Excerpt for The Thought Collection Vol. I by , available in its entirety at Smashwords



















Copyright © 2017 Kenneth Igiri































To God, the One who is always with me

To Dad, blood is thicker than water. #iamawriter

To Mom, Valuable and valued.

To Jay, connected and committed to you.

To Shemaya, Numero Uno.





Contents



Early in My Writing Life

Special Posts: The Platform Nigeria

Family Matters

Matters of Faith

Promoting Others

Travels and Cultures

Social Circles

Workplace Musings

Lessons for leaders

Weird Contemplations

Thinking Business

Appendices













This page is Intentionally left blank















Prologue



I have been blogging for over seven years. I have learnt a lot along the way particularly the need to focus on core areas if one wants to make significant impact. Last year, 2017, I attended a class organized by Bernard Kelvin Clive where he mentioned the concept called Blog-to-Book. I caught on to it!



The Thought Collection is a compilation of my blog posts for the last seven years. It just so turns out I have inadvertently written a book of over two hundred pages one blog post at a time. I do hope you enjoy most of it. I personally actually think that it’s not everything that is of great significant but there are some that make me wonder where these thoughts come from.



Happy reading.

Early in My Writing Life



“When God executes a fragment of His plan for your life, everyone thinks you are a genius!” Dec 29, 2011





Njansi, The Book Launch

March 25, 2011.

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26th February 2011 was a very significant day in my life. It was the culmination of a series of miraculous events for which I am grateful to God my Father. From the money to the weather to the support of total strangers, I felt certain that God had smiled on me.

The D-day was very sunny. I arrived in a taxi with my Mom and Aunt Oyiri and met my dear family and friends working to create a glorious event. Ij, my younger brother was there. He had leftas early as 5:30 amthat morning with some stuff since that day was ‘Environmental Sanitation’ in Lagos (movement wouldn’t be allowed from 7:00 am to 10:00 am). He later told me Pamela joined him and helped so much in getting the books packed in carrier bags. Tosin, the lady who did a great job of decorating the place was also there. Bro Deolu had just arrived too, with Michael, the Head, One 1000 Events, his fiancé Ayo; Yemi, some ushers, and Bro Gboyega, the sound man and his team. It was a pleasant sight.

After we arrived, exchanged pleasantriesand prayed corporately, I went downstairs to pray more…. Later on,other officials arrived, and we took pre-event pictures and posted on Facebook encoring others to come around.Zino and John were fantastic. Ij’s invention of a ‘Unveiling Apparatus’ was classic! The projector and slides handled by Ayo, the music, and usher’s outfits were glorious.

The day was graced by colleagues and senior colleagues– Titi, Geraldine, Nkechi, Wale, Femi, Viola etc. Church members, family (my big brother, Nnaneduand Sister Joy were there!!!). The coordination was done so nicely by Michael E. We started about an hourlate and though people arrived in trickles, the hall was eventually filled with up to a hundred people. It was a feat!

At the end, the pictures, exchange of pleasantries, donations and promises of other kinds of assistance, interviews with STV and book signing crowned the event so well. Even, The Sun Newspapers was represented. I was so pleased and grateful to God. Pictures of the event are available on the Facebook Group Njansi as well as the Facebook page of the same name. Feel free to take a look.

Thanks for reading. See you later then.





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Till Death – The New Book

March 25, 2011.

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Many people wondered why I wrote about ‘the occult’ in my first book. Well, I guess that was what was on my mind when I wrote the book. I am writing again, (someone said I have gained boldness with the launch of Njansi). This time, the subject is more appealing I hope.

Till Deathis about Marriage. That would surprise some people who are close to mebut like I toldOsas, I do have a very sound imagination.TillDeathstarts outwith the wedding ceremony ofEmeka and Dupebeing narrated by one of their unknown guests. The variety of ‘stuff’ known to happen in Nigerian weddings are represented in somekind of‘maze’ (for want of words).

In chapter two, (which I am yet to start), the couple start seeing marriage from inside and at some point, a gruesome event shakes the union and thetrue journey begins. It will definitely be a very emotional and ‘romantic’ story. I am writing a bit at a time andI am sure I can make 365 pages in a year this time. lol.

Look out for it early next year while you digest Njansi. By the way, a preview is available on this site.





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Self-Publishing

March 31, 2011

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A number of people have asked me why I chose to publish Njansi abroad. I simply reply that one of the biggest attractions was the global exposure given tothe book. Njansi is available on several online book stores from the US to Europe, India to Australia, South Africa and back to Nigeria! A Google search will convince anyone that the book is indeed global.

I got to know about Authorhouse’s Book Publishing package through an email advert.I ignored the first mail but a few weeks or so later I got another mail offering a 40% discount (it normally costs at least £795.00 to publish a book at Authorhouse). I decided to give it a shot that’s when I started talking with Derek Pastrana, my first Publishing Consultant.

Self-publishing allows the writer to own his work and be completely responsible for it. There are downsidesof this method such as the cost borne by the writer and the fact that you are likely to be responsible for the editing and quality. In the case of Authorhouse, the process makes it possible to still preserve some degree of quality if thewriter is careful enough. You will be required to sign a contract, review and sign the typed galley and cover before printing. In addition, Authorhouse uses print-on-demand so if you do end up making mistakes, you will have an opportunity to correct such without affecting too many copies.

Authorhouse also provides a variety of marketing solutions for which they will charge you. You may want to try them out. Cheers!!!!

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Building a Blog Site

April 8, 2011.

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Building Igiri Books has been an experience. Most of the work was done by my friend and colleague, Ademola. He is a good developer and has been very helpful. He built the site using WordPress as a platform and an already made template. It could have been done in just a few hours!

Today, I learnt how to use already made plugins to integrate with Facebook and Google. Ads are now being published on my site and I expect that this post will automatically be replicated on Facebook. Soon I will work on doing the same for Twitter. You know, when you are selling something, you have to give it the best of publicity (by the way, did I ever tell you I can do Facebook ADs for your business? that’s by the way). It is really amazing how much of free code is out there waiting to be used.

It is also amazing that so many people only play on the Internet! There is a lot one can do to earn money and be productive. Whatever your line of work or business is, I am sure you will find free resources on the Internet which will prove very useful. I have found much in my efforts to publicize my book and I am sure there is something out there which will work for you.

See you later then.

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Drive Yourself

April 11, 2011.

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Combining active writing with a regular job is not necessarily easy no matter how much one loves the hobby. In my case, I often get home about 8:00 PM or half an hour later, then I have to take a bath, eat and watch a little TV. Once in a while I have time to talk with my family. By the time I am through with all this, I am hitting 10:00 PM orso and then it’s time for STV news!

My initial plan was to write for an hour every night, but it is not working out that way so far, but I expect to pick up pace. I have written just about twenty-three pages in the new book ‘Till Death’. Sometimes as I write, it dawns on me that I have to do a bit of research to make the story more true-to-life(imagination is not always sufficient to do a good job).

Whatever be the case, as applies to every other goal in life; great things can be achieved by doing something a bit at a time consistently. I did a small calculation in my mind earlier and figured that if I wrote just one page every single day, I will have a 365-page book at the end of one year! Now that’s not so bad, is it?

Pursue your dreams consistently, folks. Ciao.



If you are hitting too many obstacles, it could mean you are pursuing something valuable. Only key cities are fortified.” December 21, 2017







Special Posts: The Platform Nigeria



Every precious thing God made is covered, hidden, designed to be discovered by those who care hard enough to follow through ...” December 18, 2013





Thinking Outside the Box

April 17, 2011.

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I once heard the tale of a Toad who lived in a small pond hidden inside a cave far below the surface. The only rays of light that managed to reach the pond came through a hole that seemed too far even for him and his relative’s minds to explore. One day, he decided to venture beyond the hole from where he saw light. When he returned from his adventure, he began tellingeveryone how vast the outside world was, how much light there was, how many beautiful trees and flowers there were and most of all, the endless swarm of insects to eat. They laughed him to scorn claiming the world could not be any bigger than their little pond. he gave up on them and moved all by himself into the outside world.

The Box is that region of thought where we are confined to until our horizon is broadened by some out-of-the-ordinary experience or exposure. The Box is the boundary set on ourminds by traditionas well as theroutine experiences of those in our limited circle of friends and family. The Box is what age-long institutions have established as the norm, the rule of law or the ‘core policies’. The Box is that limitation which sometimes drowns innovation.

The Box is difficult to break out of without upsetting the status quo; difficult to break out of without a rebellion of sorts. The Box is often the main stream until someone dares to get out of the Box and begin a new mainstream. The anti-Boxes of our generation are demonstrated in Microsoft’s breakthrough in Personal Computing, Facebook’sbreakthrough in Social Networking, Google’s breakthrough in Knowledge Management, The Nigerian Government’sintroduction ofmobile telephony, InterSwitch’s introduction of ATM networks, Ushahidi’sweb-based Crisis Tracking systemand so on. These innovations and the like have changed the way we live on all sides– business, careers, communication, relationships etc.

Innovation often requires that people break out of the main stream, and that traditionalthought patterns be changed. Innovation requires that we look at the problem from another angle. The problems we are faced with today combined with the complexities of the 21st centurydemand that we begin to look at these things quite differently,that we think not just deeper, but wider. Welcome to a future with new solutions.

Be at the Platform on:www.theplatformnigeria.com.

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The New Landscape

April 29, 2011.

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The first Platform I attended held on 1st October 2007. One of the statements I will never forget from that event was Dapo Adelegun’s prediction of the coming change in the world’s labour market. He predicted then that in two years, people who would survive in the labour market would be those playing very specialized or rare roles. Thus, a number of people would lose their jobs and be left with the option of either starting their own business or staying idle (and looking for a job).

I want to believe that a number of those who heard his words at that time either decided to develop themselves and become more valuable in the market or began to explore starting their own business. I can imagine on the other hand that some might have ignored this as some prophecy of doom or negative statement, but I made my own choice there and then. You may or may not know that his predictions proved true for a lot of us not because he was being ‘prophetic’ but simply because he had analyzed the economy of the world accurately. That kind of depth of thought is very desirable.

A couple of years ago when I told an uncle of mine how much I was earning, he remarked that I could just grow with my current employer and need not bother looking for another. That might have been true in his generation but it certainly not true in the 21st century with such concepts as outsourcing, flat structure, downsizing and cloud computing staring us in the face. Job security and business stability in our age is definitely not as it was half a century or so ago. The way out isnew ideas, breakthroughs, inventions and innovation, expansion of existing structures.

At some point in a generation or two, the capacity of the main stream systems becomes exhausted and simply cannot take in more. At such points, someone just has to Think Outside the Box if life is going to continue to be comfortable. Entitlement mentality and hubris will take one nowhere at such junctures. The breakthrough for your circle of influence could just come from you, you know. At this year’s first Platform on May 7, examples and the ‘hows’ of Thinking Outside the Box will be explored. Be there and Engage the Future with us!

www.theplatformnigeria.com/register



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The Creative Plane

June 26, 2011.

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I was at a seminar once and I heard the speaker say something like ‘You cannot be a millionaire working for someone’. He was probably right! Just a few weeks later I heard ‘gist’ of staff that got up to 10 million naira in bonus (exclusive of salaries) ‘working for someone’. Someone reacted to my Facebook post on the matter stating that having 10 million doesn’t make you a millionaire and he could very well be right too.



I thought about the issue again this weekend and I combined it with a thought I had some months ago about what really creates wealth on the earth. I think that the issue is not really working for someone or not working for someone, becoming a millionaire or not becoming a millionaire. (By the way, if everyone became a millionaire, we might really not need the wordmillionaireanymore). The real issue I think is playing one’s exact role on the earth. People who play roles that they are excellent at tend to become quite successful at it on the earth and possible also quite rich.



In addition, I have also noticed that roles requiring digging into what I callThe Creative Planetend to create more wealth – roles like Software Development, Graphic Arts, Music, Film production, Show Business, Fashion, Engineering, most kinds of Research and the like. Of course, this list is not exclusive and I am in no way saying everyone should join the arts or become programmers, I am saying I observed that if there is something you do that requires creativity, intuition or those subtle skills whose procedures cannot always be explicitly documented, there is a chance that you can create great wealth from it.

One significant example of someone who played his role is Joseph, Prime Minister of Egypt in the 19 Century BC or so. He worked for Pharaoh, but he was indeed an Entrepreneur. He sustained Egypt and the world for at least seven years with food grown in Egypt in the previous seven years. His impact on Egypt was so strong that even though he was a Hebrew, when he went to bury his father in Palestine, the locals named the place of burialAbelmizraimwhich is interpreted ‘the mourning of the Egyptians’.



I should give two warnings on this though however: (1) The wealth you create by delving into the creative plane may not always come to you. For example, most inventors were not rich but businessmen, who bought their inventions, became rich. (2) Being a creator or innovator is not the same as being a ‘copier’ of existing creations. You can only make a mark by delving into the creative plane.



Have a great week and be creative whether you work for someone or not.







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Ab Initio

August 28, 2011.

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It is my thinking that some of the best paying careers in the world today actually border on support roles rather than the core needs of man. From oil workers to bankers to medical personnel and IT Pros, most roles that seem very important and pronounced were actually created to support core needs. Financial institutions were created to keep money deposited by those who worked for the money. Along the line they started making more money than those who deposited their hard-earned money (by trading money not their own).

Medical workers depend on the reality that once in a while, human organs fail and these days, a lot of money is involved in research, education and remuneration in a bid to address such failures and find out ways of preventing such failures. IT Pros have jobs because most modern systems depend on computers, software and related systems. What happens to food, clothing and shelter? Farmers, Tailors and Masons? No, not Hospitality Big-Wigs, Fashion Designers and Architects! These classy people do not really meet basic needs but create sophisticated versions of basic needs.

Anand Giridharadaswhile speaking at thePlatformearly this year discussed the concept of Hardship Innovation. He said that the West innovates by creating sophisticated gadgets which people do not need and convincing people that they need such gadgets while innovators in less privileged countries try to meet basic needs in much cheaper ways.

When civilization began, man worked because he needed to sustain himself – feed himself, clothe himself and shelter himself and his family; that was the primary purpose. Helater saw the need to give his descendants something to start with. These days, we need to ask ourselves again why we are working. Stacking up money? Acquiring western ‘innovations’? Maintaining a social status? Or are we still interested in sustaining ourselves and our families/communities, giving our descendants a better chance. Why doyouwork?



Family Matters



“Never ever let the love of money tamper with your relationships. Money comes and goes but blood is thicker than water.” August 4, 2017





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Little Children

May 22, 2011.

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I spent last week with my young cousins. They are an ever-active, talkative, curious trio, about 2, 5 and 8 years respectively. They just keep touching everything; breaking some things and making each other cry thus needing frequent adult intervention. The house was so alive (and noisy). Sometimes you want to spank them with a pestle, other times you watch their intrigues and laugh. So, children are like this!

Asides from this kind of intrusion into a couple’s privacy, imagine not having the freedom to go to the movies with your spouse anymore, those ‘together alone’ times simply fading away. Housework and kids work taking your wife away. I actually learnt of a woman who uses the vacuum cleaner at 12:00 midnight (after the kids have slept, that is). Seriously, a colleague of mine is her neighbour. This can be really scary if you are not yet married.

Children, children, children. They can be such a bother, but they are definitely part of marriage and part of life. Surviving through that week, I definitely got some ideas on what I could include in Till Death. I am looking forward to this new book turning out more mature and having a better appeal to readers. In Till Death, I am highlighting various aspects of the institution and attempting to maintain the flow of the story while sharing my thoughts.

In my last post, I shared an excerpt from Chapter 2, I hope you have read it. I will keep up with this possibly on a bi-monthly basis till the book is ready. I look forward to getting your inputs. Have a splendid week!













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Tell Everyone

May 29, 2011.

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When you start something new whether it’s a business, a sport, a job or whatever it is, there is often some hesitation about letting people know. That hesitation may come from your not wanting people to laugh at you or copy your idea; it could also be that you are not sure how long this ‘new fad’ will last so you just don’t want to make too much noise about it. Well, keeping quiet is good sometimes but when you need people to expand your territory, you definitely have to tell them about it.



Volume is very powerful when making any kind of impact. In business for example, a small profit margin could turn out to be millions of naira if millions of people buy your product. An event could turn out magnificent just by having a massive attendance and a website could generate very serious statistics when enough people know it exists.



If you are doing something new and you need people, tell them! If you need help, tell an inner circle of friends but if you need customers, broadcast it from the rooftops. Your rooftop need not be expensive. It might just be Bulk SMS, Facebook Ads, Blackberry broadcasts or even Word-of-Mouth (my goodness, that one is powerful!). Whichever way you choose, just let people know.

Before I say, ‘Bye for now’, I have something to let you know myself: if you are yet to get a copy ofNjànsí, you can either get one online if you have a credit card. I would advise you compare prices at the following site:

If you do not have a credit card and you are in Lagos, you can get a copy (for a lower price by the way) atGlendora Books.



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10 Strategies for Keeping Your Wife’s Mind on You

June 7, 2011.

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I have been writing on marriage as your already know and in the course of my writing, I have learnt a few new things about cars, medicine, writing itself and of course relationships. This week, my Senior Partner and I came up with a few tips that could help married men resonate constantly in their wife’s minds.

After going through these tips, I would be glad if you provide feedback on the results of practicing just two out of the ten tips over a period of time. Also, you could add tips from your own experience as comments. So here we go:

  1. Send a very special SMS or IM everyday whenever you are away. Sample:

Someone got me really upset today then he wondered why I just smiled. I smiled ‘cos at that very moment, I thought about u’

  1. Spend thirty minutes every day talking to herexclusively. Turn off the TV, your phones, your computer and just talk with her.

  2. Have her pose and take pictures of her every weekend. Take pictures of her when she is asleep and surprise her with them.

  3. Do the cooking, house chores or take care of the baby all by yourself and let her do whatever she wants every two weeks.

  4. Take her out to dinner, a park, the beach, the movies or wherever at least once a month.

  5. Buy her a small gift every month. On special occasions – birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas – buy her a big gift.

  6. Visit her at her office once in a while unannounced. Let her colleagues know you.

  7. Take her on a trip out of town at least once a year. Depending on where you are going, vary the modes of transport.

  8. Describe a part of her body in detail to her once in a while. You can recite it like a poem, write it and send it in the mail or capture it on a camcorder.

  9. Confess your commitment to her in a spiritual atmosphere and let her reciprocate. Sample:

You belong to me and I belong to you. You are pleasing to me and sufficient for me. I will never desire another. Our souls are bound by a blood covenant in God the Father. Till Death do us part’.

Expecting your response. Ciao.



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People

July 11, 2011.

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I recently ran into a very precarious situation at my workplace. I was expected to do something I had never done before, somethingwhose outcomeeveryone was stone scared of, something apparently simple but potentially disastrous if things just happened not to go as planned. incidentally, things didn’t really go as planned. Things went way outside the plan.

Before, during and after the task, you could almost touch the tension. People offered advice, yelled, avoided the situation, spent late nights and so on. Over a period of about 19 hours, with a break of one or two hours sleep, there was teamwork, support, encouragement and brainstorming. The boundaries of roles were broken, and everyone helped each other. It was clear that if things did go wrong, everyone had something to lose.

I certainly learnt a lot over the last weekend. beyond the codes and commands, beyond the syntax and semantics, beyond the processes and procedures, I learnt the value of having PEOPLE with you! If you are in any kind of relationship with REAL people, value them: mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues. Value them and support them when they need you. Watch their backs when they are not looking. People are the most important assets you have. “If one does not love his brother whom he can see, how can he say, ‘I love God'”. Value people.













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Between Man and Woman?

October 11, 2016.

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“Mummy, are you a man or a woman?”



Have you ever imagined your five-year-old kid asking you that question? Do you think it is an unexpected question to ask? Maybe now it seems far-fetched, but it could be a normal question in a few years at the rate the world is going. A few years ago, I heard Pastor Poju Oyemade in one of his messages making a serious joke about a toothpaste advert with two men brushing their teeth. If you did not get that line, please read it again and think about how certain family products are advertised.

Some weeks ago, I listened to a documentary whose subject was the rights gay footballers have to publicly declare their sexuality. I tried to understand the reason for this and I am still trying to. Do heterosexual footballers have to declare their sexuality? Why do we have to have a whole documentary on the subject of encouraging homosexual footballers to declare they are homosexual? Could it be because someone is pushing a certain agenda?



I do think an agenda is being pushed. If a person’s sexuality is normal why does it have to turn into a movement. As it is, it seems some people are not just trying to make us accept them the way they are, they want to convert us to the way they are and that is troubling especially for our children. Unborn children will arrive in a world where the definition of the word “man” or “woman” will be unclear. A world where filling the gender column on forms may not be as simple as “M” or “F”. A world in which public conveniences will need no labels on the doors. Is this advancement or confusion?

No one is asking for intolerance or hatred for alternative lifestyles. Everyone has a right to choose how they want to live but why try to shove it all down our throats using celebrities like actors and footballers to tell our attentive children that this is the way to go. Why lock up our preachers for refusing to wed gays? If they have a right to be gay, I have a right not to wed them too. If they have a right to be gay I have a right as a matter of company policy in my private company to say I will not employ them. It is about rights, isn’t it?



Someone is pushing an agenda. Someone has to push back. Tolerance cannot mean submission else it would not be fair.









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Intimacy

July 22, 2012

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Intimacy is an intrusion into your lonely lifestyle, a bold invasion of your privacy often with your consent. It just happens to be a very pleasant invasion … most of the time. Intimacy happens when you cross paths with another species of being and find that your numerous plugs fit into their numerous sockets… at least most of them. Intimacy happens when you open up your sockets and extend you plugs to exchange soul by giving and receiving.



Intimacy is an invasion. There are no more gates with this significant other. There are no more barriers. There is so much discomfort in tearing down these barriers and when they are down… they are down. The army raids your inward parts, and nothing is hidden anymore. Whatever was in the dark is completely exposed. The fragile emotions, the unseemly habits, the lousy flaws covered in cosmetics in public places.Everythingis exposed!



Intimacy is an intrusion. At the beginning it is unpleasant to give in. But when the bombardment becomes unbearable, the walls begin to fall. They crack at first, it hurts yet is thrilling. Why does the thrill hurt so much? Because stone walls are crumbling under heavy fire. The women of the city are on rampage. There is chaos in the inward parts. The boundaries are no longer relevant.



Intimacy is an invasion. Looting is lawful because everything is shared. Nothing is private anymore when two become one. The concept of private property has no meaning in this realm. The other one becomes a disturbance that you cannot live without, a massive cedar tree growing in the centre of your bedroom. Things get missing, personal effects are moved, and permissions are granted without being requested.Everythingis shared.



Intimacy is liberation when two become one; that is how we are designed. Intimacy is a relief because that is what we long for. Intimacy is a pedestal which we all reach for so long as we have the capacity to feel. Intimacy is a challenge we find fulfilling to surmount. Intimacy is a trap we would gladly walk into over and over again because we would rather be bound by love than be lost in loneliness.



Intimacy is a seed that can grow for a lifetime. Intimacy is a weed that can become beautiful when nurtured or else entangled to the point of choking itself when left untendered. Intimacy is an experience so sacred and priceless, so profound and engaging, so complex and intricate that it can only be shared with one other at any point in time during a lifetime.



Intimacy is a treasure often so hard to find and so easy to lose that we must depend on neither logic nor appearance to grasp its deepest meaning. A concept so deep that we must spend a lifetime discovering is infinite layers and facets. It is a maze so intricate that we must pay attention to the tiniest detail to preserve it in its finest form. Intimacy … we could go on and on forever and we will.



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How About a Long Marriage?

August 26, 2013

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It is typical of philosophers like me to rattle at weddings that the issue is not how beautiful theweddingis but how long and how well themarriagelasts. Recently I began contemplating my father’s generation and how long their marriages lasted. My respected folks onHelpers of Your Joyproposed that arranged marriages of the last century tend to last longer than our present day marriages.Bishop Tudor Bismarkmentioned something similar at the recently concludedGreater Works Conference.

Well, not surprisingly, I began musing on the theory. OnHelpers of Your Joythe thought communicated was that when marriages were arranged, the tendency is that parents who made the arrangements had more experience and could see what young people could not see when their faculties had been skewed by vibrant hormonal movements. Makes sense I guess. After all, they say “Hormones are blind” … or was it “Love is blind”. Whichever!



My little concerns on the arranged marriage thing and the length of time marriages lasted in the last century border on how free a woman was to speak out if she was unhappy with a marriage in Africa in the year 1980… What options she had … what the effects were on her being single or divorced…. I also wondered whether the men who had lived with their wives for 300 years actually really had no intimate relations with any other women throughout the 300 years before their blissful wedlock was suddenly interrupted by the year 1990 (as in the Information age of short marriages) oops!



Well, seriously speaking I think something between communal values, stigma and maybe even the security created by a family arrangement kept marriages together in the last century not really the fact that the marriage was arranged. Women generally tended to let sleeping dogs lie in the past. I could be wrong. On the other hand, I guess they got the benefits of a companion at old age when the turbulent middle-ages were long gone when they had to swallow plenty lumpy green things thrown at them by their beloved spouses (and vice versa as a matter of fact). So long marriages still did pay off!



Please do not misconstrue my point. I do intend to have a permanent marriage (Till Deaththat is) however it will not be on the basis of an arrangement or the tendency to shove things under the carpet. It will be by genuine consent of both parties to remain together under the supervision of The Umpire. A three-fold cord cannot be broken, you know. What do you think?



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Key Words: Relationships

October 12, 2013

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I once read an article on the techniquesfor driving traffic to one’s website. One of the principles highlighted was the use of words in a way that would cause your page to be easily returnedas one ofthe topnresults on a Google search. The article went on to say that using such words repeatedly on your page or blog increases the chances of your website being returned in a search. Obviously, there are other factors involved but I am sure you get the logic behind this point.



Along a similar line of thought, proponents of Conspiracy Theories often say that certain movies, interviews and music videos contain subliminal messages intended to influence popular opinion by imprinting images on the subconscious of the audience. This is very possible, and a keen observer will notice it is indeed doable and obviously being done, maybe over-hyped, but certainly being done.



You will agree that such concepts as single parenthood, gay ‘relationships’, paranormal phenomena, co-habitation etc. are constantly being communicated in modern movies without being explicitly talked about in the movie itself. The ideas are communicated subconsciouslyinfluencing theway people generally view these concepts. Words such as my ex-, breakup, partner (ratherthan spouse) are also normal these days courtesy of media.



If you happen to do some public speaking or presentations, you will also realize that certain words can help get the attention of the audience. The words themselves as well as how those words are driven into space as well as how they eventually arrive in the ears and consciousness of the hearers. Simple techniques like this can make you an amazing public Speaker or presenter even when the content of your presentation is shallow.



I recently change my status on Facebook and my new status had the word ‘relationship’ in it. Before I proceed, let us see the definitions of relationship according to dictionary.com:

re·la·tion·ship

1.a connection, association, or involvement.

2.connection between persons by blood ormarriage.

3.an emotional or other connection between people:the relationship between teachers and students.

4.a sexual involvement; affair.



You will notice that there are four definitions of the same word cutting across business, genealogy, emotions and sexuality. However, my status change got me about fourteen affectionate comments from close friends and siblings who were interested in the last definition of the keyword ‘relationship’.











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Fire Bonding

June 2, 2013

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I tend to think you are closer to those with whom you went through difficult times. In times of difficulty we tend to show our most unrefined emotions whether it’s extreme anger or grief, hysterical laughter or unrestrained affection. In those times of distress, finesse adds no value and is absolutely not necessary when you are with those closest to you. Table manners vanish because what matters is filling your tummy. Dress sense fades with the waning clothing. Poise is of little use without elegant footwear.



When scarce resources are mixed with tears and shared, the sweetness of the fellowship burns deep bonds among the hearts involved. Words are few but words are deep. Every stare of tired eyes has deep meaning and can be read quite easily by each fellow. Nothing is meaningless even though not everything can be described in human language. Every thought is shared though often not spoken. Laughter is rare and precious, loud and unrestrained, wild ….



Then when light begins to flicker far in the future and you recall those dark years, memories make you smile, laugh, then cry… then laugh again, giving thanks. The wounds are gone only dry scars remain. Memories are faint with just a few tattooed on your heart. The most precious of all are the bonds formed with those who shared those dark years with you. Those bonds are eternal. Those bonds are precious.



Families are bonded by blood, but they are also bonded by fire – those years of intense pressure when hope lay only in God, when the future seemed so distant, when fire raged, and eternal bonds were formed. Strong families are born in adversity if they survive through it. Even when there is no blood-bond, strong families can be born. Do you remember your bonds?



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Family

August 9, 2014

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I believe we were wired for community from the beginning. We were made by God with the desperate need to be needed, a profound desire to be devoted to another or others. Some part of our souls craves the satisfaction of sharing our lives – money, time, possessions – with others. Life makes more meaning when these longings are fulfilled.



I, more than once, have heard the illustration that if a man is given a few days to live he would not regret all the work he did not finish in the office or all the money he did not make as much as he might regret the relationships he took for granted. Conversely, a dying man’s closest confidants at the point of death are more often than not those bound to him by blood. Those who miss him most are not those he worked for or worked with but those he shared love relationships with.



Family is a vital part of human life. When you have the opportunity to nourish those bonds that are not too easy to describe in human words, do not hold back anything. Feed the bonds to fatness, lavish love on your kin, receive love in return, relish every moment. Time spent with family is never lost time. The wealth of relationships last much longer than any gold we could gather while in this world. Such wealth is saved in the most secure recesses of our hearts.



When we prepare to start a new family, the old does not become extinct? It is merely extended. The first phenomenon that pulls the first members of a new family together is often some form of physical or tangible attraction, but the bonds of family are much deeper than the superficial decorum apparent on a wedding day or in the passing pleasures of physical intimacy. There is so much more….



Family is precious. Value her, nourish the bonds. Give all you can while you can.



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Fatherhood Series – 001 – How It All Started

June 5, 2017.

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I have been in IT for about 10 years and nothing ever takes me away from my duties except God. That day however, I had to shelve a trip to the office and have someone stand in for me when she said he seemed to be coming. (He finally came two days later). The following couple of days were full of drives back and forth to the hospital. Anticipation. Expectation. Anxiety? A little. We had packed everything in the travel bag as if it was a hotel we were going to. The nurses were definitely as nice as Room Service unexpectedly. Ghanaians are generally nicer when they are in customer service roles I guess!



The pain came at intervals. Hours on end. On the final evening it seemed as though she needed some help. It was deeply emotional, watching the inevitable process of birth. I got to the borderline, questioning the intelligence of this design. Why not an egg, external to the human body? Why not mitosis of some sort? Or even creation by words? Why so much pain? Did the pain arrive after the fall? What was the process before the fall. And I recorded all the intermittent outcries and breathing and gibberish and calls to the midwife. The last two intense hours.



When it was time to go to the next level, I was close to tears. Why after all the hours? What are the possible things that could happen? I could not afford exposing my emotions in her face. That would be even scarier. I held back. It did not take long though I could not look inside. How did these doctors do it? Horrific sights of internal body parts and they acted normal. She just smiled. The pain had been temporarily suspended and she could not see what was really going on. The cry of the baby brought relief about twenty minutes later. It was done.











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Fatherhood Series – 002 – Moments

August 22, 2017.

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It seemed only like yesterday when I stood in the theartre and watched the umbilical cord being removed from a Caucasian-looking tiny boy who happened to be my son. He seemed too delicate that it was scary to even touch him. A few months down the line his complexion has changed to a smooth chocolate or so. His eyes are bright and wide, gazing at everything curiously, he makes weird sounds every now and then speaking baby language which consists largely of crying and sobbing when he wants attention.

About a month ago he started smiling for the first time. It felt awesome and we kept doing things to try to make him smile because no matter how many times he smiled every occurrence was an absolutely sublime encounter. Thrilling. We wanted to make him smile and laugh all the time. Well, we call it laughter because it carried the same level of excitement as a normal laughter when we look at his face even though he hasn’t started making those cracking sound we make as adults.

It makes one wonder though: what makes us laugh? What makes us cry? What is the actual constitution of our emotions? Why do our emotions seem to be something we need to control as we grow for example? In a few years my boy would no longer cry when he is hungry, he would speak. When he is a teenager, a simple stare from my eyes would no longer make him smile excitedly being all grown up. His carefree baby songs would be all gone. Oh, but the wonder of those simple moments of baby life. Nothing matches them!

Treasure those moments with family while you have them. They are moments that are difficult to repeat. Some of those moments may seem to have absolutely no logically expressible meaning but they are of infinite value in our human relationships. Nurture them and treasure them. The smile, the laughter, the sing along songs, the cuddle, the game of cards where the winner doesn’t matter and seeks no prize. Treasure the moments.

Matters of Faith



“If you were running your own company and your employees kept giving you the kind of excuses you give your creator, I am sure you might fire some. May God not fire you”





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The Stigma of Men, the Grace of God

September 24, 2011.

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I recently started writing the chapter where Linda has given birth to a child out of wedlock. It can be a disturbing experience when something happens that one was not expecting to happen and for Christians, it can be a ‘faith-threatening’ experience. Those who experience such ‘miss-haps’ in Christian circles face some serious stigma, some lowered marriage chances in some circles and possible lower self-esteem. This applies to other lifestyles considered abhorrent.



I joggled through my mind today the issue of the prodigal son’s brother; how he said to his father something like ‘I have been with you all this while and served you faithfully but you have given me nothing yet when this son of yours returns from spending your wealth on women and parties, you throw a party for him’! Sometimes you probably feel that way without saying it: someone is getting something out of life that you think you deserve more than that person.



You might have in the past thought about women who you felt were too loose or lousy to be good wives but they are married long before you are; men who were every lady’s plaything back in school but they are now taking care of their families making more money than you are while you are faithfully working for your boss trying to save enough to talk to a lady. It’s amazing that life simply does not follow our calculations.



The matter at hand further reminds me of a certain feast the Lord Jesus attended. While at the feast a prostitute walked in, fell down at his feet and started kissing his feet. When Jesus heard the judgmental thoughts of His host, he told a parable and asked a question. Something like this: ‘If I cancel the debt of two people, who would be more grateful, the one who owes NGN5 million or the one who owes NGN5000?’ The answer is obvious.



The workings of God’s grace are indeed mysterious. Where sin abounds, grace abound much more yet we cannot justify deliberately sinning in order to produce grace neither can we deny those who have ‘sinned more’ than we have a greater abundance of grace.



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Goofs and Grace

October 30, 2011.

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I know someone I consider special and I am going to talk about his professional goofs today. Don’t worry, I’m sure he won’t mind.

Back in 2003/2004, Wi-Fi Expert dropped a NGN60000 Grid antenna from 60 feet while attempting to adjust its position. That was the end of that day’s work. He hung from the height, wishing he could press the ‘rewind’ button and recover the antenna but … there is no rewind button in real life.

In 2006, while working at a client’s site, Wi-Fi Expert fell through a roof and fell to the hard floor about eight feet away, left arm first. He obviously broke his wrist and had to wear POP for a while. Once again, end of the day’s work.



Earlier in that same year while practicing Cisco Router configuration, Network Administrator issueerase nvramtwice on a 1900 router and got away with it (after all only the configuration was erased). The third time around he issuederaseand the very smart Cisco iOS interpreted it aserase flash. When the router booted up, Bros saw arom monitor prompt! OUCH! The entire Operating System on the router was gone! He then waited for his boss’s bashing the next day.


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