My naked thoughts on life

  • The most empowering and disempowering virtue of mankind in not that of having principles and ideals but that of sticking to them always.

  • It is impossible for man to attain perfection but great men strive for perfection.

  • Being intelligent but unwise is like a man with sight but no vision.

  • Times of misfortunes and adversity when all odds are overwhemingly against them are the times for the strong and great to emerge and for pretenders to vanish into oblivion.

  • Real achievements and success can truly be realised by taking action, not for the sake of it, but for a real need to act.

  • Love compromises a man’s intellect, it is not reasonable.

  • Love, especially God’s, vindicates economic sense and theory: when there is so much supply there is so little or no demand.

  • Social status is just packaging, the inner core of a human being is no different.

  • Society tends to define weird as minority or what it doesn’t practise, its called societal naivety.

  • Ignorance is better than naivety because natural ignorance is a result of lack of exposure whereas naivety is a result of lack of exposure to sound independent judgement.

  • Breeding and rearing of earth’s flora brings us closer to and reminds us of God even though they have no trademarks of who owns what.

  • Dreams are similar to plants they need to be watered for survival, with inspiration though.

  • A typical politician is one who scorns sowing but values reaping.

  • It is not what he has but rather what he is that makes a man.

  • Inconsistency with logical conviction is flexibility, inconsistency from the gut is prostitution(or maybe confusion).

  • Whilst it may be acceptable not to practise what you believe, when one judges against something it becomes an obligation to act as such.

  • One can never know, if, by daring to see the world differently, one would be foolishly leading oneself to one’s own demise or would be taking the world to another level of knowledge and wisdom, until judgement time.

  • Because natural inclinations will always be a part of us, dignity is found in embracing natural inclinations that add value and ignoring those that destroy.

  • One way that leads to self-destruction is taking people for granted.

  • Modernisation has lead many to lose sight of the things they treasured and valued the most by taking people and things for granted.

  • The most powerful and real levers of happiness in life are the abstract; they are the source of controversies, disbelief, prejudice and contempt.

  • Life is like a maze: if you come across a dead end, you can always change your course and still make it or like a jiggle saw puzzle: you just have to find the missing pieces that fit, or mathematics: there are different methods to getting to the same solution. (There is always HOPE).

  • Be firm with the loose lest they loosen you.

  • Prejudice is someone’s opinion, foolishness is someone’s opinion.

  • It is very healthy at times to turn a blind eye to reality.

  • Nothing can never change the worth of human life, not even prejudice, education, money or social status.

  • The toilet reflects on the level of development.

  • Consistency is no rigidity, rigidity equals consistency minus reason.

  • Love is not a relationship, it is the sharing of a soul.

  • I do not understand love, but I understand why.

  • Contrary to leaders, politicians are not driven by people’s needs but by talking about people’s needs.

  • Politicians do not want to see problems as inherent challenges but as problems caused by the existence of certain people.

  • Politics, in practice, is a point where personal interests replace personal development.

  • Leadership is a person’s loyalty to a people whereas politics is a people’s loyalty to a person.

  • The lazy and cowardly “expect” things to happen, but the inspired “make” things happen.

  • Inspiration is knowing that it is possible.

  • Being principled and consistent is similar to being warm-blooded, the internal body temperature is never changed by the environment.

  • Heaven is a place where nothing can challenge love; it will be felt in its purest of forms.

  • Love is lovely.

  • Hardwork and wisdom are inversely proportional to talkativeness

  • If two men where to be struck in the head by a falling apple, the normal man would lament the pain, the genius would discover the effect of gravitational force.

  • The greatest challenge to expressing pure love is convention.

  • Getting rid of the prejudice within ourselves is the first step in fighting prejudice against us.

  • God is like a good maths teacher, he would never give his students a calculus problem when still pre-school pupils.

  • Life is like mathematics, different formulae can be employed to arrive at the same answer.

  • AFRICA: a sad tale of well schooled, but highly uneducated, efficient managers masquerading as effective leaders, tofanira kuchinja.

  • It appears the more we know the less we understand.

  • One of the reasons why this world is dominated by a poverty mentality is primarily a result of a lie that the economics academics have taught us that: “resources are scarce”.

  • “Submissive proactivity” is when you take the initiative to submit to God, and not to wait for God to avail Himself.

  • The object of living is not finding meaning in life but creating meaning in life.

  • Most of this world’s problems to can be traced back to extremism, be it fanaticism, racism, tribalism, terrorism except love; love is the only form of extremism that develops.

  • Desperation is good; its a clear sign of passion.

  • Anger is good; its a clear sign of energy

  • Envy and jealousy are good; they are clear signs of desire.

  • Snooping is good; its a clear sign of curiousity.

  • Good is the enemy of great. (borrowed)

  • The more abstract something is, the more powerful it is: a spirit is more powerful than a feeling, a feeling is more powerful than a thought, a thought is more powerful than a body.

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Individualistic Indifference and Collective Hatred

As a young boy I was raised in a socialistic family in which values of sharing, interdependence and community contribution where empathized. I remember my good uncle bringing home books and articles on Lenin, Trotsky, Mikhail Gorbachev and the mighty Union Of Soviet Socialist Republic(USSR). USSR was the dream country for me. Then I went to college and embraced the values of independent thinking and personal development and motivation enshrined in the capitalistic ideology of the western world. My college buddies avoided any talk on Jack Welsh or GE because that led to yours truly preaching to them why Jack Welch was the best thing to happen to this (corporate) world.

Socialism:Collective Hatred

Personally i feel, taken in a temperate way, socialism is a noble way of living aimed at reducing injustices created by a class hierarchies in society. It is about sharing this world and contributing significantly to a community you belong to. On the other hand to extremists, socialism is epitomized by a collective hatred of the “rich” by the “poor”. As a young socialist I believed that being rich is “satanic” and I was a favorite of Robin Hood’s “steal from the rich and give to the poor” theme and the story of Jesse James in the movie “American Outlaws”. True socialism then meant hating the rich and having nothing to do with these “greedy bastards”, a collective effort by the poor to hate and fight the rich .

 

Capitalism: Individualistic Indifference

When I went to college I was exposed to ways in which capitalistic men, mostly from America, had challenged widely held beliefs and changed the world. Examples include self-made billionaires like Andrew Carnegie, John D Rockefeller, Henry Ford and recently Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. Whilst in college I was lucky to join a group of fired up entrepreneurs in a group called The Success Club that was inspired by Jonah Mungoshi’s Success Coach articles in Fingaz. If the club had to have a handibook it had to be “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki or “Think and Grow” Rich by Napoleon Hill. Our goal was to share resources like books, tapes, videos etc on personal development and wealth generation.

A recent and closer look at the model of capitalism-United States of America has led me to conlude that at the extreme negative end, capitalism is about personal gratification, a focus on personal enrichment without stopping to think about the poor man because the poor man is “generally lazy”. The assumption is wealth is entirely a question of choice and the poor man is poor because he chose poverty-promoting-ways.  One just doesn’t care about what the next man does; on the extreme end its about individualistic indifference.

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Tax and US Presidential Elections

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is an excellent book that brings out fascinating facts on how one can chart their way to riches. One of the valid arguments thrown in the book is how at some point the US government had lost it by taxing the rich more than the poor. From this I learnt that in ‘ideal economic conditions’, individual and societal growth is consequential of a carrot-and-stick policy of taxing the poor more than the rich. This, in ‘ideal conditions’,  works because everyone will strive for riches and as they go up the wealth ladder they pay less and less tax. The carrot is the sweetest of wealth and the stick is the pain of poverty and paying high taxes.  Analysing events in our model of capitalism, the US, reveals that the argument poised by Rich Dad, though valid, is almost unimplementable because ‘ideal economic conditions’ will never exist in this world due, in part, to social injustices.

 

The McCCain-Obama US elections campaigns of 2008 reflect the general thinking of the main positions of politically oriented groups, the left-wing and the right-wing. McCain’s tax policy was aimed at cutting tax for the rich (cut top corporate tax from 35% to 25%, cut top real estate tax from 45% to 15%). Obama’s tax policy on the other hand favors the low to middle class (tax credits of up to $500 to $1000 to poor families and annual college tuition tax credit to $4,000 for students willing to perform 100 hours of community service after graduation). As capitalistic as I’ve become I favoured Obama’s policy (not because of the color of his skin) but because it promotes people to work hard in their communities particularly the tuition credits. Its like a mixture of capitalism and socialism, you are allowed pursue your educational desires but you have to contribute to the well-being of the person next to you through community work. It is optional I suppose but in a true carrot-stick approach.

The point is Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which is very capitalistic, is very factual through and through  but it is incomplete; it leaves out the “ecological” nature of life.

 

Both Extremes Never Work

Capitalism has generally edged socialism as seen by the disintegration of the once mighty USSR and the fall of the Berlin Wall and on one hand the economic might of the US and European countries. Socialism failed, in my view, partly, because the Cold War polarized the East into seeing every action of the West as driven by the desire to make more money. They never appreciated the good that capitalistic system offered like individual thinking which fuels innovation and the power of capital in stimulating economic growth. Both Russia and China seem to have realised their mistakes and are slowly embracing the role of capital in society(as evidencd by the Abromaviches). The “umbrella hatred” of the ways of the capitalist seem to be fading in the previously socialistic countries like Libya and to some extent Cuba.  I hope the policies of these countries recognize that allowing individuals to pursue their own endeavors is not bad but stimulates innovation and  that collective hatred of the capitalists blinds them to the good the capitalists does.

However of late there has been a general dislike of US foreign policies because a lot argue that Washington only cares about its economic benefits especially in war-ravaged nations such as Iraq.  This, in my view, is one of the reasons why terrorism is on the increase, a good example being the unfortunate events of 9/11. I hope the US recognises that though independent thinking and survival is essential there is a higher virtue called “interdependence”, and most of US policies reflect some caring for the neighbour next to you and have a genuine desire to share the wealth in this world.  Not caring about the welfare of the next person, individualistic indifference, is sure recipe for disgruntlement among those not benefitting fully from the capitalistic system.

Let Her Be Celebrated, Elevated

“She’s been degraded, exploited, not celebrated
Saturated with self hatred
Let me say that again please:
She’s been degraded, exploited, not celebrated
Saturated with self hatred
Cause every time she turns on the TV
What does she see, big o booty
And it don’t have nothing to do with the song
Thus her definition of beauty
Thus her definition of beauty
Oh, oh, oh Lord
Oh Lord
Oh Lord
Let her
Let her recognize the magnificence you created”

I have met and continue to meet so many beautiful women who have become self-conscious; they have totally lost their inner sense of beauty.  Possibly a result of a gradual lost of self-worth from broken relationships, ridicule from society and depravity. As I listened to this brilliant song/poem by Jill Scott entitled “The Thickness”  whose lyrics are above,  I just wish all you ladies out there could just listen and reflect on it.(though it contains some not-so-good explicit content, just eat out the flesh and spit out the bones)

Today’s women are saturated with self-hatred.  Most of us men view women as sex objects and unfortunately most women subconsciously conform to these disillusioned perceptions of women’s role in society.  Women cant influence or even force the above mentioned men to view them for what they truly are: “paragons of virtues”. It is, in the words of Stephen Covey, in their “Circle of Concern”. However they can work in their “Circle Of Influence”, for no matter who you are there is someone whose perceptions you can influence, let alone control-YOURSELF.  There is a lot of music out there that focuses on women’s journeys to self-discovery. Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott and India Arie come to mind. Music has been known to be therapeutic that’s why after listening to “The Thickness” I felt I had to share it with all the ladies out there. Be warned the song contains really explicit lyrics as it is truly poetic.

Ladies recognize the magnificence God has created in you, Let you Be Celebrated, Be Elevated.

Macheso To Entertain McCain and Obama?

Imagine  presidential hopefuls John McCain & Barak Obama doing the the Borrowdale, Razorwire and Kangaroo dances! It surely will be a good way to ease them nerves before the November 4 election.

According to the Herald of Saturday,  20 September Alick Macheso and Orchestra Mberikwazvo will be touring the US for the first time.

The itinerary is as follows:

October 10 : Washington DC
October 11: Philadelphia
October 12:Boston
October 17 : Atlanta,Georgia
October 18 : Indianapolis, Indiana
October 25: Dallas

This is surely a chance for the King of Sungura to go international as his popularity has largely been limited to Zim, England, Southern Africa and Australia. This could also be an opportunity to sell Sungura “Museve” music to the outside world.

It is my hope that Sungura fans in the US will come en masse to support Chikopokopo and also introduce their foreign friends to Sungura Music.

Its a pity ‘Mabhanan’ana’, as Macheso’s dancing group is affectionately known as, will not make it on this tour. Don’t despair Matoki and Company there is always next time. Check for future updates on the tour on this page this page.

The Cleverest President

An airplane was about to crash; there were 5 passengers on board but only 4 parachutes.

The first passenger said, “I’m Zinedine Zidane, the world’s number 1footballer. FIFA needs me, I can’t afford to die.” So he took the first pack and left the plane.
The second passenger, Hillary Clinton
, said, “I am the wife of the former President of the United States , I am the most ambitious woman in the world. I am also New York Senator and a potential future President.” She
just took the 2nd parachute and jumped out of the plane.
The third passenger, Robert Mugabe, said, “I’m President of Zimbabwe and I have 13 million helpless people who always look to me for guidance. Above all I’m the cleverest President in African history, and Africa ‘s
people won’t let me die”. So he put on a pack next to him and jumped out of the plane.
The fourth passenger, Nelson Mandela, says to the fifth passenger, a 10yr old Chinese school boy, “I’m old and have lived a fruitful life, God will decide my fate, so I’ll let you have the last parachute”.

The boy said, “It’s OK, there’s a parachute left for you. Africa ‘s cleverest President (Robert Mugabe) has taken my schoolbag”.

The Servants’ Prayer

If you have had the good fortune of being a servant at some point you would appreciate the positive and negative emotions associated with serving; from fulfillment to forgiveness to bitterness to powerlessness. The servants’ inner most response depend on their attitude to serving. In this post a servant would be defined as someone who provides her/his services to another person, “the served”, master or boss.

A close analysis of the emotions highlighted above reveals that the feelings are a result of one’s attitude towards serving as well as the “served” or boss’ attitude towards the servants. Today i will dwell on the negative perceptions of the “served”  towards the servants and the resultant attitude/behaviour of the servants specifically forgiveness, bitterness and powerlessness.

Bitterness

In my own opinion bitterness is the most dominant emotion servants feel towards their masters. Bitter servants who are victims of their bosses’ injustice never communicate their negative feeling towards the bosses. Instead they bottle up their anger and pretend to enjoy serving whilst awaiting an opportune time to inflict revenge if somehow power shifts. One example, controversial as it may be, of a bitter servant is Adolf Hitler. Quietly Hitler resented the Jews’ dominance and when he got a chance he presided over arguably the worst massacre of humanity. I have also seen a lot of instances of bitterness being transformed in horrendous acts of vengeance.

Forgiveness

The most noble approach to injustice by servants is to accept that the served are just ordinary human beings who are susceptible to errors in judgment. it is an acknowledgment that the real reason why the served treat them unjustly is really prejudice whose root cause is nothing but ignorance, ignorance that can easily be dealt with with some enlightenment. One shining example of a servant’s forgiveness towards oppressing superiors is Nelson Mandela. After 27 years of being unjustly imprisoned Madiba had the courage to disappoint some of his admirers by calling on all victims of apartheid to forgive their masters.

Powerlessness

When servants have tried and failed to free themselves from unrewarding servantship they leave everything to fate. I have met a number of servants who have resigned to destiny after having tried to liberate themselves from serving but have come to the conclusion that trying to free themselves from their masters is futile. Most of them actually believe it is God’s Will for them to serve their masters no matter how unhappy or unfair the relationship might be. I have met a lot of christians here in Africa who believe it is God’s plan for them to be poor and remain masters of the rich especially “The Chosen People” , the Israelites.

Conclusion

It is quiet evident that if this world is to become a better place only the second approach, Forgiveness, is the only way to go.  As having been a very unhappy, at-times-bitter and at-times-powerless servant I can attest to the fact that forgiveness, though difficult is the most fulfilling approach. Because forginevess is really hard only prayer, in my view, is the surest way of embracing it. I, thus, would like to suggest a prayer to all servants, bitter and powerless to pray in their time of need, it goes like:

“God give me the strength and wisdom to view every opprtunity to serve as a chance to bridge the gap between the servants and their masters. Whenever I feel bitter about unfair treatment help to communicate and educate my masters of the evils of prejudice if possible. If impossible help me to accept people as they are and move on. If I feel powerless remind me of the seed of greatness within me.  Teach me servant leadership; raise me from being a powerless servant into a servant leader.”

Green Social Investment

All social investment enthusiasts check out this article on the world most successful venture capitalist of all time according to fortune magazine.

This is one of the four guys behind the creation of Sun Microsystems, the firm famed for creating Java, a biography of Vinod is found here.

Only If You Want To

I just had a AHA! experience just now after taking a short walk down the roads of Chimoio. I feel so excited it was a real EUREKA discovery. I realised the limit to what you have in life is as simple as “Only I You Want To”. Just that, that is the key to anything good or bad.

The reason we dont have what we want NOW, I reckon, is because either we dont know that “Only If You Want To” is the only limit or we choose to forego what we want NOW because of fear or delayed gratification.

Gushungo Talks to van-Tsvangisen

Joke of the year contender…………..its a pity i cant translate it into english the humour will go away.

MT: “Mhoro Gushungo” RG: Mhoroi Save” MT: “Zvarema ka izvi?” RG: “Rume rimwe harikombi churu” MT: “Chara chimwe hachitswanyi inda” RG: “Waita basa wasaina” MT: “Ndanga ndichida kumbokupfidzisa” RG: “Usadaro mumwe wangu mangwana ndiwewo” MT: “Saka unoda package here?” RG: “Chero zvamareva, Save” MT: “ Ko Dynamos wakaiwona here?” RG: “Bhora futi mazuvano?” MT: “Eeh?” RG: “Kuona bhora rugare” MT: “Kuti zvasvika kupi? RG: “Vhunza mai Bona.” MT: “Zvichapera hazvo.” RG: “Ndinovimba kudaro” MT: “Ko Passport yangu?” RG: “Uchapuwa hako kana wotonga.” MT: “Nemhaka yei?” RG: “Ndaitya kuti unozonditiza wondisiira nyika iyi ndoga.” MT: “Iwe zvawakainda muMoza wakainda nepassport?” RG: “Hee hee! Unoti guma-guma Tangwena taimudii?” MT: “Eeh” Mbeki: “Gushungo, I told you he will sign.” RG: “Thanks Thabo. I owe you a farm.” MT: “Chinja Maitiro Gushungo.” RG: “Chakabaya chikatyokera.” MT: “Manje isu kuMDC, tinoti: mhunzwa unotumburwa nomumwe munzwa!” RG: “ Ngatiite braai ka paweekend.” MT: “Ndichaiziva here nyama?” Mbeki: “I will send some chakalaka wors!” Archbishop Ndlovu: “Ngatitsunzunyei tinamate” MT: “Handitsunzunyi kana Gushungo vari padhuze” Mbeki: “Wait bishop. I can draft another MOU for them to pray.” Archbishop: “Eeh. Zvakaoma sokunamata!”

Of Maids

One of the things i am grateful for and never take for granted in my life is that i was fortunate enough to choose my profession, which i truly love . I know a lot of people who are not as fortunate. People who go to work for the sole reason to get some bucks to pay rent, bills, fees etc. People who if they had an option would choose a different job all together.  People who hate what they do, get very little money for their efforts, though most of them are more than noble but are a source of ridicule in society.

Two groups of such people come to mind :house maids and security guards. In Zimbabwe where i come from most of the maids are very young girls mostly teenagers. A snap survey will reveal that most of these girls are orphans who had to migrate to the city to find money to feed their siblings. Having left school at an early stage or having failed in school altogether the only thing they know is household chores. Evidently most of them had no choice of a career vocation but had to settle for the “nobler” career of taking care of other people’s kids and domestic chores. Am sure you will agree with me that this is a “nobler” cause if you compare with those semi-naked women at street corners calling you for a short stint or “chigwishu” as they say in Zimbabwe.

We who have had a choice to chose our careers often “justifiably” mistreat these directionless servants of ours. The minimum wage does not apply to these desperate people, after all they eat our food, they live in our nice house or well-equipped staff quarters. They even have the audacity to steal our food, sending it to their families. Not even Apple or Google Inc(voted the most desirable company to work for in the whole world) is generous enough to give employees nice food and accommodation, people who have no qualifications and have an empty resume. These people should be generous! After all some of them are the ones who used to laugh at us at school and would call us nerds, geeks etc when we focused on study. They deserve such demeaning treatment! If they feel we mistreat them they have an option to find another household to work for because this is the easiest type of employees to find they are not as scarce as Actuarians or computer network engineers. Maids are all over we just send a relative to find us one the next time they go back to the rural areas.

I have a vision of mine, ambitious, maybe, but still very much possible in the not so distant future.  A vision in which everyone takes care of their own kids and household chores. One feasible option is Robotics. Yes robots cooking your supper, washing and ironing your clothes, collecting your kids from school etc. Its because i believe every human soul deserves a chance to choose a job that fulfills them. A job in which you demand compensation commensurate with the skill and passion you put in your efforts. A job one can be proud off. A job you look forward to every morning; because we spend most of our time at work. With some social investment into the education of most orphans and several of these underprivileged sects of community this dream can be become real just as Martin Luther-King’s dream of blacks and white kids hanging out together as it is now part of our life as seen by acceptance of a black man Barack Obama as a possible leader of the world’s largest economy.  You see its possible! Dont get me wrong i am totally against affirmative action or “100% empowerment” as we have it in  Zimbabwe. Am not talking of affirmative action here; I am talking of investing in people to help them discover themselves, investing in vocational areas like education, sports, music, art etc and not “putting money in people’s pockets”. Am talking of helping others help themselves.

Every day of my life  i draw inspiration from the fact that the person who bore me and raised me, the person who has had the greatest influence in my life, at some point did this demeaning job out of love to care of her future family. One day I will make this special woman proud of herself.