The “Idiot” Generation…

@ifxoluwa wrote a piece this morning regarding how church and culture in Nigeria have helped to raise a generation of idiots.

I’m generally one to refrain from calling a race or cultural group by derogatory names. Having said that, there might be some mileage in the message.

So, I’ll start by suggesting that the term idiot should have been inverted. Hopefully this would have allowed for a wider interpretation of what the writer was trying to say. Failing that, the use of words such as docile and complacent might be deemed less emotive.

Moving on, I noted with interest a number of comments that focused on individual choice. Here’s the rub. If ones choices are subverted to the whims and instruction of an authority from a young age, one becomes docile. Self governance becomes a nebulous, hypothetical construct. Assurance gives way to uncertainty; strength hands over its reigns to folly.

It is somewhat superfluous to lay all the blame on parenting and the church. And yet, it is more than appropriate to note that there are aspects of the Nigerian culture that are not conducive to questioning the status quo.

YOU

You are …
The bright light that eclipsed the storm
A harbinger of love and hope for days yet unborn

You are …
The silence of the young
Causing the small to stand strong
And the weak to prevail

You are …
The fallen
Lifted on the wings of angels
Gone to soon, like a whisper in the wind

You are …
The star in the heavens
No more at reach
But loved for all time

You are …

Process …

Every once in a while something happens that causes us to pause for thought. It doesn’t matter how exciting or mundane one’s life is, there’s always a moment of clarity. For some, it’s a daily affair; for others it’s a less regular occurrence.

I’m an athlete, of sorts. My body is a temple, but you can still find some bits that need to be cleaned up. I need to rethink how to keep the temple clean and tidy. I go training, I get lessons from a coach, and I aim to deliver results to the best of my ability. By no means, however, am I an elite athlete. But that’s a different discussion.

Back to my point about thinking … and process. Today I was in the fortunate position of surpassing my expectations, and those of quite a few others. I found myself on a podium with no steps – it’s OK, as I would have been on the lowest one. I was puffed and chuffed with my success.

But, at one point, I had to hit the locker room and dispense some words of wisdom to a young athlete who was desperate to do well. He’d fallen short of his lofty ambitions for the day and was on his way home.

Life is brutal like that. We each have a place we expect to be; a height we aim to reach. And then we find that we slip or fall, and end up somewhere else.

Later, in the pub, myself and the lads got together over a rare pint – lemonade and J20 for me; my lack of alcohol having less to do with my newly acquired athlete status than the possibility of random Drugs & Alcohol testing. It seems that alcohol and train stations, if one is working at the latter, do not mix. But again, I digress.

Discussing the performances of myself and others later, I was compelled to observe the following:

1) There is a difference between working towards a goal and simply chasing one

2) If you continue to put the work in, the results will come; if you just chase what’s in front of you, you are likely to just get frustrated

3) No matter what field one may be in, results are about engaging with a process

4) Giving up because one performs below par is a bit like refusing to use a knife for fear of cutting oneself

When all is said and done, life is for the living. Wherever it takes us, we must engage with the process. Aspiration and inspiration come from the process – either because we’ve engaged, or because we’ve seen the results of those who chose to follow through.

Even for the rebels, there is a process. Don’t just chase the shadows. Put the work in. Hold on to the lofty ideals. Be the champion you set yourself to be, or get as close to it as possible. Resolve to challenge your fears. You can only win or lose. Failure to face up to the challenge is always a losing position.

Night

In the silence of the night
When sleep burrows the soil of the mind
There comes a slithering
Memories crawling to the surface
The light of a past
Pervades the darkness that should be sleep
The fleeting glimpse of a smile
Dances across down-turned eyelids
And limbs lightly pulse
At a memory of a long-past tune
This is when I miss you most
In the gentle whisper of the wind
When nothing seems to stir
But the cold embrace of the floating moon

13022018 @0232

Making Sense

There’s no voice of reason
To still my beating heart
I can’t seal this wound with plaster
Or exorcise the void
The only killer of pain
Might be the gift of time

I’m all out of answers
For what ails me now
My mind trips over reasons
Why this season shouldn’t be
Could it be the numbers
Or the geography of time
Perhaps it’s just a fantasy
A mirage of the mind

Where’s the guidance
The orientation of the mind
Where’s the beauty
Of the comforting words
Can you hear me calling
As I’m falling through the air
Or should I just be content with
Silence

08022018 @1258

The Key

Help me to understand this madness
Doubtless there is purpose to the emptiness
Unless I’m doing it wrong
On the day I chose to walk this road
Boldness and beauty assaulted me
Elevated beyond the realms of reason

Can one really silence this sound of emptiness
Quite literally tearing me apart
Until it’s weight pushes me to sleep’s edge

Even then your embrace stirs me
Taunting me to love you more
Let me hold you close again
Even hear your voice once more
Never leave me to face this painful silence
And perhaps sanity will survive

06022018

Remember Them

How the mighty are fallen
For the rights of mortal men
They journeyed into battle
Considering not their fate
For though their hearts were burdened
With the weight of our tomorrow
They walked the line of danger
To let our freedom reign

Mighty men we thank you
For your lovers left behind
Your bodies that were broken
And the horrors past endured
Thank you for the dreams you had
The ones you put on hold
You are the heroes of the hour
And of the years to come

We talk of mighty fallen men
And we remember THEM

30102014