People Help the People

Birdy’s song is not as iconic as many songs past, but the chorus sticks like young Joe did to a video game controller.

‘People Help the People…’

I think human pride can be a good thing in that it can be a motivator to achieve goals beyond the norm. Unfortunately it often goes hand-in-hand with the idea that, “I can go it alone”. As social creatures we were never designed to live that way and if we did (in the not so distant past) it would normally mean death.

I’ve been doing some reflection. I’ve met a myriad of people in these last couple of years. Some have formed strong bonds with me and others came into my life just to leave it. I’m sure the same can be said of myself at times, I’ve mastered the art of going MIA, I’m working on it. However, I strongly believe that in each and every one of these individuals was something I could have – should have picked up to better myself. (Even removing that selfish aspect, it allows you to look at people with respect and reduces contempt.) Upon reflection it’s so easy to see what I may have missed in the moment.

In a short space of time I’ve met characters with such trememdous self belief and honesty, organisation and vision, creativity and drive, humility and confidence, intelligence and wisdom that if I were to start naming names you’d call it flattery… But it would all be true. Certainly the opportunity was there to glean into their character and see what produced such awesome traits, then develop them for myself. In hindsight, simply asking some of them would have sufficed.

Luckily for me, memory and attention to detail (regarding people stalking :D) allows me to reflect and learn regardless, but the next time I’m in a room with someone I’ll do my best to learn something from them to better myself.

I challenge you to do the same. You never know how much that one thing you pick up may impact your life positively. Let the chorus ring out. Let ‘People Help the People’.

Thank you for your time:)

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Talent Working Hard

D! That was my average in Art. I eventually got better to the point my teacher mistook one of my drawings, of a robot – for a lion. I was so terrible I had to label my art, else-wise it wouldn’t be understood. I drew cars in high school the same way I’d drawn them when I was 6… the upgrades arrived 12 years too late 😀 To say I was bad at drawing or painting is an understatement. I had no talent whatsoever.

If you didn’t know me then you’re about to find out; I was an incredibly sore loser! Joe wasn’t comfortable with his fluctuating D grade (normally trending closer to E than C). It was embarrassing to the point I disowned myself (as seen by the temporary switch to 3rd person). Sure I’d often act like I didn’t give a tosh in front of the boys but deep down it really hurt. That awful grade would have an adverse effect on my class position come end of term and even if it didn’t – it just doesn’t feel nice to fail. It never does.

So, I worked! One day we were given an assignment to do over the weekend. That day I told myself, “This time I won’t fail!”

The assignment was to draw a hanging cloth using pencil. I was incredibly stoked about it having made my decision to (finally) succeed in the Art department. Art had given me way too many Ls. I got myself one of the kitchen cloths and hung it from a nail in the wall (fitting for it was designed to hang art upon). I duly informed everyone in the household of the importance of this piece of work and that the cloth should not be moved under any circumstances. I guess there was a steeliness to me at the time for no one questioned me or even so much as sneezed in the direction of that cloth.

Two whole days! Half of Friday, all of Saturday and part of Sunday I spent honing my image of the cloth. Carefully caressing the edges and smoothly shading in the shadows. At the end of it I don’t think I’d never been prouder of anything in my life up to that point. My young sister was impressed by something I’d produced for the first (and perhaps last) time. Coincidentally (or is it?) she’s now the artist of the family and a bloody fantastic one at that I must add.

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(This isn’t it by the way. It’s the first thing I was drawn to when I searched ‘hanging cloth pencil’)

Monday arrived and it was nearly time to hand in our bodies of work. A friend, Felix was his name (I guess still is unless he’s changed it), was mid-conversation during break time, some 20 minutes before the Art lesson, when someone mentioned the homework that was due. “Oh no,” he said. He hadn’t done it. I was feeling real smug as he went about scrambling for a sheet of white paper to use, eager to show off my masterpiece.

Long story short – I got 89%. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was a masterpiece. I’d worked my socks off, paying immense attention to detail. I can’t recall a time prior where I’d put as much effort into anything that wasn’t leisure than I had during that period. The people that knew me were shocked. Phrases like: “You didn’t draw this, did you?” and “Wow. Must have been a fluke.” were bandied about. I had the highest mark in the class IN ART! Me! Unbelievable right? That was the case, especially because that was factually incorrect. I had the highest mark of everyone whose assignment I’d compared my work to. To my astonishment Felix had received the highest mark. 90%… The man had natural talent I instantly concluded. “Impossible!” I exclaimed internally, heart being sliced apart with a metaphorical weed hacker and whatever was left behind put through a figurative shredder. Maybe I do him a disservice and there were an untold number of hours behind the scenes that led to him having such obvious skill, but he had bested all of us – me especially I felt – in 15 min without a point of reference. The man’s cloth hung on a nail inside his head. It’s not like Art is a subject about competing but I was a sore loser remember. I therefore became incensed. I was so angry I wasn’t even mad.

This event got me thinking for a long time. What if he had actually tried, like I had? Wouldn’t he have gotten an even higher mark? I was speechless. The saying goes “Hard Work Beats Talent, When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard”. That didn’t turn out to be the case in this story. But what if talent DOES work hard? What happens then?

I guess this is just a reminder of a previous post , only this time in story form. Find your talent then work hard at it. I don’t know what he does now but if he’s anything like the talented individuals that worked their socks off in the past – we’ll soon find out because he’ll be well-known all around the world.

Thank you for your time:)

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(I guess this is a good representation of what I saw Felix’s assignment as through my filter of envy 😀 gg Felix!)

Art

“Please don’t sing. Ever.”

Kimberly Munikwa, my sister.

(She wasn’t the only one. I too said that to myself when caught singing in public.)

I’m not moved by much. My attitude towards most things is the usual default enthusiasm associated with my character thus far. My likes are ubiquitous… but give me art. Then it’s a whole different ball game.

I used to think Art was just the class I averaged a D in high school. But it’s so much more than that. By definition, art is:

‘The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.’

Art has emotional power: in the form of music, paintings, literature, dance and a combination of all of these culminates into animation, movies, video games etc. This fascination with art isn’t unique to me either. Just glance at that list and you’ve got what the majority of humankind wants to do with its time, the majority of what humankind will spend money on.

And yet we scoff at Art majors…

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Ambitious Yet Content

Teach me to be ambitious enough to do the things that others thought impossible, to solve the problems people thought had no solutions, to impact more lives positively than I had the right to.

Also, teach me to be content with the process.

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS
PK-01 [DF-09158] – Will Smith (left) and Jaden Christopher Syre Smith star in Columbia PicturesÕ drama The Pursuit of Happyness. Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal
Thank you for your time:)

This Is Me

“I am who I’m meant to be, this is me.”

There’s a reason ‘This Is Me’ won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. I believe that as humans there’s an innate desire to find our purpose. That identity is one of the fundamentals in this pursuit. In this universe, with 7.2 billion others, we seek something, some point for our existence – to set us apart. But it’s incredibly easy to lose sight of that goal.

Distractions can come in any form. By definition a distraction “is something that prevents you from concentrating on a goal”. And concentration is “the ability or power to focus all one’s energy and attention”.

Unfortunately something as grand as finding, let alone achieving your purpose can’t be done if you allow yourself to be distracted. A sin I’ve definitely been committing myself.

If you want to sing this beautiful song with as much gusto as I do, it’s about time you shed the distractions and focus. Then you’ll stand out from the rubble like you were always meant to, singing: “This Is Me!

Thank you for your time:)

Man In The Mirror

“I’m gonna make a change, for once in my life.”

– Michael Jackson

If you’re going to have a positive impact on anyone else’s life, why not start with yours? You know by now what’s holding you back. Make that change!

“It’s gonna feel real good. Gonna make a difference. Gonna make it right.”

So do it!

Just…

Start with the man in the mirror.

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Thank you for your time:)

Filled to the Brim

I am overwhelmed.

Simply passed by me like a rose petal floating in the wind you did.

My long dead nose hunted down your scent; hungry for your soul.

The centre of my being became tethered to your own.

Fetus-like I clung to you for life.

Your joy became my elation.

Your disdain became my grief.

All my life – callous and vain

Drinking from your cup I’ve done

Merrily, uncaringly, sloshing about till my garments were drenched.

But in this drunken state I finally see…

– Hence –

If everyone has a cup of love to give

The one I give to you is filled to the brim.

P.S. It feels great to write love letters for people you’re infatuated with.

Writing letters of appreciation to a family that’s loved you all your life feels even better.

Thank you for your time 🙂

Psalm 91

It’s like the world is revolving in the wrong direction,
You try with all your might and all your soul to steer it right,
But you’re a lone ranger, a whisper in a monstrous typhoon, a wasp amid titans,
You’re a torchlight, bright and fierce in the dark-yet your competition is the sun.
But don’t wallow in doubt, shame or self pity,
Or in all your frailty, in all your sensitivity.
You may think you stand alone or that you are but a pebble standing against a raging sea.
Yet stand strong, firm, unmoving, even as the large warriors flee.
For you have within you One who is greater than all,
One who makes life worth living. One who gives life and removes death’s pall.
He who restarts your life when all seems to stall,
He who gives you wings and teaches you not to crawl;
He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways,
They will lift you up in their hands, they will protect you always…
Your foot will neither dash against a stone, nor rock,
Nor viper, nor shall it land in a dirty pond.
His might surpasses your fight,
To catch flight and keep in sight-of Perfection.
Good night.

Sometimes we forget that there is always help. Be inspired.

Thank you for your time 🙂

Everyday Is Mother’s Day

I think about my birth, my gift of life gave you pain,

I think about the people in my life… some leave me but you always remain,

Even when I am your source of grief my joy is at the top of your list.

Even if you are cold to the bone, keeping me warm you cannot resist.

You’re the epitome of sacrifice, a close definition of love.

When I see you being selfless I see that there really is God above.

I see Him perform His acts through you,

As you care for me and my sister too.

Through being human, through being emotionally blind,

I had failed to see the truth, I had shutters on my mind,

But through some miracle, through some inexplicable event,

I finally see what I was supposed to see-something even my ignorance couldn’t prevent.

You are a rare gem, you are a bright beacon in a storm of darkness,

You are my favourite poem-all of you, including your bluntness.

All of my success I owe to you and your perseverance,

I owe it to your love, your attention, your constant vigilance.

Your prayers were not in vain;

I will be worth all that pain!

Through what won’t come , through what may,

By your side, Mom, I’ll forever remain.

PS This is a re-post from before I had a blog but it still applies perfectly

Thank you for your time 🙂

I Am

You are what you eat.

You are what you constantly listen to.

You are what you say you are.

Seems like the mouth is responsible for what we are and what we will become. For it is with the mouth that we eat, it is the mouth that speaks and it is the mouth (albeit someone else’s) that dictates what we hear.

I wonder what happens if you spend years saying: “I am not good enough. I don’t deserve this. I’m an idiot. This it too hard for me. I’m going to fail…”

Perhaps that’s what it takes to bring down a promising individual. Get them to say such things over and over, in their mind, in their heart and with the lips.

What about those that hear these negative things said to them? Haven’t there been success stories among those with bad/unsupportive parents? I think that means the opposite can be true. A non-success story in the presence of ultra-supportive parents and to be frank – that is terrifying.

Haven’t there been success stories among those with bad/unsupportive parents? Well luckily there have. You know what that means? There is a solution! A suitable workaround. If you can say to yourself over and over positive things, only the things that you want – it’ll supersede that which you hear. Imagine if you were to proclaim in your mind, in your heart and with your lips: “I am capable.” What do you think would happen then? Picture it, the person you would be now if daily you said: “I am a genius. There is nothing too hard for me! I will succeed! I am creative! I provide solutions to problems! I am disciplined! I am organised! I am successful! I am rich!”

As easy as that sounds to do on paper maybe you haven’t heard it enough to say it and believe it. This is where Youtube comes into place. If no one in your life is willing to affirm positivity, find them online, they will be there. Listen to them on repeat until you mould your plasticine brain to adapt. Then say it to yourself and share the change.

I challenge you to start the day with saying: “I am – “. Fill in the blank with what you want.

That’s what I will be doing.

Thank you for your time 🙂