Misunderstood

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Amazingly, everyone on the sideline has an opinion about those playing the game. And still they won’t suit up. If you’re in the game, keep playing your game! If the naysayers could play better, or if they could play at all, they’d be beside you, playing alongside you, and not on the sideline, criticizing you.

 

Nurture By Nature

Mother Nature Essence

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi

If you want the best out of this world,

Then you’ve got to be willing to put the best into this world.

One cannot hope to sow bad seeds and reap good fruits.

Nurture the world around you according to your nature,

And see Mother Nature herself nurture your world in similar fashion.

If you give her lightning she may give you thunder,

But if you give her a little light she just might give you a rainbow.

P.S. Godspeed.

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Skin Wars: The Complexity of Complexion

Skin Wars

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Light skin versus dark skin, the eternal debate between longstanding next of kin.
It’s a pity, such an eternal shame, brothers and sisters in plight divided by a desire to fit into a colored picture frame. How incredulously lame, identity crises brought to birth by an incessant love affair with fleeting fame. Black is no longer our common name. That’s just the nature of today’s game.

Honestly, I’m ashamed by this ridiculous emphasis on pigment,
that such a natural thing should even determine the quality of our treatment.
I know of a black woman named Jasmine, who fancies herself better than Lilly,
simply because the latter has a greater concentration of melanin, under her beautiful skin. Yes really, it’s gotten that silly!

And all the rappers concur, shamelessly obnoxious, ever hypothesizing in music videos that their hot yellow bones make the dark sisters jealous. Negro please! A darker shade is not a disease! If a black man cannot see that, then he is blinded by shades he is unaware he currently wears. He is emancipated on paper but enslaved in practice. And even Lincoln could never have freed him!

And all who instigate battles of the skin, will find that they can never win;
because regardless of complexion, through the myopic lenses of prejudiced eyes we are viewed as the same underestimated concoction. Therefore, as per MLK Jr. will we let the color of our skin define us, or will we decide the content of our character should be the distinguishing factor?

Remember, united we stand, divided we fall.
So that said, God help us all.

P.S. The black race in America must free itself from the superficial shackles of inadequacy born of despicable years of slavery. There is a popular saying that goes, “Black is beautiful.” Every black child should come to know this, believe this, and embody this, regardless of complexion.

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Together On Top

Help Another Up

“Reach out and help another up, it doesn’t have to be lonely at the top.” -kR

We must come to the realization that increasing our chances of becoming or being successful does not in any way, shape, or form reduce another person’s chances of becoming or being successful.

Competition brings out the best in us but competition doesn’t necessarily equate to rivalry and should never ultimately culminate in jealousy.

If it is crowded at the bottom, that is often because the bottom is confined by a few natural but too many man-made boundaries. Just look at the ground around us – it is shaded by encroaching trees, guarded by high walls and barbed wire fences, laden with roads plagued by an abundance of traffic signs; from yield signs to stop signs, from caution signs to pot holes and speed bumps. All of these things serve to contain us, to confine us, to inhibit and to limit us.

But once these shackles are broken, once these boundaries are transcended, once these obstacles are overcome, and as more people evolve, spread their wings and fly, it will become evident to them and to all who witness this phenomenon that there is plenty of room in the sky, and therefore it doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. We will realize that the sky is not the limit after all, as there is no limit once we operate in the threshold of the boundless sky.

There are millions of birds who share a single sky above us, and yet they never complain about it being too crowded. As a matter of fact, they often fly together in harmony. And as a result they do not sit lonely at the top.

So then, why can’t we humans, supposedly more intelligent creatures, all get to the top together? The short answer is, we can! And quite frankly, we should! As far as success goes, there is no more fulfilling feeling than becoming or being more successful because you help others become or be more successful!

So, I hope to see you at the top! But better yet, I want to help you get to the top, just as I would appreciate you helping me get to the top. Gratitude and Godspeed!

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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.

Perception Is Reality

Reality

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No One Man

No One  Man

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True Colors

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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

Absolute Freedom

Freedom

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