Friday, December 6, 2013

Lessons from Mandela (RIP Madiba)

• Position is not always power.
• Time is always ripe to do right.
• Words are powerful igniters of hope.
• Jail encloses the body but not the mind.
• Strength can be achieved through humility.
• Forgiveness can be lived out not only said out.
• Everyone wants association with something great.
• One can lead from the back and put others in front.
• A single person can bring the whole world together.
• Life is short but a lot can be achieved with little time.
• People remember someone who touches their lives.
• Magic is inside us all, it just needs an igniter. #Madiba magic.
• Resentment kills the person who has it rather the person it is directed at.
• Power can be handed down even though inherently deserved for longer.
• Fighting for justice and peace can be achieved using nonviolent strategies.
• If you believe in something strong enough, you will stand for it with your life.
• A leader never shows fear. Courage is not absence of fear but triumph over fear.
• No one is born with hate, it is learnt. Love can be taught, but comes more naturally.
• Legendary status happens over time and includes a bit of pain and tears in the process.
• The blood may boil with anger but the brain remains the best option for thinking and deciding.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Teach me patience Oh Lord

I have often rushed to my own downfall. Pushed for results which were not ready for release. Rammed into doors that were not meant to be opened. Manipulated and forced volatile and fragile situations. Implemented decisions haphazardly without due care. Often, in a ‘spur of the moment’ of emotion or anger. Simply because I was not patient enough to wait. I failed to make the impact that I should have made. Got half baked results when I should have excelled. Became someone trying when I should have made it. Hurt and disappointed my loved ones in the process. Simply because I did not wait for the right moment. I just thought that I did not have time to wait longer. Whether my lack of time was real or mind perceived. How much I have regretted to know that God had plans. Bigger, better plans for me than I pushed for on my own. Only if I had waited for God to show himself in His time. When I seemed to languish in short seasons of waiting, which seemed like eternity for me and my impatience. I would have obtained a lifetime of joy for my patience. Teach me patience, Oh Lord so I may rejoice in time. Patience that I may have love, for love is patient. Patience that overcomes anxiety but gives peace. Peace, in the midst of waiting for you Oh Lord. Teach me patience that I may bless you always.

Image adapted here..

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The pervasiveness of contradiction

Seduction and repulsion love and hate. Happiness and sadness, war and peace. Excitement and inertia, Innovation and tradition. Concern and indifference, thought and vacuity. Opinion and fact, fantasy and reality. Imagination and substance, creation and ruin. Engagement and surrender, involvement and abandonment. Crime and good character, cruelty and kindness, punishment and reward. Strength and weakness, Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Do these words reflect the world, or more our personal daily lives? Could this all be found within one person, home, community, country or continent? It sure sounds like words describing many people, but this could just be a description of internal occurrences within one mind. Simply put, life is full of contradiction, seen or unseen, the internal conflict constantly, frequently and silently simmering, or even blatantly raging, raving and ranting. External calm does not excuse one from this conflict, for even in silence it still rages on. The internal quest to decide, determine, establish and resolve the components of one’s daily life and take action that gives desired outcomes. The internal battle to dominate undesired emotions and actions from taking root. The resolve to stem out behavior that can derail progression. While contradiction may seem retrogressive, it is needed at some point, the key being giving due consideration to each course of action and the potential outcome it may give. Wisdom is required to choose the right course of action to obtain positive results.

Image adapted here

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Avoiding the sign post syndrome

A sign post is a sign that gives information about directions or distances and is typically found at a road junction or crossroads. Crossroads being a point where a crucial decision needs to be made which may have far reaching implications. The fact that a sign post gives directions and gets people to their destination, does not mean that the sign post has been to the place it speaks of. It is a stagnant sign that merely lets people get to their places of interest and enjoy the benefits of arrival. Sometimes the sign post rusts and starts to lose its informational value with time. I have thought of an analogy about people in life who are like sign posts. They have gathered a lot of information which they know and can direct you where you are going quite accurately, but they themselves have never been there. They carry all the directions and time lines to your destination and can get you there, but they themselves stay at the crossroads failing to make the decision to move towards something great. I encourage you today to avoid being a sign post. Do not be content speaking of places you have never been or getting people to where you will never go. There is nothing wrong with helping others to go places, be great and achieve great things, but there is a lot wrong with not telling of your own experiences while having been there when you speak. So how do you avoid being a sign post? I think three important points stand out which can help. Firstly you need to do something, anything to create momentum. Start with what you have to get you where you want to go while helping others on the way if possible. This means purposefully moving towards something through focused effort and not just merely intending to move. Secondly, get moving and pursue those goals that you want to achieve in your life. Avoid only talking about places and things that you have not yourself pursued. Lastly keep your information up to date through continuous learning and sharing of that information with others. Information is one of the things that one can share while still retaining all of it. Today I challenge you to move from being a sign post, to actually progressing towards that which you have been directing others to so that you may also share in the benefits thereof.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Overcoming the hold of the past

A lot of people are criticised and blamed for living in the past. They are taunted for their lack of reformation and progression. Draining their strength, efforts and thoughts on past misfortune. Historically disadvantaged backgrounds, epic past errors, lost opportunities, bad judgements leading to bad decisions. The list is endless and the reasons given are many. Someone once said the reason why a rear view mirror is small and a windscreen large is to give more focus to the destination while being mindful of what is behind. Stories abound of people with not so good a past who have overcome it to be successful against all odds. They have let go of baggage from the past and moved on. Soldiering on to become recognised and respected icons in their fields of influence in the quest of determining a better and desired destiny different and detached from that which life gave them. Vision, attitude and courage are all they clung onto. The past they let go, only looking to their destiny. With vision, attitude and courage they have soared. Turned sorrow to joy and mourning to dancing. Examples abound of such people who have overcome. Whether they be black or white, orphans or paralymbians, previously abused, deemed stupid and good for nothing, made to believe they would amount to nothing in their lives. With their most valuable asset, self worth, crushed and destroyed, they had HOPE for a different future from that predestined by their past and they explored and pursued it. They are there and we have seen them rise to their destiny. They all have a different past but this did not kill their vision, but became a reason for changing direction and being determined for the future. It became a good solid reference point and a point of departure as to why they pursued greatness the way they did. So that when they finally achieved greatness in due season, the past was relevant, but not a restraint to greatness. This, making the success more amplified and significant. Hence their success had nothing to do with the past, it had everything to do with their quest to succeed and overcome the past.

Image adapted from Kate Ter Haa

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Life maintains value

Why is there celebration when a child is born? Why do we ululate and congratulate a new birth, with expensive unique gifts for the new mother? Guests travel long distances to see the new born and share the joys thereof. Life is precious that is why it is celebrated. A new mother is pampered and allowed to indulge in her accomplishment, with some mothers even getting many months off work. Life does not choose background, geography, language or colour. It is granted to the most remote of communities to nurture and flourish. It is given to the sophisticated world as new hope for the future. Is it true that life has such great value, when people are shot, stabbed and killed as is happening nowadays and without remorse? Across the board a lack of respect for life flourishes in today's world and most times for no apparent reason. What happened to the celebrated life that was born? What happened to the hope for the future that was to be? What happened to the indulgence and butterflies of joy? Why is life suddenly discounted in all seasons, to the extent that it is taken without remorse and shame, to the extent that it is at times deemed legitimate to take it away. Does even commerce discount merchandise in all seasons? Is it not the same sacrosanct life that was celebrated at birth, showered with gifts, pampered and nurtured? Is it not the same life that brought jubilation to a community? Life maintains value despite where it is lived. It maintains sacredness despite diverse differences and varied opinions. Life maintains value because it comes divine and cannot be replaced. It is special despite race, colour or creed.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Why does a caged bird sing?

I came across this simple question and it grasped my curiosity. Why does a caged bird sing? My most immediate answer was that a bird is created to sing, but then I thought it could be logical to perhaps think that after a while a caged bird would not sing as it is trapped with no freedom to soar and explore? This assuming the caged bird has previously been free at some point. Well it does sing and I searched for an answer and found an interesting one in a beautiful poem written by American Author and Poet Maya Angelou which I will share with you below. Drawing parallels between situations of life that trap us to the caged bird, I ask you to empathize with a caged bird and determine to sing in that situation. Just as the bird's feet are tied and it cannot fly about, but opens its throat to sing, is it possible that when something in you seems dead, tied down, immobilized and unavailable for its intended purpose, you choose to see something else which is still available and free to use fully instead? Can you stand on the grave of dreams and still create a new dream to pursue? While you are trapped in that situation, albeit temporarily (unlike the bird which may be permanently caged), can you still sing of freedom like the bird, or do you feel like there is no song to sing? I hope you can find a song to sing in those times when you feel a "cage" all around you.

A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
And floats downstream till the current ends
And dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky

But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Investing in future leaders

I am writing today inspired by the experiences of yesterday, the 19th of October 2013. I was one of the panel interviewers for Student Scholarships for top performing academic children coming from underprivileged backgrounds. I had not envisaged the level of responsibility this process would require. One after another these bright, bubbly, confident, top performing and focused 6th graders came in presenting their biggest achievements including trophies, medals, awards and certificates. I was pleasantly surprised, firstly by the level of commitment already reflected in these young kids through dedication to academic and sporting excellence and secondly by their confidence and consciousness to a measure of success. The sober part for me was the thought that my recommendations and ratings would determine the future of these little future leaders. I was in a process that would impact on a child's future and life in realising their full potential, a difficult reality to fathom. One wishes all the children would be accorded the scholarships as they deserve realising who they are meant to be, already being all top in their grades, however the reality of the economic concept of scarcity in today's world means not everyone is given the same opportunity nor exposed to what they can become that easily, especially in most areas of Africa due to lack of resources. Some of these children come from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas such as  Tembisa and Alexandra and evidently, the decision to be made will impact their lives as they will be placed in some of the best top private high schools in the country if successful. If they do well, they will further be enrolled into top Universities to further their studies. It was an intriguing day with inspiration coming from the dedication to success of these children in spite of their backgrounds. Some children had working parents while others had unemployed parents who depend on government support. While the parents were aware of the impact of the process to their children's future, I am not sure if the children themselves really knew how life changing these interviews could be. Of particular note was the innocence of the kids as they answered the questions that would determine their lives. An adult going into a job interview will go in there to impress and outwit the other candidates and get the job, some even at all costs which may not be all that noble. This was not the case for these little ones who came in to just say who they are and what they have achieved so far without any form of competitive posture nor slander. It was up to the interviewers to decipher potential against need and give them a rating that will enhance their chances of getting that scholarship and better their chances at life. It was a roller coaster of emotion, from finding the child in me so as to identify with the children at their level and make them comfortable enough to give the best of themselves, to remaining objective in spite of all the sad stories arising from a financial need perspective of the process. It is when you give of yourself within a community that you realise some form of greed and selfishness in your own life as you see how other people are surviving on way less than you may ever consider as a livelihood and yet they remain joyful and thankful, bound by love. I was inspired by the hunger for success already instilled in these kids, humbled by the support of the parents through challenging times and grateful for sponsors who find resources to advance and help these children to be developed into great future leaders.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Can you do more?

It is interesting how when we live our lives genuinely doing what we want to do inspite of what we can gain from it, there is recognition and appreciation, be it direct or indirect. I recently had a friend call me and tell me how he appreciated my support and encouragement during a time he was job hunting. It took me by surprise as I tried to recall if I had done anything extraordinary and did not see such. The things I had done all seemed ordinary, normal and effortless as far as I could see. The call and visit I made while checking on a friend as well as seeking company and companionship myself, for him were a lifeline he needed to get through the day. I then realized how things that make a difference in the world and in people’s lives are not supernatural ‘take over the world’ feats but small little deeds which require no more effort than is usual in day to day living and letting go of pride at times just to make someone feel that their life is worth living, or that they are much better than they seem in their present moment and that their tomorrow is greater than their today, and this makes life so much more worth living. The BIG question which some ask themselves is, can I do more? The hidden truth, which everyone knows by the way, is that we can never do enough, for we can always DO MORE.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

It's a war out there

The Haka is a traditional war cry, dance or challenge of the Maori people of New Zealand. It is performed for various reasons, amusement, a hearty welcome of special guests, acknowledgement of great achievements or at funerals. It consists of shouting and chanting, vigorous body actions, strong facial expressions, stamping of feet and slapping of hands against the body. The New Zealand rugby team has successfully transformed this tradition more to intimidation of the enemy before every rugby match they play. The world has come to know the Haka in this manner as the fearless intimidation, show of force and challenging of rugby opponents. This seems to work for them as they dominate the rugby scene the world over. When they perform this war cry you can see the passion in their eyes and posture and hear the victory in their voices. They show no fear and no mercy at their opponents as they declare their prowess and strength as well as determination to overpower, dominate and win. Their latest Rugby Championship Match on the 5th of October 2013 was no exception as the All Blacks, as they are affectionately known played against the South African team the Springboks. They carried the passion from the Haka through their whole game and made sure they won the match. While the All Blacks won convincingly, the Springboks put up a spirited performance against the New Zealanders. As I followed the match, my thoughts shifted to how life issues sometimes intimidate and challenge us before we have even found ways to deal with them. They declare their might and strength on us before we can even work out how to tackle them, doing the Haka and looking strong and impossible to defeat before we have even started to look at ways to overcome them, and we sometimes give in and face defeat before we have tried to fight. How do you respond when the war of life visits you and does the Haka? When it shouts, shakes you up and slaps you while showing no mercy and stamping all over you? Do you cower, give in and lose all hope without a fight, or do you shout back with your own war cry of victory and success through a well thought out plan of getting out of that situation. Refusing to be intimidated and crowded out by situations that may not be all that powerful and over which you may even be stronger? Just a thought I wanted to leave to get you working on your Haka which you may after all need. A plan of action for the times when life comes hard on you and it seems there is no way out. When putting up a fight is the only way out. Have your own Haka ready always and have a great week ahead!!

Image adapted from NZ Defence Force

Monday, September 30, 2013

Yet we worry in despair!

The news may be serially negative, the outlook bad, the statistics shocking, the stories terrifying, and the future may look as bleak as never before, yet the birds will fly, sing and chirp in the sky. Not a day will they share your in your stress. Though the economy be in a dreaded recession, the unemployment rates skyrocket unabated, and global world concerns rise on every turn, surely the lilies of the field will blossom and butterflies colour the sky without restraint. Though various social concerns arise each day, with them, political clashes, policy differences, and varied opinions leading to hatred and anger, rest assured the sun will shine on all who embrace it, and the air will flow to all, despite inclinations. See how the lilies and birds of the sky grow. They neither toil, reap nor worry about tomorrow, yet He keeps them and they continue to glow. What more you who are above all creation? Today declare this, that you will choose to see the positive side of life and smile at that small little thing you would ordinarily not even notice in the rush of life. You will wake up confident, thankful and ready to see the flowers dancing, swaying and swinging, screaming in colour hoping to catch your eye for just a moment, and hear the birds of the sky sing never ending songs which you ordinarily only hear subliminally, then watch the sun’s beautiful sunset end it all in grand style. Yes there is more to life than worry and stress. As for me, I will take courage to change things I can change, accept those that I cannot change, and avoid worry and stress where I can. This kind of serenity will make me wiser in my life.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Go for broke on goals and targets?

I was having a discussion with someone where I mentioned my concerns regarding the pursuit of my goals and targets. I narrated my worries and frustrations and strategies I can use to get myself where I want to be. The other person then told me to look back at my past accomplishments and what I have done and achieved, then asked me to look at other people who may not have done and achieved what I have managed to. I replied by saying I do not find joy and comfort in past glory as it is no longer a motivation for me, nor do I find solace in comparison with other people as they do not remove my goals and targets, they still remain for me to fulfil. I then felt a bit of selfishness and insatiable ambition but then again that is just me pushing for what I want to achieve. There is by the way the flipside of people who have done better than I have. I should then also compare myself to them, which renders the comparison issue inconclusive. I believe in goals which must be met no matter how other people are doing in their lives. So today I ask, to what extent or if at all, should one be comforted, consoled or find joy in past achievements as well as comparison with other people who "have not done too well"? That being relative in any case, granted but let us not dwell much on it. In tragic situations and episodes of loss, people do use comparison in comforting one another by saying one is better off and things could have been worse and so forth to make someone feel better. So should one pursue their own goals independently and relentlessly? You now know my position, what is yours?

Image adapted from Celestine Chua

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Journey to greatness

I was inspired while watching the September 2013 boxing match between Mayweather and Alvarez. I found the match quite interesting to watch for someone who is not a boxing fan, hence I thought of writing about it. As I sat there watching, certain words flashed in my mind as I looked at the two men contesting to retain their records. Words like preparation, calm, composure, courage, endurance, determination, inner strength, purpose, discipline, skill, tact, strategy, focus and technique. Floyd Mayweather was evidently smaller than Canelo Alvarez, but he did not look intimidated, threatened or cowed. He knew how to use the right strategy for the opponent at hand to ensure he achieved his goal. Both men were determined to keep their unbeaten records, yet they did not lose their professionalism and sportsmanship in trying to beat their rival. They maintained professional calm while fighting for success. In just over half an hour the fight would be over and the winner announced. I thought to myself how greatness seems easy and possibly given when someone succeeds, yet there is a lot of behind the scenes, long hard work that not many may see. Mental preparation went into that match to build the desired confidence, perseverance and strength. Training hours were put in coupled with unique eating habits and many other opportunity costs which were paid in preparation. Success in one round did not mean complacency in another. The same amount of zeal, effort and discipline, if not more, was required in all rounds until completion. I felt inspired to think that where there is a goal, purpose and passion coupled with commitment and determination, there is definitely greatness at the end of that road. One who uses that which they have in their hand strategically and tactfully in light of their environment ultimately gets the glory.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Days when you are just not having it...

You awake but do not feel like living, breathe but do not embrace the life around, shower and feel not refreshed, sing but do not hear the lyrics, eat but do not taste the flavour, labor without the joy of contribution, converse but do not make sense, aspire but do not achieve the desired, plan but never get anything done. It is one of those days when you feel empty, lifeless, barren, constrained, gagged, suppressed, choked, muffled and tied up. You are just not having it.

....anyone identify with this and how have you dealt with it?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The joy of success

The world that looked unsympathetic, hard and cold, now seemingly becomes empathetic, warm and caring. Everything suddenly turns to your favour and you forget your past struggles and toils. You feel great and overwhelmed simultaneously, as you try to comprehend and assimilate the victory. Surrounding, lifting, making you feel mighty and big. This is the joy of success that comes after hard work. Joy that overshadows past pain, sorrow and waiting and removes perceived failure, opening new horizons.This is where stagnation gives way to long term progression, which offers opportunities which seemed unimaginable. Friends celebrate with you as they share your achievement. They dance and laugh with you knowing your joy is theirs also Now you can only move forward to new frontiers, as you shape your life and purpose with a difference. You look back at the toil, the wait and hardship. The road seemed so long, treacherous and endless just then, but now it all seems like it was a short patch. Yes it seemed like forever before success came, but now it  is just the joy of success in your embrace.

Image adapted from Santosh Puthran

Monday, September 2, 2013

I would choose you

I know I have not done many special things that can compare, but one thing I can do is say many special things that can express my gratitude. Many have said it, and it still rings true, I am here because of you. God gave me you, and you accepted me where others have rejected. You took the responsibility that comes with that acceptance. The pain, disappointment, maybe even shame and sleepless nights. Truly also the contentment, peace, satisfaction, joy, respect, recognition and sharing that comes with that acceptance. I know what you have paid all your life for me even though I may not say. You are a humbling example of giving life and love while absorbing pain and hurt. I cannot imagine another for myself under any circumstance. You needed so that I could need not, and lost your joy so that I could have mine. You bore it all for my sake and I wish I could give my life for your sake. You gave up your life so I could have mine, though it may seem as if you have lived your life. What an honour and privilege you gave me to also live my life stemming from your courage and strength. You shivered where you could have warmed-up so that I could be warm and starved where you could have had much to spare so that I could have plenty. You squeezed the little strength you had left in you for my sake, so that I could be stronger, in good health and bubbling with joy, with not a single worry in the world. Tears swell in my eyes and emotions rise up in me, when I think and look back at all that you have stood for where I am concerned, and the sacrifice, fire and passion that simmered in your heart for me. I stood on your shoulders, even stumbling and walking all over you, and you rose to the occasion and carried me with tender love and care. Indeed you are greatest human being in my books. You are so, because it is not easy to raise someone like me and remain sane. So what I am simply saying is, if I had to do it all again and needed someone to raise me, I would choose you.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Walk where others have walked!!

Who says you are too young or elderly to be great? Why do feelings of age, colour and race bother you? Where is it recorded that your birth place was wrong? Where is it written that your background is incorrect? The world empathises not to age, race or background. Success gives not room to religion, belief or gender. Success empathises solely with the language of attitude You want to succeed and achieve beyond your dreams? To gain recognition and set records beyond set records? Walk where others have walked and unleash brilliance. The famous, recognised, successful and high flyers, waited not for another to take their success and fame, but went ahead and walked into uncharted territories in the quest to break new ground and achievement. You look human enough to do better than they did. You have all it takes to progress towards the glory. Aspire and do things you have never done before. Your success and fame will be like never before. It is all up to you whether you think you can or not. Whatever you do, walk where others have walked. .

Image adapted from Jiaren Lau

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The factor within

This silent factor subtly and inertly attracts people.
A force you cannot control with physical strength.
Strength and might cannot at all dissipate the power.

That this magnetic force puts inside of you to wonder.
How things would be if only you maintain the hunger.
To be, to live, to laugh and love like there’s no other.

Just that one person your heart rages for like thunder.
It is overwhelming you feel like you are going under.
Never does it occur to you that this could be a bother.

And so you think, maybe you will succeed like a hunter.
Who has exhausted all his strength but with no plunder.
Yet he knows that a moment of joy is coming up yonder.

And so, the factor gives not one, any rest nor slumber.
For this is the way it is and so will it always linger.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Get up, get over it and get going

Life has crushed me and I have fallen. I should have stayed down. Ordinarily and justifiably so, people would have lamented, “he has suffered enough and needs a break from it all”. Adding to my comfort in sorrow and wallowing in pain. It would seem normal to dwell in their sympathy and empathy. But, I decided life was more than just accepting one event. Allowing it to rule and take over other greater events to come. Against all odds and deemed normalcy I shook off ashes for beauty. I adjusted and realigned my future with my new circumstance. I refused to stay down and accept that all was lost, choosing life. I ignited my passion drivers while facing my passion killers. At that moment I realized the passion in me is greater than that which came, tried to destroy me and failed. Having been left alive and passionate, I can still move on. Hence I will act and possess new uncharted territory. I will move what is behind, beyond and overcome the overwhelming. Using what I have, I will get up, get over it and get going again.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

All you need is a little light

Light as we know it is visible to the human eye, but there also is a certain little light that no one sees. A miraculous lamp that flickers in the windiest of storms. Nudging and urging us to ignore our ‘now’ for a desired ‘then’. Most importantly, it cannot be snatched from someone with vision. One man used this to his benefit to become the icon he is today. His name means “troublemaker” but he ended lots of trouble. He has become a shining beacon of peace across the world, becoming a recipient of the respected Nobel Peace Prize. A symbol of freedom and equality in the Rainbow Nation is he. This, against a backdrop of hate, discrimination and a dark past. Reconciliation, unification and negotiation are words he lives by, hence multi-racial democracy and unity have become possible. Ideals of democracy, free society and equal opportunity, have become real and alive in his lifetime up to this day. The little light within him has been the source of his existence. It has been the tower of strength, hope and lasting aspiration. Years of incarceration, isolation, pain and scarring of the heart, could not dim this glimmering light within his innermost, but in fact, led him to push and explore his mental boundaries. Against all odds, he persevered and rose from the jaws of death. The little light inside him burst out and now reaches to the world spreading like a veld fire this light touches and penetrates hearts. All this from a little light and there has been no difference whether his freedom be denied or granted, he lives with dignity. Umtata to the world, he reaches out, inspires and unites generations. All you need is a little light and the walls around you disappear. Walls of anger, hate, adversity, a dark history, race or gender. They all crumble around you when your light is alight in you. All you need is a little light and you, me, the world, is one.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A world of paradox

To one it is a reason for war to another a reason for love. What is to one an annoyance is to another a good laugh. The most intense fight can lead to a long lasting friendship. The strongest emotions can be from the most fictional story. The best interests of two people may not make them agree. The strongest opposites can attract closer and dearer to another. The strongest differences between people can draw them closer. A painful decision by one, can lead to a joyous decision by another. A moment of anger can be followed by one of passion and love. An unfortunate incident, can lead to a fortunate relationship. An unintended error, can lead to a generational discovery. The most trusted person can be the most harmful. The weirdest guy can be most caring, loving husband. The varsity drop out can become the role model for business success or the wealthiest man. The scapegoat for failure to one can be the reason for success to another. One whose opinion is muted, can have the answer to the most disturbing problem. We may look and find the answers or never will be able to know what kind of world it is we live in. It is a world of paradox. That is where we live.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

You don't have to be here

I may be lonely without one to laugh or cry with, but my spirit is at peace knowing you are there. My heart knows that you wish me well, and pray for me. Your prayers give warmth and comfort, as if you are here. Your wishes for me are real and noble. They give strength. You care about my life and not what is in my life. If you cared about what is in my life or what I have, you would only be there if I have what you care for, but because I have my life, I also have you, Your care and love, I feel in my life always. I am not with you always, nor do I think of you always, but when I do, it’s the most satisfying feeling. To know you are there somewhere in this world. My successes and failures when you were not there, I share with you and your responses are just perfect. Fully making up for all the time you were not there. Such is the immense value drawn between us. It is the same as if we had been together all along. Since this is how we are, you don’t have to be here. You just have to be there, wherever you are.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I am Alive

I aspire, dream, hope, expect, await and wish, only time cannot be pushed forward and therefore it holds me back from the peace and joy ahead of me. Weeping endures a night, with joy coming in the morning. I long, reminisce, cherish, regret and wish, only time cannot be reversed and therefore it bars me from things that will never be again, meditating on these disrupts progress towards my goal. I struggle, wrestle, fight, oppose and force my way, only time cannot be rushed and therefore it gives lessons of pain and anguish for a season, which season prepares me for a lifetime that awaits. Today I have another opportunity, another chance. Time is here today, for me to take control and live again. I must change my circumstance and be in charge. Reverse losses and make good my past failures. I know time is here today for me to aspire, hope, dream and wish. Yes time is here for me to experience seasons of tribulation, but time is here for me to experience my lifetime. I will therefore seek, aim, desire and soar higher. Time is here for me to live today because, as long as I have time I know I AM ALIVE.