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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, August 28, 2007

You Women Can be Too Smart!

So there I was having seen my girlfriend off to her class when I decide to go and explore one of the shops in the area. I goi upstairs to this gift shop not too far from work--to meet face-to-face a youngish-looking woman, with short cropped hair, and alluring eyes.

We exchange smiles as we greet.

A cursory look would suggest that she's a bit older than me (you can tell by the neck!). Nonetheless, she's still rather cute, and I couldn't help holding the gaze a bit. I went not for the kill, but for what I came to look for: things to buy my women (my Mum and my girlfriend) for birthdays and christmas.

So, I asked her, and she recommended some things.

She is a very personable young woman, whom many guys would like to talk further to. I don't re-call seeing a ring, but I doubt she had one, even though I wouldn't be surprised that she were hooked.

As I was about to leave, she asked me my name.

"Emmanuel", I said, "let me give you my card". Opening my wallet, I whipped out my bank card sleeve, and took out my complimentary card. She contemporraneously gave me hers. You know, I don't even remember asking her her name, but now, upon checking, I see it. So now, I know her name.

As I left, she added, in the usual well-trained phrase: "hope to see you again..."

Then she quickly added with a smile: " a customer!"


Friday, August 10, 2007

Here be Some Revelations: There are Heroes in Our Deeper Drama...

Very often, when life gets a tad dull and uneventful and unexciting, it is usually because we are making it so.

We don't need Hollywood to bring us excitement; there's very often a -- what Mariane Williamson of The Quest calls -- a deeper drama going on in our lives--that is to say a compelling impetus driving us in our vision of the type of life we want, and are leading.

So when you get to hear heroic acts and deeds that are not of Tinseltown stock, you begin to question some of the values in your life, and how much validity thay represent juxtaposed against the evils of the world.

I can very much imagine that even if you're a charity-giver, and hear of such heroic deeds as

two Nigerian policemen

facing a gang of thirty armed robbers in Nigeria, with one getting killed, and the other with "unearthly fury" shooting the gang all-out
, the benevolence associated with giving to an organisation that appears almost faceless just shakes your comfort-zone just that small bit. You might begin to wonder how far you'd go in fighting an injustice.

When all's said and done and dusted, the truth is crystal-clear: there are heroes among us.

They are with us every day.

These are the unsung heroes that get buried in the cacophony of corporate news dissemination...

Two acts of serendipity have fortuitously exposed me to the heroism of mere individuals.

The first was the whimsical purchase of the NBC-hit Heroes about a group of apparently very normal individuals who are destined to save the world with their super-human abilities, which play out through the show.

The second was the story I referred to above about the Nigerian policeman. The impact of which can be captured in a quotation:

30 heavily armed robbers invaded the Oba, Nsukka branch of a first generation bank, fired shots into the air to scare off people and proceeded to break into the bank. This was in broad daylight, 1.00 p.m. to be precise.

The two (2) policemen on duty rose to the occassion in amazing style, responding with what was apparently accurate marksmanship. Minute by minute, the casualty among the robbers rose: One, two, three, four … wounded (or dead?).

The bewildered gang took to dragging their hit colleagues into their getaway buses.

Meanwhile, inside the bank, the two bravehearts were running out of ammo, and knew it was only a matter of time, unless help came.

But where was the reinforcement? The supposed reinforcement later arrived about 30 minutes after the robbers had departed. But this was before the plot had played itself out in full.

One of the two policemen giving the robbers the time of their lives heard a thud - his colleague had taken a shot in the chest and had fallen to the floor. In agony, the dying cop gritted his teeth in a last effort not to scream and give away his colleague’s position. He was dead in a few minutes.

Bleeding from several wounds himself, the surviving cop rose up angry to face the robbers. It was with unearthly fury that he fired and fired away - and this onslaught totally demoralised the robbers, who hastily beat a retreat.

Bank workers who came later met a dead policeman with a chest wound and an unconscious one with his finger hooked on the trigger. His magazine was empty.

A question I posed to a friend during lunch a few days ago was yet-another X-files moment of God speaking to me, but me not listening--or me simply getting excessively philosophical in my young age?;-)

Either way, what greatly touched me about the Nigerian story was the "unearthly fury" with which the second (unconscious) officer used to shoot at the armed robbers. Where did it come from--that courage to face an evil you know can defeat you?

The heroism displayed by the first one who, sadly, died as he took on the armed robbers was more than unprecedented; it was stomach-churning and heart-rending.

I would like to see a day when each and every single one of us can walk the walk in this deeper drama of life, where our lives are so intertwined and connected in a way that transcends any six degrees of separation.

I also hope that when that day arrives, we will feel compelled to fight to the very end for what we believe in. I know the maturity of any courageousness I possess is very nascent, but maybe, just maybe, there might be someone out there...?

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Three Years On, There are Still Deeper Dramas of Identity & Fidelity

Offlate, I have been rather contemplative about life, wondering why I am back-pedalling on some of the commitments I have made to myself. I thought by now, the writing of my novel would have gone far. My deadline--my late brother's birthday of 6th September--looks seriously abortive. I have had to postpone because I know I cannot deliver fo rthat date.

Either way, "failure" has been a sure sign of my lack of commitment.

The most recent was exemplified by yet-another Yahoo messenger experience. Suffice-to-say, if thoughts could be put on trial, I'd be in the dock for an emotional infraction!

Misunderstandings were sorted out, and an exhortation towards being friends are the order of the day. This, despite a deep desire to have gone further with the prurient thought...

It got me thinking a great dealn about the ever-thin fine line between remaining faithful and cheating. Irrespective of your religion, sinning by omission is always as bad as sinning by commission.

When I arrive at that state, I find myself in an X-files moment, where I find that I have become the thing I fear. Or, better still, a Nietzche moment, when he (rightly) said:

...if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you...

...I know for sure I'm heading a dangerous path.

I have rarely ever denied an attraction for the opposite sex. In these days when one appears not to be quite sure how straight one is, I'm glad to say I'm comprehensively straight, but sitting on the fence over fidelity is a path I'd rather not go on, despite the fact that many-a-time, my emotions have found me wanting.

In 2006, my gorgeous yet late friend Nana Amaa showed a care and feeling unprecedented by any other married woman I knew: she wanted me to accompany her on outings; she enjoyed my company; texted me to wish me a good morning and good day; we'd spend some time chatting on Yahoo. Everything was clear she loved her husband, but she seemed to like me a great deal. I liked her a bit more than that, yet she was untouchable.

I don't think I'll ever enjoy a friendship so close yet so horribly short as hers. My Mum had always admonished me that a "married friend cannot be your friend". I knew that, yet I was flattered.

With time, our friendship matured and became no longer a case of an unrequited love, but one of a profound friendship between her and myself.

Regrettably, it never was to continue. This is what I wrote on 31 May 2006:

I realise now without any vestige of melodrama that I sincerely loved this married woman.

I miss her so much I don't even want to erase her lengthy hotmail messenger discussions with me. Her yahoo ones, regrettably, are lost:-(

My mental pabulum is this: can a man have pure love for a married woman that is not carnal?

Whether one might believe this or not, this is the real mCCoy

This is me.

Three years to the day, after I started working professionally (as in fully-salaried!) in my home country of Ghana.

And still, veritabaly and truly eccentric.

I take comfort in Lao-Tzu's admonition that:

He Who Knows Others is Clever; He Who Knows Himself is Enlightened

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