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.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Mean Girls ???

The human spirit is dynamic; constantly mutating to reflect changes in influence.

I have mentioned this before, but I feel that it is important to reiterate and expantiate on this point.

People are neither good or evil; they are human. This means thay are capable of both traits subject to environment.

Dependent on our most pertinent flaws, there will be some environments and individuals that bring out the best and others that bring out the worst in us.

Figuring out which is which comes with personal maturity.

There are some friendships that are mutually destructive in the sense that neither of the two parties involved are necessarily bad however, their individual flaws are two sides of the same coin and they feed off each other exacerbating each problem.

In the movie, "MeanGirls" -which is an education in different personality and friendship types perhaps, I shall carry out an in-depth discussion of it one of these days- Regina and Gretchen are an excellent example of this kind of friendship. Regina had a superiority complex and Gretchen had an inferiority complex, the more biting and criticising Regina got to Gretchen the more she tried to please her and that made Regina even more horrid to her.

Underlying both their issues was insecurity manifested in different ways and each was projecting her insecurities on the other. Note that neither of them were necessarily evil people. It was just that their friendship brought out the worst in each other. In another context, for example, in her relationship with her second boyfriend (not the one she cheated on) Regina George could actually be viewed as real and relatively nice.

This is why it is an excercise in futility to make conclusions about an individual's personality solely based on your experiences with them. It is possible that you could have taken a snap-shot of the worst. A picture does not capture the complete reality; it only captures a moment.

Human behaviour is complex; no one deserves a pedestal or to be completely written off.

It is like the story of the blind men of Hindustan who were groping different parts of the elephant and inferring completely different things about its nature. Each's description of the part that they happened upon was right but using that to make a conclusion about the nature of the elephant was wrong and they each went home with an incomplete and consequently, false impression.

It might be useful to cut out friendships that bring out the worst in you at least until you have completely dealt with the underlying flaws. However, in that, it is crucial to remember that just because a friendship is unhelpful to you, does not mean it is deletrious for everyone else.

I am currently going through this pruning process and it is very difficult because I love these friends that I have to let go. However, as in romantic relationships, I have learnt that love is not enough.

The pit-fall in this process is bitterness. I am being very careful not to allow bitterness to creep in because it will nullify all that I desire to achieve. I am trying to take it one step a time however, as a wise friend has highlighted to me, it is more likely to be three steps forward, two steps backwards, but at least I will be making progress :-)

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Beware! The Miniscule Ones Cometh...

I was saddened and shocked to hear of Bernie Mac's death. Saddened because although, I have not seen enough of his work to make me a fan, I remember being highly entertained by his characters in the movies, "Guess who?" and "Charlie's Angels". Shocked, because he died of complications from pneumonia at just 50, that's my father's age!

It is true that it is still not quite clear what organism; viral or bacteria was responsible for his infection. However, from my perception and experience as a medical student, I have always thought of pneumonia as a disease that kills the really young, the really old or the severly immuno-compromised. I do not know what has happened in the case of Bernie Mac, because he had also suffered from sarcoidosis, an immune system disorder (though it is said to have been in regression) but his death is a good time as any to sound the alarm; deaths from bacterial infections are steadily rising!

Medical students and doctors all have bits of their knowledge base that they bury or discard in their minds. The risk associated with smoking is the most frequently buried -many doctors are chain smokers- but that which is most frequently discarded is the very potent risk of creating an ARMY of SUPERBUGS that will not respond to any current antibiotics if we continue dispensing antibiotics to placate patients like they are throat lozenges.

Imagine that you are trying to eliminate four armed murderers who live in a town with a million innocents but instead of giving the CIA/FBI/MI5 time to figure out a tactful way to go about it, you detonate a bomb which practically wipes out all of the inhabitants of the city (kind of similar to the "plan" behind the Hiroshima bombings). This is clearly a very stupid thing to do, right? However, this is exactly what happens when an antibiotic is prescribed for every sore throat, stomach bug, or chesty cough that ails our spineless, quick-fix crazy society.

The situation is further escalated by the fact that people rarely complete their prescribed dose. Once they feel better they stop taking the antibiotics. What they don't realise is that when they do not complete the dose, a few disease causing organisms can escape and evolve a resistance gene to the antibiotic. This can happen in multiple cells and where such resistant bacteria meet and mate they can form bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics. In fact, we have reached the point where there are some people with infections that do not respond to the stongest available antibiotic and have died as a result.

Bacteria both out-evolve and out-reproduce us; they WILL have the advantage in a face-off battle for survival. I am no prophet of doom but, maybe this is inevitable. The resources on earth cannot sustain the exponential human population growth for much longer; something drastic needs to occur to slow it down. Perhaps this might be it.

Disclaimer: I am not yet a doctor, so please consult your medical practitioner before going on or off any antibiotics.

Learning to Love Me

As my summer in New York comes to a close, I find myself battling with mixed emotions. I have enjoyed living in and getting to know New York city and I am going to miss it but, I have also missed my life, my family and my friends in London and I am looking forward to going back to it.

However, I am not going back the same person I left.

In New York city, I have rekindled old friendships and established new ones. For the first time in my life, I have made friends that were not schoolmates or friends of friends. My microscopic view of the world has expanded and I am grateful for it. In addition and perhaps most importantly, this summer, I have given some time to honest self-reflection.

In the past year, I have struggled with unhappiness. There are many underlying causes. I have already discussed one of them in my post titled "Break the Cycle!" and in this post I will be discussing another.

Some of you may wonder why I put my deeply personal experiences on the internet for all to see and the answer is simply this: I am not ashamed of my flaws rather I am grateful for the gift of self-awareness that in periods of reflection, allows me to recognise my errors, change and become a better version of myself. I open up myself to you all in the hope that some might recognise similar patterns and effect changes where necessary and that the others might avoid these mistakes.

This summer, I recognised that for some time now, I have been trying to be someone I am not. It would be untrue to assert that I have been unaware of this problem because I am a very observant and analytical individual with a heightened sense of self-awareness. Furthermore, some of my friends tried to warn me. However, knowledge of an issue is never the same thing as acceptance. Consequently, it has only been in the past couple of weeks that I have come to really accept this truth. I have also come to understand that what leads me to struggle for social approbation is self-loathing.This was a very difficult thing for me to admit to myself.

In New York, I am learning how to love myself and be comfortable in what I am and what I represent. When I get back to London, I will have to say goodbye to or completely change the nature of some of my relationships which feed off my insecurites in order to feel better about themselves because they have been instrumental in holding me captive to self-hatred. I am grateful that most of my relationships do not fall into this category. I am blessed with great friends and family members who have loved me through these issues and have not judged me too harshly. Some of them have been invaluable in my understanding of these issues but no one could bring me to accept it. I had to do that for myself.

In conclusion, the difference between sanity and insanity is insight. I am honoured that God has given me insight to learn from my mistakes and change; I do not take it for granted.

A Short Postcript.

I am aware that in the last couple of days my posts have had an even stronger didactic tone than usual. This blog is titled MissITKnows and on first view one might wonder what right I have at the age of 21 to make such an arrogant claim.

However, to those who have remained faithful to reading this blog, I hope that what has become apparent is that my claim to "know" is actually a reflection of an earnest desire to discover deep truths about myself and the world around me through my writing.

I have already discussed in an earlier post how thinking and writing are synonymous activities for me.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

The Necessity of Sacrifice

Yesterday, I spent the day in Times Square with an old friend from high school in Nigeria that I haven't seen in years.

I hate Times Square.

Everything about it is soo big, vulgar and loud; it highlights all that is bad about American/modern civilisation in a few square miles.

I digress. After having lunch we went to see the new Mummy movie which was all that you would expect from a Mummy movie and much more! The jokes were obvious and silly but still funny, there was action, there was romance and there was Brendan Fraser; I love Brendan Fraser! The only thing I didn't really like was Maria Bello, her fake British accent got slightly annoying. I prefer the actress that plays Brendan's love interest in the prequels.

The reason why I have told you all of this was because it was in the movie that the idea for this post came to me. I don't want to spoil it for those of you who haven't seen it yet but, as in all action movies worth their salt, someone's life is required as a sacrifice to save the lives of many.

This is not in itself an original idea or thought, after all it is central to the crux of my faith. However, the thought that came to me that is perhaps not as obvious is the fact that every decision we make big or small in every sphere of our lives is linked to a sacrifice; what the economists refer to as opportunity cost.

For example:

All the time I have spent studying this summer, going to class from 8 to 5, is a sacrifice so that someday in the future, I can be qualified to practice as a doctor in America.

All the time I have spent in England away from my family, is a sacrifice so I can get a solid education.

To sustain my inter-personal relationships, I have had to sacrifice some of my personal independence in compromise.

And of course that which is most important to me; to sustain my relationship with God, I have to sacrifice daily.

It is sometimes difficult to make these sacrifices, but they are absolutely necessary for me to be who I want to be.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Ikoyi, VI, VGC, Lekki... at what cost?

Watch this video:

Those of you with a reaction or an opinion please let me know what you think and we can begin a discussion on this issue.
  • I do not guage the lack of response to this post as an indication of lack of care about this issue rather I am going to interprete it to mean that this topic is too far removed from the day to day existence of the readers to cause a response and that is fair enough.
I am still trying to gather enough information from both sides of the issue to form an opinion but when I have formed one, you will be the first to know.

The Sex Files: Part 4 - Freedom of Thought

Before I begin my discussion on homosexuality and the gay marriage debate, I would like to share a little insight with you.

My stance for abstinence is completely a personal choice. I cannot and should not think it right to make that choice for anyone. All I can do is make sure that they have sufficient, unbiased information to make a decision.

It is difficult for some people to understand this and what they end up doing by trying to force people to accept their view is that they cause people to associate their view with a violation of personal liberty.

Consequently, some people who might otherwise have come to a similar conclusion don't even consider abstinence as an option because they have perceived it as just another hypocritical cage.

Part 5 will soon follow.

Monday, 4 August 2008

The Origin of the phrase "Brigerian"

I did not coin the phrase Brigerian. It was coined by my sister's boyfriend last summer on a long journey from New York to Boston in a Chinatown bus! My sister and I were discussing some of our friends in England, that he of course didn't know, in our Nigerian accents, which he struggles to understand, and he was getting quite bored.

In his frustration, he turned to us and said, "Enough about the Brigerians, already!" This resulted in serious laughter from myself, my sister and other passengers on the bus and since then the phrase has stuck.

SO there you have it, the Brigerian phrase was coined by an African-American. How ironic...

The Simple Pleasures of Life.

I was just re-reading this post and for a second I considered deleting it because from a critical perspective it can be viewed as unoriginal and uninspired. However, after a little more thought, I decided against it.

I wrote it after a long day in class and an even longer commute home. I was just really glad to be home and writing this list seemed to encapsulate that mindset. Consequently, while this might not be my best piece of writing, it is still my writing. Furthermore, I am truly grateful that I am richly blessed to enjoy these simple pleasures in life and soo much more.
  1. The first cooling breeze of the air-conditioner when you get home after a long day in the sun.

  2. A stop where the carriage empties during rush hour.

  3. Your first bite into that burger or schwarma after a great night out!

  4. A shower.

  5. Finding a 20 pound note/dollar bill in a bag you barely carry.

  6. The first sip of a glass of cold water.

  7. A baby's smile directed at you.

  8. Randomly bumping into an old, dear friend with whom you did not mean to lose contact.

  9. His first text/call following the introductory meeting.

  10. A great night in with the girls filled with uncontrollable laughter!
For all these and more, may I be truly thankful.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

A Short Story: Part 1.

Once there was a poor widower who had three daughters. He loved them all very dearly but like all parents though he never showed it, he had a favourite. She was the middle child and she was called Estelle.

Estelle could be called neither beautiful nor ugly; she had one of those interesting faces that you have to give it a second look and a third look to even begin to fathom how her features are set out.

Consequently, in the village in which they lived, Estelle was a figure of intrigue. This was much to the annoyance of her sisters who were both conventionally pretty but, they had what I can only describe as a common face. The difference in their looks is as the difference between the characters, Dr. Meredith Grey and Dr. Isabel (Izzie) Stevens in the medical drama, Grey's Anatomy.

Despite this, the sisters loved each other as much as is naturally possible for three women.

The father of the girls provided for them by working as a butler in the home of the Lord of the county, a jovial fellow known as Lord Homfry.

Lord Homfry was viewed by his peers at the House as a bumbling bufoon. This should not be considered as an insult for, they loved him dearly. He was a funny man and he made them laugh many times at risk of his own dignity. Those familiar with the drudgery of Parliament will understand that it was refreshing to all to have a seated member who did not take himself too seriously.

Lord Homfry was also a man of exquisite style and taste; he was always well suited in the up-to-minute couture from the Parisian Tailors and he hosted extravagant soirees that were attended by everyone in respectable society (and a few who weren't) including His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales.

Lord Homfry was himself a widower and was very fond of his butler's daughters, as he had no daughters of his own, only a son. Thus, during their childhood, he was more than happy to have them come to play in his castle. He would often practice his jokes on them and they were always a willing and responsive audience. Consequently, the girls regarded Lord Homfry and his son as they would a favourite uncle and cousin and they in return loved them as nieces and cousins.

This was of course unusual for the time period and as people tend to do towards the unfamiliar; the girls' close relationship with the Lord was widely critcised in the village.
Part 2 will follow shortly.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

What is behind Green Eyes?

  • Insecurity

Deal with low self-esteem and you will eradicate the green-eyed monster that lurks beneath.

There is a monster in us all. Whether it be green-eyed(envy), red-eyed(anger) or blue-eyed(lust). In times of provocation, humiliation, boredom and dissatifaction, it tends to rear its ugly head.

Maturity = controlling the monster.

For those of you who are victims of the green-eyed monster -which is the most commonly observed amongst women- I know its hard to accept but, in a twisted way it is actually a compliment.

It is understandable that you might feel that the perpetrators deserve nothing from you however, you WILL be the better person if you show them sympathy and understanding instead of vengeful animosity.

Remember, there is a monster in us all.

This is another one of life's more obvious mysteries.

PS This is VERY important: Ladies, RUN AWAY from a man who cannot control his red-eyed monster; he is a LOSER and a LIABILITY... YOU are way to GOOD for that!

Friday, 1 August 2008

The Con Hitlitst.

10.) Rihanna: she can't sing, she can't act, she can't dance; she is just a perfectly packaged product.

9.) Take-out Chinese: That's not food. Don't know what it is but it is DEFINATELY not food!

8.) Weight Watchers: Enough said.

7.) Halle Berry's Oscar Win: Let's face it, no black woman has ever won the best actress Academy Award.

6.) Windows Vista: It will NEVER compare to a Mac.

5.) The Tate Modern: If I wanted to see a pile of junk, I would visit my local trash heap.

4.) Invisible Anti-Perspirant: I have the stains to prove it!

3.) Happy Meals: They don't make kids happy, they make them fat and that makes them and their parents sad!

2.) David Blaine: That man really really needs to get a life; he reeks of desperation.

Drumrolls please.

the number 1 con is...

Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon's medical license: He is not a surgeon, He is a butcher! How on earth is he still practising?

The Last Kiss

I stumbled across this movie a couple of weeks ago and I can't stop thinking about it.

Though it is no masterpiece, it is intelligent and well executed. And in addition, there is something about the plot that struck a chord.

Zach Braff excels as a man approaching his 30th birthday when he suddenly realises that there have been no detours, no setbacks, no deletrious mistakes; he has almost completed his set goals.

This freaks him out and subconsciously he begins to seek out chaos.

I will not reveal how it concludes so as not to ruin it for those who haven't seen it but I will say this:

Those of us privileged enough to find ourselves easily drifting towards our set goals without much of a hinderance must realise that this is both a blessing and a burden.

The moment we begin to take these things for granted is the moment we begin to lose them and in doing so we intiate the process of self-sabotage.

In the past, I have been guilty of this and it has cost me; please try not to repeat my mistake.
  • PS If you watch the movie look out for Casey Affleck; he was also AMAZING in his role. He is a far superior actor to his brother.