Sunday, 18 February 2018

Love and Procrastination

Love and Procrastination
I was thinking this morning..... about Love and Procrastination. While in the office last Thursday, I overheard a colleague reminding another colleague to send the data she had requested for. She asked him, 'Do you know what today is?' trying to make him realize that the target date was past. Jokingly, he responded, 'Today is the day after Valentine's Day.' Yes, the day before was Valentine's Day, but how will that enhance the delivery of the target at work? As far as this guy was concerned, Valentine's Day was the most important event this period and therefore has to be the reference point.

As I smiled at his response, I wondered why I don't give so much thought to Valentine's Day as much as others do. Is it that I am 'old skool' or I just don't appreciate that day? Hmm!!! So much happened on February 14th, with so many waxing love poems for their spouse or partner. But the message that stood out for me, by a long shot, was that written by a friend of mine. He wrote, 'You are the egg in my egg roll. Without you I am puff puff.' Hmm!!! Truly puff puff takes a whole new life with egg at the middle and changes its name to egg roll. Very loving and very original but I know that egg roll is not a delicacy that you eat once a year. Why then do you wait till February 14th to tell your spouse he/she is the egg in your egg roll?

Why do we procrastinate our love demonstration till February 14th each year? My thinking is that we love procrastination. Psychologist Joseph Ferrari has said, 'Procrastination is not waiting and it is not delaying. It is a decision not to act.' Many have decided not to act on their relationship until February 14th each year, during which period the ships and the relation may have drifted too far apart. I believe that most of the gestures people demonstrate on Valentine's Day are things they should be doing every day.

As I probed a bit more as to why I don't pay attention to Valentine's Day, it wasn't clear at first, but then it dropped. Aha! I can see why now! It is because it is not 'Wey Mey's Day.' Why should I wait for St. Valentine to remind me to show love to my wife? While I have created many 'Wey Mey's Day through the year, when I do special things for my wife, thereby making February 14th like any other day, I still pray the words of 1st Thessalonians 3:12 that says 'May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other.'

Knowing that the 2019 Valentine's Day is 361 days away, please do not procrastinate to show love to your loved ones. Tell them that they are the eggs in your egg rolls, the sim card in your smart phones or the data in your modem. Whatever description works for you, just let them know you love them today and everyday.

Happy Sunday.

....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Oh God, Please Make Me Humble

Stay Humble
I was thinking this morning.....about humility. Last Sunday 4th February was the 14th birthday of Facebook and the founder Mark Zuckerberg put out a message to all Facebook users. It was a simple message that acknowledged the many mistakes he had made over the period and how he is honored to be on the journey with every user. As I read the message, I couldn't understand his simplicity. How can a man that is the founder of a network with 2.2 billion monthly active users as at Q4 2017 be that simple? When I consider that there are many people, especially Nigerians with only 100,000 followers on a platform they did not create, but yet see themselves as demi-gods with celebrity status, I could not help but say 'oh God, please make me humble.'

As I prayed, I recalled that while signing off from work penultimate Friday, I was attracted to the news on CNN that Facebook had announced a revenue of about $13 billion for Q4 2017. I was humbled by the news not because they made $13b, but because they did so in 3 months. If you imagine that one of the most successful Oil and Gas Companies in Nigeria made a profit of about $1.5 billion in the whole of 2017, then you will understand my humility. And if you consider that with an annual national budget of about $20 billion, we go about killing ourselves in Nigeria in the fight to get a chunk of the national cake, while a young man that makes about $40 billion in a year can still be simple and stay calm, then you will join me to say 'oh God, please make me humble.'
But how can anyone be so blessed and remain humble? Even if he had made a commitment to be humble, the sheer number of people he controls should make his head grow. The number of full time employees at Facebook increased from 600 in 2006 to 25,000 as at end December 2017, yet you can hardly differentiate Mark Zuckerberg from his staff because of his simplicity. If you consider that some people have just two or three domestic staff working for them and they have assumed the status of lord, demanding that the staff kneel down to serve them, you will join me to say, 'oh God, please make me humble.'
If Mark Zuckerberg was over 60 years like the other billionaires in America, I would understand saying that the many huddles of life had probably humbled him, but he will be 34 years in May, meaning he is a Millennial (also known as Generation Y or Echo boomers). If you look around us and see how Nigerians of his age that had made their first N100 million (about $300,000) drive about town in flashy cars with the 'I have arrived' attitude, then you will join me to say, 'oh God, please make me humble.'
How can a young man who is worth $76.6 billion (5th richest man in the world) not be proud and egoistic? It is ironic. If you consider that the highest paid executive in Nigeria, Mrs Sola David-Borha, MD/CEO of StambicIBTC Holdings (though a humble woman as well) is paid about N485,000 daily and Mark Zuckerberg who could easily have requested for a six or more figure salary but opted for one dollar a year salary, then you will join me to shout, 'oh God, please make me humble.'
It is common to hear people being referred to as 'Bigger boy, the Boss, the Don, Master or even Oga at the top' by virtue of their blessings, making them think they are achievers. For me, I always remind myself that we are only receivers and not achievers, to keep me humble. James 4:10 says 'Humble yourselves before the Lord and h will lift you up.'

Happy Sunday.

....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Love is not an Emergency

I was thinking this morning... abut the timeliness of love demonstration. While observing my week days unwinding routine, watching Tinsel on TV, Serena, the run away wife of Chief was expressing her concern to Brenda Mensah, about her partner, Ike moving too fast and wanting to take her for a family function. While Brenda advised her to take it slowly, she concluded thus, 'I may not be an expert in relationships, but one thing I have learnt is that love is not an emergency.' That 'love is not an emergency,' struck a cord in me.
If love is truly not an emergency, then why does the heart skip a beat when one is in love? I remember in 2001 when I first saw this young damsel who later became my wife, I made every move possible to engage and marry her as soon as possible, because as far as I am concerned, it was a 'Marital Emergency.' How can they say love is not an emergency?
As I protested, something in me tells me to calm down and reason. As I did grudgingly, I discovered that it is like two sides of a coin. If you are on the verge of losing your loved one, love will definitely be an emergency, but if your loved one 'falls your hand,' you are in no hurry to strike. Love, at this point will not be an emergency. But how can love not be an emergency? I kept wondering. I recalled the several News stories of people committing suicide  because they were dumped by those they loved and yet someone is telling me that love is not an emergency. Surely, love in this instance is a 'Medical Emergency.'
As my mind continued inditing this view that love is an emergency, I imagined the behavior of a typical Nigerian politician and Civil servants placed before the State coffers. They are like dogs on heat, with an urgent need to loot. The budget for four years is stolen in a  few months. Their love for money is definitely a 'Financial Emergency.'
When I considered this in the complex Nigeria setting, my thinking got a bit fuzzy. Think about it. Just before the last election, the then opposition, APC, needed the love of Nigerians. They were urgent in making Nigerians see why the change was imperative. To most people, the love was an emergency. They did not only preach love, they promised marriage and a life of bliss thereafter. There was a sense of urgency in their love demonstration. Shortly after we gave them our hearts, they went to sleep. It took months to appoint Ministers and get the economy to work. While we kept reminding them that love is an emergency, they gave us a convincing response, when in spite of the mass killings by marauding herdsmen, there was a near absence or at best a lack luster response to the killings. At this point I was convinced that love is not a 'Political Emergency.'
On the surface, that love is not an emergency seems like the flip side of 'Love is patient,' but in reality, it is like the plant, Impatiens capensis (Spotted touch-me-not). The fruit of this plant is a thin pod about 1 inch long that pops open at the slightest touch, throwing seeds in all directions. Love could or could not be an emergency depending on the seed it throws at you when you touch the subject. What matters is, in every aspect of your life, according to 1st Cor 16:14, 'Do everything in love.'

Happy Sunday.

....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Sunday, 28 January 2018

How are we Influencing our Children?

Influencing our Children
I was thinking this morning.... about how my birthday yesterday made me reflect on the impact I am having on my children. I remember being at lunch with my colleagues some time ago when one related her experience after she left church one Sunday. According to her, while driving very slowly through the potholes on the road to her estate, a female driver behind her, with kids in the vehicle, was getting impatient. At the slightest opportunity, the driver overtook her, blocked her and brought her hand from the car and said the Nigerian curse word 'wanka.' Immediately, the passenger in my colleague's car shouted in disbelief that the lady driver was her home cell leader and just left church with them. Wow!!! So much for living by example, but it got me thinking about the example the lady was setting for her kids that were in the vehicle with her. How will her actions of today influence the behavior of her children tomorrow? But wait a minute, are we more influenced by our immediate family or by our peers/bosses or by the environment (neighborhood) we grew up?
I reflected on how growing up in Warri had made me a  Warri boy (you will not miss my waffi pidgin English.) If my parents had listened to my prodding to relocate to Miami when I was in the womb, imagine how my Yankee intonation will be. Nothing spoil. There is power in environmental influence.
As I sunk into deeper thoughts, I recalled visiting my children in school recently. Having feted with the children, it was time to give the hugs and see them back to their hostels. Then I observed a parent stuffing chocolate into the socks of her daughter to help her beat the rule prohibiting taking of food and snacks to the hostel. I was stunned because I know this mother has just given her daughter a life lesson on how not to obey the law. Hmm!!! Parental influence is solid.
Have you thought lately about the influence you are having on others? It is a sobering thought. As I x-rayed what may have influenced me to becoming such a nice guy, I recalled a story of a car accident in which a teenage boy was killed. He and his friends had been drinking. When the police reached the home of the deceased boy and explained the details of his death, his father's immediate reaction was, 'if I could find who sold those boys that alcohol, I'd kill him!' The dad was so shaken up he went to his liquor cabinet for a drink and there found a note that read, 'Dear dad, I knew you wouldn't mind if we borrowed this bottle of liquor. We'll pay you back soon.' Hmm!!! He had provided his son the weapon that killed him.
Take a moment to evaluate the effect you're having on your kids and those around you and be certain it is positive. Just wondering the sort of influence our crooked leaders are having on children of today, it scares me to imagine what the future holds. In my little space, as I appreciate God and you all for the love shown me during my birthday yesterday, I have chosen to be guided by the words of Matthew 18:7, '...woe to that man through whom offence comes.'
Happy Sunday.
.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

The Offence of Cattle Herding in 1000BC

Cattle Herding in the City
I was thinking this morning.... about what constitutes an offence. I was updating myself on current affairs after a very busy week when I read this news report about Ryan Carney Williams, a man traveling from Iceland to England by British Airways (BA). On getting to the check-in counter, he was told he had excess luggage and has to pay for the excess. In order to avoid paying the fee, he opened his bag and wore all the excess clothes. He was arrested for wearing an excessive amount of clothing and of course prevented from flying. I laughed when I read the story and according to Spiff of The Johnsons comedy show, it was a classic example of BTD (Boys Thinking Deep.)
In my attempt to 'think deep,' I wondered, 'If wearing an excessive amount of clothes to avoid paying excess luggage fee could be classified as an offence by BA, how come the open grazing of someone's farm by the cattle of herdsmen, is not seen as one in Nigeria?' On my way to the office days ago, the cars ahead of me suddenly came to a stop. I immediately concluded that it must be another police check point. I was wrong. A young cattle herder was leading his cattle across the road in a location that is almost built up. Have you observed that these herders and their cattle don't obey traffic rules? Not Zebra (or even cattle) crossings, traffic lights nor pedestrian bridges, where they exist, yet none has been arrested for traffic offence. As I pondered on this, I recalled Exodus 22:5 that says, 'If an animal is grazing in a field or vineyard and the owner lets it stray into someone else's field to graze, then the animal owner must pay compensation from the best of his own grain or grapes.' Hmm!!!
Think about it, if open intrusive grazing was an offence hundreds of years before Christ (BC), it is shocking why some will consider it otherwise over 2000 years after the death of Christ (AD). When the rest of the world has gone ranching in line with biblical and best practice, Nigeria is debating cattle colonies. Na wa! This cattle colony debate reminds me of the dark past when lepers colony was common. Could it be Nigeria is operating in year 1000BC?
It seems logical that the compensation for destroying the crops of one man is replacing it with the best of your crops. Makes sense, right? But can someone please explain why human lives are taken in place of stolen cows. Because the only reason the umbrella body of the herders have given for the slaughtering of villagers is that their cattle were rustled. One would expect that the compensation should be the produce of the farmers and not the lives of the farmers, except of course in the estimation of the herders, cows are equal to human.
My take is, until we recognize that we are a nation with laws and enforce the law irrespective of who is involved, we are living in deception, because while the rest of the world is counting forward in AD, we are moving backward in BC.
Happy Sunday.
.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Snake Servant Vs Monitor Lizard

Monitor Lizard
I was thinking this morning... about how the beliefs of yesterday can affect the thinking of today. The other day as I stepped out of my house, I noticed a reptile by the fence. As I looked closely, my native mind identified what I was looking at to be 'Snake Servant.' And immediately, my eyes scanned the immediate vicinity for snakes. 'Wake up,' my educated mind raised its voice telling me that it is but a Monitor Lizard and not a servant of any snake.
When I got into the car I started thinking about why we refer to Monitor Lizard as 'Snake Servant' back then in Warri. I can understand if the name came about because someone once observed a snake going after the lizard and concluded that the lizard was the messenger of the snake, but can't understand why every one of us back then believed the story. Ignorance, they say, is a voluntary misfortune.
As I smiled at our ignorance back then, my native mind, refusing to accept defeat, asked my educated mind, 'if you are laughing at us for calling it 'Snake Servant,' can you explain why it is called Monitor Lizard? Are they class monitors or monitoring spirits?' My educated mind, lost for words, decided to consult Google. The search engine revealed that Monitor lizards, belonging to the genus Veranus, with the largest species being the Komodo dragon, derived its name from ancient Egypt.
In Egypt, in the early days of civilization, the Nile river was the life line of the Egyptians villages because they depended on it for cooking, washing, bathing and swimming. But the Nile had a problem. Crocodiles. How were the Egyptians to know when it was safe to enter the water, without risking being eaten? They devised a scheme. They would catch one of their large Veranus lizards and chain it by its front paws to a large boulder on the edge of the river. If the Lizard was lying peacefully sunning itself, the Egyptians knew it was safe to enter the water. If however it was thrashing about and struggling to get away, they knew that danger was lurking nearby. A crocodile was in the area. The lizard didn't want to be eaten so it would struggle to get loose of its chains. The Monitor Lizard monitored the crocodiles movement, hence its name.
'So how is that different from the story of the Snake Servant?' my native mind had asked. At this point, both of my minds agreed that there was no winner in this debate. But how was I drawn into this debate in the first place? It was my belief of the past affecting my thinking of today. I realized that if I don't put the beliefs that the events of 2017 had shaped in my mind under control, it will affect my thoughts in 2018.
 Think about it. Due to the failures of governance at all levels in Nigeria in 2017, many have entered 2018 believing all hope is lost. While many were trying to reprogram their memories from the negative beliefs, then entered fuel scarcity and killings by herdsmen. In describing what is happening, Wole Soyinka aptly captured it, 'We have been here before - now, 'before' is back with a vengeance.' Truly, 'before' is back with a vengeance, but I beg you to unravel 2018 with renewed hope for you and this nation. Do not let negative beliefs of the past affect your thinking of today. Romans 12:2 says, 'And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.'
Happy Sunday.
.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Your Strength is Your Weakness

Your strength is your weakness
I was thinking this morning... about how a strength is a weakness. This past weekend, I went with my children to watch the blockbuster adventure/comedy movie, 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.' After the quartet had been sublimated into the game and landed in Jumanji, they were each shown their strengths and weaknesses to aid them in playing the game successfully. While the weaknesses of others include venom, speed, endurance etc., that of Kevin Hart (who played the character, Moose Finbar) was listed as 'cake' and 'strength.' On seeing that, he exclaimed, 'how can strength be someone's weakness?' Even I was confused, saying, like we do in Warri, under my breath, 'I bow o. How can strength be someone's weakness?'

As I thought about it days after, I realized how true the statement is in a different light. I recalled the News headline this past week, 'California Legalizes Sales of Marijuana, Men and Women Queue up to Buy.' I wondered, how is it that marijuana has become iPhone X that people are queuing up to buy? Shameful! The strength of America is their freedom or liberty, but this has also become their weakness, as we watch a sizeable percent of the population become addicted to illicit drugs. Their strength has become their weakness.
Please dwell on that thought and come back home. It's a new year and many are wondering why the majority of Nigerians are detached from what is happening. Alberto Fujimori, the 79 years old former president of Peru was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for corruption. He spent 12 years in prison and was recently granted pardon on humanitarian ground due to the worsening of his medical condition. There was public outrage and protests across Peru with the people demanding that the current president resigns. That will never happen in Nigeria. Why? Remember, Nigerians were once judged the happiest people on earth, not because of the good life the government had created but because of our aloofness from the ills around us. Our strength (the 'odechi' to evil leaders and their actions) has become our weakness, the unchallenged raping of our commonwealth.
While there is a flip side that makes your strength your weakness, for many, they are like Moose Finbar, their lack of strength is their weakness. We will require strength of character if we must churn out success in 2018. Think about it, your greatest strength could be your weakness. If you are a great talker as a woman, you may be talking too much. Listen more, especially to your husband. If you are a great cook as a man, appreciate the food of your wife, even though it may taste awful.
Please do not let your strength be your weakness, otherwise you may not survive the game. But rather turn your weakness to strength. Thankfully, 2 Cor 12:10 says 'That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.'
Happy Sunday.
.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.