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"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Mathew 5:6
The dream looked real. It was one of those rare dreams that I woke up and could remember everything. Experts and psychologists say that our dreams reflect our thoughts and some of the things pre-occupying our mind the previous day. I don’t know how true that is. If indeed dreams reflect our thoughts, I would be something different by now. It would be a matter of thinking hard about something and diving into the bed immediately after.
Who is that friend who knows you very well?
The message came in at 1:30am. Most messages from family, friends and colleagues at that time on wards to 5am are usually difficult ones. In the past (when I was still young and selfish of course) I would put off my phone to avoid interruptions. One day I heard nearby curfew at a neighbour. Being on a village watch WhatsApp group, I called our neighbour and informed them of the noise outside their gate. All their known phone numbers were off. I could not get out of my house. I tried all means possible to get in touch in vain. That was about 2:30am.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Time has a way of healing deep wounds. Some wounds are deeper than others. The journey of life is full of potholes, corners, hills and steep slopes. As we move along the road of life, each one of us tries to avoid the bad spots. We pray for a straight and clear route free of disappointments and bad luck.
Proverbs 19:17 “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.”
What causes are you involved in? Regardless of how much money you have, it is critical to be part of a social cause. Most of the time, you don’t need money to help someone. Some people have the money and all they need is a genuine friend. Others have friends all they need is money. Others have friends and money, all they need is counselling. Man (and woman) is a social animal. When you join a social cause, you expand your networks and attain satisfaction that not any amount of money can offer.
“Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Life has a way of its own timing for different people in ways no one can imagine. Some people attain most of their life’s desires at an early age. Few are fortunate to make it on their own early in their careers. Others are born into a world of fortune created by their parents or close relatives.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”, Matthew 11:28-30
He kept me waiting at the reception for about 45 minutes. This is a man who was once my student in my Master of Business Administration (MBA) class at University. As I grow old, I have ‘learnt’ to take it easy. Not to try to pull ranks, because as they say, “there is always a more senior fellow.” Let me digress. Once I was queuing at a restaurant in downtown Hong Kong. I noticed the person two people ahead of me was one of our top local politicians cum executives.
Fred Kyaligonza (1974 – 2010) was one of the sons of an Indian migrant who settled in Munteme Village, Hoima District, present day Kikuube District. The Indian married a Munyoro woman and the couple had three Children (boys), until the Indians were expelled unceremoniously from Uganda. As the Indians packed, they wanted to go with some of the kin and kith. All the sons were of age. Their father wanted to run away with them. Their mother did not. The man being old (about 50 years), did not want to go back into the process of raising a new family. One of the boys decided to ‘annoy’ the mother. He left with the Dad.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute, Proverbs 31:8.”
“When I was in prison, visiting, an inmate, a talk light skinned slender man, in a yellow prison Uniform, came right in front of me after my talk on In-Mate Reformation and Skilling During Incarceration and said while looking directly into my eyes “Mustapha thanks for your talk. It was great and eye opening. However, how would you advise someone like me serving a jail term of five years for a crime I did not commit?
What is the basis of your decision making? As Catholic Christians, mastering the 10 commandments helps us discern right from wrong easily. When confronted with several choices and tough situations, we take decisions based on Christian values. If someone is asking for your help to escort them to a shrine, for example, knowledge of the first commandment, I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any strange gods before Me, is key.
“A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t, and even brags about it!” Proverbs 13:16
When a Nurse who had worked in Hospice as a caregiver for over 20 years was asked what key message she had learnt caring for the terminally ill, she replied “plan for your retirement.” She revealed that many patients in the face of death use their last breath worried about how their children and close dependents would survive past their demise.
I grew up with a single mother. She is one of the most hardworking and focused people I know of. In early 1990s, life in Munteme village was tough. It is around this time Uganda experienced one of the worst famines. The country was still undergoing political changes. In 1983, we had been told, was a year of scarcity. People died of famine. People had seen first hand the pain of living on an empty stomach. So how did famine hit again just seven years later? That is a question for our national planners at the time to answer.
“So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?” He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human.”
So many people, but few to trust. So many followers, few loyal cadres. That is the challenge of every leader. Which persons to empower who won’t take advantage of it to threaten my career. My seat. My shoes!
Every leader needs a close circle of people they trust. A team of people are loyal to one another and very straight forward. To be loyal is to be trustworthy and act with sensibilities. To act consistently in the interests of the leader who empowers your career to thrive.
It is easy to try to be all things to all people. Saying yes is the easiest decision. That way, you accept all ideas and end up rotating in circles. Yet great leaders are defined by their ability and frequency of saying no. You probably know of organisations that do a lot than the available resources and capabilities allows. They want to be in everything that comes along. They appear to be succeeding because of their size, staffing, resources and access to cheap capital. Such strategy of ‘playing in all games’ inadvertently slows down business growth. They talk about a digital agenda, but open brick and motor branches country-wide!
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