Boss Baby

THE BOSS BABY

I love animations, so much. They are entertaining for one, but even more than any other movie ‘genres’, are very closely related to our everyday life. But as adults, we have that unconscious bias when it comes to sitting down and watching an animation. We downplay them so much like we were born this age, but c’mon, if you enjoyed them as a child, they are still a part of you and every once in a while, you can crush on that popcorn and laugh away watching one.

Unlike you, am a total boov for these stories. I can’t even begin to count how many I have watched. Some of the most entertaining ones have been the uncommon titles. Case in point is Strange Magic. The music was spot on, the character development was impressive and the story line, of course, was haa…so much fun, Unforgettable. When things get rough and I’m unsure, I see my little elf friend singing to me;

“Don’t worry, about a thing. Every little thing, is gonna be alright.”

I better stop there, because I am already getting into the groovy mood. You know Bob Marley lyrics always get one on their feet. And for the boov I am, each emotion comes with its own color. Only those who have watched Home can understand. But imagine this, what if each emotion we felt manifested with a color on our skin. Something like;

If you lie – Green

If you’re happy – Pink

If you’re unsure/uncertain – Orange

In pain – Red

Etc. How colorful would like be? Hahahaha, forgive this boov. Something else I found fascinating in the movie Home, was the representation of the Boov race. It was the typical Human race. The best species at running away. No balls whatsoever to face our issues head on but rather find someone to blame and keep running away from responsibility or being held accountable. A leader sells a lie to their followers and forever they follow blindly and none of them ever stops to examine where the danger is coming from and what can be done about it. We would all rather live in Happy Humans Town, eating all things nice and living with no consequences, huh? We pretend to be so serious, so tuned to an empowering kind of music, when we could just play the right music and celebrate life. That dancing scene cracks me up all the time, even by just thinking about it. Hahahaha. I hear; “My hands are in the air, like I just do not care”. And; “…………..it’s shaking in the most undignified way.” Bwahahahahaha we humans complicate life. And the winner in this movie, was the Boov English. Tihihihihihi, you have to watch it to know what am saying.

One of the most inspiring ones, was Zootopia. At least this title was all over the place. On billboards and showing in cinemas. That soundtrack by the beautiful Shakira was my ringtone for about six months. The song is just inspiring, the chorus says;

I won’t give up, no I won’t give in, till I reach the end, then I’ll start again. No I won’t leave, I wanna try everything, I wanna try even though I could fail.

Just read that again. And yes, it comes with a very groovy beat to shake to. It’s worth a download. I wanna say more about this one but Moana keeps knocking on the door. She is one persistent future leader. She is actually the heiress to her father, the village chief’s throne. She will dare face a demi-god and make him do as she says, to save her people. Oh, the ocean roots for her, so u better watch out. I loved Moana so much, I could re-watch it and still be in awe like it’s the first time am seeing it. Believe me. The music was amazing, and I picked a lot of life advise from there. In one scene, while referring to the stupid hen; or was it a cock, she said;

“Sometimes our strengths lie beneath the surface.”

That line stayed with me and it encourages me to dig deeper withing myself when I feel like I have hit the wall and want to give up. We tend to miss out on great opportunities because we let give up too quickly or our search is too shallow. You have to look farther into the future, paint it and then dig deeper within yourself to find the answers to that which you have envisioned. You might have a different interpretation, please do share in the comments section.

For all the daring, with a strong urge to achieve your dreams, despite the odds, Ballerina and Brave are a must watch. The non-believers in miracles and the existence of an another life alongside our own, Epic is the one for you. The Smurfs too. I want to move on to the title story but the old school guys don’t want to be left out. Shout outs to Shrek, Madagascar, Up, Rango, Lion King, the Barbie movie collection, awwwwww Frozen! This was another great and memorable one. Let it go still plays in households and there times my ears pick it up and the excitement is still as new. But of course the message is strong. At times we hold on too much, while trying not to hurt/offend others, yet we hurt/offend them in the process of trying not to hurt/offend them. The best way to make people around you happier is to stop trying to please them and take care of you. The happier you are as a person, so will those around you be.

Let it go!

A few lines from the song say;

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all!

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me. I’m free!

Let it go, let it go

Then there is Toy Story, Sinbad, the fairy tales like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast; I could go on and on.

Now it’s time for my current favorite guy, Boss Baby. This lil man has been making my days since I first watched the movie. I cannot tire of re-watching him. We all know babies are so bossy by nature; they demand what they want and will scream your ears off if it is not granted. But there is another irony to this story, one that shows the other side of humans, especially those who hold a certain degree of authority. And am talking about authority on all platforms. Church, in families and of course the most loved ones; the politicians. But even more importantly, YOU and me. We all, to a certain degree, are authority figures and we have those people we push around, just because we can. But here is why I say so.

Let’s face it, when babies arrive, so much changes. Parents shift their attention from the existing toddlers to the new born, schedules change; and I mean for everyone. Panic when they won’t stop crying. Everything is re-organised to accommodate them. And so was the case in this story, except that this time, we have a baby in a suit and he talks. He is actually a high profile fellow on undercover business. Of course, they eliminate the gruesome task of birth and create a factory for babies that we all at one point believed was a real place as kids. At least, I did. Mummy couldn’t answer my question of where babies come from until much later in my young life.

Boss Baby is a whinny needy little person one moment and the next finds him shouting orders and delegating tasks. I honestly thought about our members of Parliament while watching this. Those moments when; they received tablets like a baby is given gifts, when they are demanding an increment in their perks like salary, new cars, etc, whining about it like life depends on it, to delegating their work to assistants while they take breaks somewhere in the name of a retreat of sorts. They are still being fed and when you inquire about work, they are too busy delegating. They won’t lift a finger. Of course the blame never falls on them but on the “government” like they are not part of it.

It’s not just them, though. It’s all of us. From men who hired their wives to run the home. They are busy delegating when they are hanging out with a woman who is not their wife but expect a faithful submissive wife when they get back home. Or when he follows his dreams, leaving the wife to give up all of hers but she is still expected to be excited about life and being a wife, motherhood and all. To employers who would rather fire you, than know you have something else going on for you outside of work. I have seen a teacher punish one little girl for wearing trousers during holidays. Not at school or to any school activity but during her time away from school, with her family. We also have friends who will boss you around like it supposed to make you famous.

Boss Baby was an entertaining story for me. But the person I am couldn’t help but notice how we abuse authority just because we can. And the things we will do when we feel threatened. We become masters of disguise. True story! One will destroy an innocent life should they feel threatened. Puppies were taking over the world and more people were opting to get a dog than have a child, which did not appeal to Baby Corps and they did what they had to do. In the process, threatened one little boy’s relationship with his parents as an only child and also endangered the parents’ lives. We will do so much to get away with guilt.

The plight of the human race is somewhat highlighted in this movie and I recommend that you watch it and please, do share your reviews.

#BreakingLymyts

 

 

Blessed Assurance

On my knees, I sing;

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Faith like a child’s is so hard to maintain the older you grow, because the needless worry about things of this world takes over your being like the wave of the ocean slapping against the rocks laid across it’s shores. It comes with a force you’re not prepared for and could sweep you into the unknown depths of the ocean if you’re not strongly rooted where you stand.

Much as we all want it to be smooth for us, life is not meant to be easy. It is meant to be lived and some times will be good, other times rough. And through all this, only one thing can keep us on our feet, pushing on toward that ray of hope in the distance, and that is FAITH! Faith in the Lord Jesus or whatever higher power you believe in.

I am not a preacher but I believe in the saving love of Christ. That His Cross is a blessed assurance of love and mercy for me. Mehn! There have been moments when all the strength I have left is to give it all up to Him who understands what I feel like no other person ever will.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;

Faith, like every other thing in one’s life also has seasons. (Especially if your living a typically normal life like mine.)

The first season is when you’re a child. You have complete trust in the powers above to make everything alright for you. The powers above are represented by God, as you are told and your parents. You just have to ask and you will receive or a gentle explanation is given if they cannot cater to your needs. But your faith in this season is unwavering. You’re totally rooted and nothing can shake you. You can even comfortably threaten a bully in your dad’s name because you know he will defend you.

Then comes the young adulthood season; from your mid teens and stretches to your mid-twenties. You’re discovering things, emotions and learning about consequences. Your wild at heart and do not want to hold back, but the pain associated with making wrong choices and disobedience of advice from those who know better gets to you. Even the lack of advice at all. Then you begin to question your faith in God and your parents, the powers above are no longer that reliable. They are letting you face the storm and you strongly feel it’s unfair. You begin to re-distribute your faith. You put it in friends and other people who are appealing to you, you begin to trust in material things because you feel like to conquer and have a name among your peers is what matters. All meaning of life gets distorted and you sink further and without a strong hand to keep you in check, you get lost completely. But at the back of your mind, you remember the faith your parents taught you and you struggle with sticking to it or finding your own path, after all, it worked or even still works for them like it did for you back in the day.

Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Then comes the season of adulthood and responsibilities. You either return to the faith you knew as a child and rekindle your relationship with the Lord or find a new path you believe will make life more meaningful. Bottom line, you take the path that gives you strength, because at this stage you have realized the mistakes of your youth and can now see the bigger picture and desire to live up to your life’s purpose according to the will of the Lord. You’re more intentional now; you lose some friends and make new ones because of what they represent for you and what value they add to your life. And as you de-clutter your spiritual life, the right people start to come along. They become the angels sent by God to give you guidance and remind you of how much you are loved. In them you find the mercy promised by God and you feel blessed and each day become more grateful for the gift of life.

I have friends who despite the distance between us, have become a daily source of spiritual nourishment. Through daily devotion and scripture readings, they have continued to remind me that all hope is not lost. There are movies that have shown me that my prayer strategy is lacking and through the story line you see how to fight the battles of this world the right way. War Room is one I recommend for all to watch.

What you choose to believe can either bless you or doom you. If your faith tells you that your way is the right way and others are wrong, you better think twice. We are all different and what works for you may not work for the other. We have divided the Lord basing on our human beliefs and this has in turn divided us as His people. We, therefore, have to look beyond what we think is right or wrong and live in Christ unconditionally. Like one song by Rhonda Vincent says;

There are many people, who will say they’re Christians
And they live like Christians on the Sabbath day
But come Monday morning, till the coming Sunday
They will fight their neighbor all along the way

Oh you don’t love God
If you don’t love your neighbor
If you gossip about him, if you never have mercy
If he gets into trouble, and you don’t try to help him
Then you don’t love your neighbor
And you don’t love God

We ought to pray for each other because we are not meant to change the other but lead by example. Jesus did not force any one to change who they were to love Him. He loved us all unconditionally and we saw by His example a worthy way of life, one that will guarantee us eternal life. But not all will believe. He was hanged by non-believers, and by fighting them today or trying to win them over doesn’t guarantee they will truly love Him. Best we can do is love them and forgive those who insult our faith and pray for them.

Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,

Last week, I buried my aunt. And during her funeral service, the one thing that stood out was her strong faith in the Lord. And as the priest delivered his homily, he said that “we did not choose to come into this world and neither can we choose when to leave. Life therefore, is a gift we must appreciate regardless of the challenges we face”. Aunt battled cancer and despite all, she emerged a victor.

I pray that going forward, the season of a renewed love for God grows stronger and that all desires, decisions and choices are made in the Lord. For He only can bring us true joy, peace and satisfaction.

We each have our spiritual foundation and mine is in the Catholic faith, many have persuaded me to change that but it is as good as asking me to give up my identity because someone said so. It is through the Catholic church that I know Christ and honor Him through the sacraments. I will not persuade anyone to change to ‘my’ church, because first its not mine but Christ’s church and I had rather love them for who they are. They are God’s amazing and unique creation. And if something about me draws them closer to the Lord, I pray they recognize Him and not wander far and wide trying to find Him. For me He is always in the Blessed Sacrament, and His mercy, providence and love manifest through my neighbors. I have seen His grace and experienced His love in my daily moments of need. Some look for miracles to see him, some look for other people they believe are anointed to experience the love of God. I believe we all have seen the Lord but we did not recognize him because we have put a limit to who He is for us.

Let’s open our hearts to His Blessed Assurance that we will see Him, that he walks with us everyday and that whatsoever we do to the least of our neighbors, we have done unto the Lord. We are all created in the likeness of God, and we should pray for the grace to see the Lord in each other and be Heaven’s ambassador to those around us.

Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

I rejoice for the Lord is so good to me. His mercy is unending and His love sustains me. May I always recognize His hand in all my life even when all seems dark and low. I pray for all creation, and especially for the human race, that we may all recognize each other as brothers and sisters and live as one in God.

Amen.

 

Nothing

Listening to the only total Country radio station in Uganda, 92.7 BOB FM the other day, and a love song came on in which the singer was apologizing to a woman he loves but had previously cheated on. And he says to her, somewhere in the second verse of the song that; I quote,

“…she(the other woman) meant nothing to me….”.

For some reason that line stayed with me. It’s actually haunted me and the implication of that phrase is weighing heavily on my heart. I thought of the one who broke my heart and wondered if he told the one he left me for that I meant nothing, if at all she knows about me anyway. I thought of what it really means for a man to say to me that another woman, one he actually lay with and enjoyed it, meant nothing to him. She is a woman, and could have given of herself so lovingly, only to be seen as nothing. I wondered to whom else I meant nothing. And how many women out there mean nothing to any given man.

My mind is racing back and forth over this and it has honestly made me question all the relationships I presently have with the male species. From a brother, to a distant relative, to friends and acquaintances. To all who have told me I am beautiful, those who have kissed me or merely intended to have something with me, but somehow never followed through, was it because I meant nothing?

How many other women out there have been hurt because they meant nothing to someone they truly cared for?

On what basis does a man decide that a woman means nothing? And vice versa.

I know there are men out there who have had their hearts broken too by a woman who didn’t really give serious thought to their confession of love. I can think of a few in my past life, some I thought were joking, one thought I would let him leave a woman he had just had a child with just because he feels he loves me. No! I could have been that woman, you know, so I never allowed it. But seriously, any sane woman should never allow herself to come between another couple. No matter what he says or does. We all meet that someone, the attraction is unmistakable but they are taken, and nevertheless, you get tempted and lust gets the better of you. The best you can do for yourself is to walk away and stay away from such a man or woman. Run, run, run.

Relationships are diverse and can be complicated but this is only as far as we let them go. I have learned that we could be straight forward, communicate well with the other person, say what we really feel and all works out well, or we can let fear and high expectations take the wheel and drive our relationships to whatever destination they choose, if they don’t completely make you miss out because you’re afraid to reach out to the other person or totally miscommunicate your intention and lose them.

We have all had a bumpy relationship with someone, be it a family member or a friend or a significant other. The choice is really ours, whether we realize it or not. I have heard people shift blame in regard to this. Some say it is the role of the woman to make a relationship work, which makes me wonder what the man’s role is. If the woman is to make it work, why then shouldn’t she call all the shots? You know, the man takes her name, she gives the orders and he obeys, etc. After all, she lately also has to fend for the household. In a family setting, the younger one is expected to bow to the elder one and they almost always have no say and that is expected to be a fun arrangement that will inspire love and friendship? I don’t think so.

All that said, I do not believe anyone can mean nothing at all. The mere fact that you were attracted to them in anyway makes them something. Therefore, while someone gets your attention, it is okay to tell them but you ought to be very clear about your intentions. A misguided attraction can be dangerous. And if you should relate with the other person, especially for a significant other, do it right. Like a house, build the relationship from the foundation, and along the way, apply the strongest materials to keep it grounded and make it long lasting.

Many times we start relationships for the wrong reasons. I have had men approach me to have children for them and I wondered if I cannot have children, what happens to me then? They leave me for another? Others have wanted me to be their wife to cook and wash and clean, what if I have poor health and cannot do the chores, do I become nothing?

The reason why you choose to relate with someone is important. I have seen stories on the big screen and read some in books, even heard many successful people and life coaches emphasize that a strong WHY is the only fuel for anything to work. Your WHY has to be strong enough to keep you going even when everything seems hopeless.

I am not certified or experienced enough to comment further on this subject and I have only come this far writing because I must reach one thousand words, but the heaviness triggered by the lyrics of that song is one I have personally decided to correct, at least for myself.

I am in this moment reviewing all the relationships I have, especially with the male species and feel so determined to right what feels out of place. To make my intentions clear. And to love unconditionally those I cannot get rid off , like family. And for the friends I will choose to keep, it will be for the right reasons, the WHY has to be clear and they should know about it too. And should they not agree, I will be flexible to re-negotiate the terms without compromising my values and belief system.

With family and my lady friends, the WHY has to be clear as well. And unconditional love will be what I offer, because I want it for myself. I know what it feels like to find yourself standing alone yet there are so many people in your life. But because you are misunderstood and misjudged, reduced to feel like nothing, you dare not reach out. I once read about how to love more by caring less, and the concept defined in that article applies for me. I will put it to use for the sake of loving my people unconditionally.

God forbid the day I will call someone, anyone, NOTHING.

 

 

 

My Obsessions: Travelling

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

God knows this is one of my favorite activities in life. In one word; Adventure. I like to see new places, hear new languages and relate with new people. I love my homeland, so much but there is something knowledge of another world adds to your life, a sort of flavor, just like curry and salt do to what would have been plain soup. Or polka dots on what would have  been a plain cloth; and mix the colors up. Will ya?

Like everyone else, I have a dream destination. The day I will set foot in Venice, Italy, the world will know what ecstatic really is. A dear friend and mentor, Dr.Sabrina Kitaka did me a major injustice during her recent visit to this heavenly city by updating me constantly on the sights and sounds she was experiencing. My imagination never fails me, all I had seen there was coming to life on my phone as I played and replayed the videos and re-viewed the pictures. Am very grateful that she did though, it just lit the fire even brighter for this dream to be a reality. I just told God that this has to happen for me before He calls me home. He is my father, He has to understand what this means to me.

Amen! Thank you, Lord.

“You don’t have to be rich to travel well.” – Eugene Fodor

In Uganda, those who travel are seen as very privileged. Whether it’s for work; where they most times see nothing more than their hotel room and conference venue, or pleasure. Now those who travel for pleasure are super privileged. Don’t even talk about those who get to live abroad. Well, there is a disclaimer for that. These things are making me appreciate my homeland and love it even more. I wouldn’t have known, had I not broken the border barriers between my homeland and the other worlds. Now this may make you think I have traveled far and wide, on the contrary. I have so far only visited our neighbors to the East and South West; namely Kenya and Rwanda in case your Geography is on leave right now. But it’s just the beginning, there are more borders calling me to cross them, and I will.

So many great people have talked about the benefits of travelling and just a few have been quoted in this particular article, starting with the opening quote. But more importantly, we have all witnessed how privileged those who have traveled are. Leave alone your fellow villagers being all over for having visited a great city like London. I mean privileges in knowledge and understanding. You just know so much more than the average person when you travel. From how to make use of technologies around you, understanding rules and guidelines, and also a first hand awareness of what many don’t know. It could be as small as being comfortable in a lift, yet others still throw their insides up just by sitting in a moving vehicle.

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

When you experience new cultures and interact with different worlds, you are humbled beyond kings and entire royal courts, because you realize how much bigger the world is and that you are just a small portion of the larger whole. You realize that you are not the best at anything, that there is more. And this encourages you to dream bigger and aim higher in life because the potential to grow is magnified when you see what has been achieved out there.

“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark

In your usual world, you know what to expect when you open your eyes, when you step outside the door, and you pretty much can tell what the day will be like until your back to bed at night. But in a strange town, a new place your visiting, the moment you open your eyes and realize it’s not your usual environment, your curiosity is awakened. You get anxious and yet are excited to experience a whole new world. You literally step out into that new town cautiously because you don’t know what to expect but most importantly, you are aware of your surroundings like never before. You are truly alive and awake. Taking in every sight, living every moment as it comes. It’s exciting. On my first visit to Nairobi, I took the night bus, and daylight broke with a view of the beautiful rift valley lake Nakuru in the distance. It was a breathtaking sight. I did not blink for the remainder of the journey to Nairobi. Everything was new, and I wanted to know all about it. Here at home, I could easily use the same street for months without ever noticing a shop or landmark lying there in the open. Do not be surprised when you ask someone the name of a building in town and they do not know it yet the pass it everyday. Yet they will be completely aware of where they are in strange town.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

I love Kigali, because I found it so peaceful. Just how I like to unwind and relax everyday. Something about this city that just gives me a peace like none I know back home. I cant explain. But of course my beautiful friends just make it all worthwhile. I cannot wait to go back there.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

We have so much out there waiting for us to discover it and all we have to do it set out and see it all. I am guilty of not visiting the major tourist sites in Uganda and I have already started organizing for this mighty trip around the country. And I will have plenty stories to share with you.

Otherwise, do not confine yourself to just one world, get out there and see more of God’s creation. I see people comment wrongly about things they have never experienced, people they have never met and places they have never been to. While you may feel cool amongst your peers, you are just a big fool for commenting ignorantly about anything. Go there first and talk with facts, then you have authority to talk. And thus, I will leave you with this quote, which is my goal going forward;

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Anonymous

 

we need more heroes doing some self-sacrifice to save other people’s lives in Uganda

This is so heartbreaking. We all need to take action to better the service quality in our country.

scare-a-hero

UCI Building Photo from http://socialjusticeblog.kweeta.com/

OVER the last couple of weeks Uganda has talked a lot about the deaths of two celebrities, and the sensationalism around their passing.

Over coffee with the BBCs Alan Kasujja and Kinetic’s Cedric Ndilima this week, they pointed at the front page of Daily Monitor that day and their lead story about the death of Simon Ekongo (22).

My eyes were first drawn to the part of the caption that read, “Simon died at the weekend…” which caused me some mild anxiety for obvious reasons. 

Then I imagined the acute anxiety of the people who are actually related to Simon, and changed perspective because of the reality they were facing.

I have said a prayer for Simon Ekongo, and hope his soul Rests In Peace, and that his family finds solace at this trying time.

The comment about Simon Ekongo that caught me was: “See how this story…

View original post 1,031 more words

A Noble Vocation

TeachingQ4

It goes without saying that teaching is one of the most noble of life’s vocations, yet it is one of the least appreciated professions worldwide, and even worse, the least rewarded.

“Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me.” ~ A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

In Uganda, out of all the registered teachers, I think only 10% are really passionate about teaching as their profession and give it their all. The rest are motivated by something else, or have settled into teaching because they were unable to achieve their intended career goal. This is either because they could not afford the tuition fees for higher education, which would guarantee a better career or they didn’t pass well enough to qualify for their intended course in an institute of higher education. Worse still, the culture to stretch beyond the visible obstacles is still alien to us. This has left our schools with the poorest quality of teachers, which in turn has affected the quality of our education system. In the end, it has only bred half baked graduates with no vision, motivation or the zeal to work, because all they have seen through school, was a bunch of older people who settled for less and have no push whatsoever to aim higher in life, an example that the youngsters embrace as the norm.

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.”  ~Lily Tomlin as Edith Ann

In 2015, I visited my former school, where I spent the entire six years of my secondary education and was shocked to find that not only has the school environment deteriorated, but the same teachers I had left there nine years back, were still the same. They had never advanced in any aspect of their lives, personal or professionally. I returned later the same year with a friend of mine, a motivational speaker and sales expert, who shared his story and how he had risen above multiple setbacks to achieve his best life yet. At the end of the short session, many had reformed in their hearts to start taking action and indeed, a week later, the Headmaster called to share a testimony. One of the teachers who was well known as a drunkard had abandoned the bad habit and was now helping his wife start a small business, something he had previously banned her form doing. I am still following up with him. We will be going back for another thorough session this year.

I have visited several schools, giving talks to students mainly, but I couldn’t help but notice that the most important person in this picture is the teacher. And we always left them out. I could easily waste a full hour pumping the children with career guidance but should the teacher walk in after me and tell them to abandon it or lose their marks, my message will be long forgotten. Because he/she holds the power, and in my opinion, I would achieve twice as much if I engaged the teacher instead.

“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” ~ Albert Einstein

Parents have also continued to entrust the grooming of their children to teachers, with some being bold enough to put a child as young as three years old in a boarding school. This has also caused an imbalance as to what the actual duty of a teacher is. A child in kindergarten requires special care and attention, because they are learning everything for the first time, but these teachers, being torn between teaching and baby sitting tens and sometimes hundreds of children at once, cannot accord each child enough attention as they deserve. In the end, the teacher is spread thin and comes off as uncaring, and very tough on the innocent babies. Such a child will never know real love and care and this affects their development, which in the end creates a huge gap in that entire generation and their offspring, because they will do the same when they become  parents. That is what they know, and therefore, cannot start to raise a family themselves.

A popular saying “Charity begins at home” summarises the above point. We pass on what we know, what we were taught at home and if that teacher didn’t experience as much care and love growing up, they will in turn not give it as adequately as it is needed. And the trend continues, just like the quote below says;

TeachingQ2

We are all teachers, just in case you were looking at it as something unrelated to you. No matter how old you are, you have something to teach somebody. Even a new born baby teaches a great deal to its parents like patience, unconditional love; (no matter how much it poops or pees in your face, you will still love that baby. Haha). So we all have to embrace that God-given grace. And now you might wonder what the the benefit of being a teacher is, especially in our setting here in Uganda. But I believe there are multiple benefits, some I may not know myself. I am still investigating/researching/digging up more information on this, and will gladly share at a future date.

“To teach is to learn twice over.”~ Joseph Joubert

This quote sums up why teaching is an amazing vocation. It reaps twice as much. But to earn the benefits, you must be fully invested as a person. You must have the love for learning and a hunger for personal improvement every single day. But unfortunately, the teachers we have in our schools do not read beyond what they teach in class, which is also a repeat of the same information year in, year out. Something I would rather they challenged, because they have the power to do so. You’re all contributing to the same nation, I don’t see why one school should shine while another is shunned. And this brings me to the point of sharing thoughts on what a teacher should be doing to make their job more fun and rewarding for themselves first and then, (especially) their students.

  • Self Improvement

“If a man is to shed the light of the sun upon other men, he must first of all have it within himself.” ~ Romain Rolland

Oprah Winfrey once commented that if you are not full, then you cannot give’. This was after she had been struggling with being referred to repeatedly as so full of herself, something we’ve always found somewhat offensive ( in our society). Well, now you know its actually a good thing. And similarly, I believe that if you are giving the same thing to everybody year in, year out, then you have nothing worthy of sharing anymore. Which is where our teachers stand today. The same syllabus I was taught in high school, is still the same they are teaching today, despite the immeasurable change in trends that has happened over the ten years since I left high school. What value are they adding, if I may ask? Every week I see a post on social media about the subjects people say were a waste of their time in school because they now find them inapplicable.

I challenge the teachers to invest in themselves. If you started your career with a diploma, upgrade to a Bachelors degree and beyond. Step out of your comfort zone and say, take a course in public speaking, after all, that’s how teaching is mainly delivered. Pick up book on a subject other than what you teach. Many teachers of English and Literature have never read a book that is not on the syllabus, let alone about anything else. You could take an interest in Conflict resolution, read widely about it and practice what you learn. Who knows, you could be the consultant on such issues in your area and these days, almost everything makes money. be an expert at something or two or three. You just have to know how to apply it right.

Know something outside your profession that will push you beyond mediocrity. Have a mentor and meet with them regularly. And equally mentor someone else other than your students. It’s all about you and how great you are. That’s where your money is.

  • Exemplary leadership

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”  ~ William Arthur Ward

It is a common thing in our country that the leaders do the opposite of the rules and regulations they impose on others. A sick trend, I must say. No matter your position, you have those who follow you and look up to you and cannot afford to sell yourself short. This begins with how lead yourself.

Do you keep time? Do you respect the rules and regulations and the law? Do you dress appropriately? How about your speech? Is your message something the students and fellow teachers look forward to? Or the one everyone dreads listening to because you will leave their spirit wounded? Your influence runs deep,and therefore, taking your place at an assembly and calling students names is unforgivable because you are duplicating yourself right there and then. We played those games, mimicking teachers and trying to act like them, and those who ended up in that profession, act the exact same way, as if it was never distasteful for them too. How exemplary!

So, you want your school to excel? It starts with you. Have a vision beyond the students passing. What kind of influence do you want your students to have when they get out there tomorrow? Or is it about bringing you an A, your school’s name making headlines, and tomorrow that ‘A student’ doesn’t amount to anything in their life? What matters the most? I believe producing students whose values and character has been groomed right is a far better achievement than all As. But guess what? While you groom their character to make a lasting impact, they will deliver on the marks automatically. Because you have instilled in them excellence, given them a vision and set them for the future.

You will be remembered forever.

  • Ambition

“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.” ~ Stephen King

What ignites you as an individual? You ought to have it. Do you love art, and maybe even teach it? Then create masterpieces and share them with the world. Is it Physics, what are you inventing? Bottom line, shine in another field. Your students will be inspired by your ambition to succeed beyond the classroom. Maybe like me, you love to write. What do you like to write about? Share it with the world. For some it could be sports, let it drive you and participate in as many tournaments as you can, involve your students as well, it is very motivating for them.

It’s very mind blowing how we have teachers of Geography and History, among other subjects, who have never visited the historical or geographical sites they teach about. Not even those in a neighboring district or village. And I wonder, if I, the student, visited one of those sites and what your telling me in class doesn’t match what I saw or in the exam, I write down exactly what the historical/geographical site looks like in present day, will I have failed your test? It really pays forward for you to check out what you teach in class and confirm its relevance or see how it can be reformed or updated.

Reach for more and your students will shine even brighter, because you inspire them.

  • Innovation

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ~ Phil Collins

In addition to having that ambition, let it fuel your innovative side. You have the freshest and most creative minds in your classrooms, all it takes is a great idea and your encouragement and they will pour themselves into it and before you know it, something new is invented. It is called positive engagement. Our curriculum is too theoretical for our own good and we need to get more hands on. We have the best minds on paper but when it comes to implementation, we lag far behind. Why not have activities as a school that will fuel your students excellence beyond the normal passing of UNEB papers?

Have healthy competitions for your students. Team up with other schools in the region and create amazing results. Fuel the change we need as a country, it starts with you. You have the ability to expose your students to the most amazing minds and ideas. They too are very talented, bring it out of them and forge partnerships that will give them a platform to grow. You could get that child employed in that moment and set for life, because you saw their gift or talent early enough.

I recently learnt about exchange programs, these can be arranged for both teachers and students, starting with other schools that are currently better to mentor you and also pick one school to mentor. eventually, you can spread your wings to other countries and continents. Like I mentioned earlier, you are all contributing to the same human capital market, why not join arms and make the country proud?

This is my contribution to the start of a revolution that will take us to the top, I sure hope you the reader will add your voice.

  • Hobbies

When our students fail, we, as teachers, too, have failed.” ~ Marva Collins

I have emphasized that you ought to shine in other field. It starts with your hobbies. I understand this is an area that is so underrated in our society. Hobbies are suppressed so much because they are that; hobbies, things you do in your free time. Yet some of the most paying professions today are more or less hobbies. From sports, to fashion, to medicine, everywhere. So do not overlook yours and especially those of your students.

I have a serious grudge with schools today, for over pumping the students with class work and almost no fun time. My niece told me last night that I may not see her at home again until December when she finishes her final exams because she is in a candidate class. I looked at her and couldn’t imagine being in her place. She has a pretty tight reading schedule while at home, and we force her out to have some fun and relax. What will happen over the next six months of total seriousness and no break? And the school has nothing majorly exciting that you could say will help the students balance their books with sanity. I am really worried for them. And this is because the teachers themselves have no hobbies to look forward to.

It’s important to have hobbies. My love for reading earns me money as an editor. What if I had ignored it? You too have something that makes you happy and could make you money as well. Music is one of those. A sport keeps you healthy and helping others stay healthy will pay you too. The ball is in your court. Make your life exciting, because it has a direct impact on what becomes of your students.

Travel and see new cultures, then come back and tell your students about your adventures. Document them and share with their parents and explain the benefits of the parents doing the same with their children. Challenge what you studied and what you teach. I want to go back and ask my teacher of Geography if he has ever been to New York and Canada. He taught me about those places. How about the Rift Valley of East Africa or Fort Jesus in Mombasa? Huh? It is a challenge on every single person. Be more than you are now and everyday. I shared on this in my article Love to ‘Be More’.

It will transform your life and that of those around you.

  • Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

“Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.” ~ Solomon Ortiz

I cannot emphasize this enough. You just cannot stop learning as a teacher. You have to sharpen your curiosity. You have to constantly be feeding your mind and heart with new knowledge.

Read, read, read and read.

Travel! Travel far and wide. Many opportunities exist to make this easier and cheaper.

Be curious. Be creative. Love your students and bring out the best in them.

I could go on and on about this subject. And I will take more action on empowering the teachers in my beloved country. I just started.

#BreakingLymyts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puzzles of Life

As I ironed my outfit for today, my niece told me a story about her friend whom they left at school. She had to stay there while the rest of them went home for the two weeks school break because her father was punishing her for hanging out with boys at her former(mixed) school. I am also told that she is one really pretty girl. Clearly, the boys aren’t blind and let’s also keep in mind that she is a teenager. Both boys and girls are human, children of God and destined to start families of their own, they should be shown how to relate with each other, right?  I find this punishment unrealistic and rather appalling.

I was not there, and therefore, cannot defend her. I do not even know her name. I probably never will. But honestly, what crime did she commit here? If anything, her father and family should be happy that she is a very desirable young lady and ought to start grooming her on how to respect herself and not fall for the little excitement that comes with being a teenager, especially when boys start hitting on her. They ought to seize the opportunity to teach her how to aim higher in life. It really shocks me why the world is against what God himself created. He did not create male and female for it to be a taboo. We are meant to relate, everyday, because we need each other’s strengths. Intimacy comes in only at a time when we have matured, something our seniors refuse to talk to us about but rather have created such unacceptable beliefs and stereotypes around it.  This only builds a surge of curiosity and guess what excites teenagers? That’s right; curiosity. The same parents who lock you up so that you do not relate with friends, especially those of the opposite sex, are the same ones who will harass you if you do not find a spouse as soon as possible. Girls suffer this injustice more.

The boys are, mostly, not held back from relating with girls but they also experience stereotypes connected to this kind of relationship. They are not taught how honorable it is to be in the presence of a woman or how to respect and treat a lady right, and so they do whatever they please, cowardly, behind closed doors. And guess who gets punished? Yes, the girl. The girl is told about what a privilege it is to be desired by a male, and she is told all sorts of things that are exclusively meant to please the male. And the boy? All he knows most of the time, is that the woman is meant to serve him. Boys and girls should be allowed to relate, so that the limits are made clearer for them.

This is worse in schools. Secondary(high) schools especially. I love teachers, and passionately so. My parents are teachers by profession, and they provided for me that way. But visit any secondary school and see how the teachers treat the students. It appears to me sometimes that what they are taught is that the children in your care are the worst of their kind and don’t deserve a shred of inspiration or grooming for the next life. It is in secondary schools, that a headteacher, who ought to be a true leader, will stand in front of a class and call all the kids fools, abusing them till they feel worse than worthless, while at the same time expecting them to excel academically like they are most inspired lot. I remember my high school days vividly. I wasn’t particularly picked on for bad behavior, well, partly because I did my best to steer clear, but it was the most uninspiring phase of my life. I only looked forward to leaving school but with no proper goal to aim for. I was in a mixed school and, therefore, had male friends. After class hours, we would obviously mingle and talk about things teenagers like to talk about. And very naturally too, you will always warm up to a particular individual of the opposite sex. And as if they were never your age, or particularly because they were, the teachers would harass you for being human. They had all the sneaky tricks, praying they would find an unsuspecting couple and pounce on them with all the tiger they had sleeping inside them. They prey on your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, anything on you can be used against you. At least, that’s how the student sees it. And it matters how they see it by the way, because it influences so much about their choices.

What I will never forget, is how much hate you felt in every corner at school. It always felt like the teachers were there not to add value to your life but make it as miserable as it can get. I had friends who were beaten every single day. We had teachers dedicated to spying on your every move. And did you ever notice that they rarely have a good report for your parents or guardians? Even worse if they felt any slight distrust for you from your parent/guardian, they would fuel that fire like their job depended on it. And because of all this, plus I am older and wiser than back then, I do not agree with the whole idea of punishing kids for relating with each other. After all, they live in a shared space called EARTH! If anything, every adult should be dedicated to helping a teenager make it through that phase without major hiccups.

At this point, I want to share a few thoughts on leadership for a parent, teacher or anyone older than a teenager on how I believe we should relate with, work with and groom them in this day and age, where we think they are difficult and/or complicated. What am sharing is based on my own experiences and how I felt about them and especially what I think would have been a better way to relate with my teenage self. Plus all that I have learned from my interactions with parents, students and all the wisdom I have read about parenting. And most importantly, what my faith as a believer in Christ Jesus has inspired in me, as I have teenagers in my care at the moment. Bear in mind that there are extremes but we all think differently. Feel free to disagree with me. But this is what I believe.

Parents

“Children are like wet cement, whatever falls on them leaves a mark.” ~ Dr. Haim Ginott

You should be your child’s number one fan, because your their biggest influence. Do not wish they were any different or compare them to someone else’s child or any of their siblings. Do not even compare them to yourself. This does not only kill their self esteem but it cripples them forever in ways you will never foresee and the effects are most evident when they start their adult life. In the workplace, in their relationships and/or marriage. It is visible in the smallest things like a decision about what to wear. There are days one adorns the worst outfit not because they lack a sense of fashion but because they were never encouraged to look their best or were always scolded for trying to look different from others. The results are always disliked by you, as a parent, but truth is, you are only reaping what you sowed.

And the best you can do for your child especially when they become teenagers, is not to suppress them or try to control and oppose their every move and choice. But rather show them that they have your support. At this stage, they are in formation for the adult you will either like or dislike. Let them blossom and create for them an environment where they can express themselves freely, especially to you, so that you can see where to encourage or advise accordingly. But do not impose your beliefs on them. These beliefs may have worked for you but this child is a completely different person, who does not have to be like you but rather themselves. And it is your job to nurture that in them.

Help them realize and release their gifts and talents. Connect them to the people with whom and places where they can be positively inspired and motivated to make the right choices. But even more importantly, do all these for yourself first, for them to learn that there is more to life than just what they see now. It is this vision that will set the bar for them. You can only try to control someone, even a child, when you have nothing better for yourself to do. But if they see that you’re about more than them, especially for yourself, they too will start thinking bigger, beyond where they are now.

Parents have a tendency to pause certain aspects of development in their children’s lives,  and unknowingly causing damage. I have experienced this personally and are grateful that I met the right people to set the record straight for me in time. I am talking about preventing your child from participating in extra curricular activities because you think it is disruptive for their academic life. It is not about academics, school is just a stepping stone to where that person will end up and where they end up is determined by the activities they partake in today, in their young life. Be it sports, music, fashion, anything that excites them and motivates them to invest their mind and skills. It is never too early to start. That goes for lessons about money too, let them start making money. Try building a business. This will benefit you more because they will see early enough how hard it is to make the money and will not waste yours. Most parents who complain that their children are ungrateful and do not know how hard it is to raise them, usually have not involved them in how they make a living. And if you don’t know where something comes from, you will abuse it. It is only natural.

Be their first inspiration, their first role model, because your their first mentor, example and life coach. Let it be your goal to show them that life is more than what your given, it is what you create and it is okay to reach beyond the ordinary. Teach them that to be different and more ambitious is more rewarding than settling for the usual. Show them that the best solutions are still unknown and that they should be as innovative as God has gifted them to be. Do not delegate this to anyone else. Your busy schedule is just a lame excuse, no matter how well you try to argue around it. Be there for your children.

Teachers

Your the second parent, and should aim to be as inspiring as you can be for every single child. One thing a teacher gets wrong, is thinking all children are the same and treating them that way. See each child for who they are and help them accordingly. It may seem like a lot of work, but when they come back to thank you and/or do something unexpected for you, it is the greatest reward you could ever ask for.

You are not teaching them to pass today, you are preparing them to handle tomorrow. So much as you expect the academic results today, help them nurture a vision for tomorrow. And like the parent, invest in your own vision. Read beyond what you teach in class, develop your self as a person and pass it on to them. You have the power to build or destroy a nation, make use use of this golden chance God gave you positively. It doesn’t matter where a child comes from, because if you believe in them, you have changed the world. Who knows if they are the future world leader, huh?

Travel!!!! Please step out of that classroom and see the world. In Uganda, this is something teachers do not do. Your teaching children from wealthier and/or more exposed families. While you stick to the old syllabus, they are visiting the historical sights during holidays and taking note of the changes, and when they challenge you by sharing their experience, you will be angry and hurt the child either physically punishing or emotionally by saying what you could avoided. This only makes them withdraw because they are not sure if it is allowed to contribute. Later in life, it is a major issue because they cannot participate and actively be involved in discussions and decision making, for fear of being wrong.

Have the courage to question the relevance of what you teach. Does it still apply? Would it make a difference for you if you were the student? Lead the reforms in the system, what doesn’t apply should be updated. Why not let it start with with you? Who said you have to stick to the old and obsolete methods when you are smart enough to create new trends?

More will be shared on how you can be a teacher to remember, in one of my next articles.

Elders at large

In this category are the on-lookers who talk and gossip or even worse try to act like the parent they are not. You do not have the right to judge anyone and/or paint a bad picture of them. This is especially the children, the teenagers. Should you notice something wrong a child is doing, call them aside (if they know you too) and advise them accordingly but never get physical. If your first admonishing is ignored, approach the parent. There is a limit. If ignored, you have done your part. Let it go. Do not make it the talk of the town about so and so’s child.

Be one who prays and defends families. Advocate for positive influence in the lives of children. Contribute to a worthy environment to raise teenagers in. Engage parents where you see a gap and encourage them. Some are struggling quietly, which is seen in their children’s behavior. Pay attention and you will see where the problem is and offer a solution or find who can. Teenagers’ behavior is only a mirror of the environment they live in. If you do not like it, address the issue but do not just talk about it in the sidelines.

We all have to come together to build our nation and it begins with your family and the one next door. Work together, you too are inspiring to a certain child. Be the best version of yourself always.

Conclusion

We all want to see everything running smoothly. Systems that work, children who are obedient and leadership that delivers. But it all begins with us, how we respond to calls to duty, respecting the law and our fellow man, and how we live as a family.

How you choose to punish or rewa a child will either draw you closer or far apart as a family. I don’t believe this girl had to literally be disowned to make a point. All she needed was to be shown that there is a better and more respectful way to handle herself at school. And given reasons why, in order to inspire in her the best of discipline and character. I believe she feels hated and rejected and will fall for the first person to make her feel loved. God forbid if it is a selfish man, especially a teacher at that school. I will honestly hate to hear that she was taken advantage of because she wanted to feel loved and cared for.

Love your children unconditionally, not only when they display good behavior or a good report card.

#BreakingLymyts