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Chapter 8



I rushed to the hospital hoping the inevitable hadn't happened.
"Mummy Tobi, where is my mummy?"
"The doctor says I should call you"

"Rachael", I couldn't sit as the doctor spoke.
"I'm afraid you can't be a donor. The blood groups don't match."

Meaning I needed another donor or needed to buy blood.
I was most confused.
My phone kept ringing.

"Tinu, I can't handle this all alone". I burst into quick tears.

The only person I knew to be a blood type O was Tola.
Tola could donate but there was no transport fare to bring him home.
I had a lengthy talk with Tinu. She insisted she would prevail on Tola to borrow money from wherever and come home.

I wanted them to stay back and write their exams.
Everything was overwhelming!

Banji called. I explained the whole situation to him.
"Rachael, Don't let anything move your faith away from Whom you've always believed. He will come through. Just be calm"
I didn't know how to be calm.
I bought Malt and Milk with the money I had left. Mummy Tobi was a petty trader who had spent her little savings on mum before calling me.

Somehow, I was going to think of a way, but I didn't know how.
I went home that day with hate towards my dad.
This wasn't the father I knew all my life. How could he be so uncaring?!

I searched the whole house for mum's jewelry. I was going to sell them off the following day.
The whole house looked empty.
Apparently mum had been selling her stuff to make us feel good at school.

Tola called me. I was miserable with tears but I had to be strong for them.
"Just read...You know that MTH104 is difficult"
Tola was a quiet person. You would never be able to read him.
"Sis, I will be there day after tomorrow. God will provide money."

Two days later, Tola came with me with Tinu.
"And where did you both get money to be travelling with?" I asked surprisingly.
"God provided".

Tola and Tinu were acting strangely.

"Sis, let's go see the doctor"

The doctor took his blood sample and confirmed he could donate.
"Doctor, this is the deposit"
I looked at Tinu with shock.
"Sis, you would keep the remaining money as we don't know just yet, the hospital bill balance..."
"Don't ask me where I raised the money. We would talk about that later"

The transfusion was done.
Bills were paid.
Mum was to be discharged later in the week.
My siblings returned to school.
I stayed with mum a few more days.

Something just did not feel right...

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Not long after Dad was retrenched, I got a call from one of our neighbors.
"Come home,your mum needs you".

This kind of message wasn't good especially as exams were in two weeks. So I called Tinu to tell her I was traveling home.
" Should I come with you?"
"Why should you?Exams are here.You need to read! Just make sure you keep an eye on Tola.
Besides,I won't be away for long.I just hope she wants to talk to me.Maybe dad is acting up again."


Banji had rounded up his program but was yet to get a job.
I called him to inform him and asked him to pray with me.
I got home to see one of my aunts at home. "Mummy Tobi!"
"My dear" She didn't look bright.
“Where is my mummy?”
"The hospital"
"Ha ha! What is wrong with her?"
"Just come, let's go see her"

We got to the hospital,I was frightened.
"God,don't let this be what I'm thinking"
I got to the room where my mum was. She looked sickly and almost dying.
"Mummy!"

She held my hand.

"Rachael,how are you?"
"Mummy"
"If-if anything happens to me...'
" Mummy! Just stop.Nothing is going to happen to you or anyone!"

I took her hands off my hand.
My aunt was crying.
I wasn't in the mood for any tears.Banji is going to yell at me if he hears I cried. He taught me to always be strong.

The doctor walked in.
"Sir,what is wrong with my mummy?"
She needs a blood transfusion.If we get donors,fine. You would need a deposit of N20,000.But if we don't get donors..."

"So,you are saying my mum is lying down here because of twenty thousand Naira?!
Doctor,please just help my mum.We would pay."
"I'm sorry dear,we need you to get either the blood or the..."

There was no way I could sit here and let mum die because of twenty thousand Naira.
How could mum have been this sick and be telling us all was well?States were owing salaries for over 4months yet mum just sent money for Tola's tuition fee.
How could she be so sick and send school fee?
I hopped on a bike and went straight to Dad's place.
Aunty Franca was watching a movie.
"Aunty Franca,Please I need to talk to my dad"

Dad came out from his room.
She looked at me and dropped the remote.
"If you have come for money,we don't have money"

This wasn't time to quarrel.I turned to Dad.
"Daddy,my mum is dying!"
"What?!"
Aunty Franca interrupted,
"Sweetheart,if you are planning on borrowing from me,I don't have money oh"

For the first time,I felt so disgusted at my dad.
I dropped to my knees.
"Aunty Franca,I am not asking you to give us.I'm just asking you to lend me.Please,don't let my mummy die..."
"My dear,if your father has money,fine.Me, I am running around trying to raise school fees for your brothers. Or should they drop out of school?

My phone rang,
It was my aunt.

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Chapter 6



Days with Banji were memorable.
He taught me about purpose. Opened my eyes to be driven by a greater vision.
He encouraged me to meditate more about the Word. He helped me with music lessons.
He said I ought to be a real vocalist.
His love for me was deep and...enviable!

Tinu gained admission eventually and we went on with patching our lives.
All seemed within control. Banji was the big brother. Even mom knew.

One day, Mum called.
Dad had been retrenched. The company was 'rightsizing'.
It was a real sad news. Things have been going from bad to worse since aunty Franca came.
Dad was laid off now that aunty Franca just put to bed a baby girl.

"So, you and your younger ones need to manage"

I know that feeling. Mum was trying hard. Salary was just not enough. That night I was worried and extremely sad.


There was a concert coming up. I was to take the lead role in a song. A lot of ministers had been invited.
"Banji, I don't think I can do this song tonight"
He knew just what to do. He held my hands...
"Rachael, I will be sitting at the 2nd row so you can see me clearly.
Just sing the lead and Let Jesus take it from there"

"Faithful, faithful, Faithful is The Lord
I'm reaping the harvest God promised me..."


Concert ended. Testimonies kept coming.
"Sis Rachael, you are so blessed. But for that song of yours, I was so depressed yesterday..."

I was used to such.
-Sing brilliantly, bless lives,

Return home, cry about your own troubles...

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Chapter 5



Life took a different toll. Everything changed.
Sometimes, I sat to ask God why my family was going through this. But I learnt to accept His peace.

Dad didn't stop paying our fees but privileges were reduced.
Income had to be shared between my mum and his unemployed Aunty Franca.
Aunty Franca's flamboyance and desire to keep up with vogue had a killing effect on dad's income.
Everywhere you saw her, she was the type who had to make a fashion statement.

Dad began to make excuses. Mum began to foot more bills.
How people changed suddenly!

Life became terrible.
I didn't worry much for myself- well at least.
I worried for my younger ones.
Mum had to withdraw Tola from the school he was attending and put him in a lesser tuition fee school.
Tinu had to defer her admission as mum could not foot the bills all alone.
Whatever Aunty Franca was doing to dad was working as Dad came to see us less often.

In all, I wanted to work hard.
Perhaps to prove to mum that her struggles were not wasted, or just to graduate early, get a job and assist with the upkeep of my younger ones.
All these events drove me closer to God.
I knew He is one person who stands when everything around us collapses.


I sat in Class one evening, trying to read out my eyes.
"Why not go home?"
I looked to my right.
It was some young man.
"I gotta read! Girl can't be failing this course"
He laughed " But you've been dozing off you know--Go get some sleep at least for a few minutes"

That was the first day I met him.
I was in part three, he was a postgraduate student who had come to write some exams.

The next day I came to read, He was the first to beckon on me.
The truth be told, Banji was...that type of guy!
He later introduced himself to me and so, we became friends.

Banji would later become the first love I ever knew. Banji was real, kind, neat and loving.
Aside being a bookworm, he was that type of man I've always dreamt of.
He was there when I needed a friend, a brother and a confidant.
He was not in the sciences but kept a tab on me to read.
Even as I speak, I would never forget the day I met Banji...

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Chapter 4



I sat on the couch with my Kid sister-Tinu.
Mum sat with Tola on another sit, her eyes were red. She must have been crying.
Somehow I felt uneasy.

"I know this might be a diff-difficult thing to say. But, I want you all to know we all make mistakes..."

"Mr Man, go straight to the point.
Stop beating about the bush"- Mum was sobbing and angry."
Racheal, Tinu, Tola, your dad now has a second wife!"



I stood in shock.
It had better been a joke of some sort. I looked from mum to dad and back. I felt my head spinning.

"Daddy!!! "
"Look, it’s not how your mum is presenting it..."

"Rachael, your dad has two sons in Calabar! Wicked man parading himself like a moralist!

Now the secret is leaked.
His mistress wants him to either marry her or lose ownership of the sons...Just look at your pious father!"

Dad has always been known for gentleness. If Dad wasn't at work, he was at home. How could this be happening?

"So--so, what is going to happen?"
. Confused Tinu asked.
"I, I can't let someone take- take my sons from me..."
"What?!! Daddy!!"

Mum stood to leave. I had never seen her so broken.
As she turned to leave, "I made a promise early in life. My children will never live in a polygamous home!
If your father goes ahead to bring Franca and the boys into this house, I am leaving with my children. Simple!"

Gradually, it dawned on me that my home was breaking apart.
Dad had till weekend to choose between us and the boys...


Family intervened. Everyone spoke to mum.
Dad begged everyone mummy had respect for.
Aunty Franca looked harmless. Her boys looked tender. I could not figure this all out.
But if mummy insisted on leaving the house for Dad and his new wife, Myself, Tinu and Tola were definitely going with mummy.

Two weeks after Aunty Franca moved in, Mum had us out.
We were officially declared as products of a broken home...

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Chapter 3



Secondary school was fun.
I made friends and met different people, the Home economics teacher was all I needed.
I grew to become so confident.
I worked hard, played hard, fellow-shipped hard.

By the time I was in J.S.S 3, I had my plans changed.
I think I should become a Lawyer, a doctor or an Engineer.
So, I prayed my prayer.

"God, if you want me to become a doctor, let my highest score be in health sciences. If you want Engineering, let it be in Introductory technology and of course, if you want me in Law, let my home highest score be in ...History or Literature"

So results came out and my highest score was in Health Sciences.
I went straight to sciences and as at SS3, I was the best student in sciences!
I think I really worked hard. Life in this part of the world isn't made of pastries.

I was told if I stayed as a good girl morally and prayed well, everything would fall in place for me. Aside the general economic challenges which affected everyone, I think things fell in good places for me until WAEC results were released.

"Rachael, I think there is going to be a problem"
My school principal's voice went cold.


"Mathematics results were withheld for our school"

That was about the beginning of shockers for me.
How could mathematics be withheld?

How was I to study Medicine if mathematics was withheld.
So I had to go back home with my classmates.
Nobody needed to tell us a year was being wasted as no one could tell when the so called mathematics would be released.
...and of course when it was released after several months, I was one of the unfortunate few.
I was blessed with a D!


I insisted I was going to College so I wrote WAEC two more times before I was able to get a complete result at one sitting.
Jamb came with its own hurdles of cancelled Examination Centers and unexplained results.

After four years of leaving Secondary School, I gained admission into one of the state universities.
I wasn't offered Medicine and Surgery. I was offered a course in Agricultural Extension. (Sigh!)
Sometimes, I wonder if I was the only one whose course in life was altered by virtue of this Country where I belong.


University? That is a story for another day.
Sometimes, I wonder if I made a good decision accepting to study this course in this school.
For the first two years, everything seemed to be working in my favour. I was made of a tough skin so I easily adapted at the turn of events.

Then one day, during one of the vacations, dad came home as usual. He called us to the living room. He said we needed to talk...

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Chapter 2



"All things work together for they that Love God and are called according to His purpose".

I must have heard this a Million times. Same line Dad tells me when I come home to tell him I wasn't shortlisted for an interview or a job.
Today, I just want to lie on my bed and shut the doors.


"Aunty Rachael, Food is ready"
"I'm not eating"
My kid sister can as well leave me for now. I can't be eating at the moment. I just need to figure out my next move.
Life is making me sick. God you know I can't lose my mind.

Hanging at the wall is one of my favourite pictures-"Best graduating Student"
Sometimes, I feel like throwing this picture in the waste bin. My life is a story I don't seem to understand.


When I was in Primary school, I was a very dull student. With my poor grades, I was a real embarrassment to everyone.
Dad used to work with a shipping company and Mum was a public servant.
The bitter truth was, I couldn't spell, read nor solve mathematics and no one could explain why!

I was a quiet child who was always afraid of the crowd. I talked less as I didn't want to be bullied for anything.
Dad bought me books, Mum sat with me to make me read.My problem was everything.
In all this, I had a soft spot for sewing with the needle and drawing.
All I needed was to look at the object closely for a few minutes.

When I got to primary four, mum was already helpless. I could feel her pain but there was nothing I could do about my 'dull' brain.
Then, one day, in primary four,I met a new class teacher. Aunty Kaira.
I don't know why Aunty Kaira chose to believe in me. Sometimes, she held my hand and prayed with me.
"Just try Rachael, Just try.
You may not get it all at once.
I know it is not your fault that You aren't getting it. But just try"


It would be fair to say, Aunty Kaira was a saint sent from heaven.
Aunty Kaira is the reason I decided to be a teacher.
Somehow, miraculously, I began to "move faster than the horses"

I passed common entrance in Primary 5.

Jesus helped me.
Aunty Kaira showed me the Love of Jesus...

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June 2016.



“I thought the Ark would keep me safe. I didn’t know it would be tossed by the flood. He placed it on the mountains, far above the valley. My dove went out and never came back. He remembered me, He sent an Arc …”



Chapter 1



Sitting in a bus, I'm lost in my thoughts.
I'm looking out just to keep my thoughts real.
So much noise keeps distracting me.

"This medicine dey kill Malaria, Typhoid, Headache..." If only this woman by my side can just keep her voice low or round up this sales of hers. I bowed my head to say a little prayer.

"Lord, all I need is a miracle..."

My phone rings, its mum.
I really can't talk now in this noisy place.

Then it beeps again.
This, hopefully is the text I've been waiting for.
"Dear Applicant, it was a very tough decision informing you that you were not shortlisted for the next stage of the interview..."



Somehow, I didn't feel too bitter.
This is my 5th or 6th or 7th interview.
Again, I have been told I wasn't successful. Yet no one tells me why.

I called the man hawking buns and bought about five with a bottle of drink.

"Dear Lord, I know you sit in heaven.
Just in case you forgot my name, my name is Rachael and my story is real...



Dear esteemed readers, this is a story you'd love to read till the last chapter. Please stay glued as we bring you a chapter every week for the next 19 weeks.

Enjoy the ride. Gracefully written by Temitope Ogunjuyigbe. undefined
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They occur in our minds making up the forces that spur our decisions, and our decisions subsequently determine our actions.
Out of our thoughts flow the issues of life.
It is possible we think one thing and act another but it is not possible we act something without first having thought about it.

Our thoughts are so powerful that it determines a whole lot for us and even people around us.

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The things we think or imagine command similar attention even before God as the things we ask.

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!”

An 18th birthday party starts from the innate awareness of clocking age 18 biologically. And then it goes beyond awareness to thinking, “oh there could be a party”.
Thoughts of the party begin to play in our minds. We start to imagine what to wear, the kind of cake and design, food to be served at the party, venue for the party, how many friends to invite, etc. If this thought of a party is voiced out to people around us, they'll most likely agree to a celebration with us.

In short the party itself happens first in our imagination. Meaning that in our very own mind we can paint a picture of the things we desire.
Speaking out those things we picture to the right set of people makes it even better because we stand the chance of receiving help towards it becoming a reality.

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The thought of a successful and splendid 18th birthday party was the basis for other good thoughts which generated some good feelings, and subsequently led to actions being taken and the actual celebration of an 18th birthday assuming it happened.

When we paint pictures in our minds, if they make us feel good our faces might break into a smile that spread from ear to ear even though we are yet to see those things materialize. If we feel the pictures we paint in our minds can’t be achieved due to some reasons, we can become unhappy, angry or start frowning. This is how powerful our thoughts can be, even determining our outlook most times.

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When our thoughts are good, half of the problem is solved. Then when we act accordingly the problem is altogether solved. Acting accordingly may involve lots of other thought-processes and actions which we shall discuss in another post.
It is very important as individuals that we take charge of the things we think about. This leads me to asking:

Do you know your thoughts?

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

It is possible that you and I know our thoughts, master it and control what we think as it determines a whole lot about our life. In the mastery of our thoughts we keep our heart healthy. A healthy heart means a healthy life.

“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts”

How do we keep our heart healthy?

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”

When our thoughts are based on the adjectives listed above, we become beautiful and living becomes better.
When we have good thoughts, we constantly exude positivity which makes us really attractive.

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I believe Olajumoke Orisaguna, the famous bread seller had tons of positive thoughts on her mind before and on the day her face caught TY Bello's attention. Positive thoughts and desire that spurred her on daily despite the hard knocks of life.
Half her problems were solved already in her mind that way. And then just someday the power of her thoughts became so strong and overwhelming that someone noticed it.

Now is the time to start positive thinking, imagination, dreaming and aspirations.

Yes you can be positive.
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Lizzy went on the internet to read about committing suicide. Of course who would really want to commit suicide and go about asking people on how to. Very few would do that.
She soon found out different ways of committing suicide. I wish she could gather the strength to google instead “how to overcome emotional challenges or how to be free from life’s issues or I need help”. However, it is understandable these issues can be overwhelming and causes negative energies to surge more than the positive.

Lizzy tried a couple of things to end her life but she didn’t die. She admitted it takes some guts to end one’s life if not influenced by demons. She was later grateful that demons didn’t attend to her thoughts of committing suicide all the while.

She admitted committing suicide was not the way out.

It turned out that someone had been observing her while she was working. Lizzy really couldn’t have noticed there was someone looking out for her. And of course having been through life so roughly at such an early stage, it never crossed her mind that anyone could genuinely love and care for her.

Eventually, this lady sought her out. Gradually Lizzy warmed up to the lady and was able to share her story in episodes.
For the first time she didn’t feel judged for her way of life and past experience. What a relief. She experienced the reality of someone truly loving her and wanted nothing in return.

Perhaps you are just like Lizzy. You have issues weighing you down and just no one to talk to especially in climes and regions where you as a victim will be blamed and stigmatized for circumstances you didn’t have control over such as similar to Lizzy’s case.

This post is dedicated to you whether male or female, to let you know that you are not alone.

Life may have been tough for you growing up just like it was for Lizzy. You have these battles going on in your mind. You feel no one cares and no one can understand.

Yes you are right about no one being able to understand. However, sharing with someone eases the burden.

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And then the question of who can I share with. Everyone seems to be having their issues and as a result they say “fix yourself”.
I am glad to let you know there is a way out. If you believe in God, simply pray to Him to send you someone you can trust and feel free to talk to. Who can hold your hand through such a phase as you become better.

At Better Me, we love you and care about you.

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Lizzy lost her dad at age 6. Her mum was devastated. The family’s support system crashed. No one to help. The burden of upkeep became too heavy.
Her dad’s family weren’t too friendly anymore. As there were insinuations that her mum’s ill-luck caused her dad’s untimely death.

One uncle suggested marrying Lizzy’s mum since she was still young and youthful. On second thoughts he decided not to.
Moreover, he was influenced by the family not to, as the ill luck that was associated with Lizzy’s mum could also affect him and cause his untimely death. As if the widow would really think it a great idea to marry the uncle of her late husband.

In the end, Lizzy and her mum were thrown out of the house. After all, Lizzy wasn’t even a male child who could carry on the family name.

Faced with a hard life and uncertainty, Lizzy’s mum had to settle for a remarriage. She needed to survive. Her daughter at least needed a roof over her head. She had been out of job since she gave birth to Lizzy. Hence, getting a job immediately was a mountain too high to climb.

Her option of settling for a remarriage to escape the hardship as a result of her husband’s sudden demise turned out sour for Lizzy.
Lizzy was immediately exposed to a life she never envisaged as a little girl. First, she had to contend for her mum’s affection. Then started the physical and sexual abuse she had to endure from her step-father which really distressed her.

With no form of rescue in view, Lizzy had to quickly settle for her condition and internalized all her experiences, as horrible as they were. She could not tell her mum of the abuse she continually suffered at the hands of her step-father. There was no one to reach out to, no one to talk to, let alone defend her.
She soon became bitter, anti-social, developed low self-esteem and performed poorly in school. She became uncoordinated and was lost in a world of uncertainty with no hope of anyone ever finding her.

She managed to escape from her step-father and mother at age 15. For the First time in many years she felt free. However, the emotional trauma and pains inflicted upon her since childhood continued to haunt her.
The feeling of freedom gradually disappeared and she became confused not knowing what to do or where to turn. She quickly resolved to do whatever had to be done, to pay for whatever she needed in order to survive.
Her emotional state didn't help either. The love she so earnestly yearned for made her easy prey for prowling wolves and the unscrupulous. She lost every restraint and thought nothing of using her body to her advantage. After all that was the only means of survival available to her.

Her physical needs were being met. But her emotions got shattered the more at the turn of each day. She tried getting a job as a sales girl. She did that for a while, only for her to be fired suddenly for some shortage due to her being absent minded. Poor Lizzy. Life wasn't fair on her and what was already bad seemed only to be getting worse.

Lizzy became emotionally distraught. She felt, unloved, used, abused, depressed, distorted, and embittered. She started to hate people. Lizzy really needed help.
At a point she felt she couldn't go on again. What was the point to life after all? She thought to herself. She certainly was a waste of conception, a waste of time and a total waste of space. “Why not end my miserable life”, she thought to herself.

Committing suicide? Is that really the solution?

To be continued in the next post. Stay tuned.

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Dear Catherine,

How are you doing? I hope you are doing well. I miss you Catherine. But there is a chasm between us that is widening by the day. It’s so sad that you have been ignoring me and choosing not to pick my calls.
To be frank with you, I am not blinded by my love for you not to see the hand-writing on the wall. I can see clearly that you are slipping away from me.

Sometimes I think deep into the night wondering where it all went wrong. How could a perfect love go wrong? I have tried so many times to get us back to the way things were when our love was so strong, but it is obvious you want out.

I strongly wish you would come out straight. Believe me, it is alright to tell me what you think about it. I won’t begrudge you
Would you come out straight?

Sincerely Yours,

David



Dear David,

I am so sorry I have been acting so badly. And I am sorrier that despite all you have done for me and how you always put yourself out for me, I have to pay you back like this.
To be truthful, I have found where my heart belongs, and I will be getting married next month. Plus I found out I am pregnant too… Though not the best I expected to happen to now. However, it has happened and I need to face it.

I know you don’t deserve any of these, but I hope you will one day understand and find it in your heart to forgive me my betrayal.

I am so sorry.

Hasta la Vista

Catherine



Dear David,

How are you? I really hope you a good. This is Margaret. Just in case you have forgotten. I have written to you several times now, but I have gotten no reply. No calls, no texts, no e-mails, nothing. You are just silent.

I remember the time I met you. I took a strong liking to you and in from the little time we spent together, I developed great feelings for you.

I know you have these demons from your past that still haunts you. I try to make you talk about it but you prefer to keep mum about it. Despite all these, I still love you. I long to see you. I have really missed you.

I hope you will reply this time around.

Everly Yours

Margaret.



Dear David,

I really expected a reply but I didn’t get one. I am gradually coming to terms with it. You are not picking up calls nor replying text messages. I often wonder why.

Last week I found a stray dog on the streets. I took it in and gave it a wash. It kinda reminded me of you- He is cuter though.
I try not to think about you, but whenever my mind isn’t engaged with something else, I can’t help it.

How are you doing?

Margaret



Dear David,

What’s up with you? What’s the deal? Why are you acting all weird and stuck-up? Are you so blind that you can’t see something good when it stares you in the face? I have laid aside so much of my honour just to show you how I feel towards you.

I can’t comprehend why you are so blind. I think you are simply stupid and plain dumb not to realize how much you need me and how much I need you.

You have to reach out to me David. I will be the biggest loss in your life.

We are meant to be together,

Margaret



Dear Mr-i-am-too-good-for-Margaret,

Who the hell do you think you are? Adonis or God Himself? I loved you and you simply ignored me. For all the pains you caused me I hope your conscience eats at you and you can’t sleep at night because of it.

I hate you David, and so you would know, you are one-of-a-kind in a stupid sense.

Go-swing-from-a-tree,

Margaret



Dear Margaret,

I am terribly sorry I have not replied any of your letters till now. I have been ill for some time and just got strong enough to write you this one.

I did not ignore you intentionally. I really wanted to reach out to you but my phones and laptops were kept away from me.

I pray with my whole heart that I recover very soon. Don’t be angry and frustrated with me. I need you to know that there is beauty in the world.

I love you Margaret. Hold fast to that and take care of yourself for me.

Faithfully Yours,

David



That’s the letter he wrote to you before he died this morning. He asked me to give it to you. He has been ill for years now, but for the most part he has kept it to himself and walked around like nothing was wrong.

I know he had good and strong feelings for you and really wanted to be with you, and I know you feel the same way-cos I saw all of the letters you sent him.

I am sorry we had to lose him the way we did. He will be buried 5 days from now. If you are strong enough to bear it, I would really love to have you around for the funeral. I will at least have a consolation he had a friend and was loved while he was alive.

Sincerely Yours,

Sally (David’s sister)



Many atimes, when we do not get the deserved response or expectation from people no matter whom, we may need to humbly and sincerely check again and again to see and ensure nothing is going wrong with them.

This way we would be saving ourselves a whole lot of emotional issues and we may be able to help others with solutions.

Write Up Credit: Tobi Oni.undefinedundefined
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Tagged in: Love Tale Wacky
1642
A gift for you.
Has your name on it.
Yeah! Belongs to you.

Santa's gift of chocolate, biscuits, all you have wished for and gotten from him may have finished despite trying hard to make it last a little longer.
However, relax! Do not despair. Don't be sad because here is a gift with your name on it.
Note: You can pick all three gift if you want.

b2ap3_thumbnail_love.jpg
(Made in the best condition with finest ingredients. No preservative added. 100% divine.)

Composition: Patience, Kindness, Tolerance, Perseverance, Humility, Selflessness.
All components in adequate proportion and makes up 100% fine blend.

Unavoidable Use: Strongly recommended for all kinds of emotional issues especially to overcome hatred, low self-esteem, and depression. To be used internally, verbally and spiritually. Prevents a lot of emotional baggage that may result to serious heart dysfunctionalities.

Basic Dosage: 3 Drums, 3 times daily.

Side Effects: Tested on humans and no adverse side effect recorded. Hence very safe for consumption in large doses till intoxicated. However, if symptoms of hatred, selfishness, strife and pride persist after 21 days, please consult a super physician.

Expiry Date: Components are indestructible. Components will not decompose Can only multiply and keep multiplying. Hence no expiry dates.
You are free to keep as much as you can till you desire to.
Physician’s Advice: Keep it for ever.

Exception: No exception to age or gender. Suitable for all age group and gender worldwide at all stages of life.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Peace.jpg
(Made from carefully selected fine ingredients. 80% divine; 20% natural)

Composition: Calmness, Tenderness, Courage, Forgiveness, Humility, Emotional Intelligence
All components in adequate proportion and makes up 100% fine blend.

Recommended Use: To be used in the face brewing trouble. Can also be used to avert and avoid all kinds of strife as well as violence.

Basic Dosage: 1 bucket full, 3 times daily.

Side Effects: Tested on humans and no adverse side effect recorded. Hence very safe for consumption in large doses till you receive a Nobel Prize for being peaceful. However, if symptoms of hatred, selfishness, strife, fight, trouble making, violence, pride persist after 21 days, please consult a super physician.

Expiry Date: At the notice of slight hatred or desire to be violent, there are tendencies of reduced potency of components. Hence, the need for reinforcement of constituent ingredients.

Physician’s Advice: Keep adequate quantity of ingredients in store to sustain potency and availability

Exception: No exception to age or gender. Suitable for all age group and gender worldwide at all stages of life.

b2ap3_thumbnail_joy.jpg
(Made from 100% divine components)

Composition: Deep rooted happiness in the soul, strength, wisdom.
All components in adequate proportion and makes up 100% fine blend.

Use: To prevent all forms of depression and deep seated emotional issues that may arise from situations of life. Prevents heart related issues and promotes healthy heart functionalities.

Basic Dosage: 5 barrels, 3 times daily.

Side Effects: No adverse side effect recorded ever. Hence, very safe for consumption in large doses till overflow. However, if symptoms of depression, sadness, mood swings persist after 21 days, please consult a super physician.

Expiry Date: Due to the divine nature of components, it does not expire.

Physician’s Advice: Keep in abundance.

Exception: No exception to age or gender. Suitable for all age group and gender worldwide at all stages of life.

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1643
An average human being irrespective of culture, tradition, system, location has this innate desire to relate with a super power or even become one. By super power I mean something or someone greater and more powerful than one, in most cases spiritual. A source we can draw strength from and feel safe at the thought of.

For many people, relating with a super power or deity through an object or an individual is just fine. Really this is most common. It usually appears as if one must be given right of access to the deity especially when it appears we need to relate with the super power through an individual.
In fact in most climes, only the adults can have easy access to relate with an object or representative of a deity. If at all a young person gets a chance it’s just to watch, obey or such a person is a “chosen one”. Of course one feels safe and powerful being the only one who happens to know a code or password that unlocks something spectacular, powerful, and confidential to say the least.

But here is good news. There is a super powerful being who you do not need an object or permission to relate with. You feel safe, powerful and spectacular with Him and yet you influence others humbly. You feel free to let others have access to Him on their own. No gate fee or hidden charge. A relationship with no interruption or a go between. Here, age, class, tribe, culture isn't an issue.

Legally, one needs to be of some certain age to drink, smoke or posses some things in most countries. But to this super powerful man whose name is Jesus, just anyone can have access to Him. He is not only for adults. He is for all and wants to be for you specially. The only Super Power who is for all but yet can be customized for you.

He is the super powerful you don't need permission from anyone to have access to. The only person you need permission from is you.
More so you have a direct access 24/7 all year round from anywhere in the world. Isn't that amazing. In as much as you have given yourself permission to relate with Jesus, never forget intimacy with Him is not only for adults.

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1828
There is someplace where safety is guaranteed. Where one feels completely secured and is assured of rest despite all the happenings world over.

From Boko Haram bombings in Nigeria to the radical Islamic groups bloodshed in the Middle East. From Xenophobic attacks in South Africa to Serial shootings, Homicides, Racism in the Americas and Terrorism in many places.
From Abject poverty in Africa to Incessant Rape cases in India and Sweden. Debt crisis and Welfare cuts, Earthquakes, Heatwave, Typhoons, Landslides, Tornadoes, Flooding, Hurricanes, Wars and rumors of war, Insecurity, Corruption, Plane crashes, Diseases, Epidemics, Falsehoods, Broken homes, Bad leadership, Kidnappings, Global warming, Injustice, Discrimination, Rejection, Suicide, Religious intolerance, Confusion, Depression etc. These are some of the issues human race are having to deal with, and we are all affected in one way or the other.

These issues make us sad, unhappy, discouraged, greatly distressed, hopeless, helpless, depressed, tired, and sometimes even lost. Many a times we just don't know what to do or where to go.
Hmmmm! It can be pathetic. Some are left with no other choice than to do terribly awful things in order to survive. Some decide to let go of life itself.

Irrespective of what we decide to do in different situations of life, I need you to know that one place is safe. Your heart with CHRIST in it is safe. Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty God is SAFE.

Difficult life situations, vexations of the soul, worries and problems make everywhere unsafe, and we are constantly under threat of body harm. But you need to know here is safe, your heart with Christ in it, irrespective of where ever you may be located.

Even when our choices and decisions have made us be at risk. Even when we have been subjected to risk of losing it all, here can still be safe, our hearts with CHRIST in it. He stands at the door to your HEART asking to come in.
Simply let Him in and keep Him in always.

So long you allow Christ in and keep Him in your heart, He will steer you through the course of life. No time is too late to let Him in. Only when life is no more will it become late.
Before letting go of life itself due to overwhelming situations, let go of your heart to Jesus first and you will be safe even eternally.

Edited by Tobi Oni.
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Tagged in: Christ Depression Safe
1739
Purposeful perspective of money II

As much as money is needed for most things that aids survival, so also there is the need to have good information and understanding about money, especially how to make it.
In addition to making money, one needs to imbibe the habit of saving it and investing it.

Below are some ways in which money is usually made:
1. Selling products.
2. Rendering services.
3. Working as an employee and being paid.

As an individual or nation we need to determine what product(s) to sell, service(s) to render and what jobs to do in exchange for money.
As a young person who needs money for one or two things relating to basic needs of life or getting an education, selling needed product(s) could just be a source of cash inflow to meet those needs.

The internet is full of adverts and publications on the things people need, and these needs could be met by offering to sell products or render the necessary services to those who need them.
Of course, some of the processes involved in such ventures could be a little intricate, but this post is basically to highlight basic ways to make money.

Many young people render services such as serving food at parties, waiters in restaurants, traffic/parking-control warden, car exterior cleaning during events and they get paid.
Some have horned their skills in making party food, cocktail drinks, dessert, steak meat, smoked fish, barbecue etc and they are paid to render these services at events.

Being very brilliant in some subjects may just be a gift you can convert into making money by teaching other students such subjects at a fee. But you must be very good at it and be able to pass across that knowledge effectively.

There are some market places where some people dread going because of navigation issues and the fear of being cheated. These uncharted areas can be explored; whereby you lead customers to these market areas where they would get good quality products and real value for their money, and you reach an agreement on how much to be paid for your time, patience, knowledge and value you have added to them.
Customers must be able to trust that you will lead them through the market successfully and not try to deceive them.

In busy cities, working a paid employment could be time consuming. Most workers would appreciate some relief when you do their laundry, sweep or clean for them. All these must be done with caution and accountability. If services will be rendered in people's homes, one may insist on it being done outdoors for the sake of safety and to prevent being harassed.

People get on the internet for information and education these days. This is another area with huge wealth potentials that can be unlocked. If you need more proof, ask Linda Ikeji, Mark Zuckerberg and a host of other people who have used the social media and leveraged on internet to bridge the gap between money and them.

Making hair for little girls is a service area where most hairdressers shy from because of the belief that making hair for children takes more time and is tedious. Someone might just develop that patience to make hair for children and start to make good money. Train others to do likewise and refer them to your teeming customers. You could decide to charge a token fee on your referrals.

Even as a barber, you may have a mobile hygienic barbing kit; A power bank to power your clipper or that of your client; a mirror and a host of other items that enable you deliver excellent home service.
I often see parents driving a distance just to get a haircut for their boys or even for themselves. Bringing excellent haircut service to them in their homes would have saved them some time and cost.

TIP: If bridal makeovers fetch money for people, then you can invent “groom makeover”.

FACT: Only if we would take time to look inwards, around us, and have a positive outlook on life would we find that there are lots of ideas we could convert to tangible products and services to bridge the gaps between money and us.

A major hindrance so far is the fact that honesty, reliability, Integrity, confidentiality and good human relationship skills are very scarce these days. And without such characteristics, these money-making ideas might not be successful even as you have known some now or as you may already have.

ACTION: If we could decide to start being honest, hard;smart working, reliable, and trustworthy in our dealings with other people, you will be surprised how these virtues over time translate to tangible wealth and you have your needs met.

Edited by: Tobi Oni

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1690
Arise O compatriots, Nigeria's call obey. To defend Nigeria, speak peace within her walls and prosperity within her palaces.

To serve our Father land with love and strength and faith with a unified vision of a great Nigeria. Pursued with all diligence, skill, competence and character.

A Nigerian where power supply is not erratic. One where her citizens irrespective of tribe, location, age, gender are valued and have access to basic needs of life as a right and not as a privilege.

A Nigeria where Nigerian Police is truly a friend, keeping citizens secure, not extorting nor being trigger happy snuffing lives of citizens to be protected.

And may the labour of our heroes past never be in vain as we place greater value on our huge and vast human resources than money. Measuring success not by wealth amassed but by positive impact and positive transformation of human lives.

To serve with heart and might one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity. A Nigeria where the heart of leaders and followers are united in love and the vision of Nigeria’s greatness. Where our heart and actions are not rooted in avarice but in fairness,good character justice and competency.

Oh God of creation, direct our noble cause; and forthwith stamp out corruption, ensure the rescue our kidnapped girls, putting an end to terrorism, drastically against bad and expensive governance.

Guide the present leaders right despite political differences and help our youths the truth to know. So that doing the right thing becomes the order of the day. Where the fear of making the wrong choices become the beginning of wisdom.

In love and honesty to grow, living just and true; creating a country that brings out the best in her citizens. So that as to stand shoulder to shoulder with other great nations of the world, not only in scientific breakthroughs and technological achievements, but in values and virtues and serving as a beacon of hope in a morally decadent world. A country where making money will be by smart; hard work, problem solving, credible idea generation and no longer by using human body parts.

Great lofty heights we shall attain as we unite together as one in purpose and vision, putting to profitable use our vast human capital and natural resources. Putting aside our differences so as to build the Nigeria of our dreams where peace and justice shall reign.

I see a New Nigeria where we all see development and progress as our pride and collective responsibility. Where our minds are simply dependent on good values and virtues.

Bless Nigeria. Bless My Homeland Forever…

Co-author and Editor: Tobi Oni
Author: Oluwakemi Adeyemo undefined
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1564
Purposeful Perspective of Money

Money is one word majority of humans existing on earth can relate to. Arguably, it is the most mentioned word daily in the world's vocabulary.
Even a one year old child recognises money in whatever form it is, whether as coins, paper notes irrespective of which part of the globe it is being used.

Wikipedia puts it that Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a particular country or socio-economic context.
The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, sometimes, a standard of deferred payment. Any item or verifiable record that fulfills these functions can be considered money.

Money is historically an emergent market phenomenon establishing a commodity (money), but nearly all contemporary money systems are based on fiat money.
Fiat money, like any check or note of debt, is without intrinsic use/value as a physical commodity. It derives its value by being declared by a government to be legal tender; that is, it must be accepted as a form of payment within the boundaries of the country, for "all debts, public and private".

Money is a necessity of the economy. All countries of the world need money to sustainably run a successful economy and to put basic amenities as well as structures in place for improved living conditions of its citizens.
The Family, as a basic unit of the society, as well as an individual needs products and services for which money can be exchanged.

FACT: Money is a means of exchange for services or products, and without it living day-to-day would be hard, and accomplishing tasks/set goals would be difficult if not impossible.

Money can be used as an exchange for a wide variety of products and services. E.g food, clothing items, cars, gadgets, healthcare service, etc.

FACT: Because of the need for money, money needs to be made, and be made legitimately.

Please watch out for the next post on purposeful perspective of money.

Editor: Tobi Oni





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1870
Purposeful Perspective

Someone once said; people were created to be loved and things(materials) were created to be used. But the world is in chaos because things are being loved and people are being used.
Having the right perspective of things and situations actually goes a long way in saving us a lot of troubles and regrets. And occasionally, it is good to look at the past to gain a perspective on the present.

Mark Zukerberg had a reason for creating facebook. He saw the need for people connecting with each other across various geographical location and time. He saw a need to connect people across various divides, while some see it as a means of propagating and carrying out nefarious activities.
Irrespective of the numerous misuse of the social media platform, the primary and ultimate purpose of connecting people is still there, no one can take this away.

Now permit me to ask that we see things in the perspective of its purpose for existence and apply its use mostly based on purpose.
Yes I agree that we should think outside the box and be creative with things, to have several other perspective so we can get the best out of it but we must be careful not to allow perversion. We shall be talking about different examples highlighting primary purposes for existence most importantly to educate us and also as a reminder.

1. Clothes: Irrespective of beliefs, religion or location I am certain we all agree that it's meant primarily for cover, warmth and beautification. To protect our skin from being hit by harsh weather elements or objects.
I have seen situations where people were glad they had their bodies covered with clothes because it prevented some stain and damage to the skin. We are wowed when we see people dressed neatly and nicely.

On the other hand, clothes could pose some certain threats. An example is a heavy machine operator not wearing a specified clothing designed for such activity but wearing a flowing cloth. A flowing or loose apparel could get him or her as well as other people hurt. The flowing part could get into the moving machine parts and pull in a body part (e.g. his fingers) if not all the body along. That could be very fatal if not deadly.

FACT: Dress purposefully. As occasion demands keeping in mind safety, modesty, beauty and decency.

Its socially acceptable that someone who has his/her hair dirty and&; unkempt, torn dirty clothes on and wanders on the street is most probably mentally ill and out of touch. In this light it is just socially acceptable also that we dress in such a way that we will be admired and respected and not seen as mentally ill.

Well done to fashion designers world over who have contributed to keeping us covered and fashionable at the same time . And we encourage upcoming creative fashion designers because its a  huge money making business. But we still need to keep in view that clothings are first for the very purpose of cover, warmth and beautification.
Yeah some people believe in the saying if you have got it flaunt it. They see nothing wrong in walking around half-naked in the name of being fashionable and trendy. It seems like they derive a depraved satisfaction when people ogle them. But looking closely again, it is observed that no one likes to be jeered at. Hence the need for us to always dress purposefully.

Please feel free to share your comments. Remember we all can get better together. Editor: Tobi Oni Co- editor: Olatokun Kolajo.undefined
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Tagged in: Perspective Purpose
2337
On different occasions, we come across many people from various backgrounds. Some we take an instant liking to (almost like we are in love with them at first sight), while some we would want to keep at arms length almost immediately.
The way we act as humans is sometimes difficult to describe. These human ways or attitudes are based on so many factors, out of which four stand out, and they are: Temperament, Behaviour, Character and Personality.

These four factors (Temperament, Behaviour, Character and Personality) are so meshed and intertwined with each other, that often times it is very hard to clearly distinguish them.
Also, taking the individual dictionary definition of each of these words and looking at ourselves in the light of each may be a little confusing. But it is important that we establish a connection between these four factors to see how we exhibit each, the correlations between them , and which of them(if possible all of them) we can work on in order to be a better person.

Temperament is believed to be innate. We were born with it in different blends that evolve over time. An Individual’s temperament is affected by his/her background, surroundings, family, time, etc
Character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. It can also be described as the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of a person. Some of these qualities or traits are Honesty, Responsibility, Reliability, Perseverance, Patience, Kindness, Humility, Courage , Truthfulness, Easy-going nature, level-headedness, Trustworthiness , being Respectful, Selflessness, Temperance to mention a few.

FACT: An individual could have a positive, negative or a combination of positive and negative character traits. No human is 100% perfect per time. There is always a dark-side to everyone, no matter how easy-going or bubbly we appear.
This leads to say that there is a seed of all forms of character trait in each human. It is the qualities or traits that we consciously work on that develop and grow to define us.

NOTE: But we can always be better and keep getting better.

An individual’s temperament surely finds expression through his/her character. Introverts and extroverts can have similar character traits but exhibits them differently. For example, an introverted person who is kind and patient will show these traits in a quiet way while an extroverted person will show similar traits in a bubbly way. We could also say temperament is a style of character presentation.

Behaviour is a reaction or response to internal and external factors at a given time. In a way, our temperament and character trait informs our response or reaction per time. It is worth noting that an individual's character and temperament informs his/her behaviour.

Personality is the combination of qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character. It shows the differences in pattern of thinking, feeling and behavior. Often times it is the visible aspect of an individual’s character that impresses others. We often hear statements like, “He has a pleasing personality”, “He is a curious personality”, “He has a terrible personality”. We could say that one's personality stems more from character traits and temperament and it becomes more visible through our behaviour per time,

FACT: One can be trained on character trait(s) and then a matching personality different from what they naturally have. For example, in the movie industry we see actors and actresses taking up different roles which endear them to us or make us detest them all together. A young person can be dressed up and trained to act the role of an elderly person in a movie. We may even get to relate with them based on the role playing personality if they choose to keep that trait.

ACTION: We could develop as much positive character traits as we can, make these character traits to be an integral part of us, and exhibit these qualities in our relationship with people. Being kind, nice, courteous,considerate in our dealings with people, confident, genuinely interested in people ( not because of what we want to gain out of them); being polite to people (whether they be acquaintances or strangers), good listeners (and not pretend that we are) being humble, not full of ourselves, not judgmental whether we are introverts or extroverts can only make us become better and more endearing over time.

NOTE: Only someone who is jealous would dislike us when we have more positive and endearing character traits.
Being better just made easy.

Editors: Tobi Oni, Olatokun Kolajo.

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