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"Think of these three things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account"--Benjamin Franklin

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Full Circle (Birthday Blues?)

I turned 28 only about twenty minutes ago. I know, cos I have always known—from my parents—the time I was born: 26 April 1977 @ 9.33am. That’s a bit of an odd time isn’t it I often wondered…

But, hell, today is MY day. As well as around 1 million-plus people in the world. We are after all around 6 billion people plus now.

How many people today will have the opportunity to celebrate like I will?
How many will have the opportunity to have ONE square meal?
How many people will be well enough to ENJOY the day?

Doubtless, not many. Yet here I am ALWAYS moaning and complaining that my life is bad. Could be better for ALL of us couldn’t it? It has to be better than this. The wars, the anger; the broken families; the misunderstandings…

It HAS to be better than this. We all know that.

I am not in isolation in believing this, yet I am equally guilty.

I aspire to have the SAME big car – yes, that nice, sleek BMW there – that everyone is praising, or that NISSAN, or that TOYOTA. I have flirted with a motorbike, because I am very keen to pollute the atmosphere and make the little clean air that we have less clean…

I aspire to MAKE more money. Regrettably, the more money you HAVE, the more you want.

Surely I should be comfortable with the money that I am making now—no?—yet I want more…

Because, as Lovely Linda of asked, is this what the middle class focus on?: “Middle class people focus on: security (life insurance, health coverage), hard work to get to your goals, etc.”

I hate to say it, but it’s true: I am not poor, and POOR is definitely one thing I do not aspire to be. But neither do I want to be wealthy, because if we take Linda’s argument, then they focus on:

“Political relationships, networking, and safety.”

I abhor political relationships—it will ALWAYS cost you in the end. Read Machiavelli.

As for networking, we all try to do it, but that costs you at some point too, when you are deemed to no longer be useful to those whom you have networked with.

As for safety, well, don’t we all want to be safe?

This throws up the question of whether I am middle class…

That I am: my parents made sure that both my late brother, Sam, and I obtained very good educations—and I want to put it for the record that it is thanks to them that I have maintained the “middle class” status.

Malcolm X once said that “Education is the passport to the future” How right he was.

A year ago today, I was in Belgium {strangely enough, I dreamt last night that I had returned to our old house in Schoolstraat, Overijse,

Belgium}—on tenterhooks, still working at the Secretariat of the International Coalition for Development Action (ICDA). I had been interviewed days earlier by my current employer, and I fretted and frowned over what I said wrong, what I said right, blah-blah, and why it was taking so long for them to reply.

Then they replied before the day was over.

The rest, as they say, is history.

So today, I raise my glasses to my parents for making me what I am today, plus my Maker for giving me the encouragement, and saving me from some serious snares. The Psalms that my maternal grandmother and my parents admonished Sam and I to learn have paid off dividends.

I know many people today shy away from religion—and I don’t blame them, but I know my faith has helped me make me what I am – warts and all. I need to strengthen it. I need to strengthen it. I need to strengthen it.

I also thank G__, my significant other for being such a caring, loving person. She’s working a graveyard shift at work, yet she made the time to call me at 3.07am! She said that she wanted to be “the first to wish you happy birthday”;-)

How sweet;-) May our care and love be consolidated, and may I continue to use big words!

I mustn’t forget one of the best poems out there :”If” by Rudyard Kipling. Neither should I forget Max Ehrman’s “Desiderata”.

'if' by rudyard kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Like a priest said to Scully in one Xfiles episode “sometimes, we must come full circle to find the truth”

It’s GREAT to be 28.


At Tuesday, April 26, 2005 3:39:00 pm , Blogger Anna Anon said...

Happy 28th! remember it's quite like 27 except a bit closer to 30

At Wednesday, April 27, 2005 2:21:00 am , Blogger portuguesa nova said...

Happy Birthday, great post!

At Thursday, April 28, 2005 6:06:00 pm , Blogger laura said...

happy birthday! hope your 28th is a very happy one. angle to be taken out to a very nice dinner.


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