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Why We Need To Stop Taking Things For Granted.

Why We Need To Stop Taking Things For Granted.

To take for granted means to expect something or someone to be always available to serve in some way without thanks or recognition or to give very little value to someone or something.

Working in the hospital every day for the past one year has taught me the value of life. I’ve seen patients with various medical conditions ranging from cerebral palsy, diabetic foot ulcer, cancer patients, Parkinson’s, ALS etc. and I can’t stop thinking about how we take for granted some certain things in our life.

Listening to the stories of these patients and how they express their pain and anguish has indeed given me time to stop and reflect on my life.

I met a patient one summer afternoon who came for medical checkups. She was previously diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It is a disease that affects the nerve cells in our brain and causes symptoms such as muscle rigidity, tremors, changes in speech, and gait. It also causes Chorea.

Chorea is derived from an ancient Greek word which means dance” It is characterized by a brief, abrupt, irregular and unpredictable movements of the feet/legs or hands/arm. It is comparable to dancing. She had absolutely no control of her extremities as she watched them dance even when she wanted them to stay calm.

There’s no current cure for her condition so she can only be given supportive treatment by the doctors.

She told a story of how everyone including her husband abandoned her because of her medical condition. Family and relatives told her even if she sold all her precious jewelries and gave the money to the doctor, she wouldn’t get a cure.
She uttered a statement which made me realize how ungrateful I’ve been. She said “I wish I could be normal again and have my old life back” as tears rolled down her eyes.

At that moment, I felt this rush of cold air around me and felt the chills run down my spine. It reminded me of how we take for granted our health and several other things in our lives until we are faced with some serious problems. As a doctor, you’re taught how to be emphatic and sympathetic so as to enable you connect to your patients and at that moment I tried to feel what she was feeling. You really do not know how good you have it until it’s gone.

struggle

to take for granted

Appreciate what you have before it becomes what you had

We take for granted several things in our lives. Sometimes, we never value life until a family member, friend or relative dies. Neither do we value our relationships until it’s about to come to an end.

Why do we take for granted tips on eating well and exercising? knowing that 30 mins of exercise daily could prolong our lives by 10 years or even more.

When was the last time you picked up your phone and called an old friend or your parents? Smiled to a stranger or lent a helping hand to someone in need. Told someone you love them or asked how someone is doing or how their day is going. These are all what we take for granted.

We need to be happy we have food on the table and a roof over our heads. Because we could be homeless. So many people in the world would do anything for these things we have . But we still complain every day that we do not have enough.

We need to learn to be appreciative and grateful for everything we have. If we all looked around us, we would find endless things we have that others are not as fortunate to have.

People matter so when you ask someone how they are, ask how they really are. Check on an old friend, call your parents, take very good care of yourself. Read a book, travel, work hard and pray. Tell someone you love them, put a smile on the face of a stranger. Lend a helping hand and just be grateful you are living each day.

All these go a long way to teach us about value. Don’t forget that the things we take for granted are the same thing others are wishing and praying for.

Read more: Noteworthy Life Lessons This Month

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10 Noteworthy Life Lessons This Month

10 Noteworthy Life Lessons This Month

It’s just two weeks into the year and I’m sure we’ve picked up one or two lessons already. There is no reason for us to remain unhappy which is one of the many lessons I’ve learnt thus far. Below are 10 noteworthy life lessons for the month of January.

Noteworthy life lessons:

– No matter what happens in life, keep a good heart. Don’t let the darkness of others harden your heart and make you unhappy.

– Overthinking contributes greatly to our unhappiness. Keep yourself occupied. Keep your mind off things that don’t help you grow. A burden is taken off our shoulders when we think positively.

– When you like someone, tell them. If you miss someone, call and tell them. If you love someone, show it. Life is too short to keep your feelings inside. These feelings will eat you up and make you unhappy.

– A good relationship entails honesty, trust, understanding and communication. There’s no reason to be unhappy in your interpersonal relationships.

– Apologize when you’re wrong. Never let your pride make you miss out on a good relationship.

– Be proud of yourself for how far you have come. You’re doing great being an adult and never stop pushing to be the best you can be.

– Be nice and smile to everyone you meet. You don’t know what they are going through, and they may need that smile.

– Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer benefits you, develops you and makes you unhappy. 

– Be thankful for your life today. For your health, your family, or your home. Many people don’t have these things.

– We need God every single moment of our lives. His grace is sufficient for us.

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How To Be Productive in 2018

How To Be Productive in 2018

Every year that passes, we all want to improve or strive to be better than the previous year. Below are tips on how to be productive this year.

5 Tips on how to be productive:

Be humble – Try to be humble in everything you do. Be respectful of others. Humility takes away arrogance, boastfulness, and aggressiveness. Humility allows us not to think of ourselves too highly. When you don’t know something, be willing to learn from others. Always be humble in all your doings and wherever you go.

Perseverance– When you set a goal for yourself, never give up on it. Work relentlessly to achieve that goal. Even if you fail along the way which sometimes you might, don’t stay down. Get back up and keep moving forward. And you will eventually achieve your set goals. Persevere against all the odds and in the end, you’ll feel fulfilled. Perseverance is persistence in doing something even if their might be some difficulties or delay in achieving success.

Discipline – You have to be disciplined in everything you do. Be disciplined in your thoughts, actions and words. Without discipline, we cannot achieve success or happiness. When you decide to do something, make sure you do it at all costs. Think clear, manage your time wisely, and work hard to achieve your goals, set daily goals and try to achieve them. Studying medicine is not an easy thing but its discipline that gets me through.

Patience – Patience they say is a virtue. Good things take time. When we’re patient, we’re able to tolerate delays, pain, suffering,and annoyance, without loss of temper or irritation. Don’t expect for things to pull through in a couple of days, weeks, or even months. Understand that nothing good in life comes easy. Patience is the ability to wait till the traffic light turns green.

Wisdom – Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding- Proverbs 4:7. Never stop seeking for answers. Read lots of books. Ask questions. Never stop learning. One thing I pray for my life every day is wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

Create a vision board for yourself and pin these principles. Apply each and every one of then thoroughly and see how your life transforms.

Look at your vision board first thing in the morning as you wake up and try to apply at-least one or two of these tips.

Information is never profitable unless we apply them. So find a way to help yourself apply these tips above. Make a conscious effort at each point in time during the day, week or month to work on it and you’ll notice tremendous changes. Read more here:

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Ritualized infanticide { a bizarre cultural practice of the Kara Tribe}

Ritualized infanticide { a bizarre cultural practice of the Kara Tribe}

Ritualized Infanticide as the name implies is the intentional killing of infants. It takes several forms such as child sacrifice, abandoning the infant to die of hunger/ starvation etc. I stumbled on this image some days ago and the caption read. ‘A young girl from the Kara tribe in the Omo Valley of Southern Ethiopia. A survivor of ritualized infanticide practiced by the tribe’. Twitter: @storiesofpeople. 

I really got curious to know the meaning of ‘ritualized infanticide’. In my quest for finding the answers, I found a heart breaking result and I’m still shook that such practices as highlighted below still exists in this modern era.

A Child must not be killed due to wicked cultural beliefs and practices. Ritualized infanticide is still very much practiced in some cultures in remote areas.

I want to draw your attention to the Kara tribe in southwest Ethiopia where tribes still practice ritualized infanticide. In the Kara tribe, When unmarried couples bear children, it means this child is cursed or unclean. It is perceived that these children are full of sin and would bring bad luck to the family or tribe.

For many generations, these innocent babies have been killed, they are either left out in the bush to starve or be eaten by wild animals. The belief system is that if this child lives, something bad will begin to happen to the family members. Either they begin to die horribly or an epidemy occurs or there’ll be famine in the land. So the best way to prevent these is to kill the poor innocent children.

Also the appearance of the child’s first teeth in the upper jaw instead of the lower jaw, signifies a cursed or evil child. Innocent children are pushed off high mountains or are thrown in the river to drown or eaten by crocodiles.

These cultures are wrong and shouldn’t be practiced

What annoys me is that there have been cases where some parents agree not to partake in ritualized infanticide but at the dying minute, change their minds and heed to their cultural beliefs and practices.

There are infanticide cases of girls in India and other parts of Asia for whatever barbaric reasons. All over the world, there have also been cases of illegal abortion but only in few remote places is there an organized way of killing due to the wrong cultural belief system that these children carry a curse.

The deliberately killing and abandoning of offspring by their parents is the most heartless thing anyone would do. The children are left to die of starvation, left for predators, drowned in the river or being pushed off the mountains.

The fact that ritualized infanticide is still practiced today is so unimaginable. Before now, I’ve only believed things like this happen in movies. There is no justifiable reason for killing these poor infants and such practices must be abhorred. It’s time for the minds of these people to be renewed and for them to leave behind the archaic practices of their forefathers.

Evil must not prevail

I’m of the belief that two individuals of a normal mental state should be able to make decisions for themselves and the society must respect their autonomy at all cost. These people have the right to reproduce and should also have the freedom to decide if and when to do so.

More so one of the major reasons for these pregnancies is the inadequate knowledge of contraceptive methods. If these people had the right knowledge for the prevention of unplanned pregnancy or teenage pregnancy or pregnancy out of wedlock then there would be no cause to kill these innocent children. These people should have access to safe, affordable, and acceptable methods of contraception so as not to be victims of their weird cultural practices.

Ritualized infanticide is wrong on all levels. It’s immoral and contradicts the basic human rights which include; right to life, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery etc.

Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world. “Nelson Mandela”. Education changes the mind of people, it brings enlightenment.

The government must enforce strict laws and organize campaigns against infanticide.

Life is a treasure, we should cherish it. Everyone deserves a chance at life. Life is for the living, we shouldn’t take that away from anyone; not even because of our mistakes. Read more blog posts.

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Are your FRIENDS really your “FRIENDS”

Are your FRIENDS really your “FRIENDS”

Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. Friendship comes in different forms and different persons have their own definition of what it means to them.

Some of us may want some or all of these characteristics in our interpersonal relationships; kindness, love, affection, sympathy, empathy, honesty, respect, loyalty, mutual understanding, compassion, comfort, company, reliability, trust etc. from a friend.The type of friends we keep can break or make us. Friends are vital parts of our survival.

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain and sorrow. Times like this, we need someone to lean on, someone to be there for us when we’re not strong, people who’ll help us carry on and share the load we have to bear. The Same things applies to our successes. When we reach a certain milestone in our lives, we need to share our joy and happiness with those who matter most be it friends or family.The question is what type of company do you keep and what kind of friends do you follow?

THE TREE ANALOGY OF PEOPLE BY TYLER PERRY.

Tree

tree analogy of friends by Tyler Perry

I have this tree analogy when I think of people in my life, be it friends, family, acquaintances, employees, co-workers, whomever…They are all placed inside what I call my tree test. It goes like this:

LEAF PEOPLE

Some people come into your life and they are like leaves on a tree. They are only there for a season. You can’t depend on them or count on them because they are weak and only there to give you shade. Like leaves, they are there to take what they need and as soon as it gets cold or a wind blows in your life they are gone. You can’t be angry with them, it’s just who they are.The leaf people can bring instantaneous happiness but they do not make meaningful friendships in the long run.

BRANCH PEOPLE

There are some people who come into your life and they are like branches on a tree. They are stronger than leaves, but you have to be careful with them. They will stick around through most seasons, but if you go through a storm or two in your life it’s possible that you could lose them. Most times they break away when it’s tough. Although they are stronger than leaves, you have to test them out before you run out there and put all your weight on them. In most cases they can’t handle too much weight. But again, you can’t be mad with them, it’s just who they are.

ROOT PEOPLE

If you can find some people in your life who are like the roots of a tree then you have found something special. Like the roots of a tree, they are hard to find because they are not trying to be seen. Their only job is to hold you up and help you live a strong and healthy life. If you thrive, they are happy. They stay low key and don’t let the world know that they are there. And if you go through an awful storm they will hold you up. Their job is to hold you up, whatever it may be, and to nourish you, feed you and water you.

Just as a tree has many limbs and many leaves, there are few roots. Look at your own life. How many leaves, branches and roots do you have? What are you in other people’s lives?. Over the years, I’ve found out that most of my friendships have fallen along the way or forgotten. The tree metaphor have really been helpful in my quest to really keep true and meaningful friendships.

I’ve been able to evaluate the roles people play in my life and also the roles I play in the lives of those that I’ve been blessed to cross path with.I once had a friend to me at that time, we were friends for life. I thought we had these bond that couldn’t be broken, we did everything together, shared our dreams and hoped to achieve them together. Then all of a sudden we stopped communicating because we moved to different cities in pursuit of our life dreams. We had no fights nor arguments.Tyler Perry’s tree analogy places him in the branch category.

Friendship needs no promises, no demands, no expectations, it just needs sincerity and trust.

best friends

good friends

There’ll be some friends who’ll be there during the great times, but are unable to handle the challenging times. These are like LEAVES that fly away in a windstorm.Others will be there during the great times and during the challenging times along their paths to a point when it’s no longer favorable. These are like BRANCHES that can only handle so much weight before they break.

Over the years, I’ve learnt to build more meaningful friendships (the ROOT friendships). These category of friends are very rare so when you are blessed with one, never let them go.I’m of the belief that people come into your life for a purpose, some will stick around and help you and then leave, some will teach you lessons and leave; others you’ll help to teach and direct their paths.

Life is better with good friendships.

happy friends

best friends

Nothing ever happens out of the ordinary, for every person we come in contact with, they come to play a role. Some we meet along the path, some walk with us for a while but eventually they have to leave us for their own journey, others are always there all through the journey, always there to support us and all. Even when we choose to take different roads, it’s all in vain. This is not to say that they don’t have their own life but, that indeed your lives are meant to go together. These goes for us as well, we come to play different roles in peoples’ lives.

There’s a friend who sticks closer than a brother. These are the types of friends we should all seek to have. These friends love and accept us for who we are, always there to help us, guide us, and offer a hug to us when we need a shoulder to lean on.
They support our dreams, hopes and aspirations. They miss us when we’re not there and cherish every moment we spend together. We feel happy and safe when we’re with them.

We might not see or speak to these ones as often as we would wish to but whenever we do it’s like nothing ever changed, such friendships are not forced, they come naturally.
Although just like every human relationship, there are bound to be differences but these type of friend will always want to work on the relationship and never give up.

Choose your friends wisely

The important point is to recognize the leaves, branches and roots in your life and really hold dear to your heart those that matter most.And in as much as we all aspire to have the root type of friendships, we should also ensure to be a root friend too to someone else and by so doing we radiate love, one friendship at a time.

 

Read more: Coping With Exam Failure

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Controlling Anger- Before It Controls You.

Controlling Anger- Before It Controls You.

A Hindu saint who was visiting the river Ganges to bathe found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other. He turned to his disciples smiled and asked:

‘Why do people shout in anger at each other?’

Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, ‘Because we lose our calm, we shout.’

‘But why should you shout when the other person is right next to you?” Asked the saint. ‘You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner.’Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.

Finally the saint explained,

‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.

What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small…’

The saint continued, ‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper, then they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’

He looked at his disciples and said, ‘So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other more, or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.’

SOURCE: unknown

ANGER MANAGEMENT

anger control

I’ve gotten angry several times and I’m sure you have too. Anger can be completely normal. It is a healthy human emotion but if not controlled, it can get out of hand to harm us and the other parties involved.

Anger can be a vicious feeling that affects our mental and physical health. We get angry when things don’t go our way, when there’s a disagreement between two or more parties whether between friends, business partners or people in a committed relationship, when we struggle to be understood by the people who are close to us, when we feel powerless and hopeless. Anger can be due to a misplaced feeling of jealousy, hatred and the list goes on.

Anger can become corrosive and when this happens, it takes away our joy, our happiness. It’s like a disease of the mind with a sudden or insidious onset and that might have a very harmful effect on us.

When you’re angry, your heart turns cold. The suffering and agony of your friend, spouse, loved ones wound mean nothing to you, friendship at that point in time means nothing to you neither does love. Anger makes us blind to reason and infuses us with an intense rage which could sometimes lead us to act in an inappropriate manner. We shout and scream at each other. It becomes a competition of whose voice is the loudest. We say mean things to each other which sometimes we do not mean to say and this hurts those we say them to. It’s true that sometimes, people, things and stress could get in the way of everything.

Moments like this can affect our mood, our behavior and actions towards ourselves and others. We might begin to harbor feelings of anger, resentment and hate. And these are negative feelings that could destroy us and what we stand for.

controlling anger

We might have heard of the expression ‘control your anger before it controls you’ . It’s a self-explanatory expression.

CONTROLLING ANGER

Controlling anger takes courage, discipline, and love.
Love is a strong feeling of affection.
A good explanation of what Love entails is:
Love is patient, Love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13 vs 4-8

• We must always be willing to forgive. Not just others but we must also learn to forgive ourselves and let go of grudges.

• We should never let anger get the best of us. Anger doesn’t help our spiritual, physical and mental growth. It takes out the good in us.

• We should always make peace with ourselves, our loved ones, friends, relatives and our environment. We should learn to be good to those we meet and try to leave a positive impact on them.

• Let us try to maintain harmony in all areas of our lives and try as much as possible to live, laugh, listen, and learn.

• Let us always accept and apologize for our mistakes when we are wrong and we must never hurt other by our words and actions.

If it’s very difficult to deal with your anger, then it’ll better to always prevent anything that’ll make you angry in the first place and always remind yourself you’re in control of the situation you’re faced with.

We’re all but imperfect humans but we can apply these principles highlighted above to foster better and improved cohabitation with everyone around us and our environment.

Here’s a song for relaxation.

READ MORE: STRESS AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

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