ThinkExist Dynamic daily quotation

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

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

We Focus So Much on Success That...

...we forget that failure is most-oftentimes good for the soul, and being silly helps you relax!

I came across a post by my one of blogger-friends-cum-established UK actor Daniel Hoffman Gill. His latest entry is a reflective, comtemplative one, with him worrying about what will be left of him when he gets old, as well as some reminiscing of his past.

Well, we all have a past--some good, some bad.

In my view we just have to try and be philosophical about these things; perhaps go the Andre Malraux --that French adventurer and author who fought in the 1936 Spanish Civil War--way, which states that:

A man is the sum of his actions: of what he has done, of what he can do [Nothing more]

Let's just say that in 1995, I was in a really bad way in the sense that I had gotten complacent about my studies, feeling I would, by hook or by crook, enter translation school.

I was wrong. Though I got very high grades for French A-Level, my English LIterature; History; and Computing A/S were nothing to write home about. I had done quite well in my mock exams earlier in the summer, so feeling that I would sail through (forgetting my coursework was not so great), I ended up with some monumental egg on my face.

For one good year, I was home, waiting for an uncertain fate. During that time, I read a bit about the Middle East, cried when Yitzak Rabin was assassinated in November 1995.

Upon reflection, wasn't sure whether I was crying so much for him as for myself. (I was 17!)

I was down, down, down. I had known the value of positive thinking, but I over-assumed its utility, and there were many days spent crying and reflecting, wondering what my future would be.

It was only in August 1996 when, thanks to family friends and some encouragement , and tough love, from parents that I bounced back.

Since then, I've been bouncing back on many things. But, for sure, I have known failure, and I do think failure and disappointment is great for the soul, because when you leave it, the world becomes so better a place.

My story may be peanuts compared to someone like Daniel's, but what I can say is that let's wallow when we need to, and bounce back more than we wallow.


Friday, August 25, 2006

That Funny Period in Brussels, in 2004: Psycho Woman?

Originally uploaded by ekbensah.
A few months before I arrived home in Ghana from Brussels, I had been conversing with a lady, one Verity, who was living on her own in an appartment in Brussels. I met her on Brussel's English Xpats site There's a classified's page there, Friends and Socialising, which people use to advertise themselves, have ego-boosts and whatnot, and meet new people:

Upon reflection, it's quite entertaining just reading people's requests for sexual encounters so liberally, and organising encounters that make your mind boggle.

More seriously, when I 'met' Verity, by way of webcam, I was stunned; she is drop-dead gorgeous, and apparently comes from a family with wealth, but there were issues, which caused some discomfiture in her life. Whateve it was, she didn't just want to meet up for a drink. She wanted more than that.

Her formula was: meet up; woo each other; sleep with each other, and bye-bye.

I desisted after a bit, totally uncomfortable. I actually felt I started developing feelings for her, which, oddly, pissed her off. Eventually, in one email, I lost it, and made a judgement call on her attitude. She was ready t o break up the arrangement.

Like a pathetic kid, I pleaded, remonstrated, texted her, etc. It just didn't work.

I left Brussels knowing a little more about myself, and wondering what would make some women feel they had to adopt this type of attitude in life. Had they been hurt before? What? So, if I'm reflecting and coming up with "psycho woman", can anyone really blame me?

have a good weekend--and sissoula!! take it easy!!;-)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Men--So you Wanna Travel?

So you Wanna Travel?
Originally uploaded by ekbensah.
Picture this.

You've known for two weeks you'll be travelling outside the capital.

You know that you'll leave during working hours, and you know you have to pack in advance.

If you're a female at my workplace, you'd have gathered your clothes for the number of days--and you'd be all-set at work, ready to go.

However, if you're like the four men among the one lady, you're likely to do the following:

  • come into work as normal

  • at lunchtime, wage an intrepid war through the battle of lunch-time traffic to go home and pack

  • eventually, leave for your destination after work, therefore arriving there far later than expected, leaving the woman hot, fuming, and frustrated.

  • Just goes to show: organisation and co-ordination has little to do with men's intelligence !

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006

    Basic Instinct#2: Putting the Toilet Seat Down

    It began with an act of stupendous revelation in 1997.

    I was in my home country of Ghana for the first time-ever with my parents, listening to the radio, and wondering about the stark differences between this rather-rustic part of the country (outside the capital by two hours) and the Belgian suburbia. I can tell you the differences were then very stark!

    There was this programme on the state-ownedGhana Broadcasting Corporation "health section" about keeping the home safe,and that's where it struck me.

    Like a voice from up-on-high, it was slowly inculcated into me by the voice on the radio that failing to put the toilet seat down was tantamount to having millions of germs crawling throughout your home.


    From that time on--and it's been a good 9 years now--I have NEVER failed to put the toilet seat down at home.

    I still lack discipline on other things, but this I can do well!;-))

    So tumultuous is this phenomena, it appears, that there are many sites dedicated to helping men put it down, so-to-speak;-). Read one here, entitled How to Get the Men in Your Household to Put the Toilet Seat Down ...

    Tuesday, August 22, 2006

    Oh, Emotions!

    Originally uploaded by ekbensah.
    I have a HUGE crush on my work colleague, which would be okay, if it weren't for the fact that she is:

    (a)very happily married with three kids
    (b) about eight years older than me

    Why I alloiw myself to be consumed by emotions so much sometimes is beyond me.

    Yesterday, she popped into the office to pick up something (she's been on leave for three weeks and a bit now) and as soon as she saw me, she smiled, and greeted me, as I appeared to be the only one to email her when she was away. Just wanted to find out how she was doing, and she wrote something like she doubts anyone would be misisng her, which I felt was out of place.

    I told her that people do miss her, but people are human, and they have issues. But that's normal.

    While she was away, I thought of her off and on.

    I have to put it on record that I am not necessarily the easiest colleague to work with, in the sense that when it comes to kitchen issues, some of the women in the house might need to whack this yours-truly head with a frying pan;-)

    However, this colleague has ALWAYS stood up for me; and I have always done my level best to look out for her with small things that people may not think of -- like transport to assist in picking her kids up from school when she nor her husband can go, or just finding out how she did at her studies.

    I know she appreciates it, cos she often tells me. Thankfully, she's not over-the-top.

    When I first came, I had a small bit of a crush on her, but I got over it, especially when I realised she is married--with kids. I re-call that initially, I even wanted to ask her out (she looks so much younger than her age).

    She's very professional...and very, very attractive--in all manner and forms: tall, confident, sexy.


    I'll get over it; but for sure, when I called her at lunch time yesterday to find out when she arrived back in the country from her holidays, she said with a huge smile (and I insist: platonically!) that she had missed me.

    I know Ihave a crush--and a very huge one at that--cos when I see her these days, my heart just beats that much faster.

    Is is the weather, what? Whatever it is, I would like to call it infatuation--and definitely something I will get over. I just have to be careful I don't call my girlfriend, Sandra, by my colleague's name!!

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Investigative reporting...of/from the UN!!


    Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting Since 1987 From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations



    Friday, August 11, 2006

    Basic Instinct#1: The Seatbelt

    Ever since I was a kid, I had inculcated into me the utility of wearing a seatbelt. To this day, I instinctively locate the seatbelt whenever I get into a car, and anticipate the clicking of the belt before I can breathe comfortably with myself. If the seatbelt is spoilt, which is frankly criminal, then I simply resign myself to whatever fate may be-fall me in the (hopefully unlikely) event of a crash.

    I wonder why I don't adopt the same type of discpline and second nature to other things in my life?

    I can only pretend to myself that variety is the spice of life!:-)

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    An (new and) Interesting Way of Getting Published!


    Go check it out:


    It takes minutes to get published alongside professionals and amateur writers alike!;-)

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006


    Over the weekend, I decided I would begin to cluster my life so as to simplify it. I arrived at a clustering of five:


    I.                   My professional work

    II.                 Writing my novel

    III.              Blogging

    IV.               ICT Journalists Association

    V.                 RegionsWatch


    My professional work is evident; that is HIGH priority, but the second one needs some time spending on. I have shelved the writing of my novel for some time now. I am creating a deadline so as to motivate me towards it. I said I would get published by April 2007—the year I turn 30. Very significant for me.


    But I am also devolving a short story from my novel, which will be grim, dark, and very bad-guy-gets-away for a writer’s digest competition. Fingers crossed on that;-)


    As for my blogging, considering I maintain quite a few (!), I need to sort my themes out so I can continue to update as regularly as possible, as well as try to produce more original and quality stuff. As my organization so likes to intone: qualitative vs quantitative ;-) Phew!


    As for item#4, we’re trying to get an association set up for ICT journalists—and we said we’d do it by the end of the year. I set up a list-serv, but I have been posting sporadically—it’s time to backtrack and re-focus!

    Regionswatch ( is a passion of mine. I could spend hours and days reading, studying, analyzing regional integration efforts. I did practical work on it—and continue to annoy those who subscribe to a list-serv I have on updates on anything from Chavez, Bolivia, Morales and MERCOSUR, NAFTA, to EU; ASEAN; ECOWAS.


    Confused? You know when they say the world is increasingly growing into regional blocks, where the EU is trumpeted as the greatest exponent of regional integration, well, that’s it—in a nutshell ;-)


    Well, this certainly has been cathartic! It would have been doubly so if I hadn’t had a VERY BAD CASE of a THROBBING headache almost the whole day today!!


    Ouch and quadruple ouch!


    Hope you are enjoying a stress and headache-free day!


    Obi, my shout-out to you—will be down there sooner than I have been! Anchored Nomad: hope you  got my emlJ




    Monday, August 07, 2006

    What If...There was peace in the Middle East?


    1. The United States would probably create—strike that: manufacture—another war so that its guns and tanks and military industrial complex could be used to the max.
    2. CNN would lose half, or more?, of its news content
    3. The UN’s Human Rights Council would probably be disbanded
    4. There would be fewer secret trips to Scandinavian countries, like Norway to negotiate / mediate peace talks
    5. The strong Jewish lobby in the US would have to become consultants in other disciplines…


    Now, why is there a preponderance of US-related responses?


    Can you come up with any more?


    Have a good Monday!:-)

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