A few days ago I had the honor of witnessing a change of command at one of our military garrisons. What struck me is the onset of discipline that starts the moment you enter the military arena. You cannot go where you want and do what you want at any given time. Even the program was timed to the minute and one would be tempted to believe that the precision I saw was semi human.

Persona wears off at the gate and rank takes over. Where you shall go, how you are taken there, whom you shall seat with etc is determined by rank and profile. The respect is instinctive, not thought or mused for a moment. If your ranking merits a salute you are saluted on immediate realization and accorded the due respect and attention.

I observed the layers of hierarchy and I saw how easy it is to function when discipline and order are factored into our lives. I saw the formations on parade, the march pasts and salutes, I heard the speeches and witnessed precision. Every man (and woman) knew his place and role. None overstepped or slouched and all turned out brilliant.

As I drove home I was convinced that if I had not been in the service I am in today I definitely would have been a soldier. The paradigm made me realize that all what society at large needs – structure, hierarchy, responsibility and discipline. The military runs on these factors and all we see is a well tuned machine ready to defend the cause of the nation at any moment.

I aver so much physical exertions, drills, lessons, simulations etc take place to fine tune our defenders. It is the same parallel I would like to draw on the aspect of life. An untrained, un-drilled, ill-disciplined life has no direction. The same exertions that our service people go through to be found cap able of standing to the good of the nation are also applicable to the milestones of life. Show me a man who says he succeeded without training, discipline, endurance and the quest for precision and I will show you a blatant liar.

In the same manner that these men and women are presided over by their instructors and commanders in their everyday activities, so should our lives.  Instruction, training, discipline, respect, recognition and commitment are key epithets in their lives in their service to the nation.

The same points apply to a person seeking to walk the path of life and navigate the storms so as to successfully land on the beach without capsizing.

As the sun rises tomorrow and when you meet a well-drilled, clean, respectful, confident service man (or woman) may they be a reminder of the results of great effort, commitment, dedication, patriotism and a quest to serve successfully. The same qualities we need in the marathon of life.


Semper fidelis

Semper fidelis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Semper Fidelis is Latin for “Always Faithful”. Well known in the United States as the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps (and often shortened to Semper Fi in Marine contexts),

For every moment that you will want to throw in the towel, I beg that you pause for a moment and ask yourself this – what if my next lunge, step, thrust, jump etc will land me on dry ground? We have been told so many times that the darkest hour is just before dawn. Sounds so simple, sounds like you just close your eyes between 0300hrs and 0445hrs and all will be bliss when you open your sleep glazed eyes. Nothing could be further than the truth than this statement.

No joy comes without any sweat. Pleasure is attained after pain and labor (ask mothers, midwives and a few men who have been there when their children were born). All attainment is a result of effort. Failure to attain is a result of a shortfall in effort application or misdirected effort. But in my life I have discovered that something more than effort is need to carry yourself through. It is something that I found in the motto for the U. S. Marine Corps. Shortened to “Semper  fi”, this is a pledge to death, avowing a lifelong loyalty that will not be distracted by any means. It is a pledge of commitment and availability beyond the call of duty. It is the pledge of life time commitment. Semper fidelis – always faithful.

Now, in a man’s walk in the path of life there are so many winds that buffet themselves against his effort to move forward. I have seen a picture of a lone man caught by an opposing sand storm in the desert. Sand blasted , stung by the grain sands all over the face to the extent of small webbed bruises , all that kept the man going forward was the understanding that if he stopped he wouldn’t be able to start again and that if he stopped he would be toppled over and be buried by the howling sands within minutes. The pledge to keep going saved him. He kept faith in his body to have the ability to churn out more energy to defy the sand storms till he reached and oasis protected by palm grooves.

No feat can be achieved without one attaining fidelity with self. Truth starts with you being true to your self. Leadership starts with the way you conduct and manage your personal affairs. The path to real attainment starts with being honest to you. How many of us walk the earth today being unfaithful to our bodies? By enjoining yourself in an illicit liaison with another person you are simply defiling yourself and breaking the semper fi with your mind, body, soul and spirit. Before we talk of spouses, children, boyfriends, and girlfriends who become evident casualties I want to point out that the first casualty is you.

As we walk this life there is a need to be fully in touch with our selves. A person who knows who they are , what they stand for and what they want will rarely fall into scandal  and when done in, such  a person in touch with their being invokes the semper fi to rally all that is them to arise and redeem their being.

Today in a month where we commemorate and pledge to work hard to defeat the scourge of AIDS. In a month where we remember the silent women who will be receiving the seed of death from their spouses from the Diaspora. In a month where more men will receive more than love because of their suddenly fat wallets. In a month where innocent souls are going to be conceived in death laced orgasms, I ask that you be true to yourself. Walk the walk of fidelity, if defeated, walk the path of protection and when you recover re -connect with your sempe fi and be faithful first to yourself.

Remember being always faithful to your body includes a pledge to protect it from all vile and hurt. Here is to all the women who will brave the wrath   of their errant spouses to ask them to go for an HIV test or to use condoms. Here is to youths that will abstain and visit New Start before seeing the Marriage Officer. Here is to men who will disclose their statuses and not continue flooding the wombs of their innocent spouses with poisoned seed. Here is to women who will tell the truth about their life instead of taking innocent men into their bodies only to infuse them with poisonous intra Venus fluids.

Here is to a people that will stand and speak a Semper fidelis to themselves first before they walk out to face the world.

Semper fidelis.

Semper fi.

Always faithful.