch to blog this.

Everyone knows who Michael Jordan is. He is a global athletic icon. Every kid or high schooler wants to be like Mike. But how many know who Scottie Pippen is – now or then; during both their seasons with the Chicago Bulls.?

The Bible talks about Ruth (in the Book of Ruth) and Jonathan (in the Book of 1 Samuel). Both Ruth and Jonathan are folks who came into the lives of another (Naomi and David respectively) to help them out. They became team members for the success of the other.

I really don’t have much to add. Steve Graves’ article does all the talking.

However, I would like to add this: that I hope we all have a Chuck (Barkley) in our corner. Chuck, on the Inside the NBA show was the only analyst who supported, voted, and believed that Giannis and Milwaukee Bucks would win the Championship. He believed at the onset of the Playoffs even when Bucks was losing and were not playing their best game as expected.

I hope someone some where believes in me. I hope someone some where believes in you, too.

Stayed blessed and have a great and productive week.

A poem using my Name

Credits: Unsplash / Preslie Hirsch

“God gives me Joy”
OluwaFunmiLAyo
That’s who I am

Joy personify
I live and breath my name

I hope I gave my parents (of blessed memory)
Lotta joy while they lived.

I hope I have radiated some joy
To you today or at some other time.

I delight to resonate my name
Always
To strangers and foes alike
But please don’t do any wickedness
To my ears or eyes
Even at that
You’ll see me rebuking in joy

I hate wickedness with a passion
And cannot stand to watch it happen
Wickedness and Joy always collide
The two cannot co-habit
And one has to flee
To make way for the other.

Give me
Funmi
Is the short form;

I hope I saved you the agony of sounding out my long name. Or did I save myself the agony of hearing my name butchered every time I’m called.

But wait a moment why should we agonize? If all can call Schwarzenegger or Antetokounmpo, all can call OluwaFunmiLAyo. But never mind, I’ll keep it at Funmi, for short, and let you have the joy of calling it.

I not only give joy
But I give gifts of His Glory

Radiating His Peace, gentleness and meekness (though not always), goodness, and faith, long suffering, perseverance, and temperance for sure.

I love, and give it, too.
That I am commanded to be, do, and give

What would you have me give you today?

Secret Lovers

Credits: Unsplash / Igor Rodrigues

He stopped by again unannounced as he had previously done over the past years.

Hey. Why?” She asked him. “You’re getting married this weekend. You promised me you wouldn’t come again.”

I just wanted another night with you,” he blurted out. I came to get you. Let’s go to The Beach Point.

For the last time?” she asked

I don’t know – can’t bet my life on that,” he winked as he replied.

She gave him a kiss, “I’ll be right back.” She ran inside like a 6-year old being invited to her favorite candy shop. She hurriedly changed into one of his favorite dress; a soft pink V-necked that clung unto her soft skin. He actually bought it for her from one of his company trips.

The Venue

They had met by chance at a mutual friend’s birthday party. Both showed up solo to the party and they had clicked from the onset. But … they both belonged to someone else. Suddenly, her steady boyfriend broke up with her. He visited to “console” her, telling her the ex must be a jerk to leave her. One visit led to another and soon they became inseparable.

The Beach Point had been their tryst. They met there at 5:30 p.m. everyday after work for the past three years. Some weekends, too. Regulars at The Point knew them as the beautiful power couple. Unknown to them that they both belonged to someone else and he’s getting ready to marry in a few days.

She stepped out looking gorgeous from head-to-toe. She could pass for a model, but she wasn’t. She worked as the PRO (Public Relations Officer) for one of the large and top City Banks. He was the General Manager at an international oil company.

He jumped up and swept her off her feet kissing and caressing her all over unable to control himself.

I love you. Wished I found you first.”

She put her index finger to his lips. “Stop. You don’t. You should be marrying me instead.”

Three hours later, they were wrapped together on the living room couch watching Kevin Costner’s The Bodyguard.

They stared at each other unable to let go.

Do you still want to go?” he finally asked.

She said, “yes.”

She straightened down her dress, padded the loose powder on her face, applied her irresistable matte brown lipstick, and slipped on her brown stilettos.

The Beach Point was packed; couples dancing, some busy chatting, while some ate staring into each other’s eyes. They walked in to the music of “Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr. He gently pulled her to the dance floor. They were glued together on the floor. She had tears in her eyes. Suddenly, the tears gushed uncontrollably down her face. He felt the warmth of her tears on his shirt as she sobbed uncontrollably. He gently swirled her around and, with his right strong arm by her waist, he whispered something into the ears of the DJ. Secret Lovers sang all night.

Was that his request to the DJ, she wondered.

Goodbye!

Time to go home. It was 2:00 A.M. The night flew into the mornings pretty fast. It was getting chilly, too, for a summer morning. Where had he been? All the sobbing left foundation and lipstick stains on his Armani shirt. What would he tell his fiancée?

They drove silently back to her apartment. He walked her to the door and kissed her goodbye. She gently opened the door and, without looking back, stepped in and closed the door. She slumped onto the couch and cried herself to sleep.

She took a trip to Paris for that weekend of his wedding. And guess what? She was the first person he called after tying the knot! “I’m coming to Paris on Tuesday, he softly told her over the phone. I’ll see you soon. He hung up before she could say anything to stop him.

Questions Unanswered

Why does it have to be this way? Why can’t two loving people be together? Why does he have to end up with her out of pity? What kind of marriage would that be? And how long will this continue for? Are we being selfish and inconsiderate?

So many questions, but no answers.

So you think you’re ready for marriage. How’s your E-Educational Development?

Credits: Unsplash / Tim Mossholder

Literacy in itself is no education. Literacy is not the end of education or even the beginning. By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man-body, mind and spirit.

Mahatma Gandhi

Education does not stop after graduation from high school or college/university. Real educational development continues way after receiving your diploma and throwing of your cap. Completing the education was only the foundation in life.

Your educational development will continue way past graduation and will be tested in various areas of your life. How much you knew (or thought you knew), what you know (or thought you do know), and how much you are willing to learn or know. Are you teachable or rigid; open or closed to learn from others?

I have written two prior posts on Education. They serve as preambles. Please read them before continuing.

If you stop learning after graduation, you will degenerate.”

Chris Adedoyin @VarsityExperience

After graduation, your first test will come on-the-job from your boss, team members, or the company’s clients or vendors. Or if you’re one of the few who delved right into building a business upon graduation, it will come from everyone you deal with; such dealings can determine your success or failure in the business.

Are you willing to learn new things and follow instructions? Not following instructions can sometimes cost businesses, and personal, dollars. No matter what you’ve learned, every organization has its way of doing business and things; also known as its culture.

First things first (credits to Stephen Covey), never squeeze yourself into a culture you don’t fit into.

Your first job will often be a test of everything you know, thought you knew, are humble to acknowledge you don’t know, and are willing to know and learn. Yes, I recognize that I’m repeating this and might probably do once more during the post. But, life itself is all about this. It is when we acknowledge that we really don’t know as much as we thought we knew, that we’ll be open to learning.

Simply, you can continue your educational development by:

  1. Reading
  2. Being in company of those you deem intellectually superior than you
  3. Having mentors; either professional or personal
  4. Taking classes, and/or
  5. Willing to return to college.

How does your educational development apply in marriage?

It depends on who you marry and/or the family you married into. For example, if your spouse is highly educated, it will behove you to be on the same educational level. If not, you should return to the classroom, else s/he might not deem you “an intellectual equal.” That might put a wedge in that area in your marriage.

Likewise, if your spouse’s family are all intellectuals, and you are not, they might be condescending leading you to being of low self esteem if yours is underdeveloped or non-existence. The reverse is equally true – if you have a higher degree but married one who has a high school diploma. And if you come from an intellectual family but married into a family of laid back education-is-not-for-us kind.

Please note that I am not condemning one or the other, merely stating my opinion and life observations/experiences.

I must point out though that these scenarios are not edged in stone; they are the general life experiences. As we all know, there are always a few exceptions that defy generalizations. Such instances are often the God-kind.

An instance of marrying into a family of intellectuals should, in my opinion, rub off on one to motivate such a person to return to college.

Sean K. Fletcher reminded me/us of the recent development of folks aspiring for “the PhD or doctorate as the highest level qualification today …”. Imagine competing for a job/position with such holders if all you have is high school, some college, or BA/B.Sc.

The purpose of this post is to encourage you to continue your educational development beyond graduation and to have an open mind towards continued learning and educating yourself. The benefits, both tangible and intangible, will be both personal and beneficial to your marriage.

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”

Albert Einstein

Do not let anything interfere with your learning; not even yourself.

So, Bucks made the History on Game 6!

Milwaukee Bucks are the 2020-21 NBA Champs! It’s all over the media! And lots of histories were made:

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA) and the Milwaukee Bucks finally made history; in 50 years!!
  2. And what an amazing way to make it happen with Giannis’s 50 points game night!!!
  3. And Giannis being the first international NBA Finals MVP
  4. And Bucks, as Mantange asked, became the fifth Team in NBA history to comeback from a 2-0 deficit and win the Championship.

All that, including winning the Finals MVP for the third time!!!

GA was all teary emotional. It was an emotional night for me as well watching him, the Team, owners, fans, and all. Perseverance, faith, humility, resilience, hardwork all in action.

Undoubtedly, the Phoenix Suns put up a great fight, but …

It was a well deserved win for Giannis and the Team. And they (Team, town, and fans) all need to celebrate and enjoy the WIN.

I’ll forget the negatives observed and leave you to enjoy the video clips and photos.

Thanks for an awesome NBA season that will forever go down in history.

Thank goodness also for some Olympics basketball which starts on Monday. Till next season,

History in the Making! Will it happen today?

Have you been watching the NBA 2020-21 Championship between Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, like I have? What a ball it has been!

Game 6 will be played today, at 9:00 P.M. EST in ABC. That’s in approximately three hours. It is the game NBA Analyst, Steve Aschburner, has tagged Desperation versus Discipline. I cannot agree more.

Desperation or Discipline?

Both Teams are indeed desperate to win today for obvious reasons. For Suns, it’s win or go home. The desperation is hardest on them such that some Phoenix lawyer(s) will pay for a billboard to be mounted in Milwaukee! Read about it here. Whether to support the Suns or troll the Bucks, it seems an act of desperation. The law firm should have used the money to fly all its staff and family members to Fiserv Forum to cheer Phoenix Sun if it really wanted to support. Well …

For Bucks, it’s win, clinch the Larry O’Brien Cup, or return to Phoenix for another grueling game.

Also, both Teams haven’t won a Finals in at least fifty (50) years.

Both Teams also have to indeed exercise discipline; a much better one than they had done and particularly did for Game 5 in order to mitigate the foul calls and avoid technicals and injuries.

Whether it is desperation or discipline, I hope it’s all clean, good, and fun game with no fatal injuries.

Background and Series thus far

As you may or may not know, NBA Playoffs and Championships are a series of seven games. The Season’s Championship began on Tuesday, July 6th at the home court of Phoenix Suns (PS). The Series started with Games 1 and 2 at Phoenix, Games 3 and 4 in Milwaukee, Game 5 – Phoenix, Game 6 – Milwaukee (today), and Game 7, if necessary, back in Phoenix.

As expected, PS clinched the first two games of the Series utilizing home court and fan base to their advantage, setting everyone, viewers and analysts, wondering what was going on with the Bucks, and thus putting Team Giannis in the hole 2-0! Phoenix’s fan base loudly roasted (or booed) Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA) non-stop at the free-throw line – a mental torture, in my opinion.

However, at Buck’s homecourt, GA appeared to get mentally tougher, better, and of course, fewer or non-existence of the Phoenix fans helped eased his composure at the free throw line. With some superb leadership caliber plays, Bucks won the next two games; also utilizing the fan base-home court to its advantage.

Though Game 5 was at PS’s, Bucks clinched the game; now leading series by 3-2. Spectacular was the steal by Jrue Holiday (JH) (from Sun’s Devin Booker) at the last few minutes, GA’s dunk, and Khris Middleton’s back-to-back three-pointers, including free-throws from fouls all helped put Bucks in the lead and cemented the win.

All games featured superb 40+ points each by three players; Devin Booker (PS), GA, and Khris Middleton (KM); thus making the Finals MVP a hard choice. Also notable were stunning steals in the last two games, including blocks and dunks throughout.

The Desperation continues

The Phoenix Suns franchise, established in 1968, has never won an NBA Championship. Per Jason Schandl, “the last time they even made the NBA finals was the 1992-93 season, when Charles Barkley and company lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. Their only other championship appearances came in the 1975-76 season.”

Bucks’ slogan is “History in the Making.” It’s the first time the team reached the Finals in fifty (50) years.

“The last time the Bucks were in The Finals, legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson were their stars. Current coach Mike Budenholzer was only four years old. Some of the 2021 players’ parents weren’t even born yet.”

Steve Aschburner

“Only four teams have ever bounced back from a 2-0 series deficit in the NBA Finals. Can the 2021 Milwaukee Bucks team become the fifth?” – Yash Mantange

The four teams, he wrote, were:

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016
  2. Miami Heat in 2006
  3. Portland Trail Blazers in 1977, and
  4. Boston Celtics in 1969.

I believe Mantange made the above statement simply because Milwaukee Bucks is closer to clinching the Series’ win than Phoenix Suns. But, it will be interesting to see the outcome tonight. Yours truly will definitely be watching, cheering, and taking notes. [smile]. I hope you will be too.

Of Sinners and Saints

I had posted similar opposing-titled blogs; Of In-Laws and Outlaws, Of Poverty and Riches, Of Marriages and Divorces, Of God and Satan, Of Fathers and Daughters, and Of Mothers and Sons. All of which were self-inspired by observations and personal experiences.

Today’s post’s title however was inspired by a cake and sweet shop so named. I drove by it and bought a piece of velvet cake. I have tasted several velvet cakes and I love to compare with a personal goal of selecting the best. It’s been hard though as every piece is unique in its taste.

This particular velvet cake had both a sweet and not-so-sweet (not sour or bitter) combination. I’m sure bakers have a term for it. Sorry, I’m not a baker. Anyways, the velvet cake was surprisingly the not-so-sweet, while the creamy topping was the sweet. But the topping also had some sprinkling that balances the sweetness; kind of like a dark chocolate topping on a vanilla icecream. After savoring the cake (I wanted another but had driven far off to turn back!), I experienced the aha moment of the cakery’s (patisserie or bakery) name.

Of Sinners and Saints

Who is a sinner?
You and I.
Cos we are imperfect
And live in an imperfect world.

We are sinners
when we disobey God’s words
when we do the things He disapproves of,
when we love darkness
rather than light,
when we act like Judas
rather than the Good Samaritan.

Now, who is a Saint?
None of us
Though all of us could qualify.

“A saint
Is just a sinner who fell down,
But … couldn’t stay there,
And got up…Donnie McClurkin

You could be a saint
if you live a holy and righteous life, or give generously to others of your time, talent, and treasures

You don’t have to die
to qualify as a saint
As does the Catholics

You, and I, can start
living as saints here on earth

Else we’ll be the sinners who never got back up, and
no-one wants around;

Choose today
which you’ll be,
Sinner or Saint.

Both sinners and saints
never last
either can change,
for the better;
hopefully, not for worse.

In choosing
remember that
One goes to hell
and the other to heaven.

I hope you’ll choose wisely
This day who you’ll become
If you already haven’t.

Twitter. Twitter. Twitter!!!

Credits: Unsplash / @brett_jordan

Talking about fake news

Have you being receiving bogus tweets from folks on Twitter? Comment if you have received any in your mailbox or had some popped up on your account.

I have received tons. And I recently just paid attention to them. The other day I deleted 400+ emails received from Twitter.

screenshot of total deleted emails from Twitter … blacked out my personal email/Twitter account

Most of which were sent from bogus/fake accounts. There are only 365 days in the year. To have received 400+ emails in 6 months is horrendous, and in my opinion, a bombardment. The annoying thing again is that the tweets are from fake/bogus Twitter accounts. For example, the above screenshot shows a tweet purportedly from Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors’ (GSW) point guard. But the tweet was not from Steph’s official account.

Twitter, or whoever is responsible, replicates the accounts of my followers and followings which is only a few and sends the tweets supposedly via those accounts and emails a daily (or more per day) compilation. Ridiculous and whosoever is responsible must be really idle.

The latest tweets (and news) surfing the web is that of Damian Lillard, the indefatigable Portland Trail Blazers (PTB) guard, purportedly requesting a trade from his team. Dame has been with PTB for eight years. I received several tweets on the alleged trade about Dame in talks with GSW and Los Angeles Lakers (LAL), but ignored them. Then my daughter forwarded another to me.

I was glad when Dame eventually debunked the news during an interview while at the Olympics Exhibition Games in Las Vegas. The interview was reported by both the NBA and ESPN.

More bogus tweets received

The above tweets were replicated from the individuals’ official accounts.

But, why the need for replication if I follow them anyways? Does Twitter (or the idle somebody) think that I may not see it? It baffles me.

It’s one of the reasons I left Facebook. I deleted my FB account but recently received an email asking me if I was trying to log back into it! I wasn’t.

Who Polices the Police?

Former President DT was banned for inciting tweets and posts. Fake tweets incites the public, too, as we saw with Dame’s. I bet Dame’s wasn’t the only fake news.

Twitter and Facebook don’t have to engage users this way (or allow such engagements).

Questions.

Who bans Twitter for sending and spreading those fake news? Or for allowing accounts to be set up for such? Or is Twitter beyond reproof? What actions, if any, can one take to stop it?

And what is the purpose behind sending fake news? To confuse the people is all I can think of.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you received some bogus tweets and/or posts, too?

Waking up Africa, the Sleeping Giant

youtube.com/watch

I love this lady, Adeola, for her humorous and satirical manner of sharing news, especially those concerning Nigerian and African leaders. Check her YouTube channel for more.

On this TEDTalk, she’s doing her part to wake up The Sleeping Giant.

We all have a part to play. The role is not only for Nigerians and Africans, but also for friends of Nigeria and Africa, as well as well-meaning people all over the globe. Not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) was coined to mean people looking the other way when issues don’t directly affect them. Everything in life affects us directly or indirectly. Africa’s rise or fall as a continent will affect other continents. It’s a spillover effect that is either positive or negative.

What role will you play to help wake it (the Sleeping Giant) up?

When you see or hear something about Nigeria (or Nigerians) and Africa (or Africans), don’t be quick to condemn, but do your own research to find out the authenticity of the news. There’s a lot of fake news floating around. Too bad no-one listened to DT on this (for other reasons), but beware what you share.

For now, I hope you enjoy Adeola’s video.

Ladies, Never Pursue a Man!

youtube.com/watch

Don’t shoot me, please. Yes, I’m not your Mama, but as a mother of two inwardly-beautiful young ladies (to God’s Glory), I’m also concerned as this man, R.C. Blakes, is. I just found and watched his video, totally resonate with all he says, and I believe it’s apropos to share.

Though it’s addressed to all ladies who exhibit the character, I specifically would advise all young ladies to watch it.

In Gottfried’s word and world, I might be trying to control the world. (smile). But in my world, we are all responsible for cultivating the land for habitation. If you believe that “it takes the village to raise the child,” you would agree.

God has given each one of us an area (or piece) of land here on earth to cultivate. As such what I am interested in and passionate about will differ from yours, but we might have a group of individuals so assigned to the same land.

Yes, I know we live in a culture of extreme freedom (everything is free-for-all, or so we think.). But, hey, No! Else, why have laws. For example, being free to drive does not compel me to drive at age 10 or 12. Neither does it compel me to drive and crash into other people or their cars on the freeway. If I choose to, I should be ready to face the consequences, right; the consequences of which might include financial compensation or suspension of the driving license. So freedom is not totally free but limited to some extent.

What does that have to do with the video and/or ladies? Well, watch the video to find out.

It’s disheartening to listen and/or watch young ladies act “desperate for love.” There are several reasons this might occur.

Reasons why ladies might

The first that comes to mind is what I first heard in the charismatic (Pentecostal) churches termed “daddy issues.” This term indicates that a lady is suffering from (or exhibiting behaviors as a result of) the lack of a father in their lives. The father might be present in the house, but sadly only as a figurehead and one who is distant and does not interact with his daughters on a father-daughter level. So the daughter grows up looking for love in all the wrong places, suffers hurt and rejection in her relationships as a result of not having being taught or learned from the man (dad) in her life, goes from one guy to the other, and eventually starts wondering why or that something(s) are wrong with her life.

Whether the term is right, true, or not, the symptoms sure shows that some thing(s) might be psychologically amiss.

Another reason, not unconnected with the first, is that the lady may have low self esteem or an esteem not rightly developed to the level it ought to have.

Yet another reason is that some young ladies, despite all the training and economics given at home, they grow up (or want to grow up) too fast and discard them to follow the “fast-tracklifestyle. They misconstrue a guy wanting to have sex with them as loving them and/or think that by saying yes to every sex, the guy will love them more or keep coming back. Each scenario is a fantasy and leads to heartaches by the third-to-fifth sex or guy!

Some ladies just want a man at all cost.

Some have a boyfriend but don’t know how to sustain the relationship and thus loses the boy/guy.

Another common reason is ladies watch how their friends have boyfriends, are dating, and/or changing boyfriends one after the other yet they don’t have one. FOMO (fear of missing out) seeps in and they resort to chasing guys instead of continuing to wait to be asked out.

Final thoughts

The video also provide examples of how to go about attracting a guy who’s interested in the lady.

Call me old fashioned, I still believe that the man ought to search the lady out. How about you and why? Leave your answer in the Comments if you please.

My greatest heart desire (prayer) is that every young lady desiring love will surely be found out by their true love. It is when we get it out of order that we fall into the wrong relationship.

Leisure

Credits: Unsplash / KMA

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare

W. H. Davies

A Message for us all

I learned this poem from elementary (a few decades ago!). For some reason, it’s being popping up in my spirit. I finally paid attention to it.

I forgot a couple of its verses and, thank goodness for Google, found it!

I know it’s a message for me and, probably you. It’s a message for us all, if we don’t already, to slow down and enjoy the stillness of nature’s beauty that surrounds us.

We all get caught up in the daily hustle, bustle, grind, rat race, dog-eat-dog world. But be still to enjoy nature’s beauty!

The poem was written in 1911 and still relevant today. We all get caught up in the daily hustle, bustle, grind, rat race, dog-eat-dog world. But be still to enjoy nature’s beauty! Our culture is so fast-paced such that if you’re not rolling with the pace, one feels out of place.

But, being still to enjoy those things we often deem mundane, is actually the good life. “Staring at sheep and cows or squirrels hiding their nuts in grass” may appear to some as idleness and not having a care in the world. The cares that come from worrying and being anxious about bills, friends, what to wear or eat, children, spouse, etc. The truth though is that such folks have given those cares to God.

Let’s be still and enjoy the good life which is not necessarily the one full of “things.” Things are good to have, but let’s not allow the things to possess us.

Take time to walk and stare at sheep and cows, including the squirrels hiding their nuts in grass, and the stars in the skies, and …. .

Peace

WISDOM (II)

I love Wisdom. It is a gift from God. Those who are blessed with it utter (or pen) such incontestable words that leaves one’s mouth agape, takes one’s breathe away, and sets the hearts ablaze in wonder. It makes an adult out of youngsters and a sage of grown ups. When such moments occur you realize it’s a God moment.

Wisdom defies age and flourishes where peace and tranquillity resides. It is not intelligence. For great intelligentsias have lacked the simplest wisdom.

Wisdom eludes those greedy for power, selfish ambition, fame, riches, or vanity. And eschews the alcohol bibber.

The Wisdom I’m talking about is the one from God, from on High. It is the wisdom that is “first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” (James‬ ‭3:17‬)‭

I wrote about the three types of Wisdom. Click here to read about it.

I need wisdom in the affairs of life generally. I hope you do, too.
Bible readers will remember King Solomon, the man of wisdom. Even he needed wisdom in deliberating over an issue of switched births and subsequent death of one of the babies. Both ladies claimed that the surviving baby belonged to her while the dead baby belonged to the other. King Solomon then requested for a sword and told the ladies he would slice the baby in two and give a part to each. 😱

One woman said “yes, go ahead, king.” The other said “no, my king, let her have the baby.” I hope you guessed right who the real mother was. Not that King Solomon will do such an act, but it was wisdom from on high that suggested it to him.

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”‭‭ (James‬ 3:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

Of Wisdom and Foolishness

Yes, there are times when those noted for Wisdom have done or said a foolish thing or two. Those times are exceptions. Foolish as what the wise one may have done or said, it is still part of the sage’s ordained path and it’s for someone somewhere. Am I making excuses for the wise? Certainly not. Take a look at King Solomon’s life (Nehemiah 13:26), the one whom Lord Jesus claimed to be the wisest, and you’ll understand. Sometimes I feel that God, the Infinite Wisdom, often chooses to put a thorn in the flesh to keep the wise meek, humble, and to butress who is in control.

In a culture full of instant gratifications where tons of foolishness abound, it’s rare to find wisdom. But look closely, wisdom is lurking very close. The prudent and equally wise recognize it and desires to sit at her feet.

This young lady, Sarah Jakes, Toure, is one blessed with wisdom. This video interview of her is highly recommended for all young ladies out there. I also gleaned some nuggets from the video as I consider myself a young lady at heart.

More Wisdom Sayings

  • “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” (Proverbs‬ ‭17:28‬ ‭NIV)
  • ‬‬“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs‬ ‭13:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬)
  • “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: And with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬)
  • “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” (Proverbs‬ ‭12:15‬ ‭NIV)‬‬

If you desire Wisdom, all you have to do is ask Father God. He promised to give it to you liberally.

Moral Benefits of Wisdom

I leave you with this Chapter (Proverbs‬ ‭2:1-22‬ ‭NIV‬‬), from the Book of Proverbs which was written by King Solomon.

“My son (and daughter), if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—

indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,

for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.

For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.

Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse,

who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways,

who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,

whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.

Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman (and man), from the wayward woman (or man) with her (his) seductive words,

who has left the partner of her (his) youth and ignored the covenant she (he) made before God.

Surely her (his) house leads down to death and her (his) paths to the spirits of the dead.

None who go to her (his) return or attain the paths of life.

Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous.

For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;

but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.”

Thanks

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed reading as I have enjoyed gleaning the wisdom from writing it as well. Stay blessed and in wisdom

WISDOM (I)

Each block/paragraph below is a verse. Absolutely no indigestion nor congestion. Simply enjoy, digest, ingest all you can, and egest the ones you can’t. At the end, I hope you badly desire Wisdom.

From the Holy Bible: Proverbs 8:1-36

“Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?

At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand;

beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud:

“To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.

You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.

Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.

My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.

All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.

To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge.

Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold,

for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.

To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.

By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;

by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.

My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.

I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,

bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full.

The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;

I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be.

When there were no watery depths, I was given birth, when there were no springs overflowing with water;

before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth,

before he made the world or its fields or any of the dust of the earth.

I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,

when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,

when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

Then I was constantly at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,

rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.

Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.

Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.

Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.

For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.

But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”

Selah (ponder on this for a moment)

Blindsides

Credits: Unsplash / David Olubaji

Blindside has only two definitions in each of the dictionaries (Collins, dictionary.com, Oxford, and Merriam-Webster). This is a little surprising considering that most words usually have various definitions.

One meaning of Blindside relates to sports, “to tackle, hit, or attack (an opponent) from the blind side.” The other, is considered an informal word used, and means “to attack critically where a person is vulnerable, uninformed, etc.”

I love the Oxford’s definition better though;
to attack someone from the direction where they cannot see you coming” and “to give someone an unpleasant surprise.”

There’s the movie, The Blind Side, which relates to the first definition. This post is about the second.

Life Blindsides

We all tend to focus on one or two things in life and neglect other equally important areas. Good if it’s for a period of time and we suddenly catch ourselves and change. Unfortunately there are those who are unaware and live it perpetually.

Those neglected areas often hunt, bite, or unexpectedly attack us and we are unpleasantly surprised by the neglect. These are life blindsides.

Examples

  • Some folks may focus on their career or business and ignore relationships or personal finances. Or vice versa.
  • In dating, some may chase the “obviously” handsome or beautiful and ignore those with flawless characters carbons-metamorphosing-into-diamonds.
  • In friendships, we sometimes focus on certain gregarious and extroverted folks while paying little, or no, attention to subtle niceties and empathetic affections of the introverts.
  • In businesses or at work, sometimes the boss focuses on one employee to the detriment of the team, and the unhappy employee(s) bailout. Most often it is the team that produces the result, but the one employee who gets all the focus becomes unproductive without the rest. By the time new employees are hired, productivity would have suffered and the employee would have burnt out.
  • In families, most dads are present, but barely engaged in the affairs of their children; they think that leaving the ‘dough’ on the table equates fatherhood; yet the moms that are readily available and accessible seem to be taken for granted. What a life!

Worse yet, we’re able to see clearly how another person is ignoring an area of their life, but blind to ours. Can you relate?

By the time we realize that we’ve left an unattended area for too long, it’s often too late.

My Blindside

I have been blindsided a few times in the course of my life. But this recent one stood out. How or why? Because I heard it loud in my spirit: “you’re so focused on that, but you’ve ignored this!” This and that were two personal things (or issues, if I may call them that, that were supposed to happen on my recent birthday.) The truth was that I was indeed focused on one and totally ignored the other. But with “hearing,” I now changed, and all was well. How I wish I could hear that 24/7 or whenever I’m faced with a decision. How great that would be.

That was the Holy Spirit ministering to me days before my birthday last month. without which I wouldn’t have had the good day that I had,

Effects of Blindsides

Blindsides are painful and unnecessary because we know they could have been avoided. Communication, the act of talking and active listening, is a necessity in life scenarios. In the examples given above, on one hand, one person is unhappy, uncommunicative, and checks out. Another is feeling in, but rejected and surprised by the blindside. What’s going on?

How to avoid being blindsided

The more self-aware you are, the easier it will be to understand the motives of others.

Jill Weber
  1. Be vigilant. Know yourself, express your emotions, and learn to know others and their emotions. It is by so doing, that you can catch the feelings or reactions of others when something is wrong.
  2. Never take anyone for granted. Unfortunately, though ironic, is that those who readily offer help and are readily available and accessible are taken for granted. Why, beats me. Eventually those taken for granted will realize that they are and will not be there when you need them the most because they got tired of being a doormat.
  3. Communicate to avoid the unpleasant surprises. Everyone is talking and few are actually listening. In families, relationships, at work, or in business, learn to communicate and ensure that everyone understands the message you’re sending.
  4. Ask for feedbacks. Pairing your communications with feedbacks helps reinforce a clear message and that all are on the same page. Also be ready to receive both the positive and negative feedbacks. You might not agree with all, but be accepting of them, else people will not want to give you feedbacks again.
  5. Have a vision and be far-sighted. Where do you want to be in X years? How are you getting there? Who’s helping you get there? Having answers to these early will help you stay on track and minimize sidetracks.

Being farsighted is both a wellspring of new opportunities and a buffer against disruption.

IMD
  1. Be relevant and present by regularly weighing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). For example, being aware of your weakness(es) might help you avoid certain places, people, or things.

Doing the above six can help you avoid being blindsided.

Have you ever been blindsided? Did you realize that you were while in the process, or you did in hindsight? Leave a comment if you please. Thanks.

ALERT🛑❗️A DESSERT IN DISGUISE:

ALERT🛑❗️A DESSERT IN DISGUISE:

http://thecookingjournals.com/2021/07/08/alert%f0%9f%9b%91%e2%9d%97%ef%b8%8fa-dessert-in-disguise/
— Read on thecookingjournals.com/2021/07/08/alert🛑❗️a-dessert-in-disguise/

Sharing Thursday #3: Little Chef’s Apron @ thecookingjournals.com

This young lady has had me floored since I found her post. She dishes faster than I can keep up with her. Something she “tried her hand on … just before the lockdown period.” You would think she’s being cooking, baking, and shaking from the womb.

And yes, if we said that, we’d be right because her Mom and sister cooks and bakes, too! Check out the birthday cake they both made, including all the sumptuous cuisines for Aarushi Sehgal who recently turned 14 (or is’t 15?) years old. I also just found out about her other writing blog site.

https://thewriteholic.wordpress.com/

What a creative, busy, and impressive young lady. Kudos to her parents for a job well done!

Please check her site, thecookingjournals.com, out for mouthwatering cuisines; and follow if you please.

तस्वीर / The Picture

तस्वीर / The Picture

https://kaushalkkishore.wordpress.com/2021/07/06/%e0%a4%a4%e0%a4%b8%e0%a5%8d%e0%a4%b5%e0%a5%80%e0%a4%b0-the-picture/
— Read on kaushalkkishore.wordpress.com/2021/07/06/तस्वीर-the-picture/

Sharing Thursday: ‘Sage’ KK

Visit KK’s site, kaushalkkishore.wordpress.com, and you’ll find précis, deep and wise sayings (poems) beautifully penned.

Sharing one of such poems that touched my heart. They all actually do. Another one that’s hard to choose which to share because they are all so deep and beautiful.

How does the poem minister to you?

In addition, KK shares insightful and informative posts from both his life and work experiences. Check him, and site, out; follow if you will, and I hope that you’ll agree with me that he is loaded with wisdom. We need more wise men and women in the world.

Thanks KK for your daily sharing.

The Kindness Revolution – Hugh MacKay

The Kindness Revolution – Hugh MacKay

https://strategicteams.wordpress.com/2021/06/11/the-kindness-revolution-hugh-mackay/
— Read on strategicteams.wordpress.com/2021/06/11/the-kindness-revolution-hugh-mackay/

Sharing Thursday: Strategic Times and Sean K. Fletcher

My comments on Sean’s post was getting too long, so I turned it into a post. Please check out his site, strategicteams.wordpress.com, for more insightful and leadership posts. It was hard selecting which one to share with you, but I hope you agree with me that all his posts are worth sharing.

The kindness revolution” ought to be everyone’s way of life; modus operandi. We can’t force folks who don’t live kindly or offer smiles, but those who do, should be the example others would want to emulate.

Be the change you’d like to see

– Mahatma Gandhi

Hugh Mackay, author of Kindness Revolution, clarified what he meant by kindness:

By kindness I mean compassion, tolerance, respect, sensitivity towards other people. And the radical version is absolutely non-discriminatory; the revolution is when you are kind not just to your nice neighbour, but to the ones you don’t know or don’t like much.”

Sean penned that we should “show leadership in our communities from the ground up.” I totally agree. Like Sean, I already live the kindness revolution. And as Hugh Mackay stated, it should not happen only in our backyards. I started volunteering to “count the homeless” in my county when my daughters (both in their 20s) were 3+ and barely 1 year olds. However, I stopped three years ago when I realized that the count was not producing any change nor outcome that demonstrated that the data collected was being utilized meaningfully. Rather, and in my opinion, it was, merely providing jobs for the committee overseers. I also volunteer during Thanksgiving and occasionally when I’m aware of the need and/or come across a need. In addition. I am a trained CERT with my former local PD though I have been inactive as a result of family life matters and relocating.

Absolutely true that “Revolutions never start at the top … each of us must live as if this is already that country.” I commented the other day that “we, the people, are the government and we have the power, individually and collectively, to change anything as we saw within the past two years.” Another example is the recent U.S.’s social uprising. That was a REVOLUTION indeed! However, I will say that it didn’t have to get to that point for change to happen if we, the people, had acted sooner and not tolerated the status quo. Or we could just say that it happened at an opportune time. Maybe. Either way, and for the tons of lives that were prematurely lost, it’s always better to speak up sooner than later.

Anyways …

Covid, and Australia’s experiences, unfortunately were wake up calls to each one of us about what ought to really matter. Tons of takeaways from the experiences. A big one is that companies are now more willing to allow their employees to work remotely. Hitherto, it was not though many professed work-life balances.

Thanks for reading. Hope you check Strategic Teams out and appreciate Sean K Fletcher for reminding us, once more, of the need to live an examined life.

Hugh Mackay’s book sounds a great read. So does the one by Abraham Lincoln cited in Sean’s post. Readers, check them out, too. I hope I can read both books some day soon,

Post 2: Lessons Learned from just watching Basketball

In Post 1, I listed some observations from watching this season’s basketball. Please check it out to better understand the origin of this continuation Post.

In this Post, I’m diving into the Lessons Learned.

  1. Don’t give up: Persevere
  2. Be open-minded
  3. Change
  4. Believe
  5. Always put your best foot forward, and
  6. Speak / affirm your success.

Lessons

  1. Don’t give up: Persevere

The two teams in this season’s Finals got there as a result of perseverance and resilience. Not ever giving up means that your time will surely come if you continue to persevere. Most of us give up at the slightest turn of adversity and lose our dreams. Sometimes we give up at the edge of our breakthroughs.

Milwaukee Bucks’ back-to-back eliminations at the semi-finals rounds were both painful despite being the #1 NBA team both years. The team nevertheless did not give up, nor was the coach fired (a common theme with losing teams), nor did Giannis Antetokounmpo request a trade as a result. And, now, here they are at the Finals.

Another lesson came from Chris Paul who, and team, are also in the Finals now. But Chris has been in the NBA for sixteen years, in five different teams, but never once made it this far. Read more about Chris Paul here.

  1. Be open-minded

In basketball, or any sport for that matter, or in business, or at work, one may be required to perform in a different position, shift, or another job, or be offered a differing business proposal. It is important to be open-minded in accepting the shift or change and/or weighing the proposal. LeBron James though officially a forward, small and power, has played the point guard position and is one of a few players capable of playing all five positions. He wouldn’t have been if he had closed up on being tried on the other positions. True that sometimes one might try other positions and not excel at it. That’s okay; the attitude should be that “at least I tried it.” One would never know without trying.

  1. Change

Change is good. Yet some changes can be bad. It is a matter of attitude and perception – is the glass half-full or half-empty.

Changes for the players may occur as a result of trades or exercising their free agency options, and for the coaches by being fired. Both players and coaches could also not have their contracts renewed.

Trades are a part of basketball. It happens every season. NBA has designated a time frame for all trades to happen and the “deadline traditionally is in early February, about three and a half months from the start of the regular season.” While some players request the trade either because of friction / conflict or frustration not advancing as envisioned, most are traded because of non-performance. Also, most teams trade as a business proposition. An example is when the team desires a key player. To make it happen, the team might have to exercise some options that will trade (or let go of) an existing player or players in order to make room for the new player without exceeding the salary cap (which is the limit to the total amount of money that NBA teams are allowed to pay their players.). Good examples were when Golden State Warriors (GSW) and Los Angeles Lakers acquired Kevin Durant (KD) and LeBron James respectively.

I watched KD being an unhappy and aggressive player during his tenure at Oklahoma City (OKC.) But saw a “new” KD while at GSW. He didn’t show any unnecessary aggressiveness, but merely let out his super-elite skills. And he was happier in my opinion. The same observation goes for Anthony Davis formerly of New Orleans Pelicans (NOP), now with the Lakers.

  1. Believe

Faith is action. And faith without works is dead. Putting our faith to work produces result. And backing our faith with action, produces the desired result. Faith without action is merely wishful thinking. I noticed a lot of the players show, overtly or covertly, one form of faith or another. Some do the sign of the cross and others clasp their hands in a form of prayer. Notable among the players are Steph Curry and James Harden, The clasped hands might also connote “thanks.” Since I don’t know why the players perform the acts of faith or gratitude that they do, I’m unable to say whether their were praying or showing gratitude for answered prayers or not. But those forms of public actions demonstrate the players’ faith in a higher being.

  1. Always put your best foot forward

Some of us wait for things (or life) to happen to us then we react, rather than being proactive and going for the best and highest of everything we desire in life. I used to be so, too. There were areas of my life that I would not negotiate and thus was very proactive in those areas. A few others though, I just “accepted” when I should have denied.

In the Milwaukee Bucks-Atlanta Hawks Series opener, I witnessed Bucks playing reactively and thus not only lost to Hawks for Game 1, but had to thereafter “pant to win” though they were clearly the favored-to-win of the two teams. The win still happened for the Bucks in this instance, but sometimes it could have been the opposite. I hope that they learned a lesson from it, too.

Lesson: put your utmost endeavor at the onset of everything you do.

  1. Speak / affirm your success

This should actually be the Number 1 lesson but I left it here to match its placement with the first post.

Speaking your preferred outcome into existence is an act of faith though many call it affirmation. Whatever you call it, just speak it out specifically loud and clear. I know LeBron James spoke it out and pursued it relentlessly to the point of changing teams in search of the first Championship and ring. He’s done it thrice, has the three rings, and is looking on to the fourth.

Chris Paul has also declared that he has to win the Championship.

Note: your words must be specific. For example, “this is my year or season to win the Championship” is much better than saying “I have to win the Championship.” The latter is too general and has no set date attached to it.

It is akin to setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Target Date) Goals.

Questions and Comments

There you have my 6 Lessons Learned from watching Basketball. The lessons also apply to other sports. Do you watch basketball, too? Which of these lessons resonate with you? Do you have other lessons you would like to add? Please include in the Comments. Thank you for reading; like and share if you please.

Know the key players and coaches leading their Teams to the NBA Finals

Today is the first of the BIG Game basketball lovers have been waiting for. The 2020-21 NBA Finals between Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns is led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Chris Paul respectively. Seven more games to excite fans, if it gets to the wires. We don’t know if Giannis Antetokounmpo will return today or not. (this was the paragraph I wrote earlier and chose to keep it …)

Well, Game 1 has been played and the Suns won. The win though is not enough to use as a predictor of the Series. We know the Suns ended their Western Conference Final (WCF) two days earlier than the Bucks. We can deduce that Bucks is still fatigued from the travel and jubilation of their Eastern Conference Final (ECF). And though Giannis played, it will be unfair to expect a top shape body and game from him having missed almost three games. It was obvious, in my opinion though that Khris Middleton was fatigued. Understandably so having carried Bucks on his back the last two games and to the ECF. Here’s hoping that Bucks bounces back soon from the exhaustion.

I thought to blog on the key players and their coaches. I found some articles, Ten things to know about the player, from NBA.com, to share. Click on each name to find out more.

  1. Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo
  2. Bucks’ Khris Middleton
  3. Phoenix’s Chris Paul
  4. Phoenix’s Devin Booker

The Coaches

Mike Budenholzer is the current Bucks head coach, since 2018. The team was formed in 1968, and there have been 15 head coaches for the Bucks franchise. The franchise won its only NBA championship in the 1971 NBA Finals under the leadership of its first coach, Larry Costello.
Don Nelson was the head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks from 1976–1987. Terry Porter was the head coach of the Bucks for two seasons. Jason Kidd served as the Bucks head coach from 2014–2018.

Founded in 1968, the Suns are chronologically the second-oldest team in the Western Conference. The Suns are also chronologically the third-oldest team in the NBA to have never won an NBA Championship while having played in the NBA Finals at least once

Former Pelicans coach Monty Williams was hired to coach the team on May 3, 2019. The Phoenix Suns franchise has had 20 head coaches. John MacLeod is the franchise’s all-time leader in coaching years and games won, winning the most regular-season and playoff games. Cotton Fitzsimmons, Mike D’Antoni and Monty Williams are the only coaches to have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award with the Suns. The Suns never have been coached by a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.

Now you know why the Finals game is important to both teams. Who would win the Championship? We’ll keep watching and I hope you’ll watch along.

References:

  • NBA.com
  • Wikipedia.org
  • Factsnippet.org

Happy July 4th and Independence to America

Celebrating Independence Day is different for me this year. The day has always been picnicking and watching the fireworks. But on way home from fireworks, encountering other illegal and scary fireworks ended my going to watch any more. However, I still love the picnic.

Coincidentally (or ironically or unfortunately – all or either will suffice), July 4th was the day our dear friend, brother, and confidante died 27 years ago. He was our best man. He hosted the picnics when he was alive. Being such a happy sociable man, we held the tradition to celebrate him on July 4th for several years. That also stopped a few years ago.

This year, I don’t feel any need for a picnic or socializing. The truth is that I haven’t felt it for some years. The last two years, no one could socialize let alone celebrate July 4th because of covid. I can understand the people’s need for a celebration this year.

What does Independence really mean?

Independence is freedom. Freedom from whatever has bound one down; be it another country or person or group or thing. I would like to think that independence equates freedom in the hearts of all, but I’d be wrong. For some, it may denote something different. Share what Independence mean to you in the Comments,

Having freedom in one area and yet bondage in another sort of cancels each other out. Nelson Mandela can attest to that.

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Nelson Mandela achieved freedom for his people to the point of incarceration. We know his story. If not, read his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.

He is not alone. So did M. L. King Jr., Rosa Parks, and several others some known while tons are yet unknown.

The past years, decades, and centuries of condescensions and racial injustices, in America, which culminated in the recent social uprisings, gives many things to ponder on. Thank goodness that President Biden is trying to do his part to mend the divide. I hope he makes a stride. But what happens after four (or max of eight) years? Do we revert to the old? I pray not.

America is a great country. I’m glad and appreciative to be its citizen and can only imagine its jubilation and relief in 1776 when it declared its independence from Britain. Any country that have gotten its freedom from another ought to know how it feels and should never be found wanting in freeing its people and others. Let me know in the Comments if I’m just being naive to think so.

Who do we blame when a country obtains its independence without freedom of all its people? We cannot blame the country. Do we blame its leaders or people? No, neither can we blame all its leaders nor all its people. But, …

What makes the country great are its ideologies and having leaders with vision who were willing to serve. Any country can be great if the two are in place. Yes, we acknowledge that it takes more. The system has to be in place: law, constitution, medical, the people, education, infrastructure, etc. But none of these would be efficient without effective leaders steering the ship. And, no, it’s not the purpose of this ponderous post.

As we celebrate America’s freedom, may we allow the celebration to penetrate deep into our hearts and ask: what role have I played or am playing in the freedom, or lack thereof, of another? For it is when WE ALL truly are free indeed that there will be true independence. This goes to every citizen in the world, and not only Americans.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Happy Freedom Day! Be a champion for freedom for all. Learn to Love unconditionally.

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

[Quotes are all Nelson Mandela’s retrieved from the UN website.]

6 Lessons I learned from just watching Basketball: Part I

  1. Never give up
  2. Be open-minded
  3. Change
  4. Believe
  5. Always put your best foot forward, and
  6. Speak / affirm your success.

Preface

I know that God speaks to all His creatures (people). The question is whether or not we are receiving or perceiving what He’s saying? It is akin to a radio station; you hear it clearly when your antenna is in sync with the station. Other times, when the antenna is not, it’s muffled and you can get interferences. Interruptions that distorts the messages received will spur the wrong action.

I gravitated wholly to basketball when my daughters got more into the sport in middle school. They both had been playing since they were four. At the time, it was just to occupy their time. However, it turned out to be a sport they both loved, in addition to soccer. Prior to that, personally, basketball was just another sport. I wanted to better understand the game in order to be able to help them be better. So I learned, read, watched, and asked questions. Their dad was not interested in being part of it because he considered it a waste of time and money! Occasionally he would join us for a game, drop and pick them up from practices which all seemed like a “forced” chore.

Basketball is now my #1 pastime.

Observations

While I saw few players being misfits in their initial teams, blossoming when placed in another team, I also noted those who were excelling as starters at one team, relegated to benchers and thus dwindled skills. A few of those players have either faded into NBA oblivion or gone international for a second opportunity.

As with the players, so with the Coaches. A coach (or more) couldn’t coach his team to a championship not to talk of the Playoffs. Yet, when let go and embraced by another team, I watched their teams excelling and reaching Playoffs and Conference Finals.

What was it that changed or why couldn’t the same coach perform at the old team? I wonder repeatedly for an answer.

I also watched teams defeated, that were otherwise sure-bankers for the win, while the underdogs shone over and over. This instance happened to my younger daughter’s big 7th grade championship game! I still remember it to this day. And a few top key players appeared unprepared for certain games, and the benchers were the saving graces for the day.

All these, I hope you agree, demonstrates that nothing is etched in stone and never say never.

Golden Nugget

I shared with my younger daughter, while we were both watching the Milwaukee Bucks-Atlanta Hawks’ Game 6, one thing that had stayed with me over the years from a former CEO. At an office quarterly meeting, he said “we put so much into hiring the right fit and I believe that we have a superb HR Department. If an employee is not performing where we’ve placed him/her, it is not the employee’s fault. It could be that we made a mistake in hiring, which I doubt, or it could be that we placed the employee in the wrong department. Most likely the latter. I implore all managers to give the employee another chance and help find the department where they think the employee might be a better fit, before showing him or her the door. Give the employee time to adjust; learning curve.

The wisdom from that statement stayed with me and I have used it in advising others till date.

I shared that while musingly watching Nate McMillan coach Atlanta Hawks within the year to the Eastern Final; one he couldn’t achieve for Indiana Pacers nor the Portland Blazers during his tenures for four and five years respectively. His closest record to the Atlanta Hawks’ was once during his seven-year season with the Seattle Sonics.

Some thing, or things, definitely changed either connected to his maturity or skills or both. Was he let off too soon at his previous coaching positions and could he have achieved the same, or more, success had he stayed longer? Your answer is as good as mine.

God in Basketball?

God is everywhere and in everything whether you admit or acknowledge it or not. And, yes, he is in the basketball and all games.

One of my favorite scripture chapter is Ecclesiastes 3:

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill (my interpretation: this is not to murder anyone, but more in reference to “killing” what is not fruitful in our lives), and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and
a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate (my interpretation: not hating of people, but more of a hate of evil and the heavy things that tend to weigh us down);
a time for war, and a time for peace. …
He hath made everything beautiful in its time: also he hath set eternity in their heart, …
I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it; and God hath done it, that men should fear before him.
‭‭(Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:‬ ‭ASV‬‬ verses 1-8, 11a, 14)

I referenced this scripture because winning in basketball, aside from the right fit, is about seasons and times. While the coach strategizes and breaks down the game plan, the players have to build up their game-changing habits, skills, and styles. More of this later.

Is “God” in the basketball, finals, and championship? Yes, you bet He is, though many will disagree with me and loudly say that it’s a matter of skills. And God is in everything though we don’t all see it nor acknowledge Him.

The two finals’ teams have long histories. On one hand one key player has been in the NBA for over a decade, with multiple teams, yet has never reached Finals let alone win a championship. Another was so close to a Final, yet missed it. Both Teams haven’t won in several years. I would propose that each player and both teams are desperate for a deserving win, right? Yet we know that only one will win. Who will it be?

These observations and lessons are not peculiar to this season’s basketball alone, but to every season, game of basketball be it at the school, college, or professional levels, as well as, every spheres of life. But we have to pay attention in order to grasp them.

Someone once said,

“If you pay attention, attention will pay you.”

This statement does not mean seeing the obvious and visible. We don’t need any more attention for that. What it means is that only the diligent and curious will see the latent. How does it relate to basketball and the lessons I have learned?

To be continued … stay tuned to find out.

All Hail Milwaukee Bucks, the Eastern Conference Champion!!!

What a game! What a series!! I had to watch Game 6 all over again.
But now it’s over and on to the next challenge, the Real Finals.

Milwaukee Bucks are the NBA 2020-21 Eastern Conference Champs. The #3 Eastern Conference seed defeated the young and feisty #5 Atlanta Hawks in an incredibly underestimated 4-2 run.

Milwaukee home fans

I hope that Bucks learned a lesson or two from this Series which started with underrating Atlanta in Game 1 of the series The “hungry” Hawks quickly stated that they showed up to play and behold won the Game.

I had thought that it would be an easy win or a sweep, but Atlanta Hawks proved me wrong.

Of course the Series was not without its share of injuries. Both Teams’ key leaders were sidelined for two and three games each respectively. First, it was Trae Young, then it was Giannis Antetokounmpo. Both Teams survived and won at least a game each without their key players.

Giannis, who left Game 4 and missed Games 5 and 6, humbly stepped aside to allow his deserving teammates; Middleton, Holiday, Lopez, Turcker, Portis, and Connaughton, to enjoy the exhilaration of holding the Larry O’Brien cup. They all elevated their games to cover Giannis’ absence and thus are taking the trophy back home to Milwaukee.

Bucks will face the Western Conference Champs, Phoenix Suns, starting on Tuesday, July 6. It sure will be another spectacular Series as it is Bucks Final qualifier since 1974 and Suns’ since 1993. Both Teams also entered the NBA in the same year. Surely, I’m not about to miss any of the games.

Hope you’ll be watching, too.

Congrats again to Milwaukee Bucks being the superior team in the Series.

Thanks to Team Trae Young for giving Bucks a hard-earned game. Till next season, rest, rest, rest!!!

The NBA Finals begin on Tuesday, July 6. Oh how I wish the Bucks have more time between games to recoup and reenergize. Phoenix Suns has been “resting” since Thursday. I’m sure they will all be fine. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

Mike Brown prepares to make Olympic history with Nigerian national team

OAKLAND, Calif. – Nelson Mandela once famously said, “The world will not respect Africa until Nigeria earns that respect. The Black people of the world need Nig…
— Read on theundefeated.com/features/mike-brown-prepares-to-make-olympic-history-with-nigerian-national-team/

Woohoo to the Nigerian Basketball Team – what a delight to qualify as the only African country – and to Mike Brown, the humble Golden State Warriors assistant Coach!

👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾😎

What is Formal Education?

I’m gearing up for the second E-Development, Educational, in the PEMFESS+P Series. As I began penning, I segued into writing about Education as a preamble.

What exactly is Education? Is it necessary – why or why not? After the first preamble, I realized that I had assumed all readers knew what formal education is. I paused to write this second preamble to correct the assumption; both leading to the upcoming E-Educational Development post.

What is Education; its Function or Purpose?

The Oxford Dictionary defines education as “the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.”

I found an infographic on the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) website which gave different purposes of Education. According to A. W. Forshay, other purposes have also been widely accepted; such as,

  • “to develop the intellect,
  • to serve social needs,
  • to contribute to the economy,
  • to create an effective work force,
  • to prepare students for a job or career, and
  • to promote a particular social or political system.”

A 1957 purpose states that:

“The main purpose of the American school is to provide for the fullest possible development of each learner for living morally, creatively, and productively in a democratic society.”

M. L. King Jr., in his speech at Morehouse College in 1948, stated the educational purpose as:

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason but no morals. … We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”

All the above are valid today and we can deduce that the function, purpose, or definition of Education will vary diversely. The true definition and purpose should encompass every view which will be the receipt of instruction and development of the whole person to be a productive contributor primarily to themselves and secondarily to society.

What is your own definition or purpose of Education? I’d love to hear it.

Types of Education

Education has been grouped into three types, though I feel that two types would have sufficed. The three are:

  1. Formal
  2. Informal
  3. Non formal

Formal Education

Formal education is the structured classroom-setting type that most people are used to. It uses a framework based on the student’s age and follows vertical hierarchy. Most formal education starts from pre-school or kindergarten through primary (or elementary) to secondary, which may or may not be divided into middle and high schools, and onward to college. The K to 12 formal education follows a strict curriculum set by the Department of Education and administered through the various School Districts. The Board of Trustees are the governing bodies of universities in the U.S..

Before moving on and up to the next class or grade, you will have to be tested on what you’ve learned in your current class/grade or course as well as readiness for the next level.

It is possible to pass through the formal education without the education passing through the person/student. A post for another day.

Informal Education

Any form of education (learning instructions) outside of the formal (school setting) type falls under the informal education. This includes life lessons from parents, a community, online, mentor, coach, etc.

Non Formal Education

The non-formal education is a learning that is more practical. It does not follow any age requirements and may not conduct exams as a requirement to move up. Home schooling, adult schools, vocational, professional training, etc. fall under this type of education.

Both informal and non-formal educations are unstructured but provide alternatives for anyone to be literate and acquire specific skills. They are independently focused on the person, group, or goal.

Which Type is Superior?

I strongly believe that the formal education is the most important, though all three are essential. Graduating from college does not have to stop one’s learning and development else, as Einstein said, the education will interfere with your learning.

The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”

Albert Einstein

And some professions require a continuing education to ensure that the individuals sharpen their knowledge and skills and are up-to-date with technology and any recent changes in the profession .

Lifelong learning is essential to a strong development of self, and the means justifies the end. – ThinkerTalker

This post is Preamble 1 and I hope it clarifies Preamble 2.

References

Is Formal Education Really Necessary?

Credits: Unsplash / Vasily Koloda

“The only legacy I have for you is your education. You better study hard, pass, and graduate so you don’t have to be a slave to anyone?”

Growing up, I cannot tell you how many times I heard the above. Our household was such that if you came home with a bad grade report, you were in trouble. The consequences were grave and somewhat, retrospectively, humiliating that you’d vow “never again!” Those of us who were “born smart” got it worse than the rest. The expectations to be learned was set high for us at an early age. We knew that we had to succeed educationally because it was our ticket to getting a great job and subsequently being successful in life. At least that was what we were told and believed.

Our household was not the exception. It was sort of the norm among Nigerian families: parents expect their children to attend school/university and succeed. The culture was such that imposed on you what you studied. Only few households considered the children’s opinion in the process. Of course, the parents paid the educational tab. Even when parents couldn’t afford the tab, the son/daughter was still expected, as an honor, to abide by the parents’ request of the chosen degree. Most degrees then revolved around engineering, doctor, lawyer, business, IT, or teaching. The outlier degrees were few and the exception. But, modernization has evolved parental perceptions and hopefully broadened the options.

I wish though that I could have a sit-down conversation with my beloved late Dad on those perspectives now. That would be one for when we eventually meet in heaven.

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”

B. B. King

But, for now … I know that, except you were an inventor, creator, serial entrepreneur, a successful athlete, or won the lottery, you’d still have to slave for another either temporarily or permanently.

Just a minute, athletes still have to adhere to the requests (or demands) of their owners, right? So I don’t know if they fall in the category.

Anyways, “slavery” to another is, as we all know, independent of graduating in any laude class (cum, magna, or summa), but merely a foundational platform required to be able to shape our own destiny, hold a literal conversation, or have a respectful place in society.

So, is formal education important and is’t for everyone?

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

Nelson Mandela

Permit me to say though that we must strive to change our own world first before being ambassadors to the world.

Personally, I believe that it is important to pass through the formal educational path. I’m also a proponent for a degree; whatever you do with the degree afterwards, is your prerogative. What’s the point going to high school or college and not graduating? And, except, of course, you are a genius with an IQ of 150 and above and of the calibers of Bill Gates, late Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, et al, in the one percentile category of the world population, you’d be better off with a formal education than without.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”
Albert Einstein

The educational path, if you pass through and do your part, teaches you a lot of things that one couldn’t get elsewhere. Such things, in addition to knowledge, as the importance of following instructions, meeting deadlines, working under pressure, punctuality, teamwork, etc. Some of these qualities can be learned or acquired on-the-job, but most often if one doesn’t get these traits passing through sixteen or more years of education, one tends to struggle with them at work or in society.

What are your thoughts on this?

Having said that, however, I also don’t believe, as a woman of faith knowing what I do know, (and please, I don’t know much, but this one thing that I do know) that no one is immune from being able to grasp (understand) the educational rigors. Remember the saying, “if you believe you can (or can’t), guess what, you can/will (can’t/won’t). [smile]. I hope I didn’t lose you with that. Please stay with me.

I get it that faith has been given a bad rap, but all of us act in faith, or have at some point. The difference is in the source/root of the faith. Also, many call faith by other names; such as, guts, boldness (or courage), instinct, awakening, awareness, etc. The point is that we all believe in something and or someone.

Not to digress. Arguing that formal education is not for everyone is a both a matter of debate and subjectivity. Some children with dyslexic tendencies, or other forms of learning disabilities, have been canceled out of the formal educational system. This is sad because technology and innovation have changed and leveled most, if not all, playing fields. For example, I have seen a tv commercial of a deaf man and his family. I think the deaf man is a design manager at Amazon. (I might be wrong regarding the managerial position and/or the company and will correct once verified.) How was he able to learn his craft? If he was able to, there’s no longer an excuse for anyone is the point that I’m making.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education”

Martin Luther King

More of the Sages’ Thoughts on Education

I conclude with more supporting quotes on Education for your pleasure. If you have a good one, too, please feel free to include it in the comments.

  • Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” George Washington Carver
  • Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
  • “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” – Aristotle
  • If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.” – Chinese Proverb

Having read my post, I’m curious as to your stance. Please remember the title “Is Formal Education Necessary?” Thanks for adding your thoughts in the comments.

CONGRATS TO PHOENIX SUNS, The 2021 NBA Western Conference Finalist!

While we await the conclusion of the Eastern Conference Final, which has been a roller coaster of a series, I stop to Congratulate Phoenix Suns, Team Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Anton, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Payne, et al.

They just defeated LA Clippers in an emotional and high-intensity-packed game amidst injuries, bruises, fouls, technicals, and all, that demonstrates a finals hunger. And the hunger was satisfied with immense resilience and perseverance.

It’s the Suns’ first win in over thirty (30) years and Chris Paul’s in sixteen (16). Highly commendable.

👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾😎👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

The NBA Finals will definitely be a record performance of two hungry teams; be it Milwaukee Bucks or Atlanta Hawks. Can’t wait to watch. I hope you’ll be watching, too.

So you think you’re ready for marriage … How’s your F-Financial Development?

Our fourth post in the pre-marriage series, PEMFESS + P, is the F-Financial Development. Click here for the M-Mental Development.

Preamble

Money. Money. Money. We can’t do without it and only few can live wisely with it. To be respected in most marriages, you must contribute financially to its success. It’s sad that love is no longer enough to keep marriages together forevet. Not all men (or their families) recognize or appreciate the non-financial contributions that a woman/wife brings to the marriage. Sorry if you thought otherwise. Sometimes though, it could be the wife (and or her family). If it ain’t dollars, it ain’t matter.

The love of money is the root of all evil. Yes, many have been known to commit murder because of money. Families and friends have also parted ways as a result of this five-letter-word. And several marriages have also been destroyed as a result of inadequate money and money issues. Even those marriages that “end amicably,” in the western cultures, turn monstrous at the mention of alimony, child support, or distribution of assets.

Preparation is key

So how do you prepare to tread the marital waters as far as finances are concerned? The answer is to prepare wisely and financially before marrying. There’s not a set amount of money to set aside (save); that is an individual prerogative.

“Financials” is a wide topic. For the purposes of this Series, we will compress it to:

vow to be an asset and not a liability.

I’m not going to write a finance or an accounting post explaining what an asset or liability is. Please do your research to better understand the terms if interested. For this post, simply remember that assets (+) add (or bring) in, while liabilities (-) subtract (or take away) money.

How do you become an asset?

To be an asset, you need to have your own money, tangibly stashed away, such that your prospective spouse recognizes that you can hold your own and contribute meaningfully in, and to, financial matters. The contribution should not be in a corky arrogant manner, but gently and meekly. Except you have wealthy parents who are willing to set you up financially once married, never ever start marriage wholly dependent on your spouse. It’s a different story if after marriage something happens that necessitates the dependency. Even at that, you should still strive to hustle to bring something to the financial table. It doesn’t matter if your prospective hubby (or husband) tells you “honey, I don’t want you working; I’ll take care of it, you and our family!” Do it for your own self value. The contribution also doesn’t have to be a 9-to-5 deal.

Some cultures still live in the “fantasyland” (aka husband-does-it-all) mentality. The one who gets the rude awakening is the lady/woman when love fades and the man begins to act chauvinistically mean and controlling the matrimonial funds, no longer giving her any, and depriving her of access to the money or accounts. “Afterall, it’s all mine – you never worked!” Sad if the couple have been married for ample number of years.

Statistics

“Data released by financial firm TD Ameritrade found that 41% of divorced Gen Xers and 29% of Boomers say they ended their marriage due to disagreements about money.”

“Money problems are the #1 cause for divorce in America and money causes the most stress in relationships.”

Start now

To be financially smart, start investing diligently now while single, in both liquid and illiquid assets. Rule of thumb is to save 3-12 months salary as emergency fund; the more, the better. The truth is that once married and you start having children, it gets harder if not impossible to save and invest. Doing it now also yields benefits because the money will continue to compound (of course , depending on the amount) even if you got married and are unable to add more to it.

Ponder on these

In addition, the following are questions you should have answers to before marriage:

  1. Know your money habits and attitudes: are you a saver or spender? What type of hubby do you want or need: a compliment or complement
  2. What’s your money management technique? Do you use a budget or make impulsive purchases
  3. Do you know yourself financially? Are you flexible or rigid as to who you are financially?
  4. Do you have debts, such as student loans, credit cards, etc., that needs to be cleared or reduced
  5. What’s your financial goal(s) and/or fears?

Being cognizant of answers to the above, including mapping out strategies for implementation, will bring a sense of financial peace that will be beneficial, to you, your future husband, and family, when it’s time to get married.

To your financial and holistic development

Time for a Poll?

Do you have a ‘ritual’ for Sundays?

Most of us reserve Sundays for various things. This might be different during the pandemic than pre- and post-pandemic. Just a change from the usual post, I want to do a poll to see what we all did differently or similarly. Let’s have some fun participating.

I was having troubles inserting the Poll, but you can select from the list and add as a comment.

Thanks for being a sport!

What happened to the Spida fire?!

As you may have known or heard, Utah Jazz has been eliminated from the Playoffs. They started well with ‘Spida’ Mitchell on fire in Games 1 and 2, but the Los Ángeles (LA) Clippers came with their fire extinguishers for the subsequent games and Spida could fire no more. It was sad to watch Team ‘Spida’ Mitchell unable to bounce back after leading 2-0. The Number 1 Western Conference Team was sadly eliminated by the Number 4.

What happened?

One team was hungrier for the win than the other? Or the two-up-Team felt that it was a done-deal and relapsed? Your guess is as good as mine.

Experience was a factor in my opinion; the difference between the vets’/playoff/finals’ teams on one hand compared to the new-kid-on-the-block team on the other. Utah also doesn’t have any such player on their Team.

Clippers’ win was the Team’s first Wéstern Final. They move onto Round 3, the Western Playoffs Championship, against the Phoenix Suns (PS). Series is already in progress with PS leading 2-0. Will Clippers continue their new signature-style and strategy as seen with the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz? Time will tell. Watch the game tonight at 9:00 PM (Eastern Time) to find out.

Well, on to next season for Team Utah. Thanks for a great and exciting 2020-21 NBA Season.

Congratulatory Corner

Congratulations to Utah Center Rudy Gobert though for being the 2020-21 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year; an award he has won for three consecutive years and overall four times.

Shoutout, as well, to the First and Second All-Defensive Teams. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾