Category Archives: Musings

When We Were Brave.

I was born in relatively unknown African village, in the south southern part of Nigeria. Back in those days, we didn’t have so much toys to play with. There weren’t high fences to ‘cage’ us in. In fact, there were no fences at all. As infants, we crawled on bare earth and sometimes ate of the the ‘sweet scenting’ sand. And as we grew, the sand – reddish brown earth – was our companion. We played in the sand, fought in the sand and were remarkably creative with the use of the sand. As far as the sand was concerned, there was nothing to fear – Because we were brave.
Childhood was a time of great adventure. There was nothing we couldn’t do or be and whatever our minds imagined, we gave expression to it in ways that amazed and (sometimes) terrified the adults.

Yes, the sand was our Kingdom and everything connected with it was our resources.

We were hunters, hunting grasshoppers in grown and lush grass fields.

We were actors, playing roles of ‘Father’, ‘Mother’ and children.

We were warriors, wrestling to the ‘death’ of anyone who dared challenge us to a contest.

We were chefs who could ‘cook’ the most delicious cuisines in our empty milk tins on top of our improvised ‘fireplace’.

We were movie stars too, for we could recreate and reanimate out favourite ‘Rambo’ and ‘Van Dam’ movies in the bush and uncompleted buildings.

We made pistols out of wood and made machine guns out of cocoyam stems well fitted together with broomsticks.

We scaled walls and jumped off treetops. We climbed thorny orange trees and ant-infested mango trees many times without clothes except dirty muddy pants, just to get to the fruits that our stones and sticks could not reach. We weren’t afraid of the thorns or the ants, because we were brave.
And to my personal favourite, we were ‘Olympic Medalists’ who reigned supreme in local sports and games. We would organise our teams and train ourselves in different kinds of sports ranging from high jumps to long jumps and even acrobatics (our own form of gymnastics).

I remember being a grand champion once, having become the ‘last man standing’ in our village regional contest of the one who could do any stunt that anyone else could do and yet still perform a stunt that no one else could perform.

We would mark out our competition ‘arena’ and use a spade to soften the ground by breaking them into clods and sometimes wetting it with water. We had a ‘liftoff’ constructed out of coconut branches, firmly fixed at one end of the ‘arena’ and then the games begin. We would run with maximum speed towards the ‘liftoff’ and upon takeoff, we would perform different twists and turns in the air before touching back down. If you land on your feet without falling, you scored a point, otherwise, you lost a point. And you can bet that as far those stunts went, we were fierce, we were daring and we were brave. Some would fold their hands to perform a stunt and some would even clap their hands through their styles just to be unique.

My mother would often scream at the top of her voice in fear for the safety of her dear son. She feared I might fall and break a bone and maybe lose my life. But I had no such fear and had no such care. Those were days when we were brave.

Many years have past since then and as I reminisce, I realise how much we have changed. – how much I have changed.
With the much acquired knowledge of gems and bacteria, we’re now afraid to get our hands ‘dirty’.

Now we think less of what we could do and become, and think more of what we COULDN’T do or become.
Our fear of failure restrains us more than our passion for success propels us.
And because we are afraid that if we ‘venture out’, we might lose, we focus on SAFETY. We think ‘safety’, we talk ‘safety’ and so we live (and die) in the SAFE ZONE. – Forgetting that there was a time when we were brave. Let’s be BRAVE again!

 

(C) Peter Akhere

If Only

Life I’ve seen is full of good, just as much as there’s evil.
It also is full of Light, just as much as there’s darkness.
Sometimes, things go so ugly as though it’s of the devil.
Such times, I often wonder with a heart in restlessness.

If only there were no wars, we would always live in peace.
With love and joy in the air, we would live in unity.
As friends in bond we would be, like couples in endless bliss.
As fights and strife will be not, a life of tranquillity.

If only there were no death, we would never have to die.
Forever we all would live, with loved ones in company.
Tears of mourning, we won’t cry, neither would we say goodbye.
Family and friends shall be, just so much and so many.

If only there were no wrongs, then we would always be right.
We would never make mistakes, nothing to be sorry for.
There would be no punishment, be it heavyweight or light.
Things well would always be done, and good news heard would be more.

If only there were no hate, we would always dwell in love.
If only there were no lies, we would always know the truth.
If only there were no lack, there would be less problems to solve.
If only things were different, perhaps our pains it would soothe

But in this do I find rest, all things in life have their place.
Unwanted as they may seem, they still try to find some use.
For perhaps if death was not, Life might be an endless race.
Where all men would run and run, with nothing to gain or lose.

(C) 2010. Peter Akhere.

Confused

Alone in the dark, he wanders.

Searching for the Light.

Awaiting the glimmer of that ray

That proceeds its arrival.

Lost within himself, he wonders,

What the missing piece might be.

Skilled in the art of puzzles,

But with square pegs for round holes.

 

A stitch in time saves nine.

And to every purpose, there is a time.

He must not delay,

Else, the fruit gets rotten.

Should he be too fast,

It is plucked unripe.

 

Still he awaits the Light,

To reveal what is hidden.

To show what must be done,

And even when to get it done.

 

©Peter Akhere.

In Life’s Race…

In life’s race, you don’t stay ”in front” to win.
You stay ”on course” – On ”your” lane to obtain the prize.

In life’s race you don’t get disqualified for falling down.
You get disqualified for STAYING DOWN.

Life’s race requires more of STAMINA than SPEED – more of tenacity, persistence and staying power. Because Life’s race is more of a MARATHON than a SPRINT.

Life’s Race respects FOCUS over ABILITY, CLARITY over SKILL and DETERMINATION over STRENGTH.

In Life’s Race, you’re not competing against the other runners.
You’re competing against yourself AND Time.

So quit looking at the other runners, else you MISS YOUR STEP!

You will #SUCCEED.

Listen to Yourself

A dying old man said to his doctor while on the sick bed ” Doctor, don’t worry. I know I am going to die. I didn’t want to come here but they brought me here.

Please don’t worry about me, look at my hair, they are gone. I am so old but you are so young. I have learnt a lot from life, if you don’t mind I will tell you some of them before I die.

When I was 4 years, I use to think the world is about me. When I turned 14, I wanted to rule the world. I thought I would be the greatest man that ever lived. When I was 21, I wanted to be the richest man, when I was 25, I wanted to find love, when I was 40, I wanted to be helpful to everyone. Now that I am here, I want to die. You see, I wanted so many things at so many times. Most importantly, I wanted to be happy. I thought the best way to be happy is to listen to others.

When I wanted to enter the University, I wanted to study Zoology but everyone said I should study Engineering that I will be a great Engineer. So I listened to them. I had no one to pay my fees, I had to work and also pay my fees. In my third year, I couldn’t cope with my studies, I had to drop. When I dropped, the same people told me “you should have studied Zoology”!

When I turned 28, everyone said I should marry. That I needed a wife. So I listened to them, I got married. 6 years into the marriage, I caught my wife sleeping with my neighbour. I asked her why and she slapped me. I was angry and didn’t say anything. The next day I returned from work, she had run away with my children, now I am dying a lonely man.

At 40, I got a huge contract. My name was in the news. The next day, all my friends and families were at my house, everyone had a serious problem. Within one week, I spent all the money on them with the promise that they will pay back. I could not complete the contract because they refused to return the money as promised. So I was sent to jail for 6 years. I stayed in jail and I came out. When I came out, they were nowhere.

There was one mistake I made through all this time. Now it is clear to me. Let me tell you about it. I refused to listen to myself. I ignored my own self and listen to others. Now that I am here the only person that is with me is myself.

You see, it is very good to listen to others. It is very wise to seek advice from others. But it is very dangerous to ignore your own self. It is very dangerous to refuse to pay attention to your heart.

When you get home this night, sit down, take a glass of water. Close your eyes if you want or open it if you want, then talk to yourself, reason with yourself. You can walk down the road alone and as you walk, begin to talk to yourself.

The only person that can overrule yourself is God, after God, listen to yourself next. I know it may not make sense to you now but always remember I told you LEARN TO LISTEN TO YOURSELF.

 

FIVE COMMON SENSE RULES FOR BEING A ‘CIVILIZED’ VISITOR.

 

It is often said that ‘common sense’ is not common. I agree. However, these are some basic rules we must obey to be regarded as ‘Civilized visitors’.

1. CALL before you go: Come on… We are in the 21st century. And it’s a mobile age. There’s just no reason to suddenly appear at the door of your host like the second coming of Christ. Make it a point of duty to call the person you’re going to see before going. Firstly, it saves you the disappointment of not meeting them and it also give them the room to prepare for your coming (IF they want you to come)

2. DO NOT Knock more than THREE times: Think about it… If they’re around, they should have heard your knock the first time, or the second time, or at least a third time just to be sure. So having knocked three times, it’s either they’re not around or they just don’t want to open (for reasons best known to them). So respect yourself and leave. Stop disturbing. (well, except it’s an emergency in which case you should knock even harder, or perhaps break the door.)

3. NEVER hang around private discussions for long: Ok… Let’s assume you missed the first rule and you went there without calling first only to meet your host having a PRIVATE meeting (or discussion) with someone else, or they may even have told you to come, yet you met this situation. PLEASE EXCUSE YOURSELF and leave. Offer to come another time or say you have somewhere else to be at the moment. But no matter what, don’t hang around. It makes everyone uncomfortable.

4. DO NOT feel at home: Yeah, I know many hosts will always tell you to ‘feel at home’. Trust me, most of them don’t really mean it. You are NOT at home. Always remember that. Retain an air of self-restrictions. Refrain from over indulgence (Especially in food and drinks) it reduces the respect of your host for you. There is a certain prestige and honour that comes with a simple ‘No, Thanks’.

5. Make it BRIEF and RARE: Now this rule doesn’t really apply so much with close friends and relatives. But it still applies all the same. DO NOT stay too long there. Even if they are not complaining, you should know that they have other things to do than to simply sit there chatting with you. Once you’re done with all the pleasantries and catching up, a few more minutes (or at most an hour) should suffice before you leave. Don’t over stay your welcome. And please make your visit rare also. Too many visitation within a short time makes you come off as a nuisance to your host. So make your presence rare and create some value for yourself.

If you have found this useful and true, please share.

Do Not Despair

And I heard “Sometimes, we make the wrong choices to get to the right place”.
Think about it, God really is not counting on us His Children to do all things right every time. He has a way of turning our broken pieces into a Master piece.

So just like ME, in case you’re wondering how your life is going to manifest the big dreams you’ve always had, I have this message for US.

● God is the author of Time, so don’t worry about your past.
● He is Alpha and Omega, so even the Future is in his hands.
● The Successes of others are not evidences of your Failure, so no need for comparisons.
● Begin now to Focus on WHO you truly are and What you ALREADY have (not who you’re not or what you don’t have.)
● With God, it’s never too late to fulfill Destiny. You just have to TRUST and WALK with Him. Moses (at 80) had a fresh start and made a trans-generational mark on humanity. (Remember Abraham also)

Yes, sometimes we make the wrong choices to get to the right place, not because the wrong choices were supposed to take us there, but because God can use both the good and the bad (right and wrong) and make it all work out for our good. It’s all part of His Grace.

So do not despair, because…
We Are Stars.
We Shine.