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Imposed niceness


The people of Glasgow have a tradition of opening the door and holding it open for anyone else who might be coming behind. This is a courteous thing of anyone to do. Very simple gesture it is, but, be a recipient of the gesture and then decide if it makes you feel special or not. This tradition practically achieves one thing: Showing love and kindness to other people, and you’d agree that makes our world a better place.

Soon after I first observed this, I found myself opening the door, and upon seeing other people coming behind me, smiled at them and held the door open. Whether or not they had asked for the niceness, I made sure I gave it to them. Intention is what really matters right? Right. Sometimes the niceness recipient was several steps away. To accept my niceness and be ‘considerate’, they would double up to get in the door in time. It made me smile inside of me. Did they really need me asking them to run up – that’s what I just did. I’ve been on the receiving end myself and I have had to jog up a number of times. For me, myself and I, there was no advantage I gained having someone hold the door open and smile at me. It only made me stress no matter how small.

So you see both sides of the equation and wonder if it is necessary to keep this niceness on. If I remember well, I did this niceness imposition on an elderly woman this morning. I made her jog when she may not have required it. But, regardless, I maintain that intention is what matters more. It makes the earth cosier to live in. If you’re in the habit of showing niceness this way and other ways, keep doing it.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Àgádágodo


They were there on the railing of a bridge over the Clyde river. Different shapes. Different sizes.

I spotted them easily because there were many of them hanging, clustered on the railing. They just had this fetish aura about how they quietly hanged. The fetish connotation made me think of them first as àgádágodos before padlocks. Sorry, but that was how my mind responded. Àgádágodo. I went closer. Upon examination, I saw names etched on the àgádágodos. Two names on each àgádágodo – one male, one female.

OK, àgádágodo means padlock. Simple. The story should make more sense now.

It didn’t require a lot of neuronal activity to figure that lovers left those àgádágodos there as some sort of rite to  symbolise permanent love and commitment between them. That’s not very unfamiliar. I imagine how it would have happened:

Two people fall in love. Their love waxes hotter and hotter till they both feel convinced they must be together forever, and shun the love of any other person. Verbal commitment to each other just will not do. They decide to seal their commitment with the àgádágodo ritual. For some, the rite may mean be nothing more than a symbol. For others, it’s a deeply spiritual matter, a matter of life and death.. Yea, death may be included in the contract – death for anyone who breaches the terms and conditions of the covenant. Love could mean just that to some people.

For love is as strong as death,
its jealousy as enduring as the grave.
 

Now, some of us know very well that the àgádágodo ritual has other fetish applications than love. I might not want to go in-depth into all that discussion just now. There are stories of how people have used the àgádágodo ritual to do immense evil to other people. It’s just interesting to once in a while see such things as this. It might not interest you. It interests me. Not everyone believes anything exists beyond our physical world. But I do believe this world is a spiritual place. I belong on the side of light. I am affiliated with Jesus Christ.


New word: àgádágodo.
English meaning: padlock.
Origin: Yoruba tribe, West Africa.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The kind of forums I love (2)


We had a second Personal Development session last Tuesday.

It was a continuation of the Personal Development discussion session my faculty mates and I had a few weeks ago. It’s central idea was to help everyone identify how they had developed over the past several months. In that first session, as I expected, people had a lot to say. Now, this second session wanted us to identify any developments we had experienced between the first session and the current one. Could we have grown and developed more in the space of just a few weeks? Now, there was a question in the manual I will like to rephrase as “Have you had any opportunity to exercise whatever skills you think you possess, within these past few weeks?”

Yes. I say yes because I have a story to tell to this effect. It all happened within these past few weeks. Here goes:

The school exams time table was unleashed (unleashed and released have two different meanings). My classmates saw it and straightaway decided there was no way it favoured my department. Indeed, the papers for my department were scheduled three days back to back and not one of us loved the idea. We all wanted it changed – if it could be. I personally really did not think the idea would sail through anyways.

You’re probably wondering how the short story in the above paragraph tallies with the subject. Ok, back to story.

In the first discussion session we had, I had claimed to be skilled in written and oral communication. I went as far as saying I could read the body language of my audience and adjust the communication style accordingly. Now, when it fell in my laps to represent my colleagues to make a case to the faculty, I had to put to use what I claimed to possess. Talk is indeed cheap.

With my colleagues right behind me and by my side, I engaged the faculty, and the exams office. It took a letter with very carefully-chosen words, emails, one-on-one meetings with key faculty figures.. lasting about three days, to secure victory. Victory, for lack of a better word. No one lost. We were not fighting a battle.

During the Tuesday Personal Development session, our coordinator analysed the exams timetable situation and pointed to the diplomacy with which the matter was handled on our part as very instrumental in getting us what we wanted. Written and spoken communication.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Glasgow’s city of the dead..


When I was much younger, I hated hearing or seeing anything that had to do with death, ghosts, cemeteries and the likes. I hated that word mortuary. I hated graves. The thought of them could give me nightmares even while awake.

That was a long time ago. Now I am not scared of dead bodies. They have become just one of those things. When I pass by a cemetery, or have conversations about death, many times, nothing extraordinary runs through my mind. Sometimes though, I get to think deep.

Welcome to Glasgow’s Necropolis.

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I cycle by the Necropolis almost everyday and on most of these days, I’m absent-minded as I cycle through. Maybe I’m just too used to seeing all those graves. But somehow, every once-in-awhile, they remind me. What do graves and tombstones remind you of?

מוות

Death comes to all. It’s a debt we all must pay. Someday, it will be my turn. It will be yours. When that time comes, will you be ready to face it? Will you wish you lived life differently? Will you be calm and rested, knowing where you will end up in the after-life? Will you wish you had more time?

I am not preoccupied with death or any of it’s cousins. I just feel certain it is a wise thing to think about regularly. When I think about it, I don’t feel sad or depressed. What I do is, I get sober. I calm down. I then put all my ambitions and aspirations in perspective.

A wise king pondered on these things thousands of years ago and had this to say,

It is better to go to a home where there is mourning than to one where there is a party, because the living should always remind themselves that death is waiting for us all.

Sorrow is better than laughter; it may sadden your face, but it sharpens your understanding.

Someone who is always thinking about happiness is a fool. A wise person thinks about death.

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That’s a city all by itself – only the people who live there are not alive anymore.

The wise king pondered a lot,

Yes, the living know they are going to die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward; they are completely forgotten. Their loves, their hates, their passions, all died with them. They will never again take part in anything that happens in this world.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The weather with it’s own mind


Two mornings ago, I got out of my house, the fog was palpable.
The day after, the morning was clear..
This morning was also clear.. only it was wet.

The weather pattern in this city – Glasgow, is crazy to say the least.
Recent weather trends show that things are getting even less predictable.
And when I say unpredictable, I do not mean the meteorological agencies have lost the ability to predict tomorrows weather. I mean that the overall weather pattern is getting turned upside down, worse and worse as the years go by.

The summer ended rather too early this year. I remember standing at the bus stop with a friend when she said a lecturer in her school announced summer was ending. I wondered aloud, “wow, the summer is over.. so soon.”

Glasgow locals say the weather was not always like this.. the trends are changing. I had noticed this same thing back when I was in Nigeria. From a few years back I would tell my friends “the times are changing.” It seemed the rainy season ended later than normal. The harmattan also came late.

What is responsible?

There are probable many factors responsible for this. I’m certain about this; we humans have tampered with nature. Our industries keep releasing Industrial gases and other environmental pollutants into the atmosphere. So-called green house gas levels are building up in the atmosphere and this certainly is causing a change in earth’s weather patterns. Man’s activities are affecting our earth in more ways than just the weather.

Will we someday push nature far beyond any hopes of restoration to normalcy?
There are already speculations that if industrial activities continue, earth will witness cataclysmic weather events in a matter of time. I see that nature is already giving us clues as to what might lie ahead.
We should see these recent changes in weather as a call that we must all heed and find ways to keep our earth green.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Glasgow’s running clock.


Whoever designed that artwork probably meant it to be just some masterpiece. Or, perhaps he was inspired by the fact that time is precious. I’ve walked by that running clock more times than I can count, but only today did it start to take a new meaning to me.

As far as I’m concerned, it depicts how time runs – literally.

Glasgow's running clock.

When I was writing yesterday’s post, I thought I had fully realized how precious every passing minute is. This morning, Frances started her class saying “at the end of this week, we would have gone quarter-way through the semester.” In my mind I went “Wooooow.”

After she said that, I realized I had not fully realized how much time had gone. Those words made me feel like I had been living in dreamland and I had just woken up.

Again, it’s not too late to set things right. I’m telling myself, “Just start doing your tasks one after the other. Soon, you’d be very happy with yourself.”

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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