Truth as a principle

PR 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
Source: King James 1611,

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For ages since creation the essence of truth and the results of deviating from the truth are told. I will not bore you by repeating the well-known cases. All I want is to draw attention to the value of the truth as in the essence of always striving to be truthful in all our dimensions of life.

As cited by the scripture, the truth has a cost price. One at times has to sacrifice value and pride to remain truthful. At times one has to suffer being labeled a fool to remain on the steadfast path of truthfulness. But the funny part of it is that the element of truth is a one sided commerce. While the truth might cost you, one cannot sell it.

Selling the truth will require upping the price, hence a distortion of the value and hence the first departure form the truth. In simple terms, one cannot disguise and successfully get away with a façade. In as much as we try to project all good illusions about ourselves, the shimmer tends to wane and the real colors then surface rendering it a futile exercise to sell ourselves short by telling a lie or half truth.

Wisdom is a strong component of the truth. It takes wisdom to know that the key to a free conscience is telling the truth and living a truthful life as far as is possible within the abilities of one’s sphere of life. A wise man will stick to the factual as the memory has no problem recalling the truth but a foolish man burdens his brain with a memory overload of having to always remember the exact lie , alibi etc. I always jokingly tell my loved ones that its takes more memory space to remember a lie than to recall the truth.

Instruction is part of obtaining the truth. Facts arise from instruction and the truth is factual. It has a component called evidence. Lies have no tangible fact. They depend on a morass of speculation, presumption and pretence but the truth is founded on fact and it  is a fact that telling and living the way of the truth has more positive yields that  the other side.

Understanding the repercussions is also a pivotal element. A person who understands the damage done when one is caught in a lie knows that telling the truth is less expensive than living under the label of a liar and unfaithful person. I have seen people who have neglected opportunities to tell the truth about who they are and where have they been being reduced to shivers and whispers when the lies they live are unmasked. And an untruth not meant to be discovered always does get revealed and always at a tremendous cost to the concealing party.

Understanding the ramifications of avoiding the truth should help us walk a straighter path. For indeed it is hard to live a truthful life, but they are more casualties to self and ones surrounding if one does not.

As the sun rises tomorrow truthfully and faithfully, may the epoch of truth be your milestone.

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Different tunes

I seldom put on a sad face but at times when I do not understand the way humanity does things, I become sad. I am saddened by our failure to accept our differences and instead of working to achieve success in diversity; we raise cudgels and sharpen swords to rip apart the divergent throats.

Being different does not mean being evil. Raising issues in a different way does not mean spoiling for a fight. Doing things differently does not mean this is a bid to prove the other party foolish. We have sacrificed so many intelligent people on the altar of destruction because of our own insecurities.

Singing a different tune does not mean I do not want to be part of the melody. It means my perspective of the issue at hand is understood in a different chord and that must not be read to mean I intend to raise discord.

Walking a different path does not mean I do not share the common destiny. It might be because I am flat footed and the narrow path the majority has taken would be difficult for me to navigate.

Seeing things differently does not mean we should fight divorce, poison each other and kill each other. It simply means for a change there is an alternate to the way we have been doing things and it will be good to give audience to prove the diverse  thought wrong or right.

Doing things differently does not mean one is out to destroy, but I view it as a divergent way of accepting the need to progress without being bogged   down in monotony. Those who are for progress, success, productivity and nation building should not be scared.

In as much as we shovel the mud differently, the mortar goes to one building. In as much as we hold trowels in either the left or right hand, all that matters is that the trowels lay the mortar that sticks the bricks that build our nationhood.

In my book, only a foolish nation silences, poisons, sabotages those who are for greater progress at the expense of immoral five pence gains. Such a nation’s future is shortsighted for many who see things differently see them as such because they look beyond the hedge.

In the next turn, when the piper tunes out a different chord, pause for a moment and take in the tunes. Somewhere in the melody is an embryo crying out to be developed and not aborted.

As the sun rises tomorrow it would be good to merge our diversities to a rainbow of common good. Are you game?

The buck stops here

After the wonderful weekend retreat and all the exultations, excitement, exploration, messages, prayers etc something still lingers in my soul. Back in my mind I still have the vivid image of a 21year old boy breaking down trying to narrate how painful it is not to have a father active in your life. With every tear that he tried to wipe away I saw inches of layered pain laced with bitterness. I thank God that it was a Christian retreat camp and men were able to rally around the young man and urge him to fight the shadows and be the one to first forgive even if he deems himself the most wronged and hence aggrieved.

This left me thinking. It seems many, if not all of us, have issues. The thorny point is that these issues have found no closure and they continue to rage like a septic wound. Be it an absent father, an uncaring spouse, an abusive boss, a bad neighbor – all that still obtains is that as long as there is no closure, the obtaining matters affect and impede our ability to go forward.

Despite the information high-speed that we are travelling in it is becoming more difficult for us to communicate and barriers are being built even between spouses. Despite that we speak in tongues and pay our tithes religiously we seem to be having no faith even in our nearest of kin (read skin).

One thing with issues is that they may start small but arrogance, pride, anger, malice and vanities blow them into big flames. How many siblings does the reader know of who are not on talking terms because of what someone said about one of them to the other? Has it ever occurred that if one of the two feuding parties (even the aggrieved one) took the initiative to just sms a greeting and enquire on the other’s health this might open the much awaited channel required to help clear these issues?

How many bitter sons and daughters are we raising on the poisonous bile arising from the issues that went unresolved between us and our parents? How many employees or subordinates suffer brunt because of the unresolved issues we have with past brutal employers and bosses? How many spouses suffer pain because we are enacting the pain inflicted on us by the lovers who left us on the altar or jumped beds to be with our best friends? Why should the lack of closure on these matters affect and negatively shape innocent people?

It is my conviction that most of us have issues. Issues that are painful to even think of, issues that seriously hurt and have gone for long without any serious attempt to address. It is my conviction that the more we delay from closure the further we take ourselves from the goal of progress and happiness. It is not possible to move forward when your feet are tied with barbed wire. You will tumble and fall. The same obtains for many of us – we still bind ourselves in the pride and arrogance of saying we are the wronged ones hence we have a right to play dead!!

It is my conviction that sooner than later this generation has to address its issues. I have resolved to clears my grudges diary; I have made up my mind to empty the poisonous bitterness bottle. I have resolved to forgive even those who will wrong me and refuse to acknowledge their error. I have resolved to play my role and be man enough to deal with all my issues than to ghost them onto my children, siblings, workmates etc.

As the sun rises tomorrow, whatever issue is at hand, deal with it decisively. Forgive for no recourse, play your role, love your beloved ones and the topmost benefit will be; more happiness and uncluttered hearts.

When NO is the answer.

Today was one of those.  By being honest and respectful I got a bad end of the stick. What I know is that I could have done what I wanted to do without seeking authority. I could have gone the said distance and came back without anyone (except God of course) knowing. I could have abused the advantage of rank and obviously gotten away with it.

But my conscience got the better of me. What if I had an accident hundreds of miles away from base? What if an emergency occurred at the base? How would I start explaining the inconsistencies and omissions?

Resultantly I picked up the phone, called the powers that be and sought permission, telling the truth and indicating that I will fund all the expenses from my pocket and what do I get? A straight non-debatable NO. All I had to do is say ‘Yes Sir’ and ‘Thank you Sir’.

Upon terminating the call I was tempted to call again and protest. I was tempted to tell of all those that have not called in their intents and have driven to Heaven and back. I opted to breathe in and out instead!! After the storm I then was able to recall my late father’s advice – ‘In life my son, you must always have an option-‘’. That sent me smiling for I realized that I still can travel and be back within my means with no stress but if that rebuttal had not come I would not have stretched my planning capacities to that extent.

Eventually, without lying, without falsification I am able to still pursue the retreat camp and I go with a clean conscience and a wide smile like the cat that got the milk.

In all this I learnt that things will not always go the way I want but there that is no reason to sulk and be a sellout. Instead, in the cinch of the pinch one should seek to find the gap that paves way to a lee way. I learnt that dwelling on emotions and playing the blame card wastes my time and deters progress and I am not game to such anymore.

In a way I am glad things turned out this way. I stretched my mind to the limit. I moved from the comfort zone , I realized assumptions do not always turn real but topmost I re- affirmed that in life , one must always have an option  and failure to do so will result in emotional , amateurish tantrums that devalue one’ s acumen.

As the sun rises tomorrow I will accept all the obstacles and stand on tip toe to see beyond them.

Why I won’t use the excuse

Every one of us has that legitimate excuse to justify why we fell short. That excuse that we use to celebrate coming third or even last. That excuse we use to console our failures. That excuse that we use to disguise our foolishness. Every one of us has that excuse. But what worth is it to live in an excuse?

I always jokingly tell people that when I was born there was no spoon in my mouth. I always jokingly tell people that while others had silver spoons on birth and worked on to the gold status when born I had no spoon and had to work toward acquiring the wooden spoon first!  The point is that even if I had to start 50 metres behind everyone I would not use it as an excuse to race in last.

When things go tough it is easy for all of us to cite the race card, it is easy to remind those of the paler skin that they have always been 20 steps ahead. But what fails this excuse is the fact that humanity shares the same birth dates and thus has an equal footing.

When things go dark it is easier to raise the tribal excuse, to breathe brimstone and fire over inadequacies seen only when wearing the ethnic blinker. It is easier to excuse our failure to go forward on the other tribe yet being blind to the deterrent in fighting and disorder in our camp.

When relationships go on the wire it is easier to excuse our ranting and shortcomings on the pain inflicted on us yet neglecting to state that the attention deficits that we rendered in the same relationships caused the beginnings of the crack.

We opt to use emotional abuse as an excuse for our failure to measure up; we look for ghosts in cupboards instead of polishing our key result areas and notching accolades to our names. We opt to put a sad face and wear the victim label as an excuse for all the inadequacies that we flinched from addressing in due time.

My conviction is this:

Whatever problem I have I will not use the past, the tribe, the age, the gender, the geography or anything at all to fritter away from the problems facing me.

Whatever difficulty I have I will rather tackle the odds heads- on and walk toward the light and not cower under the cloud of excuses that will be swept away when the sun rises only to leave the mountains still leering and daring.

Whatever the issue is, the fact is that excuses will not parry it away.  Using excuses is like scooping bucketfuls of water into a leaking bucket. It amounts to a lot of labor and no achievement at the end of the task.

Tomorrow the sun will rise bright and clear and do not dare fail to live and fight the odds by hiding behind a mere excuse. Excuse me!!

Decisions

Decisions are a large part of our lives. Indecision, in my view, is a cowardly decision by someone scared of facing the truth immediately. From the time of conception to the time of expiration all is factored on decision. I have seen good men falter because of one wrong decision, I have seen businesses liquidate because of poor decisions, and I have observed marriages break up for wrong decisions. It only dawned to me tonight that all we need do is re- factor our decisions and re -align them to our lives for us to continue to thrive.

When we fail to take decisions we fail ourselves. Timely decisions are like the proverbial stitch in time. They save nine. When we falter on decision-making we fail not only ourselves but also the people who look unto us and depend on us and the decisions we must make.

When we suffer from indecision we are no better than cowards. Decisions are factored on fact, truth and logic therefore they cannot be waited upon to hatch like eggs. Decisions must be made for action to be taken. We are alive because our parents decided to make us live, the midwife decided not to be negligent, the teacher decided to dedicate himself fully and the employer decided to give you a chance and opportunity in life.

Ponder for a moment. What if, in a moment of indecision, your mother and my mother decided not to defy the labor pains and not push harder to the instructions of the ebullient midwife? That indecision would have left us cramped and stuck in the womb facing complications.

Ponder for a moment. What if that battered woman had decided to walk away from the abusive marriage that had defied all prayer and counseling sessions? Would she have died from that fatal beating obtained from her moment of indecision?

Ponder for a moment the day you made the decision that got you a breakthrough. What would have happened if you had tarried for a moment?

It is my take that decisions have to be made. It takes courage to take a decision but it is very expensive to run away from making a decision. Decisions are like incisions, painful at times but they introduce the antidote of strength and self belief into us. Decisions might be difficult but more complexities await those that cannot be bold enough to stand up, breath in and make a decision.

As the sun will surely rise tomorrow the way your life shall be walked shall be determined by the decisions that will inform your steps. Decide.