Torture might beget Resilience…

“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.” 
 Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven

Ah Mothers!!

Growing up I used to believe my mums dream job must have ben to supervise some torture chambers in some Asian countries.

When you played outside she would shout… “Keep running around but be very sure that should you fall and hurt yourself, I will hit you so hard you will not believe it.”

And she lived that statement.

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” 
~ Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

One time I went out of the house barefoot. As luck would have it, I stepped on a nail. As many babies do, I went back into the house screaming as if I had been stabbed. The sight of my blood made me even scream some more. In fact I was 100% sure I would bleed to death.

When I got home, my mum took one look at the trail of blood I was leaving on her freshly cleaned cement floor and asked, “Where are your sandals?”.

Before I could answer I was pinched a sweet one and followed by a spank, Oh dear I was beaten a good one.

She then treated my foot with HOT oil. Generally some long and excruciating medical practices that worked very well. In hindsight.

Anyways every time she would insist on pressing it with some hot water, burn it with some oil etc. it reached a point I became numb.

So I wouldn’t feel the heat of the water or the pain from the foot.

Resilience at its best.

Sometimes to heal faster than scheduled you need to feel the pain more than often to become numb.

And numb you shall become. It helps.

Expose yourself to the pain points as much as possible, every time you relive that memory or see that person or know more about the situation, every single time, a little bit of the pain dies. And you become numb. Once numb, the healing starts and the progress is accelerated. For some unknown reason that I will not purport to know.

“Strong people alone know how to organize their suffering so as to bear only the most necessary pain.” 
 Emil Dorian, Quality of Witness: A Romanian Diary, 1937-1944



The difference between wisdom and folly…

“Fullness of knowledge always and necessarily means some understanding of the depths of our ignorance, and that is always conducive to both humility and reverence.”

— Robert A. Millikan

Mothers are always RIGHT!

Geez I can smell your doubt all the way here… trust me; this small painful truth slaps you right across your face when you find yourself passing the lesson down to someone else.

Oh be sure its that same lesson that made you think at that time, “how could she possibly be sure of everything, someone here needs to get a grip and it aint me!”

*insert laughter* It’s you!

Anyway so my boy was always top of his class, and he could effortlessly stay there too. Problem is he was all aware of this fact! When he was about to do his certification exams, he had this smug around him that used to irritate the living daylights out of me. I was also studying for my degree in another town so I did not have much time to see this particularly annoying habit develop!

Anyway one time I hear him arguing with my baby sister over the pronunciation of a certain word. He was not arguing from an informed perspective he was arguing from some logic that his 13 year old mashed brain had cooked!!! Never mind that my baby sister has both the age and education advantage over him!

I was infuriated!

So I called him to the bedroom and told him to get me a bucket full of coloured soil. Perplexed he did! Then I asked him to get me another small bucket of sand! Once he had them both, I asked him to pour the sand onto the coloured soil bucket and it should not overflow. Then he was like but, the bucket is already full, where do I get more room?

I looked at him and told him,”Exactly”. You can not fill a bucket that’s already full, you need to empty the bucket to get more room. And that’s the same way with our reason and brains in regards to knowledge, you need to always assume you do not know for you to learn something new. You need to be willing to learn. To be willing to learn you need to be humble. To be humble you need to acknowledge that you know Not!

I told him being top in your class does not mean you know everything, it just means that you studied a little more than the other students in your class.

Then I saw, standing at the door, my mum smiling. Then I remembered a similar talk, a little different, but centred around the same subject of humility. A talk between a 14 year old little girl who was getting the favouritism of her teachers get to her!
That little girl was me!

It might have taken me a few years to acknowledge it, but all along I knew she was right.

The difference between wisdom and folly is the acknowledgement that you do not know and the willingness to be taught. To be taught by life, society, scholars and mostly everyone else! Even those who do not show signs of knowing!

Have a beautiful week!


Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Being grown up is a con…

You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again.
~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762


It’s been raining in my town. Real rain. Liters and liters of water from the heavens. As a child I used to love the sound of rain as it fell hard on our iron sheets roof. I would wake up early in the morning and go out of the bedroom under the guise of filling water containers with rain water.

I was a very naughty, little girl – I have used the word little very loosely…I was not by any chance little. So despite my respiratory challenges I would still find a chance to dance in the rain. Really dance in the rain. I would risk being thoroughly beaten by my mother, or being in a sick-bed or an asthma attack to just dance in the rain. How amazing was that?

The rain would fall hard on the iron sheets and will go through a collection channel into a drum that was strategically placed to collect rain water… I would move the water drum/ water basin and soak myself completely in that stream of water.

Childhood is the world of miracle or of magic: it is as if creation rose luminously out of the night, all new and fresh and astonishing. Childhood is over the moment things are no longer astonishing. When the world gives you a feeling of “déjà vu,” when you are used to existence, you become an adult.
~EUGENE IONESCO, Present Past / Past Present


My Momma will then come out and threaten to end my life, or take me back where I came from(Dont ask me, I still wonder where that is and if it really crossed her mind that I would soon learn the gory details of how she got me. eeeewwww!) or an even worse fate if I do not go back to the house and keep warm : – ). You would understand that this is fairly common in Africa and no one, absolutely no one, has failed to thank their mothers for these threats. Even in silence.

This would be repeated everyday for the course of the rainy season.

So today I was leaving the house for work, and while I was trying to reach the car I was rained on. I shook all the way to work and when I got to the office I was rained on as I ran from the car to the door. Again I have been shaking ever since. My breathing is not as regular and am scared to go out in the rain again…

What Happened?

I guess when it comes down to it
Being grown up isn’t half as fun as growing up
These are the best days of our lives
The only thing that matters is just following your heart
And eventually you’ll finally get it right.
~The Ataris


I will gladly tell you what happened. A very sad thing happened and it’s called change. Some may call it growing up so I will humor them.

I grew up and by growing up I lost the abandon necessary to fuel my youth. I lost the carelessness necessary to help me realize my happiness and I lost me. I lost my person. I lost the ability to look beyond the threats and the boulders along the way into my goal that is happiness. Instead I become fixated on the boulders, on the threats, on the barriers and never even once look at what I desire the most. Happiness.

As adults we keep thinking, “If I try to get ABCD I might be stung by EFGH”. Instead we should be thinking like children, “I might get stung by EFGH but I will have gotten ABCD”.

So I will challenge myself that come Saturday, and it’s still raining, I will go to the beach and dance in the rain. I will play with the water and finally at the end of it all I will go home get warm under covers with a big mug of hot chocolate.

Then, only then, will I smile that smile of satisfaction.

That one that’s says, Wonder if I will get sick now that I already played with rain water…