Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Contentment: Keys to a Joyful Life

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A city exemplifies the essence of contentment’s newly established Dream-life Store, a unique place where individuals select their ideal life. At the entrance, a set of instructions displayed prominently, emphasizing a critical rule: You may only visit this store once. The store comprises six floors, with the desirability of dreams increasing as one ascends. Shoppers have the freedom to pick from a floor’s offerings or proceed to the next level, but once they advance, there is no turning back, except to leave the building.

A man ventures into the Dream-life Store in search of his deepest desires and aspirations. On the first floor, a sign by the door proclaims:

Floor 1 – Attain the finest job in the world.

Intrigued, he proceeds to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 – Obtain the finest job, the most exquisite clothing, and a luxurious car.

He ponders, “This is enticing, but I yearn for more.” Thus, he continues his ascent. Upon reaching the third floor, the sign declares:

Floor 3 – Attain the finest job, exquisite clothing, luxurious cars, cherished friends, and boundless wealth.

Impressed, he exclaims, “This is extraordinary!” However, he senses an irresistible urge to keep moving forward. The journey takes him to the fourth floor, where the sign beckons:

Floor 4 – Secure the finest job, exquisite clothing, a palatial estate, luxurious cars, boundless wealth, a cherished spouse, and precious offspring.

Overwhelmed, he exclaims, “It’s almost too much to bear!” Nevertheless, he presses on to the fifth floor, where the sign announces:

Floor 5 – Attain the finest job, exquisite clothing, a palatial estate, luxurious cars, boundless wealth, a cherished spouse, precious offspring, and robust health.

He is sorely tempted to remain here, but his curiosity pushes him to the sixth floor, where he encounters a sign that reads:

Floor 6 – You are the 99,999,001st visitor to this floor. No Dreamlife here. This floor merely exists to illustrate that humanity is insatiable. Thank you for choosing the Dream-life Store.

In the end, the man realizes the profound truth that contentment can be elusive and that pursuing ever-greater dreams often leads to an endless quest, highlighting the challenging nature of human satisfaction.

A famous quote says, “When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes – I already have everything that I really need.”

Make the best of what you have.

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Life, like lemons

Life doesn’t always give you lemons. Sometimes it gives you bananas, apples or oranges and you still have to make the best of them. Smoothies, juices, pastes, bakes, etc.

Several times we see what others have and either get jealous, depressed and sad, because we want the same thing.

As a result, we are constantly miserable thinking and stressing about what we don’t have. Sometimes this leads to desperation and wrong decision making.

You need to stop and think about things logically, because sometimes what you see, is not always the situation.

The scenario:

A Husband was driving his young wife to work in a brand-new car. He would drop her off every morning and pick her up after work. One day, it was raining heavily, and they got caught up in early morning traffic. As she sat there wondering when the traffic would ease up. She looked to her side and saw a scene unfold. A man also driving his wife to walk, had pulled up to the curb, got out of the car in the heavy rain, and ran over to the other side of the car to open the car door for his wife.

Oh my gosh, the young wife watching this unfold could not believe what she was seeing. She thought to herself, “Oh dear lord, which is love. That man loves his wife so much, that he got into the rain to open the door for his wife. Lord, why can’t my husband be like him? I wish that man is my husband.

The true story:

The young lady’s husband is an amazing man.

The admired couple: the real reason the man got out of the car to open the car door for his wife is this. The car was old. Most things in the car don’t work, including the open-door latch and the button to roll down the car window. So, there was no way for his wife to exit the car, unless he got out to open it. it wasn’t out of chivalry, but out of no choice.

Now, would the young lady still wish to be married to the man, if she knew the reason for his action?

This short story depicts the reality of life in most situations. You don’t know the reality, you just see what they want you to see, and you obsess with wanting the same thing.

Hold out your hand and look at your fingers. Are they equal? No, they are not but don’t they each have a different function that makes your hand work properly? The middle finger is the most important for grip strength. The ring finger and the pinky are the next most important. The index finger surely has its pointy possibility. That Palm is amazing, strong, resilient, and very useful.

Even though they are all different, they all are good at what they do.

The same goes for you. You are unique with your own strengths and weaknesses. You just have to look inward and realize all that God has given you. Focus on being grateful for what you have, rather than focus on what you don’t have.

The reality of life is that no one has the best of everything, they just make the best of what they have.

MY BEAUTY

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There was a certain old lady who sat in front of her house in an old rocking chair every morning. All she did was shake her head and bite her nails. Most people thought she was not particularly alright, no one came to visit her and she didn’t go anywhere. The only company she had, was a very little old dog who could barely walk or see.
One day Pretty, who had gone to spend time with her grandmother noticed the old women next door from her bedroom window. It was the motionless dog that first caught her attention, she had a puppy at home. She got curious and decided to sit on her verandah, which overlooked the old woman’s compound. She watched as the old women came out of her house, put the dog in front of her, stared at it and started to shake her head and bite her nails. This went on from around 8am in the morning until 2pm.the old women went into her house came out again around 5 pm and repeated the whole process until 8pm, when she retired for the night. Pretty watched her for a whole week often falling asleep while watching.
Pretty decided it was time to go talk to the woman. So the next day, when her grandma went to a church program, she went into the old woman’s compound. Surprisingly, the old woman stopped staring at the dog, got up and walked towards her. She froze as the old woman got closer, then she asked Pretty the strangest question, “Have I been forgiven?” Pretty didn’t even know when she said “Yes Ma’am”. The old woman suddenly started to cry, held Pretty tight and was dancing and singing and praising God. She led her into the house and asked her to give her just a few minutes.
While the old woman was gone, Pretty looked around the room, the house was exquisite inside, beautiful furniture, curtains, pictures on the wall taken in Paris, London, New York, She was thinking to herself, I would love to go to these places and dress in all this elegant clothes, she looked around some more and found jewelry and beautiful clothes in a trunk in the corner.
Just then the old woman came out, she was beautiful, she had changed into a beautiful kaftan, combed her hair and put it in a bun, with a dash of makeup, Pretty was surprised and the old woman didn’t look so old anymore, now she looked so much like the woman in the picture. Pretty said to the old woman,“Ma’am, you are so beautiful, I want to be just like you”, the old woman said to Pretty, “no, dear, you definitely don’t want to be anything like me”, as she spoke She saw the shock and questionable look in Pretty’s eyes, She gently led her to a chair to sit down, then she said My Angel, let me tell you why you never want to be like me , this is my story-

My parents named me Beauty, because I came out of my mother’s womb very beautiful, my hair was full, my cheeks were red and it was as if I came with natural makeup. Everyone praised my parents for calling me beauty, they couldn’t have given me a better name. Unfortunately, I was their only child, so they spoilt me rotten with all they had. My parents saved every penny to move to Lagos, just to make sure I was exposed to the best they could find. My father got a job with a white man as his chef and my mum worked as a nurse.
The white man had a daughter, her name was lily, she was just a year older than me at the time I met her, she was 10 and I, 9. Lily was mixed race, her mum was black. She had died from cancer a year before then. We struck it off immediately, her father was happy, up until then she had remained in her shell. He asked me to move into the spare bedroom in their house, it was beautiful, made up with pink and white accessories. He enrolled me in lily’s private school and in a few months we were as close as sisters.
My father was still the chef, he came from home and saw me every day once he resumed work, my mum would come Saturdays and Sundays to wash and do some housework and spend time plaiting my hair and lily’s. It was fun. Then everything changed a year later. It was on the day of my 10t birthday, we had invited all our school friends over to the house, my parents were there, they had managed to buy a new some new clothes, Lily’s dad was busy running around and organizing the children, we had a DJ, bouncy castles and all. When it was time to cut the cake, my parents were called to cut the cake with me, all the kids expected lily’s dad to come first, but my parents the chef and cleaner came, it wouldn’t have mattered, but one of the girls who had come for a sleep over before then shouted, beauty your parents are the chef and cleaner, and everyone started to laugh, it was as if the ground should open and swallow me, I ran inside, refused to come back out until everyone went home, I wouldn’t even speak to my parents for the whole day.
That day it dawned on me, no matter how much a hen tries to be like a peacock, it will always be a hen, but I was going to change that. Thankfully, it was the end of our stay in primary school, Lily and I were starting secondary school after summer. My parents finally got to talk to me and they apologized for embarrassing me, but the did was done, a seed of resentment had been planted in me, I resented them for embarrassing me and I was not going to let it happen ever again.

Just before summer ended, Lily’s father called my parents for a meeting, lily and I were also there, he told them he wanted their blessing, lily was off to Switzerland, a girls boarding secondary /finishing school and he wanted me to go along. My mum was a bit hesitant, but my father said, of course, it will be their dream. That’s how I went to Switzerland with lily. We didn’t come back home until we finished 6 years later.
The first day I stepped back in the country, I was different, I had an English accent, I was very beautiful, my skin was flawless and I was proud. As I walked out of the arrival lounge at the airport with lily, my mum tried to hug me, but I gently pushed her away and said hello by stretching out my hand, she didn’t care she took my hand and kissed it, right there and there, I took out a handkerchief and wiped off her mouth from my hand and said, ewwwh!!
I had become different, I called lily’s father, Dad, my dad, chef John and my mum, Ms. Mariam, my parents loved me, even feared my rejection more, so they accepted whatever I called them, they were just proud and happy I was going to have a much better life than they could ever give me.
. That lasted 6months before Lily and I were whisked off to New York to NYU. Lily for film and photography, I for fashion design, that didn’t last long, I dropped out of NYU, the day I was discovered on 5h avenue. A scout offered to photograph me and that was it, I became a model. Lilly’s father came to New York, he wasn’t happy that I dropped out of university, he felt I could still study part-time and model at the same time, but I told him off and said he wasn’t my father, so he couldn’t tell me what to do. The poor man left me alone after that. I didn’t go see lily anymore, I had moved out of the apartment near NYU her father had gotten for us. I was a model now all that stuff was beneath me.
Paris, New York, Milan, Singapore, contracts came, money came, soon I was on billboards and magazines all over. When I turned 24, I met a young man. He was fine, I was shopping at Macy’s when he walks up to me and says. Nubian queen, I have been searching for you all my life. I looked up and saw this handsome Arab man. One thing led to another, he flew me back to the UAE. We got married and I became his wife, I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into, the only witness I had was a friend from New York, she came with me for the wedding and flew back a week later.
I beauty, used to freedom, walking around half naked, I was forcefully constricted into Islam, forced to wear a hijab, and learnt the hard way, after a few slaps not to talk when being spoken to. My handsome prince married 3 others after me, I was miserable but rich. Was treated like a prisoner for the fear that I might run away, my passport had been seized a long time ago. I had 2 sons for my husband, they turned out to be his, not mine because I could never tell them to do anything without them confirming with their father first.
On my 35th birthday, my husband asked me to make a wish, I asked to go back to New York to shop and take a holiday, up until then I had been a good wife, prayed 5 times a day, served and obeyed. So my wish was granted, my sister in law will accompany me he said. That was fine. We set out for a 2 week all expenses paid luxury holiday. We were to stay at the Ritz Charlton hotel. We arrived, checked into adjoining rooms. The first few nights I just slept, my sister in law wanted to go out, but I said I didn’t, so the 3rd day she left me and went shopping, that was my opportunity. I still had my bank account in New York, but no card, went into the bank, reactivated my account with my passport, got a card and withdrew a large sum of money. Went straight to the airport without my luggage and bought a one way ticket to my country and that’s how I landed back here at 35.
I had nobodys phone no, didn’t even remember my way around or how to get home, even if I did and lily’s father was still there, after the way I treated him, I didn’t think I could face him, so I asked a taxi to take me to the nearest hotel, I had a lot of money in new York and I had the card with me. I also had lots of cash on me. I paid for 6 months at the hotel and settled in. The next few days I got the taxi to take me cloth shopping , soon I had enough clothes , shoes and bags to wear for a while. I didn’t even know where my parents were.
One day I was lounging by the pool and a man came to talk to me, he was posh and rich, but that wasn’t my thing, I was posh and rich, too. We became friends, I felt comfortable enough with him, but I only told him I just relocated from New York and I want to go into the fashion business. So he invited me to his office and in 6 months, I had a boutique. He helped to do all that with my money.
We only started dating after that, he proposed on my 37th birthday, coincidentally, he was 39 and single, so we hit it off.
I had gotten married to him before I realized he was a real family traditional man. My first challenge was with his family, they were all over the place, in and out of our house, I couldn’t stand that. First his mum complained that my puppy must go, she was allergic to it. In my house, she was joking, I made her life miserable. One day we were arguing and she pushed me out of the way and I pushed her back. She fell and hit her back, was hospitalized for a week. Of course I blamed her and my hubby supported me. He was totally in love. I was pregnant with twins at the time. Anyway to summarize, I had the twins in London, came back and gave my husband an ultimatum, his family out of our house or I go back to New York with the twins, 1 girl and 1 boy. He buckled and sent them back to the village.
All through this I wouldn’t let him go see them, he just sent them money, his family abandoned our house and that suited me fine, I didn’t have any, so why should he.
On my 50th birthday, we got a call that my mum in law was about to die, her son should come, I bluntly through a tantrum, how could he leave me on my 50th to go anywhere. Needless to say, his mum died without seeing him, but not without cursing me. I found out later, I will come back to that.
I think I was 53 or 54 when I ran into an old woman, I was coming out of my car with a friend in front of her supermarket, when this old woman, came to me and said beauty is that you? I looked at her from top to toe and asked how you know my name. The woman fell on the floor and was crying and praising God. That was my mother, she was around 77 or 78. Of course, I denied her that day, put my hand in my bag, gave her a wad of money with my business card folded in it, so my friend couldn’t see.
A day later I got a call from an unknown no and I picked it up, it was my mother, I asked where she was and I went to see her and my father, they lived in the house lily’s father had given them, the house I grew up in, he had gone back to America and left them the house and a car. The rest, he had given to his other workers, but my parents were like family to him so they got more. The house was too big for them to maintain after a while, so it was looking pretty run down. I sat there not knowing what to say. After a while, I asked them for an account no, issued a check enough to fix the house and keep them for a while, then promised to give them a monthly allowance. I asked for my business card back, told them I had moved from the address and my no had changed, I promised to be back the next day with new details. I never went back, but I kept sending them money, to me that was enough, I couldn’t be ridiculed again by them.

Then when I turned 59, my husband suddenly fell ill and died from a heart attack, without a will. My in-laws pounced on me, all my money they claimed was his, they locked up my boutique, before I got home my house was locked from the gate. Everything I owned was in there, I still had one bank card with my name on me, the rest were in my husband’s account, my children were gone. Then I got a text with the curse my mum in law had left for me, “Beauty, as I have died alone without my son, so shall you, you and your stupid dog, you will regret for the rest of your life, what you did to me, no one will look for you and you will be alone until the day God himself forgives you and someone decides to show mercy on you and comes to visit”
I thought it was a joke, with the little I had left, I bought this bungalow, my dog was tied outside the gate, with that trunk box you see in the corner filed with all you see here. That’s all I have from my whole life. When it was locked I had it with me and since then I have been in this house, I have 4 children don’t know where they are, no one comes here and I have no one to see, until you showed up and I knew I had been forgiven.
So you see my dear child, my life was a waste, I thought my beauty would get me anywhere and anything, I was wrong, I was too proud to accept anyone, not even my parents, now see how I ended up. “You are called Pretty, Let your name be your character, have a pretty life, bring beauty into the world and infect people with your love, be a blessing and make a difference everywhere you go, let people see the glory and beauty of God in you. God bless you, my child.

Please leave a comment below. Thank you.

she heals copyright @2017,Image from freepik.

DOMESTIC ABUSE IS REAL

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We had our first argument last night. He said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me. I know he is sorry and didn’t mean the things he said because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today. It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day.

Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me. It seemed like a nightmare. I couldn’t believe it was real! I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over.

I know he must be sorry because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today, and it wasn’t Mother’s Day or any other special day for that matter.

Last night, he beat me up again. It was so much worse than all the other times.

If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of my kids? Where would we go? How can I possibly start over? What about money? Who else would have me and love me? I’m afraid of him and scared to leave.

But I know he must be sorry because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today. Today was a very special day.

It was the day of my funeral.

Last night, he finally killed me. He beat me to death. If only I had enough courage to leave him, I would not have gotten flowers today.

Domestic abuse is real.

The fact is, domestic violence is real, and it’s happening all around us today. You must not keep it to yourself; seek help from your pastor, imam, parents, or even try couples counseling. If it continues, you might have to involve the police or leave the abusive partner.

Domestic violence causes physical injuries, dysfunctional families, and broken relationships. Most sufferers become isolated from family and friends, lose their source of income or work, even run away from the abusive relationship in order to survive. They also suffer from emotional and psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, or lowered sense of self-worth, poor health, and even physical injuries. Some even end up being killed.

A marriage that is based on God’s love and puts God first in everything they do will weather all storms without one partner being abusive to the other. Violence is never the answer. (Please note that domestic violence is not limited to women only; a few men also suffer this from their wives.)

WHAT NOW ? 2

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He came across as really innocent-looking. I looked up from my books at the library, and there was this fairly handsome guy. I say “fairly” handsome because his clothes were untidy, but his face looked good. He asked if the seat opposite me was taken; I said yes, it was reserved for a friend of mine. He said, “Okay, let me sit there until she gets in.” So I said, “Okay.” He opened his book, not sure what it was, read for a few minutes, then said, “Can I ask you a question?” I said yes. He said, “Why don’t you want to date anyone? We have tried to get you fixed up with all kinds of boys, but you turn them down. What do you want? Or is it that you don’t want to go there?” “Go there?” I asked, “What do you mean?” I knew exactly what he meant, but I wasn’t about to get into that conversation with him, no way.

The funny thing, looking back to all those years ago, was that my coping mechanism was not to date. I wanted to keep myself intact, and I knew the only way to do that was not to date. I didn’t know any other way. I didn’t get sex education classes. All I was made to believe was touch a boy and get pregnant. I remember I wasn’t the only one told that. A friend told me recently that one day she came home from school crying her eyes out. She was so distraught her mum called her and asked what the matter was. She broke down and told her mum she was pregnant. Her mum asked what she meant. She said a boy in school hugged her unexpectedly. Her mum looked at her up and down and said, “Don’t worry, you are not pregnant yet. The boy only hugged you for a few seconds. If he hugged you for a few seconds more, you would be pregnant by now.” Oh my gosh! She lived with that fear and belief for a long, long time.

As for me, I was lucky. I had two brothers who were ladies’ men. Stories they sat down and told about women with their friends were enough to knock me right into shape. One day, I heard them and some friends laughing and joking about how each of them had dated the same girl and dumped her because she was rude to another friend of theirs. They had all had their fun before she realized they were all friends and had planned it. That day I vowed no man would ever do that to me. I was going to keep myself until I got married.

Well, what I didn’t realize at the time was that it was going to be a very tough challenge. I was young and naive, very impressionable. I didn’t factor in a lot of things. For starters, feelings…

WHAT NOW?

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What’s the matter? Why does it always pick up, then slow down, and then pick up again? My emotions, that’s what I’m trying to talk about here. Why can’t they be in one place? Why do they have to run around like a yo-yo? One day it’s “Yes, please, I will take two of each,” the next it’s “Absolutely not, this is disgusting.” My PA, Anna, has won so much from me because, she said, “Ma’am, for every time you say ‘terrible’ or ‘disgusting,’ I get one dollar.” In one day, she made $20.

I’ve got to watch what I say, especially when being around her. I’m not sure how much I owe now, but it should be a tidy sum when I’m expected to pay. Not sure, but I will have to somehow.

Have you ever sat down and thought of a wealthy and powerful friend, business acquaintance, or relation and thought to yourself, “That’s the one I need. He’s going to be my ticket out of all these money issues I’m in.” Not that I don’t have any, I just need a lot more to invest in some projects.

Come on, it’s not rocket science. You always invest in a business with other people’s money, but make sure you are not cheated out of your wonderful business idea.

It’s not fair. You know, I was working it out in my head, why is it that atheists and unbelievers have tons of money, and us churchgoing, Jesus-loving born-again Christians don’t have two pennies to rub together most of the time. Well, I found out why.

God said in his word Deuteronomy 28:12, “The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations, but borrow from none…”

Now, notice the key word here, “bless the work of your hands.” Which means you have to work on something for it to be blessed. Remember the faithful servants in the Bible to whom the master gave talents, and two invested but one buried it. What happened? The one who buried his talent had it taken from him and given to the one who had multiplied his.

God is talking to you here. What have you done lately with all that God has given you? All you complain about is “no money, no money.” I am telling you today, not all businesses need money to start. You can provide a service and get paid for it.

Well, I know Christians, born again, who just fast and pray for days and weeks and ask God to bring millions into their bank account.

I have good news for you. You will not get any fat added to you from fasting all the time, but you will also not get a dime added to your bank account from not working with your hands.

God said, “I will provide all your needs.” That’s why you are still alive. You eat maybe once or twice a day, breathe, etc., but as for your wants, you’ve got to go out there and get it.

Okay, people, enough of my carrying on. I’ve got a meeting now. I will be right back.

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK

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The New Mr and Mrs diary, is the story of a young couple from when the got married to the present. The diary has been continuous daily for 6 years. Join us and share their wonderful experiences, life lessons, up and downs and pure marital bliss.

TO JOIN THE GROUP: TYPE IN THE NEW MR AND MRS DIARY ON FACEBOOK AND ASK TO JOIN.

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EXCERPTS:

MRS: I heard a scream, and then it got louder. Then a voice saying, “Please, I’m sorry, it’s the devil,” and I woke up, thinking it must have been a dream. But as my ears and eyes adjusted, I heard the screams again. It was 3 a.m. So, I opened the sliding door in the bedroom, and now I heard it clearer. It was a woman’s voice, pleading and begging for forgiveness. It actually took me a while to figure out it was coming from next door, Muyi’s house to be exact. I ran out of my room to one of our spare bedrooms where Fatima was asleep, woke her up, and asked her to come listen to something strange.

She stretched, grumbled a bit, but eventually got out of bed and came with me. As we stood on the balcony, we heard the screams again. “Please, please, I’m sorry.” That’s when Fatima said, “That sounds like that girl who came here to insult us. Temitope’s friend?” “No! It can’t be,” I replied. “Why would she be begging someone in the middle of the night?” But Fatima insisted she was the one. We contemplated going to find out, but we finally decided to just stay there and listen.

After a while, we heard another voice. This time it was definitely Temitope. We heard, “Mr. Godwin (that was Muyi’s security man), please push this good-for-nothing woman out of my house.” Wow! I’m sorry. I know it’s not nice to laugh at other people’s misfortunes, but we couldn’t help it. This was the woman who practically insulted us a few days ago. Now she was being kicked out of her best friend’s house at midnight. “What could she have done?” I asked Fatima…….

MR…….As we turned into our estate, two cars followed. I didn’t notice at first, but the gateman asked if they were with us, and we said no. Immediately, I called Col. Isa and asked if he put a tail on us, and he said, “Yes, I did. I need to make sure you are not trying to leave town without giving me a positive answer. I’ve instructed my men to detain you if you try to drive to the airport.”

“What? Are you serious?” I asked. He laughed and replied, “As serious as a heart attack. The stability of the government will be at stake if the wrong one becomes Senate President. All we need is for you to agree to work with us to get the one we want.”

And guess who they want? You won’t believe it, even if I told you. But no way, am I going to agree to work to get him to be Senate President. The baffling question is, how did they rig his name on the ballot and get him to win an election he didn’t even contest for? …….

 

 

 

NAILS IN A FENCE

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There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day, the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence; he soon used up all the nails in anger.

Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, his father asked him to take out a nail every time he was able to control his anger. The son did this for a few weeks and realized that there were fewer and fewer nails every day. Soon, he realized that he had gradually taken out all the nails.

The father then took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out, but it won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound will still be there.”

So the best option is to think before you talk or act. Think about the consequences of your actions or what you say, the damage it could do to the other person, and how it will make them feel. In short, put yourself in their shoes. Always ask yourself, “If someone said this to me or acted this way to me, how will it make me feel?” When you begin to take these into account, you will think before you act and think before you talk.

Always be kind, compassionate, and, above all, forgive.

CHANGE IS NOT ALWAYS AN IMPROVEMENT

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As I sat next to her, she leaned over and asked me, “Dear, if you take nothing from my life story, take this: every improvement is change, but every change is not an improvement.” I didn’t understand what she meant, so I asked.

“Dear, I’m 73, lonely, and childless. I was once married to a wonderful man, but it took me leaving him and going after what I thought was an improvement to realize it.

I met Henry when I got my first job. He was charming, not very good-looking, but made up for it with kindness and love. He asked me out the second time he saw me, and at that time, I had just moved to the city and wasn’t quite exposed to the fast life, so being with Henry, I felt was my way to learn the ropes. And Henry didn’t disappoint.

He bought me clothes to fit in, took me to change my hair, got me makeup, and even got a friend to give me elocution lessons because my intonation was wonky.

A year later, Henry had transformed me, and all through, he never asked to make love to me because I told him I was saving myself for the one I marry. So he said he would wait.

Then one faithful day, Bode started working in the company, and I was assigned as his assistant. From the first day when he tapped my bum as I walked away, I knew he was trouble. Henry noticed too and told me to stay away from him, but I don’t know what it was, I was attracted to Bode, the bad boy. One afternoon we worked outside the office, and he asked us to stop over at a guest house for lunch. One thing led to another, and he practically cajoled me to make love to him. That was my first time. I had done it before I realized, but we kept going, and Henry knew nothing of this. Soon Henry proposed, I said yes, because Bode asked me to. He said he wasn’t ready to get married.

I got married to Henry and decided to stop seeing Bode, but Bode got possessive and said if it was to get married, he will marry me if I leave Henry. At this point, Henry and I had only been married for 7 months. I was obsessed with Bode, and he was all I thought about, despite Henry treating me like a queen. I wouldn’t even let him make love to me, blaming the fact that I wasn’t ready. Then one day, Henry caught Bode and me kissing in his office. Right there in front of us, he broke down crying, and he still forgave me.

Despite all this, two months later, I moved out of Henry’s house and into Bode’s house. The first few months were great. Then he suddenly changed. He went out without me, which never happened before, and he got really snappy if I asked where he was. By the time I knew he was having an affair, I had been in his house for 10 months, and we were not married. When I said I wanted to leave, he threatened me with violence. So for four years, he used me as a slave, and I was miserable.

Eventually, he was done with me and asked me to leave. By then, Henry had moved on. I went to the company, but he was no longer there. Later, I heard he moved abroad because he couldn’t bear my betrayal. After that, I fell into depression, and I have been battling that since. I lusted after a bad man and left a wonderful man, thinking that Bode would be an improvement on Henry. But I was wrong.”

HOW TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS.

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Setting goals is a wonderful step towards achieving them. But how do you ensure you achieve those goals? The 3 main things you need are, Desire, Drive and Do. What do you desire? Why do you desire it? The why is your driving force, and that facilitates and ensures the Doing. One step at a time, one day at a time, you can achieve and accomplish the goals you set for yourself.

This episode outlines the first steps you need to ensure your goal or goals are achieved. And once you believe you can and will work on them, you are already halfway there.