It’s just the broom…..

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Do it well!

                      Do it well!

“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance” – Will Durant

I really don’t know how long ago I actually put myself to work (on my feet) armed with paper towels and a bottle of windex glass cleaner, but as the task went on, I realised that with every wipe of the glass, not only did I rightly anticipate the associated physical discomfort, but what was much more satisfying was how much grime was sacrificed to let in brighter light. Now it was not as though the glass pane was thoroughly dirt streaked or an eyesore however it sure could look better and it did look better at the end. The satisfaction I derived from something so mundane in nature was mine to savor because I succeeded in putting to rest the fleeting worry of ‘can I do this?’

I learn each day that we are solely responsible for the paths we choose to walk on, however my question to myself each time is ‘was the choice really mine or was it just me living out someone else’s goal like a puppet?’ Now if the answer is the former, then I have succeeded in pushing back the drapes of ignorance just a little bit more. However if the answer is the latter, then corrective actions need to be promptly taken to get back on track. Why? You can never give what you don’t have and I’m not taking about something loaned to you by a friend/associate or whoever, I’m talking about ownership and responsibility. These words represent values that are gradually becoming extinct and in all reality, it’s not raising as much furore as the extinction of the dinosaurs but in order to inch forwards towards the lofty goals set, we may have to experience some discomfort. Is this a case of the end justifying the means? Absolutely not! I dare say that it is you realising who you are and regardless of the mistakes we might make, nothing triumphs the satisfaction of being you.

Like I said in my last post, the recent weeks have not just been hectic but they have actually tested my resolve as a human being (especially one facing the challenges of myoclonus head on), whilst being cast alongside the hordes of humans that surround us everyday. The question is are you just part of a surging population or you are willing to break the mould, open up that closet and do some spring cleaning. Now would very well be the best time. In times like this, where we are surrounded by technological advancements and giant leaps, the fundamentals can not be forgotten – that in itself would be as grave an injustice as can be. I remember my first lesson as a kid, just recently assigned my daily chores comprising making my parents’ bed and sweeping their bedroom – armed with a broom (sic), brush and dustpan, I recall how difficult it used to be initially, ensuring that the broom stayed right in front whilst steering it in broad arcs (as far as my tiny arms could) gathering the dust, dirt and whatever else right to the point where you could sweep it all into the dustpan and call it a day. Sometimes in a bid to do something more pleasurable to me, I’d sometimes let the broom get behind me and usually, I was compelled to redo it all over again.

My issue is how many times have we allowed our resources master us as against it being the other way round? Are we certain that the satisfaction that accompanies fulfilling a task is worth the effort put into it? Wednesday was yet another learning point for me, as I watched an intern drop out of training because he didn’t ‘think’ his training was a process that would culminate in achieving a goal and that the risk was not commensurate with the income. Now, in retrospect, I believe that many of us have not really set in motion the process of educating ourselves because we have become so complacent that even our choices are not really ours anymore. It’s a tirade of ‘my friend convinced me to’ or ‘I’m expecting a baby so my mum suggested I need to make more money’…. I could go on and on but in all reality you are the one in the race and when the cards don’t line up and you get so frustrated that you get inducted as a member of the Quitters’ Society, it’s you making that choice. Ever heard of ‘winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win’? I am yet to see this time proven statement revised so that it encompasses things like disabilities or restrictions, for me; it’s just two classes of individuals – winners and quitters.

Assuredly, the process can so beat you up that you just want to throw in the towel but if you do, what new lesson have you learned about yourself. We all have the ability to dream be it; opening a haberdashery or establishing your own firm or refusing to be perpetually beat up by a disability, whatever it is; You choose to continue or give up. It is no new fact that the cemetery is an expansive collection of unused potentials and great ideas just because many have shirked away from facing the hard work ahead but instead want to jump the broom and land in the kingdom of Oz. Remember you also have to click your heels and put on the dress too, however if you are so ensconced in running away from work then you’ll never get anything done. I see people on a daily basis throwing away chances of self fulfilment just because they lack the resolve to put their backs into it. Yes, people may yell and scream when you make mistakes but remember that life in itself is a learning curve and I am yet to see and/or hear of anyone who has never made a mistakes. Mistakes just teach us ways of not doing things inimical to our progress.

Each new day like today, is yet another opportunity to decide and take action. Do away with the incessant whining and being mummy’s boy and do something for you because each time you opt to jump the broom, guess what you’ve just left behind…..the opportunity of having a clean room and the joy of accomplishment. Ther are no set down timelines for us and so we must make hay while the sun shines because whether we like it or not, we don’t control time and there will certainly come a time when the sun goes down and you can collect no more hay. Work smart is the fad now but you must first work hard so you can learn also how to become smart and then apply it. It’s more than just living your life out there on social media (do you really believe people are that focussed on your everyday action?), do the honourable thing by showing people values like inspiration, commitment, dedication and more importantly the capacity to care about others. When that room is swept and all tidied up, it sure ain’t going to be you alone who will some day and at some point, make use of that room.

Our actions today, impact on others and on our tomorrow and so whilst you are at it, make it a goal to be the best you can ever be, because there is really just one of you. Do away with the ‘Somebody, Nobody, Anybody, Everybody’ poem and just do you; that is really all you can do anyway. You can influence the actions of others but you can’t make choices for them and if perchance you’re one of those who are so ‘protective’, that bird will never experience the thrill and satisfaction of flying with its own wings. So instead of contributing positively, you’ve chosen to put out an uninformed and irresponsible person in addition to the countless others that are already wandering about, desperately searching for something they won’t even recognise when they see it. We must all have something to believe in, why don’t you start with yourself – that’s all you’ve really got anyway. And if you make a hash of it at some point (we are all learning anyway), chuck the experience behind you but move on with the lesson learned. Life has been likened to many things; it is like a classroom but you had better know why you are there and want to be there or you’ll just be a rabble rouser (if you’re even that good).

Remember, it’s better late than never. It’s never too late to begin again whilst there’s still breath within you. The world is already sad enough without your own addition, be the difference – be the game changer, be an inspiration, be the considerate one, be the one who exudes joy, be the encourager, be the difference between someone giving up and someone choosing to strive for change. It is a large world we are in but you can only do your bit and pray God makes it significant to another. There’s a huge difference between leaping in faith and jumping the broom, your convictions and choices will determine which route you take.

It’s dystonia month, and to the many champions out there, we can’t afford to put our oars down now. Let’s put our backs into it, make them aware and challenge them because if we can, what excuse would they have?

פרידה עד שנפגשנו שוב בתזמון שלו, וייתכן שאהבתו של אלוהים להיות אמיתית לך!

Adios!

Defined in defiance…….

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Bring it on!

                                              Bring it on!

Every great man, every successful man, no matter what the field of endeavor has known the magic that lies in these words: every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit” – W. Clement Stone

Sometimes, usually most times, the best of us is glimpsed when the going is at its most toughest. It is no huge fear of intellectual superiority that brings the realisation upon us, that we all must have some sort of anchor even as we sail on life’s unpredictable waters. The question is when the storm hits, how firmly tethered are we to our anchor and more importantly what are we anchored to? It has always been a much easier route to just allow ourselves to be like flotsam on the seas however what exactly is the achievement of flotsam but to serve as deterrents, chaff and sometimes nourishment for another living organism but one with properly defined purpose.

I hit one of my low ebbs yesterday and it is quite difficult but oddly familiar encountering the blank stares from people when the subject of dystonia is brought to the fore. Well, nothing really to be alarmed about because this is from the journey of one who has had the very rug swept so violently from beneath him that calling it a fall would be be a stunning display of tactfulness and diplomacy. I have witnessed, sometimes in such an emotional rollercoaster of a ride that even vertigo is almost blissful, the depths of strength that we unknowingly possess and just like the five foolish virgins, we allow the best moments pass us by because we have failed to understand the times and therefore are ill-prepared when those moments arise. Nurturing that seed discovered during great diversity is definitely not a task for the faint hearted, it is what truly defines you however it frequently is associated with the tenacity to defy the odds so heavily stacked against us.

There is nothing that cannot be achieved when we truly set our minds, apply ourselves to and keep our heads and eyes uplifted even in the face of smirking attitudes of detractors and naysayers. Do give it some thought; because one of the very first lessons I learnt in science is that nature/life abhors vacuum and so regardless of your indifference, you are either helping prop people up or simply put, you are gleefully tearing others down or so viciously attempting to do so. Hey! You must be on one side and unfortunately the skill set to vacillate between both ends is yet to be created, so where does that put you? Facing the struggles of pulling yourself up is no mean task and quite daunting I must admit. However, the strength to push through the odds and limitations that we have been unwillingly thrust into is the beginning of a signature lifestyle that will be an example for many.

As I toiled with my perceived failings of yesterday, I was quietly reminded by JOIV that I am usually my worst critic and sometimes we need to be reminded of where we have come from. Dwelling on the successes of the past has the ability to either make you a dreamer with no urge to wake up from the self-induced slumber or it can challenge you to make today count with its own share of success, irrespective of how seemingly tiny the steps we have made. The bottom line is that it is best to totter forward on tiny steps, with the appropriate attitude of gratitude to God who is in charge and quietly steering us towards an end that is simply incomprehensible when we dare to imagine, than slide backwards. The reality is not that we are limited by dystonia or whatever fancy words that science has so eagerly tagged these limitations but how desperate are we to defy these convoluted words and constraints, and actually use the broken bricks in our life to fashion something worthy of being a Masterpiece. That has always been what we are, we just so obviously lack the knowledge and understanding!

The great heroes from the past had their own struggles, not like dystonia some will vociferously argue however these heroes would not be if they had succumbed to their limitations. Moses was a stutterer, Peter was uneducated, Paul was a fanatic and yet they changed their world, defying authority and the traditions of men that had been blindly followed for centuries. Beethoven defied deafness, Handel defied blindness, need I mention Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Fanny Crosby? They were defiant and refused to succumb to an acceptable symbol of helplessness, instead they defined themselves through these limitations and so I  dare to ask myself, why not? I am unashamed to say that defying odds is no easy task and of course there will be days like yesterday where your limitations best you and ignorant people amuse themselves at your expense but then they are doing what they can only do, they did not create me and so why should I let their ignorance and misplaced priorities define me. That call is mine to make, and that towel will never be thrown into the ring regardless of how unsteady I seem or whether tremors are seen as fear or some other unrelated emotion.

I am defined not by the utterances of men but the carefully crafted promises of an infallible God, who does what He says He will do and without counsel from anyone – who dares to counsel Him anyway? Who can rewrite His script for my life? Who can relocate me from where He has placed me or has a better destination for me than His? He has blessed me and so what can stand against that? And so even as I set my face like flint, with the radiance of His beauty illuminating my paths, I know that I can do all things because He’s my strength and what inexhaustible reserves are available to me. I have walked through the valley at its darkest and emerged strengthened not weakened. Stumbled through thorns and emerged with the fragrance of the roses permeating my life. It is with this encounters that I am convinced that despite the low of yesterday’s experience, today is the present and marks yet another opportunity to have a better day – that is the choice I have made already in the wee hours of today. I am committed to finishing well not just for me but as a symbol of appreciation for the gift of my life, and the lives of a myriad of others that I am privileged to meet.

Remember this, no other man has the capacity to define your life but you and so instead of rolling over like a possum and play dead, I arise today determined to make it count for good. My limbs may tremble, doubts may lurk at the corners waiting to jump out but I will be defiant in the face of all the odds and make my journey worthwhile. That is what I, at the very least owe myself because there will always be many others craving for that ember of hope just to persevere, and that is what I can and do give.

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