Hope: foe or ally?

by Admin on

How long can a man survive without hope? If all hope was to be lost, would you live to see the next minute?

<em>take a man’s hope away and you take away his will to live.

The longest time breath held voluntarily (male) is 24 min 3.45 secs and was achieved by Aleix Segura Vendrell (Spain), in Barcelona, Spain, on 28 February 2016.

Aleix Segura Vendrell is a professional freediver. The attempt took place at the 17th Mediterranean Dive Show. (source: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-time-breath-held-voluntarily-(male)

Humans cannot survive without oxygen. science has taught us that after about 6 minutes, the brain begins to die irreversibly if deprived of oxygen. How Vendrell achieved such feat is breath-taking literally! maybe science needs a review, as usual.

How long can a man survive without hope? If all hope was to be lost, would you live to see the next minute? It is impossible to answer this question correctly unless you’ve lost ALL hope at least once. Those who may have been able to help us are those who have taken their own lives in an irreversible act of suicide, but unfortunately they are no longer with us.

while there is life, there is hope.

There is that constant feeling that things will get better, that even if they don’t we will get better and find other ways to survive. Hope is a man’s best friend, a frustrated soul is quick to turn and cling to some fibres of hope, some wish that a turn around might be just around the corner.

I work in the hospital, and it is a daily affair to see people filled with hopes of recovery either for themselves or for a relative. Sometimes, hope delivers and meets expectations, other times, it doesn’t show up. Even at that, people still cling to it. They are quick to invoke a close cousin of hope, Fate. So often do we resort to fate whenever hope falls short. We accept and move on.


protracted hope wearies the soul.

Euthanasia is a difficult topic and raises a lot of ethical debate, many thanks to hope.
One time at work, a pregnant woman was to be operated upon urgently to ensure she and her baby stay fine. After the operation which I was a part of, the baby who at the time of delivery wasn’t responding as expected was still not showing any signs of improvement. The baby had already been resuscitated promptly by every means available. After a few more tries, the baby was still blue. We had done our best and hoped the supporting system instituted for the baby would eventually work. About 30 minutes later, there was a constant loud cry coming from the ward, it was the same baby, now all pink and responsive, as though nothing was ever wrong.
That example will make me always hang on for every other unresponsive baby, because, who knows, it just might make it too. No matter how many babies fail to make it eventually, the memory of that one who made it will breed hope.

Miracles, testimonies of turn-arounds breed hope and make people wait situations out. Hope is strongest when there are no other options. It is the currency of the penniless – more rightly, It is the currency of us all, most palpable when we’re down and out.

Situations that could easily have been put an end to linger and continue because we wait it out and cling to hope. This is no argument to support suicide or an attempt of it, but rather, situations of the living that we should totally turn our backs on. Let me give you a few examples:

Josephine has lost an arm, four teeth and all her pride. She related her ordeal yesterday, when we realised her wounds were inflicted on her by her husband. It’s been going on for 5 years, she had hoped he’ll change.

Coker has been married for four years now, with children. He wants a divorce. He can’t cope any longer. His spouse has remained the careless woman she has always been. He knew this even before they got married, he thought she’d outgrow it and become more responsible when she becomes a mother. He had hoped she’ll change.

Lanre left home at 5am on saturday morning. He was bent on getting fuel at all cost regardless of the fuel scarcity. He was confident that his early rise will yield. His fuel tank gauge was already lit with the warning sign. A hundred (100) meters later, he passed a filling station already having about 50 cars waiting in line even when the station was yet to open. “Just turn around and go home”, an inner voice told him. No, i’ll just check the next one, he thought. He repeated this thought at 1000m, 2000m and 5000m. The car has finally come to a halt and won’t start. It’s 5.45am and lanre has begun a compulsory jogging back home. He had hoped he’ll find fuel.

Fidelis has now made it to his final year in the 7th year of his 4 year course. He has the many industrial strikes and political ineptitude to thank for that. He finished top of his class and as the best graduating student in the university that year. His parents are well to do and had plans lined up for him to get additional qualifications outside the country. Fidelis was too patriotic for his parent’s liking. It is the reason he was just graduating after rejecting an opportunity to study abroad for his first degree. He has definitely learnt his lessons now, his dad told his mother at his convocation. Fidelis has hope to blame for staying back and finishing late; the same hope he clung to at the times he almost lost it. he had thought the new government were going to fulfill their promises.

Hope that here will soon be better is what keeps us from going there; hope that there will be greener, is what pushes us away from here.
Hope is a pill that must be taken for the right ailment, lest it becomes poison.

Yet, hope may really not be the problem or the enemy; but “hope in what or who” speaks volumes.
as long as hope lies in things uncertain and things powerless, it will shatter or be shattered, occasionally it will yield.
As for me, my hope is nowhere near this world or any of the things or people in it, not even myself. I have found undwindling hope, self-kindling in fact, in God alone, powered by Jesus, the Christ.

Sing with me if you will,

My hope is built on nothing else
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus name
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand.

I wish you the kind of hope that makes not ashamed.

Oluwatosin Fatade

Go MAD(make a difference)!

by Admin on

How to go M.A.D (make a difference)

The skies don’t seem so dark as before; but rather than soothe, it scares me. In its whole visible extent from where I stand tonight; there’s not a star in sight, and the moon: absent. While I wondered what other occasion made the moon stand me up, the lights went off. Yes, electricity –still happens around here sadly. I mentioned the moon stood me up, we’ve been keeping up appearances in the past few days, basically she shows up in different attires and I take shots. I have her all saved in my memory in full, half, and crescent garments. Not more than fifteen blinks after the darkness enveloped the area, my thoughts halted at the symphony of starting engines that pierced the silent night. In theory, light travels faster than sound as is the case when lightning precedes a thunderstorm. But tonight, the sound of generators welcomed the much needed lights they gave.

What am I doing out here in the night anyway? Let me tell you about it.

I was going home from work after a long day that almost refused to end, (I could bet the second hand of the clock took some anticlockwise turns repeatedly), and there was this thought that refused to leave my mind. The thought practically let itself in and felt at home uninvited. There wasn’t a thing I could do about it – I washed, did dishes, arranged and even slept but it was right there even in my waking moment, so I finally had to say hi. So it’s been making rounds in my head ever since and I’m going to have to talk about it like right now.

No one can or will ever change the world.

I promise you that I fought this thought with everything I had, I took several mental trips down history lane – each time I arrived right back at this mind-boggling thought. This thought seems to stand alone against every hope mantra of making the world a better place that I have known.

If you intend to clothe a few children at the orphanage, do so only after there’s no kid on your street without decent clothes on.

If you’re going to feed a nearby village or community, it would make no sense if someone is dying of hunger at your corridor.

Don’t start an education endowment fund or scholarship for strangers when some of your own people cannot afford school.

As a rule of thumb, don’t go about cleaning the community gutter when your room’s a mess – that’s hypocrisy, showmanship and gross attention-seeking.

It’s been said times over that if everyone cleaned their front yard, the whole town would be clean. Hard to argue against that.

Let’s quit burning an area of land in preparation for Tree-Planting to support a campaign to end global warming. Driving a car that’ll give off fumes to such an event should be criminal, but how evitable is that? As long as we keep up with the sources of our problems, finding solutions will always be beyond reach, a never ending race.

If at least one relative whether near or distant stood up for each child that lost one or both parents, orphanages wouldn’t exist. But it seems to be the way of the world to first create a problem and afterwards begin a never-ending race of finding solutions.
Whatever your grand plans and lofty ideas, let your homefront, your locale be your testing ground. Run your trials there and turn out successful before you unleash on the unsuspecting world.
Nothing ridicules a great speech like dissenting voices of the speaker’s household in the audience.

Without trying to belittle or make light of the efforts of great men and women who have made tremendous impact, I make bold to say none of them has changed the world; and to be quite frank, none of us ever will. At best, our neighborhood will not forget ever. The size and extent or reach of your ‘neighborhood’ will be your own doing, but definitely not the world. As long as one child still gets mutilated, whoever started the campaign against genital mutilation is yet to change the world. If in doubt of this statement, ask the mutilated child. But if many voices were to fight the cause, changing the world might become possible – no single name however will be able to boast of having changed the world.

Imagine what a good shot of you taken by a photographer with you in your best pose ever would look like…what if you then discover in there that your zipper was wide open the whole time, would you still feel proud of that picture? Little pockets here and there matter, but it is in sync with other pockets that sense is made out of them. Alone, not much is to be said. A bucket of water and an ocean are basically the same in terms of water composition save for volume. If the ocean was to be split into its constituent parts, it’ll never be able to boast.

I believe in Jesus as Saviour and that means I believe he is going to change the world. But as of now, its hope, albeit certain hope. Hope, because it is not yet manifested; certain because it will happen. When he was to start this changing the world campaign, here’s what he did – he saved Jews first, his own people and then the rest of the world. Everything was first to the Jews, before the Gentiles. His disciples who were to carry on with the campaign were commanded to tarry at home, preach at home before moving to the ends of the world. If anyone desires world peace, equity, equality, justice, charity; start from your home. That’s how to change the world: home first, then the world.

Oluwatosin Fatade

NO NOON MOON!

by Admin on

Where does the moon go to when the day breaks? How is it that it comes to fore only at night? Why is it crescentic today, half tomorrow and full on a public holiday? The answer isn’t far-fetched – the sun is the undisputed champion of skylights; the moon, well, is what it is. Call it dependent all you like, the universe depends on it after dusk.

For me, moon is hero. Moon is not the greatest light there is, but it shines; it stands its ground and mans its post. It doesn’t get jealous when the sun shows up yet again. I know this because times over, the drill is the same: dusk-dawn-dusk, repeat. What if it tried just once at least to outshine the sun? – call that ‘Mooncide

You see friends, moon knows its place and stays on its lane, be like moon. However bright or important the sun is, it is useless to the nightwalker, moon rules the night. Yeah, yeah, the sun’s light is what makes moon shine at all but at least the moon shows up while the sun turns its back.

Some of you folks are moon, except of course you are frantically trying to be sun. That is as futile as looking for the moon at noon! Focus on what you are and try to be the best at it, stop trying to be what you can never be – that is how to get enlisted on the failure train. It is better to fail at what you can be, because with subsequent trials, you’ll eventually win – that is how to have a success story. It is not a success story if you never win. Identify what is impossible and let it be; identify what requires effort and time and invest in it. Stop trying to be sun, you moon (I want to put an ‘r’ somewhere in this word), you ever seen the sun trying to be you?

Best know your place in this life and identify what part of the puzzle you are or should be. You’ll find peace in running the right race, there’s no wisdom in starting a race without a finish line. You should be able to exit this life with the satisfaction of having played your part for as long as you lived. You should be able to leave happily knowing that you’ve lived.
In case you’re lost or running another’s race; stop, find you and do you.

‘Tosin Fatade

Inspire (August Series)

by Admin on

Inspire yourself even if no one else will.
If you followed closely in the month of August on my Facebook timeline, you must be familiar with the daily stories that were aimed at inspiring you and all other readers. I have spent sometime compiling all the daily writings into one document.
The writings were produced and delivered one day at a time, but now you can read them all in one stretch, at a sitting. I hope you get overdosed on inspiration as you go through. If you do get inspired as I am sure you will, tell someone else to check this out too.
Find it here

Regards,
Oluwatosin

Sustainable development goals

by Admin on

#ACT4SDGs
In the year 2000, the Millennium development goals (MDGs) were set towards year 2015. There were 8 goals in all, with targets and indicators for each goal. Some progress was made, some of the goals were realised to a reasonable extent but with much more still left to be done especially on a global front.

To consolidate on the plans and ensure continued improvement, another gathering in July 2014 saw the institution of the SDGs (Sustainable development goals) to span year 2015 – 2030, starting 25th September of 2015.

There are 17 global goals, inter-related SDGs, along with 169 associated targets. The SDGs are officially known as “Transforming our world”.

It is important for all hands to be on deck and for collaborative efforts to be in full swing towards realising these goals as at when due – 2030. The United Nations is open to partnerships from governments, agencies and global/local initiatives in support of the goals already set.

To partner, visit http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/partnerships
Find out more details, and the 17 goals at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs

Sources:
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs
http://www.sdgfund.org/mdgs-sdgs

Pray

by Adenike Omosanya on

 

He said, constantly should I pray
Every day as I walk on the way
And on my bed at night even as I lay
So as to thrive and not fall prey
To the world and its perils, as cheerless as grey

These are warnings given by the creator
For thousands of years ago he gave us a vindicator
Yet right in our midst lurks the devil, the heinous predator
This fight is ours, we choose to lose or be a victor.

Though a choice had been given to us to make
But the decision is rightfully ours to take
From the options spread right before us even as a lake
Life and death – either one, we can’t eat and have our cake,
So we must follow the path each day we wake

The only thing we can find in God as a default
Is the undeserving love He gives as the result
Because reigning with him at the end is his utmost desire
And not until he gets us, will He ever retire.

Adenike Omosanya

Marriage, a big deal

by Admin on

Written by OLAOMI, O.C.

Marriage is the union of a man and a woman, their coming together to become one. Beyond the biblical and moral aspect of marriage, there is more to it. It is a really a big deal. Two separate individuals from different family background, upbringing, social and moral views and different perspectives to life. One big deal about marriage is that it does not expire, at least it’s not supposed to ‘Until death does them apart. No one prays to die young, so your marriage lasts as long as your life does, unless you walk out of it at some point or your spouse, God forbid, either walks out or gets taken by death.

Beyond the few years of courtship and the ‘big day’ of the ceremony, when everyone departs, you will be left alone with your spouse, then the reality begins to dawn. Then you’ll be having these conversations with yourself: I’m no longer single, I can’t go to my parent’s house as often as I wish for vacation anymore – there’s no vacation from the matrimonial home. You’ll become a guest in what used to be your bedroom in your father’s house. The lovely decorations, paintings, and arrangement will become sweet memories.

In your “new” life, and trust me it’s brand new, greater responsibilities await. Your spouse, children, parents, in-laws, siblings, new friends, new neighbours, new colleagues in some cases all come into play, a new life indeed!
Singleness actually means what the word connotes. Single, not accompanied by anything else, not divided in parts, designed for the use of only one. Only You! You can decide not to cook if you don’t feel like eating, remain in bed after 7a.m if you’re not going anywhere, decide to travel to see family or visit a friend as soon as you so wish, or wear anything so desired. The list is endless really!

Now that the wedding bell has been jingle, things have changed from ‘I’ to ‘We’. If you’ll be making any decisions for yourself, you’ll have to consider others. If it’s not good enough for them but very good for you, you may have to drop them. Now, this is part of the big deal. It is as serious to the extent that if you want to consider getting an extra degree or advancing a career, a long list of sacrifices for spouse and children have to be considered amongst other things, Sacrifices that were non-existent before marriage. Every lone decision you’ve known how to take now has to be subjected to a panel of at least two!

You can no longer put on any cloth you deem fit or find most comfortable especially when nursing a baby as a woman. You can no longer get up at any time you deem fit or snooze the alarm eight times till you yawn out of bed.
Baby’s needs must be met (when you begin to have little versions of you running around), no excuse! What about your spouse? You must look good for him/her. No excuse as well! He deserves to wake up to see his beautiful bride everyday. His gorgeous, beautiful and charming girlfriend turned wife. She deserves to keep seeing that fit, agile and energetic boyfriend turned husband, not a lazy bag of bones. So many responsibilities that you must live up to really.

The kind of home you desire, you must build it in marriage. You cannot find a ready-made marriage to buy in the market! You may think of getting a help, but if your marriage will be successful there are some things you still need to do by yourself. A maid or help is just there to provide help or aid, not to substitute you or make you irresponsible.

Beyond all these challenges however, it’s about the best thing that could happen to you. You love someone who loves you back, nothing beats that. You live in an atmosphere of love and care. Your dreams are coming to fulfillment, you have someone with whom you can share your cares, worries and concerns. You have a happy home to go to everyday. What could be more fulfilling?
Enjoy it as long as it lasts bearing in mind the deal it entails.
Remember to prepare for it and enjoy every bit of it. I can only wish you a good marriage that lasts forever!

Race

by Adenike Omosanya on

By Adenike Omosanya

Track

We’re all human but not the same
Male or dame, we’ve all got a name
Though nothing we share save for the race
And everyone each to his lane
So get ready, get your boots laced.

Under the sun or in the rain
We run along despite the strain
And washed away is our energy so drained
A race that requires both strength and brains
But with none you get yourself lame
And for your failure there is no one to blame
The finishing line is nothing but our aim
And the reward we get is our gain

Though our strength may fail us
But at the end our spirit will brace up
In this contest no one can bail us
Because every man has a path to race on
And far behind, on others we have to catch up

Our path not straight and the road be so bumpy
As we grace the path with our feet thumping
On the crown is where we set our eyes, gazing
But weak are our bones as our feet get so hasty
For what we crave for is a glory so lasting

Swift they say is for the runner
And depression is the gain of a loner
But only the weak get to be the loser
And praise it is for the winner

Daddy Issues

by Adebayo Akande on

Written by Adebayo Akande

 

“My father left when I was just four years old”
“Our father does not want anything to do with us!”
“He would come home drunk, and beat us all up.”
“He would just sit and read newspaper all day, while mummy goes working to make ends meet.”
“When every other person was out, he would come to my room and force himself on me!”

Have you heard such testimonies as cited above before? If you haven’t, then you have probably not met up to ten Nigerian fathers, or you’ve been surrounded by the relatively few exceptional ones. For me, in this quarter of a century plus life of mine, I have seen, and heard, and to a lesser degree I have experienced my own fair share of daddy issues. In my opinion, people can only move on and at best create lots of great memories; seldom do people get over the effects of abusive, absentee, or irresponsible fathers. Just as we can trace a cholera outbreak to a germ infested pond, majority of the societal issues take root from the failure of fathers to live up to their billing.

Presently, I live among the Hausa folks – and in this particular place it appears the men live for just two things – smoked meat and sex! Very little else seem to matter. When they get tired of a merchant’s meat, they move on to another. Sadly, they do same with their women. The end result? Colonic issues, and kids – lots of them! No plan for their future, not even for their present. So these bairns bite the dust almost as soon as they open their mouths!

Now before you make a huge fixed deposit of anger against these folks, just imagine what your own society would look like if contraception was not being used? The main issue here isn’t about the organ between the man’s legs, but that behind his eyes and beneath his hair. Well, rumours have it sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between the two, based on function. Men can choose which to think with!

While it is true that the responsibilities of the man are enormous, it is also amusing that respect is demanded even upon failure to live up to these responsibilities. Central to this malady is the erroneous view that a boy becomes a man, simply by staying alive long enough to develop muscles and a baritone voice; and the ability to sire children. While I am not in any way against women empowerment and liberation, the women movement to a large extent arose due to the ineptitude of men.
A father should provide for the basic needs of his family – food, shelter, emotional stability, a conducive physical and emotional environment for the family to thrive. Simply put, one without the other just would not work! Food and shelter, no matter how good, without a loving environment, is just as fatal as a home full of love, and also of empty stomachs. It is also of great concern that most fathers have created their own shoddy standards, a system of doing the barest minimum and boasting that they’ve “played their part”. When we see one that goes the extra mile for his family, providing all that is necessary, one is almost tempted to give him a Nobel prize!

I am not yet a father. So maybe it is easy to criticize people in whose shoes I have never been. But I’ve had a good feel of some other kind of shoes. Let me tell you a bit about these shoes.

They belong to women who had to single handedly raise children, simply because they wouldn’t abort the product of an act they got pressured into committing. They belong to the teenage girls who had to grow up watching their mother take up humiliating jobs while their father sat playing draughts with other fathers over a keg of palm wine; and then the mothers would return home tired, only to be insulted because food wasn’t prepared early enough. They belong to the boys and girls who had to be comforted, taught, encouraged solely by their mothers because all daddy cared about was good grades in school.

So you may not be a father just yet, but you can choose to be a good one, and that decision is a great place to start preparing.
“Happy Fathers’ day to all women who are working hard to raise their family singlehandedly.” This statement caused a stir on social media many weeks ago. There was outrage, of course from the men. We already had about three Mothers’ days, can’t we just have this single one to ourselves?
We can, we should, but not via this outrage.
We can, by determining to be there for our wives and children. Respecting them and loving them; believing in them and investing in them. I for one, love it (and sometimes envy) when people speak so highly of their fathers, and then I see men who “carry their family matter for head”. Equally disheartening are situations when the families of men I respect and would have considered as mentors turn out to be in shambles. These men go out to work so they could “put food on the table”, they do that, yet inadvertently starve the soul of their families.
Let’s abrogate daddy issues, shall we? How can we be better husbands and fathers? I would welcome our views and thoughts. Meanwhile, here are some of mine.
A family needs nurture, lots of affirmation, and communication. A major attribute to all these is selfishness. Majority, if not all children would say that all they need asides food is just daddy telling them “I love you, and I believe in you. You can be the best!” We should remix that song
“parents listen to your children;
we are the leaders of tomorrow.
Try to pay our school fees,
and give us sound education”.

The best schools won’t do as good a job as a loving father reassuring his kids. And claiming to love the children while maltreating their mother reeks of pure hypocrisy!
I know I have made things so black and white, so simplistic in this article. I can almost hear someone say “things aren’t always this straightforward”. But have you also thought that maybe being a great husband and father isn’t such a daunting task after all? That maybe all it requires is planning for that future with consideration for other people asides just you? That the solace of a happy family outranks any quest for personal glory? Or better still, your family is that personal glory?
We won’t always be perfect. We will make mistakes. But we have our society as a gallery, and our family as a canvas. With every stroke we make, every swish of our brush, we create a picture, our picture. And this picture will have a huge bearing on the entire gallery. After all, isn’t the family said to be the basic unit of the society?

Baby Friendly Initiative

by Admin on

The Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched by WHO and UNICEF in 1991, following the Innocenti Declaration of 1990. The initiative is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

Ten pillars of successful breastfeeding

Every member of the hospital staff that will directly or indirectly contact the mothers should have basic knowledge about breastfeeding. Such details should be penned down and easy to refer to or present to a new member of staff.

Practical sessions should be organised to train the members of staff on what has been written down. For example, each member of staff should be able to demonstrate to the mothers how they can position the baby properly for breastfeeding.

Pregnant women should be put through the benefits of breastfeeding throughout their antenatal visits and contact with the hospital, either through general organised sessions or one on one as they visit. Printed leaflets will also go a long way to achieve this.

Sometimes, the healthcare providers can so focus on keeping the mother stable that they forget the newborn needs to get fed and that quickly. Unless where otherwise indicated, help both mother and child to get on with breastfeeding within 30 minutes of delivery.

It is not enough to tell the mother to start breastfeeding, show them how (positioning and sitting posture) and make sure they get it right. Should there be a need for separation, either the baby is admitted into a neonatal unit or the mother is admitted, they should be allowed some time together, mother should express milk from their breast too where direct breastfeeding may be impossible.
This will prevent breast engorgement and abscess in the mother.

The breast milk contains all the baby needs – nutrients, water. A lot of people feel an irresistible urge to quench the baby’s thirst with water. Breast milk is ENOUGH!

Bonding between mother and child is very important especially in those first days, weeks and months of the baby’s existence. Neonatal baby units and wards usually have a room and space for mothers to be as close to their babies as possible in the event that the baby is admitted.

Feed the baby as often as possible, theirs isn’t thrice a day.

You know those “mouth plugs” and mouth pieces to stop the baby from crying? Stop using them.

A breastfeeding group or club doesn’t sound bad, there’s strength in numbers so why not.

It is advocated that babies be exclusively breastfed for 4-6 months, that is, at least 4 months of breastmilk only without water or any other thing. Other fluids should be introduced from 6 months. This is the ideal and best practice. Workplace practices should cater for this provision to encourage women to comply as possible.

Oluwatosin Fatade (MB;BS Ib)

Sources

http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/bfhi/en/
https://www.unicef.org/programme/breastfeeding/baby.htm

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