Plunging Deep…..

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With a level 3 heat wave warning already being broadcast, the very first thought that crosses your mind as you step out into the streets is the alluring image of yourself in gaily coloured swim trunks, abs defined, plunging into a  cool swimming pool (preferably isolated for people like us) with a poolside bar that serves chilled daiquiris with the umbrella thingy and a rainbow straw or a chilled tumbler of well prepared chapman with bitters and then with the harsh brightness of the wonderful sun, suddenly you realise that the mind really can play tricks on you. Watching people of all sizes and shapes, many in very indecent apparels (all in the guise of getting a tan), you can only but appreciate the beauty of the seasons. For with every season, there is a beginning and an end, and the teeny weeny differentiator for us as individuals is choosing to pull out mid season or holding on till the end of the season and the commencement of a better one.

I have not been able to muster the funds for my standing air conditioning unit so I’ve chosen to utilise my little halogen fan and basically ride out the season (save myself a couple of quid especially as I am seeing my Pain Specialist on Friday and my spine popping Russian this week too). Admittedly, I have to admit that the last few days have been so filled up with appointments that at the end of the day, being passed through a huge milling machine is kinda like an understatement and when the questions come, I can only respond that certain things I just have to do myself even at my own toddly pace. As for the strength, you know as I do, I have run out of mee own strength reserves but thankfully with an upwards glance, I acknowledge that there is an inexhaustible supply which I gladly choose to exploit.

Now again, just as one of the many perks of being in this medically challenging period, I was privileged to listen to one of the most unique couples in this part of the world recount their tales of utilizing their time and God-given potentials to change the world one person at at time and it especially came on the heels of a video clip, that my solicitor and friend sent me of the shameless display of thuggery and sheer insanity in one of the ‘hallowed’ chambers of parliament in one of the states of the self acclaimed sleeping giant of Africa and it is in indeed no wonder that things have gotten this bad and obviously still will because I was also opportune to watch the debate between Tony and Ed which was almost like a game of who can provoke the loudest laughs in the chambers. Clearly a huge difference between both scenes but the message is clear that whilst we choose to do nothing, let us loudly remember the words of Helen Keller “Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings.”

Aboard the District Line, we were regaled by a pair of jovial fellows with a guitar and a violin, as they chose to play and make that little moment something worth remembering and in response to my question, one of them remarked ‘we just do it for fun’ and I add life is too short to spend all the time on the dive board awaiting the perfect moment to dive in. I say, just plunge in and get swimming! For a huge number of us, we choose to spend more time on the sidelines being very vociferous even to the extent of being obnoxiously annoying when all that is needed is just for you to hold your breath and plunge in. Get those energetic words into action, life is way too short to spend it all on the bylines, sending out video clips on youtube and doing absolutely nothing else is abysmal. Like I always say, begin with that one. You may not know the decision makers for your borough but you do know your next door neighbour who has tons of decisions to make and whether we want to admit it or not, those decisions can very well alter your own life. Remember the story of the cow who was so indifferent when the mouse came complaining about the trap the farmer was setting, well life is cyclical and so opt now to do something about that issue that seems so unrelated to you.

Lyndon Bowring (CEO, C.A.R.E) shared one of the most memorable moments of his life, not from his offices across Westminster, not within the rooms of 10 Downing Street but in the steps of the Oxford Station (if I recollect clearly). Just as I advice everyone I come in contact with, do not ask ‘you doing alright’ just because everyone else says it but ask it with sincerity and expect an answer because you do care. So Lyndon came across a laddie vending the Evening Standard and asked him the question………and waited for the response. Wait for it……the laddie with a grimace revealed that he was so sorely pressed that he needed to dash across the street and avail himself of the restroom and was only hoping for someone who would be kind enough to cover his post for a couple of minutes (nobody is really that fast…lol!). Now there was Lyndon, briefcase in hand confronted with a need and with a second to choose, he offered to help. Within seconds, briefcase plunked down by his side, there was Lyndon (not just any person) vending the Evening Standard whilst the laddie hurried off to do his business. In Lyndon’s words, those moments remain one of his most memorable moments and permit me to say that those very moments are so hurriedly passed by when they constitute memorable in every letter of the word. Yeah, he sold off quite a few and was just getting into it when the moment passed but he plunged in and got refreshed and continued with a lesson learnt.

It is not always behind the doors of Parliament that lives are influenced, yes, decisions concerning all of us are made there but for many of us who are awaiting that moment when we can strut through the front doors of 10 Downing Street to the awaiting paparazzi, every day presents a unique moment to plunge into the life of someone and make a difference. I have this to say to the many professed Christians “Christians have no business thinking that the good life consists mainly in not doing bad things. We have no business thinking that to do evil in this world you have to be a Bengal tiger, when, in fact, it is enough to be a tame tabby—a nice person but not a good one. In short, Pentecost makes it clear that nothing is so fatal to Christianity as indifference. ” -W.S Coffin Jnr

We are regaled every waking moment with delightful opportunities to plunge in and get refreshed by doing just lil bits of kindness and good to just one person, but alas many of us choose to watch at the sidelines forgetting that life is a moving train and you definitely cannot be motionless on a moving train. With a series of severe back flares yesterday under the keen eyes and hands of JOIV, I still had to answer the call of my good friend who just returned again from the hospital for the second double bypass surgery in less than three months. And even as we sat chatting, I chose to make it memorable by reminding him that we are all alive for a purpose and in moments like these, when we awaken after a life threatening medical challenge, the onus lies on us to make better use of the days we now have. It does not have to be when you are incapable of speech and bereft of movement that we are compelled to make that choice, we can choose to plunge in now. I may be incapable of walking the miles or giving lengthy encouraging speeches however I have chosen not to be trampled underfoot by this disorder.

I choose to live, and not just live but live refreshingly through the lives of the very many fascinating individuals I come across. Like Teddy, with severe Down’s syndrome, who was joyously showing off his brand new wristwatch to as many as he came across. As I watched with dismay, the looks of annoyance flashing across the many faces he shared the moment with, when it was my turn – I delightfully exclaimed his was nice but mine was even nicer and just that response evoked a gentlemanly kiss on the back of my hand as he and his fellow mentally retarded peers were headed away. Now that made me beam indeed because “It seems to me that no matter what religion you subscribe to, acts of kindness are the stepping-stones to making the world a better place–because we become better people in it.”
― Jodi Picoult.

Let us take that plunge today, and I am all ears when it is time to share how refreshing an experience it was.

And remember………………we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.

 פרידהעדשנפגששובחבריםיקרים ….

Adios!

Lending a Hand…….

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It has been such a sunny summer that I am toying with the idea of getting an air-conditioning unit off Gumtree as soon as the funds avail themselves anyway (Opportunity cost). Anyway, yes – nice UV rays, some warmth and basically loads of activities as usual. I have been inundated with messages from quite a few distinct persona and yes, in the words of Jim Elliot “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose”. I would count myself no fool because according to my pa, I have done only two foolish things in my life, and these occurred in the last two decades of my life so count me no fool. However Jim referred to the invaluable and essentials of this life and that for the hereafter, so letting go is therefore a sign of wisdom. Mimi, thanks for being such a unique individual and wonderful mum.

I had a telephone conversation with a long time acquaintance and she regaled me with an intriguing story which I would kindly want to share here because in more ways than one, we are all faced with this issue of making a choice of what to let go and this encapsulates a whole lot of things – our ideals, ego, material goods et al. So here goes, a youngster was walking along the edge of a marshy swamp when he espied a crab struggling to make its way out of its marshy snare and out of fascination, he spent some time watching it make effort upon effort to get out and like many a kind-hearted soul, he chose to aid the poor creature out of its obvious miseries and so without a thought, he reached out a hand and the result was obvious. With a yelp of pain, he withdrew his hand as the poor crab reached out with its hand to grab his. Not to be put off from his rescue mission, he persisted and with each attempt, his yelp grew louder. After a series of painful attempts, he plunked down by the spot utterly confused until an elderly man came by.

The greatest bestseller states thus ‘in the multitude of counsel, safety exists’ and so he shared his plight with the elderly man (note however that age and wisdom are not synonymous but this was an exception). With a look of bemusement, the man pointed out to the youngster that his was a worthwhile venture but he failed to recognise that the crab had pincers at the end of its hands and therefore was not intentionally hurting him and so he needed to let go of his original attempt and device another means of reaching the crab without using his fingers. With a burst of adrenaline and a quick shout of gratitude, the youngster broke a tweed and reached out to the tiring crab with the tweed, the rest is left to your imagination. And no, the crab did not turn into a beautiful princess who he married and together lived happily after. It scurried away and the youngster learnt a valuable lesson because life is filled with learning curves and choose to learn we must or else we may not survive when life compels us to.

Now, what was so intriguing about this story is how similar to the youngster many of us are. We are confronted with a situation and without a thought, many of us launch into a good-hearted rescue mission without actually contemplating the complexities of each particular scenario because remember we are a population of billions of unique individuals, each with a different purpose and the ability to choose regardless of whether these choices are right or wrong. (And yet again, there remains a few of us, who choose to do nothing whilst expecting the crab to reach out a hand and then we can help – I hate to do this but WAKE UP!) And like many, we are inadvertently swamped by our ill preparedness and reluctance to acknowledge that life in itself is dynamic and so we ought to admit that change or letting go is oft the best option. Take out the old, so the new can come in. “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities” – Steven Covey

Meeting my Specialist pain Physiotherapist was such an enjoyable time because it afforded me yet another opportunity to learn something new and even as I continue down this path of recovery and healing, hope is a choice that I make every waking moment. Hope that each day will present me with another opportunity to meet a new person and hopefully make an impact in that person’s life. Hope that even as I let go of the very things I could do with ease in days past, I create room to learn new things; learning to use my left hand when my right hand is severely hurting with cramps, learning to listen more and speak less because speaking a lot can be quite painful even as my vocal cords get thickened and I start stuttering, learning to just be still because my back hurts so badly and realise that He speaks in every waking moment of my life. Learning that even the consultants are limited in their knowledge and so basing my joy on their report is an exercise in futility.

I met an outstanding individual today, the Chief Executive Officer of Hope For Justice, an organisation devoted to rescuing lives from human trafficking and modern-day slavery. And even as he shared his organisation’s goals and objectives, it reiterated the story of the crab and the fact that we just have to let go of traditional patterns to reach the many unique individuals there who are struggling for hope and justice. The question that begs answering is what are we doing with the time we are all blessed with – “Think about it. Everyone gets the same twenty-four hours in a day. But only a handful realize the value of time. Make sure to utilize your time wisely. Don’t pursue unattainable goals and remain disappointed. Real happiness lies in enjoying every moment of your life, doing what you wish to do. Build your life, minute by minute, with memories of love, kindness, and courage. Reflect on the words of famous people. Understand their perspective about life, and gain new knowledge.” Anon E. Moss

As I look forward to a new week filled with hope and promise and opportunities, I can only tell myself this “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington, and with each waking moment, I appreciate every obstacle this neurological disorder has placed because in overcoming them day after day, I can truly cherish the little triumphs and enjoy the lives that I encounter daily.

And remember………………we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.

 פרידהעדשנפגששובחבריםיקרים ….

Adios!

Letting go…..

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Back in the days as kids playing around and being fascinated with the beauty of nature and its many mysteries, I recall catching my first butterfly with its gaily coloured and delicate wings. Placing it in a ready matchbox, I dashed home to show my prize and heard one of the most profound statements and still today, a fundamental guideline for my life….“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
―Ann Landers.

One thing we really have no power over is what life throws at you, what we can do is choose how to react or respond to those situations and therein lies the distinguishing factor between the great and the ordinary. The other day, we gathered as a church to celebrate life without limits, without the boundaries of human limitations and frailties and the overwhelming knowledge that we are all uniquely created with gifts to share and purposes to be met. And even as the warm rays of the sun brightened the park, it was a joy to behold life and celebrate it, regardless of my neck brace, disc doctor and my able staff of authority. It was indeed an opportunity to choose yet again to redefine who I am and what I can do with the very lives I encounter.

Just like the mystery of nature, so also is the mystery of the human body or more precisely the human brain, and even as I still recall my last consult with my neurologist – I still acknowledge that there will always be certain aspects that will defy our grasp regardless of how much we want to reach out and comprehend. As I mull over our discussion, she was honest enough to point out the fact that Movement Disorders are still unexplainable, kudos to her because I really did lay into her because it does get infuriating when the so-called experts cannot even admit that life is a constant learning curve. You can never know everything about something so it is best to learn something about everything and don’t stop there, implement the knowledge you have obtained and move on and learn some more.

For many of us, we are constantly assuaged with the desire to keep holding on to that elusive fantasy and just when we think we have gotten it, it hits us in our guts that strength is really defined by the act of letting go. Someone said ‘ Maturity is being able to say no’ which to me is another form of letting go and whilst we rush around with our many aspirations and dreams, let us remember this – the real strength of character is not defined by what we can grab but what we can let go. Admittedly, it can be painful at times but I dare you to compare your situation before and after you truly let go. I have chosen to let go of so many things and some have shred my heart asunder whilst others have been a walk in the park, however I can say that I am better off for we were born with nothing and depart with nothing someday we will.

My dear friend EE finally achieved closure the other day when she ran into her ex-husband after so many years, and because she had painfully let go, she was able to walk to him head-up, eyes a-twinkle and say hi. Now as she regaled me with that chance encounter, I could hear the triumph in her voice because that was a won battle even with the scars that serve as reminders, letting go had given her that edge she thought was unreachable. Today, she is an example to many out there who think that letting go is an act of cowardice, and even as she prepares to renew her vows again – a distinct persona she truly has become. It is such a privilege to have encountered you. I could go on and on with tales of ordinary individuals who have made that choice to let go and inevitably the end is always the same – triumph, victory, unimagined self-development and add flair and finesse to that picture.

I have an appointment tomorrow with a specialist pain physiotherapist (and of course there is a lot of trepidation and apprehension), yet another doctor again but one with such a scary title and still I choose to let go of my fears and accept the fact that I will always emerge on top regardless of whatever comes my way. I have let go of my privacy and chosen to share my story with as many as would give it a read because in the end, we are remembered for what we gave and not so much as what we received. Change is said to be the only permanent thing in life and the question is why then are we so terrified of change? “We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”
― C. Joybell C.

Walking this journey, most times alone, has been such an exhilarating adventure because it has made me realise that there are people out there who believe they have everything when in retrospect they have got nothing. John Ruskin aptly puts it thus ‘A man wrapped up in himself really makes a small package’ and I dare to add that letting go is the surest way to be as expansive as you were made to be. Look deep into yourself and ask yourself this question, what am I keeping so hard that it is causing me pain? Why am I choosing to  endure this anguish just to present a facade which is a front hiding the real you? Where can I truly give off myself to allow change take its course and re-emerge like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes of its cremation? There is more blessing in giving than in receiving – those few words surmise one of the greatest principles in life and remember that one man gave his life that we may be who we were really meant to be. What an amazing example to emulate!

It is almost midday and I have to start preparing to go meet my spine popping Russian as described by my lil brother, I have to let go of the confines of my room to enjoy the warm weather and some pain as usual but I am glad for this day. And irrespective of how many let downs I may have (especially from those closest to me), I am thankful for the ups too from the elite chosen few and look forward in faith to being who I was made to be – a blessing to as many as I can reach even if it is just a friendly hello or a warm smile. I want to leave you with these words of C. Joybell

“A star falls from the sky and into your hands. Then it seeps through your veins and swims inside your blood and becomes every part of you. And then you have to put it back into the sky. And it’s the most painful thing you’ll ever have to do and that you’ve ever done. But what’s yours is yours. Whether it’s up in the sky or here in your hands. And one day, it’ll fall from the sky and hit you in the head real hard and that time, you won’t have to put it back in the sky again.”

Truth remains that when you let go, you let God and what an amazing return you are sure to get.

Also remember………………we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.

 פרידהעדשנפגששובחבריםיקרים ….

Adios!

In Another’s Moccasins(2)………

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Hollas amigos,

Phew! how quickly time flies. (“Time flies, but the memories collected along the way can never be replaced” – Ashley Tisdale). A week has gone by and this should have been posted before now but I’ve been kinda busy, dealing with the ups and downs of life and living with dystonia. There is absolutely nothing comparable to walking a journey with a loved one and you are more blessed when you are privileged to have more than one. The moccasins are pretty worn out now but there is this thing with breaking in new footwear that usually leaves one sentimentally attached to the old especially when they have walked through varying seasons of life.

It is a beautiful day indeed, the thrill of opening your eyes and beholding a new day can never be recaptured especially if you choose to appreciate the fine moments that God blesses us with each moment. Life is good, right? Choose to acquiesce and see how better your week turns out because we are in charge as delegated by the One who reigns, so choose to proclaim that life is good irrespective of what the circumstances may be saying because that is just what they are circumstances. I really wish that sometimes we could borrow a leaf from Professor Dumbledore and just pick out memories and place in that bowl so as to avoid gushing endlessly once we get started on a subject because life consists of inter-related memories.

One of my friends just had her Botox treatment session, botoxulin helps ameliorate the tremors so it is a phase of management procedures for people living with dystonia. Just wait for it………………her session consists of taking 30 injections, yes THIRTY. I have taken only four and I know how many macho men are still scared of needles, so imagine taking 30 at a go and regularly at that. Now do you agree that you have more than a reason to say thanks to God for health even if your moccasins are fraying or your cuffs are better folded than buttoned down. Take it from me, get out of that self-induced pity party and live life with eyes wide open. Breathe and exhilarate with each breath of fresh air, some cannot. Listen for the chirping of the birds and the insects, even the occasional rodent that is a nuisance with your trash and appreciate these little moments, many would die for just an opportunity to.

I have got this traction device that never ceases to amaze my brother whenever he sees me in it and I have to remind him that it is no toy, but that is the way of life, we kinda prefer those things that we certainly do not want. Walking in another’s moccasins is way different from admiring them and so I kindly ask that whilst you hustle and bustle in order to get those resources in, take a look around and spot that one person who would do better with an encouraging word. Just like Mma, the beautiful air hostess (I think she is still single and she was pretty well-mannered) who almost refused me boarding her tiny aircraft because I looked like a fragile version of robocop. Eventually, she turned out to be quite a wonderful companion all through the flight and she did promise to read up on dystonia and take time to be more accommodating. Mma, do well to drop me a line or two because if you are as true as you portrayed yourself then you would make a very good companion for a deserving fellow and I might know a few *winks*

Are you familiar with these words?

” We all face stormy times in our lives. Storms that can seem impossible to bear, however once the storm is over (cos they surely will), we wonder to ourselves how we got though then and managed to survive. One thing is for certain, those storms we go through will change our lives and occasionally, we will not be the same people who walked into them” – Anon E. Moss……italics added and mine.

It is however more despairing when we do the natural thing and look out with troubled souls to those who we feel will help prop us up only to get the inevitable result;  the arm of flesh will always fail and just as the tides and seasons are determined by God, so also is He waiting for us to look to Him for help during those inevitable storms. I did the unusual yesterday(after reading a very good book by John Bevere) and called up a couple of my old buddies who just happened to be very absent during the begin of this storm and I told them that I actually had resented them for their indifference but now I can look back at still be thankful that they were indifferent because it has made me more knowledgeable about adverse times and the privilege of being alone save for a few. Now I can truly understand and connect with people who are experiencing rough patches im their lives, because these storms can strengthen or break you, again it is yours to choose.

Without them  choosing to be indifferent, I would never have come across some very outstanding individuals in my sojourn with dystonia. These people have also made me realise that ‘truly there can and are prophets in Bethlehem’, all it takes is just for you to choose not to be overwhelmed by your circumstances and appreciate that you can still do the little things possible and open up your heart to experience the love in the hearts of the few that God brings along your way.  And whilst my moccasins may be wearing out, I am glad for the opportunity to walk in them and be sustained all through. For as fleeting as the days may be, the discomforts and the incessant pain a constant reminder of the frailty of my humanity, the constant sacrifices of loved ones and the joy of finding love in a hopeless place – no better truth can be said than this “I am ever thankful for this process because I am stronger and better and more knowledgeable, and the love I have discovered on this journey will never be exchanged for anything”.

Although it is now a year since the best teacher I have ever had passed on, I choose to live my life in a way that would do him proud because he bequeathed a legacy that will last as long as life and in his own words, I have learnt ‘don’t beat him up, he is a madman’. Adieu Hilary E. Nzenwa!

For those of you who are currently being  buffeted by the storms of life, take a breath and glance down and be thankful for those moccasins on your feet.

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” – Stephen R. Covey
Remember that there is a purpose to everything that happens in life and we were created to live for His pleasure and not just to exist.

Adios!

פרידה עד שנפגש שוב חברים יקרים ….. 

In Another’s Moccasins……(1)

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hola queridos amigos,

Lovely aren’t they? (the moccasins, incase you tend to be slow in the mornings like me). My best friend, JOIV has a pair like these and on a good dry day, it is the most probable item to be adorned and sometimes I would be glad to wager a bet (Vas my chiropractor says bets are wagered by a fool and a brave man so naturally I incline towards being the brave party…lol!) that those moccasins could find their way home on their own in the event that JOIV left them somewhere. 

It is no news that most of the EU are battling with economic recession so Spain isn’t left out and prior to today, I swore that I would never board an Iberia Airways aircraft but my recent trip to Madrid aboard their National carrier has changed my opinion (not a very easy thing to do when it is someone else’s objective). What has brought this sudden vacillation of opinion? Definitely not the aircraft, they have not changed their fleet to the newer swanky aircrafts, but my experience at the hands of the unique set of individuals I have ever had the privilege of encountering. Just had our first young adults dystonia meeting and for a change, it was more relaxed and summarily cool – not in Madrid by the way, pre my trip and so it was with the right sense of apprehension that I embarked on this trip because living with dystonia kinda makes you a special needs traveller.

The North American Indians have a saying “To understand the man, you must first walk a mile in his moccasin.” and honestly whilst you may be drooling at the beautiful pair of moccasins depicted above, wipe the spittle and come back to reality because they belong to another. Those pair have been accustomed to another’s feet and they have seen their own share of wear and tear but just like JOIV, they are simply accustomed to another’s. Life as I always point out whenever the opportunity presents itself, is all about relationships and the beauty of relationship is that it is like a seesaw, you have to give so as to receive. Just as you experience the thrill of rocketing upwards, you cannot always be the one to catch the clouds – just across you is a friend or mate with his/her weight firmly planted to the ground to enable you get that thrill.

As I was being wheeled from the aircraft to the terminal, I had the unique opportunity of meeting Senor Victor D. Rodriguez and Senorita Mercedes who made me understand the difference between holla senora and holla senorita. And with a very cheeky grin on his face as he wheeled an 80.4kg bloke all through, Victor talked about himself and asked me what I thought about his ‘spanglish’ and it was less ‘span’ and more ‘glish’ even as he struggled with using the right terms and phrases and correcting himself mid-sentences. He shared the story of his friend who relocated to London and is desperately trying to get back (because the grass always looks greener as long as you stand on the other side of the fence) and as usual it got me thinking. What is it about us that makes us want to always be the one to be at the receiving end especially when there are benefits? How strong is that streak of selfishness that makes us choose to ignore the little kind gestures we can give out to the closest person who we can clearly see is having a bit of horrid time, at no cost?

For those of us, who are still clearly choosing to ignore the obvious, there is One in charge of all that happens on this earth and He again sure is in charge of what happens after our little sojourn here – you could ask Matt Damon ‘Hereafter’. And even as we rocket through life, experiencing the thrills of life, remember to look across and see Him choosing to plant His weight firmly on the ground just for you to get the thrill and instead of being all grumpy and upset when the tides change (cos they surely and always will), remember that there is more joy when you can and choose to do that teeny weeny bit just to make the other bloke experience some thrill too by walking in his moccasins just for a little while.

Senora Marissa, the senior flight attendant/chief air hostess took out just a little bit of her busy time to sidle in close to me and ask me with a twinkle in her eye what dystonia was and even whilst she was cutting my cuttlefish into bits, she responded to my profuse thanks with a cheeky ‘I am not doing anything with my hands right now’. Now these are the people who by their actions , not words changed my whole apprehension of flying with Iberia because there is always a choice to spend more of our energies engaging in heated debates on the pros and cons of a subject or just spend less energy doing the little to make that next person going through a difficult time just a teeny weeny bit more comfortable.

God says “I want you to share your food with the hungry and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people. When you see someone naked, clothe him! Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood!” Aha! I don’t turn away from my relatives when they are in need….hmmm! we are all of one source, doubt that? Well, the next time you are walking down that busy street, rushing off to that appointment, take a moment to look at the flesh of the next person and I dare you to point out the difference and make me eat my words and if you are as adventurous as I am, ask for a little prick of blood and tell me it isn’t as red as the one flowing in your veins.

Have I forgotten to mention the beautiful Indira, who is as gorgeous as a lady would ever be and ideally should keep to herself because of the predators out there looking around for a single woman to fill her ears with deceit and filth. Guess what, she relocated her seat and ensured that I lacked nothing and leaving off what she was doing – most likely sending word to her wonderful family of her itinerary, she made the choice to just talk with and listen to me. That meant a whole world of good, Indie. And what we fail to acknowledge is that whenever we sow, we must reap so why devote time and energy in sowing the wrong things because inadvertently our harvest is in multiples of what we have sown. Besides, it kicks against the natural instinct of self-preservation for any sane person (yeah more insane people are being discovered each day but we yet out-number them) to sow something detrimental to self.

It is a brand new week, and what better start can we have to do things just a little bit differently. Begin with the person next to you even as you are seated in church or anywhere, share a smile and ask him how he is doing and then as you part ways, tell him/her in all sincerity that you would want him to have a pleasant week and tell me you did not feel better after that. There is a spiritual aspect to our lives, when we give, we receive so be careful what you give.

“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everthing, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do.” – Helen Keller, and remember………………we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.

Adios!

פרידה עד שנפגש שוב חברים יקרים ….. 

I believe I can fly…..

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What makes an eagle so majestic amongst its avian brothers? Do animals have souls? Can the loyalty of a dog to its loving master be ever put on trial? Can the stars ever be put out in response to the rising mayhem globally? Can the ant establish a school in order to avail us the wisdom of their ways despite their tiny size? As the Preacher put it, too much studying causes only weariness for to everything that is, there is a purpose. Why do good things happen to bad people? Why do the wicked seemingly go unpunished? Why do we judge others by their actions and judge ourselves by our motives?

I never cease to chuckle at the antics of my elderly neighbor’s Jack russel terrier (I simply love dogs, they are undeniably man’s best friend) whenever he brings him out for the evening walk. Snapping at every thing in motion, straining at his leash and then my most enjoyable moment is when my neighbor attaches his leash to his bike and lets him run. With every muscle straining, off he goes – almost single-handedly pulling the bicycle away (probably in his mind anyway)Jack Russell Terrier (Smooth). And that simple daily chore always sets me thinking with a huge grin plastered on my face as I turn into my driveway, that we are always limited by our own selves. Nothing is really as bad as it seems, for with every roll of the dice on a board game – fate decides what numbers come up but we do the counting. I recently watched a video blog of a courageous young lady who is also dystonic but has overcome her fears to begin a video blog and yet again I am in awe of the strength of the human spirit.

The world’s greatest #1 bestseller recounts the tale of our ancestors who came together and decided to build the world’s tallest building (sorry I’ve seen the Shire, London and the Burj Khalifa, Dubai and the Petronius Platform and this is no reference to any of them). The project commenced and stolidly they plodged on undeterred in their motive, without today’s modern day technology and but for the intervention of God, they were going to get there. The question is what could be so powerful a motivation that God had to intervene to restore the rightful order of things. It is simply two words numbering 9 characters…..I BELIEVE. Nothing fancy in the words themselves but the underlying truth and conviction makes it more than just words but a theme to live by.

We live in a world, constantly buffeted by the waves of life and yet for many of us something unexplainable keeps us going regardless of how high the waves seem or how close we were to drowning from the last encounter. It quickly brings to remembrance the paralympians from the most populous black nation in the world who not only achieved what their able bodied counterparts were unable to do but still have to face the stigma of a nation largely populated by clowns and cowards. And yet with the flames of self belief, they soldier on past the odds and the stigma and create legacies for generations to come ( if they can still learn anyway). Listening to the words of the popular song by R. Kelly

See I was on the verge of breaking down. Sometimes silence can seem so loud. There are miracles in life I must achieve. But first I know it starts inside of me……. If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it…….”

Nothing can be put in a better way than this truth, and whilst we croon the words, let us also imbibe the lyrics. There are miracles in life that each of us must achieve and if only we can just dare to believe, we will realise that there is indeed nothing to it. So just as the eagle watches and waits for that gust of wind with outstretched wings, believing that it can soar to heights unimaginable – let us with each new day, prepare ourselves for those miracles that we must achieve by simply telling ourselves those two words “I BELIEVE” and astound not just ourselves but those who have irretrievably put you down in the past by saying you are a failure by flying. There is no better vessel, no stronger source, no greater reserve than the Spirit of God within us. In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte

“There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit”

Today, I charge you – if only you can believe, you can fly. Gotta run now, Jeanette awaits me downstairs with a team of champions in life who are flying despite cancer, RA and whatever fancy names are assigned. Guess what, it is a marvellous start to a new week. Just believe and you can fly.

Prisoners of birth

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Aboard the Bus 364 heading back from yet another painful session with my chiropractor, one of the most amazing individuals in the medical profession I have ever come across ( and I can tell you that I have come across loads of them in varying shapes and sizes ego-wise), I could not help but catch a glimpse of an already graded assignment being reviewed by this lovely young foreign student. It was a task to state a case for the reason why the average age for marriages in the UK has rocketed skywards as against 2 decades ago and it got me thinking too.

I began to reminiscence a conversation I had with my best friend just the other night after an acquaintance had vented her frustration at the insensitivity of the average Briton, in a position of authority – precisely the head of an advocacy unit of an organisation to which she belongs. Despite her membership and her non-reliance on public funds, all she was requesting was for Angie (the unit head) to simply do her duties which as the name implies advocate on her behalf in obtaining certain essential items but all she got after the phone call and a detailed email was the usual response. Pretty sure, many of you will be familiar with these words “it was nice talking with you……… but unfortunately there is nothing I can do to help you”. I can assure you that frustration will not aptly capture the lady’s feelings.  Something of incredible humour which frequently assails me is the fact that most times, those with the worst attitude are those who were on the other side of the divide but either by hook or crook or fishing rod, have made it over.  It tickles me funny when foreign born British citizens are so rude in their behaviour especially when dealing with a foreigner like themselves.

This sadly brings to mind the words of Jeffrey Archer, the prolific writer and one with an uncanny feel of the innate emotions of men

“I have discovered with advancing years that few things are entirely black or white, but more often different shades of grey…………and we all suffer in our different ways from being prisoners of birth.”

Life, I unequivocally state, comprises chance and choice. However, there are certain choices that we have absolutely no input to neither can we change them irrespective of how hard we try – we cannot choose who we are born to or where we are born into. The balancing factor is that time and chance happens to all and that alone is dictated by God however we can choose to utilize the chances as they come within the time frame or allow them slip by unutilized. And in order to do this right, we have to understand what our purpose here on earth is. Are we instruments of change and good or we are content with being puppets at the end of some unknown puppeteer’s strings (mind you, the puppeteer knows his purpose even as he jerks the strings). In the words of the unknown author “Nobody can change your life except you”
The truth remains that we are all prisoners of birth, whether you were born in the 1st world countries or the 3rd world countries, that is a unifying fact and the onus lies on us not to regale in the fact that you are better off being a citizen of a 1st world country and turn up your nose at your fellow human born in a 3rd world country but to break free of those shackles and dare to be you. We are all created to be instruments of change but permit me to ask what rights does a prisoner have? Having a weekly allowance of £20 from birth till 18, free healthcare and the likes should not be something to gloat about. Visit the pubs on a friday night and behold the leaders of your future, besmirched in vomit and clouded in haze of cigarette smoke and then do the needful and weep for a future that will be managed by immature adults who have failed to recognise that they are prisoners of birth. My best friend empathized with my acquaintance and in her words;
Citizens/legal residents don’t understand when you  can’t work cos u dont have a social security number and you don’t have a social security number cos u don’t have work authorization and u don’t have work authorization cos u ain’t filed papers with the Dept of Homeland security. they don’t understand that if I want to go to school, being a non-resident, I will pay international fees(which is sometimes 3 times what citizens pay) and still citizens will be given free financial aid or granted loans. So sometimes citizens can’t give correct/proper advice just cos they are given a social security # at birth and they don’t understand the hassle u have to go thru to get one. All in all, God got you sweets, don’t fret. God will prove Himself, watch and see”
So why are we alarmed that the average age for adults getting married (if they do) is on the increase? Why are we alarmed that the Home Office plays a game of numbers with the lives of humans like themselves? Why are we alarmed that the generations unborn will have nothing to learn from? It is simply because we have failed to acknowledge that nothing is as it seems, there is more to life than meets the eye and above all there is One who orchestrates events as He wills. We are all prisoners of birth and until we break free of those shackles irrespective of where you come from, our own lives will be a tale of regrets and misery. We can choose today to begin anew – changing the world begins by changing yourself. And if the son of a Kenyan immigrant said “Yes I can” then what behoves us from saying those life changing words………………YES I CAN!
Set yourself free and be a life changer in that little position you have found yourself. Influence your world, your home and subsequently the future by refusing to confine yourself to being a prisoner of birth. In the words of E.E Cummings “To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.”