Suddenly, he turned back into a boy! back to being afraid, afraid of everything he had outgrown, afraid of the dark, life and love, the very life he had grown to love and the love he has come to learn. Nightmares woke him up in sweats, squirms, and pantings, he gasped for air and dizzied from endless echoes of voices that once told him to be a man, but never showed him how. All by himself he learnt, fell, rose and somehow stumbled unto manhood. For it will bruise his ego to be likened to a woman or worse, to the wrapper that strapped him to her back once upon a time. it would be better to die! He dared not be vulnerable, for he is expected, assumed and supposed to be a symbol of strength; nothing short, else he is of no worth. Sweats are praised but tears are shamed, for they are a sign of weakness, a permissive will to a woman but an ill feat to a man. So he worked sculptured smiles unto his face, and wore silence for a dress, in an attempt to suppress, the emotional stress, that brewed inside. A well of tears, he wouldn't dare shed. Until tragedy struck and exposed his weakness, his fears, then his tears. the sad boy beneath my man of valor, stood bare before my frightened soul. My tears flowed into his, formed a river and we both drowned in misery. I should have seen it in his alarming insecurities, incessant jealousy, endless bouts of moodiness, the parade of his ego, the masking of emotions and the earth shattering silence that was the loudest gun shot. When he did 'shut up'. Intuition, pain, denial, anger, then a resolve to try harder. I tried and I tried... I endured the unbearable drudgery of staying and the uncertainty of waiting. then I became sad too; for how do I love a 'sad boy'? one shrouded in pain, cringing at every love stroke I gave, how do I love someone, who's burdens now reign over my name? for a moment I did endure, until it was the last straw. I snapped and broke up! for how do I love a 'sad boy'? when the last thing he needed was my love: my love, which was now sadly, even more pathetic.
There was a gigantic tree, Where I once lived, We called it the “Big tree”, beautiful like nothing you’ve ever seen. It’s leaves would wave in the wind like it was showing off it’s greens. I always look at those leaves introspectively.
When I was hungry, I wished it fed me, when I was broke, I wished it was money, but I hated to do the sweeping every morning. One fateful, quiet and lazy day, I watched from my window pane and caught how the leaves break free to flee, They float effortlessly in the wind, Only long enough before they fall to the ground as weed. I kept keen on this backyard tree, counting it’s falling leaves…one, two, three… and then I stop, interrupted by the thought of how much of it I will have to painstakingly sweep the next morning…I hissed.
But an epiphany soon hits me, there was something fascinating about these leaves… As they fall out of need and die, they still serve a purpose, both in living and in dying, in living for photosynthesis feeding the mother tree, Iin dying as manure nurturing the same mother tree.
These leaves had no eyes yet they have vision. These leaves have no individual names… just simply chalked up as species. But that never stopped them from being a part of something big. Now I’m outstretched on my bed, watching all my deepest fears crawl on the ceiling, I thought of you and me, better than any tree’s leave. We are way out of their league.
We’ve got a Face, we’ve got a Place, more significantly, we’ve got individual names and so the question arises… How purposeful do we live? and what legacy would we leave? when we finally drop from the family tree? We could Learn from the Leaves.
With life comes death, a beginning
and an end, to all things humans may
perceive, all we see, is born and lives,
then evolves until it dismantles into
disappearance, slowly vanishing beyond
our senses, as if suggesting nothing is
after it has been. Swirling particles
of hydrogen pulled together by a force,
labelled gravity to give, birth to stars.
By the same effect twirling dust and rocks
breed, planets scattered randomly through
a dynamic space expanding from day one.
Once more a beginning. Yet we’ve seen
supernovas and collapsing spheres,
mountains form and trees grow, flowers
blossom, animals reproduce, we multiply,
ourselves having babies if we are lucky
out of love, physical chemistry keeping
humanity alive, for a glimpse of immortality
striving to defy, time. Yet we’ve seen
mountains corrode under conditions,
atmosphere, sunrays, wind, snow and rain,
trees wither, flowers fade, carcasses decay,
into ashes babies grow to old age then pass
away. Everything inducing us to believe
all has, a beginning and an end, that with life
comes death, unable nonetheless,
to convince our spirits of the same.
Intuition proposing a never-ending always
has been, unfolding mystic carpet of bewilderment
and awe, where energy incessantly mutates,
and cannot be created nor destroyed.
I showered and shaved……………. I adjusted my tie.
I got there and sat……………. In a pew just in time.
Bowing my head in prayer………… As I closed my eyes.
I saw the shoe of the man next to me……. Touching my own.
I sighed. With plenty of room on either side……… I thought,
‘Why must our soles touch?’ It bothered me, his shoe touching mine.
But it didn’t bother him much. A prayer began: ‘Our Father’…………. I thought,
‘This man with the shoes, has no pride. They’re dusty, worn, and scratched.
Even worse, there are holes on the side!’ ‘Thank You for blessings,’ the prayer
went on. The shoe man said…………….. A quiet ‘Amen.’
I tried to focus on the prayer……. But my thoughts were on his shoes again..
Aren’t we supposed to look our best. When walking through that door?
‘Well, this certainly isn’t it,’ I thought, glancing toward the floor.
Then the prayer was ended………… And the songs of praise began .
The shoe man was certainly loud….. Sounding proud as he sang.
His voice lifted the rafters…….. His hands were raised high.
The Lord could surely hear.. The shoe man’s voice from the sky.
It was time for the offering…….. And what I threw in was steep.
I watched as the shoe man reached…. Into his pockets so deep.
I saw what was pulled out………. What the shoe man put in.
Then I heard a soft ‘clink’ as when silver hits tin.
The sermon really bored me………. To tears, and that’s no lie.
It was the same for the shoe man… For tears fell from his eyes.
At the end of the service…….. As is the custom here. We must greet new visitors,
And show them all good cheer.
But I felt moved somehow……….. And wanted to meet the shoe man.
So after the closing prayer…….. I reached over and shook his hand.
He was old and his skin was dark….. And his hair was truly a mess…..
But I thanked him for coming………. For being our guest…
He said, ‘My name’s Charlie………… I’m glad to meet you, my friend.’
There were tears in his eyes……… But he had a large, wide grin..
‘Let me explain,’ he said…………. Wiping tears from his eyes.
‘I’ve been coming here for months…… And you’re the first to say ‘Hi.”
‘I know that my appearance………..Is not like all the rest.
‘But I really do try………………..To always look my best.’
‘I always clean and polish my shoes…Before my very long walk.’
‘But by the time I get here……..They’re dirty and dusty, like chalk.’
My heart filled with pain………… And I swallowed to hide my tears.
As he continued to apologize………. For daring to sit so near He said,
‘When I get here………… I know I must look a sight.’
‘But I thought if I could touch you….Then maybe our souls might unite.’
I was silent for a moment…………. Knowing whatever was said Would pale in
comparison…. I spoke from my heart, not my head.
I dedicate this to big S. The one woman that has ever broken my heart and big S broke it numerous times. Eight times to be precise. I was never going to be good enough and I knew right from the onset. Love is never enough especially when love comes with a baggage of irritation and immaturity.
Here is to F. The one that could have been. You deserve way better than I could give. Carried a brother through the toughest times. Way too soft and lenient with me, but lost faith at the crucial time. You are a constant reminder that every crucial decision in life is a factor of timing. I will pay your good deeds back. I promise.
E. Where do I start? Ghetto fabulous, shared her deepest secrets with me. Sharpened my street orientation. Took my side even over her own blood relatives. We shared common enemies and that strengthened our Love. However, if I were to be honest, she did not stand a chance. She was a victim of her environment. My ambitions made you the imperfect company.
To big O. For better or worse, we share a bond forever. I appreciate the gift you have given me, and beyond our imperfections you remain the best thing I do not want. The closest but farthest from me. You are the recipient of all the lessons learned from my previous failures. Your chapter would never end with me, it would only evolve.
To little S. Chased you for five years, dated you for six months. You were way too immature and I was way too impatient. In retrospect, I think we just did not know what to do with the limited time our relationship was destined to last. So we vented our frustrations on each other. You are the good girl time won’t let me have.
To the amazing A. My obsession. Work ethics of a horse, broad shoulders to show how much you can handle your own business. Graceful walk like all other ladies were molded off you. Tilt slightly to the left , just enough to show you are not like the others. Having said this, I am well aware of the role time need to play in this. Hence, I leave it to time.
Back to big S. Took me four year to forgive you. I had to be in your shoes to understand your perspective. Just want to say I now understand.
So let us raise our classes,
To the big S’s. The exes the rejected us because we were not good enough.
The exes we want to prove wrong every single day of our lives.
The exes that make us better.
I called someone lousy today. But what I really wanted to say was
“you’re a waste of God breath”
Go take a bubble bath with a jelly fish so that hardened heart can be sliced out of your chest and iced set in an orange and white cooler almost frozen until it’s time for a helicopter flight to later bind it with an expectant vessel a host that will better cherish and appreciate each life giving beat.
I mean since that’s what you so callously did to me figuratively speaking at least.
I wait now hardened, frozen, hoping not to thaw before the time to fuse with another is prime. Wondering anxiously like Dorothy in the locked castle chamber fearfully watching the sands drop through the mystic hour glass regretting the disregard for home seeking adventure and finding imminent death.
So yeah, that’s all the stuff i was secretly thinking and didn’t say.
Lousy kinda sums it all up anyways.
I have known her forever even when
others didn’t and did not care, to get
acquainted with a toddler for kids are
to listen and learn not to teach and tell,
neglecting to see the kindness, empathy
naturally flowing from inside. Innate qualities
of humans I thought to myself as she kept
rising doubts and queries to herself.
I have always loved her even when
others might have thought I did not know
how to. From the moment she became aware
of herself each time she looked deeply into,
the abysses of her big brown pupils reflected
by bathroom mirrors on window glasses
in calm water streams en-globing an entire,
vision of a paradisiac Universe bursting within.
I have had jealous feelings for her when
enveloped in the loving eyes of parents
family friends and teachers, everyone
adored her, the way she made them feel,
the joy she brought the smiles she showered,
the respect she showed as she listened engaged
in heeding others, grasp meanings wisdom’s
lessons from the elder, sitting beside them.
I always admired her even when
others thought she could not make yet
any sense. From the moment she became
aware of others each time she smiled
or cried wondering why, rejoicing for shared
occasions when adults also laughed flaunting
possibilities of happiness, despairing for harms
done unable to answer the simplest question.
I have always protected her more so when
others believed I was only trying
to kill her. From the moment she became
aware of injustice discrepancies cruelty,
poverty illness wrongdoings, warmongering
cycles of greed and vengeance, ‘life’s not fair’
repeated the adults dismissing, her ordeal
and disdain for what she could not turn blind eyes to.
I increasingly thought she was too
beautiful and pure to risk being affected,
corrupted in growth to become
mediocrely adjusted, following paths
of others. Until she grew and investigated
the Universe, understanding that life goes far
beyond Earth’s binding gravity, and that indeed
there is much more to all, changing perspectives.
I breathe her daily and now see how
small and fragile people are, within a Universe
so expanse, learning to appreciate them all,
recognizing their might as a species developing
something even science cannot explain.
That crazy little thing called Love probably
the greatest thing of all, what makes our race
so special, worthy of compassion in hope of liberation.
I inhale her every thought and consideration
admire her ability to love humanity
as a whole, realizing others are not
our hell after all, and that together
paying attention to imperceptible details
we can all evolve, into what we truly are
the best of ourselves in this wondrous
astounding Universe. She is I and I am she.
I love her.
Title : The Science Of Getting Rich
Author : Wallace D. Wattles
Year of Publication : 1910
Ok….The title of this book is a bit misleading. A title like ” The Science Of Getting Rich” gives the impression that this book would strictly contain empirical facts. However, a few pages into the book, I realized it was heavily influenced with religious doctrines, but to my surprise, these did not do much ruin to the practicality of the book.
This book uses terms like; forces of nature, the original substance and more metaphysical language that may deter the logical mind, but there is a case to be made for the state of the potential wealthy mind as presented in this book.
”Men get rich by doing things in a certain way. And in order to do so, man must become able to think in a certain way. For, a mans way of doing things is the direct result of the way he thinks about things.”
Wallace D. Wattles, 1910
We all know a title like this raises eyebrows. People hear the title and begin to feel uncomfortable since our society deems talks of money as improper or arrogant in some cases. However, as you would see in this book, Wattles makes a great case for why talk about wealth is ideal and indeed necessary.
Lessons from The Science Of Getting Rich
Wealth is created by the creative mind , not the competitive mind. You are to create not to compete for what is already created. Although our society is full of entrepreneurs regurgitating other peoples business products and models, Wattles argues that one’s ability to fore see and solve arising problems is the key to wealth creation.
Although location counts for business entrepreneurship, getting rich is not a matter of environment. For if it were, certain people from a particular environment would all be wealthy and certain people from other environments would all be poor.
Wealth is not exclusively for the smart, intellectual or highly educated. In fact most rich people are of average intellect and some even have intellectual handicaps.
It is the desire of God for you to be rich. He wants you to be rich so that he can express himself more through you.
“Get rich. That is the best way you can help the poor”
Wallace D. Wattles, 1910
Gratitude is important towards wealth acquisition. In the book, the Author suggests that upon receiving any blessings from God, one needs to show gratitude to God and keep close harmony with the being which gives wealth. Turning one’s back to the giver of wealth is always detrimental to what is desired.
You can not create wealth by unformed longings and vague desires. You must form a clear and precise idea of what you want. Without clarity of desired object, you can not transmit the desired energy to bring it into fruition. Wealth is more than just wishful thinking.
“By thought, the thing you want is brought to you. By action you receive it”
Wallace D. Wattles, 1910
Focus. After you have created an unambiguous path towards your desired wealth, you must not loose focus. Carry this mental destination in your head all the time. You must know what you want and must want it badly enough so it would stay in your thoughts. The more clear and definite your mental picture is, the stronger you desire to achieve you goal would be.
Faith, according to Wattles is an important ingredient in achieving success. Live in a new house mentally until your faith is materialized through handwork. Although Wattles seem to have a religious undertone in this book, he is also of the believe that prayer does not bring wealth.
“The answer to your prayers is not according to your faith while you were talking, but according to your faith while you were working”
Wallace D. Wattles, 1910
“It is faith and purpose in the use of imagination which makes the difference between the scientist and the dreamer”
Wallace D. Wattles, 1910
To be sure you are heading towards wealth, act now. Start with you present environment. Familiarity is your friend in your bid to wealth. Building upon familiar knowledge is easier than starting all over. Success in your familiar field would create access to your next venture.
In conclusion, this is a book worth reading. Filled with instructions to guide the mind yearning for wealth plus its a short read.
Title : Mastery : How to become the Master of any Skill
Author : Robert Greene
Year of Publication : 2012
Genre: Non-fiction, Self-Help
Publisher: Viking Press
Mastery by Robert Greene is the author’s fifth book and has since been regarded the holy grail of self improvement literature. This is a fantastic book, especially for anyone who desires to be the authority in their given work of life.
In Mastery, Greene, analysis the steps taken by historical world renowned inventors, sports-persons, businessmen e.t.c. Having done this, he comes the the conclusion that regardless of their occupation, these masters followed a similar pathway to attaining legendary status.
Perhaps the most notable of these steps is the 10,000 hours apprenticeship required to be a master in any fields. According to Greene’s research, the best way to learn practical knowledge is through apprenticeship. This form of learning is guaranteed to impact the most knowledge but takes 10,000 hours (approximately 7-9 years ) of conscious, consistent and continuous learning to reach the level of mastery. This idea has been widely discussed by numerous authors including Malcolm Gladwell in his book : Outliers, The Story of Success.
Lessons from Mastery
Reconnect with your inner self to rediscover your calling. Although society and other influential people in our lives may direct us towards certain vocations, it is best to look within to find which fulfills us most.
”Just as a well filled day brings blessed sleep, so a well employed life brings a blessed death”
Having decided on the perfect vocation, choose and commit to an apprenticeship. This is a tested and proven way to acquire the required practical knowledge needed in the real world to perform tasks that distinguishes one’s work. This apprenticeship is going to take years of humble observation, skill acquisition, and experimentation.
Occupy the perfect niche. As discussed in our review of “The Science Of Getting Rich” it is best to create one’s lane of expertise/ mastery than to compete for already occupied space. As discussed in the book, that case of Charles Darwin illustrates that attaining general knowledge of a chosen vocation is important, but that knowledge shown be streamline into specific areas for the attainment of in depth knowledge.
Mastery is achievable. All of us can, but most of us won’t. Mastery is not a result of some super human genes. No one is born a master. The difference between masters and ordinary people is that masters do not give up on their crafts. Often times we pick a craft and half way though our education, we either get bored of the craft or give up due to frustrations. Greene argues that it is at this point of frustration that one needs to push further. This is a sign of progress and dedicating more time to intense studies would help overcome this plateau.
Mentors are infinitely important (see The New Mentors ). We all have limited time, hence it is wise to find someone with broad knowledge about our chosen vocation to impact as much knowledge as possible upon us in a short time. So what you ought to have learned in 4 year, you would learn in 2 year under the tutelage of a mentor.
You must break loose from your mentor at the right time. Make bold steps towards creating your own legacy by applying and adjusting the teachings from your mentor and years of apprenticeship into your own peculiar area of expertise.
In conclusion, nothing beats hard work. There you have it, that in my opinion is the concluding lesson from this book. This book takes us through the lives of great masters and what you realize in their stories is that, everyone has a unique story of hard work and dedication. This is a book everyone should read and revisit frequently.