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FINDING YOUR GOOD MAN – Part 2

goodmenThere are certain plants that you could plant anywhere and they will grow. Take the cactus plant and put it in an arid and harsh region, it will grow. Put it in fertile soil it will grow. That’s how it is made. But there are other plants that will simply not grow except they are found in the right environmental conditions. What am I saying? Location is so extremely important that if you are displaced, you may get disgraced (..I like that). In whatever you do, you must strive to be at the right place at the right time. This is something that no one can explain better to you, as I found out that we all know at every point in time where we ought to be and anything other than that is a willful refusal to do the right. Some people are “lonely Londoners” and go solo, yet they expect to meet someone Joke? Location-wise, you are in an island, and will only encounter creeping and creepy creatures. You need to come out of your walled life and interact with people on a regular basis. We were created relational beings and we function maximally that way. Whatever situation you had faced before; because you don’t want to get hurt again, is no good reason to separate from people. You will allow yourself fall into imaginations that warp your thoughts and further deepen the hole of your disenchantments.

Get involved with something and people who believe what you believe. Join a great church, a unit in church, a non-profit organization, a voluntary service organization, or any such groups where you will meet people who have a heart for and believe in something. I have heard people complain that church is the worst place to get involved with someone. But guess what, human go to church not angels. So you will always have to contend with what is peculiar to humans. Clean your mind, get up and strive on, for your time is on the way. Church is comprised of the good, the bad, and the ugly. But the truth is that the good today, were the ugly of yesterday, and the fact that there is the ugly, doesn’t preclude the existence of the good. So get busy doing something beyond going to work, parties and night clubs. You can even start something new if you find nothing. When you find nothing, it is usually an indication that you can start something, so become proactive with your life and be busy doing something interesting with your life. Where you are is vital to who you meet, so get yourself in the right place, especially at the right time.

I made mention of a point above that God created us relational beings. This means that we were created not just to function in relationships and communities, but to initiate and maintain them. For relationships to exist, someone has to initiate one, and for it to continue existing, someone has to maintain it. Women have often shied off when it comes to initiating a relationship with a male. I guess this is culturally bound although these days that is rapidly changing. But I must state clearly here that as a lady, you should never shy away from initiating a good relationship whenever you have a chance to. Many women have seen what they like and never made an attempt at starting a friendship until it became almost impossible to. We have to unlearn all the things that growing up has burdened on us. When we were children, we could talk to anyone at anytime we felt like it and didn’t feel any sense of shame. I tell you truthfully, that is one of your greatest asset as a lady. Put on your childhood again and start making good relationships. You see a guy you like, create the opportunity for a chat, and never feel uncomfortable around him, for that’s when he will have ideas. Your boldness is your loaded weapon, and let’s face it, bold and calm omen are admirable.

Most of us spend time trying to figure out what is in the guy’s head before we think of making a move. And the real truth is that 90% of the time our imaginations are wrong, because people really have a lot on their minds to be thinking about who or what you are you know. By the time we are done analyzing, we would have given ourselves more reasons why not to take a step. Even if nothing amounts from it, you have created one more link in the world and you have further helped in shrinking the human differences, after all nowadays we hear of six degrees of separation. So note here that being shy is not a virtue neither is being silent of any value. I am not saying you go outright and tell a man you want to date him or marry him, but that you be proactive in initiating relationships when you identify a good man. It doesn’t take anything from you except that which you imagine, rather it adds to you what you didn’t have before: one new friend and one step closer to your good man.

Finally, I will share here something my mother gave to me. Not that she said this to me, or wrote it down somewhere, I merely gleaned it from growing up in her protective arms around me. This is crucial, important, vital, and very essential. BE A WOMAN! I will say it again: BE A WOMAN!! And one more time: BE A WOMAN!!! It is just amazing how these days, women are becoming like men in almost everything. While I do not subscribe to the erroneous “what a man can do a woman can do better” philosophy, I still believe that women can do anything they want to and should and can never be restricted. However, I still hold dear to the fact that a woman should be a “woman” in every sense of the word without the cultural approximations. A woman is the other side of a man and makes a man’s adventure complete. For what we don’t have as men, women do and they fill our emptiness and have their peculiar characteristics and nature that defines them as so. Please don’t try to be a man. That is extremely ugly! Cry when you have to, gossip when you have to (ha ha ha), love at all times, smile all the times, and do those positive things that come naturally to a woman.

The world is messing things up and turning it wrong side up. Today women are trying to be what they are not and squaring their shoulders to other men. No man wants to marry another man, even gays want there to be a fair balance between the male and female virtues in their relationship. Somebody has to lead and someone has to follow. Someone has to protect and someone has to be protected. There is the Ying and there is the Yang. Be who God made you to be for therein lies your beauty. Do your thing ladies. Wear your jewelries and your fine make ups, wear the best and don’t regret anything, for you are the wonder of the Most High and He himself appreciates the work of His hands. Look at what God says in Ezekiel 16: 9-14:

Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God.

God loves your beauty and when you show it out He loves it more. Moderation is the key word and a humble spirit is the watchword. So go forth and be a shining example of true inner and outer beauty, and be excited about who you are. This will be the first attraction to many who come your way. You will notice that I have not said anything about the man, but everything here is about the woman. When you have done these things, then your eyes will be clearer and you will understand what no man can teach you, knowing your man when you see him. You were never designed to struggle and strain when it comes to getting your good man. You were designed to attract him your way and then keep and groom him for life. So this is what is most important in finding your good man. It is all about you and what you can offer and less of what you can get. Change the way you think!

Cheers !

Reggie ’09

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FINDING YOUR GOOD MAN – Part 1

Good ManA while ago I was burdened by an issue and was hard pressed to write on it. I titled that article “Where are the good men?” because there seems to be a silent question in many hearts these days on why there’s a sudden disappearance of good men. Whether there’s a disappearance or a drastic reduction, either still spells a major concern not just for young women who are at the threshold of making key decisions about a lifelong commitment, but also for those of us who are interested in the social impacts of the family. While I tried to refute the fallacy that pervades society that good men are dwindling in numbers, I also attempted at excavating the origins of a warp consciousness of societal values, because this helps us understand at what point the disconnect happened. If we are going to recover what is lost, we need to know at what point we lost it. I ended on the point that we cannot build our expectations on fallacies that are unprovable, and we cannot allow the negative to guide the ascension of truth in our hearts. In that light I promised to share on how one can find a good man since they not only exist, but abound. Therefore the central thesis of this discourse is that you can find your good man and I offer some advice on this matter (sounds professorial I know….lol)

I risk sounding like a male chauvinist in writing this piece because some would ask what the heck about men anyway. Some have even said to me not all women want a man in their lives, so I shouldn’t make an issue of this because some are satisfied just the way they are. While I cannot but scream “BIG LIE” at that assertion, I also recognize that there are a few women who get offended when we talk about how to find a good man. For whatever reasons they have, they hold their opinions dear and rightfully. So I am not here to challenge that position, neither will I insinuate anything (although I think I already did) because the truth really is out there for all to see. I am also not trying to defend men in any way, because I know some of my kind are wolves in sheep clothing. But I am a man and a good man for that matter, and can’t deny who I am. This mere fact gives me unrestricted access to the internal configuration of the male and what draws us away from our original design. I am not overly qualified, but out of my concern for truth and love, I can speak a little on how to find a good man. I am trying to speak directly to those who are concerned with this issue and to those who care to know. To those who are humble enough to hear another mans’ counsel on this dialogue and learn from another’s experience as well.

First, many book have been written on this subject and in the West, an entire academic field has been developed out of this situation, which has assumed a global dimension. In Singapore for instance, a society that is at the stage of high mass consumption, and for which much of its success lies with a virile female population, there is a growing number of successful women than men. A friend from there once shared with me some of the impacts of this trend in the Singaporean society. For instance, some young men simply become gigolos and live of that because lots of women do not find their type so just settle for sexual satisfaction. I came across a Time Asia Magazine survey quoted by BBC news on Monday, 12 March, 2001 which stated that Women in Singapore were found to be the most forward, with 18% saying they initiate sex. It also stated that Singapore appeared to be the most committed to monogamy, with 67% of men on the island saying they had never been unfaithful. Such issues, like that faced by Singapore, have attracted wide range studies and commentaries with several books churning out from secular and religious circles. Most of the secular writings focus on the problems and a mere description of the issues while offering no solutions. The religious ones go a step ahead in giving bold answers giving tips on how to find the right partner. But in all I find that they miss some vital issues. This is what I lay out forthwith.

So much is being said about how to identify or how to find the right man, but very little is said about how to be the right woman. There is a passivity we carry when it comes to dealing with our troubles. Very few try to put themselves first along the continuum of challenges to be dealt with. But the truth is that you are your first battle! If you cannot win over yourself, then you can never win over any circumstance or battle you may be confronted with. Life is full of a lot of mismatches not only because of a wrong self estimation, but covertly, because of a non self regulation. Many folks out there simply live their lives normally and expect that things will sort themselves out. But it never happens that way. Whatever exceptional thing happening is because someone worked at it, and this applies to relationships as well. The first step in finding your right man is being the right woman yourself. I am one of those who strongly believe that when you have settled on your personality; your access will be easier. Then you will be ushered into a larger room of better understanding of who your partner will be. This way it will be easier to know him when you see him, no matter in what form he appears. A key problem I find is that most ladies know what they want, but cannot tell it when they see it. This is because there is still a hindrance that prevents this. Nothing else describes this better that what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7.

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Many interpretations can come out of this as we all know, but one truth my eyes were open to was that the reason why you can see a speck in another persons’ eye is because you have a log in yours. So who you are is what determines what you see. So if you correct your internal configuration, you will see correctly. I have heard many ladies say “But I am a good woman Reginald, I have a lot of love to give and I am well mannered.” This is also an indication that you haven’t still got a long way to go with dealing with yourself. When you feel you are most ready, give a second check, you may very well not be. Some years ago, I was having a conversation with God and I was outlining all the things I want to see in a woman. When I presented this list before God, He asked me to take a second look at what I wrote. Then He said all I had written came from the abundance of my heart. Therefore He will give me a woman whom I will impart these wonderful virtues I had mentioned into. This was a wow moment and a perspective changing encounter for me. Now I understand that though I have my desires for a person that suits me, a higher perspective is that this is way beyond me. Beyond what I wanted was what I presented. What I mean is that beyond what I wanted, was what I could give as a person. God told me then that “Reggie, if there is a woman like what you have stated, I will not give her to you! Because she will not need you in her life, she will be complete without blemish and will need no one to complement her.” I was shocked by this response from God. Past what we want, is who we are. God knows when we are ready, we don’t! He knows if we will punish the one He gives to us of if we will be faithful to care for that one. So let’s put our wants aside and rather allow God deal with our person as the first step towards getting the right man.

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THIS BABY IS TEN YEARS OLD!

naija_flag_CHave you noticed these days that there is a somewhat increasing intelligence in children, and their rate of apprehension seems to be ever expanding in a very complex and diversifying world? True. I have suddenly developed an interest in the developmental stages of children and wonder how their plain and simple minds comprehend and retain information. From age one through age five, you will marvel at what your baby knows already. Even without a deliberate attempt to teach the child, there is a natural desire to learn and to explore and experiment with something new.

In fact nowadays, what we learnt in secondary school a while ago, is being moved down to primary school level, and what our first year classes were like in University, is being passed over to higher secondary teaching. This is simply because more and more information is emerging and the world is getting more complicated. Children nowadays are born into a generation of unrestricted flow of information and a young child is saddled with the ability to do so much more than playing mere police and thief, or the famous hide and seek. The other day I heard of a 13 year old having an associate degree while still in high school.

Things are changing fast, and there’s a growing urgency for the individual to become more open minded and hungry for learning, as this distinguishes between the man living now and the man living in the past. What baffles me however is the fact that despite the rate of change and how people are taking advantage of what is at their disposal globally, some people are dying of lethargy, while others simply refuse to come to terms that things have changed and that many things have become obsolete. I laugh today when I see people carrying maps all around the streets of New York when GPS devices are all about at very cheap prices. You can even load your smart phones now with voice enabled maps that give your real time location and tell you every move that even a blind man can accurately follow. Yet some are stuck in the past.

My interest here is not on how we individually respond to these global changes, but on how Nigeria has responded to the available opportunities these past ten years. May I remind us that this baby is ten years old! This means that a child who was born on the 29th of May 1999 is exactly ten years of age today, and in the world we exist in today, a ten year old can become totally responsible for his life and choices. While it may not be appropriate to compare Nigeria’s ten years of democracy to the developmental stages of a child, as this is way too simplistic, there are certain background principles we cannot afford to overlook, as it applies to our country. Let me consider a few of the democratic ideals which Nigeria should by now possess.

After ten years of democracy, Nigeria should by now deliver the benefits of the system to its people. Democracy is simply the government of the majority, establishing the will of the people and ensuring the greater good for the greater number of people. This means that whatever the people want is the sovereign and overarching responsibility of the government. In ten years, how much of the desire of Nigerians have been fulfilled by its leaders? Rather, we consistently see a shoving aside of the greater good for the pursuit of personal ambitions. No one deems it necessary to determine and report the state of the country, so Nigerians know what we are up against. There is a silent assumption that anything goes and people will put up with anything that they are confronted with. For instance, why has the government not explained in details to us what happened to 16 Billion dollars or naira (irrespective, it’s still a mouth gaping sum) meant for the power sector in the last eight years? By this time we expect a clearly articulated path towards a recovery of the power sector, but we are still at a point where very few know what’s happening. Nigerians have a right to know, and it is the will of the people that the benefits of this system begin to deliver value. Ten years is way too much time for a baby to crawl and it seems that we still have an attraction to keeping our motion gravitated towards the dust.

Second, accountability is now a buzz word that flies around with no substance in our democratic system. So much talk began with this dispensation, yet we are still harassed by the superfluous display of corruption reborn. It seems public officials are getting more daring in their acts of unaccountability and there is a growing comfort with the fact that nothing can happen to them. We have heard of the many cases of corrupt practices and the many names that have been named, yet how many of such have we celebrated their jail sentences? The very same ones indicted for the otiose bastardization of the vehicles of public utility are gracing the pages of our glossy magazines and shoving on our faces their pin-headed conceptions of the good life. And worse still is that the nature of our corruption has morphed into prebendalism, where government officials now feel a sense of entitlement to the revenues of the Nigerian state.

A bigger problem is that while we are preoccupied addressing these manifest practices at the top of the structure, the base is being wasted away by petty thieves who call themselves councilors and local officials. Even those who exercise some form of bureaucratic discretion at the community level, use that as an occasion to extract profits for their miserable living at the expense of petty services that will make life a little bit more comfortable for their denizens. The baby is ten years old and still grappling with the basics of structural and economic locomotion. What even worries me most is how much effect this has on the ordinary person who tries to survive in the midst of all this. Many now accept corruption as an incurable sickness that one has to live and manage with. The result is that prudence and excellence have been sacrificed on the altar of the convenient, and creativity and innovation have been wacked to the barest minimum in society.

Lastly, we still have not come to the point where we clearly understand what the rights of the Nigerian are. Having a constitutional document with statements mean nothing until it is translated from paper to action. There is still an undervaluation of the Nigerian person, hence when decisions are made; it is without regard for the dignity of the citizens. I heard there was a rebranding of late, and I cared to pry into the nature of the efforts and found that it was devoid of a people centered approach. Rubbing grease on the skin doesn’t guarantee that people will appreciate its beauty. Feeding the stomach however will of necessity manifest on the outer covering, and no one needs to be convinced to see the changes. Whatever our rebranding, if the rights of the Nigerian is not clearly put first, then we risk the make-the-mockery-of-me-joke again. Because I am a Nigerian, I am entitled to a good life and I am entitled to certain basic services like security, and should be free from all forms of harassment, whether by the breakers of the law, the long arm of the law, or by even the law itself. I should be free to enjoy what power my vote carries, and to demand for what my tax can pay for. We all know what these rights are, and it cannot be overemphasized. My point is that at ten years of democracy, our political system is mature enough to accord us these privileges and there is no excuse why it hasn’t at this time.

So while we are in an age where many countries are using the available opportunities and tools to give their citizens a better life and to foster the environment necessary for the burgeoning of a next generation of global interactions, we are still slow to learn and slow to walk. This is so reminiscent of those kids in your class who just couldn’t take anything into their brains. What was left was for their craniums to be cracked open and literally purged of excess puss and infused with all the textbooks. While several countries are unlearning the art of physical or human based warfare, we are still confronted with a case in our Niger-Delta that seems to be a training ground for a guerilla movement. Religious crisis is still driving our peace from us and uncertainty surrounds the state of our ethnic marriage. I sometimes begin to wonder if Nigeria’s case is as “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Time is passing by and this baby is slow to grow. But grow it must. I have resolved to do my part and hope it strengthens one part of the whole. I write to discover myself and to hold myself responsible for the things I must do as time goes by. Our country is not a closed case as long as I live, perchance my very loyalty maybe the needed vitamin this baby needs to get up and run as others are. So as I wonder if there’s anything to celebrate, I am suddenly reminded that I am one reason to celebrate why my country will be great. As long as I am determined and open to learning and to improving myself daily, this will translate into the national good I so desire. I will not subscribe to faineance or allow me become hopeless in a time when hope screams out from every corner. But my greatest joy is that there are much more people like me who are greatly impassioned for the Nigerian state and are laying down their lives for the love of it. It is their course I have chosen to follow and in a little while, we will take back our beloved from them that have no dream, vision, mission, and passion. Else, this baby will crawl for the next ten years. But God forbid!

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