Housewife – Part Two: To be or not to be

This is a second part of the blog series Housewife. In my previous blog, [Housewife: A Case for the Title], I made a case for the housewife and included the benefits and disadvantages of being one. As stated in that blog, being a housewife is a choice just like any other career. But the career of a housewife falls under the nonprofit sector; whereas most careers are for-profit. The main difference being that the nonprofit careers come with salaries and some perks and benefits that are short compared to the private sector’s. However, being a housewife has neither salary nor perks.

Read along as I make another case for ladies/women who desire to be housewives advising them to critically scrutinize some side-issues before making the decision. Did I hear you mutter ”what’s she talking about now; she’s contradicting herself?!” No, I’m not. I just want to offer a deeper and often overlooked challenge of being a housewife. So, let’s talk about the other side of being a housewife.

. . .

A familiar scenario

John and Jane were happily married and looked like every inch of an ideal power couple which they were. John had a great job as an engineer in one of the top engineering companies in the City. They went on various vacations and short trips and all seemed well. They live in a nice home on the outskirts of Chicago. They have nice cars too; John drives a BMW 5i and Jane an Acura SUV. Within five years, they have had two kids. After the birth of the second child, it was harder for Jane to return to her job as a banker. They both decided that Jane stay home to care for their children. Jane agreed and began her career as a housewife. Within a few years of that decision, the impact of Jane’s salary was obvious and felt very hard. Jane couldn’t have new clothes, shoes, visit the salon, nail shop, or the massage/spa; all of which were regulars when she worked. Now with two kids, all funds and attention were focused on the children’s planning and saving for college. Meanwhile, John could purchase a shirt/pant or two occasionally to maintain his professional look. The vacations were relegated to the neighboring parks and their parents. It didn’t take long for Jane to start resenting the decision to be a housewife. 

Get it in writing

The mistake she, and other women, make is that they ignored the blindsides. They also agreed to the career choice of a housewife without a written contract or agreement. A mutual oral agreement is great as long as everyone is good, happy with one another, and/or life, and everything is going great. An oral agreement can however be denied, misunderstood, and orally revoked by either or both parties. What then is her recourse? 

In the above instance, Jane’s banker career was temporarily terminated. Should she return to the banking industry, her skills could be deemed obsolete and she would in essence have to start afresh depending on how long she was absent from the industry or she may have to switch careers.

Falling out of love?

Another often overlooked issue, but extremely important, of being a housewife is that of falling out of love, which is sometimes inevitable else there would be no divorce rates at all. Falling out of love often leads to divorce. I don’t pray that anyone’s marriage end in divorce but the cold truth is that every marriage has a 50% probability of ending that way irrespective of the length of the marriage. We hear and see this all the time and everywhere; particularly in Hollywood!

. . .

I digress to congratulate couples whose marriages have stood the test of time and are still flaming the love fire several years after tying the knot. Kudos to you. We acknowledge that you had to put some work into sustaining your marriage. This will be a blog for another day.

. . .

Consider a financial footing

In our instance, should the marriage lead to a divorce, Jane will have no financial footing to pursue her side of the legality as she has no she-money. Yes, she might borrow from her parents and/or friends except, of course, she lives in a community property state that could award her half of the joint property and assets in a court judgment. The community award however will be after the divorce process. But she might be cash-strapped during the whole process.

A few bad men however have also been known to hide money and properties in a divorce. Without her own money, the woman has no way of investigating the act(s) should she unfortunately be in such a situation.

. . .

My advice to women is to ensure that the decision to be a housewife is

  1. Mutually agreed
  2. Communicated; not orally but written
  3. If possible with terms and conditions; for example, the woman takes a me-time/day for herself to rest and rejuvenate. On such times/days, the man/husband takes over the duties/chores and not leave them till the woman returns; and most importantly,
  4. That the woman has her funds either by working from home for a few hours or some funds be allocated to her from the joint account.

The fourth point above is from a realistic and practical point of view rather than from a women’s liberation standpoint. Every woman needs her-own money for simply feminine things; for example, buying sanitary items, attending events like birthday parties, or fixing her hair, and pampering herself. Kate Bahn, an economist, agrees as she found out when she took a year off, not for housekeeping, but to complete her dissertation quicker. Read her story here:  https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/aug/19/women-finance-housewife-control-money

Ladies, next time the decision “to be or not to be a housewife” comes up, Think-Talk is expecting that you will thoroughly consider every aspect of the non-profit career before saying Yes. It’s called loving smart 🙂

Housewife: A Case for the Title

Every home not only needs a woman, but every home needs a practical woman. A woman who can juggle her acts, smoothly don the hats of a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Economist, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Strategic Officer, Chief Internal Officer, Chief Public Relations Officer, Chief Information Security Officer, as well as the Chauffeur, Chef, and Chief of the Family Fan Club, and still maintain her poise and sanity.

A married lady who stays home to take care of the needs of her home; is to be cherished because she happily wears all the numerous hats for which she is not compensated nor adequately appreciated. She’s often taken for granted in many homes because “it is her responsibility” to take care of the house/home, right? No! That’s wrong!

The housewife’s job is never done in a day. It’s a steady chore juggling to ensure that:

(1) the physical home is sparkling clean first and foremost, and that the ambiance of the internal decor is strikingly captivating and inviting to anyone especially such that the hubby is compelled to rush home after work and hardly wants to leave the comforts for a weekend getaway;

(2) love and peace fill all its chambers;

(3) the children love it so much they want to show it off while inviting their friends over rather than chasing after sleepovers;

(4) she also loves to call it her sanctuary, and

(5) she constantly provides (or cooks) her family’s favorite meals.

Wow … what a list of chores? Does the housewife ever get a break? She takes care of everyone, but who gets to pamper her? She who refreshes others, must herself be refreshed, right?

. . .

Before I continue, I applaud the men/husbands who not only cherish their wives, but help with the household chores, and should their wives be a stay-at-homer, compensate them by giving them allowances (sounds so archaic though) or freedom in the joint bank accounts realizing that two have become one. 

. . .

Men/Husbands, please know that your wives are reasonable and sensible human beings. Once women are convinced that both are on the same page, they will handle the joint financials at a profit! (This statement can further be blogged another day). Will be interesting to hear the viewpoints of men/husbands on this too. 

“A thrifty woman is better than a great income. A good wife and health are a man’s best wealth”

Charles H. Spurgeon

Men, please share your thoughts on this point (i.e., that women are reasonable and can profitably manage the joint account) by commenting below.

History to Present Day of Housewifing:

Traditionally, married women stayed at home, not for economic reasons but, as an honor and in submission to the man/husband as the head of the household. My grandma often told us that it was taboo in their days for a married woman to have a 9-to-5 job. The few women who did had “the female” professions such as nurses or teachers; not the CEO types nor were they ever seen in the boardroom. These women were seen as women who wanted to “wear-the-pants,” aka domineering.and in church-ish language could be termed, Jezebels.

Please read this article for more on historical housewifing: https://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/The-1950s-Housewife/

Modern-day reasons for staying at home however are more for economic reasons. For example, child/daycare costs are astronomical, especially in a state like California where the 2019 GDP is $3.1 trillion (https://www.statista.com/statistics/248023/us-gross-domestic-product-gdp-by-state/). According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average daycare monthly cost in California is almost a $1,000 (https://www.epi.org/child-care-costs-in-the-united-states/) compared to $500 in Alabama whose 2019 GDP was $203.97 million. Understandably, daycare cost, like every other cost, is relative. However, $500 in Alabama is a huge expense for young families with infants and toddlers, coupled with the stress of wondering whether the daycare will provide the best care. It, therefore, makes good economic sense to have one parent stay home to care for the children.

Benefits of Stay-at-homers:

  • The truism of the adage “there’s no mom like one’s mother” becomes inevitable;
  • It’s cheaper as the money that could have been paid to the daycare provider can now be channeled to other use;
  • Children are in safer environments at home than with strangers;
  • Children are healthier as there’s no ping-ponging of sicknesses that stems from having the kids together particularly during the COVID-19 period;
  • The children are well-rested as the wife/mother doesn’t have to wake them up early for daycare so that she can be prompt for work; 
  • As the children grow and begin school and/or sports, they have Mom to always drop off/pick up on time instead of looking for help or leaving them till late before picking up;
  • Family time is valued as the husband can return to home-cooked meals, which can be eaten together as a family;
  • There’s overall peace of mind.

Disadvantages of being a housewife:

  • The man-husband becomes the sole provider;
  • As a result of #1 above, there’s a higher financial burden on the man-husband;
  • This in turn causes stress in the home;
  • In today’s living standards where two wage-earners have become essential, the opportunity-cost living on one income means some things would have to be forgone and must-haves now become luxuries;
  • The woman/wife does not have a “she” money and has to rely on the bacon brought home by her hubby;
  • There’s a stigma of inadequacy that the woman/wife suffers in her circle of family and friends;
  • “If their husbands are rich, they are frequently berated for being lazy; if they are immigrants, for keeping children from learning the language and ways of their host country.” https://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/21/world/europe/21iht-LETTER.html
  • It can be boring as the woman/wife is alone at home.

It’s a Choice!

Most housewives are educated and have chosen this path for several and varied reasons that range from personal, economic, religion, to class status. Some are because the woman/wife wanted to, or the man/husband requested that the woman stay home, or both agreed that it was the best decision for them as a family.

Whatever any family’s decision is, it is time for society to acknowledge this sector of people as essential hard workers and treat them as respectable as any working woman. Interestingly though, one article noted that “… the economic value housewives create remains within their home …” This is a sad statement to make as I believe that there is a spillover benefit that is derived from the contributions of the housewife towards her husband and children.

A 2017 New York Post article stated that millennials are forgoing the career/professional path for the comfort of the home/kitchen. Read the article here: https://nypost.com/2017/05/24/im-a-millennial-woman-and-id-rather-be-a-housewife/

I have personally been on both sides of the coin – as a professional lady as well as a housewife. If I have to choose another life, I will choose to stay at home. The housewife does a lot more with her time being home than manicure and pedicure. She needs to be compensated for the many hats that she wears or be openly appreciated.

"Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." 
- Proverbs 31:31 (NIV)

Please share your thoughts by commenting below. Thanks for reading.

Steer clear of work-at-home scams | FTC Consumer Information

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, you may be looking for ways to make money without ever stepping foot outside your door.
— Read on www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/07/steer-clear-work-home-scams

. . .

Everyone ought to subscribe to the Consumer FTC email/blog. The department notifies one on trending consumer issues such as this one and others, including retail stores or companies whose privacy issues have been violated and what one should do about it. Varied topics, such as health & fitness, money & credit, jobs, privacy, & online security are blogged. I have gotten beneficial information over the years from the site and know that you will too.

To subscribe, go to consumer.ftc.gov/blog, scroll down and click the [Get email updates] button.

Please share your thoughts below on the content of the site. Thank you.

The Two Voices Every Leader Chases – Dr. Stephen R. Graves

The Two Voices Every Leader Chases – Dr. Stephen R. Graves
— Read on stephenrgraves.com/articles/read/the-two-voices-every-leader-chases/

Sharing another of Dr. Graves’ articles. Every leader must be able to discern these two voices; Voice of Inspiration and Voice of Instruction, amidst the daily and/or occasional confusion. Every leader must also know that God is not always in the midst of noise or everything that “seems good.”

Find your own circle (or team) of Inspiration and Instruction. In finding it, every leader must also know not to force or outstay it if it does not feel right.

Here’s to the best you (leader)! Enjoy the article and check him out as well at stephenrgraves.com.

More Is Caught Than Taught – Dr. Stephen R. Graves

More Is Caught Than Taught – Dr. Stephen R. Graves
— Read on stephenrgraves.com/articles/read/more-is-caught-than-taught/

Leadership. Leaders. Leaders and Leadership. We are all leaders in our own ways though many don’t ascribe to the title and some think that it’s humility to be titled a follower. We need both leaders and followers. As a matter of fact, every leader must be a follower or learn to follow at times; it’s a form of life balance.

The truth is that we are all one form of a leader in many ways.

I love leaders and leadership. I know that I haven’t blogged on it yet. Well, I’m sharing the first article/blog. I signed up for a webinar featuring Stephen R. Graves. It’s my first time hearing of him (I realize that there are a whole lot more great folks out there that I’m still yet to meet!) and decided to check him out before the day. This article/blog straight away caught my attention as it’s one of my favorite phrases.

The probability of leaders having like followers is higher than having dissimilar followers. Needless to say, leaders have to lead well.

Some things are taught, but many are caught. This phrase is particularly true with families. Without being specifically told, we find ourselves doing the same things we watch our parents do. We inherit their habits, styles, mannerisms, likes and dislikes, etc. My father loved to travel. When he does, we jest on how he packs like a woman because he overpacks. I realize now that I do the same; granted that I am the lady. And my daughters jest me on overpacking 😜. I justify my packing lol by responding that I do not want to buy things out there that I have at home and could have brought with me.

Guess what?! I now notice my daughters doing exactly the same! They caught my habit!

In the Bible, Elisha caught Elijah’s anointing and received a double-portion.

In essence, we ought to be mindful of all that we do because we never know who is watching!

What do you think? Leave your comments below. I hope you also learned something from Dr. Graves’ article.

Peace.

Moinmoin

Moinmoin is a favorite dish in Nigeria and some African countries. It is extraordinarily rich in protein as well as iron as it is made from beans.

Nigerians use the red (some call it orange) beans, but black-eyed beans are equally good.

The optional ingredients below is used in making the seafood Moinmoin. You can add other seafood items to it as desired.

Likewise, for all meat Moinmoin, suggested optional items would be corned beef, gizzards, cow liver, and/or kidney. You can use all or only one of the meat substitutes; or your can add your choice of meat; the choice is yours. The items must be boiled (add water and seasonings to items in a saucepan, cover, and place over medium heat to boil) and cubed.

Combo Moinmoin could also be made using combination of all the items; seafood, meats, and chicken.

. . .

Moinmoin can be eaten a la carte for breakfast or paired with rice, beans, or fried plantain for lunch or dinner.

Prayer: What you may not know about it

Today, I want to talk about prayers. This issue has been togging on my heart to share. So, here it is:

[ Quoted scriptures are from the King Janes Version of the Holy Bible ]

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬

What is Prayer?

Prayer (or praying) is a form of communication between people and God. It is merely a conversation which can be in the form of a request, call (or shout) for help, thanksgiving, supplication, seeking, or showing gratitude. Knowing when to engage in one form of prayer over the other is key to answered prayers. I deem prayer as a form of humility where I’m telling Father God that I cannot do “this thing” by myself, but with Him “I can do all things…” (Philippians 4:13)

Lord Jesus prayed (Matthew 26:36-44). We also can learn from his manner of prayer. Every religion prays; Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, even the dark kingdoms, etc. The difference is distinguishable in the channel/source of the prayer.

Prayers can be in the individual’s local or heavenly language. The local language as in English, Spanish, Yoruba, Chinese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Hebrew, Swahili, etc, or any other native dialect.The heavenly language is when the individual speaks in tongues.

Speaking in tongues is in the New Testament and can either be a gift or can be desired. Because it is in the New Testament, speaking in tongues is still relevant and powerful today. Please note that speaking in tongues is different from chanting. Because all truths are parallel; some might say that speaking in tongues and chanting are similar. This blog/platform is not to debate that stance.

Which is more effective?

Personally speaking, there is a time and place for each; that is, praying in one’s local language versus praying in tongues.

“Yet in the church, I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:19‬

I love praying in tongues as it not only strengthens the inner (spirit) man, (1 Corinthians 14:4) but most importantly it bypasses the individual’s mind/intellect and is a direct communication to God. (1 Corinthians 14:2)

Prayer Styles include:

  • silently or (keeping still in the presence of God)
  • fervently (James 5:16)
  • groaning before God
  • crying/weeping unto God (Hebrews‬ ‭5:7‬, Jeremiah‬ ‭11:14, 48:5‬, Psalm 141:1, Judges 6:7, etc.)

These forms of prayer are particularly famous with King David in the Bible. We also can adopt them.

. . .

Prayer Postures

Kneeling is a favorite posture of prayer by a majority of people. Other anomalistic postures include prostrating before God (2 Samuel‬ ‭12:16‬b), standing, walking around, sitting, etc.

I know that God answers prayer any which way; irrespective of posture. The posture is not as important as one’s HEART.

. 🙏 .

Prayer can be said privately, in a group of two or more, or corporately as in a church setting.

“Not all private prayer is effective, but private prayer is rewarding”

Unknown, Grace for Purpose

The private prayer, the one-to-one communication, is the type when you enter into your “closet” aka your designated place of meeting with Father God.

“…, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; …”

Matthew‬ ‭6:6‬a

I love this video from Grace for Purpose YouTube page. Please listen to it as it will bless you and your day.

Group prayer. “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there will I be.” Group prayer is when you join with a spouse or friend(s) to pray; bringing an issue before God and coming into an agreement over the issue.

Corporate prayer. It has often been said that prayer is the foundation of the church. Many churches designate about an hour for special prayers where church members (often with the prayer group leading if the church has such a group. If not church elders or leaders lead the prayer/prayer points by coming together to pray for the church, its members, church’s needs, cities, nations, and/or for other specific needs.

What is the best time to pray?

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Jesus woke up early to pray (Mark 1:35). The above Grace for Purpose video also collaborates this. As such, I prefer the morning as the best time to pray.

Most people often start their days getting physically-charged by exercising and/or going to the gym. Others do yoga for the mental-/emotional-charge. I prefer starting my day with prayer to be spiritually-charged as it takes care of all three – physical, mental, and emotional. Besides, one might get a revelation for the day! One unique word direct from God (aka revelation) to your spirit man, can take care of something(s) that could have taken you years to resolve!

Having said that, if you start your day with prayer, it is only wise to end your day also with a prayer. But, prayer in between your work (business or college) days is equally beneficial.

. . .

The Holy Bible talks of other prayer times such as the morning watch (1 Samuel 11:11), middle watch (Judges 7:19, Luke 12:38), third watch, and fourth watch (Matthew 14:25, Mark 6:48). The watches in this usage are specific three-hour blocks of time in a 24-hour clock.

According to The Global Watch, “The Hebrew watch was divided into three watches, the first, middle and morning watch. As the Roman influence and supremacy was established, the number of watches increased to four and were described in numerical order

  1. 1st (6pm – 9pm);
  2. 2nd (9pm – 12am);
  3. 3rd (12am – 3am); and
  4. 4th (3am – 6am).”

I do not suppose that God cares about the time one prays because He has specific assignments for each person. While some are early risers/worms, some are night owls. Some people work regular hours, while some work night or grave shifts. The hours and duration that you designate for meeting with Father God will accordingly be uniquely you.

. . .

I will recommend prayer before a business meeting; pray for your business outcomes, and even your customers and suppliers. It is wisdom to commit every business decision to God even before starting it. I also recommend that one prays while at work, during your lunch break, while running your errands, in the gym, etc. Pray particularly for your home, spouses, children, family, your doctors, lawyers, accountants, your children’s friends, and their families, your children’s teachers; practically pray for everyone and everything that concerns you.

Did I hear your sigh that this is a lot of praying? It seems so, but all the above could be done in about 15 minutes. Once you get started, the fifteen minutes would seem insufficient that you’ll desire to increase your time with Father God as you deem fit. Incremental times of 15 minutes are great till you get to where you feel you’ve given your best time. One-liner prayers, such as Help me! or Heal me! are equally as effective. Your prayer does not always have to be lengthy or repetitive because Father God is not so interested in how long (quantity of time), but the quality of your time is more important to Him. The quality of time with Papa God should be free from distractions. Give Him your best time; be it 15, 30, or 60 minutes.

It is also best to designate a praying spot and block out the praying time. Once designated, be diligently prompt and consistent as He will always meet you there.

Please note that though some people might have a gift of praying, realize that none was born a prayer warrior. Every prayer warrior began somewhere. I remember when I always wished that I would not be called upon to pray at home-groups.

. . .

I will be amiss if I do not mention that prayer without corresponding action is futile. Once you’ve brought your issues (or concerns) before Father God, you need to get up and take the necessary step(s) for action. After you’ve prayed, believe that Father God has heard you and be expectant (Mark 11:24). Father’s answer to your prayer often falls into either a:

“Yes” – you receive exactly what you asked for;

“No” – you do not receive exactly what you prayed for, but you get something that Father God knows you either need or is better for you.

“Wait” – this has to do with the timing of your request and means that your request will be answered later.

. . .

Generally speaking, prayer ought to be soothing and should never agitate the person, the person’s spirit, nor a situation. Any prayer agitating anyone’s spirit is often not a godly prayer.

🙏🏾.🙏.🙏🏼.

I hope you learned a new thing or two. Please comment below to share. May you be richly rewarded publicly what you have spent your private time doing in the Name of Jesus.

Caveat: this blog on prayer is not exhaustive. There’s much more that can be written on the topic. But I hope this helps on your journey to praying and spending time with Father God.

Peace.

Mental Health: Women and Home Management

www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/what-is-the-mental-load

The awareness of mental health issues keep growing. Now we recognize a lot of health issues (that lead to diseases) that previously had been ignored.

I came across this article via a Twitter feed. Informative and worth reading.

Women have been pitched into “holding the home forth.” Little do the men/husband/significant others realize that the home forth involves a lot – being the CEO, CIO, CSO (Chief Strategic Officer), CAO (Chief Administrative Officer), CFO, CIO (Chief Internal Officer), CPRO (Chief Public Relations Officer), and Chief chauffeur. Ladies, let me know if I omitted any title. At the end of the day, the woman is exhausted and has no gas left for other important tasks. Yes, women can delegate the chores if they can afford it. But for those who can’t, this article will help on how to manage yourself and your home. Enjoy and share your thoughts by commenting below.

Peace.

Happy Father’s Day

Girl Daddy

Click here https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/father-day-celebrates-today-190616060505310.html for the history of Father’s Day

. . .

To all fathers worldwide
But particularly to fathers
in the countries celebrating Father’s Day today;

Thank you for the patriarchal leading
and gathering of all your children under your arms
That are so broad and strong
Yet so caring and stern

Thank you for your guidance
And protection;

For waking up early everyday
To bring home the bacon
So that your children and family
Will be sufficiently provided for
And not go without the necessities of life;
Thank you for the little extras you add
That makes you the special provider;

Thank you for all that you do
Which sometimes goes unappreciated
Yet you never stop giving and doing;

We pause today
To celebrate all that you represent
To let you know
How much we care, love, and appreciate you
We want to pause for you everyday
But wish that you weren’t so busy
We want to pause for you to rest
And wish that you will take of us the best

We want to pause for you today

For icecream and cake

Or golf

Or a walk with you in the garden

We want to pause for you
And shout it out loud
That you are the very best.

Happy Father’s Day
June 21, 2020

You simply are the BEST!

. . .

Happy Father’s Day
to the Father of all fathers
Whose attributes are a trillion times more than all the above
Who sits majestically on His Throne
Watching over his sons below
Guiding and directing their paths
So they can be all that He’s created them to be

We love you Our Father
Who art in heaven
We hallow your name
Today as always
And anticipate always
That Your Kingdom
Come now.
Thank you for truly being
The Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent.
We love You Father

The Father of all fathers


Today and always;

Happy Father’s Day
June 21, 2020

Lion of The Tribe of Judah

Jesus Ministry Part 2

Jesus is both God and man.

In the previous blog, Jesus Ministry, I shared Jesus’ primary ministry which attests to his divine. This blog continues with sharing Jesus Ministry; albeit his relatable humanism.

. . .

Throughout the Bible, we’re informed that Jesus’s divinity was questioned by his own tribe. However for those of us who believe, we believe that Jesus was both God and man. How can He be both Deity and man? No way! But, oh yes, way.

As human beings, we acknowledge that we are a spirit with a soul living in a shell called our body, right? Also known as tripartite (three-part) being. This is the sane pattern with King Jesus.

Anyways, today’s blog is not about a theological lecture. 🙂 I’m continuing to lay and draw some foundational parallels to Jesus’s humanity and us. Here goes:

  • Jesus was rejected, despised, and a man of sorrow (Luke 9:22, 17:25, Mark 8:31, 1 Samuel 8:7, Isaiah 53:3)
  • Jesus was tempted (Mark‬ ‭1:13‬, Luke 20:23, John 8:6, Hebrews 2:18)
  • Jesus was persecuted (John 5:16) • He was oppressed and afflicted (Isaiah 53:7)
  • Jesus suffered (Luke 17:25, Acts 17:3, 2 Cor 1:5, 2Timothy 3:12)
  • Jesus was betrayed (Mark 3:19, John 18:5, Matthew 26:25)
  • Jesus was lied upon (Luke 6:16,
  • Jesus cried (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:37, Luke 23:46, John 12:44,...)

The essence of blogging this is threefold:

1. to remind Christians, yet again, that “the servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; (John‬ ‭15:20‬) “and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy‬ ‭3:12‬)

2. to inform non-Christians of the reason(s) why Christians seem to be going through sometimes much more than others, and finally,

3. that our light affliction is temporary (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

As it is written, “if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him (2 Timothy 2:12).

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”
‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭5:11‬)‬‬

What are your thoughts as a Christian or non-Christian. Please share below.

Thanks for reading.

Real Talk with Kirk Franklin

www.youtube.com/playlist

I didn’t want to blog today, but couldn’t resist sharing this because it’s church-day Sunday. And though not all houses of worship are opened, we can still do church in our homes. The video just popped up on my phone.

. . .

Change and issues begin with dialogue/conversation. What does one do when the folks who one looks up to drops the ball? Church, the Law, the System … everyone. We cannot over-emphasize the need for change. The atmospheric conditions of America must change fast!

“Hear my heart, not my words” is a favorite phrase of mine. Watch the video to hear Kirk’s heart and let’s hear your heart by commenting below, too.

Peace!

p.s. enjoying my day 😎

Happy Happy Birthday to me

birthday cake with candles
Source: Waldemar Brandt, Unsplash

Grateful for the day. God has again nevertheless been awesome. I look forward to another year of thanksgiving and all that He’s doing with, through, and for me. Will you celebrate the day with me?

Credit to Mr. Kleeg on YouTube
Credit to almeedus on YouTube

Cakes and ice cream or crab boils or sipping Earl Grey hot tea with cream and sugar with my favorite tea biscuits and shortbreads? I’m having it all without feeling guilty just because it’s my birthday.

It’s my birthday weekend. Thankful. Thankful. Thankful.

Celebrate yourself always even when no-one is celebrating you. It a way of encouraging one’s self.

. . .

My Dad died in June, five years ago. My brother’s birthday is two days before mine in June; he died six weeks after our Dad. Since the two demises, the month of June has become a month of mixed emotions. However, this weekend I resolved not to allow my joy to be stolen, but to remain full this month and always. I love them both and I believe that they are at peace. The least I can do is to live to celebrate them not only in June, but always.

Harvard psychologist: The most emotionally intelligent people have these 12 traits

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s emotions relative to others.

Harvard psychologist: The most emotionally intelligent people have these 12 traits
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/06/09/harvard-psychology-researcher-biggest-traits-of-emotional-intelligence-do-you-have-them.html

Expert, author, and Harvard psychologist, Daniel Goleman, gives five key elements and twelve traits worth having for the most emotional intelligent people. Which of these traits do you possess?

Happy reading and questing.

Help Your Family by Organizing Your Finances | ICMA-RC

| Want to give your spouse and other heirs a gift they will truly appreciate? Get your financial affairs in order.
— Read on www.icmarc.org/

I received this today and thought that it is invaluable information worth sharing. Please read and take necessary action.

ICMA-RC [https://www.icmarc.org/about-us/history.html] is the public sector equivalent of 401K.

Don’t leave your estate’s financial planning undone or till the last minute. It removes uncertainty and the additional stress of having to figure things out for our loved ones.

. . .

Most of us feel uncomfortable talking about wills, estate, and/or death. If we recognize that death is inevitable, why wouldn’t we want to plan ahead for it?

Please share your thoughts on this below. Thanks

April Fool in June

We all are having a bad dream and will wake up to realize that it was just an April Fool!

Alabama in Dar es Salem?! I remember those words vividly as if it were only yesterday. Those words, came off a book read in elementary school, and have stuck since. I don’t remember the title of the book nor its author anymore!

Dar es Salem is the former capital city of Tanzania [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dar_es_Salaam] in East Africa.

The statement expressed the shocking dismay of an American visitor to the Country of Tanzania. At the time, apartheid was ongoing in South Africa for which we all remember that Nelson Mandela fought and went to prison.

More videos and pictures here [https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000007177799/washington-dc-protests-white-house.html?playlistId=video/minneapolis-george-floyd-death-video

One can parallel that statement by asking, “apartheid in America?!” God forbid. I’m hoping it is not true, that we will all wake up and it would have been a horrific dream. 

But no, unfortunately, this is real. It is pretty disturbing and similar to China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. It is also what prevails in dictatorship countries. It should not be happening in the 21st century, in the U.S.A., the super-power, the Big brother to several nations, when-America-sneezes-every-country-catches-cold America.

Pinch me and say It’s April Fool!

A Model, A Possible Template for Peace Negotiations Around the World

An article apropos for U.S.A..
May the peace of God that surpasses human understanding (Philippians 4:7) rest on U.S.A. and the global community.

Craiglock's Weblog

sarainbow (fromflick.com)
South African rainbow (from http://www.flick.com)

Article Title: A Model, A Possible Template for Peace Negotiations Around the World
Author Name: Craig Lock
Category (key words): “Inspiration”, peace, pursuit of peace, possibilities for peace, negotiation, peace negotiations, peace strategy, South Africa, inspirational writings.
Web Sites: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lock
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and and http://goo.gl/vTpjk
The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://peacepursuit.wordpress.com/

http://breakdownwalls.wordpress.com/

http://www.breakdownbarriers.wordpress.com

http://drmartinlutherking.wordpress.com/

http://www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com

http://www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

http://www.religiousunity.wordpress.com

and his various other blogs are at http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com. Obsessive or WHAT!

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

~ Franz Kafka

Other Articles are available at: http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981+ http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles.html
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)
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Can The U.S. Police Change?

Photo by Jacoby Clarke from Pexels

The Police’s primary responsibility (officers and departments), in any country, is the prevention and detection of crime, maintaining law and order, and safety of its citizens. The former duties (i.e., prevention and detection of crimes) are, in my opinion, implicitly clear though this duty is now relegated because “The Police” are busy with, and have been deployed to, more serious tasks; or because the department is short-staffed.

Let’s talk about the latter duties; law and order, and safety. Not that the former responsibility is unimportant. Far from that but the current events, of demonstrations stemming from Police insensitivity, have pushed the former tasks lower on the priority scale.

Is carrying firearms a must?

How then does the U.S. Police maintain order amid hostility? I am not a subject-matter expert on this issue and have no answer to the question. However, according to Olivia Goldhill [https://qz.com/727941/how-do-police-handle-violence-in-countries-where-officers-dont-cry-guns/], there are five countries in the world whose Police forces do not carry guns. The countries are: 

Carrying firearms might not be a real issue as none was used in the death of George Floyd. However, how do these countries deal with their citizens, without the use of force or firearms, in instances of unrest and arrests without it escalating? I hope the U.S. Police can take some cue from these countries.

Suggestive first steps

A starting point might be an overhaul of the various Police Departments as Minneapolis PD has pledged to do. Also, educating the force on the use of firearms, sensitivity, ethics, and race issues. Another step is to ensure that officers (old and new) must have at least a two-year college degree.

Whatever changes the District Attorneys and US Police Departments decide to institute and implement, we pray that the murky waters will soon become crystal clear.

. . .

To change or not to …

We acknowledge that some Police personnel or departments (or even some quarters of the public) might resist the change either because of fear of the unknown (i.e., what the new norm might mean for them) or because they realize that power is being snatched from them and would prefer to maintain the status quo. To these folks, we say that “it is time to change.” Just as bad habits are harder to break, the new norm might be uncomfortable in the beginning, but being intentional about it will eventually make it easier and become a routine. Though unrelated in terms of the industry but similar in terms of issue, this article on change in the medical sector is a good read. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5485172/]

. . .

We’re also hoping that the fight against racism will not follow the patterns of such reforms as diversity. With the diversity reforms, we have observed that companies, schools/colleges, and other organizations ensure that at least one minority (or one from all races) is included on their team. However, the number of promotions to higher levels is still being restricted. Other notables are that the one minority included on the team is often seen (or used) as a “puppet” where the person has no voice. Here’s a Pew Research article to shed more light on the diversity reforms

[https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2019/05/08/americans-see-advantages-and-challenges-in-countrys-growing-racial-and-ethnic-diversity/]

I pray that the changes that have begun with the police and legislative reforms on racism will be a permanent one.

Here’s to a better future for Blacks that have been extremely overdue!

Peace!

Hypocritical stance of people

Stop Press

In the aftermath of recent Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, issued a Press Release announcing policy changes. Read about it here

We hope other cities, the nation, and the global community will follow suit.

. . .

Why now and not then?

That something needed to be done is an understatement. Something needed to have been done before the killing/brutality of George Floyd in the hands of the Police. Actions needed to have been taken, several years back, to prevent further killings and brutalities.

Why was it not done?  Why now and not then?  Where then were all the people who are speaking up now?  Seems hypocritical in my opinion. 

Police and Legislative Reforms, that included administrative, operational, and tactical procedures needed to have been initiated, implemented, and instituted nationwide sooner. But, no, we wait till there is unrest and what appears to be grassroots retaliatory actions. The government has affirmed that it is slow to (or will not) act except there is unrest.  By so doing, the government has turned adults to babies-throwing-tantrums rather than the adults and mature individuals that they are.  This is not good governance.

So now everyone is chanting “Black Lives Matter!”  Black lives should matter; not only now, but always. All lives matter.  But the problem is that, rather than dealing with people, we witness black men/women killings and brutalities that reflects animalistic dealings in the hands of those who are supposed to be protecting them. It makes me gasp in wonder and ask why.  Where is the fear of God?  The killing of an animal such as a dog or cat in America often leads to the person being prosecuted.  But killing a black man in America leads to no one been prosecuted but a pat on the hand/back! And unless there is a demonstration or riot!  This is, among other things, what BLM is standing/fighting for.  It took me a while to understand it myself. 

The irony is that everyone – blacks, whites, media, sports, businesses, religious organizations, etc., are NOW all talking against racism and police brutality. Where was everyone before now?! Where were they when Colin Kaepernick took the knee and got booted?! Not even his NFL, or the sports world, protested on his behalf! The only organization that he seemed to have gotten his support from was Nike. (p.s. I’m not advocating for Nike). Now we hear and see sports icons speaking up and joining in the peaceful protests. Uhm. Could this be a political or intentional social stance of some sort knowing that being mute or neutral could jeopardize their fan base and/or businesses? I’m merely thinking out loud. Anyone out there who hears my thoughts can comment – agreeing or disagreeing.

Aside from blacks who are directly affected and impacted, and who have singly been handling the problem, where was everyone? They all contributed to the systemic problem.

According to a CNBC article, referencing Mapping Police Violence, Police killed 3 people per day in 2019, and over 1,000 in 2018. The source also revealed that for the previous five-year period, the numbers slightly changed. We’re half-way through 2020, and the numbers if not curbed, will parallel or surpass the previous years.

According to Statista, “as of June 4, the U.S. police shot 429 people to death in 2020.”

African-Americans are saying enough is enough.  

Police killed 3 people per day last year

You are part of the problem when you keep quiet when you ought to have said something. I repeat, you’re part of the problem when you keep quiet when you should have said something. Not in my backyard, aka if it doesn’t affect or impact me directly, why should I bother, right? Wrong.

Racism didn’t just start

Racism has been ongoing in America way before the first Freedom March. It was peaceful then, but still no action.  We merely band-aided the issue and behold sixty years after, we are still dealing with the same issue and it’s gotten drastically and blatantly more dangerous.  It’s gotten to a heightened hatred scenario.  

The narratives must change all-round; not only with the Police but also with the prison, jobs, businesses, schools/colleges, sports, religious organizations, etc. 

Racism does not only happen within the Police Departments, nor the Courts/prisons, nor in education. Racism happens daily, at work, in schools, youth and college sports, professional sports, in religious organizations, and our backyards (aka neighborhoods). I’m sure that we all know someone, black or minority, who has been unjustly dealt with.  What did we do then?  How did we react to it? Permit me to say also that I bet you that some of the other races who have now joined in the demonstrations have equally perpetuated racism at some point either on the job or school or college or sports.  This is hypocritical.  If everyone is now speaking up and are joining in the demonstration, who then is responsible for the systemic problem and perpetuating the systemic crime?  Let’s ponder on that for a second … The Police whom we are trying to hold accountable have families, young and probably adult children, and friends who are probably biased too or who also share their views and reasons for their actions.   

But, let us be truthful to ourselves. Racism did not start with Donald Trump’s presidency; granted that Mr. Donald Trump grossly encouraged it with his open “uncensored” statements. Racism was prevalent during Obama’s tenure, as well as the Bushes, albeit subtly during the Bushes era.

It appears that folks however prefer the subtle and covert racism than the overt type.  But racism is racism, covert or overt, and it needs to be condemned. 

As much as we all loved Mr. Obama, and I am glad that he represented every black face – men and women, I kept asking myself, “why didn’t he institute the policy reforms against racism and police brutality?”  Here’s a couple of links that I found of the policy changes that Mr. Obama made during his presidential tenure; all but police reforms: 

Thanks for the organizing … Racism must stop

Nevertheless, I am grateful for the ongoing community grassroots organizing regarding this systemic problem. The organizing has shed more light on the problem and garnered global attention and followership. Community organizing, especially at the grassroots, had been known to be effective in bringing about change. Other groups such as the Hispanics, Jews, LGBTQ, women were known to have successfully used community organizing.

Though some may still try to justify it, I reiterate that I do not support the looting and vandalism that we witnessed earlier.  I still believe that the looters took advantage of a serious issue to commit a crime.  I am however glad that their actions have not distracted from the systemic issue nor deterred recent demonstrations, which have been very peaceful and even festive, from taking place.  We hope that this pattern of the demonstration will continue if necessary.

Finally, we grieve with families of those whose lives have been insensibly cut shot by Police brutality.  May God strengthen and console them.  

Peace!

Fifth

Still seems like yesterday

The Patriarch,
My Daddy, Our Daddy
One and Only True Dad;

🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷

Beloved
One like a million
Towering in death
As you were alive;

Forever remembered
Forever loved
Forever missed.

"To live in the hearts of those you love is never to die" - Thomas Campbell

Still can’t believe that you’re gone
Absent in the body,
Yet present with us daily in our hearts;

Still can’t believe it’s already five years
Yet still feels like yesterday;

You loved numerous things, Dad

If we could give everything you loved to have you back
We would
But we surrender to God Almighty
who knew best to receive you in His bosom

You lived a great life Dad
And we’re grateful for you
and the fourscore-plus years you were on planet earth;

To God be all the Glory
For in quiet confidence was always your strength;

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years; ... Psalm 90:10

Glad you don’t have to worry about COVID-19,
Nor about the ongoing unrest;
As a Justice of Peace (JP),
I know you would have participated in the peaceful demonstrations,
Or called all parties together for a dialogue.

May your goodwill
Continue to reign and be cherished forever;
May your legacy never wane;

Your shoes are so hard to wear
The vacuum so hard to fill
We’ll continue to do our best
For you taught us well;

. . .

Say hello to your son, my brother, our brother OM
For we miss you both so
No one can your place take;

Forever remembered
Forever loved
Forever missed

Love you Daddy, our Patriarch!

Continue to rest in perfect peace.💙💙💙💙💙

From Rodney King to George Floyd

People what is going on? This is an extremely sensitive topic/issue. But we need to talk about it and seek to find a lasting solution. Change begins with dialogue (or conversation).

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

Albert Einstein

. . .

Various demonstrations because of the umpteenth killing of a young unarmed black man, George Floyd, by an ex-police officer, have been ongoing from Minneapolis to New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, San Jose, Los Angeles. Which city is next? Some of these demonstrations were peaceful, but most were rowdy. Even the ones that began peacefully, eventually took another turn. These demonstrations are so disturbing yet, though apropos. What we are witnessing is a combination of an avalanche of frustrations and opportunists seizing the moment.  

Things fall apart and the center cannot hold ... sheer anarchy is loosed upon the land!
- Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian novelist
Courtesy of kidzone.ws

People, there is a root cause. We have a systemic problem that needs an urgent systemic solution. Pruning a tree when done right, encourages new growth, greener leaves, stronger branches, and healthier twigs and trunks. Simultaneously, to kill a tree, like any systemic issue, we need to deal with it at its roots. Government (departments such as the legal system and law enforcement agencies) keep treating the symptoms rather than the cause. We need to deal with the root cause.

Systemic: Bias, Problem, Solution?

Systemic is anything relating to the entire system rather than a part of it. Undoubtedly, we have systemic problems in America that have shown bias in its solutions or lack of solutions. As such, as Simplicable, states, there is both a systemic bias and systemic problem and offers the following definitions:

“Systemic Bias: a society, culture, or large system that exhibits bias. This essentially means that a large system produces sub-optimal decisions that are analogous to a person …

Systemic Problem: a problem that infects an entire society, culture, or system.” 

Therefore, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. As I researched, I found another site, that agreed with me. This site has noteworthy information relevant to our current topic and issue. What we need is a systemic solution to the systemic problems and biases in America. A systemic solution, therefore, is a solution that resolves root causes.

This blog is not about how we go about resolving all the issues.  

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Desmond Tutu, former Archbishop of South Africa

Let us talk about the way the demonstrations were conducted in certain cities. I speak against injustice of any kind. Looting and vandalism is also an injustice. Looting and vandalism is not the answer and it also has to be condemned else we would be speaking from both sides of our mouth. Neither the killings of anyone, be they black, white, brown, purple, or red nor the vagrant looting of stores and burning of cars or stores nor anyone claiming supremacy over another nor the police driving into the mob is acceptable! People, two wrongs not a right make!! All sides claim to be fighting for their lives and right. If we continue this way, whose life is going to remain? All the acts must be condemned in no unjustifiable manner.

Demonstrations can be peacefully done. It has been done several times in the past. We all are still reeling from the effects of COVID-19. The recent violent demonstrations surely take us much further back in years.

Is there another way?

Let us look to a brighter future. Ask any sprinter, anyone running a race does not look back – they lose time and never win the race by so doing. We all need to stop looking back in time except to analyze what happened and use it as a catalyst for the future. Yes, it is easier said than done. I know. Though China is not our best political ally at the moment, let’s take a cue from the Chinese reforms and policies for an economic turnaround. China underwent systemic changes that transformed “complex number of reforms in its fiscal, financial, enterprise, governance and legal systems and the ability for the government to be able to flexibly respond to the unintended consequences of these changes. This transformation has been accompanied by high levels of industrialization and urbanization, a process that has influenced every aspect of China’s society, culture, and economy.”

That said, China, like any other economy, can still be said to be unfulfilled in other areas.  

Two wrongs not a right make

True, many of us have been subjected to several wrongs. So, have I. Many of us have had our loved ones untimely snatched from us; so have I. I have been let go of my job due to what was apparent racism – it hurts that it was done and that I felt helpless to fight back. But I did not burn down the building, neither did I drove back to the place to run down anyone. So please do not yell at me or ask for my head on a platter. I honestly can relate to both sides of the equation.

Frustration stems in when one witnesses the incessant injustices, racism, inhumane brutalities and killings of anyone. African Americans generally have been dealt a harder blow. And it is perceived that the men have been particularly targeted. From Rodney King to George Floyd, it appears that the brutalities and killings of African American men have been unnecessarily on the rise. However, except I conduct the research, I cannot use the data being presented as conclusive because data, research, and conclusions can be subjective. Each data (or survey results) can be manipulated to present whatever message the researcher wants to communicate to its readers/users.  Having said that, here’s couple of charts that I found.

U.S. Police Shootings: Blacks Disproportinately Affected

The truth is that law enforcement officers are killed almost daily as well in their line of duty. Sadly, because of the animosity and recent tensions, these deaths go unnoticed and no one seems to care; except the affected’s family. Check the reference link for FBI and The Peace Officer Safety Institute for current data regarding law enforcement officers killed in action (leoka).

Is Revolution the Answer?

Some say that we probably need a revolution. Maybe we do. I do not know neither am I advocating for it. But do we all understand what revolution is? According to Merriam Webster online dictionary, Revolution is:

  • 2a: a sudden, radical, or complete change
  • b: a fundamental change in a political organization especiallythe overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed
  • c: activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation
  • d: a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing somethinga change of paradigm 
  • e: a changeover in use or preference …

Revolution is a change, but it does not necessarily have to be bloody or rambunctious. The revolution that we need is a drastic change from the manner that things are done. This can be done by a 360-degree change in our policies; legal, law enforcement, medical, education, etc. I am not talking about the type of change that was done with diversity reforms (another topic for another day), but one sincere change that must have consequences for non-conformance.   

Where are the good men and women?

Finally, Abraham Lincoln once said, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” This quote has been echoed by others such that no one really knows its original owner.

Those who do nothing while witnessing injustice and wrong-doing do worse than those who commit acts of injustice. The privileged have a responsibility to do what they know is right. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King

Good men (and, of course, women) everywhere need to rise to speak the truth. But good men (and women) should not merely jump on the bandwagon, but strive to seek to truly find a solution to the problem. And good people should not be paying others to confuse the land. It is akin to activists being paid to carry placards. During the years of my active job search, I had called some “paid-same-day” ads that happened to be that our job would be to carry placards about issues. So, I know that this does happen.

For every demonstration, there is always someone championing it either overtly or covertly.

The truth is that those who are instigating the chaos are not affected by it. Like we always say, “people in high places” are powerful, wealthy, and influential. They have friends everywhere who they can call upon to either support or carry out their bidding. In addition, these people have high security that prevents the rioting masses from getting to them.

To the people in high places, secretly instigating all these, please stop. If you think no one knows who you are or know that you are doing it, do not be deceived because God, the Creator of the universe, is not mocked and sees what is done in secret.  

Let’s not continue to hurt ourselves

This is an extremely sensitive issue to write or talk about. But talk, we should, and talk we shall.

No one wants to be at the receiving end of injustice. Anyone who has been on that side knows what it feels like and it’s surely not good. By the same token, anyone who has never experienced injustice certainly does not know what it feels like.

The brutalities, violent demonstrations, and looting is not the way to honor the dead neither will it bring the dead back. I say this as apologetically and softly as I can. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a son on this journey to freedom. May their spirit live forever and pave the way for true freedom for all.

Every good man (and woman) please stand against the injustice, racism, brutality, and senseless killings of black men, minorities, and people generally. It is sad that after over sixty years of Martin Luther King’s “Walk for Freedom” speech, we are here still trying to walk the freedom! 

Coincidentally or ironically, depending on the way you view it, MLK’s speech occurred in May in 1956! Any surprise that these demonstrations are happening in May 2020?! Go figure!

We can still make MLK (and Rosa Parks) proud, not by giving in to political maneuverings that disrupts our economy, which in turn affects all of us, but by choosing to do demonstrations peacefully. 

Peace people!

References:

The Patriarch Part 2

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Men ought to know

Men ought to know many things before they decide to marry. What men need to know before marriage is not taught in schools neither is how to treat women or the woman they marry.  So, who teaches men about relationships or marital responsibilities – Dads, Moms, uncles, mentors, government, neighbors, etc.? Should this be a shared responsibility or self-responsibility? I propose that it should be a shared responsibility.  Parents ought to take the primary lead of teaching and setting marital expectations for the man. The man, in turn, should explore other learning avenues such as reading books on marriage, counseling with religious leaders, and asking men (or women because each perspective is different) who have had successful marriages.   What do men do when there is no parental role model, or such role models are dysfunctional?

The Patriarch had no role model in any areas of his life. Remember, his dad died when he was six years old.  He does not even own a picture of his dad.  He was an only child at the time and had an uncle who wanted to act as a father but was both very controlling and envious of The Patriarch’s popularity, even as a child. 

Uncle BK (UBK), as he was known by all, did his best to belittle The Patriarch, but could not succeed.  He then resorted to using witchcraft and juju (fetish) on him.  The Patriarch once had a dream of Uncle BK coming into his bedroom to physically attack him. He woke up angry and shaking with rage narrating the attack and how he had to use everything in his bedroom (armchair, bathroom scale, telephone) to disarm the man. He wanted to call Uncle BK, but his mom prevented him from doing so. It will only worsen the already bad situation. The situation however worsened as other things happened in the natural that were considered spiritually evil.

What did he do to deserve these attacks?

One day, Patriarch’s driver arrived early to take his children to school. The school was one of the prestigious elementary schools about 35 miles away from home.  With traffic, the drive to school could take one to one-and-a-half hours. The Patriarch ensured that his children were never late to school and never received any tardy note.  As such, they always had to leave home much earlier.  Often, the children slept on their way to school.

On this day, as the driver was cleaning the car, he noticed some weird looking nails about 3-4” long, two each facing upwards in the front and back of each tire.  He put on a pair of gloves and carefully removed the nails.  If he hadn’t found those nails, all tires would have busted and probably caused extreme damages to not only the car but probably The Patriarch’s children.

Another car incident happened in The Patriarch’s hometown with his other driver.  On this day, about two days to his annual party, the driver found an enormous white egg in the trunk of The Patriarch’s Mercedes Benz.  What was the egg doing still right in the center of the trunk?  Again, the driver took the egg and threw it in a nearby bush. The explosion far exceeded what an egg sound could make.  Then there was smoke.

Another incident was when a long-legged bird with eyes as flaming red as fire visited the house and was pecking viciously at everything in its way.  The bird flew around the cars and house looking for an entry into The Patriarch’s home.  It took four men and about six hours to capture the bird.  Decisions as to what to do with the “evil” bird went back and forth. One said to burn it, another said no, kill it. Then another said, just keep it till The Patriarch wakes up.  Yet another said, no, The Patriarch must not see it.  Whatever! The children yelled at the driver to take them to school.  Before he left, the driver placed a huge wooden mortar over the bird and a huge rock over the mortar to prevent it from moving.  Eyewitnesses said the bird was still alive almost twelve hours after wrestling to escape from under the wooden mortar and rock!

Uncle BK made it known to everyone in the family that he was responsible for the many fetishes and that he wanted to know how “strong” The Patriarch was.  His mom begged him to be careful of Uncle BK.  

The last straw

On yet another incident, while awaiting the arrival of the then State Governor with his entourage, The Patriarch was merry with his friends who had gathered to welcome the Governor. Uncle BK also came to join them. The Patriarch beckoned the maid to bring a clean glass for UBK. UBK rejected the clean glass and insisted that he wants to use The Patriarch’s glass. His friends were puzzled and one of the friends asked UBK why. But The Patriarch asked his friends to chill and handed his drinking glass to UBK. UBK took the glass to his mouth oblivious of the stirs directed at him. He sipped a pill into the drink and handed it back to The Patriarch. As The Patriarch reached to take the glass, a couple of his friends jumped to snatch and probably knock it out of his hands because they all saw the pill when it was dropped and watch as it fizzled. Patriarch saw it too but kept his posture. He again called the maid and handed the glass to him. As the maid walked towards the kitchen, the glass cracked into his hands!

Everyone present was appalled that a family member could do such a thing to his nephew. The Patriarch was unperturbed. He stated that it was a distraction that will be dealt with later. He would not allow his focus to shift.

. . .

The Governor and his entourage did arrive. The Patriarch and his friends played host. But another commotion ensued afterward.

Your confidence can sometimes mislabel you

One’s confidence, looks, or personality can sometimes cause one to be unnecessarily mislabeled. Patriarch was a confident and hardworking man.  His personality betrays his meekness, humility, and loyalty such that he was a target of envy and jealousy.  Some think that he is arrogant and proud. Others would say that he was cocky. But secretly they all wished that they possessed his charisma and confidence.

He was appreciated more by distant friends and relatives than by his close friends and family.  Though hard to trust anyone, The Patriarch still led, helped, and provided not only for his family but also for his extended family.  He appeared to know what he wanted in life and would not allow anyone to distract him from getting those things.  

. . .

Brown Concrete House

He converted his home from a single-story four-room house to a two-story duplex.  The home at the back was dedicated to his mom, sister, and cousin.

Did I just say, his sister? Yes, The Patriarch had a sister born because of his mom being betrothed to his uncle!  What a culture?!  I hope that tradition is dead!

The Patriarch also remodeled the family home in his hometown.  Several years later he would buy himself land and build his custom home.

This custom home was controversial because the then government of the State would not allow him to add an overpass and, as such, the completion was unnecessarily delayed. In his country, homes are built cash, not financed, and within a short time.

While building, The Patriarch received an unusual visitor as he was leaving the site.  According to The Patriarch, his salutations to the visitor endeared them to each other such that the visitor had to confess his mission.  His mission was to visit the site to bury some more fetishes that would make it impossible for The Patriarch to ever complete the building.  After the exchange of pleasantries, the visitor then gave The Patriarch some advice as to how to proceed uninterrupted with the building.  The Patriarch’s new residence was finally completed with a house-warming party of well-wishers and naysayers.  His new residence is his pride and home of comfort. 

Love Your Life Clipboard Decor

The Patriarch grew up looking for love albeit in all the wrong directions. He loved the good things of life; fashion – both his native and western wears were always a statement, wristwatches (Rolex, Cartier, etc.), jewelry in all the carats, and shoes that shone you could see your teeth in them.  He also indulged in cars – like a collection.

The Patriarch always threw an annual party.  It was galore of food – cows, goats, chicken, fish dishes of every imaginable kind; drinks – beer, champagne, brandy, whiskey, liqueur; fashion, and the who-is-who in society.  The streets are blocked and, staged leading musicians, with their bands, on opposite ends of the streets, dishing out renditions of their latest songs.  Sometimes there is a third musician.  Even the musicians rally to be the lead for his parties.  Those parties were always a one-to-remember and talked about till the following year. 

He was not a politician, but he was a friend to both the ruling-party politicians and their opposition, as well as the government.  At times, it felt that the politicians reserved their best showdowns to be displayed at his party.

On one such party, his friend who was from the opposing political party, with his entourage, called to inform The Patriarch that he was on his way to his party. He had RSVP’d stating that he was unsure whether he would be able to attend. The phone call was received while UBK was performing his ugly deed. What would he do? He had no idea how nearby his friend and his entourage were as he forgot to ask amid the pandemonium. It is not uncommon for political figures, governors, as well as prominent people in his country to move about with entourages whether or not they were on official duties.

His friend arrived before the Governor. They took up the whole living room and stayed longer than necessary that The Patriarch had to call the Governor’s office to request that he come later. But the Governor’s Secretary announced that they were already on the way. The Patriarch could not ask his friend to leave; that would be rude and will affect their friendship.

The Governor and his entourage arrived and a message was sent to The Patriarch. As the message was given to him, his friend said, “Oh we’re ready to leave anyways.” It was a relief. But as he escorted them out, they had to walk by the Governor and his entourage. So, they did while his friends helped make them comfortable till The Patriarch’s return. It is customary for the Governor to show up and stay only for about 30 minutes to an hour. On this day, the Governor chose to stay only a few minutes. He was infuriated. He stated that the “clash of the titans” was planned to insult him and his entourage. The Patriarch, with his friends, profusely apologized to the Governor while letting him know that it was all impromptu. The lead musician for the night, who was privy to the happenings, started playing a calming apologetic song. As the song began, the Governor calmed and relaxed to enjoy the night.

He stopped by the bandstand to start the night party and left.

What a night. The party continued until the wee morning hours.

The Patriarch was up early the next day. After all the commotion, one would be surprised that he slept at all. He and his friends visited the Governor to once again apologize and appease him.

Recipe: Green Fish

Ingredients

  • Whole Tilipia fish (any fish can also be used), Best if fish is sliced in two.
  • Red onions (medium size)
  • Herbs (Parsley, Basil, Thyme)
  • Ginger (optional)
  • Green Bell Pepper (medium size)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Cooking instructions

  1. Blend the herbs, green bell pepper and half the onion, with or without the ginger. Note: do not add water to blend; add olive oil instead.
  2. Season the fish with the spices (salt and thyme only).
  3. Place fish in large pan.
  4. Pour (or rub) the blended herbs over the fish.

If fish is sliced in two, pour (or rub) each half-part of fish as well.

  1. Slice half of the onion over the fish.
  2. Place fish pan over medium heat stove. Cover. (Fish can also be baked.)
  3. Cook for 5 – 10 minutes on both sides. Cooking time depends on how green you prefer the sauce, including how done you like your fish. The longer the time, the darker the sauce becomes.

Enjoy by itself, or with rice, potatoes, or greens.

Why do we write articles, books, or blogs?

Is it because there is a shortage of information or knowledge-sharing?

Certainly not!

Or is it because we want to make money? Maybe. But still making money does not suffice. I read former President Obama’s books wherein he stated that the proceeds from his book paid off his student loans. How I wish I could write a book that could give me a similar outcome! 😊

I love to read and write about a variety of topics, for example, leadership and the various styles of leadership. Yet I know that despite all that I have read (and written about in college), there are numerous leadership styles still untouched. Notwithstanding, I still marvel at the thought of anyone trying to surpass John C. Maxwell on leadership topics.

. . .

One generation comes and goes, and another follows. The cycle is repeated and forever will still be repeated till eternity. We tend to recycle information and knowledge albeit calling it by another name; a name that the targeted generation can relate to.  This is especially true in the fashion industry. 

So, “why do we continuously write books, articles, or blogs?” I will say that it is to share knowledge and leave a legacy. For others, it might be to make money / earn a living. Why must I write another book or article, for example, on leadership, or e-commerce, or student loan? Are there not enough of those topics already saturating the market or gathering dust on bookshelves? Is anyone still buying the books, or reading them, or even when bought, opening them anymore? As I ask these questions, I instantaneously provide the answers too. And here it is that:

The insatiability of mankind’s unquenchable thirst keeps him searching for the “next new thing” on planet earth. There seems to be a void yearning to be filled in man that drives him/her away from the old to any information or knowledge packaged in a new form of a book or an article or blog. But no sooner are the pages flipped that the books, articles, or blogs become dated.

We will keep writing because everyone is looking for something new. The market for authors is so dynamic that there will never be a shortage of topics to pen nor knowledge to share.

Whether it is a book, article, or blog, to share one’s passion, expertise, or life experiences, the reasons we still do it are as unique as the author or blogger.  The act is not disappearing soon either.

Understanding the Grief and Loss Cycle

This is so true and helpful for everyone irrespective of whether or not one has lost a loved one. Since death is inevitable, knowing beforehand the different phases of grief, and when it does happen to be prepared, can help one navigate those moments.

I went through the five cycles by Dr. Perry when I lost two loved ones within six weeks. I was particularly angry because I had wrestled with God to heal them both (a blog topic for another day) and felt confident that they would be healed. I called one of them to inform that I would be visiting. Unfortunately, I did not make it to see either of them. It is my opinion that a few family members are still grieving the loss.
Just as I finally accepted the loss, almost four years after, we lost another loved one. These losses have had their toll on the family, that makes Kristina McMorris’ quote equally true. But, in the memory of the departed loved ones, we will not allow the world to prevail but for the departed to keep smiling and hailing us on.

Dr. Eric Perry’s Blog

Written by Dr. Eric Perry
Image Credit: Pixabay


“The whole world can become the enemy when you lose what you love.” ~Kristina McMorris

The cycle of life is both beautiful and heartbreaking. From the moment of our birth, we share a common destiny with the rest of the world. The mortality that connects us makes life that much more remarkable. Knowing that death awaits us and our loved ones may be a haunting and difficult thought to bear. Truly, one of the most difficult and painful moments of a person’s life will be the death of a loved one. At these moments, grief is a normal and healthy response to loss. For some, the death of a loved one will result in overwhelming and devastating emotions that cannot be fully processed alone.

The loss may affect the ability to function in everyday life and maylead to depression, anxiety, and other…

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Following/Unfollowing on Social Media

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I love and follow The Art of Christian Living’s blog. I read her post today, Blogging: The Purpose in the Process #https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/95055817/posts/2710234963 and was saddened by the content of her third and fourth paragraphs. This prompted me to respond and in turn blog about the act of unfollowing on social media.

The Art of Christian Living, as I commented, please continue with your style. I love it and love your authenticity.

. . .

The essence of any community is to support one another. In supporting one another, it is okay to agree to disagree respectfully. In any community, and especially the blogging community, we recognize that there will be differences in style, niche, tonality, etc. And to that degree, it takes maturity and wisdom to stick to one another even though our differences are apparent.

Is it right for anyone to un-follow another? Who am I to force anyone to follow me; not even my family members will I insist to do so, let alone an internet friend. Don’t misunderstand me – internet friends are essential and we all need some for social media purposes as the lack thereof sends a contrary message. But, most of us don’t know them personally.

. . .

I googled [https://bit.ly/2AGyrrD] “why do people unfollow on social media” and got “About 118,000,000 results (0.50 seconds).” This is serious and shows that it is an act that is frequently committed by all. The truth is that I had, once ever, un-followed some folks in the past and I do not regret doing it. The sad thing was that it was while being involved in a “Christian” organization. I later realized that though the organization was Christian-based, not everyone involved was Christian; as such, there were things said and done that I felt were contrary to my Christian doctrines. Rather than the leaders asking what was going on, they resorted to “preach” about it. I felt this was hypocritical and I left the organization. I also deleted my FB profile because it was our meeting ground. I also recognized that most followed me not because they “liked/loved” me, but to “monitor” me. Sadly, this is not uncommon with, and unbecoming of, Christians or Christian organization. It’s the little foxes that spoil the vine.

Why un-follow?

Following personalities and brands on social media signifies various things to various people. It is often because the other party likes/loves the person, brand or content published. It could also be because the person is a family member, alums or frats or sororities, or simply a fan. Most do not even know the person they are following. The advent of technology/social media has made everyone a friend so near. Whatever the reason one chooses to follow another, there is equally a reason to un-follow. It’s all good when we follow. But let’s talk about unfollowing.

The first Google result states that “41.50% of Social Media Users Unfollow a Brand That Posts Too Much.” This contradicts the blogging principle that states the more you blog, the more people know you and that blogging a lot helps drive traffic to your site! Another reason was that people unfollow when one doesn’t blog enough. Hello somebody?! What then is considered enough or reasonable blogging?

Some unfollow as a form of rejection. I disagree with this thought. How can someone I don’t even know reject me? I won’t take it personally. Even if I do know the person, it is a free world that makes people change whenever they feel like it. Unfollowing me does not a hair removed from my head. And I hope that the folks whom I unfollowed feel likewise. I might see the person the next day and still be cordial. I said all that to say don’t take it personally if someone unfollows you. It has become part of the social media un-etiquette.

Other reasons, according to Sprout Social, include as listed in the chart below:

New Study Looks at What Makes People Unfollow Brands on Social | Social Media Today
https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/q3-2016/

I do not see that The Art of Christian Living has violated any of the reasons above. Be that as it may, people are entitled to follow or un-follow. Notwithstanding, those who like your content will continue to follow you.

Stay graceful.

Dear younger me

If I knew then what I know now, I would have done many things differently. Yet, no regrets. The paths were meant for me to take as I now realized the the invisible Sovereign hands were guarding, guiding, and steering me all along.

10 things you need to learn sooner in life

1. Cultivate a relationship with God

I believed that there is a God. As a kid, I talked to an invisible being but did not know who I was talking to until I became a Christian in my later adult life. How I wish I knew Him sooner. Learning early in life the order of honor (God first, family second, all others next) would help put everything else in the right perspective. Find Him sooner.

2. Listen more to your parents and spend quality time with them

Honoring one’s parents is the first commandment with a promise. Though I disagreed occasionally with my parents, I never disrespected them. I loved them dearly. As a parent, I recognize that parents are not always right. The truth is that parents are also learning-on-the-job as they raise their children. But most parents desire the best for their children, young or adult, and might sometimes not know how to communicate those desires in a manner that the children might understand.

I never lived with my mother and missed the mother-daughter bonding and connection. Though I had a strong father-daughter relationship, I acknowledge that the roles of fathers and mothers are so uniquely different yet interconnected and one cannot be substituted for the other.

Spend quality time with your parents now and, when you leave home, visit them frequently.

3. Listen more to your instincts (intuition, gut feeling, etc.)

Whatever you call it, know that it is a gift that will work the more you use it. Pay attention to it, accept it, follow it, and don’t second-guess yourself or your gift.

The first step toward change is awareness. The second is acceptance.”

Nathaniel Branden

4. Speak the truth more in love rather than abrasively

No one wants to hear your truth until they understand you care for them. You might be right, but might shut-off people with loud or harsh words. The truth spoken in love, coupled with soft responses, are a true disarming pair.

5. Always let your parents/family know who your friends are

My grandmother always advised that there were different categories of friendships: acquaintances (slight, but not close friends), colleagues (work but not necessarily close friends), activity friends (e.g. sports, party, etc.), and buddies (close friends). Know who your friends are. Never lump them all in one bucket and never be friends with anyone you will not be proud to take home or introduce to your parents. Note that not all friends will pick up your call or be enthused to open their doors to you when you knock at 3:00 a.m. Categorizing your friends will also help you avoid unnecessary disappointments.

Invite your friends home so your family knows who you’re hanging out with. You’ll be glad you did.

6. Just as there is a reason why meals are differentiated breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there’s a reason why you ought to do life in the right order: go to school (middle, high, college) before getting married or having babies

Order is the law of life and life is manageable when the sequences are followed. True, there are rare exceptions to all sequences, but except you’re a genius in your craft, those exceptions might not apply to you.

If within your power, choose to complete your education first before marriage and starting a family.

7. Life development is essential, may be critical, in these areas – educationally, financially, physically, and spiritually

Decide on what you want to study, how long you’d like to study (for example, 1st degree, 2nd, PhD, JD, two 2nd degree, add a vocational, etc.) and go for it.

Schools have never been known to teach financial education; wish it will be added to the k – 12 curricula. Nonetheless, there is some teaching you can do on your own. Research and learn it sooner. What is the best saving instrument? What does the FICO score mean? What do I need to do to increase my score? What are the requirements for buying a car or house?

Physical development includes healthy habits (eating, sleeping, playing, exercising, no drugs, etc.). It also includes your regular wellness check-ups. Do your part early and your body will serve you longer.

Everyone is yearning for things in life that can only be satisfied with the knowledge of and intimacy with God. As a Christian, how I wish that everyone was or became a Christian. However, connecting with God is personal. Find yours. As you take time to develop yourself in other areas, it is equally important to develop yourself spiritual for a balanced life.

8. Are you cut out for marriage or singleness?

“There are eunuchs that are made by God; there are those made by men, and there are those having made themselves so for the kingdom of heaven’s sake …”

Matthew 19:12 KJV (King James’ Version)

Know what each (institute; yes they’re both institutes!) entails; responsibilities, benefits, and disadvantages, etc. and be prepared to work it truthfully till the end; except, of course, God redirects your steps.

9. Look for potentials in your mate and not necessarily the cool dude or prettiest girl in town. Not that this is bad of itself, but it is vanity

If you decide that marriage is for you, look for potentials with the longer-term in mind. Ask yourself if your partner is the type of man or woman whom you’d be happy with for the rest of your life, do you have the same values or anything in common, will you still be the loving spouse when the physical characteristics change such as becoming bald, putting on weight, etc.?

10. Be intentional about success.

Think early about being successful in life. What does success mean to you? Paint a picture of it and pursue it relentlessly.

. . .

All the best to you, My Younger Me. I wish I knew these sooner in my own life journey.

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

We wear many hats and should refrain from limiting our analysis of issues to a singular

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

I propose that anyone who has lived at least a couple of decades on planet earth, will undoubtedly have some things and values that can be shared such as experiences in life, career, business, gifts, talents, etc. These valuable things transcend family, education, career, business, cultures, and more. The more the decades on earth, the deeper, varied, and sometimes hilarious the experiences. Generally speaking, the 40-/50-year old undoubtedly would have more life experiences than the 18-/25-year old. Only in few rare cases would there be exceptions to this statement.

“If elders could bequeath their experience and knowledge of life to children without the children making any mistakes, they would save them from a lifetime of heartaches.”

― Neena H. Brar, Tied to Deceit

One hat doesn’t always fit all

Having said this, I believe that people’s experiences and reactions to issues vary and are uniquely individualistic. However, we live in a culture that tries to put everyone, and every issue, in a box. For example, a father reacting to an issue concerning his son or daughter will exhibit certain emotions which might not necessarily be objective because it concerns his son/daughter. However, the same man will react differently to an issue concerning a colleague or subordinate at work; and even so differently if the subordinate were his son.

Another instance is in the medical field where certain medical guides are used across board for everyone. For instance the BMI formula, which uses one’s weight and divides it by the square of one’s height, has become the yardstick to measure an individual’s obesity tendencies. (https://bit.ly/2W1c7jB)


The BMI does not take into consideration the ethic background (Asian ladies are generally petite in stature; whereas African ladies are generally “thick”). Barbie-type African ladies are often deemed to be malnourished. BMI also ignores muscle mass, bone density, or other body structures of the individual. Yet, BMI has been accepted in the USA as the norm for gauging obesity and we are all expected to accept it!

The point that I’m making is that we should analyze issues from varied points before forming a conclusion. But, should we choose to form a conclusion based on a specific viewpoint, we need to offer that viewpoint so that readers are aware of our stand. For example, a mother, might sign a petition for more prisons to be built so that criminals are taken off our streets. The mother is wearing her citizen’s hat. However, the mother, wearing her mother hat, might not be enthused to having the prison built in her neighborhood.

The issues we talk, write, or blog would be analyzed, wearing different hats, and with the purpose to better inform the reader. Since the issues are varied, the audience will also be varied. The audience will eventually be narrowed down to a niche. Our hope is that the target niche, within the year, would hopefully have learned a thing or two from the wisdom nuggets shared.

Happy reading!

We Yearn and Thirst for …

Everyone is searching for something yet not all know what it is that they are searching for.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

We work round-the-clock searching for more money. We are glad when a raise is given; we earned it, right? The boss finally recognizes all of my efforts. But, a year later, we’re asking for another raise and more money. Whoever said that one never has enough money did not lie. More money is only an example. The search could be for power, success, love, food, friends, more degrees than the thermometer (credit to Bishop T.D. Jakes!), cars, shoes, etc. I am not advocating idleness or truancy. But that no-one ought to work like a dog before making enough to sustain self and family. Many folks work two or three jobs just to make ends meet. There might be other reason(s) why some folks have to work more than one job: for example, having a side hustle, working a business in order to quit a 9-to-5 job or a hobby. These are normal occurrences. The ones we need to think and talk about is the “I-don’t-have-a-choice-than-to-do-these-two-jobs.” A two-job earner barely rests because s/he moves from one job to the next and repeat the next day and the next … The lack of rest causes stress and one is easily agitated.

Higher is calling

There is a higher calling us all yet we all do not pause to ask “Who?” or “Why?” or “Why me and to where?” We are just too busy! It is a fast-paced world, right? Else one will be left behind! But no, it is not. It is just a fast-paced world in our part of the continents, America. Because the last time, I checked, Italy takes a summer break for a month (https://bit.ly/3d2tffn), Europeans are known to take national naps and their women go on six-months’ maternity leave with pay (https://bit.ly/35iCWE3), right? while Africans take a rest justifying that “I can’t kill myself!” Even the Creator of the Universe rested. Why not you; why not me; and why not us? One thing I know for sure (credit to Oprah) is that the Creator of the Universe has a way of keeping one still. I ask the one who cannot take a break, and God forbid this: “what happens when you’re involved in an accident and become bedridden for weeks?” Or the inevitable stroke and/or paralysis occur? Unfortunately, sometimes it is necessary to paint this ugly picture for one to get it. 

Why allow the taskmaster to drive you endlessly?!

Visitors to California echo that it is a highly paced State. That the culture is different in other States. The visitors wonder why we are too time-conscious and cannot relax for a second. I have not lived in other states to experience the difference but I’m curious to find out. Please share your experiences in the comments below if you agree that California (and probably, New York) is highly fast-paced compared to other States.

The one good thing that COVID-19 has done for us all is to take a critical look at ourselves; our business, and to put our lives into a perspective. We all have been forced to sit still. If we could sit still and survive the last two or three months, we can accept this new norm going forward.

Rest is essential to the body and, in resting, we can be still and pay attention to each other, our neighbors, our environments, and our nation. We can communicate (as in listening) and value one another. But most importantly, in rest, you meditate, communicate with your inner self, and a higher being. You are calmer, peaceful, and notice a lot of things and details that others would miss. 

While writing this blog, I stumbled upon a new word “sehnsucht,” which sums up the kind of yearning that this blog is about. 

I propose to you that whenever there’s an insatiable hunger (or thirst) for something, there’s always an underlying issue that needs to be dealt with. Often, that issue is internal, deeper, and the solution can only be found in drawing nearer to the Creator for He’s the only One who can satisfy. The next time you yearn for more, take time to sit still and ask the Creator for help, to speak to you, and share your experience.

Who Am I?

None of us chose our parents, siblings, nor families.  Some of those paths were handed down to us.  But, as an adult, most of us chose the path we eventually traveled.  Yes, though the environment not a man makes, yet an environment does the man make!  But I can tell you that whether the inherited paths or those we chose to travel, good or bad, all things work together for good. 

. . .

I was born and raised into a family of 21 children. “Wow,” I heard you say Right? For real?  Yes, for real! But all the children were not born by my mother.  Praise God.  Despite all my siblings, America made me realize that I was an only child (one sharing of the same biological parents).

I was the oldest daughter, my life responsibilities came early; at age 7, I was responsible for taking care of my younger siblings – bathing, clothing, feeding, and making sure they did right! Under my granny’s tutelage, I started learning how to cook at age 13 and did other household chores much sooner than most of my siblings even though we had house-helps. Did I hear you ask, “where was your Mother?” Follow me on The Patriarch to find out. Not only was I the oldest daughter, I was the only girl amidst four brothers. It took another five years for the next daughter to arrive. Also, for about 10 years, I was the only lone child in the family. I recognized this early and learned to suppress my emotions though I loved my siblings, ate and played together, and even wore similar clothes. I saw things that were not right but looked the other way because one got in trouble for saying it. Since I had no-one to “defend” me, I learned to keep quiet. I could also tell at a young age those who genuinely loved me, my father, and us as a family. Though I missed the hugs and kisses of not growing up with my Mom, I propose that her absence helped me viewed issues more objectively and from a neutral unbiased manner.

I channeled my energy into being the best that I knew how. I was highly competitive in my elementary school; my grades fell between 1st and 2nd; once I was the 5th in class and cried all the way home. I participated in sports and always looked forward to our Sports Day. I excelled at whatever I did. High school was different though and had its challenges. I loved playing soccer with my brothers and neighbors and was the favorite goalkeeper. Should our team be losing, I will switch from goalkeeper to forward till we tied or led the game. I also realized that I dreamed a lot and some things would happen that seemed so surreal and de ja vu. I did not share those dreams with anyone until I was older. I would tell about “not liking someone” even though I was meeting them for the first time and it often turns out, sooner than later, that there was something shady or weird about the person. I thought that I was weird myself and did not understand my life.

Though no regrets, I traveled a lot of paths that, looking back now, could have been averted had I lived with both my parents.  I loved my parents nonetheless and have learned that for everything in life, there are benefits and disadvantages

Fast-forward several years later, I no longer live to suppress my emotions; I loved to be free to express myself and express myself I did. Now I “confront” issues rather than look the other way. One of those issues occurred on one hot summer day. I was about 8-months pregnant and my friend and I decided to walk to a local McDonalds for lunch. As I stood waiting for my friend, ready to leave, a young adult female ran abruptly pass me almost knocking me over. She dashed straight to the bathroom. There was only one stall at the restaurant and dashed back out again. As I stood wondering about what just happened and how to react, here comes a female Police Officer who looked like she was looking for someone or something. I approached her and she told me that “some young adults are harassing the nearby senior home and stealing from them. One of them ran in here.” I was upset about that. Why would anyone do such a thing? I described the young female I saw and pointed that she ran to the bathroom. The Officer went into the bathroom and came out with a stunning silver handgun. I almost passed out! The young female ran into the bathroom and hid it in the trash bin.

“Be the change you want to see.”

Mahtma Gandhi

We returned to work and narrated the experience.  Some would say that I was bold, some asked why I snitched, while others scolded that I could have been hurt – what if someone nearby heard me and trailed me with the intent to harm me for telling? Some even told me not to return to the restaurant ever again!  Oh well …

I have always wanted to blog.  Took me forever to get started, but I am finally doing it! 

The Chronicles of Narnia Book
Chronicles of Narnia Books Photo by Pixel

I wear several hats and those hats will be donned in my blogs. I also love and abhor some things and will talk about them from time to time.  I believe that in talking about issues we can shed light on, better understand the issue and each other, as well as find a solution.  We all are wired differently.  

All in all, I hope that I can connect with all during the year, and eventually niche down to a group, as the topics will be varied and concerns a vast group.  I am authentically me, have grown to speak the truth in love, and love to seat at the feet of Wisdom.