Sunday, 12 February 2012

Goodbye Whitney

Yesterday we lost an icon. The incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston. Blessed with The Voice, she was beset by the demons that so often trail those who are gifted beyond compare. Yet through this, her spirit shines through; a passion for God, Love and Music inspiring millions the world over including me.

Despite what her detractors may say, it is clear that in her darkest hour the Love of God was the light that pierced through and thus it is fitting that her last recorded performance declares her confidence, “Yes Jesus Loves me”.

He does and we do too.

Rest in Peace.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Faith - My Edict

Whilst I might not fully comprehend it, I would rather put my trust in the ideal proposed by Christ than put faith in my humanity which I thoroughly understand is inane.

Friday, 19 March 2010

My Fears

I live beneath a cloud of fear.

Fear of expectations; of myself and others.

Fear of disease; of the body and the mind.

Fear of the unknown; the future- mostly.

I live in fear of being normal, ordinary, boring.

However, in the same breath I crave the liberty that comes with the banal.

What a relief it would be to follow a set-path and not have to worry that the 'individual' path will end up taking me to a place of loneliness and frustration in which I won't even have the luxury of blaming my failures on family or society!

Why can't I accept, why do I always have to question?

Surely, I would be much happier if my mind was simple - in the noun sense of the word.

After all, it is because of my need to be 'true to myself' that I am acutely aware of my mood and it's fluctuations.

As I am getting older, I am realising more and more that the end of my 'search for truth' ultimately leads to pain because most of humanity would rather accept lies than the truth and therefore, cannot understand the 'arrogant few' who choose to search.

And who can blame them?

I am sure most people don't go through days of complete self-loathing for not being strong enough to stand for all their ideals.

I am sure most people are not disgusted at themselves for keeping quiet instead of fighting for what is right.

I am sure most people don't live in constant fear of their inadequacy, one day, convincing them to just give up.

Or do they?

Monday, 23 November 2009

Choose Life!

My favourite thing about last Saturday's x-factor live show was not Danii's dress which was awesome, Cheryl's hair which was ridiculous or Joe's singing which was outstanding. Instead, it was Jedward's t-shirts which said, "Choose Life" in Neon Pink letters.

There is probably some British pop culture relevance or essence to those particular choice of words that I immigrated too late to this country to be aware of! Nevertheless, I found in them my own meaning.

Being happy and living life to the maximum is a choice.

Negative thoughts, images and ideas constantly bombard our minds from internal and external sources. We cannot change that.

However, what we can change is our reaction to the negativity. We must reject them and immediately convert them to positive thoughts. We must not let them ruminate and work their destructiveness on mood and self-image.

This is obviously common sense but as always it is one thing to know and yet another thing to do.

We all know that Jedward, whilst being utterly adorable, have as much talent as Janice Dickinson's publicist! However, their choice to remain confident above all the negativity that was coming against them endeared them to me and they have become something of an inspiration.

They chose to be happy. They chose to make themselves a success. They chose to rise above negativity.

Even though they've now been voted off the show, it is clear that because of the choices they made, they will have a fabulous career in television awaiting them. And with their amazing attitude, I am certain it will stand the test of time! (At least in children's TV :-S)

Monday, 16 November 2009

גם זה יעבור

It's another season of change
And I struggle to reorientate
With the pressure to keep face.

Alongside the winds of change
Comes a yearning to gravitate
Towards the centre of my space.

As the days get cold and grey
My emotions start to flay.

Up, down, inside, out
And sometimes split apart.

Cyclothymia is my bane.

I seek solace from the pain.

First I try to drown it out using distractions as a balm
Next I try to placate it using ego as a charm

Whilst these tactics serve their purpose
Neither of them are the focus.

I have to embrace the tumult within and ride it out with complete acceptance.

This too shall pass.

Friday, 29 May 2009

End of THE Age.

On Tuesday I come to the end of THE age; I turn 22.

21 has been an amazing year! After a particularly difficult twentieth year, I celebrated my 21st with a bang, ready to throw off the weights of life that I had self-righteously picked up in periods of innocent childhood arrogance.

Straight off the back of my fabulous birthday party, I went to New York for two months in the summer. In the midst of that incredible city, I was able to discover myself in an honest, low-pressure, novel way. I became acutely aware of my strengths and weaknesses; I came to accept that my vivacious personality, my passion for life, as well as my insecurities were all a part of me. No more hiding behind masks, no more trying to fit into pre-created moulds, I came back to London ready to be my complete self to all those who were interested in getting to know me.

In this process, there had to be an overhaul of some of my previous friendship groups as I came to realise that some of those friendships were made with personas that I had created to suit them rather than the real me. Sad as it was, I had to accept that some of my ex-friends weren't prepared to be friends with a more confident, self-assured me.

Therefore, as I began the new academic year, I was very frightened of the possibility of rejection; in my head, I wondered would people be interested getting to know a random, dramatic, Nigerian girl with a questionable accent? Or would I once again face the pain of unacceptance? I mentally prepared for the worst.

I couldn't have been more WRONG! This year, I have become friends with some of the best people I have ever met. I know I am a bit much and slightly crazy but these guys have shown me unconditional love and acceptance.

As I move on to the next stage of my life, though I am still slightly scared, I am ready to face whatever life throws at me with renewed self-confidence. It's been a great year and I believe that, despite the horror of ageing, next year will be even better!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Question of Faith???

In case you are wondering why I haven't finished my piece on the Question of Faith, the reason is that I am currently living through a spiritual avalanche in which it has become painfully apparent that the God who is, is much, much, more than anything that I've previously ascribed Him to be.

God is love. Though that might sound very simple, it is the hardest thing to comprehend especially for someone like me who was brought up in a religious environment in which what was expected of me was far more than I felt able to live up to resulting in frequent attacks of self-doubt and self-loathing that have assailed me from my childhood till now.

However, I am presently on a journey of rediscovery.

If you can, spare a second and pray for strength for me to persevere.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

The Question of Faith

Today I will begin a series of posts on a subject matter that is pertinent.

For all peoples are people of faith whether it be faith in God, faith in gods or faith in no G/god.

In this series I will discuss the necessity of faith (or a belief system) to the human compostition.

I will essay the essential components of any succesful faith.

I will question how we as individuals come to accept a certain faith.

Finally, I will share portions of my faith journey as an example.

However, to begin I will tell you a story which might resonate as familiar to some.

At this juncture, I must make perfectly care that these series of posts are not meant as a judgement on a particular faith. They are meant to evaluate the concept of faith in general.

Now for the first of my stories:

Amost 200 years ago, a man, who had previously been self-described as a fortune-finder and was publicly known as a charlatan, received a series of revelations from God. The first concerned a set of hidden plates that he was assigned to translate and the ensuing translation is the Book of Mormon. Only eleven witnesses ever saw the plates and therefore the only existing evidence of these plates is their sworn testimony. Soon afterwards, he started preaching a message of monotheism and amassed a growing band of disciples.

Following this, he received other revelations which were put together in what is now referred to as the Doctrines and Covenants. These include revelations about plural marriage and blood atonement. There were also some more documents that he claimed to have transcribed using divine inspiration and revelation. One of these has been proven by several renown Egyptologists to be an Ancient Egyptian burial document which bears no relationship to the interpretation ascribed to it by the Prophet.

The religion that was developed from the followers of this prophet now has more than 7million followers the world over.

As someone who only encountered the existence of this denomination in my teenage years, my first reaction to the story was that it was clearly fantastical. How can anyone believe this?

However, after giving it some thought I realised that the story that I hold to be the absolute truth about a carpenter who was born of a virgin and crucified in his 33rd year for an unjust cause and rose again on the third day and was seen by approximately 500 witnesses after his resurrection as he ascended into heaven might sound just as ridiculous to people who were raised within a different belief system.

Why do I believe what I believe?

Is it because it was told to me as unshakeable fact in my early, formative years?

Is it because I have to believe it to have something to hold on to in this difficult world?

How much of what I believe has been coated with human bias?

These are the kinds of questions I will be discussing. I obviously do not know all the answers I can only give my current perspective and as always that is subject to change in light of new information or experiences.

Friday, 6 February 2009

The Dream Team

It's been a couple of months since I have made any significant contribution to the blogosphere.

For those of you who read my departure post, you will remember that the primary reason I cited for taking a hiatus from blogging was that I decided I would rather actually live than continue to hypothesize about living.

This actually turned out to be the salvation I required.

Instead of my mind being a tumultous mine of random thoughts, it has become a spring -an open filter- only retaining the expedient.

In this time, I have also concentrated my efforts into my medical calling and in this regard I have been blessed to develop blossoming friendships with my firm -collectively known as:

the dream team (so named because we encompass a majority of existing socio-political labels.)

Today marks the end of "the dream team" as a tour de force at the Whit.

I shall especially miss:

GB's warmth

DB's dodgy banter

BC's smile

EJ's "Nigerian" accent

AV's hair

JWB's sincerity

I never thought it possible to have an group of entirely different but equally outstanding human beings.

I love you all and it has been a joy getting to know you.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Why are you so infirm?

Over the weekend, one of my girlfriends asked me a question that has made me think to the point where I have decided to write about it.

Following weeks of me complaining about one illness after the other, she aked me in all earnestness, "This babe, why are you so infirm?"

My initial reaction was to burst into hysterics. I love that word "infirm". It's a CLASSIC.

However, after thinking about it I started to ask myself the same question.

My head hurts, my muscles ache, my chest pains, fever, cough, malaise it is a never-ending barage of symptoms.

I know that the change in weather might have some part to play in all of this, but this is NOT my first winter. Something deeper might be at play.

Pyschosomatic is a phrase that readily comes to mind.

Somatisation is one of the more immature defenses of the human being.

It is simple, basic, primal.

Could it be that I am channeling my emotional uncertainties into physical illness?

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Yes He Can.

My mother was born on August 30, 1960.

On that day black people in America did not yet have the vote.

On August 29, 2008 almost 48 years to the day, Barack Obama was nominated as the presidential candidate for the Democratic Party.

For a year, my mother has devoted her life in prayer and fasting for the miracle we witnessed at 4.00am on the 5th of November, 2008.

Her generation and the generations that came before her know much better than I will ever know about the significance of this day.

Slavery, Segregation, Apartheid; they potently felt the repercussions of being judged by the colour of one's skin.

All I can bear witness to is the feeling of my success being perceived as an exception to the rule for my race.

However, today all that is over.

The inherent good in humanity has triumphed over the beast of prejudice.

Justice and liberty is truly within the grasp of all.

I am not proud just because I am black. It is much more than that, I am proud because in this moment my faith in humanity has been restored. We, as people, might not be perfect but this moment has shown that there is enough good in us to keep me optimistic for the future.

It is for this reason that I am daring to defy the cynics.

"With the help of God, Michelle and the citizens of America, Barack Obama like his fore-runner Abraham Lincoln will be one of America's greatest presidents."


Yes he can.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Obama, Obama, Obama, Barack Hussein Obama.

Obama has to win.

Aside from his superior judgement -as demonstrated by his premium policies and his choice of Michelle-, his inspiring persona, and his distinguished appearance (to say the least), Barack Hussein Obama has to be president because if he isn't elected, the world is in SERIOUS risk.

I do not say this lightly.

The fear that grips me at the thought of the possibility of "President Palin" is far more intense than my fear of my mother!

If John McCain is elected, there is a significant chance that he might not survive his first term. I mean God forbid his cancer returns or worse still -but in my expert opinion not less likely-, a moose hunting accident occurs in the forests of Alaska.

These are harsh realities but realities nonetheless.

I do not have the power to vote but for those of you who do;

Consider yourself Batman/Catwoman with a mission to save the world from an invading, lip-stick-wearing, pit-bull.

Obama/Biden '08 in the mighty, unblemished, all-powerful, name of Jesus!

Can I get an AMEN?

Revisiting Self-Sabotage - Part 2

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with an intense desire to externalise the hysteric.

This is usually brought on by any affront to my biggest insecurity which is simply that: I am not enough.

  • I am not pretty enough
  • I am not intelligent enough
  • I am not interesting enough

(The third being the most potent)

When I am in a situation where I perceive myself to be inadequate in one of these areas, my hysteric is empowered and in an attempt to compensate for the deficit, I grossly enlarge -almost to the point of caricature- another aspect of myself in a self-destructive manner.

I am aware that it all boils down to self-love, and I have definately improved in this area -since I learnt to accept and love my humanity- nevertheless, I am not all I could be, I do not work hard enough to maximise my potential and I resent that.

However, instead of changing my lackadaisical attitude, I seem to prefer gravitating towards activating the hysteric.

This is rather typical of human behaviour, we know what is good for us, but we prefer to do what is bad hence the number of overweight, alcoholic, chain-smoking, gun-toting, McCain supporting, couch potatoes.

However, it has become apparent that in order not to jeopardise my future, -ambitions, responsibilites and relationships-, it is imperative that I deal with these baseline insecurities and change this behaviour pattern.

It is going to be a battle.

Sunday, 26 October 2008


21, 22, and for some the 1st 6 months of 23 are the defining years that will chart the course of one's life.

Let's for the sake of discussion call them "The Crossroads".

If circumvented appropriately "The Crossroads" will be the entrance to "the best years of one's life", if not they will be the entrance to what I have previously referred to as a "half-life" ultimately culminating in "a mid-life crisis" (for the lucky ones) or to "a bitter and resentful latter life".

Notice that my use of cliché after cliché is deliberate.

This concept of "Crossroads" and its repercussions is true for all, consequently, any description or discussion of this issue will be hackneyed.

In cultures or environments where one is forced to mature earlier (as in some parts of Africa) or later (as in some parts of Los Angeles) the exact dates of the "Crossroads" might be different but the experience is the same.

At the "Crossroads", three main issues require clarification after which a choice of one of three paths must be made.

The three issues that require clarification are:

  • IDENTITY: Who am I?

  • DESIRE: What do I want?

  • PURPOSE: Why am I here?

and the options for the paths are:

  • To conform with what is expected of by family, peers, teachers, the world (easiest)

  • To rebel against all expectations - contrary for contrary sake (stupidest)

  • To seek an individual path honestly - recognising the need for guidance when necessary, but at all times being true to self (hardest)


Who am I?

I am in the middle of my crossroads and therefore, I have no idea what the answer to this question is.

It was rather unsettling to realise that at 21 I am still unsure of my identity.

I know what I am...

  • I am Christian
  • I am human
  • I am female
  • I am black
  • I am Nigerian
  • I am Yoruba
  • I am a sister
  • I am a daughter
  • I am a friend
  • I am a medical student
  • I am an avid reader
  • I am a film-lover
  • I am a budding writer
  • I am an amateur vocalist
  • I am British-educated

but This is WHAT I am not WHO I am.

While, all of these things in some part might contribute to who I will eventually realise they I am, they are NOT definitive of me. Regardless of what others might be predisposed to think.

I know that for certain.

The path to realising identity is riddled with uncertainties therefore, realising without a shadow of a doubt that WHAT does not equal WHO is a step in the right direction.

It is not something of shame to experience an identity crisis, it is part of the maturing process.

It will pass (gam zeh ya'avor) and when I am finally able to answer this question and the other two questions of Desire and Purpose -which I will be discussing in later posts- I will finally able to leave the "crossroads" zone and start to honestly seek my individual path.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

This Too Shall Pass - גם זה יעבור‎

In Hebrew folklore, there is a story that tells of King Solomon's search for the cure for depression.

The wisest man that ever lived was at a loss when it came to handling the moods of intense sadness that assuaged him from time to time. Therefore, he called all his advisers and instructed them to think of a solution to his problem.

After months of deep meditation, they came up with an idea.

"Great King, make for yourself a ring inscribed with the following: 'this too shall pass'. Wear it always".

Solomon did what they advised and everytime he felt his mood start to change for the worse he would look upon that inscription and his mood would lift.

As this story is not recorded in the bible, I do not know whether it occurred or not.

However, real or imagined, it resonates across the millenia to me.

In my dark hours, I hold on to the irrefutable truth in the story.
I have to.

גם זה יעבור‎ - (gam zeh ya'avor)

In the middle of the turbulence surrounding you
These trying times that are so hard to endure
In the middle of what seems to be your darkest hour
Hold fast your heart and be assured:
This too shall pass
Like every night that's come before it
He'll never give you more than you can bear
This too shall pass
So in this thought be comforted
It's in His Hands
This too shall pass

- Yolonda Adams

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Revisiting Self-Sabotage - Part 1

I am currently reading Helen Oyeyemi's "The Opposite House".

This is actually my second shot at reading an Oyeyemi novel. The first was "Icarus Girl" which I began several times and could never quite bring myself to finish. The term 'trying to hard' came to mind on several ungripping pages.

I digress. "The Opposite House" has rather suprisingly managed to more than grip me, it has spoken to me and I am only on page 33.

In the second chapter, Miss Oyeyemi using the voice of her central character describes something she refers to as 'the hysteric'.

I am going to define this as an element of the human soul that yearns for the dramatic and searches it out through sabotaging, mutilating behaviour that could be physical, mental or both.

The hysteric is emotional and therefore illogical.

It should be obvious to all that emotional behaviour is always, without exception, illogical. However, taking into account the alarming spontaneity in decision making that is cornerstone to 21st Century living, it is clearly NOT.

(Hence the high rate of divorce in our "meet one day, marry/move-in-together the next" society)

I digress again. While 'the hysteric' is illogical, it is an essential part of the human soul because it is intrinsic to creativity.

Nevertheless, it must be tightly policed by reason in order that it not become the driver of the human vehicle. Instead, it should remain firmly belted, in the child seat, at the rear, such that the vehicle does not find itself in a destination of macabre destruction of the soul and body.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Not Quite there Yet.

It is excruciatingly hard for me to have to admit to myself and to you all that I am in the midst of yet another dramatic episode.

I have been very blasé about the self-acceptance and self-growth I experienced over the summer.

Many times I have heard myself in a didactic tone deliver my la-di-da opinion about how easy it is to pull oneself together from the abyss that is self-loathing into the marvellous, enlightened nirvana of self-awareness.

Clicking my fingers together I have described to many that exact instant in time when I decided to love myself. "Self-love and self-awareness are the key to happiness. I have never been happier".


In what can be only referred to as the arrogance of youthful inexperience I actually believed that the episodes of intense dissatisfaction and sadness that have assailed me from time to time since I entered into the perilious tide of puberty were well and truly over.


I have been rudely returned to the reality of hormones and tears.

I do not yet have the answer.


To be completely and brutally honest, the truth is I am not yet ready to admit to the answer.

(Some of you who know me might have guessed it)

However writing has certainly helped me gain some perspective on the situation.

So unfortunately there is no lesson to be gained from this post. Perhaps that is in itself a lesson.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Introducing MissITKNOWS: A Work in Progress!

This past week has been AMAZING!

For one thing, I learnt to take blood. Granted, I have not yet been succesful in getting some out of a human but the mere fact that I was privileged to try is AWESOME!

Also, most of my dearest friends are in London for the first time this year. Seeing them all has filled me with much joy.

In addition, I have met some fabulous new people and seen some others that I have known for a while in a brand new light.

and for those of you who like gossip, for the first time in a long time, I had an unpremeditated crush...

It only lasted two days, but at least for those 48hours, I allowed my giddy female element to rule my head!

It seems like finally I have learnt to be myself, MISS ITKNOW, without apology in most environments.

I know that this is not the most original of thoughts but, being oneself as much as is possible without caring about jugement is liberating. This is the ideal we all aspire to.

(However, it is necessary to be governed at least in part by rules of societal engagement that exist to protect individual freedoms.)

I digress, my actual point is that while I had a lot of fun this week, I could not shake off the nagging feeling that I was drifting with my head in the clouds...

I discussed this emotion with my girls and I came out with the following important points:

  • In my attempt to be real, I must be real to myself and not the cause of reality.

  • Being yourself does not mean you should over-analyse all your actions; it is OK to just have fun.

  • Know what each individual you associate with is: Acquaintance, Friend or "True Blood". I know that these categories are dynamic however, it is crucial never to overestimate. Enjoy each for what they are!

  • If you are talking too much then, all is NOT well; there is an inner hole you are trying to fill. Learn to listen. (This was a hard truth to swallow)

  • Do not judge people solely based on your own experiences with them. It is disrespectful to the complexity of human behaviour. People change, people grow, people are different in different circumstances; I have had a personal revelation of this recently.

  • Change comes from within, your external environment should be irrelevant.

  • Do not expect overnight redemption, as I have said before this is a journey, 2 steps forward, one step backward...

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The Concept of Shame

Hey Guys,

Its been a while.

I miss writing my blog but unfortunately between personal illness, the Hospital and internet TV (Swingtown, Mad Men & Gossip Girl to be precise) I have been reduced to the occasional substandard post, like this one.

This obviously is unacceptable and I am working on a way to make it work! (more reasons why I should have gotten the crackberry instead of the Iphone... but the Iphone is soo pweety and shiny I had to get it!)

My favourite phrase of the last week has been "You have no shame". For those of you not familiar with "Itunu" phrases I will give you a brief summary:

Every couple of weeks, I savagely destroy a word or a phrase by sheer over use and misapplication. By the time I am done with it, it's original meaning and application is completely lost to all my friends and it is forever and ever etched as an Itunuism.

Two days ago while walking in front of the newly opened Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in Piccadily Circus, I remarked, "London has no shame!".

This morning after watching the most recently released Gossip Girl episode following a period of great anticipation, I looked at myself in the mirror and remarked, "Itunu, you have no shame!"

When I saw the new line of Chanel looking pumps available for purchase at River Island, I shook my head and sighed, that River Island would do this fills me with sadness. Such behaviour is expected from the Primarks and New Looks of this world, but River Island? Clearly the British High Street has absolutely, positively no shame at all!

For my final example, I present to you in its entirety a message that I was sent on facebook. This has not been edited in anyway...

"Im Saheed Muritala" 28 yrs of age. a O.N.D holder. i need you if you in rested for a serious relationship. dont just see thie and delete it.. i'm a honest and open mind guy. im caring to those who know me. babe i can't swear but try me. good looking guy here in 9ja. thanx."

I rest my case.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

For the love of sleep...

This week marked the beginning of my clinical career but within all the excitement of the hospital atmostphere the thing most pertinent in my mind from my experiences this week is that I have remembered how much I love sleep.

Compared to next week this past week's schedule wasn't too bad. After all the earliest I had to get in last week was 8.30 am. (Next week is going to be a brutal 8.15!) However, the act of having to wake up at 6.30 to pray before I had a shower and got dressed proved tortuous for this somnophile!

I am going to need all of my will-power, love of medicine and fear of my parents combined to ensure that I do not begin and continue my medical career constantly flirting with tardiness.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Sarah Palin! Come on McCain't... You've tacitly endorsed Barack Obama

While Sarah Palin's acheivements as a woman, a mother and a Governor must be lauded, it is obvious that she is in no way ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Some might argue that her experience is comparable to Barack Obama and while I disagree with this even if it was true, BHO has had almost two years to get himself up to scratch on issues of the economy, national security and foreign policy; Palin has three months.

Sarah Palin's views in many ways mirror Obama's bipartisan, change the status-quo mantra. Such that the decision to put her on the ticket can be viewed as a tacit endorsement of the Democrats' Presidential nominee's ideology. She was clearly picked to serve as an alternative to Barack Obama, for those die-hard "Hilly-Billies" and ardent feminists who just want to see a woman on the ticket.

McCain picked a running mate that would give him the best chance of winning the election rather than a running mate that would be the next best commander-in-chief of the most powerful nation in the world should -God forbid- the worst happen. At 72, McCain has already used up his "fourscore and ten years" therefore to carry out such a gamble on the nation's economy, security and foreign standing makes me greatly question his judgement.

Sarah Palin appears to be a good woman and in the future she could develop into great leader of America but she does not have enough time to get prepared to fill in the big shoes that she has been offered what with a campaign trail and a newborn!

She can be likened to a half-baked bread taken from the oven to be put into the microwave! I only hope she doesn't burn irredeemably...

Friday, 29 August 2008

Thank you Obama. You've Baracked the World and Changed Everything!

Words are inadequate.

I feel honoured, privileged and blessed to be able to witness the happenings during the last four days half-way around the world in Denver, Colorado.

It is as if all the pain and injustice, all the hopes and stuggles, all the victories and failures of those gone before have in this Kairos moment finally brought forth the long-awaited son.

A son who carries within his veins the substance of reconciliation.

These are precipitous times which require an honest, heartfelt, searching response from all.

We have been provided with an opportunity to leave the past in the past and take hold of our future by redefining ourselves and our world for future generations.

We can ensure that discrimination on account of Race, Age, Creed, Faith, Social Status, Sexual Orientation and Politics are no longer valid for vilification or exoneration.

As citizens of the world, it is our individual and corporate responsibility to join with the winds of change and bury the tired rhetoric of cynicism.

We MUST obliterate from our societies the fallacy that the measure of man can be assessed by WHAT HE IS without taking the time to find out WHO HE IS.

None of us can change WHAT we are but, we CAN change WHO we are.

Yes, we can!

If the son of a struggling single mother and an absentee father, can against monumental odds achieve what in the imaginations of many, including myself -a former cynic-, was regarded as impossible, we MUST recognise that there is NOTHING called impossible; our imaginations just need to be magnified.

I look forward with tears in my eyes and hope in my heart to that cold day in January where I believe without a shadow of a doubt that Barack and Michelle Obama with their two girls will take their first steps into the White House to re-route America back to its place of destiny.

I know that a renewed army of believers of all ages, races and religions will be behind them carrying on the battle and actualising the message of hope flowing from Washington to homes, schools and communities from the state of Alabama to the state of Wyoming.

However, in addition, right beside them, flanking them on the left and right, to buoy them along, will be the spirits of Jefferson, Adams, Douglas, Truth, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, King, Parks, and all of the great Americans whose journeys gave birth to this journey.

It is to America's credit that throughout its great history, regardless of ease or convenience pertaining to personal risk, wealth or ideology, its citizens have always heeded to the tides of necessary change establishing itself as THE leader of the free wold.

This moment is testament to that abiding truth.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Going on a Brief Hiatus... but not without leaving a thought or two!

I leave America tomorrow and so for the last couple of days, I have been saying my goodbyes and of course doing all the last minute shopping which is why I have not had a chance to write.

In addition, when I arrive in England, I reckon that for the first couple of days, I will be catching up with family and friends, unpacking, getting ready for clinics -which starts on the 1st, preparing for graduation all of which might render me unable to write for at least a week or maybe even a week and a half.

For those of you who enjoy reading my random, honest thoughts, I promise that I have been thinking and will continue to think of things that I would like to share with you.

Now for today's thought:

I am currently reading two amazing books: one of them is called "Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoevsky and the other is called "Run" by Ann Patchett. Though they are very different, both of them are filled with deep insight into human behaviour.

"Brothers Karamazov" deals with human philosophy, religion and psychology in a novel way making it one of the most outstanding novels ever written and it is second only to Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" in terms of influential Russian literature. I have not finished this book yet because it is rather voluminous nevertheless, as I have been reading I have run several times to fetch a highlighter or a pen to mark out blocks of undiluted truth that have jumped out at me from the pages of this book.

I will share the most potent one with you now, check this out:

"The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continually lying to other men and himself.

The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than any one. You know it is very pleasant to take offense? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated it to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill- he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it, and so pass to genuine vindictiveness".

You might recall one of my earliest posts that I entitled "The Importance of Being Honest". I had never heard of this book when I wrote that. However, in the above paragraph the point I was trying to make in my feeble words has been magnificently worded and expanded. I was soo excited when I read this and I still haven't gotten over it!

I have taken two things from the above passage:

  • I must NEVER lie to myself. The danger of lying to oneself is to lose awareness and insight into one's condition and sink into a situation of such depravity that it will be next to impossible to find the exit.

  • I need to be certain of and confident in who I am. Taking offense is a stage in the drama-seeking cycle of the immature and insecure. It is impossible for one who is completely HONEST and SECURE within him/herself to be INSULTED. Nothing anyone says can make such people take offense because they are certain of who they are.

"Run" on the other hand is very much a 21st Century book. It deals with questions about race perceptions in a way kind of similar to "Crash" (the movie), but it predominantly deals with black on white and white on black perceptions. This novel nit-picks at crucial but minor details that are usually glossed over; Ann Patchett does not tell us what we already know, she makes us recognise the tiniest inkling of prejudice in ourselves that we would otherwise struggle to accept.

I will carry out a further discussion on what I am learning from both of these books when I return.

A bien tot.