Archive for JFK

époque.

Posted in Mandarin Musings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2013 by O.S-Hughes

Lagos living Today, some 50 odd years ago, a great man was shot dead.  Another great man & prolific writer died. As a Kennedy and an almost C.S Lewis  aficionado, I join the rest of the world as we remember two greats JFK and C.S Lewis.

Since I last wrote, it seems the thought of death hasn’t been far from my conscious mind and it’s almost as though the moment my heart begins to heal and focus on other themes, another person exits the scene and yet again death is brought back to the fore.

It is a universal truth that death will come. It is the “how” and the “when” that most people are unsure of.

If you got the chance to view my mental pin board, you would see in my mind, clippings from various magazines, ideas I’m still to birth, places I’d love to visit and people I’ve been inspired by and would love to meet. Near the top left corner of the board you would see pictures of two inspiring people: Chinua Achebe and Margaret Thatcher [ Random fact: Iron Lady, resigned her post as Prime Minister on this day , 23 years ago.] . These people excelled in their chosen fields, the stories of their countries cannot be told without the parts they played. Their deaths did not come as a total shock only because these greats were already in their vintage years. However, no matter how old a person gets, it’s always sad to see a loved one go. I was even more sad, because I never got a chance to meet these greats.

There are those deaths that  creep up on you, the ones we least expect. June came and I received word of Aunt Bea. Where do I begin Aunt Bea’s story, do I start with her sense of style,  or how she could expertly  turn any frown into an instant smile, there was never a dull moment with her. Few people have a heart of gold forever putting others before them. Aunt Bea was one of such people, she lead a life of service. She was passionate about Jesus and sang beautifully.    Aunt Bea was a hard worker and one day collapsed whilst at work. When she was revived she got ten days off work to ensure she was back at optimum before she resumed. Just before she was to resume work, she went to church dressed as elegantly as usual  but this time with extra umph. She looked so radiant and each step she took you could tell that this was someone busting at her seams with gratitude to God for His mercy. He had sustained her and given her a new lease of life. As she took the stage with her family, smiling from ear to ear, she  said she had fifteen songs to accompany her testimony but because of time she’ll cut it short. As she began to sing there was a loud bang, it took a few seconds  for all to realized the sound was from the microphone falling from Aunt Bea’s hand as she fell into a comatose state. Her last acts on earth would be to begin a testimony of God’s goodness to her.  As I sat at the wake keep ceremony and watched on a screen the last minutes of her life replayed for all to see, I began to wonder about my life and what would happen, if  I died that very moment. What will my maker say to me? Would He be pleased? would I have achieved the purpose for which I was created? I sat there and listened to the accolades that poured out, Aunt Bea was the same at church and at work, bubbly and full of life. She had a regular 8-5 whose closing time almost always exceeded 5 and sometimes ran into late hours of the night. Yet she found time to lead the choir and the women’s fellowship. One question popped up in my heart , What excuse would you give God for not devoting more time to doing His will?  I thought of a few, but none of them held water. I came away feeling ashamed. Aunt Bea’s sun had set and this was a timely reminder for me that  one day my sun will set too.  The words of John 9; 4b  ring so trueee “Night is coming, when no man can work.”

In mid July while I was still taking in Aunt Bea’s passing and chiding  myself for not giving enough of my talent, myself and my time to others. I heard Aunt Yebode had gone too. I was in complete shock, there are no words to describe the feeling, she was beautiful inside and out. One afternoon, I bumped into Bola Krafts’s post talking about THE First Bola Krafts Cares Project. How she knitted the most adorable items for babies in intensive care,you can tell from the pictures that all items were done with love. [from what I could see she also has an 8 to 5]   for details of the first Bola Krafts Cares project click here    http://bolakrafts.blogspot.com/2013/04/bola-krafts-cares-is-here.html   and here http://bolakrafts.blogspot.com/2013/05/bola-krafts-cares-project-drop-off.html. Classic example of using her talent to bring smiles to the faces of others.

August and September went by like a blur. There’s a certain aliment that often plagues me and during this period the episodes of this aliment occurred more frequently than ever, I had to be hospitalized for a few hours on two different occasions to get me back on track.  One September morning a few sick leaves later, I was on the way to work, when news of Oyewunmi filtered in. I was not close to her, but I always saw her at family functions and we would greet cordially and play catch up. Hearing that a familiar face had just died from an aliment that plagues you can send you spiraling out of control. I was lost in thought too many times , thoughts like, “that could have been me” popped up without invitation, they were always lurking…

Some of you may remember my previous post September https://coraldrapings.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/september/. This September was a little intense than others. I missed him more than ever.

October came and brought with it a sense of peace and hope, I had been given another chance. I remember two Octobers ago I was petrified at the thought of adding another year, because to me my life was not where I thought it should be and things were not  going according to my plan. Lets just say that this year I had on a quilt of peace, no anxiety as to what stage I am at or whats not happening yet.

This peace came from the understanding that ALL things [ every single thing that happens to me] will work together for my good.- Romans 8;28. When doubt tries to rear its head, my heart whispers the words of  Jeremiah 29:11    “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, they are  thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” I’m learning to Let Go! it’s quite hard, especially because there were certain  things I had already envisioned and  had no doubt in my mind they would fall through the way I had planned and hoped.

November always brings with it newness. I think of November as my new year, I particularly reflect and identify the areas in my life that need a positive change. I set a few goals at the beginning of the month and I’m hoping I stay consistent till the end.

Aunt Bea and Bola Krafts have jointly inspired me to find my talent and give more.  I also realize giving is not limited to money or gifts., these are easy to give and sometimes require no extra thought or effort. A person can give of their time and of their essence , take a few more minutes to decide what gift will greatly benefit your intended recipient . Another Season of Love is almost upon us, Lets remember to give more as we also put extra thought to the reason for this season.

My prayer is that when I stand before my Maker I would have used up all the talent deposited in me.

Speak soon.

Mille Bisous!

O.S-H

Photograpy by Lumi Morgan

Time & Chance…

Posted in Mandarin Musings with tags , , , , , , on November 10, 2012 by O.S-Hughes

But time & chance happen to them all
I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong; neither is bread to the wise nor riches to men of intelligence and understanding nor favour to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all. – Ecclesiastes 9:11
I have an over analytical mind and I’m also a calculated risk-taker (however crazy that might sound). I will not take a decision unless I’m convinced that whichever way it pans out will work in my best interest. I am almost a perfectionist, with an eye & ear for details,

I realise that I’m not there yet. There is still much work to be done if I’m to fulfil this vision in my heart that God showed me of becoming an amazing woman.

I like to watch debates and listen to intelligent conversations. I’m almost always on the lookout for opportunities to learn. So you can imagine that I listened to as well as have the transcripts of the speeches Michelle and Barack gave. Very inspiring stuff! I will not bore you with my analysis of Michelle’s speech today.

There is one point however that I’ve picked from Mr. Obama’s acceptance speech:
But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.” –  BO
Even though the above sounds like JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you” This was BO telling his citizenry that their work isn’t done just because they’ve cast their votes. This right here is the opinion of many Nigerians since they cast their votes in 2011, somehow they believe that their work is done until 2015.

We must wake up from our slumber and realise that we have to work together if we are to succeed as a nation. For us to see the change we so desperately desire, we must begin to work from NOW . You who want to serve as a senator, how prepared are you? How well do you know your constituency? What will you be bringing to the table? Which kind of leader would you be?  (please tell me your response to that was servant-leader because those are the kind of leaders we as a Nation need.)  Last year I followed our elections earnestly.  I surprised a few friends that do not know politics is one of my interests. I especially followed the Lagos State gubernatorial elections with keen interest, where Dominic Adegbola ( APGA)  Ade Dosunmu [PDP] Yomi Tokoyah [ ANPP] J.K Randle [ SDMP] and Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola [ACN] debated. It was an interesting debate in its own right, where you could easily see who came prepared i.e BRF & Dosunmu and who came with the hope that God will appear and speak on his behalf, and the one who came to teach the history of Lagos ( I was rather ashamed for Pa Randle especially how he insisted on tarnishing his good name in front of all who tuned in whispering under his breath “awon omo to o leko”)  and the one candidate who left no lasting impression.  If we are to do a comparison we will see that  Obama like BRF  was well prepared and answered questions directed at him intelligently with well articulated plans for his people, delivered with poise & panache. Ade Dosunmu Like Mitt Romney looked eloquent and had the likeness of fireworks fiery and beautiful but unsustainable. They lost because of their lack of consistency and inability to articulate their plans to move their State & Country forward. “It is not the age of experience but the age of ideas that count “- BRF .  That said when last did you pray for those in positions of authority [authority includes bosses at work, pastors at church, parents if they are still alive, husband if you are married] For Faith not accompanied by action is dead- James 2: 17. It is the combination of both that brings about success.

In the last few months I’ve picked key theme words that I have placed in the forefront of my conscious mind and mulled them over in each given month. August was ‘Sacrifice’; September was for ‘Family Ethos’ and staying true to my identity regards of the situation. October is my favourite month of the year and October this year was interesting to say the least! The word for October was ‘Clarity’. I was tired of the grey-scale that seemed predominant in certain areas of my life and I decided to insist on my block colours and no half measures.  I have been inspired by Obama’s win and my “special” dear  friend Tks’ doggedness. Earlier in the year Tks shared his plan for his pet project with me, right now it has blossomed and is well on its way to being the next BIG thing.
This has led me to the following action bursts that will be at the forefront of my conscious mind for rest of the year and beyond.

  • Prepare for War in the time of Peace: Seeing Mr. Obama win was heart warming. How easy it is to see the glitz associated with his position and forget all the work he has put in over the years. From his years at Harvard, to him working as a pro-bono lawyer etcetera. Even though we say time and chance happens to us all, if a person is ill prepared when chance happens by, he will not know how to respond. Let’s look at Abraham who had to rescue his nephew Lot. We are told he took an army of three hundred and eighteen men. Where did this army of fighting men materialise from? He obviously anticipated that there would come a time when his peace/ safety will be threatened.
  • Develop your skill-set: Be versatile,  Be diligent with your opportunities. If you are like me then you probably aren’t working in your first field of choice. What I have come to realise however, is that as well as getting ready for war in the time of peace, I also have to train myself for the place I want to be. Think of Joseph! very early on in his life he got a clear picture of where he would be many years down the line. He had a dream! Rather than start off in the King’s place, he started off as a servant but nonetheless, he was diligent and then went on to be administrator in charge of Potiphar Holdings. Enter Mrs Potiphar wanting  a piece of  him. which led to him being transferred to another place he had no desire to be in, but rather than complain or squander his opportunity, he developed his gift and went on to be given another position of authority. Chief Prison Jailer! To get bitter is one of the best ways to short circuit the development of your gift – Paul Adefarasin.                             Fast forward to the fulfilling of the promise of God that came to him in form of a dream: One thing that jumps out at me is that because of the time spent developing himself and his skill-set! He was able to interpret the King’s dream and proffer a full proof solution to that problem. A foreigner was made The Prime Minister ; i.e the number two person in the whole of Egypt. His advice led Egypt to become a world power. “He stepped in one mighty stride from being a prisoner with a few privileges to the keeper of the Royal Seal with an authority second only to the throne.”- EDWJ

Be intentional: I must wake up in the morning with a plan. Not stumble through my day unsure and uncertain. Live life on purpose. For some strange reason when I think of intentionality my mind goes to Ruth and how she subtly made her intentions known to Boaz. It was no mistake that she huddled up under his foot, or that she wound up on his farm. She did it on purpose. She knew what she hoped to gain. She went out and did what it took. Intentionality is not reckless though, for as Ester exemplifies, even the most noble of plans need to be well laid. She didn’t just stumble into Xerxes court, she strode in on purpose.

To create something of lasting value you must be willing to pay the cost and be ready for the long haul – Dr Oby Ezewesili

  • Feedback is Essential: I didn’t realise how important this was until my boss pointed it out.  My Boss had given me a task and I had spent a lot time gathering resources and making several calls trying to accomplish it. To my dismay however, I wasn’t making any head way. I felt disappointed and for that reason I didn’t revert. He later pointed the importance of feedback in this case as an absolute necessity because had I gone back to him, we would have been able to put heads together and would have found a solution.

I must apply myself, its not enough to say I’m interested in Opera, in Theatre and Journalism etcetera. If I don’t find like minded people to associate with and learn from. It will mean all I have is intent as Dr Tony Rapu says “What you’re not willing to pay for you cannot attain to. What you’re not willing to fight for you cannot achieve.” 

Till we chat again ciao !

O S-Hughes

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