Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Man at a loss…

It was a beautiful morning in the city of Ibadan; even though the clouds are gathering, the rain on its mark, the splendor of the morning was not robbed. At best, both the cloud and the impending rain added color to the day. I was just some 5 minutes away from the house of my fashion designer at Bodija, my business of the day, when an accident scene caught my attention. Obviously, my journalistic instinct would not permit me pretend as if I saw nothing, so I paused to steal a look, albeit reluctantly. Needless say the scene was horrible, quite disturbing and puzzling. Typical of crowds, after many unprintable words we all dispersed, but I got angrier after everybody had gone and I suddenly remember I was carrying my digital camera, yet no shot. I was still on the nagging when, unexpectedly; I met the driver and the casualty in front of the house I was going! Trust me, I wasn’t going to miss this time so I quickly registered some shots, albeit secretly.

I’m sure someone is asking ‘what’s my business with that?’ I’ll speak in riddles no more; back at the accident scene something puzzling caught my attention. The driver ran over a lady’s leg, broke some bones in the toe, and just when it was time to take the lady to the hospital, emotions were triggered. The driver asked the lady to walk into the car, parked at about 30meters away from the accident scene, and obviously she couldn’t walk; so she demanded for a hand, which the driver refused saying “haram…” The lady got angry replying “I am also a Muslim, and I say carry me!!!” Trust Nigerians, the driver was mobbed. You should be there to see the shame and reproach boldly written on the face of the driver while carrying the lady into his car.

It was at this moment that a million dollar question appeared on my mind: At what point or stage does religion robs us of sanity? At what point does it rubbish the sanctity of human life? At what point should it make us inhuman and inhumane? That is if it should do any of these to us in the first place. And if it does, at what point does it permit us to be human and humane again?

What is haram when your fellow man, created by God as well, is dying and you are in the position to save his life? Perhaps, if the driver had been killed by the angry mob, he would have understood what truly haram is when he gets to meet God. As if I know nothing before, I had to go pick my encyclopedia to study religion and its sects (Christianity, Islam, Afrel et al), trying to see whether God permits a lot of things I never knew about. Gosh… it’s so painful that Man is at a loss on what his God requires of him; at a loss on what his purpose truly is, at a loss on the true order of life. I guess I have to halt the movement of my pen now, lest I instigate another ripple of extremism. With this I’d sign off however; the only haram there is, is the falsification and manipulation of truth. It’s time we break the shackles of religion, and live at peace with Man, Life, and God.

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Follow the instruction, and check your email for vote confirmation link to activate your vote.
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Every Moment Lesson...

Perhaps I could motivate you with this recent experience I had...
Some days ago I found myself developing love for PlayStation2. What however fascinates me most wasn't the love I had for the game, but the passion, zeal, hunger and commitment I put into mastering the tricks.
Sooner than I thought, I found myself staying glued to the T.V screen, practicing stopovers, shooting, dribbling, sprints, nodding, pullouts, and passing. Now as I write, I even have become a hard nut to crack for my teachers.
But then, this morning I woke up on the reflective side of my bed and a thought flashed up; “what if I had put the same level of dedication to some of the things that had hitherto proved difficult for me to learn, it means I could have been a master of a host of them by now"!
The question here is very simple: what are those things you've found quite difficult coping with? It's as easy as a, b, c, 1, 2, 3, blah blah blah... You only need to condition your mind to accept this. Dare to do it 'cos you've got the cutting edge!

Ride on Pastor!!!

“The great end of life is not knowledge but action.”
Huxley T.H 1825-1895.

From the four walls of any denomination that exists around I have heard the word “ride on pastor!” a thousand and one times. But it beats me that I’ve not seen a thousand and one changes coming from such enthusiastic shout. Does it beat you as well? Taking it away from the ecclesiastical front, and putting it in the secular domain; it still holds true that my generation needs just only one service: emotional massage! Does that beat you too? How do you explain a nation of people thronging seminar, symposium, rally, and worship centers, getting feeds from our finest, only to come back needing more and more feeds, just to move a toe. Does it cost more than a hi to get a smile?!
A brief look into history reveals that Martin Luther King Jnr said it once and died. Oh, Americans doesn’t even need it twice, “I have a dream...” Simple, we are in bondage, today not of situations and circumstances, but of our self-induced confusion. “Yes we can...” weren’t needed twice. The French Revolutionaries knew what they wanted and they acted on Rousseau and Voltaire’s lead.
Trust me; we don’t need the pastor to ride on, we only need to act on! Enough of the emotional massage, it’s time for a revolutionary change. Remember, “You are the embodiment of the information you choose to ACCEPT and ACT UPON. To change your circumstances you need to change your THINKING and subsequent ACTION.”
Oh! Sorry pastor. Ride on pastor! But move us spirit...
With Love,
Alamu Samson.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

THE TRUSTEESHIP OF KNOWLEDGE AND VISION: One week with members of Authors and Orators Chamber...

As I prepare for the exit door of REACH-OUT, I drop on your table my last observation in the course of my refreshers journey. Though right now, I feel like a maiden taking a departure blessing and I want to cry, yet, I must leave. But then, enjoy this last moment.

During my refreshers, something else struck me. I noticed something about the interplays and dynamics of World War 1 & 2 and post-World War 1 & 2 events. I will save you all the details by narrowing it down to our area of interest and that area of interest is the Trusteeship concept/system. Now largely defunct, trusteeship was the system by which the United Nations, at its inception, appointed states to administer territories whose peoples, while regarded as units of self-determination, were deemed unfit to exercise self-rule. So, after these two wars, the victors assumed Trustee rights over the colonies of the defeated powers, as empowered by U.N. The UN Trusteeship Council then reserves the right of checks, and right retrieval in cases of maladministration. Some powers lost their rights to maladministration. I'm very sure someone is getting bored now, but wait a minute before you delete this.
Let's do some substitution:
UN for God.
The Colonies for knowledge and vision.
The powers (both Victor and Vanquish) for Orators/Authors, Activists, creative dudes, and visionary. We'll do the last 2 substitutions at the end of this journey.

I've come to understand that knowledge and vision has a trusteeship nature, and God bestows them both on you and me. These two gifts are pivotal to the fulfillment of our purpose of existence. They both by themselves cannot do anything without activation on our part. Funny enough, it comes with life span. Like it is with U.N, God reserves the right of checks, and trusteeship retrieval in case of our failure.

Now let's do the final two substitutions:
You and Me for Victors.
You and Me for the Vanquish.

I've come to understand that those that emerges victor, are those, who more than the possession of knowledge and vision, acquire the skills to execute their trusteeship. In the end, there was no right-retrieval. Rather, they were blessed with the trusteeship rights of the vanquish. In like manner, I discovered those that ended Vanquish equally possesses knowledge and vision, but lack execution skills.
My drift here is quite simple; we hold our knowledge and vision in trust, and we could lose it anytime! I will not abandon you in the middle of the desert by stopping here, but I will tell you why the trusteeship could be lost.

The craze for fame! That is the reason why we may lose our trusteeship. I've found out that the reason why many of us gets involved in scores of projects personally is because we are so taken over by the craze for fame. Consequently, we refuse to transfer knowledge and vision.

The Vanquish of the moment I speak of in history, loses their trusteeship because they were so fame-driven that they refused to delegate authority (knowledge and vision). They thereby got the people they lead in trust get discontented, and this resulted in uprising which moved the UN to right retrieval.

Picture a situation where God gives you 10 visions on solutions to 10 deadly problems in the society, and perhaps because you lack enough time to execute them all, people died in numbers. What do you think will happen? Very simple! God will retrieve the visions, and hand them over to someone who's got the right skill sets. And what is the skill? Vision delegation and transfer. This is what Andrew Carnegie meant when he said ' no man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it'. Wouldn't you rather be a leader/commissioner of the leaders/liberators of the crowd, than being a leader of the crowd? I'm sorry if am hitting too hard, but know that you only hold the knowledge and vision in trust, which could be taken away if you fail. Leave the fame, and go for the fruits.

THE SELL OUTs: One week with members of Authors and Orators Chamber...

... Still on my refreshers; I made another shocking observation. Though it shouldn't be shocking, what however struck me was that I did not for once try to build the similarity between the two experiences! I'm talking about the dark moments of African history (slave trade & colonization period) and the gloomy moment of Africa's re-awakening (21st century leadership re-orientation).

Historians would tell you slave trade and colonization lasted more than necessary in Africa for a simple reason; as much as we had scores of activists who resisted, we also had droves of gluttons who sold out. They are known in history as the collaborators. Kings, Chiefs, and Emperors alike; they all sold out the people given to them by God to liberate.

History for history, what beats me however is the fact that, there is a repetition of history already. I keenly monitored all the interplays of the recently concluded elections in Nigeria; I saw pastors, opinion leaders, youth leaders, business leaders, and pressure groups alike selling out. They all called themselves Orators, Authors, and all what have you. I saw youths fighting over the ownership of money-making political concepts. I saw pastors leaving altars for carrots. The list is endless. One of those moments on my writing table, I then remembered George Washington, who in his work-MORAL MAXIMS- says "few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder"

In case you are not following, my drift is very simple; you and I will not be able to effect the changes we so desire if we can't resist the dangled carrots. The carrot comes in shapes, and they are baits that crippled our integrity and conscience. Tell me who we are without integrity and conscience? Tell me what is left when honor is lost?

Imagine yourself on an evangelism team visiting a brothel, and one hooker recognizes you as her patron? Your day and dream is over! Know this; when you sell out, you are sold out and you can't seal up.

As an Orator/Author, (change agent) to be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible, and to be credible we must be truthful. Remember; we speak and write to change the world, our world.

THE STATUS QUO ORATOR: One week with members of Authors and Orators Chamber...

Alamu Samson Segun 31 May at 11:05

As usual, I will not attempt to pretend am an orator. Rather, I am just a messenger with a message, and I know just exactly how to deliver it.

Just recently, I discovered there has been a wide gap between me and my history lessons, which prompted me to dedicate few hours to refreshers. Not too long into my sojourn, I made a shocking observation. I noticed they were not termed orator for possession of choice words, nor charisma, neither anything you would list; but because more than all these, they preached what the world wouldn’t ordinarily stomach. This quickly reminded me of Agar Herbert Sebastian, who in his work – A TIME FOR GREATNESS, 1942 – says ‘the truth which makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.’

I remember Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Martin Luther, Kwame Nkrumah, Obafemi Awolowo et al. They were termed orators, not because they massaged our emotions with the words we all love to hear, but because they hurt our emotions with the truth we detest with passion. Yet, we sing all hail liberators when their name knocks the door of our memory. Their epitaph oozes greatness for they refused STATUS QUO.

Do you aspire to be an orator, and a great one at that? Then, you must determine not to be a STATUS QUO ORATOR. We know them that went such path; their names were written on the sand of history, and washed away by the tide of event. We also know them that went the other way; their names were written on the rock of history. Maybe you will tell me what will scrape it off.

If we must effect the change we so desire, then STATUS QUO is never, and will never be an option. Remember, we write and speak to change the world, our world.