Did you know that scientists still haven’t been able to figure out the number of possible combinations of DNA molecules? The best they have been able to do is provide an estimate: 2.4 billion to the power of 10!
That’s an incredible number when you consider that the possible combinations of all particles in the universe amount to only 76 to the power of 10!
As you can see, that is vastly less than the possible combinations DNA, which form your identity.
So scientifically speaking, you are unique! There’s no chance of ever finding another person exactly like you on the planet. And you can also be sure that there never has been – and never will be – two identical human beings in the entire universe.
So why waste time and energy trying to fit into a mould? To be like someone else? You are unique, and thus radically different, no matter what you think and no matter what you do.
A friend of mine says that most people are sick. They’ve got a “normosis” – a type of neurosis. They
try to be “normal”. Are you trying to be normal?
The best carpenters always work in the same direction as the grain of the wood, never against it. You should do the same. When you have to do something that doesn’t fit with your personality, that goes against your ‘grain’ (against your inner beliefs), you always feel it and should simply say “no.”
Stay unique and always refuse to do anything that may destroy your beautiful sense of unity.
Research, work, writing…. it has been a very busy moment in my life and I love it because I always want to be on the move. I was reading last night and a story touched my heart and mind. I decided to share and then say a thing or two that got me thinking.
Wishing to encourage her young son’s progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked “NO ADMITTANCE.”
When the houselights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage.
In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.” Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his
left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato.
Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. And the audience was mesmerized.
The first question that comes to mind is……. Can you be like this mother? Do you encourage people to be the best or you drag them down? Are you jealous when people are making it? If you are then I have bad news for you….. no matter how much you dress jealousy up, it isn’t cute. Most of us always criticize instead of building and inspiring others. We got the negative mentality more than the positive. I always ask people why they think negative before positive. Dad: “Kofi, I want you to give a speech on my birthday.” Kofi then starts thinking, “What if I make a mistake? What if I gbaa?” The positive leaves his mind instantly. Instead of thinking, “I have to make the best of this situation and make daddy proud of me.”
The woman could have discouraged the son easily. “You suck at that. Put the piano down and go and play football.” She didn’t do that. She wanted to rather inspire the son. There are people in your life who need a little inspiration or motivation. Yes….they do! You may not know but when you say something nice to someone, it helps make their day. A simple smile makes people’s day. Learn to show happiness because it is contagious.
Another golden nugget in this story is that, the boy also never gave up. He ignored the “NO ADMITTANCE” sign and moved on. He didn’t let what was written scare him from exploring. It was his zeal…. his passion to play the piano. That enthusiasm urged him to go past the sign. The “NO ADMITTANCE” sign represents stumbling blocks in our lives. We face them all the time. Yes we do! It is up to us to make good use of them. While others use the blocks as stepping stones, many of us hit the blocks and retreat. If you really want to be great, ignore the “NO ADMITTANCE” in your life. They come in varied forms. It could be someone’s words. “You can’t do this. You can’t do that.” People are full of negativity. They easily rub on us so watch out the kind of people you share your dreams with. They could easily tell you to back off but will steal your dream.
Ignore certain people. Ignore certain circumstances that stifle your growth and move on. It could be pretty difficult. The boy saw the crowd. I believe there were thousands of people but he wasn’t moved. It was a moment that most of us would have crumbled but he wasn’t perturbed in even the least of ways. He was focused on ONLY the piano and he got to it and started playing.
He was even playing the simplest of songs….. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. It shows how he wasn’t an expert but was willing to learn and succeed.
Paderewski came on stage, saw the boy and told him, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.” The fans must have been furious…. Yelling and screaming but this little boy heard them not. Do you hear the screams from your detractors? If you do, better get some headphones of positivity on. They would block you from the external forces of defeat.
When you set on the path to be who you want to be, there will always be that “helping hand.” It’s something about life. You may not believe it but we tend to meet guardian angels in humanly forms. Just when you think there is no way something can be done, you get help from somewhere else. A door closes, another opens but this happens only when you take a step. Take the first step!
Whatever your situation in life and history…. however outrageous, however desperate… DON’T QUIT. There is always a solution. You have the power to transform any problem into a way to mesmerize your audience…
Just mesmerize them! More Vim!!
I do not regret growing older because it’s a privilege denied to many. I pick lessons from whatever life throws at me. I believe everyone does the same. We gather a lot of valuable lessons from what happens each day of our lives. The positive things come with their lessons… so do the negative. Today is 11th November, 2011 or 11/11/11 and below are a few of the things I have learned……
#1 I have learned that I should tell my mom, dad and loved ones that I appreciate them more often than I do.
#2 I have learned that it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular because they make a difference.
#3 I have learned that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile. It makes their day and brightens mine as well.
#4 I have learned that the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to make sure I surround myself with people smarter than I am.
#5 I have learned one very interesting thing about money….. It doesn’t buy class.
#6 I have learned that no matter how serious life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to joke around with. It makes you feel normal and takes off the pressure.
#7 I have learned that life is tough but I am tougher!
#8 I have learned that a smile is an inexpensive way to improve my looks.
#9 I have learned that when I harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
#10 I have learned that you CAN NOT please everyone.
#11 I have learned that people still believe in false prophets and thought the world would end today: 11/11/11
Share with us what you have also learned about life. Thank you.
This is a story from India during the colonial days. Most of the people in the village worked as peasants for the village landlord and got a very small share of the crops and a token money in return for the hard work they put all day in the field.
One year the village witnessed one of the severest droughts ever. The crop failed and the villagers did not get anything in return from the landlord. Most of the villagers fled to the cities.
One of the villagers was particularly in a very bad state. His wife was suffering from malaria and in the absence of food or money, he was desperate.
One day he was sitting under the village tree and was thinking desperately about ways to get some money somehow so that he can take his wife and his children to the town, where he knew that somehow he would get some work. He then saw his cow wandering nearby munching the dried up patches of grass and bushes.
He suddenly had a thought to sell his cow. “Surely someone would like to buy her,” he thought.
The next day, early morning he started for the market. There, he stood under a tree and explained his plight to anyone who came and requested them to buy his cow. Nobody seemed to be the least interested.
The day wore by. The sun relentlessly shown on the barren landscape!
With sweat drenched dirty clothes and in the poor state of health he was in, he was looking a picture of the misery. As evening was approaching, he was losing all hope he had started with.
Then a merchant passed him. He looked at the peasant and with a sudden drive of compassion decided to help him sell the cow.
He asked a few questions and then, in a loud voice full of enthusiasm, he announced to the passersby, “Ladies and gentlemen, never let go an opportunity like this. This cow here, gives two bucketfuls of milk every day, morning and evening. Do not be mistaken by her health. It is just because she has recently given birth to a young calf.
This animal is of such an exceptional breed that last year she had won a prize during the agricultural exhibition of the neighboring village. My friend here has come to an urgent situation and is willing to part with her for a price that seems to me ridiculous for such a prize animal. Who amongst you realize that an opportunity like this does not come every day?”
Meanwhile, a small crowd gathered around them all willing to buy the animal. They all wanted to know the price. The merchant asked the peasant, “Well my friend, what is the price you expect? We have several buyers here”.
The peasant stood up and with head held high, declared with pride and arrogance, “This animal is mine. She is too good to be sold. I shall keep her.”
The first that comes to my mind is that we do not appreciate sufficiently what we have. Health, children, girlfriend or boyfriend etc, we take them all for granted without rejoicing each day for our luck. There are certain things that we feel we have a right to. We forget that certain people lack all those things.
Just imagine if you were born in a war-torn country…. Just imagine if you were born with no hands and no feet. We have to be grateful for what we have be it little, crooked or ugly because someone is dying to have that.
Sometimes it is necessary to have the look of others in order to become conscious of the value of what we have. We do not take the pain to explain the advantages of our proposal and often our remuneration is less because we do not make this effort towards the proposal.
One very thing is that, the man got to know the worth of the cow. Do you know your worth? You are not unimportant. You are worth more than you think. You could be going through a rough patch now. You could be down. You could be heartbroken but you are not unimportant. You are worth more! You are important to someone!! Someone looks up to you for inspiration. Someone looks up to you for ideas. It could be a younger brother or sister. It could be a neighbor. It could be a friend… just know that you are important and important to someone.
“Depression and self-pity seldom attracts anybody. Be enthusiastic and the whole world will look up to you. You can win only if you love what you have.” -Amit Kumar
On the nationally observed Founders Day in honor of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who helped Ghana gain independence, take a second to learn a little bit about the man and his mission. There are bits of wisdom you can take from a quick look at an amazing life.
I would like us to throw away any partisan sentiments and learn from the man whose handwriting is seen on all the state institutions in the country.
5. Sometimes things don’t always go as planned
Dr. Nkrumah was an excellent leader yet he had his shortcomings as a leader. Some people downplay the achievements of this man because of these shortcomings. No man is perfect. We all make mistakes. Dr. Nkrumah saw a broader picture of a United Africa. He went after that dream. He chased the vision but it could not be materialized. Sometimes things don’t go as planned but that doesn’t mean you should give up in life. We hit the wall most times. We fail in certain things that we do but we must still strive. True strength is being able to hold it together when everyone is expecting you to fall apart.
“We face neither East nor West. We face forward” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
4. Passion is paramount
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah believed in justice, equality, philanthropy and non-violent protest. He was a scholar and a revolutionary. He was a husband, a father, a friend and a leader. He was a brilliant orator. He had the passion to do whatever he wanted to do. With passion, you can do all that you dream of. One very important thing about life is passion or enthusiasm. Nelson Mandela once said “there is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” If you have the enthusiasm to do something, you can get that thing done. He had the passion to lead Ghana to independence. He went to jail for that. He was oppressed and yet never gave up. That’s the kind of spirit we need. The never-dying spirit that works in us because we have the passion to succeed regardless of what life throws at us.
“Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought.” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
3. You have to be ready to stand by your standards
What are your standards? What do you believe in? “Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge – a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve – to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life?” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The founder of Ghana had his ideals. He stood for something. He believed in something. If you don’t have any standards in life, then it’s high time you checked yourself.
“The best way of learning to be an independent sovereign state is to be an independent sovereign state.”
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah believed that each of us is special. Each of us is here for a purpose and that the main purpose for all of us is to make Africa and the world a better place. No matter what color you are, what religion you are, what you look like, what you sound like and no matter where you’re from you belong here. You have an assignment. You have a mission. You weren’t born by accident. There is a reason you are breathing today. There is a reason you are reading this post. Never look down on yourself. Be yourself because you are unique. Don’t try to be like someone else because no one will be you if you discard being yourself. Make your life on earth count!
“It is far better to be free to govern or misgovern yourself than to be governed by anybody else” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
1. Believe in yourself
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe in your abilities to succeed in life? Just have faith in yourself, in your future and in your family. Dr. Nkrumah just believed. He believed that he could wrestle power for the people of the Gold Coast. He had a dream and he had the faith to propel that dream. He believed Ghana could be a sovereign state. He believed we could manage our own affairs. He cried for self governance because he believed we could govern ourselves. What was the outcome?
The dream became a reality! His belief gave birth to the following:
Bank of Ghana, Bonsa Tyre Manufacturing, Cape Coast University, Cocoa Marketing Board (now Cocobod), Cocoa research Institute, Tafo , Ghana Commercial Bank, Ghana Film Industries, Ghana Housing Corporation, Ghana Law School, Ghana Medical School, Gold Processing Factory, Prestea, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, National Cultural Center, National Investment Bank, National Research Council, Nsawam Prison, Komfo Anokye Hospital, Social Security Bank (SSB, now SG-SSB), State Transport Corporation, Trade Fair Center and the University of Ghana (Legon).
Once again the words of our great leader:
“We have the blessing of the wealth of our vast resources, the power of our talents and the potentialities of our people. Let us grasp now the opportunities before us and meet the challenge to our survival. “– Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
As soon as I woke up, I reached for my iPod. It was going to be a fun day and I wasn’t ready to compromise on that. Preparing a message to be delivered in the evening on the theme, the EAGLE in YOU was magnificent because the song I was listening to gave me all the ‘vim’ in the world. The word ‘vim’ will soon be copyrighted by my brother Ato. He can’t live a day without saying it. Hahahaha…. No more digressing…..
The majestic eagle…. with its powerful and graceful wings, can soar through the sky and cause traffic to stop on the side of a road for anything but modest picture. It is a symbol of power, strength, and thievery. Surprised? You’ll be interested to know that there are many things that you might not know about the eagle. I call this part one because I cannot say everything about this bird in one post. Yeah I learn a lot from a bird. I am weird and weird is good because it makes you a limited edition.
In the early twentieth century, it began to be noticed how less often the eagle was being spotted flying high above lakes and rivers. After numerous studies, it was discovered that there were just a few thousand left to cover the entire area of Canada, America and Mexico. That is not leaving much chance of spotting an eagle which does lead to why we are so fascinated when we see one. In 1967 the bald eagle as they are mostly called was placed on the endangered list. Now, it was protected. At that time there were about 500 mating pairs known to researchers. In just a few years in 1995 it was placed at threatened status. Then in 2007 it was removed from the endangered list. It was still protected but researchers could see huge results. From 500 mating pairs to about 5,000 in just a few decades…. That is progress. The eagle has proven itself to be resilient. They can live up to 30 years in the wild and they mate for life. They are dedicated to their mate. But if tragedy should strike, they know that they need to keep on so another mate is chosen without hesitation.
That says a lot about a bird. They are very resilient and hardly give up. You are full of potential but you have to do your part and start tapping into it. There is something placed within you by the Creator. There is something you need to accomplish. Somebody needs your touch. Somebody needs what you have. There is no limit to what you can do but you have to shake off complacency. You have to shake off certain things that put you back. You have to be resilient. Maybe you have tried to succeed in life but have hit a brick wall again and again. Somebody may have told you “no” a thousand times; ask again. Keep asking till you get the “yes” that you seek. Be resilient like the eagle. This bird does not give up. When there is disaster and their mate dies, they keep on. They move on. They don’t settle. They don’t get comfortable. You may have done wonders in the past but you have never seen anything yet. The best is yet to come. Strive on! Push hard! Don’t allow your life to become dull. Keep dreaming, hoping and planning for new projects and adventures. Wonderful things just don’t happen. They are made to happen.
The males and females pretty much look identical but the females get the upper-hand by being about 25% larger than their mates. I guess we don’t have to wonder who does the dishes in that household. When they go out on their own, they choose trees high up in the sky that can support a lot of weight. This is not because they eat a lot of fish, but because they like to make home roomy. They settle for the best. They go for the ultimate. They don’t believe in mediocrity. Every bird could get a room on the lowest of trees but will never be comfortable since human activities abound. Reach for the stars. That is where you are supposed to be. Get a support system. Iron sharpeneth iron. When you are down and have no one, encourage yourself. Find a role model. Find a mentor. If human activities or nature removes their tree, another one is chosen or they move a little bit higher. The nests can weigh as much as two tons (yes, I said “tons”) and be 9 feet wide. The depths of these nests with years of additions can get as high as 15 feet. Some have been documented to be even deeper. The higher you go, the higher must be your footing. You must be heavy. Heavy so that you will not be easily moved by circumstances…They never rest on their laurels. People may have tried to push you down.
Circumstances may have soured your outlook on life. You might hate your family, your country, and your friends because of the pains you have been through but do not be discouraged. Let the pains of the past give you the strength to move on. Don’t look back and get focused on your hurt and pains. Don’t look down and live in self-pity. That would make you complain all the time about how unfair the world is. The key to rising higher is to keep looking to where you want to go, who you want to be. Let no man take that zeal from you. Don’t focus on where you are today; keep a positive vision and see yourself accomplishing great things in life.
I will have to talk about the types, mating, feeding, eyes, beak to mention but a few on the eagle in subsequent posts. There are so many things about this bird that will speak to you. The attitude of this bird is worthy of emulation. So many of us get bitter and angry when a door closes but if you will keep the right attitude and press forward, other doors will open. Even if all the doors are closed, a window will surely open.
The past week has been full of lessons for me. Life has always been the best of my professors. I keep on learning and I know you are too. Let me start by sharing a story with you.
A professor was in the habit of giving his students a little gift at the end of the school year – a blue ribbon with the words “Who I Am Makes A Difference®” printed in gold letters on the ribbon.
As he gave each student their ribbon, he explained why he had appreciated teaching them, and why his course had been different because that particular student had been present.
One day it occurred to him to see what effect this little custom would have on the community. He gave each student 3 blue ribbons instead of one, and told each of them to give one ribbon to someone they knew who, in their opinion “made a difference.” He also told them to give the two other ribbons to that same person, with instructions to hand them out to others who had made a difference. After that the students were to come back and report what happened.
One student who had a part-time job gave his ribbon to his boss, a grumpy fellow who nevertheless appreciated the honor.
“I admire everything you’ve done,” the student said to his boss. “I think you’re a creative genius and a real fair guy. Will you allow me to pin this blue ribbon on your shirt as a sign of my appreciation?”
The boy’s boss was surprised but also pleased. “Yeah, sure, why not?” he said.
“And will you take these two other ribbons,” the student continued, “and give them to someone you think makes a difference, like I did for you? It’s for a project we’re doing at school.”
“All right,” the boss replied.
That night the boss returned home wearing the purple ribbon on his shirt. He greeted his 14 year old son and said, “Something strange happened to me today. One of my employees gave me this ribbon. See what’s written on it? ‘Because you make a difference.’ He gave me another ribbon just like it and told me to give it to someone who’s made a difference for me, someone who is very special and means a lot to me.
“I had a pretty hard day, but on the way home I said to myself, ‘There’s only one person I want to give this ribbon to.’ I know I tell you off a lot because you don’t work hard enough at school, because all you think about is going out and having fun with your friends, because your room’s always a mess… But tonight I want to tell you that you are very very important to me. You and your mother make all the difference in my life, and I’d like you to accept this blue ribbon as a sign of my love. I don’t tell you I love you very often, not nearly enough, I know. But I do love you, and I think you’re a wonderful kid!”
As soon as he stopped talking his son burst into tears. His whole body shook with sobs. His father took him in his arms and held him close, saying, “That’s okay, it’s all right. Did I say something wrong?”
“No Dad.” his son replied, “It’s just that… I decided I was going to kill myself. I was going to do it tomorrow. I had it all planned out. I wanted to kill myself because I was sure you didn’t like me, even though I tried hard to be good. Now that’s all changed…”
Now these are the three things I would like to share with you from the story:
You are one lucky fellow!
You may not know this but you are very lucky. At this moment, there is someone somewhere who is wishing to be like you. Don’t be surprised. That’s how the world is. You may not like what is happening in your life. You may be depressed and all that but someone is wishing to be in that very position you are in. Have you ever thought about this: what if I was born in Somalia? You wouldn’t have been able to do anything about it. Famine, drought, hardship would have been your pals. Wherever you are, whatever situation you find yourself in, count it all joy.
You make a difference!
And yes you make a difference in someone’s life. You may not know it but you are a role model to someone. It could be your niece, nephew, son, daughter, a facebook friend or a follower on twitter. Someone somewhere draws inspiration from you. Someone somewhere gets a smile on the face as soon as he/she sees you. Whatever you are doing, put it at the back of your mind that it is affecting the life of another…… so do the right thing! There is inside you all of the potential to be whatever you want to be all of the energy to do whatever you want to do. Imagine yourself as you would like to be…. doing what you want to do and each day, take one step towards your dream. Though at times it may seem too difficult to continue, hold on to your dream because you make a difference in someone’s life.
You don’t have to give up!
Stressed, depressed, sad……add the rest. We can go on and name all the negative things that come our way. These are part of life and we cannot avoid them. We always face them and will always do as long as we have life. We get rid of all these emotions when we are in our tombs. Until then, you will lose a family member and get sad….you will lose that job or contract and be depressed….you will be heartbroken and feel like the world is coming to an end BUT the message is clear….DO NOT GIVE UP!
Entertain not the ideas of suicide. Embrace hope and face the future because you are born for greater things! There may be times when you feel as if you have taken a million steps towards your dreams, and acted on your plans, only to find yourself in the same place that you began from. At times like this, you must not give up. You must continue on. Though you may feel lost, bewildered and alone, continue to believe in yourself. Do not allow discouragement and doubt to blur your vision and wash away your dreams. Visualize your way beyond the detours, standstills and obstacles.
You will realize your dreams.
Share with us what you learned from this post. God bless you!
When my dad called all his children to his room, I was a little bit perturbed. Why? Because I hadn’t finished reading the book he gave me. Once in a while the old man will give his children books to read. When you are done reading, he will ask you questions on what you have read. I thought it was going to be a similar experience. I have been playing FIFA 11 with my younger brothers and a friend all day.
We went to his room, made ourselves comfortable and that was when I started making up all the excuses I was going to give should he ask about the book. My mom was seated on his left. I have three other siblings now (the eldest went into Abraham’s bosom some years ago. May he R.I.P)
My dad started off his speech by holding up a ₵20 note. He asked: “Who would like this ₵20 note. This is a real Kufuor dollar?”
Hands started going up. He said: “I am going to give this ₵20 to one of you but first, let me do this.”
He proceeded to crumple the cedi note up. He then asked: “Who still wants it?”
Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “what if I do this?”
He dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty.
“Now who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air. “My children, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth ₵20.
Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless but no matter what have happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. To those who love you, you are priceless.
The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know but by who we are. You are somebody. You really are. Do not let anyone make you think otherwise. Yes…. there are times you will feel depressed, repressed and oppressed but stay true to yourself. See yourself as that “Kufuor dollar” that was handled badly by my dad yet all his children craved for it.
It was a turning point in my life. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give up. Press on because victory is assured!
There once was a very poor man living in a village who had a very fine horse. So fine, in fact, that the lord of the castle wanted to buy it but the old man always refused.
“To me this horse is not merely an animal. He’s a friend. How could I sell you my friend?”
One morning he went to the stable and found his horse gone. All the villagers said, “We told you! You should have sold your horse. Now he’s been stolen instead. What terrible luck.”
“Bad luck or good luck,” the old man said. “Who can say?”
Everyone laughed at him but 15 days later the horse returned, followed by a whole herd of wild horses. He had escaped from the stable, courted a young mare and returned with the rest of the herd following behind!
“What luck!” the villagers cried.
The old man and his son began training the wild horses but a week later the man’s son broke his leg trying to train one of the horses.
“Bad luck,” said his friends. “What are you going to do now without your son to help you? You who are already so poor.”
“Bad luck, good luck, who can say?” the old man replied. A few days later an army belonging to the lord of the land passed through the village and forced all the young men to become soldiers. All…… except the old man’s son because of his broken leg.
“How lucky you are,” the villagers cried. “All our children gone to war, but you’ve been able to keep your son. Our sons will probably be killed…”
The old man replied, “Bad luck, good luck… who can say?”
People ask me why I love the Chorkor Trotro TV series on TV3 in Ghana. I always tell them I learn from the awkward situations and not only from the best of situations. On the front of the Chorkor Trotro bus in the TV series is written “Let them say.” Let them say speaks volumes.
One day I will blog about that but what it simply means is that, let the people talk all they want but do your own talking. Never be misguided or misled or discouraged by what people say about you. The best way is to prove them wrong. Who can say? I bet no one. There are just three things I would like to talk about from the story…..not to bore you.
#1 What people say about you should not affect you negatively
I was at the airport yesterday and engaged myself in a conversation with a lady. She had come to wait for a friend who was coming to Ghana from Italy in a very beautiful dress. As we started talking I said something about friends that made her speak as if she was on drugs. She was talking like one controlled by a remote. Eddie Murphy could not have even spoken faster than her. She was coming from a wedding with the same dress. This lady buys clothes from a woman (Shop 1) in her neighborhood but a friend of hers advised her to buy from a different shop (Shop 2) because that shop had exotic clothes.
She listened and spent her savings on the new dress from the Shop 2. She went to the wedding and realized that she was the “lady gaga” of the event. Everyone including the couple had dressed in a simple but awesome way. She was telling me how her friend’s words made her lose money and also made her a laughing jackal at the wedding. If you listen to people all the time, you are bound for disgrace.
#2 Be who you are!
The man never changed who he was. He was a poor man…yes… but he knew who he was. He didn’t change because of what people said to him. He did not even sell his horse to the lord of the land. He valued the horse. We must value our integrity. Dignity is something thrown to the dogs lately. People don all sorts of things because of money. People sell their bodies, kill other human beings because of money but this man knew what it was to value something.
We have two ears. One is to listen and the other is to let the negative you hear out. All the negative things he heard entered in one ear and out in the other. He was not ready to be a different person. He was not ready to be ungrateful. He was still the man he used be. He carved a niche for himself as the man who was ever grateful. Bad luck or good luck….he was grateful.
#3 Don’t let circumstances change you!
I always say “this too shall pass” when I go through a difficult period. I have lived with this maxim for a long time. When I go through a bad phase of my life, I know it will surely end. No condition is permanent. When you are hungry, don’t kill yourself because eventually you will get food to eat.
When you are satisfied, don’t fool about because eventually you will go hungry.
Life is all about ups and downs. We just have to make an effort to stand the test of time. The poor man never made any circumstance change his belief. He believed in the fact that bad luck or good luck isn’t his to say. Even when his favorite horse left, it didn’t change him. When the son got hurt, it didn’t change him as well.
The future comes to us in bits and pieces. We never know what lies in store for us but if you always maintain a positive attitude the doors of chance remain open, and you will be a happier person.
Who can say? No one can say so don’t lose hope. Live by the Chorkor Trotro mantra.
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 🙂