Archive for August, 2012


Concentration

The best advice I ever came across on the subject of concentration is:

Wherever you are, be there.When you work, work. When you play, play. Don’t mix the two.Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of attention.On the way to work, concentrate on the way – not the work.

                                          The mini-bus passenger                          

As the mini-bus we had boardered skittered along on the outskirts of Accra’s dusty roads, I realized I was the youngest and the darkest passenger. My shabby appearance and exceptionally dark complexion drew sniggers from the passengers. Some of them actually felt uncomfortable sharing the same jam-packed vehicle with me. Others wished I had disembarked. I felt sorry for my self. Cleaning her teeth with a little stick and studying me out of the corner of her eyes, a woman sitting on my right side asked:

“Why are you so dark?”

Quivering with rage, I tried to ignore her by looking outside of the window.

“I’m still in Africa.” I said to myself.

“What would then be my plight should I happen to land on the White man’s land?” Looking outside through the window, it was evident that Ghana’s thriving street economy was in full swing. A traditional healer selling garish potions in greasy bottles; ragged charcoal traders with sickly yellowish faces and carrying children at their backs, lounging against their charcoal sacks, teenage children risking their lives in the traffic jam in a city drooping in steamy heat.

It was nearly dark by the time we got to Ghana’s border with Togo at Aflao. Before crossing into Togo, I turned back for one last look at a country that has an umbilical pull for me, being the place I spent the happiest years of my childhood. Despite all these, I considered myself to be among the lucky few who had left, or were leaving.

After all, somewhere, in some village, a child is walking more than five kilometers to study under a mango tree or a tent.

Somewhere, in some village, an elderly person has to trek for several kilometers to get to an under-staffed clinic, if at all there is any.

Somewhere, in some village; a foot is swollen with guinea-worm; a belly is swollen of kwashiorkor due the lack of clean drinking water.

To be continued…

 

Those Challenges

I woke up this morning telling myself: No matter how hard it is.No matter how hard it will get. I will still be persistent on achieving my dreams!

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to either fortune or failure.

Why Should Women Be More Circumspect When it comes to Choosing a Man Than Men?

Mama’s emotional story was very cathartic—recounting it actually allowed her to release buried emotions. As tears continued to flow down her bony cheeks in alarming quantity, she lamented her decision twenty-five years ago to have agreed to marry a white foreigner from England—Patricia’s Dad. She now says it was her marriage to that man who altered her love life forever. She was actually seeking forgiveness from us—for having allowed her self to be used and dumped by one foreigner after another. Had she adhered to the lessons taught to them by grandma at the dinner table, she wouldn’t have to regret over the past and wished it hadn’t happened.

Mama was those kinds of women who cared mostly about the quality of a cup at the expense of what it contained. Mama’s introspective examination of her motives led her to conclude that she must have been at fault in the type of men she chose to fall in love with. She used that opportunity to educate my two elder sisters—Cecelia and Patricia about their love lives. She now wanted to make sure that none of them would repeat the mistakes she had done.

What had been bothering me since then was that, why all the emphasis on my sisters and not me? Does it mean men don’t also make mistakes in the quest for love? Why was Mama blaming her self for all that happened to her love life and not the men who had also contributed to her plight? Does this mean that whenever loves fails, women should take the blame? Or that, it is only mothers who always have to seek forgiveness from their children whenever they realize they are at the wrong side of love?

Why should women be more circumspect when it comes to choosing a man than men? Does it mean that women are always at the short end of the love stick?

 

 To be continued…