I have always been fascinated by people who are influential in soceity, the royals, celebrities, politicians, employers and so on and so forth. But I want to talk about different kind of influential people today, our fathers: these men have such strong impact on the lives of children either being there or even when absent.
My own father in my opinion is strict, he is very meticulous, growing up I thought my dad is no fun at all, what I couldnt fault though was how serious he took our education. He worked hard to be able to provide for us, he kept us safe and gave a roof over our heads. Well his character must have influenced me so much that I married a man who has very similar traits.😀I know other women who have gone the opposite way with partners due to not having a great childhood themselves. So which ever you look at it, fathers influence our choices whether good or bad.
I see how my kids watch their dad, how my daughter leans on his shoulder, how my sons hold his hands when we are out and about. They see him as a protector and a provider, he is shaping their choices whether they realise it or not.
In my adult life though I have come across a different kind of fathers who have made and are still making such impact in society. They fight injustice, they feed the poor, the share the good news, they become corporate dads to many people both young and old. For me an influential person is that one man who uses what ever opportunities that he has, and provide solutions and answers to his community. Whether looking after One person or a whole city or even a country, the do their best.
There is the word man found in the word many, it takes the letter Y to make all the difference. so it is on life , the most important part of influence is the 1 man, he who makes up his mind to use whatever talents, resources, opportunities he has to better himself and his community. It might be just be his immediate family, It might be the larger community or it might be the world. None of these is bigger or better in my opinion, in the books of the heroes we will say that, there goes the man that used his opportunities to make the world a little better than he found it.
They travel far and near to pick their kids up from school, they take them for extra activities, some of them seek medical/ mental help to get better so they can be there for their kids. I even know quite a few who will go through the legal system just so they can stay in their lives.
I know so may of those men and Iam sure you do too, Pass this on to some fathers you know, whether it be biological or otherwise. I just did.
For your consideration
Different shades of self
Sometimes in the quietness or should I say busyness of my mind, I wonder how many people are truly completely themselves with others? You see it sounds noble to say to people you have to be your self or give the impression that we are completely ourselves, it sounds just right.
I guess for society to function properly there has to be some conforming, adaptation, toning or towing whatever word you would like to call it. if I spoke my mind completely, behaved completely like my true self, gave what I will call ‘my honest opinion’ all the time, I think even my near and dear may not stick around.( don’t judge me)
I guess the point Iam trying to make is that sometimes we show people a different shade of our personality due to the different levels of relationships. However when we struggle to be honest with ourselves even in the privacy of our thoughts, then there is a problem. Shakespeare word in hamlet ‘to thine own self be true’ sounds so biblical. A friend of mine always says some people need to introduce themselves to themselves. When the shades begin to blur over each other to the point where we cant tell which is the original, then there is a huge problem.
The flip side is when we tone down our sparkle, our colour, dreams, potential just to conform to society’s stereotype of us. The statistics don’t make room for our type’ due to maybe our postcode, our titles, gender, race, country of birth etc etc. It is ok for someone to have their limited view of me but it so not ok for me to go down a shade or two to fit into that view.
I guess the frustration thing is that sometimes we become so many shades that we lose count and forget which one is the original, like my picture above. I guess some of us have one too many of shades. Especially in environment where it seems it is not ok to want something more, people get offended that you are not happy with the status quo, you want more out of life.
One by one you let go of your dreams, you drop down in your passion, enthusiasm, gradually you become like a sketch of yourself. It’s easier, it is safe, it is acceptable, it is normal.
Some of us will have to go back to the basics, yeah it is uncomfortable, it is lonely, it is scary even , but I will rather bea good original of me than the best version of someone’s sketch. We need to explore why we see things so differently.
I was trying so hard not to use this example but in the spirit of being true to myself I will😀. I love kunfu panda( yes I do) a panda(po) that was brought up by a goose, he knew he was different, he knew he had the capacity to well’ eat more’, for him to become the great gifted chosen one, he had to go back to panda land to find himself. Well I don’t know what you need to find or where you need to be, but I pray this inspires you to find yourself again, sparkle one more time, pursue your dreams and to thine own self be true’.
For your consideration
There is a tree in the seed
I am so blessed to have many trees all around my home back in Ghana, we have mangoes, avocados, oranges and many more, I don’t ever remember when they were planted, all I can remember is enjoying of the fruits from them. Sometime when we visit we all sit down and enjoy the fruits and I sometimes watch my dad carefully gathering the seeds, because those seeds are future trees which will bear more fruits.
When we see people making impacts either through singing, preaching, acting or whatever way they maybe known for, we forget that it all started with an idea. We see the big tree and forget that it was once hidden in a seed.
Sometimes it is hard to see the big tree that is hidden in a small seed, the size and the simplicity of the seed doesn’t look like that big tree in the picture.
One of my favourite bible truths is when a man was waiting for heavy torrential rains and the only evidence of this was a fisted cloud. ( small cloud like the size of a fist)
We have the dream, we can see and taste it, we are excited about it and then we set out to produce it, then it goes somehow slow almost like that fisted cloud.
I am not sure how many of us will expect a tree in the morning after planting a seed the night before? Apart for the artificial Christmas tree which has no roots.:😃
When we have a big dream, a potential explosive idea, it takes time, energy, investment and hard work for it to become a reality. It all sound simple , and romantic on paper, in reality not so easy to deal with, in fact quite challenging. When I forget to see the the potential of my seed to produce a tree I have to remember these truths: Gyaps stay enthusiastic, speak to your cheerleaders, those people who are always there to watch whatever event you star in. They read every post, they
Listen to every sermon, every song, they taste every recipe, they see you when no one else sees you.
Secondly prepare prepare prepare, make preparation as if the rains are upon you, rehearse like you are doing a concert in Wembley even if it is in your local pub. Practice your speech like you are talking to thousands even though your audience may just be your kids.:)
Thirdly celebrate every little stage/ win, when you have 10 views dance, when you have 1million views dance some more.
i don’t know what idea/ seed you may be holding in your hands now , but I want to remind you that there is a tree in that seed.
for your consideration
Do you have a hat?
Today being an Election Day here in the U.K, we had some discussion with some of the young people (pictured) we work with, the tone of the discussion reminded me of a story my dad told me a while back.
My dad said many years ago a young man came to their home for a hair cut off his brother( my uncle). He said he came out of his room and asked the young man this strange question, do you have a hat ? Of course the young man was puzzled but didn’t really look into why this question was asked. He went ahead and sat down without any mirros to have his hair cut, well let us just say that he was very upset with the results. My dad said to him: this is why I asked : do you have a hat? The man had not had any say in the style he wanted, he had not done his research or seen any evidence that my uncle was able to barber hair . He had completely lost his say and his voice which resulted In a very bad hair cut.
I know we were talking about something as significant as choosing our leaders but this is also so true in our daily lives, in our relationships, friendships, in customer services, we sometimes completely lose our voice by allowing some injustices to go on in our lives.
I have ended up with many bad hairstyles by either keeping quiet or not being able to articulate my request clearly. Sometimes what we ask for and what we are given are completely different, when that happens we can challenge that decision or action. However if we completely give up our say and let things be done to us , then we might end up needing a hat after we come out of the hairdressers.
these are my sons and and their friends, these boys are very particular about their hair cut.
Anytime I have a really bad cold, I lose my voice( very frustrating) if you mostly talk for a living and have 3 kids. It is challenging if you have no say in that happening but sad when we choose to give our voices up.
Luckily not many of my young people wanted a bad hair cut and are prepared to have a say in what is essentially going to be on their head. There is a popular saying in my country which translates to this’ if you never say anything about what hair cut / style you want, and leave it completely to the barbers to decide you may end up with a bad hair cut’. In all the tension and the uncertainties, let me remind you of the importance of having your say when you have the opportunity.
Now before I book an appointment to do my hair, I do some research, watch videos even, making sure it is right style for my face. I also constantly check in the mirror to ensure it is going well, after all, I am the one to wear that hairdo. Even with all these precaution, it still goes wrong sometimes but at least I can say, I had a say in this mess.
I pray you find your voice and use it.
For your consideration
Dance to the rhythm
Yesterday we celebrated our community with loads of food, fun, games and of course music. We also attended a 40th birthday party later on in the evening, again loads of food, laughter, friendship and yep, music with dancing.
You see in my community we like to move with a rhythm, it might be swaying from side to side, going up and down, and when we are really excited we jump and lift our hands in the air.
Whatever and whichever way we do it, we move to the beat: our life journey has a rhythm too, sometimes it is slow , sometimes fast paced but it always has rhythm. Different seasons have their own rhythm, we need to identify what it is and move with it, of course it will not be right if we were to jump up and down to a slow beat.
As I attended both events yesterday I was fascinated to see different movement to the different beat/ rhythm. Of course we had 1 or 2 people who were not moving to any of the rhythm. That too is ok, in this life we have those who move and those who watch those that move.
It reminded me of the importance of coordinating the right moment with the right beat/ rhythm. Our dreams, aspirations, ideas and plans have a rhythm with the seasons of life. It is when we are able to move at correct time that we make progress, some call it luck, others call it coincidence, but when the correct movement meets the correct rhythm, the dance is spectacular and our gaze gets drawn to it.
I don’t know what season you are in right now but there is a particular rhythm to that season, may we find it and move with it, whether it be swaying from side to side or in full swing jumping up and down with hands in the hair.
Let’s make a beautiful dance.
For your consideration
My friend Gareth (pictured above) recently undertook some work in his garden, he had an idea of what he wanted. The picture on the left is when he started and the one on the right is the finished product.
To get to that though, he went on a bit of a journey, he had to clear the ground, turning the soil inside-out. He had to remove some rubbish, he needed to do some digging to prepare the ground for his new vision.
As I watched my friend go through the stages, I realised how very similar the process was to life and dreams. Before we can build our dreams, we need a vision of where we want to get to, then we need to prepare the ground, we may need to get rid of somethings and some relationships in order to move forward.
My friend even came to work one day with a very bad back, he could hardly walk but he still had a gleam in his eyes, he knew it would be worth the results at the end.
In life we might need to endure some temporary pain in pushing for the dream in us to become a reality. We see the potential, start the painful process but eventually the product will be packaged with lessons learnt.
Well Gareth did really well with his garden, he persevered, at some point he had to get in the experts( builders) to do what he wasn’t skilled to do.
Likewise in pursuing our goals, it gets to a point where we may need an expert opinion, from drawing on our faith to the support of our families, we also need to learn from those who have gone ahead of us. We may need to walk away from some associations, we may have to say to some people, ‘it is nothing against you but it is everything for me’.
When his garden was completed he proudly showed us all, making us watch a slideshow of the before during and after.
I gladly took note of the great lessons from his experience. Are you building your own garden(dream)? I hope that the vision you started with will keep you focused as you go through the process which often is challenging and tedious. I hope you take inspiration from the experience shared from Gareth’s garden.
For your consideration
Pictures on the wall
Have you seen some pictures of you that you would rather not keep? Well I have so many of those photos, my sisters have tried to teach the act of posing for nice photos but I can’t quite seem to master that act .The ones above have been carefully selected of my family and friends.
Well yesterday we attended a beautiful wedding and took loads of photos, when we got back as I went through the photos, there were many that didn’t quite capture my good bits😃. Well thank God for technology and the ability to delete those unattractive photos. How unusual (at least for most people) to have those unattractive photos framed and put on our mantelpiece. Most of us will not do that and will protest if someone were to hang a photo of us that were unattractive.
Well in life we have to take that same approach to some unkind words, unattractive words, labels that have been put on us by people in our lives and society as a whole.
We have to learn to delete some of those images, unfortunately most of us have framed some of these negative images and given it such prominence in our lives, we have framed and hang those photos on our mental wall.
Well as I was deleting some physical photos yesterday, I thought how wonderful it would be if we can delete some mental photos, you see we choose to display the photos that flatter us( well mostly) but when it comes to mental images we do the opposite and this hinder us from pursuing our gifting and dreams.
Think about it, what picture would you rather hang on the wall or post on your Facebook wall? The unattractive, harsh, unkind, untrue image or the positive, beautiful, well captured image of you?
You can’t control how someone captures you, sometimes it is the angle they take it from, sometimes it is how we stand or what we are doing when we get captured.
However we can choose which photos we want to frame and hang on our wall.
Our minds are the biggest and the most prominent walls in our lives, let us be very selective in the photos/images we hang on our mental wall.
For your consideration