Moving On to Routine

So… I have to admit that since my last post On Discipline, embracing discipline hasn’t been going so well. In fact, I think that right after I made the resolution to face discipline head-on, I got a little sidetracked.

I got sidetracked on a brief journey of the self, trying to ascertain once and for all what my personality type is. I got some answers but for now its all still tentative. Perhaps in a future post, I will come back to this topic. Today, however, what I want to talk about is routine.

Routine: performed as part of a regular procedure rather than for a special reason.

While I was sidetracked, I was also in my own way, trying to pursue discipline. In particular, I was trying to establish some regular morning habits that would help me start my day on the right foot. But, as fate would have it, I was failing woefully.

That is, until, I changed my approach. I realized that while I was failing at my morning routine, I was doing pretty well with my nighttime routine. So I decided to switch things up and focus on developing my nighttime routine. I’ve started praying at night, exercising at night, and even writing at night. So far so good.

Thus today, I want to put forth, that perhaps the key to self-discipline, is in fact routine. Because by establishing a routine (or even multiple routines), you can set yourself up for doing things just because its time to do them and not necessarily because you’re motivated to or otherwise willing to.

I can definitely say that before my nighttime exercise routine, exercise was a chore that I never got around to doing, but now it’s almost on autopilot! Of course, these are still early days, and it’s left to be seen if I can maintain this habit. But right now, I am optimistic!

Perhaps the silver bullet to self-discipline is in fact routine!


Embrace Discipline

On Discipline (and Adulting — yes again)

So I’ve finally figured it out! This thing that has been bothering me about adulting. This thing that is so worthy of Awe, so deserving of Practice, and so mindblowing to me in my young adulthood, and it is this – Discipline!

  • The discipline to go to bed on time
  • The discipline to get up at the same time every morning
  • The discipline to hold down a job
  • The discipline to manage your finances
  • The discipline to plan a wedding
  • The discipline to raise children
  • The discipline to be a parent
  • The discipline to … be an adult!

It’s taken me a few months, but I have now realized that this “adulting” thing is all about discipline! (and that perhaps is why it is so difficult) Because discipline is all about training and correction! and provided you don’t give up, Life / Society will continue to demand discipline of you until you get it right.

What is that proverb again?

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid

Proverbs 12:1 – New International Version

It is such a game changer for me, realizing this, and I hope it is for you too.

Because now that I can definitely say that adulting is about discipline, I can face the task at hand head-on and with some excitement. Time-management, is about discipline. Financial management, is about discipline, life management is about discipline.

When I searched the internet for a picture of discipline, I struggled to find what I was looking for – but – what I did find was myriad quotes echoing the realization I’ve just had:

  • Discipline is the one thing necessary, to achieve any goal worth having
  • Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment
  • Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to do it.

Right now in my life, the task before me, is to embrace discipline, and I will do my best.


Wow! Adulting

Awestruck by Adulting

Over the last few days, weeks, and months, I have been repeatedly awestruck by the process of adult-ing. So awestruck in fact, that it has made me doubt my own adulthood, because:-

  • I am awestruck when I witness my classmates get down on one knee to propose to their loves. I awestruck by their conviction, and the preparation and fanfare involved.
  • I am awestruck as my friends become parents:- People I knew from childhood are now attaining the same category my parents were in, not so long ago.
  • I am awestruck by the nature of conversations now. Bills, Investments, “Terrible twos,” Fatherhood, Motherhood… etc.

It’s like everywhere I turn, I am struck by the manifestations of adulthood. In fact, not too long ago I tried playing video games with my younger cousin, and my skills were so rusty, it was unbelievable!

Adult-ing is staring me so hard in the face now, that it is near impossible to look away. It’s like, “What are you doing man? You’re not a youngun anymore! Look at your mates!” – and I look, and all I can say is “Wow, wow, wow. Congratulations! Well done!”

Even the phrases “In God’s time,” and “We’ll see” are now well worn from overuse in my mouth. I can’t argue with those who expect me to be or at least behave like more of an Adult. “Is this a sign, God?” I want to shout, but I don’t because the answer is obvious.

It is a sign. A sign of the times. A sign that most people, around this age, are doing certain things – like getting married, having kids, and raising them. It’s a sign that most people around this age, have interests that percolate around those subjects… But most importantly, it is a reminder that I am not among them – at least not yet.

So for now, I think I shall continue to be wowed, and awestruck, as I tread what seems to be the path less trodden. The delayed identification of a life partner; The rocky hills of mastering responsibility; and the silent pleas, wondering when I will get it all right.

Bye for now.
From an Awestruck Bachelor


A Masterpiece in Progress

Between the ages of 20 and 40 we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow, and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impugnity.

– W.H. Auden

Last year, I turned thirty (30). The big 3-0.

At the time I didn’t make much of it. Another year, another birthday. It was the same old stuff. But then this year, I popped back into my blog – after making a new year’s resolution to resume blogging – and I stumbled upon this draft. It was titled “A Masterpiece in Progress” and the only text in the post was the quote above by W.H. Auden.

So… What was I thinking when I started the original article? I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what I’m thinking about now.

Currently, at the ripe old age of 30, I am quite literally halfway through the process of what Auden described as the years of self-discovery – and I’m wondering if, well, I have discovered up to half of what I ought to have discovered.

I’m wondering if, for instance, I know myself any better now, than I did when I was 20; and if I have truly learnt any life lessons about my limitations, and my character…

Those of you who have been following my blog over the years, may be thinking to themselves – (ahn ahn nau, after all the articles you’ve written on your realizations, and thoughts about life, isn’t the answer obvious?) – But as I sit here now, I kid you not, I struggle to call to mind any lesson I have learnt about myself… and I wonder if I am growing up at all?

But you see, that’s the thing. Is growing up something you actively do? Something where you can say, “yes – when I turned 35, I knew I had finally grown up” OR like college, where you can say “in 2 more years i’ll have my adulting degree – I just need to take those courses on financial literacy, time management, and how to quit a video game addiction”

It isn’t, is it?

So then is it something you passively do? You live your life however way you decide and then realize one day “oh my, I’m truly an adult now! I have a job, I pay bills. I’ve stopped watching cartoons. I have a wife and child…”

That also isn’t quite right, right?

So I’m sitting here trying to qualify my adult life. I legally “became” an adult at the age of 18, BUT, since then I’ve also continued to strive to be one… I didn’t die at 18 – “o tan, ose, thank you for playing the game of life, you are now qualified” – and I didn’t suddenly attain my dreams – “oh 18? you’ve made it! Here’s your car, your house, your new wife…” –


All that happened was, that society decided it was finally time to leave me to my own devices and be responsible for my own actions. In my newly found adulthood, I was left to be me, and expected to more or less self-regulate.

Which brings me back to W.H. Auden’s quote. What he is talking about, I believe, are the prime years of adulthood. The years where we discover, define, and refine, what it means to us to be an adult. It’s where we practice adulting in the real world – where live feedback is your only grade, and decisions are your only answers. Where you can choose to be, or not to be, and what to be and how to be.

So then, if adulthood is not a destination, but rather, a way of life after a certain age, “growing up” is a continuous and lifelong pursuit! At thirty (30), I am an adult, who is still practising adulting; and at forty (40), I’ll be a better adult who is still practicing adulting; and at fifty (50), I’ll be an even better adult who is still practising adulting; and so on…

Thus, my second quote:

You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.

– Sofia Bush

Because this adult life is here to stay, and I must appreciate the adult that I have become, while I work to become the adult that I am becoming. A Masterpiece on one hand (by God’s grace), and, a Work-in-Progress on the other.


Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day (2019)

Happy Valentines Day! On this special day, I want to celebrate by commemorating my love for my current companion. Let me begin by telling you the story of how we met.

It was a normal day, and I was going about my regular duties, minding my own business (apparently she loved that), when she dawned on me. She didn’t have to say a word. We just knew, we were in this together – and from that moment on she often visited me.

So we started hanging out, and before I knew it, I rarely had a lonesome moment to spare. She helped me with my tasks (always up to do chores), helped me with my feelings (always bringing some calm to the turbulence), and assisted me with my plans (always up for a brainstorming session).

She and I were like two peas in a pod. I was really happy with her (and she with me). So much so that I actually, started thinking that she might be the one. My soulmate. My significant other.

So we started dating. I don’t go out much these days, so most of the time, she would come over – and every once in a (very) blue moon, we would go out together. To take a stroll, or watch a play, or perhaps a movie.

But once things started getting serious, and I genuinely began to consider going all the way, I started to get some push back. Not from her (she’s really the gentle and quiet sort), but from those around us. Many feel that she’s not the right one for me – and when everyone you know seems to come to a consensus on a matter such as this – it gives one pause to rethink.

So right now, I’m rethinking my love for my love – which is why I feel, that there’s no better time to celebrate her… and mark our history together. Because…

I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude

– Henry David Thoreau


4 Anime Recommendations

4 Anime Recommendations for Philosophers

Recently, I have found myself fascinated by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). I have been reading up on the different types a little at a time. Nothing heavy, or necessarily scholarly (I discover most of my reading through Pinterest), but a lot of varied, interesting, and sometimes first-person accounts of what it’s like to be one type or the other.

Related: Type Talk

It’s been especially interesting reading about my type, and types like mine, So I thought it might be fun to combine this newfound knowledge with one of my favourite hobbies (Watching Anime), by making Anime recommendations based on personality type.

Related: Anime for Beginners

Of the many ways that exist of grouping MBTI types, one in particular covers the folks I’ve been most interested in – and that is the Philosophers.

MBTI Philosophers - Intuitive Introverts

Also known as Intuitive Introverts (IN), they include the INTJ, INTP, INFJ, and INFP. Thus for this exercise, these are the 4 types I will be making anime recommendations to.

INTJ - The Mastermind

The INTJ aka The Mastermind, is often described as a natural strategic genius. Highly Intellectual, Rational, and Objective, your preference for logic over emotion often leads to you being portrayed as cold, or evil geniuses in pop culture.

This, despite the fact that you do feel deeply, and just happen to be as willing to disregard your own emotional leanings as well as those of others, in favour of whatever you consider to be the objectively best decision.

For the INTJ, I recommend Code Geass – Hangyaku no Lelouch

Code Geass – Hangyaku no Lelouch
(Code Geass – The Rebellion of Lelouch)

Code Geass follows the story of an exiled Prince (Lelouch) who fortuitously gains the power of absolute obedience, thanks to an encounter with a mysterious girl. With his new power, Lelouch decides to embark on a merciless quest for revenge and freedom, from the country that assassinated his parents, paralysed his younger sister, cruelly exiled them, and is now oppressing their new home.

Why You Should Watch It

  1. Because we all know, that absolute obedience is your dream come true. I mean if everybody just listened to you, and did exactly as you say, things would work out like a dream – and you wouldn’t be stuck thinking/saying “I told you so” as often.

  2. Because we also know that people are complex, circumstances are ever-changing, and things hardly ever go according to plan A. Which is why your best laid plans keep having to be refined and adjusted on the go. But ‘Oh my gosh! you do that so well!

  3. Because despite what those feeling types may think, you’re not a cruel monster. Every tough decision you make, is hard on you – and yet you must make it out of love. It’s just unfortunate that sometimes the objectively best decision (in your world, the most loving), may not make anybody happy until way down the line (even yourself).


INTP - The Logician

The INTP aka The Logician, is often described as an absent-minded professor. Highly Intellectual, Imaginative, and Open-Minded, your love of intellectual pursuits is seconded only by your seeming disregard for social graces. This, despite the fact that you tend to attract social curiousity, with your unconventional insights.

For the INTP, I recommend Stein’s;Gate


Stein’s Gate follows the story of self-proclaimed mad scientist Rintarou Okabe, who with the help of his motley crew of friends/lab members, accidentally invents time-travel and discovers an unbearable future.

In a series of life-changing events stemming from this monumental discovery and his attempts to fix the future, this anime explores the complex themes of time-travel, multiverses, quantum communication, dystopias and causality – all brilliantly woven together in a compelling tale fundamentally about saving the life of his best friend.

Why You Should Watch It

  1. Because Sci-Fi is one of your favourite genres. Did you hear me say, (1) Time Travel, (2) Quantum Communication, and (3) Parallel Worlds, and (4) Dystopia, or not?

  2. Because not only are the themes complex, the characters are too. The plot thickens in literally every way as it develops, creating an intellectually engaging and morally challenging puzzle as the story progresses.

  3. Because even with all the intellectual conundrums it deals with, Stein’s gate sustains a generous level of witty banter. The kind that appeals to your sense of humour.


INFJ - The Advocate

The INFJ aka The Advocate, is often described as the quintessential philanthropist. Highly Empathetic, Altruistic, and Passionate, your warmth and supportive disposition often leads to you being portrayed as gentle bottomless bastions of support in pop culture. This, despite the fact that you can be one of the most stubborn and determined types, when fighting for a cause or a person you believe in.

For the INFJ, I recommend Re: Zero kara Hajimeru Sekai

Re: Zero kara Hajimeru Sekai
Re: Starting Life in Another World From Zero

Re: Zero follows the story of Subaru Natsuki, who finds himself suddenly transported to a new world where he meets a mysterious beauty named Satella, offers to help find her stolen insignia, and gets brutally murdered in the process. Only to come back to life again at a point moments before they meet, with the opportunity to make different decisions.

But for the INFJ, the real story, is in the supporting characters called Rem and Ram. Twin sisters, who work as maids in the home where Satella is staying. The powers they wield, backstory they have, and the journey they embark on in this anime all speak of the INFJ personality.

Why You Should Watch It

  1. Because Ram: Ram’s superpower is a form of clairvoyance that allows her to synchronize with the vision of others of the same wavelength, and see far off into the distance. But leaves her drained & defenseless. If this superpower isn’t reminiscent of the INFJs uncanny ability to deeply empathize with others, and intuitively yet accurately forecast the future, I don’t know what is. Ram is also kind of outgoing, at least relative to her twin sister.

  2. Because Rem: Rem’s superpower is a kind of Water magic that can be used to attack, as well as heal. I might be stretching things here, but this reminds me of the INFJ’s adeptness at soft skills, and how they can and sometimes do use them in both good and bad ways. Rem is quite taciturn, and is riddled with guilt and admiration for her sister, over an event that happened in the past.

  3. Because Twins: Of all the types I read about, INFJs were the most diametric. They could be friendly and outgoing one minute, and withdrawn and recluse the next. A temperament that sometimes leaves them feeling guilty for withdrawing from those they love. Both sisters in the anime are extremely guarded, and it takes quite awhile for Subaru to earn their trust. But once he does, they become devoted and loyal friends, who go on to fight for and support him in incredible ways.


INFP - The Mediator

The INFP aka The Mediator, is often described as a romantic idealist. Highly Sympathetic, Idealistic, and Passionate, your virtue and compassion, often leads to you being portrayed as damsel’s in distress in pop culture. This, despite the fact that you are usually the ones busy saving others’ lives, with your kindness and compassion.

For the INFP, I recommend Kimi Ni Todoke

Kimi Ni Todoke
From Me to You

Kimi Ni Todoke follows the story of Sawako Kuronuma, a timid, sweet, and sensitive teenage girl whose strong preference for harmony, avoidance of conflict, and unfortunate resemblance to ‘Sadako’ – from horror film ‘The Ring,’ often leads to her actions being misinterpreted for the worse.

That is, until her “Prince charming,” the most popular guy in her class, ‘Shouta, Kazehaya’ takes an interest in her. As their love blossoms, she is steadily drawn out of her shell, to become the most beautiful version of herself.

Related: Kimi Ni Todoke

Why You Should Watch It

  1. You love the emotional rollercoasters of romantic stories. This story will make you cry, it will make you laugh, and it will make you smile. With every stirring of Sawako’s emotions, yours will be stirred too. I was more than moved when I watched it, and I’m sure you will be too.

  2. You know that guy you’ve always dreamed of? The one that everybody likes, but he only has eyes for you? The one that can tell when you’re feeling low even if you hide it? The one whose mere presence can cheer you up? Yes, I’m sure you do. Well, if you haven’t found him yet in real life, you will find him in Shouta.

  3. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been told this, but sometimes you’re just too good for your own good. Your overriding desire for peace and harmony gets you to a place of self-neglect and emotional starvation. So while this story does cater to the romantic ideals of the INFP, it is also (to my mind) the story of the rehabilitation of an INFP. Because when you can truly be yourself, you are one of the most caring and loving types in the world.



Insecurities Scream

The title of this post has haunted my thoughts for the last 3 weeks. The two words combined, say something so simple, so powerful, and so profound, that their depth, makes me shiver.



On Rejection

Rejection, I think, is a profound experience. Especially when it comes from those close to our hearts. Profoundly sad, profoundly lonely, and yet also, profoundly illuminating.



The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Dear readers,
For the last few weeks I have struggled to write. I have been out of ideas, short of inspiration, and devoid of motivation… But last night, I had a dream, and that dream has compelled me to write to you.



I Saw Ramallah

Poet Mourid Barghouti’s prize-winning novel, I Saw Ramallah is a thought-provoking chronicle of displacement. In it, the author tells the story of his return to his birthplace of Dier Ghassanah, in Ramallah, Palestine, after a protracted exile of over thirty years.



Is the Glass Empty?

I recently found myself in discussion about Nigeria with an acquaintance of my grandmother’s. A man only a few years older than my older brother. He was of the opinion that there was no hope for significant progress in Nigeria within his lifetime, and I was of the opposite standpoint…



A Fire in the Atmosphere

About a month ago, I was sitting in the car when one of my favourite songs came on the radio and struck me differently. It is a song by Asa which you might be familiar with. She sings:

There is fire on the mountain,

And nobody seems to be on the run.

Oh, there is fire on the mountain top,

And no one is ‘ah running.

It struck me differently because since I arrived in Nigeria, I have felt the heat of fire all around. Whether it’s the fires of Boko Haram in the north, the fire of ‘change’ the new government has promised, the volatile exchange rate which is literally burning money, or the fire of innovation I see in the hearts and minds of the entrepreneurs around me, there seems to be fire everywhere.

Curiously no one is ‘ah running. Instead, the Nigerian people are struggling, hustling, and fighting to survive. So coming into this society of almost 200 million people, all fighting for their survival, is much like walking into a wild party. Yes, the roof is on fire. Yes, the walls are crumbling down. But still, everyone is making moves.

Somehow, the fire in Nigeria is motivating simply because it is everywhere. The business climate is aflame with risk, and the people’s hearts are afire with passion. Everyday we are faced with innumerable challenges. They come at us per second, per second. Forcing us to move, to change, and to adapt.

Power failures, Network troubles, Traffic congestion, Flooding, you name it – It happens in Nigeria. Yet each of these must be surmounted to get through the day. This constantly challenging environment keeps us on our toes by being almost unbearably difficult. I may just have a way of seeing the good in everything, but what I see is an environment that pushes one to succeed by constantly threatening failure.

You see, Nigeria is like a refiner’s fire: Incredibly hot and dangerous, but if you last the course, you will come out tough as nails. Of course, under such pressure, it is not always easy to see the silver lining. So as I write this I am even wondering whether I am full of hot air. Nonetheless, I feel that the fire in Nigeria does not only burn, it also brands, and if we can survive it, we’ll have a mark to be reckoned with.


Go on, Take the Chance…

Last week, I wrote about fear. The idea behind the article, was to challenge us to face those fears we want to overcome. I even came up with an acronym – Feeling Extremely Anxious over Rubbish

But feeling anxiety itself, usually has good reason; wanting to be cautious about your next step is generally a good idea; so why did I say “over rubbish?” I did so, because once anxiety becomes fear, we have already made a mistake. We have predicted an outcome, that is rubbish.

It is rubbish, because it is extreme, and it’s definite. Your worry has likely made a mountain of a mole-hill, and your original concern which was but a possibility, has become a fearsome certainty. Be it slight or significant, a worry is never “for sure,” and the best we can make is a prediction.

So whatever you decide to do, reflects a leaning towards one outcome or another – and if things are 50-50, why act to prevent the worst case, when you can act to enable the best case? Why should your action be based on a “fear of …”, when it can equally be based on a “hope for…?”

It is not until you act, that things will begin to move in one direction or the other – and if your action is preventive, all you’re really doing, is keeping the status quo. This key difference, is what separates acting on fear, from acting on hope.

But knowing this, and even knowing what I said last week (that we need to learn and/or train more, to overcome our fears), is usually not enough to face the challenge. It is after all, still a scary gamble. So what can we do? How can we go about facing our fears?

The simple answer is, “seek love and encouragement” – because courage is what you need. That next big step you want to take, the one that your foot has hovered over forever, needs a little push – and you need to admit that to yourself first, so that when you’re seeking help, you know what to look for.

Now I am a Christian, so I want to tell you point-blank, that this love and encouragement can be found in God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and if you believe in Jesus Christ, you already have nothing to fear. Because that next step you’ve always wanted to take, is already waiting…

But what if you don’t believe this? What if you can’t? What if you feel far away from God? What do you do then? I’d say start small. Look where you know you will find love – In your family, amongst your friends, in those people who believe in you. For love builds us up, and gives us strength, and helps us to be who we want to be.

Let us not be afraid to hope…
Let us not be afraid to try…
Let us not be afraid of help…

To be bold in our weakness, let us not be afraid of Love.

You never know
You never know


FEAR Oh! Feeling Extremely Anxious over Rubbish

Hello everyone,

After a couple of months spent writing The Honest Truth, I truthfully, was kinda spent. So I spent the entire weekend mulling over what I should write next. I didn’t want to write without an idea, and I didn’t want an idea unworthy of my newly found voice… So this is what I came up with:

F.E.A.R Oh! Feeling Extremely Anxious over Rubbish

Because if there’s one thing I learnt from The Honest Truth, it’s that fear is often extremely, EXTREMELY, overrated.

I was afraid to write so publicly about my worries… but when I finally did, I got some of the greatest responses I’ve ever gotten. People called me to check up on me, they gave me advice, they told me stories, and most importantly, they bonded with me on a deeper level than ever before.

Because I took a risk, I found better friends in the friends I already had, better relatives in the family I already knew, and tons of inspiration from near and from afar… and it is all thanks to God! But I am not here to preach to you, I am here to talk about this paralyzing thing called “fear.”

Scientifically speaking, fear is an exaggerated emotion, for an exaggerated response. Pounding hearts, Darting eyes, Full on sprints… these are the images that we associate with fear. Too often, like me, we imagine this kind of action, when in reality, our response is usually inaction.

Because we are afraid of what people will feel, we do not say.Because we are afraid of which people will see, we do not do. Because we are afraid of how people will react, we cannot act. Because we are afraid of people… we cannot be. This is one of the truths that came out of my experience.

True, there is nothing wrong with a little caution. Being careful enough to determine the right time, and the right place, to act, or say, or do what you want, is a wonderful skill called tact. A skill that every parent wishes their children had from birth! Am I Right!?

God bless the tactful!

But as parents know, tact is not a talent. It is a skill. They teach their children not to act out of turn, with some discipline. They teach their children not to speak out of place, with some discipline… So much so, that we are all intrinsically familiar with the term “discipline.”

Yet parents cannot prepare us for everything. So we enter the real world kinda sorta prepared, yet kinda sorta afraid. Ready for everything we’ve trained for, and afraid of everything we haven’t. Prepared for everything we know, and scared of everything we don’t. Which brings us back to “fear.” Because now, I’ve just outlined what fear really means:

  1. You don’t understand it.
  2. You haven’t trained for it.

Which means, that to overcome our fears, we only have 2 choices:

  1. Learn more about it.
  2. Do more of it.

…and frankly both options are scary.

Because if either fails, you’ll end up looking stupid, or foolish, or both…

But who’s to say you’ll be either? And even if you are both, it only means you need to do more research, and more training. So get out there and face your fears! I will be here saying a silent prayer for you:

May your choices reflect who you want to be
May your choices reflect who you want to be


The Professor in Me

3 weeks ago, I was working hard at my job at The Math Forum – We were having a big event. Teachers from across the country were coming to help us brainstorm and test a new software that we’ve had under development for the past 2 years (that’s from even before I joined the MF crew). I was excited and I was charged… and then I was stressed.

No sooner had the 5-day congress begun, than I was asked to prototype a new feature for presentation before its end. There was simply not enough time. And if I were to make time, it would mean giving up my attendance completely. Thus foregoing the opportunity to meet and observe our would be end-users. An opportunity that I felt could not be missed (again).

So I decided to reach for the best of both worlds. I chose to design an interactive mockup that would be as close to the real thing as possible. It took me 4 of the 5 days, but I was able to spend 3 of those in the midst of our end-users working, while I did the same. With a little help from one of our senior developers, the presentation was ready in time, and on the 4th day we presented. It was a great success!!! 😀

It was a great success!!!

Being able to listen in on user concerns while simultaneously designing the mockup, really helped generate ideas for the final product. I was surprised by how many teachers commended me and expressed satisfaction afterwards. It really felt like my work had paid off, and I found myself elated.

But even more moving than the stress at the beginning and the elation at the end, were the realizations in the middle. As I listened to teachers express their concerns about their students and their teaching methods, their successes and their failures, and their hopes and their dreams for the software, I truly began to feel like I belonged.

The things they valued, the way they thought, their approaches to problem solving, and the things they said, all struck very loud chords within me. Everything that I had ever been called out on, both in good and bad ways, suddenly seemed “normal”. So much so, that on the 5th day when it all came to an end, I cried buckets…

Because for the first time in my life, I understood why my nickname is, and always has been “Prof.” I notice like a teacher, I wonder like a teacher, and my initial feedback is usually some sort of assignment to the listener (like a teacher!). Moreover, my final feedback also sounds like a grade…
Something like:

“You can do better” – I actually said this recently.

Or more elaborate:

“From what you’ve said, I think that you are struggling with X, so this approach will probably be difficult for you. Perhaps you should try Y, or better yet Z. Let me know how it goes… ” – I also said something like this a few months ago. Lol.

Formative Assessment in a Nutshell
Teaching (by formative assessment), in a Nutshell

I have always done this, and never thought it odd. But for some people, my elaborate diagnoses come across as a chore. Instead of inspiring thought, they sometimes breed confusion and disinterest. While my abbreviated responses, come across as even worse: “A judgement.”

These “abbreviated responses” A.K.A “brutally honest answers,” have offended many in the past… and may continue to do so. Because it is very hard for any person to separate a judgement on their thinking, from a judgement on their person… and even harder to elicit a more defined answer, with a more complicated response. Not to mention that few people enjoy the feeling of being probed with 21 questions.

Yet this is the issue I saw at the heart of teaching: “How can we gain insight into another’s thought process, without putting them off, so that we can better aid them?”

How can we gain insight into another’s thought process, without putting them off, so that we can better aid them?

As I am not a teacher, even the fact that I deal with others this way, is a risky endeavour. It easily comes across as condescending, arrogant, and rude. Learning to give a most effective response, that is both constructively strong, and well-targeted, while at the same time remaining emotionally considerate, is an art form of tact that I still struggle with. Especially as a (muted) ESTJ.

So while the ideal solution for a non-teacher like me, continues to elude my grasp, it is reassuring to know that I have comrades in arms: At The Math Forum, in the ESI 2014 participants, and in teachers at large all-around the world…

With the software we’re developing, we’re looking to help teachers, discover increasingly effective ways to reflect on and respond to their students… and in doing so, shine a light on the path to effective formative assessment.

Formative assessment or diagnostic testing is a range of formal and informal assessment procedures employed by teachers during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment.


Every Man is a Kingdom


Every man is a kingdom of 3 personalities. There’s:

  • The King of his mind,
  • The Queen of his heart, and
  • The Commoners in his pants…

– and like every kingdom, every man must choose a system of government by which to rule.

Thus, if you want to rule the kingdom, you must know how to play the game of thrones.

For you see, the King is always a good king. One who has earned the love and respect of his people, by always thinking of what’s best for them. He is also always the wisest of his people and madly in love with the queen.

While the Commoners, like all peoples of any nation, are so engrossed in their own matters that they rarely ever see the big picture. Not a single one of them has the faintest idea of how best to rule the country, but they all have opinions on it, and they all constantly argue about it. In fact, they have only ever agreed on one matter… and that is: who should be their king.

Just talking about the queen again...
Just talking about the queen again…

Imagine! These diverse and bickering people loved one of their own so much, that they all unanimously agreed to elect him as king! Sadly, the downside of this love, is that they never feel any woman is good enough for their “oh so wonderful” king. Meaning that, no matter how good the queen is, some of the people will find something to complain about. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all 365 days of the year.

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all 365 days of the year.

Commoners have even been known to sneak other women into the king’s mental chambers at night, trying to get him to take a new wife and oust the current queen.

Meanwhile like all great queens, the Queen is a real powerhouse. She truly represents the political prowess of the kingdom, and is adept at all forms of diplomacy. Unlike the King who is only ever concerned with local, regional, and federal issues, the Queen concerns herself with international relations. Signing trade agreements, drafting international policies, and making sure the kingdom remains a force to be reckoned with in the global arena.

But the Queen (God bless her soul), is forever unaware of the Commoners‘ plotting, and remains deaf to their impassioned cries. Because the King, who doesn’t want to hurt her feelings, tries hard to hide their insults and complaints. He puts on a poker face before her, and only ever mentions the people in a tentative fashion whenever their complaints become too loud – which as you can imagine, out of 365 days of the year, still turns out to be quite frequently.

So in the face of all this, every man must choose a system of government.

  • Some choose to be a Democracy: A system that is partial to the People, and more likely to oust the Queen if she doesn’t make an effort to please them.
  • Some choose to be an Gerontocracy: A system that is partial to the oldest i.e the King, which tries to please everybody, but tends to fall short of modern trends in expectations.
  • Some choose to be a Theocracy: A system that is ruled by the high moral standards of religion, yet often corrupted by the weakness of man.

…and for every system of government, there are men who abide by it.

So if you are a woman looking to become the Queen of a man’s heart, and perhaps institute a Matriarchy or Oligarchy,  it is imperative that you understand the politics behind his system of government. So that you know who your enemies are, and can keep the people that matter content. You might also want to keep an eye out for any ex-queens, that may have been unjustly ousted by the commoners’ schemes…


The Seed of Identity

When I was younger, I used to marvel in incredulity at some adults over 40. Adults who would say, without batting an eyelid, that they didn’t feel a day over 20. How could decades go by without one feeling or acknowledging the difference!? Obviously, these adults were just being silly.

A day over 20 huh? Right…

But as I’ve grown older, I have realised that I can say the same myself. At 26 going on 27, I still feel like I’m the person I was 10 years ago: short, wily, tactless, and outspoken. My recognition of self has not changed. The person I see in the mirror everyday, is still flawed…

How could decades go by, without one feeling or acknowledging the difference!?

It was as I was contemplating this rather profound question, that an answer came to me – and this answer transformed my perception of self-identity. Because when you define identity in terms of self, you get a definition that sounds like this:

Identity is the fact of being who or what a person is

Yet once we humans become aware of who and what we are, with all our flaws and imperfections, we immediately feel inadequate; we immediately begin to cover them up – and so it is, that we “change.

We go to school to become smarter, we take anger management classes to become calmer, we train ourselves to be more disciplined, we work out to be healthier and better looking… We “improve” ourselves because, you know what? The identity we started with wasn’t good enough – or so we think.

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

Gen. 3:7

Still no matter what we do, nor how many layers of education, sophistication, and gentrification we apply to ourselves, that seed of identity we started with, doesn’t change.

What happens is that now, after you initially want to blow up in anger, you restrain yourself and give a calm answer; After you initially want to say something stupid, you catch yourself, and decide to stay quiet; After you initially would’ve done X, now you “know better,” and instead do Y.

So it is no wonder, that we feel the same. Because what we see of ourselves – are the initiallys, and what the world sees, are the insteads.


Courtship and Marriage, are the processes of taking the person you love from seeing the insteads, to seeing the initiallys, while trusting that they will still love the naked, imperfect, version of you.


I’m a Little Teapot

Since my last twist back in August of last year (where I became aware of my inflated ego), I have been taking steps to adjust my sense of self and reign in the more damaging consequences of this character trait. The results so far have been most interesting, and have given me a newfound respect for the nursery rhyme: I’m a Little Teapot:

little teapot
I’m a Little Teapot be George H. Sanders & Clarence Z. Kelley

You see, for the longest time, I have always despised my anger. In as much as I have never been one quick to anger, when I have gotten angry it has been a sudden and powerful emotion so strong that I could hardly bear it.

On principle alone, it was an emotion to be suppressed: So prone was it to make people do and say things they would later regret, that I had decided that it was not an emotion to ever lend an ear to. Thus, whenever I have gotten angry or upset, I have just suppressed that anger, and let it diffuse over time.

But that is not to say that I did not appreciate the benefits of appearing angry. So if you know me, you might think that you have seen Damola when he’s mad. But you probably haven’t. While the few who have seen me truly angry, probably know what I mean when I say “I’m a little teapot.”

Because when I get angry, my insides vibrate… and when I’m really angry, my whole body vibrates to the point that it’s visibly perceptible – like a teapot on the verge of boiling over. But usually in these cases, I can never quite place what is at the root of such anger. Yes, someone said or did something I didn’t like. Yes, it was something I felt justified being angry about. But this angry!? NO… No, I didn’t think so.

But this angry!? NO… No, I didn’t think so.

It was in trying to adjust my inflated ego, that I started to question that anger. Where was it coming from, and why did I get so mad? That was when I found this definition of anger. It says in short, that:

Anger is a natural response to a perceived threat; whether real or imagined; whether to yourself, or your sense of self; anger can arise out of what you think will happen… and whether or not that scenario actually plays out, doesn’t matter to the emotion. It, that is your anger, will be as real as day.

Which brings us back to the big ego born of self-criticism:- If you think less of yourself, and are sometimes afraid that you are under-achieving, then whether or not you actually are, it is very likely that you will imagine it given the right triggers.

Maybe you’re worried you’re fat, and someone (out of curiousity) asks why you’re eating a donut… Next thing you know you’re going off on them about “What’s wrong with eating donuts!?”

Or maybe like me, you weren’t worried about anything, and then someone challenged your sense of self… and even though you knew it was an innocent challenge, perhaps even just a perceived challenge, you found yourself visibly shaking in anger.

This is what I mean when I say I’m a little teapot: Cool and calm on the surface, but given the right kind, and amount of heat, you will see me shaking and about ready to boil over. Now that’s when you need to grab my handle and pour me out.

Now that’s when you need grab my handle and pour me out.



I Have a Big Ego… Such a Big Ego

The first step to solving any problem, is recognizing that there is one.

The second, is identifying it correctly

…and early this morning, I was able to do just that.

You see, after posting the 26th knot yesterday, I took a nap. I then woke up to find that someone had commented on my post: It’s Not About the Nail. It was a little snippet from an ex-professor of mine. Something about how my post had reminded her about a song I’d never heard of.

Well, I spent a few minutes listening to this song, and it kind of changed my life!  Not so much the song, but more the chain of investigation following it.

You see, the song itself is very much like my article: about responding without thinking, out of love. But right at the end, the artist begins this little spiel about egos… and at one point he goes:

…and it’s hard to feel real gangsta, when you’re always getting kissed.
But you jump at every pucker, cuz you fear of getting dissed.
I tried not to fight the parts of me, that want to kiss her back.
Egos should be illegal, mine just don’t know how to act…

It tells me I don’t need her, that I should walk this path alone.
Just make believe, just up my sleeve, that I’d do, better with a clone.
But could it be? It seems to me, that she’s my other half.
My inner Tarzan, monkey girl, who’s raised mainly by giraffes.

And besides she makes me laugh, cuz deep down, I think she’s stupid.
But deeper down, I’m just a clown, starting barroom brawls with cupid.
Like “Fuck that nigga, baby angel doll. Yo, chew my buttery nipples…”

Now besides that last sentence, which made me LOL , 😆  the rest of it rang pretty true. But in particular, the line about egos, caught my attention. I had heard that term before… No! Not from this:

But from my  brother:

After cooking a soggy pot of rice one night, my brother had come home from work to meet me at the stove. He had then made jest of my soggy rice, with a light joke about how bad it was and how was I going to eat it? To which my immediate response was: “Don’t worry, I like it like that.”

I’m a lazy cook for sure, and I’ve made (and eaten) tons of soggy rice, and noodles in my time… but I wouldn’t go as far as to say I like it. It’s just edible at best. But in response to his light criticism, that was my immediate fallback. After which, he politely told me, that I have a big ego.

Yet, until today, I had always thought that he was full of shit and didn’t know what he was talking about (in relation to that particular statement, anyway).  Because I most certainly don’t think of myself as bigger than I am… if anything, with all my self-criticism, I think of myself as less.

So to find myself agreeing with this artist who seemed to know that his problem was egotistical, made me question what I knew of big egos – and what I knew of big egos, was of someone with an over-inflated sense of self, because they think they are more important than they are

Come to find, that this definition while correct, is incomplete. Big egos can be equally the result of a person feeling overly self-important, as of a person being overly self-critical. See here for the deets.

…and that was when the flashbacks began:

Every one of those things, is on the well-known list of big ego faults. Every one of course, except the ones that are self-deprecating. So even though, I project a highly confident self-image, the truth is I’m a lot more fragile :- and the further complication in my experience, may be that I actually have a few real accomplishments, that back up my projected self-image.

Thus, when I tell people (in all honesty), that I don’t think I’m that smart, or that good at whatever they’ve complimented me on, they always think I’m being humble, or in the worst case, condescending.

But no, guys! I honestly don’t think I’m all that… and furthermore, as a call back to friendships & relationships: When I have reacted defensively, it was never actually planned.

So to all my old friends and family who have experienced my reactive nature, both those who got used to it… and those who got away from it… Let me just take this time to say: I’m sorry 😳

How’s that for a Twist huh? An apology without justification. Wonders shall never cease! 😆


Fathers From the Outside

As I’ve grown older, words like “marriage,” “husband,” and “father,” have changed. Like some old friends who I haven’t seen in many years, when I see them now, I do a double-take. For they are nothing like I remember.

“Marriage, you used to be a featherweight! Have you been working out?”

I remember when we used to play fight on the playground as the ladies watched. Sometimes we’d face-off and I’d run away because my aunts took your side, and at other times we’d gang up to take down an alluring opponent. Only God knows how many women we faced together between the ages of 5 and 10. We had many challengers, and made many wives.

But there is no doubt in my mind today, that you can knock me out. Without the help of the right woman, I am sure to lose our bouts, and even if we band together, I can only see myself holding you back. Oh Marriage, you’re too intimidating.

Now Husband! When did you become such a trouble-maker?

I remember playing house with you and the girls. You were so easy-going. All you cared about was work, and dinner. I didn’t even know what kind of work you did, and you didn’t even care what dinner was, ’cause it was always delicious no matter what concoction came to the table.

But now hanging out with you gets on my nerves. If you’re not picking fights with me telling me how I need to get my shit together, then you’re picking fights with our girlfriends, telling them how they need to get their shit together. What is it with you!? Isn’t anyone good enough? Remember, you’re no prize catch yourself…

Finally Father… we used to be best friends didn’t we? You reminded me so much of my Dad, especially your good looks; and I didn’t even mind babies that much when I was with you.

Whether our “wives” wanted 2, or 20, or even “uncountable” as one ambitious girl said, didn’t matter. We were up to the task. But look at you now! You’re overweight and obese and I can’t stand the sight of you. You’ve stuffed your belly so full of duties, responsibilities, and obligations, that it is a wonder how you manage to sleep at night.

With all that weight, I don’t even see how you can handle 1 baby, talk less of 10. Your hair is greying from all the stress, and you do nothing but worry when we’re together. How am I going to feed my kids and send them to college? What if there’s something wrong with them mentally? or physically? or psychologically? What if I die? What if I’m crippled? WHAT WILL I DO!?

Man, I’m so sick and tired of you. Relax! Chill out! What if, what if, what if, that’s all you ever talk about. You’re giving me grey hairs over here.

Just look at this sad state of affairs. Life has happened to my old friends. Age has set in, and I no longer want to hang out with them. There is so much drama over in their worlds that really being friends is a lot more trouble than it’s worth.

Which is why, all of us need to take this one day to appreciate all those men who are still friends with any of them – and especially appreciate those who are friends with all three. It takes a tough man to commit to a lifetime relationship, a tolerant one to handle all its troubles, and an intelligent one to plan adequately for its future. So take some time today to appreciate all the Fathers out there if you haven’t already.

I love you Dad. You’re one tolerant, tough, and intelligent son of a gun! – and I wish you continued success and succour in all that you do. May the wisdom of God guide your feet, and the grace of God guard your path, in Jesus’s name. Amen 😀


Reinforcement Learning

In computer science, the term reinforcement learning refers to a sub-study of Artificial Intelligence called machine learning. The subject itself is actually quite broad and deep, and propels you quickly into the world of probabilities, Markov Decision Processes, weights, and rewards. Thus it is certainly not a subject I intend to discuss in detail here.

But outside of the field of computer science, this term is used and should already be understood by the majority of you. Be it by your masterful comprehension of English, or perhaps by your familiarity with the story of Pavlov’s dog.

The concept itself is quite simple really, and simply proves that if you repeatedly derive a “good” or “bad” outcome from a meaningless action, that action will gradually start to be considered “good” or “bad” in and of itself. In the case of Pavlov’s dog, this meant that ringing the bell eventually became associated with “food” in the dog’s canine brain, and soon that dog began to salivate at the mere sound of the bell (whether or not food followed close behind). In the field of Psychology, this is known as a conditioned response.

So what does all that have to do with me today? Well today for the first time in many months, I had to take a long walk outside. About 40 blocks, I think. Still making no sense? Then let me break it down for you.

You see when I stepped outside today, it was a nice warm day, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and well, it suffices to say that spring has come in full force to Philadelphia. This instantly put me in a great mood, and I began to walk briskly to my destination. It was a nice day, I had things to do and places to be, and moreover, I wanted to get those things over with so I could make love to the sun. 😆

It was a nice day, I had things to do and places to be, and moreover, I wanted to get those things over with so I could make love to the sun.

Then I started to feel the aches of anaerobic exercise. I could literally feel the lactic acid accumulating in my thighs, calves, and feet. I wasn’t running, I wasn’t jogging, I was merely walking as I pleased. Well, I was, but now I’m limping. The journey so far? Just 3 blocks.

So I slowed down before my legs gave way. But it was still a nice day, I still had places to be, and I still wanted time to make my date with the sun. So this didn’t last long either. I unconsciously picked up my pace again, and again the muscle fatigue began to set in. This time I found my breathing was irregular. I wasn’t quite out of breath, but I wasn’t in control of it either. The journey so far? Now on block 7.

Thus began the cycle of speed up, slow down, speed up by a little less, slow down, and so on and so forth ad nauseum. We are now on block 12.

By block 15, I was walking without a limp, without losing my breadth, and just kind of taking my time to enjoy the sun’s presence. At this speed, I might as well give her the bouquet, and set the table now. You know what they say, there is no time like the present.

So I made it to block 20 whilst taking a leisurely stroll in the sunlight, and to my surprise I had actually made acceptable time. The trip was about a 40 minute walk (where I had predicted 30 from previous experience). My walk so far had been fraught with fatigue, stumbling, and shortness of breadth.

Consequently, it was only on my return trip, that I truly began to appreciate my acquired slow pace. At this speed, not only could I enjoy my walk in the sun and let my thoughts wander, but I could now also afford a brief jog/run when necessary: like in an emergency, or more commonly, a changing traffic light. 😆

So I lit the candle and popped the champagne on the way back. The sun and I had a nice chat, and we even got a little hot and sweaty in a public area.

My 40 block journey had been most enjoyable! But more so than that, it had been revealing. In the time spent letting my thoughts wander, I had come to realize that my walk, was the perfect metaphor for the effects of living with sickle cell anaemia!

Our bodies force a conditioned response onto us, and though forced, we learn to cope and appreciate our bodies for the benefits of behaving that way with them. This might explain why like Pavlov’s dog, all sickler’s feel an attachment to their disease. Somewhere in our primitive brains, the connection gets made between the meaningless substance of behaving like a sickler, and the rewards of behaving like a sickler in a sickler’s body.

It certainly provides a theory for why when I first heard about my friend Bisade’s recent foray into getting cured of SCD, I was very conflicted about attempting the same. Why should I do this, when I already know how to work my current body? Seemed like a whole lot of trouble, for a chance to maybe not reject the transplant in the end… and for a body that I don’t even know how to use should I get it.

But if we can all admit that Pavlov’s experiment simply went to show how primitive canine brains are, and how easily they can be fooled. Then by extension, we can induce that this line of reasoning is conditioned in our own primitive brains, and thus probably not the smart response.

So if you are a sickler like Bisade and I, stop by his blog, see what the big deal is about, and then make an informed decision. There is no time like the present!

There is no time like the present!


An Easter Message

Happy Easter Folks! I hope you are having a blessed day.

This morning, I was faced with a slight dilemma. I wanted to write about God and give glory to him on this special day, but what to write about, I did not know. Many of the topics that came to mind expressed my displeasure with the ever-growing resistance to the Christian faith, and those that didn’t, served to highlight why I continue to believe. In short, I found that I am a bit disgruntled with where the world is headed spiritually, and I wanted to either grumble about it, or defend my position. 😆

Instead, I have opted to write about something completely different! As usual, this piece is inspired by happenings in my daily life…

Recently, I received an anonymous comment on this blog from a lady (I assume) who needed to vent about a failed relationship… or to be more accurate, a failed partner. Because as I read through the comment, the sentiments seemed to be more about how she became progressively disappointed in her partner’s personality, than about, instances of mistreatment, or a multitude of fights and disagreements, as I am used to hearing about in such cases.

Indeed, it was such that by the end of her comment, and in her next comment after that, she had begun to describe the guy (I assume), very poorly. She called him nagging, defensive, and weak amongst other things. But out of all the terms she used, the term weak in particular, stuck with me. Somehow this word struck me as an odd disappointment to have. It made me ask questions like:

  1. Did he think or give the impression that he was strong?
  2. Does she think she is strong?
  3. Do I think I am strong? And finally,
  4. Do people in general, live their lives thinking that they are strong?

Now it may be because I am short, skinny, and sickly, that I find this presumption peculiar. Because for me, any life or death, fight or flight situation, can only have one of three conclusions: (1) Take it like a man, (2) Die honourably, or should worst come to worst, (3) Take it like a man and die honourably. 😀

Thus I’ve never really had the luxury of thinking of myself as strong in a physical sense. Likewise in a mental sense, my illness is a constant test of my patience, willpower, and all around mental fortitude. So I know I’m not that strong there either. But most of all in a spiritual sense, I am not only reminded, but often disheartened at my own weakness, because my sins continue to pile up despite all the moral standards I hold dear.

As a result, weakness has become a subject that lies quite close to home for me, and I have never really seen it as a “bad” thing. But even for those of you who are taller, bigger, and healthier than I, there is no doubt in my mind that you can relate with me on at least one of those 3 planes above. Which is why I find it surprising that there might be people who think of themselves or others as fundamentally strong.

This surprises me not only because I am a small, skinny, and sickly man, but also because I am a Christian. As a Christian, the idea of self-proclaimed strength is foreign to me. Even the expectation of strength, is far-fetched. The bible reminds us  that we are all like clay jars, fragile and easily broken… and that any strength we possess is of Him who made us (2 Corinthians 4:7).

So when I read this lady’s comment calling her friend weak in a derisive manner, I was confused by it. Everybody is weak. The Lord’s strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). The Beatitudes show favour to the weak (the meek, the sad, the poor in spirit). Weakness is in a sense, both the human condition, and the necessary condition, to be an instrument of God…

And so dear readers, today as we rejoice and celebrate the fact that our Lord lives, I thought I might remind the world of the importance of weakness. For we celebrate because we are weak: Because of our weakness, Jesus died for us; Because in our weakness, Jesus rose for us. And because through our weakness, Jesus works in us. 

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10


Romantic Love is Selfish

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a twist, but today is Valentine’s day, and I believe it calls for one. As with every Valentine’s day, our thoughts drift to either the joy of love, or the solitude of loneliness. This Valentine’s dawn has been no different for me, and it all began with this article (a good read for a different perspective on loneliness).

However, my article is not going to be about loneliness. I actually want to give a different perspective on love. You see, in thinking about today, and about love, my thoughts drifted to my experiences around the topic. I thought about people I love as friends, as family, and of course, people I love romantically. I use love as opposed to loved (even though I’m single), because I know that love isn’t something that disappears, it merely changes expression.

Everyone that I have loved in the past, I still love now. We may have argued or broken up, we may no longer speak, my love may even have been rejected, but even at that, those loved ones still hold a special place in my heart. Because  love is more powerful than disagreements.

Whatever happened in the past, often makes it more difficult for us to love in the present. Yet as long as memories of loving times remain, our love never truly disappears… and for some people, it even becomes fuel for the negative feelings of regret, resentment, anger, or whatever else. Some of the most powerful of these negative feelings, are those born from romantic love. The kind of love that we’re all either thinking about, or experiencing today, and thus the kind I want to talk about here.

As with all things (but especially with love), all roads lead back to the bible… and my favourite verse on the topic (probably yours as well), is 1 Corinthians 13:4 – 8.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

Now many would read this, and think to themselves that I’m contradicting the title of this post: as the part that reads [love] does not seek its own seems to state otherwise. Nevertheless, I argue that romantic love is selfish to some degree. Because while romantic love involves a desire to love another unconditionally, it also involves the desire for them to love you in the same way, exclusively. It is this exclusivity clause that makes selfish a fitting description for romantic love.

But does that make the good book wrong? Does it mean I lack understanding? Or does it mean romantic love by definition, is impure? No! In the same way the article I started this discussion with describes a solitude that brings value in its loneliness, I think the selfishness of romantic love is one that brings value in its self-interest!

Furthermore, I propose that this selfishness in romantic love, is one that does not contradict the Bible, but is actually provided for by it. After all, isn’t that what monogamy is all about!? Loving someone so much that you want them all to yourself? The best illustration being in our need for marriage vows.

As people, I think we always put a great deal of importance on our part in our marriage vows. In taking them before God, we show the depth and the truth of our love. But more so than the our part in marriage, what struck me today was what God has done through marriage. With the rites of matrimony, God provides for our hearts’ foremost desire in romantic love.

I ask you this: Why must our loved ones so completely promise their love to us when getting married? Is it really for themselves? Does the promise to love you and only you really fulfill any of their own desires? Without the promise, will they cease loving you? Does God need their promise to know of their love? I think not!

The vows that our partners make to us are clearly not for themselves. Neither are they for our omniscient and omnipotent Lord of Hosts. They are entirely for our benefit, and we desire them because we selfishly desire their love. So much so, that  we demand all of their love, for all time, and in all situations, unconditionally. Truly, it is the selflessness of their vows, in response to the selfish desires of our love, that make marriage such a serious commitment, and the most cherished display of love we have.

Romantic love is selfish… yet it is that very selfishness that provides a platform for a most selfless display of undying love.  Quite the twist, don’tcha think? 😀


It’s Always a Weekday

I don’t know what it is about the auspicious date of November 12th in the northern hemisphere, but it almost never falls near the weekend. Thankfully, I never plan any celebrations on this day, my birthday, but I always feel that even if I wanted to… the timing sucks! 😥

Now most people (that is, people who take their birthday seriously), would take this in stride, and simply schedule something for the following weekend. Not me. Well… I still might, I dunno. But generally, I just go with the flow. So, if you’re going to call and ask me about my plans today, this… Monday :roll:, you can be sure I will have none. As usual.

That said, we’ll see if I feel like doing something this weekend 😀


Sometimes You Can Only Enjoy The Music

I just woke up about 45mins ago (at 2AM) with a Backstreet Boys song in my head. Specifically, this one:

So I went on youtube to listen to it… and OH. MY. GAWD! It was like someone was singing my emotions to me… and so I played another one, and another one, and by the 3rd one I was amazed! My mind was blown!

My mind was blown because I remember back in the day, my cousin used to LOVE these songs by these boy bands: Backstreet Boys, NSync, Westlife, you name it! And I loved them too. To the point where we both had many of their songs memorized.

But for me they were always just nice songs… and in fact up until today they never held any real meaning for me. They were just a bunch of good songs that I really liked at one point in my life…

Yet today, they spoke to me. They spoke of all the things I felt before the relationship; they spoke of many of the things I felt during it; and they spoke of many of the things I felt after the break-up. In fact, they spoke of many of the things I still feel today. It was like listening to my heart speak!

It was like listening to my heart speak!

And that’s when I realised, he and I were never really listening to the same thing. Because at the time, he was in and out of relationships, and he was hearing what I am hearing right now: Musical renditions of everything I am feeling. While I, was just listening to music.

He understood the lesson, while I heard theory. He was being consoled, while I was being entertained. The beauty of these songs was completely lost on me, and I’m not sure if he knew that. Because I was certainly at an age where I ought to have understood too.

Still what’s really amazing to me, is how the meaning of these songs depend on an emotional connection: a shared experience. Because if you’ve never loved, or lost love, you can never truly appreciate them. You can only do what I used to do:

You can only enjoy the music.


Thought Experiment: What Type is God

So here’s the little thought experiment I’m having this morning:

I wonder what type of personality God has?

This, building on the concept of personality types from Type Talk. The idea came about because in the Bible it says that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow: meaning that He never changes. Yet, I have always had trouble reconciling the way God behaved in the Old Testament and the way He behaved in the New Testament to a single personality – and I think many people face this problem too.

But having read Type Talk, and due to a few recent experiences, I realised that being the same person (when that person is an omnipotent, omnipresent being) may not necessarily mean behaving the same way (as it would for a mortal).

One big thing that Type Talk always kept repeating, is that everybody has a little bit of each personality type. For example: Feelers think, and Thinkers feel. Thus the fact that you may prefer to make decisions based on your thoughts doesn’t mean you felt nothing, or that your feelings did not oppose your thoughts.

This makes me think that God must also have an all-inclusive personality. Except unlike us, he has the power to switch up his preferences according to what he knows is best for us.

I think in the Old Testament, God acted very much like a Feeler. When He got upset it showed, and many of His decisions were based on how humans, and humanity made him feel. This is quite easy to reconcile with the description God provides of Himself:

God is love

And while God’s love is far superior to ours, we may be able to better appreciate His love in the Old Testament as shown through His decisions, based on what a Feeler may decide when they love greatly.

On the other hand, in the New Testament, I think God acted like a Thinker: changing His preference but not His person. So His love as shown through His decisions may be best appreciated from the standpoint of what a Thinker might do when they love greatly.

In both cases, God’s unconditional love remains the same, His person remains unchanged, and yet his actions are very different. It’s an interesting point to consider…

What do you think God’s decision type is? Thinker or Feeler?

Or would you rather not consider this thought experiment, and leave with:

God’s ways are beyond man’s understanding



The Tragedy of the Pretty Woman

Earlier today, I found myself with a peculiar thought in my head. I was watching stand-up comedy, and I saw that one of the comedians in the line up was a very beautiful single lady. Then I thought to myself, “Wow she’s really pretty. I wonder what kind of problems she must have to still be single?”

Wow she’s really pretty. I wonder what kind of problems she must have to still be single?

I was shocked! When did I start thinking like that!? It used to be that I either didn’t have a second thought, or my second thought was of a more lewd nature: maybe something about what I would do if such a woman was mine… So to catch myself essentially passing a judgement on her character for no reason other than her being single, pretty, and older than me, was surprising.

But when I thought about it, I realised that it fell perfectly in line with everything I’ve ever said about relationship dynamics. It’s very likely that she’s been through a few traumatising relationships, and if so, then she probably has problems now; even if they weren’t inherent before.

Still the real tragedy is not that she may have problems, but that I could’ve assumed she did. It makes me wonder how many men make that assumption without realising it. Because it’s one thing to acknowledge the probability, and another to take it for granted.

Are there women out there not getting approached by decent men because we’re assuming that they must be trouble? And if so, doesn’t that mean they’re only getting approached by indecent men thus forming a vicious cycle? As if there aren’t already enough men with the “she’s out of my league” syndrome.

Quite frankly, I’m very disappointed that I had such a thought because it means that reality has started to influence my outlook; and that’s how dreams die. So I’m going to bury that thought in a deep grave where even I, will never find it again. For if I ever do, it will spell the end of beautiful women for me. God Forbid!


Wholesale Shopper

I consider myself a wholesale shopper; not because I like to shop mainly at wholesale stores, but because I hate shopping entirely. So whenever I do go shopping, I buy as much as I can afford, to last me for as long as is possible. Which is why as I walked to my grocery store this morning, I had it in mind to do just that.

But I am not what one might call “a wholesale carrier.” I’m not muscular at all, and I don’t drive any car. So when I realised (as I was paying at the checkout counter) that I had nothing but my two skinny arms to carry it all with, I was horrified. ❗

Luckily my apartment is only 2 blocks away from the grocery store, and I’ve made it back home safely. But as I write this, I am convalescent on the couch: panting, and huffing, and puffing, like I want to blow a house down…



Extermination: A Constant Battle

As a teen growing up, and as soon as we could afford it, my mother regularly got our house fumigated. Every few months, the exterminator would come in and spray the whole house – leaving us insect free for a while. One reason being that, at one point our neighbours were rat infested and those rats used to come through the roof and over the fence, into our house. Another, being her fear of roaches.

So the appearance of even one or two cockroaches in the house, meant it was time to call the fumigator again. Meaning that, I lived a pretty insect free life (and inherited the roach phobia myself).

Similarly, my apartment today gets extermination once a month as a service provided to tenants. So I’ve never really thought much of it. In fact, sometimes I find it a nuisance because I’m busy doing something when the exterminator comes. So last month when he came and I was busy, I told him to go away. I haven’t seen a roach in months, and not more than 10 in years… until this morning.

Just walked into the bathroom stark naked, to see a big fat cockroach in the tub :shock:.

I’m never going to turn the exterminator away again!




Nigeria Cannot Be Insulted

When I thought about it for a moment, I realised that there is no insult a foreigner can give Nigeria, that a Nigerian hasn’t given it already. Is this good, or bad?