Cracked pot: Isn’t it bro-mantic?

You are not useless

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made but the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only
half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak
out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws,
you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value
from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot and in his
compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want
you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path and this cheered it. But at the end of tile trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on YOUR side of the path but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Moral: We all have our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots.

Some of us don’t grow old gracefully, some are not so smart, some are tall, large and big, some bald, some physically challenged but it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look
for the good in them. There is a lot of good out there. There is a lot of good in you, bro.

Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape. Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life! Or as I like to think of it – If it’s not for the crackpots in my life, it would be pretty boring.

Thank you for being my crackpot friend 🙂


		

Desmond Tutu: Our Glorious Diversity: Why We Should Celebrate Difference!

When life throws certain situations in your path, you just have to learn from them. I keep learning and I will never stop learning. The past few weeks have opened my eyes on certain things. I feel Desmond Tutu’s speech years ago summarizes it all. We are born different and we must learn to appreciate one another. That’s the only way forward.


As the world’s memory of apartheid receded, Desmond Tutu responded to a stream of invitations to speak around the world on the practical implications of ubuntu. An excerpt from a speech to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva in 2001 follows.

“We inhabit a universe that is characterized by diversity. There is not just one planet or one star; there are galaxies of all different sorts, a plethora of animal species, different kinds of plants, and different races and ethnic groups. God shows us, even with a human body, that it is made up of different organs performing different functions and that it is precisely that diversity that makes it an organism. If it were only one organ, it would not be a human body. We are constantly being made aware of the glorious diversity that is written into the structure of the universe we inhabit, and we are helped to see that if it were otherwise, things would go awry. How could you have a soccer team if all were goalkeepers? How would it be an orchestra if all were French horns?

For Christians, who believe they are created in the image of God, it is the Godhead, diversity in unity and the three-in-oneness of God, which we and all creation reflect. It is this imago Dei too that invests each single one of us — whatever our race, gender, education, and social or economic status — with infinite worth, making us precious in God’s sight. That worth is intrinsic to who we are, not dependent on anything external, extrinsic. Thus there can be no superior or inferior race. We are all of equal worth, born equal in dignity and born free, and for this reason deserving of respect whatever our external circumstances. We are created freely for freedom as those who are decision-making animals and so as of right entitled to respect, to be given personal space to be autonomous. We belong in a world whose very structure, whose essence, is diversity, almost bewildering in extent. It is to live in a fool’s paradise to ignore this basic fact.

We live in a universe marked by diversity as the law of its being and our being. We are made to exist in a life that should be marked by cooperation, interdependence, sharing, caring, compassion and complementarity. We should celebrate our diversity; we should exult in our differences as making not for separation and alienation and hostility but for their glorious opposites. The law of our being is to live in solidarity, friendship, helpfulness, unselfishness, interdependence and complementarity as sisters and brothers in one family — the human family, God’s family. Anything else, as we have experienced, is disaster.

Racism, xenophobia and unfair discrimination have spawned slavery, when human beings have bought and sold and owned and branded fellow human beings as if they were so many beasts of burden. They have spawned the Ku Klux Klan and the lynchings of the segregated South of the United States. They have given birth to the Holocaust of Germany and the other holocausts of Armenians and in Rwanda; the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans and the awfulness of apartheid; and what we have seen in Sri Lanka, in Northern Ireland, in the Middle East, in the Sudan, where there has been a spiral of reprisals leading to counter-reprisals, and these in turn to other reprisals. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Where the law of an eye for an eye obtains, in the end all will be blind. If we don’t learn to live as brothers, we will die together as fools.”

Religion, which should foster sisterhood and brotherhood, which should encourage tolerance, respect, compassion, peace, reconciliation, caring and sharing, has far too frequently — perversely — done the opposite. Religion has fueled alienation and conflict and has exacerbated intolerance and injustice and oppression. Some of the ghastliest atrocities have happened and are happening in the name of religion. It need not be so if we can learn the obvious: that no religion can hope to have a monopoly on God, on goodness and virtue and truth.

Our survival as a species will depend not on unbridled power lacking moral direction, or on eliminating those who are different and seeking only those who think and speak and behave and look like ourselves. That way is stagnation and ultimately death and disintegration. That is the way of people in times especially of transition, of instability and insecurity, when there is turmoil and social upheaval, poverty and unemployment. Then people seek refuge in fundamentalisms of all kinds. They look for scapegoats, who are provided by those who are different in appearance, in behavior, in race and in thought. People become impatient of ambivalence. Differences of opinion are not tolerated and simplistic answers are the vogue, whereas the reality is that the issues are complex.

We need so much to work for coexistence, for tolerance, and to say, “I disagree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to your opinion.” It is only when we respect even our adversaries and see them not as ogres, dehumanized, demonized, but as fellow human beings deserving respect for their personhood and dignity, that we will conduct a discourse that just might prevent conflict. There is room for everyone; there is room for every culture, race, language and point of view.”

5 things death whispered to me!

 

 

Most people tremble when they hear about death.  I can say 99% of us run when death is mentioned. The 1% could possibly be the suicide bombers. Death is the irreversible cessation of life. It involves a complete change in the status of a living entity—the loss of its essential characteristics. However death could also have some benefits – to the living and the dead. There are five things death whispers into my ears anytime someone dies or I go to a funeral. These 5 things were made very vivid when I lost Mr. Emmanuel Larbi, a father.

 

               1.       Appreciate people when they are around you

One thing I have realized is that we sometimes forget to appreciate people when they are around us. We forget that tomorrow is not assured. We have today to make things count. If you intend to let someone know you love him or her at a later date, you may regret it as he or she will be taken by another or by death. Tomorrow may be too late to show people you love them. Express your feelings today. Let your dad or mom know that you love him or her. You never know when death may strike. You never really can tell.

                2.       Let go, Let God.

We all have an assignment on earth. We are here for a purpose. We have spaces in our hands so that another’s may fill them. We rely on one another. Even if you are the richest man in the world, you rely on people who are poor to keep your company or businesses going. We cannot all be the same. Imagine if there was only white as the color in the world and everything was white. Your shoes, clothes, food, plants, animals, etc would confuse you. Death whispers into my ear and tells me that when people finish their assignments in your life they will surely go. God will bring a substitute to continue the journey with you. The people you left in the past are there because their part in your life is ended. They don’t belong in your future. Let go, let God.

 

              3.       This too shall pass!

Look back, you can always see traces of the same thing you were able to survive. It has just happened, it will surely pass. When we lose a loved one, we think the world is coming to an end. If it happens to be your dad or mom, it is even worse but there is one thing death tells us. Regardless of the pain you go through, you are able to rise and live your life again. That applies to life in general. Whatever be the situation, don’t give up. Don’t harbor the thought of death. For you may be down today but tomorrow may be the day you are lifted up. This too, shall pass!

 

               4.       Make peace!

If you are lucky to have the parting moments with the person, don’t be too arrogant with your knees and heart. Pour everything out and say sorry before the good bye. Good memories cannot be replaced with anything. A smile from the heart is a treasure. There is a time for everything. I shudder when I hear people cursing others who are on their sick bed. Phrases like “go to hell” and “I hate you” are heard so often. What happens when the person dies? Do you gather the strength to cry? Death is a ritual. It is appointed unto man to die once. If the person has offended you, learn to forgive and vice versa. Peace makes the world go round.

 

                5.       Know thy creator!

To those who don’t believe in God, this may sound insipid or better still unnecessary but I believe in a creator. I believe in God. I see people die most of the time and I know there is a place where they go. While some die in peace, others die in torment. Screams like ‘please give me water’ are so often heard. It tells us there is a creator. It tells us there is judgement.  I tell people death teaches me so many things than weddings or parties and they look at me in awe. Yeah the latter is all about fun but the former makes you think. We will be accountable some day!

 

Hope I didn’t scare you because that’s the last thing on my mind.

I wish to pay tribute to Mr. Emmanuel Larbi, a father, a friend and a savior. Daddy, we will forever love you. Your daughter, Afia Sarfowaa will never disappoint you. May your soul rest in perfect peace! To anyone who has ever lost a loved one, my sincere condolences.

 

 

CRTL + ALT + DEL…. the 3 buttons of life!

 

Life is like a multiple choice question. Sometimes the choices confuse you, not the question itself. The people who laugh the hardest with a genuine smile are those who have fought the toughest battles. There are times that we feel all is over. We feel so depressed. We get disappointed. There are many of such times as life is full of ups and downs. The worst part is when people you trust let you down. They could be your parents, relatives, church members or friends.

Another painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, forgetting that you are special too. That happens to all of us. Now, let me move on to some of the principles that can help us live this life.

CRTL – Control yourself

Self control is paramount in life. A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. – Proverbs 25:28. In the ancient times, all the cities were guarded with great walls. If the walls are broken, it means the enemy can enter at any time and destroy the inhabitants. Control over one’s self therefore becomes very vital. If you want to be a great or successful person, you learn to control yourself.

There are some times that you would be provoked. There are some times that you would be tempted to do something unwholesome but your ability to put everything on hold helps.  The control centre of your life is your attitude. Speak when you are angry and you will make best speech you will ever regret. -Ambrose Bierce

 

ALT – Look for an alternate solution

We hit the wall sometimes. The problems come in bounds. As soon as one is solved, the other resurfaces. This makes life very difficult. We get through certain situations and we think that is the end of the road. I believe strongly that when we use the ALT in life, we would find a solution. The solution may be hidden within the problem. Dig deep and you will surely find it. There is no need to kill yourself.

Most people contemplate death when the going gets tough. Instead of conceiving ideas of negativity, try an alternate solution that is positive. If A didn’t work, why don’t you try B? There are 26 letters in the alphabet. When A is used, you have 25 more that you can attend to. It wouldn’t hurt to have Plans A to Z. Would it?

 

DEL – Delete the situation that hurts you

This is the most difficult part of life….deleting certain people who once meant a lot to you….letting go of certain situations that once gave you so much joy. It could be an old habit. It could be an illegal business but the earlier you deleted that from your life the better. Instead of worrying about a situation or certain people, why don’t you delete them from your life? Some friends are like poison. They destroy us when they are in our lives.

Stop worrying so much. Worrying is using your imagination to create things you don’t want. Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it. Instead of going through pains the second time, we must endeavor to delete situations, people and businesses that hurt us.

You can let your smile change people but don’t let people change your smile. You are born for greatness. Let me know what you also think about CRT + ALT +DEL.

Why the iPad, Internet and TV help ruin creativity!

 

Boredom is good for creativity. Yes, you read that right! I advocate boredom in your life to help improve your creative potential. Oh yeah, I am not kidding at all because that works for me. I hardly sit down when I am bored. I am always on the move when boredom knocks at my door.

For most of us, being busy is a sign that we are achieving something in life or that we are progressing. We constantly keep ourselves busy doing something. It could be working hard at the office, shopping or other household chores, organizing something, looking after the family or even ‘researching on the internet.’

We keep our brains so active all the time that we do not allow ourselves the time to relax, the time to allow our brains to make connections between all the different stimuli we have given it.

When we have some spare time, we switch on the TV. We feel slightly empty and we check our social networking sites or the Internet in general. We feel lonely and we pick up the phone. The BBM craze in Ghana….oh no Africa….speaks volumes!

There is nothing wrong with the above but modern technology has made things go beyond the limit.

Mobile phones make it easy to connect and be connected with people within an instant. No longer do you only make phone calls when you were back home but we decide to make them anywhere and everywhere. Our precious quiet time, GONE.

The portable and cheaper home computers make it easy for us to pass away time browsing aimlessly on the Internet, where perhaps we would have used that time to simply relax and enjoy our surroundings.  Ok, you need to travel to a remote area if you want to observe the greenery of nature in Ghana. We even could have used that time to practice a hobby but for the most part, that time is GONE.

This is made even worse with the advent of the iPad. A portable lightweight laptop which makes watching videos effortlessly easy. Now even the quiet time we had before sleeping is lost to watching movies and endless YouTube video clips. I could also talk about the addiction behavior of twitter and facebook.

But, all is not lost. The first step in any improvement is to become aware of what is actually happening and the second step is to take positive action to rectify the situation.

So to aid creativity, BRING THE BOREDOM BACK:

  • It’s ok to be bored from time to time. It allows us to reflect on events and that is where we learn and create.
  • Limit your time spent watching TV and using the Internet.
  • Take up old/new hobbies.
  • Decide not to use your mobile phone, not even to answer a call for one complete journey and observe the world around you with an open mind. Life is too short so enjoy it sometimes.
  • Learn to enjoy the moment when your mind can completely rest.

Boredom is good for your creativity. Accept it, embrace it and encourage it. Your creative mind will thank you. You can leave a comment so that we keep on discussing. Life will lose its tune without creativity!

The Triple Filter Test

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in
high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher
and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me
anything, I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the
Triple Filter Test.”

“Triple filter?”

“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about
my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what
you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test.
The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what
you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man said, “Actually I just heard about it and…”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s
true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of
goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend
something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “You want to tell me something bad
about him, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass
the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of
usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to
be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “If what you want to tell me is
neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

Ponder over this! I believe strongly that what comes out of our mouths speak volumes. We should endeavor to be positive all the time.

Spreading rumors or saying bad things about a person doesn’t do you any good.

If you are looking down on a person, it should be that you are picking them up. That’s the only way up. If you want to be up, help lift another.

Do you know the difference?

A young black boy saw a balloon seller on a street corner. His eyes sparkled as he gazed at all the different colored balloons – red, blue, white, black, yellow… 

The old man selling the balloons saw the boy hesitate but the boy later gathered courage and approached him. 

“Tell me mister,” said the boy, “Do the black balloons fly as high as the others?”  The old man felt a tear forming in his eye. He picked the boy up, sat him on his knee and said, “Look.”  He let go of all the balloons. They drifted up in a cluster, higher and higher into the blue sky, until they were so high they disappeared.  “Did you see that?” the balloon seller asked.  “Yes,” said the boy.  “Did the black balloons fly as high as the others?”  “Yes, Mister, they did.”  “You see my boy, the balloons are like people.

The important thing isn’t their color, or what they look like on the outside. No, the important thing is WHAT’S INSIDE.  And what’s inside you makes all the difference in life.

That’s what I just want you to know. There is something in you that makes you different. It isn’t about the looks. It is about what’s within. Your zeal, enthusiam makes you who you are.

How you approach a situation defines you a great deal. Let’s resolve to make a difference because that’s how the we are built. We are stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

Have a lovely month!