The invitation

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know 
if you will risk 
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesnt interest me
what planets are 
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you 
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know 
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone 
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

“Save me from my own mistake”

I come from a background where it is the norm to marry off the girl child once she has fallen pregnant. It does not matter if she is still in school, she is forced to drop out!

Fathers do it out of anger, mothers, to save their skin from the wrath of their husband and his kinsmen. Bring into the frail aunts who harbour a vendetta against their brother’s wife, they will quickly see this as an opportunity to prove how a failure their in law is. The girl and her dreams will not stand a chance.

African family life is complex. There are some families who will interpret this demise as a less mouth to feed and a saved pocket in fees.

Some will argue: How can pregnancy be a mistake? A mistake is something that befalls you unexpectedly without your intention. We do well to remember that, a mistake, is also a decision you would not undertake if you had a glimpse of the dire consequences which will follow.

Teenage pregnancy is a despicable thing. It is something we should, by all means, discourage and work so hard to ensure it never happens.

Mistakes are punishable but they also deserve forgiveness. It is not a fitting punishment to condemn your own child to a doomed future when there exists clear proof that the child does not at that age fully grasp the consequences of this rushed decision to be a parent.

The future, in a forced marriage, is always bleak. The girl, now bride has nowhere to turn if she is mistreated in her marriage. She can certainly not come back to her parents who in anger shunned her from their home. A damaged mother often leads to damaged children.

Why don’t we all pause and consider a different outcome!

Teenage pregnancy is a despicable thing. It is something we should, by all means, discourage and work so hard to ensure it never happens. However, if it happens let us save the girl child from her own mistake.

I advocate that as loving parents we adopt our grandchild, then send back our daughter to school. Let us give the girl another go at her dreams. This will safeguard her future and that of the child.

photo credit/ tullowoil

This approach, when properly implemented will stop girls from committing dangerous backroom abortions. I believe that one redeemable wrong turn, should not cast an eternal shadow on a bright future!

The TED talk that changed my life

I loved drawing I thought I would grow up to be the next Picasso. When I discovered chess, I studied for hours every day aiming to become a grandmaster!

At some point, all I wanted was establishing a Non-Profit Organisation, but months down the line, I had an equal zeal for a profit-making business, completely abandoning the idea of a Non Profit making.

I hold in contempt for the idea of being a specialist. Not taking anything away from those who desire a Masters Degree and Ph.D. I have always found myself yearning for a variety of degrees, from Accounting to Law and maybe Graphic Designing.

This display of quick discontent and marauding curiosity had me worried I could be a drifting failure. I thought I exhibited traits of someone who was afraid of commitment. I was everywhere yet not really anywhere!

Thanx to the TED talk I recently watched, I got my Eureka moment. I am now at ease. I hope it will help you too before its too late. Watch below:

Why some of us don’t have one true calling: Emilie Wapnick

Food for thought: Are you a multipotentialite or a specialist?

Image credit/ ConnectHubs

The thing about a dream…

 

Some dreams are scary, they are big and you feel small, yet everything you see in the world was once but a dream in someone’s mind.

Take the world as a painting, upon which every man must add his own brush stroke. We cannot all paint the same, and we do not all like the same colors. But paint we must, for to have lived is to live a mark.

The question is not what, but how you shall choose to paint! Some of us were born to improve where others have already started, while some were born to create new things.

Paint your dream the way it is in your mind, the world is waiting for your brush stroke!

How I almost founded a School and what I learnt in the process.

The School

I was fresh from High School having done a few terms of being a relief teacher at some Rural Government Schools.  Most of my High school mates had gone off to University, which I couldn’t afford because of my financial situation.

I needed money. The easiest way to get it was to use whatever skills I had. I could teach, I had done it before. I invited a group of friends, approached a local primary school and negotiated to use infants classrooms since they finished at 12 noon. I printed fliers and posters advertising for Ordinary Level Lessons.

They told us we were operating illegally since we had no certification.

The events that followed surprised me. In a month, we enrolled 200 students. Our school had attracted everyone who was seeking to resit their O’ level exams in the area including grown-ups who couldn’t attend conventional school. I became an employer of 6 teachers.

After a single term, The Ministry of Education Officials knocked on our door. They told us we were operating illegally since we had no certification. However, because we were meeting a great need they said, they would help us formalise our private college. They gave us textbooks through a UNICEF programme that was running then.

Things were happening so fast. I had set out to make a few coins helping individuals pass their exams, I was on the verge of founding my own Formal Private College.

Our first group of students went on to write exams that year. We had an 80% pass rate! Later I closed the school when I secured a formal Job.

Many people, like me, have given up dreams that would make them so successful for comfort that would see them die yearning for more.

The Lessons

1. SometimesYou do not need money to start a money-making business

Many people seeking to make money ignore their own skill sets, in search of complex business ideas. An entrepreneur looks first at what he/she has and sets out to meet a need.

2. Lucky is for the prepared.

If I hadn’t started this school, UNICEF through the Ministry of Education wouldn’t have given us textbooks. Lucky is when opportunity meets preparedness.

3. The best thing you can do is:  Start.

Many projects die before they are even born. Perfection is a killer disease. Business plans and budgets are good but the reality is often a different game altogether. Start your project, learn and adjust your sails as the boat floats on. Read about  The Lean Start-Up

4. Big Organisations are still People.

If you have a dream, there will be companies, organisations and people you will need. Fear of rejection may stop you from reaching out. Do not be afraid, in every company or organisation, decisions are made by humans, and, humans can ethically be persuaded.

5. Employment is a dream slayer. 

Employment is comfortable. You do not worry about capital, human resources, company bills and industry policies. Many people like me, have given up dreams that would make them successful for comfort that would see them die yearning for more. Hold on to your dream.

I will be here with you