Age old wisdom

So I woke a year older today. Besides an aching ear nothing seemed to have changed except that when I gazed at the mirror I realized I look more like my father as I grow older.

I spent the day pondering over my life and I came to realize that some things have changed. I share a few in the hope that they will help inspire some thought somewhere.

  • The energy purpose has changed.
  • In the past I used and expended my energy and passion in a way similar to that military maxim of shoot first and ask questions later. But with age I have learnt to assess my battles and only fight if it is the only option I am left with.
  • The dreams have blossomed
  • In the late nineties I believed that wherever my mind took me to my feet will get me there. I then discovered responsibilities, budgets, priorities and sobriety. Instead of somersaulting into the sky I learnt to build a ladder step by step and then ascend the steps.

Dreams inspired me to fly at thrice the speed of sound but age taught me to lay hay while it is day. Dreams had not limit, they crossed swollen bridges, scaled scary mountains and rode lions horse back style but age urged caution, safety, planning and vision.

The radical is gone

I woke up to a more considerate person. The temper has mellowed over years and I have discovered that where I used anger, road rage and ebullience the results are better with calm introspection and seeing beyond the moment.

The death of the radical has birthed the introspective elder who applies wisdom than militancy, who only brings out the guns to defend integrity and dignity.

Caution has replaced speed

Youth and dreams made me see life like a Formula One race, something to be run and won spectacularly, but age has taught me to focus on the prize like what the preacher Paul says:

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:14‬ ‭KJV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/1/php.3.14.kjv

Age has brought spring cleaning and detoxes

Young age saw the collection of many things. Broken hearts, broken promises, missed steps, trippings and fallings etc and getting older has taught that the baggage is a drag in the walk and costs emotionally and physically.

Growing of age has made me only to speak when I really have to, to count my losses, cut my losses, know when to call it quits, when to hold on and who to walk with. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle

An increasing frailty

Where youth premised stud status my age now advocates serene and soft landings. Where I walked with a bump the legs now drag and ego makes it look like a swagger but it’s the tendons admitting a loss of their tension and stretch ability.

Where youth prized passionate fist thumping and long speeches my age now points to the Power Point https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_PowerPoint and is conscious of those dozing in the audience.

Where youth pushed to be the first in the feeding trough my age now calmly allows the ladies and visitors ahead and am happy and satisfied to see everyone well catered for.

I now chew more carefully, the same way I now handle life, for fear of broken or cracked teeth. My relationship with the optician is getting stronger as I need more stronger lenses every two years and I wonder why I am constantly checking my pensionable date and why the internet is occasionally throwing me the funeral policy adverts more frequently than the young fellows !!

I woke up feeling grown….

To be continued

reality check

I happen to have been hearing Kenny Rodgers’ song ‘Coward of the county ’so many times of late such that it rings in my mind even when it’s no longer playing. In the song, Rodgers sings about a man (boy?) called Yellow whose dad died in prison and he (Rodgers) had to take care of the boy (the dad was his brother). He sings of what the dad told the boy before dying:

Promise me son not to do the things I have done

Walk away from trouble if you can

It won’t mean you weak if you turn the other cheek

I hope you old enough to understand

Sometimes you don’t have to fight to prove that you are a man

The boy lived under this adage, labeled a county coward by all, he never sought to dispute this as long as he had the love and heart of a girl called Becky. In her, according to Rodgers, he did not have to prove that he was a man. All was sublime and bliss until the county bullies came. The song says the Gatling boys came to his girl when Tommy (Yellow’s real name) was at work and had a violent go at her and defiled her.

When Tommy came and found his love bruised by the hood bullies, he took his old man’s portrait, remembered his father’s words:

Promise me son not to do the things I have done

Walk away from trouble if you can

It won’t mean you weak if you turn the other cheek

I hope you old enough to understand

Sometimes you don’t have to fight to prove that you are a man

After this he walked into the bar wherein he found the bullies who had just ravished his girl, midway into the bar he was taunted and called yellow, he turned and walked toward the door and the laughter increased, but he did not leave, he locked the door, summoned all the strength (holy anger?) and never stopped until all the members of the famous gang were leveled and he made it clear as he floored the last one that he was doing all this for his Becky. Then he turned his dad’s words and did his own refrain.

I promised you dad not to do the things you’ve done

I’ll walk away from trouble if I can

Now don’t please don’t think I am weak when I didn’t turn the other cheek

And papa I sure hope you’ll understand

Sometimes you have to fight to prove that you are a man.

The words left a dimensional thrust me. It made me understand that we are comfortable with the pain society gives us until it touches a raw nerve. We are content with being misunderstood as long as it does not cause us to be removed from the feeding trough. We are happy to walk with hunched shoulders against a world that thumbs its nose at us and we deign from taking a stand.

Our  failure to take a stand against the libels , wrongs etc. might look uncostly as they happen across the road but the problem is that the more unchallenged the wrongs go, the more braver and louder the bullies become, soon they will snoop and walk into your territory also and defile your perimeter.

Our false comfort in running away from confronting ills under the pretext that they do not directly affect us is actually blatant COWARDICE that would cause pain to our close kin. How many of us have observed a taxi man pick under- age children with his taxi with the lure of sweet nothings to sexually abuse them? What has been our response? Have we not shrugged our shoulders and muttered that it is not our concern? Has it ever occurred to us that the pedophile will seek more scalps and might eventually pounce closer home?

The soccer aces say the best method of defence is attack. We cannot sit in the comfort of our perimeters and say as long as the ills are not in our circle we are safe because such safety is but false like a single reed against a swollen river.

Reality check. What did you overlook today? A child mouthing a wrong word and left un-cautioned will be the street gang leader who will take your watch at knife point tomorrow. A misguided adult who believes in their wrong being right might be the one to spread that libelous unfounded story about you. A subordinate who smells beer during working hours who goes unsanctioned might drive that company car carrying your children into oncoming traffic tomorrow.

We can’t afford to be yellow. We can’t afford to only fight when the bullies are at our doorstep because then it will be too late.

As the sun rises tomorrow, take a reality check. Stem the abuse, stop the bad mouthing, and stop the run-away ignorance. Then we will all be safe.

#brokenbutnotafraid revisited

Two years ago around this time I wrote this. I was assailed with fear. I had the choice of continuing being afraid or taking a stand.

I took a stand….

#brokenbutnotafraid 2

One great weakness of the human being is fear of loss.

We are afraid to lose.

We are afraid to lose face in public.

We are afraid to lose in a race.

We are afraid.

That fear turns us into slaves of what we are afraid to lose. We become encapsulated in an embryo that paralyses our dreams, wishes and aspirations.

We are afraid to cross the road because all our lives we have lived only on this side.

I also used to be afraid, but the day I lost my fear I discovered the world is there for my taking….

You can take my fear if you want, I am done with being afraid.

#brokenbutnotafraid

#iamphindelasson

Zimbabwe’s Generation X. Victims of cowardice?

The truth which makes man free is often the truth which most men prefer not to hear – Herbert Agar

My story today begins with a declaration that might not earn me more friends but after agonizing for more than two weeks over this I chose to be like Herbert Agar and pontificate something that we know but that we do not want to admit and or accept.

By definition I belong to Generation X https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_X#Origin_of_term . This, by definition, spans debatably, from 1961 to around 1981. This makes the eldest Generation X to be to be 58 years old and the youngest to be 30.

The bulk of this Generation, including me, were born during the second Chimurenga that was between 1964 and 1979 (David, Martin (1981). The Struggle for Zimbabwe: The Chimurenga War. Harare: Zimbabwe Publishing Company) and the and the eldest was around 19 at Independence and the youngest a few months old.

I am deliberately postulating the ages and the milestones because, fast forward to 39 years later, the youngest is around 40 or nearing 40 and the eldest is nearing 60.

I deliberately harp on these points because this is the generation that saw the Independence euphoria, marched alongside demobilized soldiers, saw tracers fly in the sky during post independence disturbances, went to school in an independent Zimbabwe, saw ESAP, Willogate, GMB scandals, idolized Peter Ndlovu, Reinhardt Fabisch, Fay Chung, Kilimanjaro, Japhet Mparutsa, Peugeot 404, the advent of the Nissan Hardboy, the Santana, Hosea Chipanga, Ndux Malax, the demise of Samora Machel, the rise of student activism, the tear gas is not perfume statement etc.

This is the generation that must have been rolling in it all because it grew up on school run Nutresco feeding schemes washed down with 125ml packs of fresh milk. This is the soccer book generation of the Bruce Grobbelaar fame, the Samson Paweni saga,the Cecafa championship triumphs, tennis’ Black brothers, James Chimombe and the Pepe Kale craze.

So, what happened you may ask? I do not want to answer that question but I want to answer the one that says who happened?

In answering this question I need to pose a projection on the societal demographics with a simple disclaimer that I am not a scientist but I just took the age of the youngest MP and the President‘s age as I have my own argument to advance. The youngest MP in Parly currently is Joana Mamombe for Harare West and His Excellency is 77 which means the crude mean in the political leadership sphere is 51,5 years old and that average falls within the Generation X but how many leaders from that generation are in the leadership platform?

Generation X has become the generation that has borne most of the brunt our nation has taken in its political and economic journey. I prayerfully remarked to a colleague when SI 142 was introduced that I was praying very hard that this action makes us and not breaks us. This is because 2008 broke our youthful dreams and wiped off our savings and broke our parents backs and 2019 must not.

We are the most broken generation and by default carry the most stubborn generation genes but we seem to have failed to transform that to a strength. We form the bulk of the labor force and potentially the voting majority but I am yet to be convinced that the demographics reflect as such politically. So who is representing and speaking for us if we are not?

How did Generation X miss the bus or was Generation X left by the bus? Are we a generation of passengers, have we been locked out of the arena, did we abdicate our voices? Have the youths overtaken us?

Is Generation X the group that missed the flight? Are we cowards or we have been cowed? I say so because we are the missing quotient in the succession equation , we are the ones who risk fading into oblivion without relevance.

Is it our doing or we have been locked out of the bull ring? I watched Lewis Matutu address a press conference ( whether right or wrong is a question for another day) https://youtu.be/MsOGqjvLfQs and I wondered if the voice of a mid eighties product could stridently sound like that what more could Generation X, with all the callouses of the past 40 years and having their future depending on the specific moment, have done?

Whose cowardice left Generation X in the lurch?

Can Zimbabwe’s Generation X self correct?

Has the generation been betrayed or we slept on the seats and the train took us past the station?

https://www.theafricareport.com/13855/liberia-shows-president-weah-the-yellow-card-threatens-red/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=post_articles_facebook_11_06_2019&utm_medium=social

So many questions but I stop here today. When I continue, the following scripture will be the take off point :

“We will starve if we stay here, but with the famine in the city, we will starve if we go back there. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.”
2 Kings 7:4 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/2ki.7.4.NLT

#iamphindelasson

#brokenbutnotafraid

#promisekeeper

Trust God … and stop the sun

The Promise

“Do not be afraid of them,” the Lord said to Joshua, “for I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.”
Joshua 10:8 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/jos.10.8.NLT

Faced with a daunting task of going to rescue a Covenant ally, Israel had to seek assurance from God that He was on their side and that they would overcome.

God came through for them and the commitment of victory was made. Therein starts the story.

The promise had been made that they would be victors but the battle still had to be fought for the promise to come true.

So is life, victory cannot be without a battle. In as much life offers the summit as a prize the mountain must be climbed !

The story continues,

Israel battles the Amorite allies (5 Kings) under the assurance from God and they slaughter the armies with the assistance of a violent hailstorm that killed more of the enemy than what Israel achieved with the sword.

The victory

On the day the Lord gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people of Israel. He said, “Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.”
Joshua 10:12 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/jos.10.12.NLT

The battle had to be completed. The enemy had to be routed and darkness was not to be an excuse.

Since God had given the guarantee of a complete rout it was therefore not God who was standing in the way of the 100% rout but the sun that was about to give the enemy allies the advantage of darkness to sleep away and possibly regroup.

The realisation.

It was not God to be called upon to ensure the 100% rout. He had already guaranteed it. It was the sun that was threatening the great victory and Joshua understood it very clear.

It was the impediment that had to shift not the Promise giver.

And he stopped the sun in its tracks, and the moon followed suit and there was a sonar and lunar combo never seen before and the enemy allies had nowhere to hide and they were completely routed !

Life has granted us a template to overcome all odds. But the overcoming is premised on battling on and never giving up on the will to make the difference.

When the sun wants to set on your battle, when it threatens to rain on your parade, do not swear at the promise giver, the promise still stands. STOP THE SUN !!

#iamphindelasson

#brokenbutnotafraid

#prpmisekeeper

#stopthesun

Age old wisdom 2

So, a few weeks ago I turned older and wrote a few nuggets about what life has taught me https://phindelamuses.com/2019/03/23/age-old-wisdom/ and then the pressures took over. At my age I have learnt not to rush as my lessons from rush burns of the past still reflect on my life skin up to today.

As I walk this journey and I continue clocking the mileage I can only try to hand out what I think will help out someone not suffer the burns and stubbed toes I encountered. So, the age old wisdom continues:

Speed is not progress

I learnt this too late. I have learnt that speeding to life’s decisions doesn’t not always lead to the desired destination. In actual effect, I have learnt that unwise speed is a waste of energy.

In my early days as a driver I used to overtake vehicles in robot controlled intersections only to be stopped by a red light and only to have the overtaken vehicles sidle next to me at the stop with the drivers wearing smug smiles. I never learnt the lesson then.

Now that I am old I realize I wasted adrenaline, burnt more fuel , risked accidents and wasted rubber but achieved no advantage. I realize now, that rushed decisions are akin to racing between robot controlled intersections. You leave nobody behind.

Stretching hands rarely cramp

When we were young we found it difficult to share our food portions with visitors who would have arrived unannounced. But my mother would have none of it. Whatever was on the plate was meant to be part taken by all in the house irrespective of the number of the unscheduled guests. It always miffed us but no one could dare challenge our mother. https://phindelamuses.com/2011/05/08/to-our-mother/

It is only now that I have grown that I realize that the exercise in selflessness was a drive to a better world. She was teaching us to exorcise selfishness in exchange for selflessness.

I have since learnt in this life that when we help others achieve their dreams we help ourselves because arms that always stretch out rarely cramp.

Breath

I have learnt to breath. Where I would have verbally exhaled I now pause and calculate the benefits of what I want to say. Many a times I find myself saying it is ok, do not worry or let it slide.

There are battles that silence wins better than verbally tussling. There are wars that one would rather walk away from to avoid unnecessary emotional harm. Breathing under attack is akin to that time when one surfaces from under water to take in precious oxygen. Life saving.

Stopping to breath has made me realize missed things, it has made me hear unsaid things and made me know things that would have been missed in heated exchanges. Learning to breath in lieu of throwing fists has been educative to me.

Slow processor

I have always joked and pleaded that people bear with me as I have a slow processor. It is a half truth. All I would be trying to do is double processs what would be before me at a sedate pace and this life has taught me that sleeping over decisions and answers tends to yield more reasoned and sober outcomes than emotional knee jerk responses.

“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, he who rules his [own] spirit than he who takes a city.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:32‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

https://www.bible.com/8/pro.16.32.ampc

As I walk this journey I learn new things everyday and I pray the lessons help me to walk the remaining mileage with more wisdom, smiles and stretched hands.

To be continued…

#iamphindelasson

#brokenbutnotafraid

Heaven has no crisis! !

Whatever you are going through right now has a precedent.

The precedent always has similar outcomes: Win or lose

The outcome is determined by your attitude but one thing that I know is that Heaven has no crisis !!

#iamphindelasson
http://www.phindelamuses.com

Happiness is a choice word

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭13:20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/pro.13.20.esv

As I grow older I discover I have more things to do and less time to spend on the social media spaces. I am not sure whether I am now slower or I am running out of time and am trying to accomplish all that I can in the life God has given me.

Anyway, whichever way it is has caused me less time on the social media sites. I came here because of a thought that continues to haunt me.

I have lived two score plus three years on this earth and a large part of this has been in quest of peace and happiness.

I cannot claim the copyright to happiness but in the journey and quest I have learnt a few things.

1. Happiness stems from the heart. This has taught me to find first, peace in me before I can demand it from someone else. One cannot give that which they don’t own or that which they don’t have in their hands.

2. You owe yourself happiness. Happiness stems from a heart that is at peace with itself. I have seen people walk with a spring in their step, whistling at every turn and when they are asked what is happening they can only summarize by saying I don’t know much but I have peace and I am happy!!

This has taught me that I cannot expect the world at large to create peace and happiness for me. The fact that I have a persona that is me implies that all that which I desire to have is already packed into my DNA and awaits unpacking. (By me).

3. Happiness inspires blessings. Isaac craved a delicious meal to make him feel good in order to trigger a blessing to his son. The resultant meal, despite being prepared by the unintended son, was so delicious that despite his misgivings and suspicions, Jacob went to bless the usurper.

“He said, “Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, so that my soul may bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near now and kiss me, my son.” And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said: “Surely, the smell of my son Is like the smell of a field Which the LORD has blessed. Therefore may God give you Of the dew of heaven, Of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, And let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, And blessed be those who bless you!””

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭27:25-29‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/114/gen.27.25-29.nkjv

Israel decided to adopt two of Joseph’s sons and make them his in exhuberation.

The same Israel had no happiness or peace with his original two sons and he denied them blessings.

“Reuben, you are my firstborn, My might and the beginning of my strength, The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power. Unstable as water, you shall not excel, Because you went up to your father’s bed; Then you defiled it — He went up to my couch. “Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place. Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob And scatter them in Israel.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭49:3-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/114/gen.49.3-7.nkjv

4. No one owes you your hapinesss but your hapiness and peace can be infectious.

I have seen lovers gaze into each other’s eyes and smiles spread past their dimples and they tell each other “ you make me happy”.

I have since learnt that a sad person cannot spread hapinesss and what makes other persons happy through you is deep seated peace and happiness that one’s person exhudes .

So in conclusion, please remember no one owes you your peace and happiness yet your peace and happiness can be a catalyst to a happy and peaceful world. You and me owe the world at least that.

#iamphindelasson

#brokenbutnotafraid

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