Things may not change, but you can!



Don't worry everything is going to get better, everything has its own time and season”, a friend said to me. It was at a time when I was lost in thoughts I had battled with as I wondered why life was so hard for me at that point. 

I am sure we have heard the statement many times, “Things will get better" but you probably wondering when? How? And why aren't you seeing any change? Because it keeps on getting worse by the day. You have tried everything to help you overcome the bad days but as days go by you have seen yourself fall down more times than you have risen, and well you think what's the point let me just give up.

Well I personally have been in the den of broken dreams with nothing to hope for, there times I gave up on my Faith in Jesus (Yes, I know it sounds blasphemous) but well it is true, because on more days than usual I saw bad days than I did see good. I heard sermons on how things are going to get better but to my surprise each day broke me apart, left unaided and in pain.

But today I want to tell you the honest truth about this, things don't get better as people put it but you can actually get better. Well I know this doesn't make sense but hold on as we go deeper in the note you shall understand what I mean.

Fear of the unknown 

"Well Lloyd if things around me won't change or get better how am I going to get better"? Am sure you have that question in mind. The truth is Jesus never promised us a life that will be a bed of roses , He said they shall persecute you , judge you etc. That shows that we are going to have days when we have our face down beaten down by the challenges of this world but thought all this what He asks from us is to come out strong and still believing.

When Peter was told by Jesus that he(peter) would deny Jesus, notice Jesus didn't say he will be strong. Rather, he actually prays that after this heart-breaking moment, Peter should not feel unwanted but keep the faith. 

In times when we doubt God's existence don't feel like you have committed sin that can't be forgiven, after doubting God many times I personally feel I had more answers than questions from God Himself. That's how my Relationship with Him actually grows.
You are not your past 
Mostly the biggest problem I feel we face is the past, for most people we find this hard to overcome. I have had a hard time trying to overcome my past mistake as they leave me feeling helpless, what demoralizes even more is when you have anxiety; its like having a movie playing on repeat showing you all your mistakes at once.
I won't lie to you that you won't have regrets , the truth is you'll feel helpless about your past but try to use that to drive you in to doing better next time , failure isn't the end of the road it is just a sign to show you that you need to apply more efforts. I have failed so much in life that I now know which mistakes not to make in the future.


Sometimes failure will help you walk in life not only with awareness but experience , not only will you learn but you will also be victorious.


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the author

Jonathan Lloyd Nkhuwa





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How to Build Communities: Building Bridges and Breaking Barriers






Out of contempt for Christianity or mockery of the Christian doctrine of unconditional love, brotherhood and selfless community, Voltaire, the French Philosopher defined the religious as:

persons who gather together without knowing one another,
who live together without loving one another,
And who die without mourning one another!”

These are strong words, intense words, penetrating and piercing words. These are thought-provoking words especially for those who believe in the message of Jesus Christ. Even more stimulating are the words of Voltaire for those communities that are intrinsically religious such as monasteries and communities for religious men and women; for those institutions whose very mission is to be a sign of God’s power to unite men in love, fellowship and friendship.

These are challenging words for those organisations whose mission is to build a world community of nations and states. Those whose organizational vision and objective is to transform nation-states into a truly international global community. Organisations such as the European Union and the United Nations. These are stimulating words for those entities that endeavour to bring a transition from merely being sovereign nations to a global union of interdependent and international cooperation and coexistence among the nations of the world.

These are words of depth to anyone who believes that they are somehow connected and united to the human being who stands next to them in vulnerability. These are words which I believe, ought to bring a shudder to those who feel a call at the very core of their being to be a brother or sister to their neighbour. Who feel a divine call to live in love and community with others. This is a call to meditate and ponder on the mystery of community and our authenticity in living out the command of Jesus to “love one another as I have loved you.”  It is a call to become once again a community of women and men who have learnt to love and to love deeply without reserve or regret.

The Disciples after Jesus Ascension:


After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the early Christian community heroically succeeded in becoming a deep and authentic community that made a lasting impression on everyone. It was a deeply eucharistic community; the body of Christ. It was a community that had managed to transcend their individuality and subjectivity in order to embrace the other in his or her entirety.
As Luke puts it:
“The faithful all lived together and shared and owned everything in common…: they went as a body to the temple everyday but met in their houses for the breaking of bread; they shared their food gladly and generously” (Acts 2:42) This text shows rather clear the bond of responsibility for one another.
Scott Peck in his book, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace (1988), refers to the work of Keith Miller in The Scent of Love (1983) in which he proposes the underlying principle for the phenomenal success of the evangelisation of the early Christian Community. He argues that it was not because of their ability to prophesy or speak in tongues or to perform miracles or due to the exciting doctrine. Rather, it was due to the fact that they had discovered the secret of the power of community.

The Scent of Love

Keith Miller then goes on to make a vivid and clear description of the scent of love;

“Someone would be walking down a back alley in Corinth or Ephesus and would see a group of people sitting together talking about the strangest things- something about a man and a tree(the cross) and an execution and an empty tomb. What they were talking about made no sense to the onlooker. But there was something about the way they spoke to one another, about the way they looked at each other, about the way they cried together, the way they laughed together, the way they touched one another was strangely appealing.

The onlooker would start to drift farther down the alley only to be pulled back to this little group like a bee to a flower. He would listen some more, still not understanding, and startto drift away again.But again he would be pulled back, thinking, I don’t have the slightest idea what these people are about, but whatever it is, I want a part of it.  Keith Miller calls this the Scent of Love, I call it the scent of the power of community.

But how is community possible? What should one do to become a part of it? What should one be to become a part of it?

1st Things : Inclusivity

I belong to a number of organisations, societies, associations etc. One thing which is common to all of them is their constant struggle to be definite and complete and at the same time to be open and inclusive to new ideas and individuals. It is true that communities must struggle with the extent to which they are going to be inclusive; there must be a desire to extend themselves if communities are to flourish.

In this regard rather ironically, churches struggle with which kind of sinner to include and which kind to exclude. All are sinners though! (Irony and paradox at it’s best). Some churches, religions and organisations also struggle with including certain sexes, races, ideologies and creeds or dogmas. A true and genuine community ought to be inclusive of the wide spectrum of the human reality in its various conditions: its brokenness and its vivacity and glory.

2nd thing: Able to hold on to traditions and transcend them.

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus had asserted that “the ultimate reality is change” “There is nothing permanent and constant except change” and  “No man steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man also because other waters are constantly ever flowing on you.” In these old yet popular quotes in the philosophical circles, Heraclitus made the point that change is ultimately inevitable. That it simply can not be evaded or dodged.

As a matter of fact, if we are consistent with our claim about the inclusivity of community, then change and progress is a logical consequence. It would be absurd to believe that a community which is authentically and genuinely open to new creeds, individuals and expression of the human nature would be constant and unchanging. To accept the other in their entirety is to embrace compromise, negotiation and finally transformation.

3rd thing: To truly love unconditionally

I am always dumbfounded by the word “love” because though I know what it is about, I feel I can not describe nor explain it .
In this regard only three things will I explicate with the hope that they will cast some light on this very heavy theme which is deserving of a whole article.

1.      Realism

I have to confess as well before I speak about realism of my own personal idealism and naivete. I write and speak and think like a kid who believes that paradise can come to earth, that ‘happily ever after is possible’ ‘that love conquers death’ and ‘that genuine global community is possible.’ Realism is simply about the ability to accept the flaws of which we are all victims; to genuinely see oneself as one is and others as they are with their lights and shadows. It is important to be aware of the gifts of others and their abilities and talents but also to accept and embrace their brokenness and limitations.  Only with such a mindset can we recognise the interdependence of humanity. Realism is about humility to see things as they are. But the brokenness of our world should not stop us from dreaming about rainbows and unicorns in the city of happily ever after.


2.      Vulnerability

Vulnerability is essential in community. It is simply about putting off the façades and masks of perfectionism; to let the masks drop and only then can we see both the suffering and the agony, the courage and the deeper dignity of which we are all sharers. However, in my religious tradition, confessions is a secret thing: it is done under a seal. we naturally hide our wounds. However, in community, we should be able to speak freely of our wounds and weaknesses. It also demands that we should empathise with the wounds of our neighbours because only then is love genuine. I dare say that there can be no love , no community , no fellowship without vulnerability and the risky confession of our ‘sins”. Only then can we all respect each other as human beings – then we become community; messengers of the scent of love.



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How to fight against Depression: Beautiful but masked.


                                 


INTRODUCTION

Countless times I knew I wasn't as worthless as my mind kept on telling me , I sat there thinking ,"maybe if I just ended my life people would be happier". To me that was the only way I would put to rest the thoughts, pains, struggles I faced day in and out. I know mostly it just looks like something you can wake up to and choose saying ,"well I'll be happy today" it just doesn't work like that in this state your mind is fully convinced that you can't be accepted ,loved or even be wanted around people. But as time went by I stood my ground, and started working towards this state, honestly if I could do it I believe you as well can stand up and fight against it.

WHAT IS DEPRESSION

Well firstly before we go deeper into this story of how to help yourself or loved ones fight against depression I want us to understand what depression is (we might add other mental illnesses) but today I want us to focus on Depression...

I have come across some people that actually thought depression is just sadness, well that isn't near the truth. Just because you are sad doesn't make you depressed, a good example is when you are left by your partner, you haven't been given what you want, or arguments going through one of those doesn't make you depressed but stressed just to clear the air. Sadness, feeling down, having a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities - these are symptoms familiar to all of us, But if they persist and affect our life substantially, it may be depression. Depression is different from the fluctuations in mood that people experience as a part of normal life. Temporary emotional responses to the challenges of everyday life do not constitute depression.
Likewise, even the feeling of grief resulting from the death of someone close is not itself depression if it does not persist. Depression can, however, be related to bereavement

Definition: Depression is a mood disorder characterized by persistently low mood and a feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is a persistent problem, not a passing one, lasting on average 6 to 8 months.

Symptoms and signs:

Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness
Sleep: early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep
Whole body: excessive hunger, fatigue, loss of appetite, or restlessness
Behavioral: agitation, excessive crying, irritability, or social isolation
Cognitive: lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide
Weight: weight gain or weight loss
Also common: poor appetite or repeatedly going over thoughts




>depressed mood
>reduced interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed, loss of sexual desire
Unintentional weight loss (without dieting) or appetite
Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
Psychomotor agitation, for example, restlessness, pacing up and down
Delayed psychomotor skills, for example, slow movement and speech
>fatigue or loss of energy
>feelings of worthlessness or guilt
Impaired ability to think, concentrate, or ma decisions
>recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or attempt at suicide.

Research on depression:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7.6 percent of people over the age of 12 have depression in any 2-week period. This is substantial and shows the scale of the issue.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the most common illness worldwide and the leading cause of disability. They estimate that 350 million people are affected by depression, globally.

In all honesty I personally feel my pillow is my best friend as I constantly cry myself to sleep, have unending headaches from unpleasant thoughts I have. At times I would go days without eating because my anxiety would convince me that I am not hungry, I would try to use motivation to get myself running but the truth is motivation just made me feel worse (its funny right) yeah motivation made me feel worse because it made me feel like I enjoyed been depressed, with the way people would preach to me about just keeping a positive mind, but I couldn't keep it as I would fall off days or hours after listening to one of these motivations. Mostly people would say I am lazy, not mostly but countless times I don't know if you gave passed through this as well, but to be honest to wasn't laziness but I lost the will to live it feel like I am a dead person walking about that's why on some days it got worse I would stay in bed the whole day sleeping out the peat

 I wouldn't have times to get to school because the will to live is lost, my parents might think maybe I am just troublesome because I missed classes on days I didn't want to see people or talk. I had days I wouldn't have the power to ask questions in class because I always fear to be looked down on , yes it really did some damage to my performance in school but I couldn't open up or I would be told that I am seeking attention. These are things that I see countless youths face in our country in schools even as far as society.

SUICIDE

"I want to die , I feel like I am just been a burden to the people around me", He said to me , as I was out of words to comfort him with, because it seemed like nothing was working out in his life I constantly kept trying to ask him to pray with me. I didn't personally even know how to overcome the feeling of death in my own mind , but I tried my best to save my friend because the guy went through countless mental abuse , physical abuse and rejection . But one morning I woke up to the sad news that he actually took his own life due to depression the feeling that grab a hold of him for years, but I felt worthless because I couldn't help him .I spent days crying, blaming myself for his death because maybe I said something wrong or maybe played a part to push himself to harm himself. To us suicide seems selfish (it is to some point) but to the people that go through it, it’s actually feels like they are doing us a favor by not breathing (This makes them feel like a bother, burden, set back in our lives) I personally have days I feel maybe I was a mistake that wasn't planned for even the people may be around me but the dark cloud in my mind would convince me to take my life to have some rest or peace. Lloyd well "what should we do then to help these people”?  It’s easy try to be around, they might sometimes make you feel like they don't want you and push you away but such people find it hard to let people in their lives in the fear of been hurt so you can actually try texting them just to check up on them, invite them to events even if they constantly say no to you etc.

WHERE IS GOD WHEN IT HURTS??

Mostly the blame for brokenness, hurt, death, loss and everything goes to God. I know this well because I have actually been in this phase of life countless times, at times when I think about it I would laugh or smile. it’s sad to know that we lose our trust, faith and belief in God for things He doesn't even place in our way, I know it may feel like He enjoys watching us suffer ,but that is far from the truth. God is always there for us in our times of brokenness, I have times when I remember been angry at God shouting, “Where are you when I need you" because I failed more than I had gotten up in this point in life I thought maybe just staying down would make sense. But to be honest God has given us the power of free will, as much as we can blame him we need to know that God doesn't have control over the selfish people who bring pain, rejection and hurt to other people sometimes these people were also hurt by other people that's why they act that way. Think about it , God can't come down to stop your parents, Friends, partner from causing mental abuse , physical abuse and countless other things that happen to us. Just like we can't help it but just watch the people we love drink themselves out of good health or keep them from doing things that can cause them death, we can talk to them about it but can't change their minds not to do it. Now God can't do the same to us, He has given us the bible as instructions of what would help us live peacefully but other choose not to follow that and damage other people. He always wants to listen to us speak have us open up to Him about how we feel what bothers us and all.


Toxic or just Broken


"Should I open up and tell them how I really feel" , is the thought on my mind day and night but I can't open up because the society won't understand my pain but call me toxic then leave me alone for other people considered better, this is the struggle of many in this present day. I don't know about you but before I started working against my mental health I thought in those lines, so I started building a people pleasing character that would make everyone happy but constantly kept me depressed and feeling more lonely than before. It got so draining because I have to wear a mask to please everyone to show people the person they wanted me to be and not who I am. I had to be around people even the I felt unwanted, go on dates and not express myself. I remember been shouted out many times because I didn't like something, "well you are been Toxic Lloyd, can't you not just complain?" They said to me and many other things that still hold a huge scar on my mind, (People mostly scar people with mental health because such people are desperate to find comfort/acceptance) this is how I actually lost my self-esteem to please people, I respected other people's opinions more than my own, I want you to begin to understand that you need to value your opinions of things over anyone else’s. The question is, are you sure your friends are toxic or just hurt? Most people call me toxic because I have a strange behavior, where I wouldn't want to talk on phones, text or even be online or talk to anyone for hours days weeks at times .. As much as I know that's wrong but in those moments I try to not talk to people because it would feel like am sharing burdens to them, this has happened to many of us and when people leave you try to force conversations to please the new people you find by drinking, smoking, clubbing, having sex I don't know how others find ways to fill the void where pain and suffering is.
Now how would people open up to us when we make them feel toxic to us , as much as they might be toxic try to be there for these people not only by praying for them , but visiting , calls and texting even when they aren't replying . Let's make everyone feel wanted, people shouldn't be loved based on character, behavior or looks but loved because God sees us all valuable

        Cure for a Broken Heart.

Well I feel like the most broken part of a person is their soul which carries hurt, pain, memories etc. We have ignored the healing of the broken hearted because we feel it isn't as cool as a Physical healing.
But today I felt God tell me in my heart that people out there are bleeding from the chains of depression, stress, fear, insecurity etc. Just because you are saved doesn't mean these feelings are not going to be a part of your life, but not to worry Jesus has provided an answer to your broken heart.
Now on a personal basis I have had moments of my life I wouldn't want to share because the thought of it just brings pain and hurt to me, their times when I feel worthless and weak from fighting the battles in my mind. I know there is someone who feels the same, you are tired of it you have tried talking about it or even found a partner so that you get things off your mind but it was still their hunting you down as your beautiful mind breaks into a mental breakdown from thoughts of your not worth it, you’re not enough, be like so and so, or how you can be like your brother etc. It may look simple to others but this really breaks your soul, you are left alone to cry everything at night as your pillow is the only thing that shares your sorrow. You feel lonely because you feel an empty space in your heart because your Family has been broken as you always would see your parents fight that makes you feel out of place with other people. to make this note short let me say this to you Paul in 2Corin10 says the weapons of our warfare are might to pulling down strong holds that are in your mind, replace those bad words that they spoke into your life and speak the words that Jesus said about you. Only Jesus can cure your broken heart no relationship or person can say the right words but the bible assures our heart with rest, love and peace.



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About The Author


Jonathan Llyod Nkhuwa is a passionate preacher and inspirational youth speaker and writer who is actively enganged in various uplifting faith-based programs. He is influentially engaged in "I am Change" a movement for youths who inspire change.

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How to Believe in Yourself and Achieve Greatness



Behind every successful man or woman is the tremendous power of belief – belief in one’s own powers, gifts, talents and capabilities. You simply have to believe that you can achieve excellence and abundance. You need to believe that you are worth greatness. You need to believe that you can overcome challenges and transform trials into trophies.
Most people are lacking in this and thus they are terribly mediocre. It is impossible to achieve without believing. The first hurdle you need to overcome is the sad conviction that you are incapable of achieving greatness and reaching great heights.
I will take my time to share with you some means you can utilize to overcome this horrendous disease. There is probably nothing really new yet what I shall describe is worth your every minute to read, to internalize and to practice permanently and irrevocably.

Transcend other people’s rating of you


I believe we have all met two particular kinds of people; the first is the optimist, one who sets the earth on fire with their positivity and full-of-life attitude. The other is the pessimist, one who sees nothing but failure and negativity in you. Spending time with the optimist gives you the rare feeling that all things are possible and that you can conquer any hurdle. You simply believe that all is possible. Whereas spending time with the pessimist drains you of your courage and self-esteem. You begin to believe that all is doom and gloom.

It is absolutely important for you to transcend and go beyond the ordinary criticism which people make of you. Especially because they are ignorant of the art of healthy criticism; they demoralize rather than correct. Do not let opinions define who you are. A single mistake does not mean that you are good for nothing or entirely useless.

Rather than merely become a victim of opinions, examine yourself and see if you believe in yourself. If you do not believe that you can achieve anything worthwhile, it is probably because you have been in discouraging environments and your ears have been victims of unpromising remarks. Cease to be a victim no longer.

Know your strengths and weakness


Another very common phenomenon is the fact that you might be sticking to one or two things which people have told you – “he is not a good boy”, “she is good for nothing”, “she will not amount to anything.”  In order to overcome the power of this negative talk it is absolutely necessary that you undertake an inventory of all your strengths (even the small and insignificant ones) and your weaknesses.   Write them down in your special book. Write down all the things you know about yourself, write down all the things other people have said about you. It is my definite confidence that when you analyse the list, you will see more positive aspects than the negative ones. Whatever the outcome, be grateful!

The importance aspect of this exercise is the fact that you will know that irrespective of your weaknesses, you also have magnificent strengths of which you can boast. This activity of self-knowledge is one that is fulfilled only by the humble and those who are willing to learn from others. You can even enlist the services of a good and positive psychologist or the help of a friend.

Listen to positive and uplifting words and messages


Another important scheme of harnessing the power of faith: is the habit of listening to positive messages and inspiring stories. “If it happened to them, why not you?” It is a very important means by which one can develop positive mindset and eliminate negative attitude and messages from one’s psyche.
There is absolutely no point in believing and only listening to the sad stories of failure and gloom and hope to be a great believer in the power of success. You probably have enough worries about studies, career, family, sponsorship/scholarship and the future. The day to day life is almost always spenT in some challenges to be overcome. If it is not properly overcome it will lead to worry.  Such excessive worry will simply make you irritable, ill-tempered and negative.

Take the time to listen to something inspiration. This of course does not imply that I am advocating for a naïve realism which only believes in unicorns and ‘happily ever after.’ By no means! This whole reflection refers to the fact that you can learn a lot from the stories of other like-natured human beings. I have greatly benefitted from the powerful stories of individuals like Oprah, the positive psychology of Brene Brown and the numerous inspirational stories and Ted Talks of various other human beings who have been where I am and have managed to overcome. Is there a better way to tap into the collective power of mankind to be tranquil and perseverant in the face of the greatest turmoil and hardship?

You are simply great! Not greater than…


You are probably so convinced about your ‘sorry state’ for the reason that you measure your greatness in relation to others. You think that you are not worth much because you are not like them. You are a unique and special individual who is a standard of greatness in his or her own right.
Brian Tracy has put this idea so well:

"The depth of your belief and the strength of your conviction determines the power of your personality."

Comparison with others will never reap fruits of greatness, abundance or fullness only disappointment and dissatisfaction because you can never be anyone else. Do not compare yourself to others!




You don’t always have to fit into every group


Flexibility is surely a great skill; one worth having. It enables you to adjust and fit into new situations and circumstances. It is a great tool for problem solving and critical thinking. It is also greatly appreciated in social situations. It is a tool for creativity and spontaneity.

However, it also has its downside especially when it leads to having ‘no face behind a continuous façade of masks.’ It is a great danger to engage with individuals whose only principle is ‘have no principle’ simply in order for them to fit into a social group. This sort of flexibility is even at the very cost of one’s identity. I have come to know some individuals who believe in playacting to be pleasing just so as to avoid being offensive, critical or simply different just so that they may fit in.

Sometimes the greatest battle we should fight is the one of having the courage to stand in our own two shoes and stick to your own deeply held principles even at the cost of losing acquaintances. One should not fret at the prospect of being displeasing at times.  This ‘pretense’ trick is simply a way we act in order to present a particular version of who we are. Nevertheless, it is simply a denial of who we are at the very core of our being. We suppress our real opinions because they seem unacceptable or at least would lack approval. We thus think that the only way to get along (or even to survive) is by behaving in ways that are acceptable to others. This is a great hindrance to developing the much needed confidence in the inherent powers and abilities of the self.

You need the courage to face your strengths

The greater majority of people believe that it is far much easier to embrace and accept their challenges. However, I think it is equally difficult to embrace our lights, our strengths and our victories. Indeed, it is beautifully said that “our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate but that we are powerful beyond measure; it is our light not our shadow that most frightens us.”

A greater part of believing in myself is in believing that I am gifted and blessed with great gifts and talents and that I can embrace and be thankful for them. I should believe that accepting and embracing my ‘lights’ is not only beneficial to a single individual but to all those who rely on you for motivation and willpower.
It is absolutely important to own and possess my life; my words, my actions, and my feelings. I have to grasp the fact that my weaknesses need love; I ought to love the self I am trying to know. I must be cordial, open and sympathetic to myself. This is a great tool to become a believer in my own strengths.
The the rare courage to dare to be kind to oneself is of a rare nature

Seek Meaningful experiences




The greatest and first things of life are not the fame, the cars, the money etc but rather to discover and live what is most important and meaningful in one’s own life. It is of paramount importance for each and every one to place and centre all of one’s energy and time. It is absolutely important to ask oneself whether the daily efforts of one’s life are directed to the first things (the top priority) things: love or family…. Etc

I never tire of sharing these simple thoughts, they are not new, they are not original but they are from my heart. If they make a difference in the lives of even one individual human being, then it is pricelessly worth it! Thus, I will do this again and again.


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Death is Silence.


My second article has finally been published in Writers Space Africa August Edition. WSA is a literary magazine for African writers. You can download the complete magazine right here.

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Taming the Beast






I am tough
Callous and rough
Determined to the will
Sturdy enough to fulfill

I am a beast
Born to feast
A wanderer within the night
Raised strong to survive life’s fight

You can see in my eyes
I wear no disguise
And you, you are the beauty
To which the beast
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7 Inspiring Ways to Achieve Your Dreams


A dream is not what you see while you are asleep but rather, it’s what keeps you from sleeping. A dream is not an illusion, but it is the power to visualize who you want to become in the near future. So many people have dreams but they are just snoozing on them, hoping one day they will come true. It’s time we stop living a ‘movie life’ that is, being poor at the beginning and hoping to become rich at the end of the movie. The popular ‘happily ever after.'

1. Don’t just believe, Act!



Belief is not the way to succeed here, practice is the way. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “shallow people believe in luck. Wise and strong people believe in cause and effect.”  So, it’s time for you do something today which will bring pride and honor to your future.

Set goals which are both short and long-term goals. They should not be too high nor too low. The human heart gets so much discouraged and disappointed, if you set goals which are too high and you fail to accomplish them. Thus, it is of utmost importance that one dreams ‘reasonably.’ Similarly, when you set goals which are too low, you will end up doing nothing, since its simple you will say “I will do it” but you won’t do it. Set goals and challenges which are meaningful and captivating.

2. Success is not a matter of Luck!

Success is a result of consistent and dedicated input and not just a matter of luck. One’s life should be marked by tireless labors, dedication, determination, creativity, sweat, late nights, early mornings, time management, risk taking and the biggest of all hard work.

My history teacher, Mr. Richard Sejjungo once told us in class “Do not allow other people’s failures to become your own failure” When you have a dream similar to a failure’s dream; that should not discourage or disappoint you, it is them not you. Had it been the case, Ben Carson could not have separated the twins since other surgeons before him had failed. Thomas Edison would not have invented the bulb.

3. Learn and follow your own path

Everyone is unique and therefore has a different path towards his or a dream.  Therefore, stick to your dreams. Give it all you have, talk to positive people on the way, read books to expand your knowledge and follow people, who are undertaking what you want to achieve. In this manner, you will both improve and accomplish it.

Indeed, it has been rightly said that “The first law of success is concentration, to bend all energies to one point and to go directly to that point looking neither to the right nor the left.”

Make your dream your motivation. Its either you work hard to accomplish your dreams or simply give up and work for others. The choice is yours. As long as you have faith, the right mind set and attitude, life can go so fast from nothing to greatness.

4. Background is not an obstacle



There are so many hardships in life, your back ground should not be an obstacle towards accomplishing our dreams, but whenever you think about where you come from, the hard life you have lived, the poverty you have experienced and the people who said “You can’t make it.” Let it be your fuel to work harder towards your goal and to prove them wrong.

Great minds have already observed that “To be born poor is not your mistake, but to die poor is definitely your mistake.”  It does not matter the family from which you come from, the poverty you have been through, what your critics have said about you. (The people who talk behind your back they belong there (at the back). You just need to believe in the beauty of your dreams, the power of your goals and the splendor of your vision.

5. Let Other Great People Inspire You

Most people fail in life because they fuel their life because they fuel their lives by negative comments from people. You just need to select good role models who have made it from zero to hero, such as Oprah Winfrey and Ben Carson. Whenever you feel like giving up look at what they have been through and where they are now.  It will give you hope, courage, determination and the power to move on.

Your days will certainly come, all that you imagined and have worked hard for will come to be concrete reality; you too will be a role model and an inspiration for so many youngsters, the savior of your family, and the hero of your society, a person your friends and enemies will be looking up to with admiration. Then you will look up towards the skies and humbly praise God for your dreams would have come true.

6. Set Your Priorities right

Give priorities to the things which matter most and not things which will consume your income and time without you benefiting from them.  The biggest difference between the rich and the poor is that, the poor tend to buy the luxurious first with their own sweat, while the rich tend to buy their luxurious last after buying asserts which can generate income for buying the luxurious goods.

7. Step up and make the right choice

Now it’s time for you to step up from your bed, say yes, I can! Take actions and be a go getter. Remember no one is born a winner likewise no one is born a looser. Rather, we are all born choosers so make the right choice for your life. 



Conclusion

God has given each man the power and capacity to be everything that God has made him to be. Have faith and trust in his unconditional love.

....................................................................................


The author


William Munishi is a Tanzanian youth passionate about changing the lives of other young people through the power of golden words.
He also engages in different youth movements. The main aim is to bring self reliance and proper utilization of the African resources.
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How do I know my Life’s Mission and Purpose?



I am still young! I spend a lot of my life’s time sharing and listening to young people. Most of our conversations are centered around themes such as happiness, God, Success, the goal of life, how to be successful and how to discover one’s calling in life. The last of these is more common than others.  This particular post will simply make a remark on this question based on my own life experiences and also by tapping into the knowledge and experiences of others.

I believe in a loving and providential God! I believe that each human being is made in the image of God. God calls each man to live his life purposefully and meaningfully. Indeed, we all need to become aware of our personal calling. 

One’s life mission is the road that God chose for you to walk here on earth. It is simply known with the heart. They say ‘you know when you know’. It is that path which fills one with joy and satisfaction. It is that path which makes the world a better place for the whole of mankind.  It is the path of freedom and boundless possibility. It is the incomparable path of goodness and of God.

The challenge is not so much to walk the path but rather to know the path. Many of us lack the audacity to walk the path which is our very own. We encounter many hindrances which bury our personal calling so deeply to such an extent that it becomes invisible.

You can never follow a dream you never see.
You can never follow a star you cannot see.
You can not walk an invisible road.

Sometimes we don’t follow our personal calling because we are afraid that in the process we might end up losing those we love dearly. But, those who love us will always walk those roads with us at any cost.



Sometimes we are afraid of failing. We are afraid of the let-downs. Defeats and losses, we shall encounter. They are unquestionably unavoidable. We can be so good at learning from the whole experience of life. The old saying goes “fools never learn from neither their own mistakes or the mistakes of others, smart and intelligent people learn from their own mistakes but the wise people learn enough from the mistakes of other and thus avoid making their own.”

Follow your heart! God reaches out to us through us! Personal reflection, discernment and a heart open to the deep and silent voice within calling us to greatness, happiness and to service. That is the voice of God! There is an essential wisdom that lies in listening to your heart because “You are your deepest desires.” Mostly, God speaks best to you than he does through the mouths of  those who discourage and dishearten you with their words.

I will conclude with Paulo Coelho’s quotation of Oscar Wilde, “Each man kills the thing he loves.” Sometimes the mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all those who have failed to follow their calling and feel that we do not deserve to be there either. I too have known a lot of people who , when their personal calling was within their grasp made some ‘deliberate mistakes’ or simply walked away from their dream.


There is no need to walk away from what God is calling you to do for him and for the world. There is no sanctity in being the humble quitter. Believe and fight! Become the instrument of God! Help the world!

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The Value of Being Yourself


Accept my sincerest apologies if this post will have the sort of terminology which is quite unfamiliar and technical. Nevertheless, words are words! This is a reflection I wrote while in college based on the philosophical ideas of the Danish Philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard.  It is about individuality not individualism. It is about subjectivity not subjectivism and relativism. It is about being yourself and the faith that is demanded to do so. Kierkegaard calls it a leap of faith!

The journey to actualizing the potential for self-hood is possible only if the existing individual rises above the values, goals and altitudes of the common herd and strives to realize his identity as a unique particular:

“A crowd... (any crowd) in its very concept is the untruth, by reason of the fact that it renders the individual completely impertinent and irresponsible or at least weakens his sense of responsibility by reducing it to a fraction.”[1]

His aversion for objectivity and universality is vivid in these texts. With regard to our thesis, it becomes clear that Kierkegaard spares not his pen in battle against the totalizing force of the universal. “Subjectivity is the truth” is the maxim which guides the existential dialectic of Kierkegaard and liberates the individual from suffocating in a world of values that are meaningless to the subject. He rather advocates the freedom of the subject, the individual in making the existential choice for those truths which have subjective value.

The crowd-mentality assists all human kind to cheat by copying results and answers , subjective thinking on the other hand invests everything in the process of becoming , as every human being who has not let himself be tricked into being objective. As a matter of fact, it is absolutely easy to be like the others ,to become a copy, an imitation and a counterfeit, a mere number. In the crowd mentality, Kierkegaard affirms that;“The real crime, the one people regard as the worst of all and punish cruelly, is to be not like the others.”

Subjectivity exists truly only in the leap of faith, in the blind leap into a zone of objective uncertainty, into the unknown. Life is not about objectivity, it’s not about universality, it’s not about unchanging principles. It’s not about being like everyone else. It’s not about being like the rest of the crowd. “the crowd is untruth” Rather, it’s about relating with the singular individual in the most fluid way, in the most unscripted way.

 The good life is not legitimized by any political, moral, religious or metaphysical system. indeed, it’s the very opposite of systems. Morality is about directly responding to the human being who stands before me; beyond ideology, beyond dogma, beyond creed. It is about relating beyond and above any categorical system beyond conceptualizing. It is about looking and seeing. It is beyond theory, beyond abstraction. This is the fundamental thesis in Kierkegaard’s works.





[1] Kiekergaard, The Point of View,(Lowrie W (trans), London, p39
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Discovering the Good Life




Almost two months have already passed since I completed my undergraduate philosophical studies. As I took the morning walk, the eternal philosophical question popped up. A question about ethics - “what is the good life? I need not appeal to Aristotellian or Kantian treatises to answer such a personal matter. In the simplest possible terms, this question is about “right living.”

Stephen R. Covey, in the "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" has pointed out that most of the inspirational or motivational literature has been rather superficial. It was phony, shallow and superficial in the sense that it focused mostly on the creation of a ‘correct’ social image or reputation, quick fixes or techniques for a successful life. The literature appeared to solve human crises with pain-killers without addressing the core problems.

This became clear with catchy book titles such as ‘10 ways to win friends with a smile,’ ‘techniques for keeping a marriage,’ ‘techniques for acing an exam in a day.’ ‘7 perfect ways to influence people.’ All these approaches simply motivated people to use ‘techniques’ to get people to like them. Rather than focusing on helping people to develop lasting moral principles and a worthwhile way of life.

Caring for the whole self

The first step in becoming a successful human being and a master at right living is by taking care of the four basic dimensions of  human nature.
         

 Spirit

Contemporary culture does not value or take time to address what the Greek Philosophers termed ‘care for the soul’ as the primal and fundamental duty to the self. This is mainly due to the widespread popularity of atheism, materialism and secularism.

Yet, care for the soul is greatly tried to the concept of transcendence. This is the belief that normal or physical human experience can be surpassed and that beings which are not subject to the limitations of the material universe exist. I personally believe that all things have their source and ultimate end in God. Thus, God guarantees that we shall inevitably find meaning in our lives.

Body

Present-day culture always tries to find quick solutions to the ills of the body. We have progressed in our health care provisions and medical technology. We can treat almost any ailment with pills and surgery. For example, obesity and depression.

However, the basic approach should be on prevention of disease by living a lifestyle which is friendly to the body. For example, eating healthy foods, doing exercises and conducting one’s daily preoccupations in harmony with principles of a healthy lifestyle.


                                                        Mind



The ‘google-mindset’ is a virus which is destroying the minds of young and old people alike. It is the mindset of quick and already-made solutions to the questions and problems of life. It has brutally killed critical and reflective thinking simply because Google has all the answers.
However, with regard to the mind, the best approach is ‘read broadly and deeply and pursue continuous education. One ought to invest into one’s intellect by means of serious study, edification and education. The lazy lifestyle of an uncritical and unreflective human being is an insult to one’s very nature as a ‘zoon logikon’ that is, rational animal.


4.      Heart

Modern culture perceives relationships as a mere means to the attainment of one’s personal, selfish and individualistic happiness. This has led to abuse in relationships.
However, deep and meaningful care of the heart is simply about love and care for the other in their entirety. Meaningful living and loving is based on respectful listening and selfless self-giving. A loving heart brings the greatest fulfillment and joy to the heart of man.






Conclusion
Right Living is a constant struggle.  It is a fight to care for the soul, the body, the mind and the heart. However, it is always a worthwhile battle and always brings beautiful fruits of a good, happy and fulfilled human existence. One ought to avoid the quick techniques and roads to success and instead place one’s effort on becoming a better person daily by means of right choices.

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