Whistles, Cheers and a new path….


Be You!

Happy new year to everyone of you who has chosen to spare a moment or two to read what I write. Without you, there would be no redzhis.com and admittedly my felicitation might be viewed as belated however I opine, ‘better late than never!’ Coming from a Catholic background as a child, “bless me….my last confession was in September 2018!” However thank God for a clearer, easier path to starting afresh. It does seem that writing may not be a very lucrative career however life isn’t all about money. It sure helps but it is not ALL there is.

For the first time in nearly 3 decades, I slept (not rested) through into the new year and it is in my nature to be particular about the little things and details however just that minor aberration gave me something to hold onto. No matter how hard I try to make the best of situations from my own limited perspective, there is so much that I absolutely have no control over. Therefore, I’ve decided to really try hard to take better care of myself because if I don’t, I’m certain at least one person in the 8 billion population would mind. Oh well, it’s never going to be about me rather it is an evaluation of history (2018), celebrating and building on the victories and learning from the upsets. Like a stream, we each are adrift and the least we can do is keep your vessel properly maintained and pray for fair winds.

I am truly thankful for the air I breathe and the oft taken for granted fact that each day we awake is a blessing – what we do with it however is up to each person. I have no regrets because the learning points I received are just pointers to the direction I should take. Things like resentment, frustration, despondency and despair actually don’t appear in my journal, although like the masked burglar, creep in they will regardless of how fortified I think I’ve made my city. Have I been given the all clear from the relentless battle with myoclonus? Nope, experts are hard at work trying to figure it out and it would be foolhardy for me to watch the seconds go by in idleness, tweedling my thumb waiting for some answer from someone. There truly is no phase of life, private or public, that is free of responsibility. The question therefore is, ‘what is my responsibility?’

Self-care, being considerate of others, being kind and compassionate to as many as I come across are pretty much a good place to start from. Undeniably, there will be spill overs from history however our response determines who’s in charge. One of the spillovers I received was from an acquaintance who needed some space (I’m not in charge of apportioning space so take as much as satisfies you) although it brought to the fore this age old quote, “the greatest battle we fight in life is trying to be you in a world that consistently wants to make you someone else.” I will be me, while you be you and if life inexplicably allows our paths to cross then there can be only one of two options applicable. Flee as though the banshees from hell are after you (in my words, blaming anything else but you) or stay awhile and make that brief encounter count for something.

One invaluable lesson I’ve gotten is that regardless of the whistles and cheers, there must always come a time when you’re left to your own whims and if you never gave that some thought then buckle in and get ready for a roller coaster ride. We are each equipped with a distinct set of skills best used by you, however if burying your head in the sand like the ostrich while trying to hide behind a deluge of excuses is your choice, then I must bade you farewell. Just as the sun rises each new day, so also must we, determined and ready to face the day or like Scripture aptly puts it, “stay hidden beneath your bedsheets because there could be a lion outside your door waiting to devour you” (my summation).

Life will not cease because you are so wrapped up in yourself that you forget that neither the wrappings nor yourself are actually yours. However when we acknowledge that the rains fall upon both the good, the bad and the ugly….then that might make us rethink our priorities. In the void left by friends who have transitioned, I see an opportunity to live my life honored to have met them. And when my time comes as surely as all things created, I hope one person can be bold enough to say, ‘it was indeed an honor walking a while with you!’ Now that is no easy statement in spite of the political correctness of our current system, yet truth rings out, incapable of being silenced; we are neither animals nor creatures of monotony. There is a task for me and you, and the sooner we get to it, the more fulfilling our lives would be.

Life’s stage is big enough for everyone however be ready to give the best performance (sincere and without an iota of pretense) of your life when the light is cast on you.

Each morning, I awake with a thankful heart and a new song

And despite the agonies of myoclonus or the lack of knowledge

I pour out myself, desperate to revel not in my own understanding but in an unshakeable trust in My Creator.

Sing me an ode, a ballad or give an eulogy but this life I’ve got now has calls only I can make.

עד ניפגש שוב, תן אהבה שלו למלא ולשמור אותך!


Unleavened Freshness….


The freshness of YOU!

“Your perspective and confession in the face of events determines whether you are overcome or you overcome. Let your desire to succeed supersede your pain” – Doug Stringer

There is the freshness that comes with every waking breath and to me, I usually take that brief moment to thoroughly be thankful for the breath that I have, and right now I want to sincerely appreciate the hundreds that make the choice to stop by once in a moment and just listen to me. Now it goes without saying that I am just an ordinary chap like anyone of you but the difference is that I am making choices that continually remind me of the fact that regardless of what happens to me, who I am is a result of the choice I make in the moment.

The last few days have been something of a prelude to my theme – “I am having the best days of my life!” That is a choice I make and when I am grappling with the incomprehensible challenges of myoclonus, moments that can not be shared because pain can only be borne however just having a listening ear makes the burden just a mite lighter. Pain always and will always precede gain. The question is the wait – how long will it be? How much can I still bear but to as many that tussle with this familiar scenario, I have just these few words to say – focus not on the pain of the moment but choose to luxuriate in the inevitability of the truth; your pain is birthing your gain.

I was in the company of an exceptionally unique individual who has made a choice that governs his every day activities – Doug Stringer and every second I spent in his company was so inspiring that I said the least I could do was acknowledge and thank him for letting go of his own teeny-weeny priorities, so that God would rearrange and set them aright – blazing trails everywhere he goes. On the other hand, for many who like Scott, were raised up to believe that religion is not a pre-requisite for success – I say what a profound truth that is, because religion is a wagon whose wheels are so bogged down in the mire of tradition and resistant change. I say that there can be no success without identifying your purpose here and there can be no identifying that purpose without acknowledging He for whose purpose we all have been made. There is no room for religion here because religion has not played any role in who I have become, neither has it given me any panacea for my travails. What has been an unending succor despite all the pain, tears, depression that comes with myoclonus, has been an unflinching acceptance of a love so profound that even when I was weighed down and left for dead, that love lifted me and still does till today.

I share my story from the perspective of one who has been cast out, forsaken and buffeted – yet today, I can (have chosen to) freely give because I have freely received. My life is not measured by the wealth accrued, disbursed and whatever but by the beauty of every encounter I am blessed to have with people from my past, present and now.  In response to a question asked by Annette from Global Branding, my definition of success is the number of lives that you can assist in becoming who they are meant to be. In the last few months, I have given cognizance to the recognition that comes, not from desperately sought fame but the contentment that comes with understanding that we each have a purpose and that purpose is incomplete without touching a life here or there. Putting a smile here or there. Helping others realize that you are all you have got and once that truth sinks in, then let life chuck it all at you including the kitchen sink, you already know that there is a victor within you. Life comprises of moments and every moment is influenced by the choices you make because private decisions have public consequences, so my simple message to you is MAKE EVERY CHOICE COUNT FOR SOMETHING! Do it now, beginning with the simplest activities in your every day life – make someone else happy and glad he met you and you are certainly on the right track.

I have touched a freshness that cannot be tainted by the staleness of the negativity that so easily swirls round today’s world and that freshness sets me aglow each day because I know that my life shall be lived irrespective of the number of days but by the experiences I have had and will have – that is what makes you who you are. Do you choose to be transformed by the events that arise in your life or do you choose to transform those events into legacies that others will learn from? I truly have no regrets, sweating over the past mistakes and hurts took me nowhere. Rising above them and making them count for something positive is something so amazing that nothing can change it. Reach down inside you and realize that there is greatness resident within you, dare to touch that greatness and allow God use it to make your days count – there will be no regrets, I can guarantee you. Living for the applause of others is the most unworthy cause you can set for yourself, instead set your priorities right – God First, Others Second and bask in the exhilaration of such a worthy cause.

To those who are committed to being a stain and not a sparkle, make a decision now – the world is big enough for everyone and no matter how hard you may rehearse for a role, if it is not yours, you will always be a very horrible stand-in. Be you because there is just one you and allow the freshness of you permeate the lives of those who encounter you.

Remember “When a man has put a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can do.” – Charles M. Schwab

עד שנפגש שוב בזמן שלו, לא דגל לבן הוא אי פעם הולך לתלות מהמשקוף שלי