HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN?

16th April, 2017 remains the darkest day in the history of Rumphi. At around 3pm a boat carrying 79 passangers enroute to my home and sorrounding villages capsized killing about 25 passangers on board. The gravity of the tragedy was enormous and glipped the nation when they learnt the victims were on their way from Easter prayers. The somber mood and mourning that had befallen the nation sympathized with the bereaved families.

Government response towards the tragic was imprompt and encouraging. The assistance catered medical bills to the surviving victims and all funeral arrangements and expenses were on government shoulders. A powerful demonstration of genuine compassion and concerns over the disaster. The military was tasked with the rescue mission to find missing victims. Politicians too, demonstrated a rarely gesture of patriotism through their unity. The humatarian response from all angles of society were timely and helpful. Whenever such type of calamity occurs, finger pointing is inevitable. The boat captain by all means had to be the culprit so they concluded. Again, such misfortune invite opportunities for small minded individuals to score political mileage for being present at the vigil.

Ferrying passengers through boats is the main mode of transportation around Mlowe, Tchalo, Zunga and Old Salawe commuties and surrounding communities. It was not surprising on this day, these 79 passangers squeezed themselves into this small boat since accidents of such nature rarely occurs. Presumably, they might have ever been in a clouded boat before and had all the confidence they would sail through. Unfortunately, the wind that buffeted was strong for the boat and it capsized.

Eight months has elapsed after this deadly disaster. It remains the worst heart breaking accident on the waters of Lake Malawi. The scar left behind will never be erased from the memories of the bereaved families. To many this is an old story that happened and has been burried. Apparently, it occurred amongst the kinsmen of Zunga Village my home my pride. If this incident is thoroughly scratched from its genesis root cause, future accidents of this nature will be avoided. The nation has forgotten and moved on while the dwellers continue risking their lives by boarding boats deemed un seaworthy.

One seasoned politician is quoted advocating for the government to institute a commission of inquiry. Why waste tax payers money when the cause is evident? Let alone the history of such inquiry is anything to by never yields anything. One of the weakness of our nation is failure to plan for long term solutions and goals. The humanitarian responses on any disaster, satisfies souls temporarily with no hope for tomorrow. Such tragedies are prone to happen as the government has not addressed the core issue of water transportation on the dwellers.

MV Ilala an ageing cargo and passenger ship is the sole “reliable” ship that can withstand storms on the waters of Lake Malawi, it pains to admit is not as reliable as it sounds. It appears twice a week along these communities and can not dress the issue of transportation alone and this provide the dwellers with no option but to use their wrecked boats not fit for the lake. The population of the area also can not be served with only one ship. The catastrophe that happened in April, 2017 was an opportunity in disguise to make things better for the good. If one politician would’ve died with the victims-God forbid -immediate and lasting solutions would’ve been found. Big propelled engine boats would’ve been sourced to litigate challenges faced by the dwellers.

The attitude of disaster response must be progressive and finding sustainable solutions. Punitive measures ser to regulate the number of passengers in boats will remain fruitless if no strong and reliable boats are made available along this route. The horror of this tragedy lives among us despite giving it a blind eye. Never again to experience the reoccurring of that kind of calamity due to human error and negligence to rectify the root cause. Some have not forgotten continue resting in peace.

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WHO ARE YOU?

Finally they said, “ who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us, what do you say about yourself?” John 1: 22

Who are you? A seemingly simple question that deduce different answers from various audience. What defines us goes beyond the external acquisition and our family backgrounds. Understanding who we are not, remains critical in defining who we are. Sadly, a lot of people carry the individuality of others thinking are representing the truest image of their own.

The distinctness of our identity provokes the life style, inspiration and motivation for our communities. We are comfortable nurturing the counterfeit images of people that look more accomplished than us. A ho-hum and unoriginal lifestyle is when one tries harder to fit in and imitates the values and ideologies of others. If we truly know who we are, why is it hard to live within our means? The fear of being left out vacates the appreciation of our true uniqueness. Staying in the shadows of the highly adored individuals deprives the enormous potential within us.

The ability to understand who one is not agitates the desire of refusing to succumb to the middling ideologies thrown at them. If by a mistake one identifies us with a well known personality, the smile that plunge our facial expression prove how less we degrade our identity. Our incomparable personalities should help in the discovery of purpose. Regrettably, the failure to know who we are not has buried the uncovering of our truest potentials. We will forever be toasted and tortured to the expectations of those we perpetually try to simulate and keep the image which is not ours.

“ if you don’t know who you are, you will try being someone else” Myles Munro. Pursuing careers that are not ours to please those around is the result of manipulation and flattery. It is constantly poured and enticed on many to be forgetful of their identity. What do you say about yourself? Failing to answer this question empowers others to inflict and regulate who you become. And this, sadly, birth misinterpretation of identities.

The discovery of who one is starts when one realize the purpose of their existence. “ I am the voice of one calling in the desert make straight the way of the Lord” John 1 : 23. John the Baptist distinctly knows who he was despite all the flattery accolades thrown at him. He identified himself within the boundaries of his purpose. All the comparison and ingratitude emanates from lack of understanding of who we are.

The failure to appreciate ones identity highlights the false information that has crippled in the lives of many.The assertion that some personalities and careers are better off, not only distort the truth but also conveys wrong interpretation of our truest self. I am not moved by the perception, heresy and gossip leveled on me. I know who I am not. Borrowing Peter Tosh’s words “ I am a firm ripe diamond”. Hardly destructed, unmovable and never circumscribed by the assumptions, mistakes and the circumstances at hand.

PART OF LIFE

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for  every activity under heaven- Ecclesiastes 3:1.

There are times in life that disturbs the core values of our being. There are also times  when the aroma and beauty of life at hand puzzles every imagination, leaving sweet fragrance of love behind and eliminating  all the scars of worries. The mystery of life is way beyond human comprehension, however, life’s package offers unlimited and unsorted goodies worth the embrace for ones personal growth.

Doing good to people does not guarantee equal treatment. Those  that we  love, are equally capable of hurting us the most. Expecting the unexpected ought be a skill mastered by all  to sail  through the boat of life without birthing frustrations and hatred. Too much confidence in both people and materials has serious ramifications on individuals.

People come and go. Opportunities too, are created, lost and destroyed. There is nothing new under the sun. Crying over spilt milk blinds the eyes of creativity to deal with situations at hand and prevent personal growth in many. Acceptance is a huge step towards living a happy life in this unpredictable world. Whatever the world throws at us, let us make the best use out of it.

Our deepest desire is to live in a world filled with love, peace and prosperity. Unfortunately, what we get is not usually, what we bargained for. Amidst pain, suffering and disappointments, some are lavishingly dinning and celebrating with life. It can not be argued further that life has never been fair. One’s calamities translate into someone’s testimony.

The agony experienced through pain cannot last forever. No situation is permanent. Cultivating grudges, unforgivingness and hatred signifies lack of understanding on what life is all about. Life’s journey purposely throws hate, disappointments and ingratitude to provoke our reaction. We build our expectations on things and people that we have invested and valued. What we get from our expectations, unfortunately,  leave a lot to be desired. Surprisingly, others deservingly get what they had planted and hoped for. It is the way it is . It is just part of life which is so hard to understand. Regardless, life never ceases to evolve, it goes on.

Life has its own ways of surprising us when we least expect. The joy experienced today does not guarantee a perfect future nor the tear drops shed warrant a gloomy ending. When its time to cry, cry for the moment. When its time to celebrate, celebrate for the moment. The situation at hand  either good or bad should not  deceive our brains thinking  that it is permanent. This too shall surely pass. Gearing our minds for both the expected and unexpected  is crucial in understanding that bad and good things are just part of this mysterious world of ours.

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil- Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

ADD VALUE

As delicious as any meal can be, without salt, it remains tasteless. The value it bring to foods ought weights its ugliness. Its appearance seems lacking  yet the value it offers is priceless. It remains an important component of the human diet. Historically, it remained a highly priced commodity; adored more like petroleum across the contenentts.

Different people are blessedly differently. Game changers are simply those that provide solutions to the many existing problems by adding value in the lives of others. With the academic accolades in our bags, there is little value we have offered in the daily lives of our communities.  Why do we do what we do? Answering this question unlocks the potential in us to add value to our surroundings.

What value do you bring to those around you?  Many have enslaved and sacrificed their  abilities to add value to society more than they gain from it. Its crucial knowing your worth before allowing to be exploited just to fit in, accepted and loved. Salt offers solution and add the needed flavour to meals. Salt’s usefulness is evident when used on other foods.

A fufiled and joyous life  is achieved through the value we add in the lives of others.  A practical example will be valuing people they way there are with their limitations and strength. Its absurd to value people when you fail to see the value in yourself. There is  always something that we can offer than being at the receiving end. However, if people fail to add value to us, we should not reciprocate the favour. Our presence, skills and  abilities either big or small, should always be an answer to the needs of our neighbours. Our simplest form of kindness could go a long way in inspiring Many. Antonio Vega advocate that  “we are at the mercy of each other kindness”.Too much of salt is hazardous to our health so is our perceived value. If we see ourselves more important than the rest, serious caution must be taken. As much our skills are needed, we should not spoil the uniqueness and qualities of others with our egocentric attitudes. We just need each other.  Salt not only improves appetite on the food but helps to preserve it from decaying and so is the man of value.

Our desire to add value to society should not be hindered by the achievements already accomplished by others or our poor backgrounds. We should not be intimidated to offer solutions, ideas and criticism. As yummy a chicken drumstick can look on a braii stand, it remains tasteless without salt.  Adding value is about creating something useful to those around us. People of value are sought for and  in demand for enormous benefits they offer. They stand tall, recognisable amidst the group, respected and adored.

Man is created unique and God purposely distinguished everyone from the rest with specific gifts. If tapped and maximised, such gifts not only will one’s value be located in a crowd but also be set apart and celebrated in the daily endeavours.  The comfortability by many in siphoning the values of others has done more harm than good. People feel lazy to think for themselves and  outside the box enjoying the comfort at hand that comes as a result of the value created by others. Degrading and belittling the gifts of ourselves is highly entertained with such distorted attitude.

The mistake many assume in being man of value in life, is thinking of having super powers first to make a difference. The world is already dealing with tones of chronic problems and disasters. This broken generation  begs for people who are constantly thinking of adding value to the community.  A simple smile that seems valueless could go along way in inspiring a broken hearted person somewhere. The limitations and weakness within us should never deter us adding value to society.

Our essence of existing must bringing tastiness to the lives of others like what salt does to food. Our complimentaryefforts must fit well  making our society a better place to live by adding value  with our God given talents. Demeaning  our values because of unnecessarily comparison  with others peoples gifts, is poisonous to  our own self esteem and growth. Regardless how talented an individual is, he/she needs people. Our gifts works well in uniformity and it is our responsibility to see the value in ourselves first then can  easily be transferable  to those around us and bring a  lasting difference in society.

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SUCESSFUL LIFE

My definition of success is quite different from yours. We can agree to disagree on the truest meaning of a successful life. I’m glad though from our biased definitions we might have a glimpse of its meaning and whoever is reading this  I assume, is successful in one way or the other.The ability to read in english for example, is a milestone for many against the background of 79% of the world’s population who cannot read and write.

People chase dreams and accomplish greatness. Landing on the moon remains one of the  successful stories in history. Striving for greatness and making a world a better place is the ultimate goal of many. The thrive and motivation for a successful life varies from individuals. The goal of a peasant to acquire quality education could be different from a middle class man. One would acquire academic education to help them burry poverty and misery they endured in their childhood days whereas the later  merely to gain knowledge for their personal development.

I am sure I’m not alone that sees success in others on their external acquisitions. People are successful storytellers, prayer warriors, advisors but little thought and attention is placed on such success if they fail to show their glittering riches. The synonym for a successful life is equated with accolades, titles, asserts and property. This is a lie that the society has embraced. Having the named things is not wrong and should be encouraged. It becomes a problem when people slave themselves to look rich and be admired by people.

People are spending sleepless nights and investing a lot to get wealth that will clothe them with honour and dignity. Having such things defines their success in life. On the contrary, some are having sleepless nights not knowing how to handle their riches and broken marriages as the result of their success.

Life’s mystery puzzles many on what success is all about. The motive in many to be successful rise from envy, hatred and jealousy. Selfishness becomes the drive force that stimulate the zeal for a successful life. We want to be above others in our dressing, educational qualification, wisdom, intelligence and strength. Everything evolves around us. We feel indebted for the solution we offer, the donation we provide.The goal is to outshine and get the relevance befitting us.

I have seen “successful people’’ with rich educational backgrounds struggling yet their academic prows testify of their greatness . The same world has people with no secondary school education living a” successful” life altogether. Again it boils down to what a successful is. One can have everything considered successful and still live a misery life. Life’s accomplishments have a meaningful value if shared and celebrated with others. “one of the secrets of life that is really worth the doing is what we do for others” Levi Strauss. Making a difference in the life of someone is greatest success that we can cherish for eternity.

We live in a world marred with calamities and suffering. Our little effort through charity, service to the less privileged with right intent demonstrates the truest meaning of a successful life. Seeing people laugh, eat, forgive, dress and acquire education as result of our success guarantees a happy and fulfilled life in us. Living a life to be adored for materialistic acquisition, knowledge, wisdom and kindness robs you the joy of freedom. Therefore, a successful life is “ when you have the opportunity to touch hearts, meaning, purpose, identity alongside helping individuals to get out of physical poverty thats where you can see incredible transformation” PovertyCure.

 

 

 

 

ADORATION OF MEDIOCRITY

The world is full of people that love to listen to what they want to hear. Any contrary views and perception posed is a threat to their livelihoods. It is a shame to see society succumb to such a vice and jeopardize the foundation of integrity in many. Sean Penn observed that “there is a lot of mediocrity being celebrated, and a lot of wonderful stuff being ignored or discouraged”

Hand-clappers  have names. They live with such borrowed names for their appeasement tendencies towards their masters. They would rather kill their consciousness and integrity for bread, butter and fame. Who wouldn’t? very few, I suppose. Lying to gain favours and positions create unwarranted problems be at home, work and church. The art of painting a false picture for rewards dents and assassinate the true characters of individuals, fuel corruption, hatred and underdevelopment in society.

Sadly, most leaders coincidentally surround themselves with such people who shower praises of admiration for their committed atrocities. A good example was during the one party system era in Malawi. The dictatorial tendencies committed by the then administration were never questioned for fear of reprehension. Celebrating mediocrity comes with its own package. The temporal comfortable benefits can be counted. No wonder none dares to stand up for justice knowing the special privileges surrounding them can be easily be snatched. Their brain is traded with material gains and easily play ball to wrong ideologies at the expense of the sufferings of many.

Not everyone can just stand and see things go wrong. There has to be someone who has to speak the truth and fight injustices , poor policies and bad leadership. Unfortunately, such individuals are few. When they critically analyse ideas, policies, thoughts and atrocities committed by their leaders, instead of getting the appraisals and adoration, they are branded with degrading names, titles and loss of life. Some of-course criticise for personal attention and are easily swallowed with silver and gold.

Alternative views said in love helps to shape the destiny of individuals and the society at large. Our education and cultural system somehow has escalated the praise of mediocrity in many. Critical thinking has been crippled in most of us as it is deemed indiscipline and lack of respect to the elderly and the leadership. Frequent questioning and disagreeing with the leadership warrants dismissals, loss of jobs and demotion across the board. When you have mouth to feed, school fees to pay, playing ball to mediocrity is the safest way of ensuring of ones safety.

If only the society was allowed to speak their minds with love and without the fear of appraisals; work efficiency and strong relationship bonds would be realised. Unfortunately, the monster of adoring mediocrity is self made. Man love to think what would benefit him first. Wagging war against speaking the truth and one’s mind can never be won as long we value personal benefits above the interest of society. Handicappers live an fulfilled life. Life of hypocrisy destroys self-esteem and honour. It is a path of self destruction guided by fear.

The temporal comforts accorded for pleasing people with lies will haunt and paralyse ones future. Proverbs 27 :5 “better is open rebuke than hidden love”. The false picture given to the receiver will distort his/her reality of the things on the ground. And waiting for the few “troublesome” and “noisy” individuals to stand up for our mediocrity is not only uncalled for but also disastrous in safe guarding the integrity of the individuals and the society.

The primary responsibility of every citizen is to be true to oneself, the community and God. If lies and fears cripples in, we create dictators and become slaves to things and ideologies that had we stood to the truth the scenario would have been different. Mediocrity is with us and everywhere. It is still talking to us to compromise our values and integrity. Robert Green Ingersoll summed well and wrote “ In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.”

 

 

MORE MISTAKES A HEAD

 

A perfect life exists outside this universe.  Unrealistic expectations leveled on others on how to live and conduct , leaves a lot to be desired. It kills and suffocate creativity and induces ingenuity, hatred and lies in individuals.

Mistakes have been painted with a horror picture yet out of it  enormous benefits pours out unceasingly.  The measure of  limits and abilities, life lessons and rebooting ones motivation easily happens when one is willing to risk making mistakes. George Bernard Shaw observed that  “A life spent making mistakes is not only honorable, but  more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”

Stupidity and mistake’s differences  can never cross path in this life and the one to come. The two must and should never be confused together. Failing the same  mistakes repeatedly is  stupidity of the highest order. The cages surrounding many forbid them from exploring all the potential within fearing reprehension from their  superiors and society. And again, I read that everyone has a dark chapter in their lives not willing to unfold for others to gaze. A timely encouragement  that everyone has ever made mistakes before.

Whatever I do, I commit excellence and dedication. Perfectionism in most cases is pursued with wrong intentions. Trying to please those demanding it,and if a mark is missed, degrades ones abilities and causing physiological torture . I am different, I give room for error,  chance to learn and flourish. Understanding the motive behind what one does, influences one perspective on mistakes and failure.

It is alarming to see how other people react on the mistakes of others. Surprisingly, when done by them, it is painted  a normal part of growth. The burden of impressing people with perfectionism at either work place or home defeats the whole purpose of being human.The crucial step is both reexamining and rectifying the mistake committed.

Past mistakes have pulled many down degrading the value and essence of their being. Progress in such cases is  limited  and kills the potential hidden in us. Regardless of the guilty and  shame experienced over a mistake of the past, allow it to remain in the past and move on.  Getting stuck  and agonizing over a past mistake is not only time consuming but also unproductive and expensive.

Mistakes gives an opportunity for self exploration and discovery. It guarantees honest feedback and its up to the individual to take heed of the lessons learnt. The choice is ours to make. Quitting over a mistake translates  into failure. If people were as honest on this matter, a resilient community  would’ve been created. My licence to commit more mistakes ought to be viewed with a sober perspective. It gives me a platform  to attempt the  impossible without pressure piling on my back and boost my awareness that I am only human with limits.  Bruce Lee sums it up well     “ I’m not in this life to live up to your expectations and you’re  not in this world to live up to mine”