“The Glass Review”

Shay

By: Saushay Douglas

Part I

Soft Words (Whispers)

While fully indulging my mind in the thoughts of the author’s, I found myself jotting down a plethora of notes as well as my own thoughts and feelings. I did not have to read the whole book to know it was GREAT (although I did). The author (Kennyrich Fomunung) undoubtedly had me at “Meet My Mind!”  

One of the many narratives I find intriguing is “The Rose That Grew From Concrete.” It simply conveys that what is meant to be will always be regardless of any doubts, because Destiny will always win! The author’s expression, “Often times the perceptions of cool are merely the delusions of a fool” in the introspective piece, “David versus Goliath: Plight of the Latter-Day Man” stands true, especially in today’s precocious society, where it seems everyone’s “constant” is constantly the same.

In the fictional narrative “The Noble King, Loyal Queen, And Lost Knight,” Kennyrich showcases an agglomeration of versatility with words in relation to movies, characters, scripture, and song. The moral to this story should be a mirror to a heap of relationships. Every woman should aspire to be and be like the Queen and every man should be as confident as the King in knowing his Queen ultimately has both their backs. I find that at times we are blinded by and in denial of the blatant potent potion called love. Unfortunately, it happens more often then we believe, accept, and realize. The author’s “Lost Chemistry”, is undoubtedly accurate as it scientifically describes how love embezzles the heart. While I was silently cheering for the dreamer to go ahead and take those steps across the water in the simply beautiful and courageous “Maiden of Mystery”, I felt every girl has been “The Girl Who Never Was!”  I remember when “When Love is Blind” was first posted on Facebook by the author. It was at that moment that I truly recognized Kennyrich’s proverbial openness/vulnerability to express something so beautiful that both men and women often overlook or take for granted. My hopelessness in being a romantic reached its peak when I read “Beyond Her Eyes” (although the author was referring to Medusa of all people).

Furthermore, in reading “Mirror on My Wall”, and “The Broken Road”, I have come to terms with the fact that I could have made better decisions concerning my own life. However, I feel more humble now and do “learn and live” as recommended by the author. Honestly, I thought I could never feel how I felt in regards to the way Kennyrich utilized words to convey such profound insights on life and its entities. But how wrong I was. His carefully crafted words catapulted my feelings to an unprecedented high!

P.S. Stay tuned for more comprehensive reviews of The GLASS…

About the Author:

Saushay Lynette Douglas is a native Houstonian born to parents, Kevin and Vicki Robinson. She graduated from Texas Southern University in the fall of 2010 with a bachelors degree in Human Services and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Child and Family Development . Saushay currently works at Good Hearts Youth and Family Services as a Foster Home Developer. As she advocates for both foster parents and children, she is more than determined to fulfill her purpose as a Humanitarian. You may connect with her here: Saushay Douglas

Life’s Four Phases

Life's Phases

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” -Helen Keller

Life has four phases. From age 1 through 20, most people are discovering, observing, forming opinions, stumbling, falling and learning, and hopefully retaining. From age 21 to 45, people implement and live off and improve on experiences gotten during two decades plus and chart a known decidedly solid (or conversely shaky) path, as they build on those foundations for a better quality of life. From age 46 to 65, people live off plans set earlier, the golden years, reinforced, enjoyed, and are satisfied that their legacy will outlive them. From age 66 to 80, the golden years continue to be savored as family branches draw out far out.

After 80 especially, these are bonus years and serve as a period to look back and either appreciate, or regret one’s life. This period of reflection and the conclusions drawn therefrom can make a difference on how many bonus years we would or would not have. If we missed the first quarter, the likelihood of making up in the second quarter becomes slim or difficult; not impossible though, but onerous. If we got the first and second quarters right, then we might not retire into frustration, want, dependency, misery, or poverty. The first quarter determines how well the second quarter would turn out to be. It is very important for parents to ensure the first quarter is successful. It is largely parental responsibility. The first, and more importantly, second quarter are therefore very critical in determining the type of legacy we leave for our progeny and for posterity. Once anyone misses any quarter, playing catch up turns to become a near permanent pursuit, draining energy, time, resources, and rarely succeeding. We must guard against this trap, especially if our parents got the first quarter right for us. For societies wherein talent and hard work are not readily recognized and compensated adequately, these equations change dramatically.

The core message here is that most people do not plan to fail, but they just fail to plan. Within the society in which we live, with the ebb and flow of countless and sometimes conflicting forces, albeit having a relatively level playing field, good plans serve as road maps to goal attainment. Procrastinators and analysts often fall prey to the law of diminishing intent and diminishing returns as protracted analysis leads instead to prolonged paralysis and inertia. These pitfalls must be avoided. This state of being is exacerbated for those who are too steeped in uni-linear belief systems, dogmatic practices and closed mindedness, rendering them unwilling to embrace change and seize on new opportunities. This bubble mentality is one of the main causes of failure, or a less-than-satisfactory or successful life. Another term for it is comfort zone. Only brave hearts burst out of their comfort zone, seize opportunities, and act on them. This explains why only a small minority sits atop the pyramid of life with a comfortable lifestyle, while the increasingly larger majority have a life and remain at the crowded wider bottom, the uncomfortable zone, or as it is often misguidedly called, the comfort zone.

P.S. “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else. It is about your outlook towards life. You can either regret or rejoice.” -Anonymous

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About the Author:

Joseph Fomunung is a seasoned entrepreneur and Senior Marketing Director with World Financial Group, Inc. He helps everyday families build a solid financial foundation by educating them on tried and true financial concepts (not taught in schools) that create wealth while protecting their income, effectively ending legacies of poverty, perpetual debt and financial struggle. He lives in Houston, TX with his wife, Theresia, and can be reached at sabumsr@yahoo.com.

Why Do People Suffer?

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“All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” -Helen Keller

Every day when I wake up from bed and every night before I go to sleep, there is one question that I always ask myself: “Why is it that there are so many people suffering in our world today?” Who is to blame for this situation, and is there anything that can be done to arrest this issue, which is growing bigger and bigger as the days go by?

As I write this article, I recall the story of Angel (real name concealed to protect her identity), whose parents died while she was still so tender. Little Angel barely managed to navigate her way through primary school and hit a stumbling block in her attempt to go to secondary school. With no means of support and other siblings to look after, Angel went to work as a house help for one rich family who not only maltreated her but abused her. Life was difficult and unbearable for her until she was rescued by a Good Samaritan who took her into his own house and sponsored her in school. She is currently doing well in her studies and hopes to become a medical doctor in the future. The story of Angel is not new to many of us as I am convinced that many of us have come across people suffering from one thing or another.

I also remember the sensational headlines of most newspapers here in Kenya approximately a year ago. The son of the then-finance minister of Kenya did what some people do when they have lost hope – he took his own life by hanging (suicide). People of God, there are too many people suffering in our society today who want a better home, a good education, a better life, better food, a better everything.

I am convinced that there are enough resources for everyone in this world; and while a decent number of people have more than what they need, the majority have little or nothing to content themselves with. That is why I am writing this article, and that is why I have decided that henceforth, I will do something about this great disease of neglect in our society. I believe we all share the responsibility of eliminating or reducing suffering in the world. We all have the duty of reaching out and making a difference in other people’s lives. I have come to realize that I am more fortunate than so many people in this world – and perhaps so are you. So no matter how great your troubles and difficulties are, you can still reach out to someone. You can be the person who will give a child the education his parents cannot afford; you can be the person who will prevent another person from taking away his life; you can be the person who will prevent a married couple from divorcing because of petty and/or serious issues; you can be the person who will prevent a young girl from teenage pregnancy and consequently, dropping out of school; and you can be the person who will inspire someone to become a successful individual in the future.

Therefore, I believe I have a mission to eliminate or reduce suffering in the world. I also sincerely believe that I cannot do this alone, and that is why I am sending this message to all who would read it. It is our responsibility to step up, reach out and make a difference in our lives and more importantly, in the lives of others. As John Mason rightly puts it, “One of the most exciting decisions you can make is to decide to be on the lookout for opportunities to invest in others.” Lest I forget the words of our Lord in Mathew 25:34–36: “I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to me.”

People of God, there are suffering people everywhere in the world even though our beloved Africa is often portrayed as the hub where all the suffering in the world exists. My message to you is that you should reach out to someone – no matter where they might be. In case you do not know such a person in need of you, then I will gladly assist you in finding one. Finally, if you forget everything I have written above, then kindly remember these words from a popular writer, Mike Murdrock: “What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.” May God bless you all!

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About the Author:

Brother Cho Nchang is a young and enthusiastic Marist Brother, who is dedicated to serving God and encouraging people to believe in themselves. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya. Connect with him here: Cho Nchang

Lessons in Life and Death

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There are two shores, one near and one far. On each shore there are people. At one shore there is a huge ocean liner that leaves and is headed out to sea. The people watch this huge vessel as it becomes smaller and smaller in the distance. Finally, it is but a pin point as they blink and it disappears. One person says to the others, “There she goes.”

On the other shore there are people. In the far off distance they see something like a black pinpoint on the sea. They rub their eyes and it appears larger. Soon the ocean liner gets bigger and bigger until one person says to another, “Here she comes!”

This is how it is when we lose a loved one. We are all saying, “There she goes.” But, heaven is saying, “Here she comes!!!” Phyllis Wall

I still remember the fateful day; it was a Tuesday around 4.30pm. I received a call from my dear friend Jane informing me of the death of friend and brother, Moses. We were both planning to visit him at the hospital when the news of his demise reached us. In my grief, I pondered lots of questions. “Why did it have to be him of all people?”  He was just fourteen years old, with a bright future ahead of him; too young to have his life cut short.

The untimely death of loved ones is one of the tragedies of everyday life. You and I probably know someone who passed away in the blink of an eye; some young, others old, our friends, relatives, and the list goes on. Such is the reality of our existence. We are all passengers on this big boat called Life, and one day (who knows what day?); we have to get off while the rest continue along the journey. In Moses’ death, I learned three life lessons, which I hope you find useful in your life:

First, we should learn to tell our parents, brothers, sisters, friends, relatives how much we love, cherish, and appreciate them. Besides telling them how we feel about them, we should also reinforce kind words with deeds. It is quite typical at funerals to hear outstanding eulogies for the deceased, but I always wonder how many people actually cared to let their dearly departed know how much they loved and valued them while they were alive. We tend to wait until they are dead before we begin to proclaim their praises. Unfortunately, dead people don’t hear or speak or appreciate what we do after they are gone. Tell that person whom you love and appreciate what you would say at their funeral while they are still alive. Don’t procrastinate, you might never get another opportunity to do so.

Secondly, if you are given the chance to make a difference in any body’s life, please do so today and not tomorrow. Of what use is it to have excess food at your home, and yet your neighbor is in need of a morsel of bread. Use all the opportunities God has given you today to have an impact on someone’s life other than yourself. Unfortunately, we often tend to appreciate people most when they are gone. That must change.

Finally, I beg you to ask yourself this question: “When I pass away, what will people say of me?” I remember a story my teacher told me about a funeral she attended. She related that some sympathizers were invited to give testimonies about the deceased man, but everyone kept on beating about the bush, as they were hesitant. To cut a long story short, this man had lived a very selfish life. No one knew him for anything positive, and in order to avoid embarrassing the poor wife and family, no one said anything good or bad. Brethren, we ought to remember to live a life of purpose and do our best to leave a positive imprint in the lives of those around us.

On one end of the pendulum life springs up in the form of a newborn child, on the other end death occurs and a soul departs. The distance between life and death is but a brief moment in time. With the stroke of a pendulum, life can be swiftly lost. While we are alive, let us conquer death by building a strong faith in Christ. The greatest service we can do for the departed is to pray for their souls. Ask God to forgive their sins and receive them into His eternal kingdom. And for us the living, life is to be spent for the good of others. “Let no man seek his own—but every man another’s welfare” (Corinthians 10:24). Make use of your life in every sense of the word, understanding that your pendulum can swing towards death at any moment. And if it should, in what state do you want it to find you?

P.S. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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About the Author:

Brother Cho Nchang is a young and enthusiastic Marist Brother, who is dedicated to serving God and encouraging people to believe in themselves. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya. Connect with him here: Cho Nchang

The Simplicity in Life

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“A picture is worth a thousand words,” they say.

This is a Pulitzer prize-winning picture by American photojournalist Kevin Carter depicting a moment that characterized the famine in Sudan. The child is painstakingly making her way to a food camp while the vulture patiently waits for the child to die so that it can eat her. Shortly after the picture appeared in the New York Times, Kevin Carter committed suicide due to depression.

My intent is neither to create shock nor to invoke the inevitable sense of remorse or sympathy that any compassionate human being should feel. This child’s condition is not your fault, nor is it mine. I simply want to drive home a point. Sometimes in life, we feel overwhelmed:  the work, the school, the bills, the bad relationships ad infinitum. When all the problems seem to converge on us, when it seems like everything that can go bad does go bad, when we find ourselves falling into an abyss of despair – it is in moments like these that we need to take a step back and realize that in spite of everything, we are blessed. We are blessed with access to food, water and shelter, three basic and natural resources found on this earth to which every man, woman and child is entitled. We need to dwell on the positives in our lives to overcome struggles and always thank The Lord for the things we take for granted. It is incumbent on us to pray for children like this girl whose only crime against humanity was being born into such conditions of abject poverty. It is indeed incumbent on us all to pray that she may get the opportunity to worry, like other girls, about a broken heart; that she gets the chance to start a family of her own, that she ultimately finds happiness, whether in this life or the next. It is the least we can do – in fact, it just may be the most.

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About the Author:

Dr. Edmond Fomunung is a young medical doctor, but is also a man of many cares. He has a zeal for empathy and solidarity, and is always looking to make a difference in the lives of others beyond their physical well being, but in all aspects of their lives.  A graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Fomunung is currently doing his residency at the Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Connect with him here: Edmond Fomunung