EVOLUTION NOT RESOLUTION

Evolution not resolution (G money)

In September 2016 on a fine Saturday evening I was briskly walking home and I happen to come across a multitude of people gathered and singing in joyous celebration. It was on the pathway between holy family basilica and city hallway. I was intrigued and decided to go and see what is going on. I was ushered in with warm hands and given a pamphlet that read; “happy new year”. I thought to myself; “this seems quite interesting”.

And that is how I found myself in a new years celebration in September. I enjoyed the fete not only the singing and dancing but also what I learnt. After we sang and danced ourselves out, the preacher took to the podium and shared words that have stuck with me ever since. “We are celebrating the new year not as others do but as we do. Let this be a new beginning but also the continuation of the previous. As you plan and write resolutions remember they will only come to pass if you are willing to work. Not forgetting the destiny that God has placed in you”

He continued sharing and urging people to think of where they want their lives to be and what they need to do in order reach there. Rather than just coming up with yearly based resolutions. And that is what has prompted my article. Resolutions and the new year. You might be surprised by the tittle but please don’t be. I heard of it from media personality G money(Cornad Garry)on his podcast; (the mics are open). He was asked by fellow podcaster Andrew what are his resolutions for 2021 and he said he doesn’t write resolutions, rather he reflects on his life to see if there is an improvement towards where he wants to be.

A point worth jotting down. Many of us usually begin a year with a list of things onto which we project and say we will do but rarely accomplish. Why you may ask? it’s simple. If you don’t have an elevated mindset and drive, rarely do you see things through. You may want to go to the gym and look well but what is your overall notion towards fitness? do you enjoy working out? are you willing to forfeit eating unhealthy to a more greener and cleaner diet?. Or take another example savings. What is your relationship with money. How do you look at money? is it something you fear addressing?. If most of the above questions keep your mind buzzing, it’s high time you elevate.

Elevate in the way you see things, the way you do them, the way you handle them and that is how you’ll accomplish all you want. Another point worth jotting is having a vision board. A vision board will help you know where you want your life to be and it will guide you on the steps to take. For example I want to be a best selling author and a show host(just like Oprah Winfrey).

On my vision board I have written that down and broken the steps to get there. I have started with my blog and I’m also doing youtube videos. When each year ends and I begin the next, I usually try to see if I’m closer to my dreams and what do I need to improve to get there. Not just a list of 10 things to do for 2021.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not dismissing resolutions, rather I’m guiding you on how to make them work. So when each year begins, try to see if you are elevating or downgrading.

STAY HOPEFUL

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)

“This is going to be my year. The beginning of a new decade.” Most of us (myself) included hollered that at the beginning of 2020 with lots of enthusiasm not knowing things would take a turn. We didn’t know the year would be as it is.
A pandemic swept through the air leading to confusion  and distress. Job loss, demise of loved ones, businesses crumbling and to make matters worse, there is no near end to the pandemic. With such, lies no hope for a brighter day.
But it shouldn’t be. Yes there is an affliction but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be upbeat. It actually might be preparing us for the better in store. Just as depicted in Things Fall Apart by (Chinua Achebe): “The year that Okononkwo took eight hundred seed-yams from Nwakibe was the worst year in living memory. Nothing happened at it’s proper time …. But the year had gone mad. Rain fell as if it had never fallen before”. If you read further you will see that people laughed at Okonkwo when he was planting and others lazied around. When the rains came, it caught them in surprise as Okonkwo’s barn was full to the brim.
So I urge you my dear reader. Despite the year being full of ups and downs, loosing of loved ones, businesses going down; stay auspicious. Look at the heavens with a bright heart and let the most high know that you are prepared for the coming year. Pray to him with a hopeful heart. And actually you will find he will bless you in the midst of the storm. So take charge and declare that 2021 is your year.

DOING RIGHT : (Never easy)

Always do the right (Mugambi)

“There is a right and there’s a wrong,
face the two and be a man,
play your part in the father’s plan of creation”
*Luciano (Jah Is Much Stronger)

Such kind of songs made me fall in love with reggae music. And up to now I still listen to the music. I like it because it passes a message and consummates the masses. But that’s for another day. For today I want to talk about doing right. As the song has said, there is a wrong and a right but do we really know the difference ? I bet yes it’s just that we’ve decided as a society to norm some shaft and allow them to happen.

Begining from the traditional settings, people were taught what is acceptable and what is not. And when one did a wrong, there were consequences that followed. Then where did we go wrong? According to me, all went sideways when those who did wrong got more glory than those who did right. This then made people see that; “okay, if I do this even though it’s wrong, I still will benefit and be like person X or person Y”

Drug dealers got more fame than pastors. Gang leaders became more attractive to the youth than doctors. Rouge politicians became more successful than teachers. With this, it brought about a shift in thinking. Children started dropping out of school to start selling drugs, more and more people started revering political tricks as opposed to properly campaigning. And before we knew it, our societal morals were on a downhill spiral.

And the media and entertainment business picked up this notion. More movies started being filmed with either drug dealer characters or gangs and they stated making money off this. From The Godfather up to Gangs of London, the society has been infiltrated with this thinking that it’s okay to do wrong, you will make it. That’s why it took a director like Tyler perry a longer time to reach the top because he didn’t reflect this norm.

But should we seat down and watch as the society crumbles on its morals ? no. It’s tough doing the right thing in a place where wrong has been made “okay” but that doesn’t discard a wave of change. It took men like Mandela 27 years in prison to realise a change in racial inequality so don’t expect the journey to be a walk in the park.

In whatever space you might be in, try make a difference. As a politician inspire people by showing them that your manifesto and how you campaign gets you elected. Not through vote riging and hate speech. As a director, create movies that will change the society and not corrupt morals. As a writer, inspire people with your words and most importantly as a parent reflect an image that you would want your children to be like.

5 Loaves and 2 Fish Analogy

John 6 : 8 – 13

“Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”  Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”  So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.”John 6:8‭-‬13 NIV

One of the most famous parables taught by Jesus. I remember as a child having to hear it taught each time we had bible study week (DVBS).

But do most of us know the intended meaning it is supposed to pass?

I don’t think so. It’s just recently that I had a deep study of the verse that I came to grasp the meaning.

It’s taking about our gifts and environments. What we have at hand.

Are we willing to use them to transform our lives? or are we going to be like Andrew the disciple and say “here is a boy with five barely small loaves and two fish?”

Growing up, I grew up in an estate called Santack along Ngong road on your way to Karen and opposite Nairobi showground. I happened to have a neighbor called Joe.

Joe became a good neighbor to the point people started thinking he is my uncle. Nowadays I’m so used to introducing him as “Uncle Joe”.

For the twenty plus something years I’ve been on this earth, I’ve known Joe doing glass – art or as popularly known “engraving”.

He doesn’t have the masters and PhD’s that most people do but his skill has made him travel the globe and meet very influential people.

Just recently our deputy president (William Ruto) bought his engraving and gifted him machines to expand his work.

When he was starting, most people thought he wouldn’t amount into anything. They so much discouraged him from following his dreams that he felt like giving up.

My mom and dad saw the potential he had and encouraged him to continue pushing for I believe they saw where he was destined to go. They taught him some few professional etiquettes for they were both in the working environment.

Even when he had his accident my mom as a nurse helped him in the recouping process. He has been pushing with his art up to today and he is the classical analogy of the five loaves and two fish. He used what he had at hand to transform his life.

Recently nation newspaper did a feature on him and he said it’s his art that transformed his life from a cow ranch life in Nanyuki to where he is today.

And that is what I’m trying to address in my story this month. Whatever you have at hand, use it to your advantage and you shall be amazed.

Don’t just whine about how you don’t have thing x and y, rather use the little you have to change your situation. As they say, “necessity is the mother of invention”

STONE CITY (Shamba La Mawe)

Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter (50 cent)

Yes. That’s the byname we Kenyans have given to our beautiful capital city. Not because it’s a city filled with stones, rather it’s because of the hardened nature of it.

As stones are hard and don’t break easily so does our city. Those who have lived in it can vindicate the statement. Nairobi is an ever bustling city with people on the move. You might be surprised as a visitor to find no one idling around as we say in our local dialect of sheng “magithaa ni maganji” (time is money). As you get to stay in the cosmopolis, you start being accustomed to the nature and know the whereabouts of each corner and who is who.

You will also be welcomed with things missing, being duped, buying jive products getting lost and so on. You will also know when to wake up and catch the train, what routes do busses take, where are the markets and how to save money. I got this first-hand experience when I got my identity card and started being a loner. I thought being born in the city gave me a free pass to the experiences but until I got corned that’s when I knew “son, welcome to the stone city”.

And that’s how life is. Sometimes we have to undergo certain experiences in order for us to know importance of certain things. I’m not suggesting that we depricate advice that we are given, rather I’m suggesting that something’s we have to experience to know their importance. You will never know how valuable money is until you have it and loose it. You will never know how important being warm-hearted is until one day you hurt those you love the most.

I recently had taken a break from school and decided to tackle life’s bull by its horns. I thought life is just a matter of starting ideas and pop “triumph” arrives. Shock on me. That’s when I realized life is but a journey and school gives you that sponge to fall back on and perfect yourself before entering the world. Without such an endurance, I would have never known how important education is.

That is the kind of experience I’m taking about. One needs such kind of lessons in order to know the value of certain things in life and also what not to do. Yes, listen to the advice of others especially those with much more experience than you but also be prepared to learn from life.

Make that bad investment so that you know how to invest better. Lose that first love and learn from the experience so that you know how to love. Even the bible gives a story of the prodigal son.

He was upfront with his father and demanded his share of his birthright as he said “I’m ready to be me”. Shock on him. Within no time he had squandered all his birthright and he became a pooper living with pigs. At that point that is when he realized the mistake he had done. He got up and decided to change and never repeat the same mistake again.

Without such an experience he would have never known the importance of patience and planning. As the narration goes on, we see he goes back to his father to ask for forgiveness. Because he learnt from his stumble. That’s how life should be.

We need such kind of experiences to teach us lessons that will long be engraved at the core of our beings. Appreciate them and don’t be afraid to learn. As the title states “Stone City”, that is also how life is. Not an easy journey but a learning process.

ANGER DRAINS

Recently I was involved in an argument with a friend of mine. And while we were arguing, I realised we spent a lot of energy bickering, energy that could have been used to do constructive things in our lives.

And that’s what anger does. It drains you of your energy and it also consumes time. Two things when mishandled cause knots in someone’s life.

But also get me correct.  I’m not dismissing anger. All I’m saying is that there is a positive way of releasing the brise. Don’t spend all your energy trying to put out a large fire using a bucket. Get the hosepipe and put it out. Most of us usually use the bucket hoping the fire won’t spread while the fire itself is laughing at our efforts. “I wish he/she knew they can’t put me out”.

Anger is part of the humanistic nature just as happiness is. The only difference is how we express it. Most of us (me included) when we get angry the first thing we do is to throw tantrums and yell at the other person. We think he/she is the cause of our anger. Yes they might be but we need to sit back and analyze. “Will it solve anything by throwing tantrums ? Will it solve anything by shouting at the other person ?” at most no. Then we should find another way to express our anger.

I was once watching keeping up with the Kardashians and I saw kourtney was told by a therapist whenever she is angry at someone, she should pick up her phone write what she wanted to tell the other person and after ten minutes if she still wants to tell the person that then she should go ahead. From that episode that philosophy stuck with me. I also was listening to TD. Jake’s sermon last year when he was talking about anger and life. He said anger is not a bad emotion just that we don’t know how to control and express it.

He suggested showing someone you are angry for it will provide boundary setting as they will now know what upsets you. He also said before you attack someone,  ask yourself how you would feel if it was the opposite happening to you. Something I suggests we all try. As from my above article, I have tried to address anger and also give out pointers to help you my dear reader. Next time when angry, try using the kourtney philosophy.

UNLEARN THE LEARNT

One of the mantras that I came up with is “The son is the reflection of the father”. I came up with it one day while I was reflecting on life. And from that day it has stuck with me guiding me as I’m growing. I like it because it speaks truth to the sense that one models what he/she sees growing up or in front of him/her.

And that’s how most of us are living our lives. From what we saw, heard and were around. It’s not a problem to mirror what you saw but at times it’s better to create new ideas that will shape your life for the better.

Ever heard the saying of two brothers who grew up with an alcoholic father and one turned out like his dad while the other different ? And when asked he said he didn’t want to be like his father because he saw the unpleasant impact alchohol had on his life and he wanted to be distinct from him. That’s how we should be.

Try create something new. Go beyond what you’ve been accustomed to. It won’t cause you harm trying something new. That’s how great ideas were born. People like the Wright brothers or Henry Ford or Bill Gates or Martin Luther king jr. or Malcom X. That’s how they changed the world. They changed the world because they decided to be different and do new things.

And don’t expect people to clap 👏 for you when you decide to do so. You’ll get a lot of criticism but you have to forge on unbothered and aiming for your goal.

Everyone now travels on plane and enjoys the comfort of an aeroplane but when the Wright brothers were starting many criticized them.

Discarding old ways also is a good thing because most of us are going around carrying baggages that weigh a toll on us. Personally I hate the term “men don’t cry or be strong”. Most of us (men) grew up knowing it is wrong to cry or be seen as a sissies. And we carry that through out our lives not knowing were doing more damage than repair. Most men know the solution to problems is keeping quiet and avoid tackling problems in the name of “manning up”.

Another thing which I don’t like is people taking the steering wheel of your life and trying to drive you on a path they think will bring success. For me I believe success is relative. Just because you are a doctor doesn’t mean doctors are the only successful people in this world. Or working an 8-5 job being the only way one succeeds. And it stems down to marriage.

Many parents want to dictate to their children how they should live with their spouses, what investments they should take and how they should drive their lives. It’s not a bad thing for a parent to guide, but as T.D Jake’s says “I married you, I didn’t marry your mother”. And that’s how we should be. Unlearn the old and create new ways. With the little said above, I hope I have left an imprint in your life.

LEAN ON ME

mamas love

“Sometimes in our lives we all have pain

  We all have sorrows

   But if we are wise

  We always know that there’s tommorrow

Lean on me, when your not strong

And I’ll be your friend

I’ll help you carry on

For it won’t be long

Till I’m gonna need

Somebody to lean on” – Bill Withers (Lean on me)

One of the most profound songs of all time. And my third best of all time after Damian Marley shine your light and Jay Z ft Kanye west never let you down. I like it because it speaks of such obvious of a topic that is usually  shrugged off. We assume it’s a natural part of life. Of which it isn’t.

Leaning on or having a supporting shoulder. We also go onto great lengths to put the heavy load onto others to play that role in our lives and if they don’t, we  “cut them off”. Which we shouldn’t do. This is because it takes time to build a relationship that will guarantee a person will be there to lean on. It’s like marriage.

You dont just wake up one day and call a person your wife or husband. You start by knowing each other. You then proceed to dating, you then proceed to have arguments, have fights and finally see you can live with person X for the rest of your life. And that’s how life should be. You can’t meet someone be acquaintances then expect him or her to play the role of being inside your inner circle and if they don’t,  we call them “fake friends”. It shouldn’t be.

Grow with someone till you feel you can be able to count on them . Build that relationship. Because you don’t want everyone knowing your dirty linen. And that’s the purpose of having someone to lean on. As a child you feel great knowing that you’re mother or father is always there for you. Or even when playing. Like some of us who grew up in estates. Someone would try to bully you but if you told your big brother or sister they would come defend you.

And you felt great knowing there’s a shadow casting sunlight upon you. You felt a sense of relief. And that’s what leaning on someone is. Not the literal meaning. But the meaning that if you have trouble if you have problems you always have someone there for you.

Even the bible and the Koran share similar sentiments. God, Allah, Jesus and Mohammed are always there for us. “And whoever places his trust in Allah, Sufficient is He for him, for Allah will surely accomplish His Purpose: For verily, Allah has appointed for all things a due proportion.” (Quran, 65:3).” From this verse, we can see that indeed if we trust God he will work things out. That’s the message I wanted to pass. Have people to lean on but also be that person. Reciprocate and most importantly lean on the most high 🙏🙏

DISCIPLINE : (The success main ingredient)

discipline is the key to success (Mugambi)

In 2017, I got to interact with legendary reggae  artists  Etana , Luciano and Richie Spice. It was one of my favorite moments in my life. And still is 😊😊. While at the luncheon and artist training,  they got to share their life experiences and tips that would guide us as upcoming artists. Etana said that she has never changed what she talks about, how she dresses and she hasn’t done anything in order to be famous. Richie spice said he has had the same discipline that he had while working as a carpenter and now a famous musician. Luciano said that what has made him stay in the reggae industry long is because he is true to himself and he cares about God, life and the world. He said he wants to leave a positive mark when he dies. After the talk I got home and contemplated what they had said and it got me thinking. What do I stand for ? Do I have such kind of discipline ? Do I know where I’m going ? And from that day onwards I purposed to start cultivating discipline in my life. Which has got me putting down thoughts in this article. From my dictionary , the meaning is a system of controlled order. Which I totally agree with. If there is no order, then things can’t run smoothly. And that’s how most of us live our lives. With no order just taking each day as it comes, being pushed into people’s agendas and doing thing’s with no end goal in sight. We do this subconsciously and end up complaining that “life is hard , I’m just a hustler ” and that’s where we remain.  I’m not disputing that life can be hard and that you have to hustle to make it, but I’m saying that if you lack discipline you won’t go far. It’s like an eagle. An eagle usually stays at the highest point in a tree so as to be able to see where food is and if it doesn’t do so, it knows it will go hungry. And at no point will you find and eagle down. Why ? This is the discipline it has created in itself. Then we as humans who are more advanced in thinking should do better. We should cultivate discipline for I believe it’s  the main ingredient in the success recipe. And if you look at most successful people in the world, most of them have a certain level of discipline that they follow. I once watched Akon on an interview and he was asked about music and relevance and success tips. He said those who treat music as a job are those that end up being successful. He gave an example of Eminem whom he said while they were recording “Smack that” he used to arrive at 8 in the studio and leave by 5 even if they hadn’t finished their session. How many artists do that ? Bringing it closer home, I had Naiboi being asked on radio when was the last time he went out and he said he doesn’t and that he only goes to a club to perform or promote music. Also Nyashinski. He was asked how he unwinds and what he likes to drink on TV and he said he neither drinks nor smokes and that he focuses on his music and art and how he can improve each day. Wow 🤔🤔. Ater I had the above scenarios, I had to rethink the way I do my things. And that is what I am talking about.  In order for you to be successful you need to cultivate a certain level of discipline that will enable you reach far. Start with simple things. Say you will start keeping time. Say that you won’t tell lies. Say that you will be more focused on things. Say you won’t drink and avoid drugs. Such simple things. At the end they will be part of your system and you will find yourself at places you never imagined.

WWW & Positivity.com

Since the world took a paradigm shift, I also decided to do the same on a personal level. And one of the things I changed was my morning routine. (Waking up and checking my phone). Not because I don’t want to stay informed, but because I got overwhelmed with all that’s on the web. Alot of negativity, people bashing one another and other’s spreading all sorts of rumors about the pandemic. And starting your day with such kind of things can change the view and dictate how it shall be. Something that I don’t want.

I always want to be on a positive mood. But it can be hard. Seriously hard. And with the advancement of technology, negativity spreads faster than the positive thing that is intended to come out of a message. Like the corona virus. People are listening and reading more on who and what started / caused the virus than what is being done to reduce and resolve it. One day it’s a story about a Wuhan lab, the next day it’s Bill Gates (I feel for him) 💔. And it’s so ironical because he is among those who srarted the advancements we are enjoying and instead of thanking him, we try to bring him down with his work. As Richie spice sang in his song, cycle “The world is a cycle and everything weh happen, yes it come ‘roun’ in a circle”.

It got me missing the old day’s. Although I didn’t experience them fully, but I wish they extended abit. Day’s we relied on BBC and VOK for radio and updates, Tv was one chanel VOK, newspaper was the nation. No one could publish information without going through  a strict editorial team of Philip Ochieng and his team. Music was on vinyls, you had to go to disco to learn the latest dancing style. You had to be at a bull’s game to watch Michael Jordan or you’d miss the thrill.

I miss such days. But they had their own challenges. Because they could be easily manipulated to serve the interests of those in power. And 🇰🇪 is no exception to this. We all remember how it was before. That’s why we advanced in technology. My worry is how we’re using the technology. Instead of the positivity it’s meant to bring, it’s causing more harm than what it was meant to bring.

People get news and info so quick without it going through and editorial team. This is great but it can pause a great challenge because rumors can spread faster and make people panic and do things out of fear.

Like the corona virus. Someone writes an article on the cure, publishes it and is not a medical practitioner and people believe him / her because he has a catchy tag line “14 ways to cure corona”.

Leave alone news. People bring others down on the internet. They start poking someone until they achieve an ill motive of ensuring he / she suffers. This happens so often to us “celebrities”. And without knowing, one enters into depression and the next thing we hear, he / she comitted suicide. A very worrying trend.

Also comparison. Also jealousy also theft and many more examples. My list would be long if I decided to continue.

But I would like to challenge you my reader and anyone out there who comes across this article. Let’s be the agents of change, people who bring others up, people who share positive things online, people who use online as a way to get to know how our friends are doing. And with this, the world will be a better place.