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Casualties of our TO DO list

7ef30640-8491-4a96-8fa1-bce282bc656fSince my Son became a teenager and an avid soccer lover, I’ve learned the act of making his passion my focal point by heeding intently as he speaks, nodding in agreement or squinting my eyes from oblivion to keep alert every now and then as I watch the dimples on his boyish cheeks deepen.

I have also mastered hiding my boredom without rolling my eyes as He excitedly recites the history of every single soccer player in Europe.

Whether I pronounce Kylian Mbappe properly or I mix up Dybala as a Tottenham Hotspur player instead of Juventus or when I confuse Kane as a PSG team member! Phew! But, s-e-r-i-o-u-s-l-y ‘what-do-I-know?

His constructive tutoring and contagious zeal are always enhanced as I venture into supporting his winning-failing team. Well, I guess am still obligated to believe in them whatever happens on the field!   #UpManchesterUnited

He once went to see a soccer match at the stadium between Liverpool F.C. & Manchester United.  Of course, he was all geared up in his favorite Manchester United scarf, hat and T-shirt.  All Excited! Expectant! Victory-Mindset!

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But He returned home sober, angered because His team lost, most of his main players were absent and probably that’s why they lost. He managed to console himself with that notion.

Oh Vinny! It is okay to still be happy with your team!

But in the mind of my young lad, mentally, He’s figuring out how to reset his task list, scratch off the feeble players, redirect his focus on how and why the opposing team scores, introduce strategic pointers, replace weak defenders with agile offence or even be able to coach the team one day.

Oh, He is making a conscious effort to also scold their old manager, Jose Mourihno, for holding back his best players: Nos 9 Romelu-Lukaku of Belgium and Nos 6 Paul Pogba of France.

He was angry at Liverpool for allowing their strong players, Nos 11 – Mohamed Salah of Egypt and Nos 10 – Sadio Mane of Senegal walk with victory and gloat over his team.

This is ridiculous! He groaned as he replayed the match in his mind.

His strategic to do list was invented!

Game of Thrones Arya's Kill List Arya Stark

 

After watching GoT (Game of Throne) religiously, one of the most appealing part for me was Arya’s character. Arya Stark’s list was invented when Syrio Foral, her fighting instructor  was killed.

He was Ayra’s sword fighting instructor, life mentor, and her only friend in King’s Landing. His death at the hands of Meryn Trantis was what lit the spark under Arya Stark which eventually lead to the list.

Her revenge to do list was ignited!

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When Oskar Schindler arrived Krakow in 1939, He was ready to make his fortune from World War II. Even though He joined the Nazi party primarily for his personal/political expediency, He eventually began to staff his factory with Jewish workers for similarly businesslike reasons.

When the secret service began exterminating Jews in the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges to have all his workers protected to keep his factory in operation, but soon realizes that in so doing, he is also saving innocent lives.

His compassion to do list was created!

So, emotional needs can be every bit as acute as physical ones.  That’s because we all subconsciously create lists of things to do.  We create tasks to accomplish, shuffle within the timelines, stretching out yard sticks to measure our plans based on trending dispositions. Sometimes, forgetting that underperformed tasks when only simply written down will not always make us effective archievers, but day dreamers and unrealistic chasers.

Those visual cues or mental notes of things we intend to do… ‘Hit or Missed Opportunities. Sometimes going as far as scribbling down goals from our imagination, crossing them out when completed or, imperfect due to pressure or just lack of motivation.

The setback with our to-do lists is usually the process.

Understanding how it can also give way to panicky outbursts when tasks we haven’t completed set in to distract or discourage our movement. ‘Can we begin to make plans for ‘what’s next so we can be free from fixation anxiety, especially when the orderliness does not materialize? ‘Can we still discover happiness and purpose when our well-planned list becomes a blurry puzzle? ‘Can we embrace our detour gracefully and not dwell on what we feel, want or know?

How well do we understand the blessings or biases behind the change, the delayed rude awakening of life’s expectations? How fortunate are we to thrive in following the new lead and understanding, perhaps that for a moment, we need to be constantly aware of our tendency to revert… to be back the way we were. We cannot always mold, manipulate or miscalculate our own destiny if we are still casualties of our expectations!

To be continued…

Yours in HOPE,

a-filha-de-Gansallo, Yinka!

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The Battlefield: by Wadza Mhute

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In the past few weeks’ protests ignited on college campuses across the country.

The impetus for the University of Missouri protest was the Black Lives Movement that started from the death of Michael Brown last year at the hand of a policeman.

Students at the university under the banner of Concerned Student 1950 (referring to the year the first black students were admitted into the school) wanted the removal of the university president. After incidents of racism and antisemitism were not taken seriously by the president, protests culminated in his resignation. Subsequently protests at Yale and Ithaca College started because of similar incidents on their campuses.

It seems the country has been re-ignited with the fires of revolution that swept through the country in the 1950s and 1960s. This thing we call “skin color melanin” really has caused division and will continue to divide.

What are we to do in these times? It is important to know that there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1: 9-10 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.

The only thing constant is God. We have to understand and believe that, If we protested every slight issue whether based on racism, on class divisions, on xenophobia – where does it end? As long as there is evil in this world, those issues will exist. I am not saying we need to remain silent when provoked but we should not put all our hope, all our faith in an unjust earthly system. Change came in the 1960s and again in 2008 with the inauguration of the first black President.

The revolution indeed caused change.

Perspective is needed. If you look at the revolutions against slavery which led to the Emancipation Proclamation in the 1863 and the civil rights movement lead by Martin Luther King, there was a common thread – Christianity. Let us even go back to the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt. God heard their cries just as he will hear the cries of the protesters in 2015 but the key is to cry to God above and not man below. While boots are crisscrossing campuses, let knees also stain the ground as prayers simultaneously go up to the one who can bring freedom to all.

Isaiah 49: 24-25  ‘Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives be rescued from the fierce? But this is what the Lord says: “Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, And plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, And your children I will save.

We need to see ourselves as God sees us, we need to love as God loves and we need to put our faith in God.

God sees all.

Written by Wadza Mhute for #Moving forward with Yinka.

 

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