Happy New Year folks!
How did you ring in the new year? Under a mistletoe, exchanging DNA? In church, a mosque, or some other place of worship? Turning up at some party? Whatever way, may the year be good to all of us. May it be better than last year, a whole lot better. 
What are you doing with your money this year? Apart from making it of course. All over social media, there’s talk about making money (tons of it), and generally exploding our treasure chests. Which is great till you realise that you probably had all these speeches this time last year, and your room isn’t littered with shards of your ‘exploded-from-too-much-money’ treasure chest.
Obviously, we expect better this year (and hopefully we will match the wishes with the commensurate grit and hard work). But on the way to that, I decided to domesticate this piece I read on CNNMoney, infused with a few personal touches.
You ready? 
1. Stop saving your leftovers
One thing I learned in 2017 (I know, better late than never) was to pay myself from every money I received (salary, gift, side hustle, whatever). I put the money into an account which I called an investment account and then did most of my investments from there. Also encouraged Bobo to join me in putting aside some money every month into an account which only I have access to (*cue evil laugh*) 
Seriously though, put money aside, first. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I had around the end of 2017 when I needed to get some things done, almost at the same time.
The lesson here: Pay yourself first, no matter how little. It adds up and gives you bulk money which will be more meaningful for projects.  
 
2. Stop using painless payments
Brethren, thank God for technology. Notice how easy it is to shop online these days? The major companies are outdoing themselves with making payments faster and easier, all the way to fingerprint payments.
How many things have you bought just because you could click through? For me, the most recent purchase was a mug. Yes, it was for a good cause (Sanitary Aid NG and you totally should check them out and support them), but it was click, click, click, money spent.
Dan Ariely, a behavioural economist and co-author of “Dollars and Sense”, said, “If it is an automatic deduction you don’t experience the annoyance in the same way and you’re less aware of the costs.” 
The lesson here:  Be intentional about payments you make, resist the urge to save your card details on too many sites, especially retailers. Oh, and stay away from one-click payment options! Take the time to type in your details. 
 
3. Stop being silent about money
We don’t talk about money enough. Most of the time we talk about making it the wrong way or we don’t talk about it at all, we talk about spending it and showing it off, but there are not enough about what exactly to do with it.
Did you know that the more we talk about money (with the right people and in the right contexts), the more confident we become about making better decisions with our own money?
Yes. In engaging with Subomi Plumptre‘s posts on Facebook, and subsequent conversations with her, I learned a lot of ways to put my money to work, and I’m better for it. Much better. In engaging with her and a few others, I learned new ways of saving and investing I didn’t know of. 
The lesson here: If your inner circle is all about spending, and holidays, and turning up, and not about legitimate ways to make and save more, maybe you need to re-evaluate that circle. Talk about apps that track your daily spend, which I’ve learned are even more draining than the periodic big spends. 
 
4. Stop your wholesale club shopping (online or offline)
I will discuss this a little differently than CNNMoney did and relate this to deals. There are a million and one of them, especially online. The temptation to buy the skirt and blouse instead of only the blouse which you need (or you’ve convinced yourself you that you need from the minute you scrolled through the retailer’s Instagram page). Yep, you know what I’m talking about. 
In buying one and getting one free, you’re still spending money to get the one; in saving 25% off an item, you’ve still spent the 75%. So, do you really need it? Yes? Great. Go for it. Can it wait? Yes? Wait.
The lesson here: Intentionally practise delayed gratification, or self-denial. See how long you can hold off on getting something, just because you can. See how you can say no to yourself, and mean it.
 
5. Stop allowing your credit to be available to anyone
Again, domesticating this one to say, go easy on giving loans. A lot of us have tales of woe, debts that have gone from bad to disasters even for the friendships upon which trust and the loans were predicated, and so this should sit easily with you.
There’s a saying that the voice people use in lending money is different from the voice they use in returning it. It might be great to consider giving a gift instead of loaning the money out.
Of course this doesn’t apply to giving to dependants, religious endeavours, charity, or like causes.
The lesson here: What is the friendship worth? What is the money worth? Can you afford to lose both? Think about that before you click the transfer button, or part with money in any other way.
 
Bonus points
A. Invest – What’s better than earning? Putting that money to work for you, and reproduce by itself.
B. Pay – The borrower is slave to the lender. Keep faith and pay your debts, or renegotiate payment terms that you can keep. Don’t make it difficult for the next person in need. Do not be a Pharisee.
C. Reward yourself – Give yourself a gift, you’re worth it.
Happy New Year!
Originally published on Huff Post on the 1st of January.
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How was your Christmas? Did it go as planned? By that I mean did you eat till you became ashamed? (Smiles in sweet recollection). Gosh, I think I ate my weight in unhealthy food (AND DRINKS) in the last 10 days. Been thinking of penance but I can’t get past three months straight starvation, and even that might not be enough, lol.

Moving on very swiftly.

How many of us take our cars to get serviced by ourselves? Especially females? It is something I enjoy doing, to be honest (mom says I will soon not have to bother with those kinds of things – I’m sure she means that I will soon own my own auto shop to cater to my fleet, not that I’ll get married and shift those responsibilities to the Mr.)

Anyway, I took my car to the workshop where I normally get it done, and I asked them to throw in wheel balancing and alignment as well. Then we topped up my brake fluid (considering how much we needed I strongly believe it has been God stepping on the brakes for me in the last few weeks). Thank you Jesus!

Anyway, when I drove out of the workshop, I felt very confident. I can’t explain the way the car felt and that’s why I asked if you had ever serviced your car yourself and noticed the difference after getting all the work done. Certainly felt different.

Off to get a good scrub we went, and then I found fuel without waiting more than 15 minutes in the queue and after filling the tank (I almost asked them to fill outside the tank as well), which is a miracle considering the pain and suffering Nigerians have faced in the last 2 weeks due to scarcity. Thank you Momma, God certainly heard your prayer!

My car feels like a well-groomed crab, or like Bergen King Gristle Jnr from the movie Trolls. Gosh.

One of my older friends always says to me, “take care of yourself, first.” And that’s where we’re going with this. I feel confident to run all the errands I have to now that my car is sorted. As I smiled at myself leaving the fuel station, I thought about myself, and wondered if I was mentally/physically prepared to run those errands, and give 100%.

Ask yourself, beyond the lip service a lot of us pay to “New Year, new me”, are you ready? Ready for the newness (of any kind)? Let go of baggage that might hinder your swift movement? Done your medicals this year, are you of sound body and mind? Paid your debts? Gosh. This particular one. If you owe people any money, pay them, or be sincere in renegotiating your payment date. It is not just disrespectful to the person you owe to ignore their calls/lie about when you’ll return their money, it makes it harder for the next person who might be in need of lending from them. Are you a devil? Or a Pharisee?

Anyway, take care of yourself first. You can’t give things you don’t have. Deborah Day said, “Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.”

As for me, I’m writing this from a salon, where I’m getting a pedicure. Let’s start there.

 

A week ago my friend and senior media colleague Alu Azege invited me to read to the children in her book club. I said yes, even though for some reason I was super excited and nervous at the same time. You see, anyone who knows me knows I love children, I absolutely adore them; I believe that children (babies especially) are proof that God still makes beautiful things. My niece, my nephew, children I know, and even those I don’t know, I just love.

Let’s put my gushing on hold and go back to that Saturday morning. I had agreed to do the reading at 10am, to enable me catch a flight to Lagos for 1pm for a few engagements.

I got to the venue and found about 16 children aged 6 to 12 seated in a circle, and I was told the immediate challenge was getting them to agree on a book to read. After we were introduced, we held a small ‘election’ (gotta catch them early) and settled on reading ‘Eze Goes To School’, written by Onuora Nzekwu and Michael Crowder in 1963. Mr Nzekwu died in April this year (2017), at the age of 89. Interestingly, I read Eze Goes To School at least 20 years ago (good luck trying to figure out my age).

Anyway, off the top of my head, I decided we would read two pages, discuss them, answer any questions, and then take on the next two pages. I wanted to be sure the children followed the reading, and also to accommodate the younger children because the class was combined.

The first two pages had me cringing at the blatant patriarchy and thought patterns that existed in those days. Eze’s father, a successful warrior, was illiterate but believed that his son Eze would benefit from an education, and so he pushed till he went. For Ulu, Eze’s sister, however, education was not on the cards at all, simply because she was a girl and girls didn’t need to go to school. The entire book is therefore centred on Eze’s education and the hurdles he faced in his quest for education.

Another thing that gnawed at me was the advice Okonkwo gave his son Eze as he set off to start school. He said, “You must beat all the boys in any examination you take. You must take first place always. And if you are stupid enough to let a boy beat you, never, my son, never let the girl, Chinwe beat you.”

On the 3 mile trek from their village Ohia to Ama where his school was located, a young Eze soon became tired, but he couldn’t say, even to his mother because it was out of place for boys to show any weakness. Even in exhaustion, lol.

In between questions, the younger children being unable to sit still (cue countless trips to the restroom), searching Google for words we didn’t understand and for a picture of African Garden Egg, we could only read one chapter before I had to leave. If I could, however, with total respect for the authors, I would change quite a few things in that first chapter, maybe even in the entire book.

Our culture, tradition, even the media we were exposed to created a generation of men who were afraid of their/to show emotion, for whom tears or the slightest expressions of vulnerability were seen as weakness; a generation of men bred to suppress their feelings.

Any wonder it seems like the majority of the men around are unfeeling? It is what they were conditioned to be from childhood! They were taught to play and explore and be adventurous while the girls were raised to be subservient homemakers, forgetting that it takes two to tango, and two to make a home.

This is why I say our generation of parents and would-be parents have an incredible responsibility to raise children that see themselves as equal, not superior by reason of class or gender; who strive for excellence with healthy doses of competition and camaraderie. So that Eze can go to school with Ulu, and do well at school because he’s applying himself and not because he wants to do better than a girl.

PS: I can’t wait to read to them again, and I’m taking my nephew with me. Not taking my niece biko, before she scatters the place. It’s a bookclub after all, not a nursery.

“The heart of man is desperately wicked” – the Bible is so true.

I saw something on Twitter last night that I’ve seen manifested in a number of ways online. People who claim to be friends, maybe even best friends have an argument and next thing, all their secrets are out on the web for the world to read, be entertained by, and store as arsenal for later.

The other, more troubling manifestation is the hilarity and glee with which people share the misfortune of others online. I’m sure we’ve all seen this but last night I was just shocked.

Some lady tweeted about her friend getting played by some guy she had basically kept house with. So this lady had cooked for the man and his friends, taken care of his needs, etc. and then the man left her, married someone else and now has a child with them. The amount of laughter emojis this so-called friend had in that tweet scared me.

Like, how do you take pride in someone else’s unhappiness? Is this for the retweets or you’re just really awful?

I tweeted a response, but by this morning the matter still hadn’t left my mind. A lot of us have been burned in telling our stories or sharing our burdens with so-called friends who do nothing to ease the pain (besides -oohing and aahing), but hasten to spread tales every chance they get.

Personally, this is one of the biggest lessons of this year: be slow to speak. We are the X and Y generation with social media, the ones who are expressive, the ones whose voices have been amplified thanks to digital tools. But, be slow to ‘share’. Be slow to by yourself, make yourself the dinner table topic. Be slow to betray confidences reposed in you, especially when you are angry or offended. Be slow to share that secret with another close friend. There’s a place in the book of Proverbs that says, “In the multitude of words, there is sin”. Technically, shut up a bit more.

See, we must protect our circles and our joy. Not to induce paranoia, but not everyone smiling with you is truly happy for you. Sometimes they’re smiling and just counting down to when you suffer so they can share the story and lol. Some so called friends are just staying close to have stories to tell when you fall. Awful people.

Brethren, be careful where you share your business.

How you doing people? To my Nigerian readers, what did you get up to for the holidays?

I went to Lagos, spent some quality time with my best friend Wunmi, and her son (my godson, duh). Nothing like family!

Dodging the sun vs. basking in the awesome lighting! This is such a great and awful photo at the same time, lol.

I must also confess that my diet was abandoned (which is what good people do during holidays, lol) so I’m typing this from the treadmill, trying to redeem myself.

It was also a good opportunity for me to focus on myself, and the exhaustion I’ve been feeling lately. I’m grateful for the massages, the sleep, the absolute rest I was able to achieve. So thankful.

A bit about my best friend before I move on… She’s an amazing, real chic. Like, I know I’m going to contend with her swollen head later but she’s one of the strongest women I know, an amazing worker, even more supportive wife and mom, and I’m just thankful for her today. Get yourself a bestie like mine!

Okay, Wunmi worship done, here’s the reason I decided to write this. So, it’s still raining in Abuja for reasons I cannot fathom. It rained from 4pm yesterday till about 11pm when I fell asleep. Why? Sigh. Plus it was thundering like God was scolding us (anyone understand thunder-speak?) and totally defeated the ‘weather for two’ purpose of the rain. Just as well since Bobo is far away at the moment.

Anyway, so I was trying to get home when the rain subsided a little bit and there was traffic. Not the Lagos type of traffic that can last an entire pregnancy term but it was bumper to bumper on what should have been an express lane.

I trudged through it, and then around my area, I ran into some traffic as well. A little pissed off at the time I’d already spent navigating traffic, I decided to leave the inner (speed) lane I was on, and get ahead using the outer lane. Was quick for all of five minutes and then I realised I hadn’t factored in that I would have to contend with the ‘keke napep’ riders who use that lane.

I struggled in that lane a little bit, trying to avoid the keke riders who do not see the need to indicate but feel the need to stop abruptly wherever they please, or even the ones who tried to scrape my car in the name of driving rough getting ahead.

When I narrowly missed one of them rear-ending me, I asked myself why I was raising my blood pressure on a lane that ended up not giving me the speed I’d hoped for, and then quietly moved back to where I was earlier.

I thought about it before I slept last night and tried to relate it to everyday living and humans switching lanes thinking someone else has it better than we do. In truth, sometimes they do but we don’t know what else they have to deal with that we don’t. So before we jump into something we’re not ready for in the name of the grass being greener on the other side, maybe think through it a bit more carefully?

PS: I will blog more. It’s a super distraction while I’m jogging on the treadmill. Been using this app called Couch to 10k, I’m in the 7th week, and I did 2.5miles today (25 minutes non stop). Talk about progress, when I started I was barely doing 5 minutes without gasping like I was being strangled. Can’t wait to do a full 5k! Yeah, I’ve never done that before.

It’s been a while I wrote about my niece, my little princess. But here we are, again using her life and the things she does to draw analogies with our reality.

So, little madam is about 19 months old, with the personality and spunk of a three-year-old. She knows exactly what she wants, and derives quite a bit of pleasure from getting her way.

She’s also way ahead of the curve as far as new words and conversations are concerned. So no, she’s not talking philosophy, driving, or writing novels yet, even though I’m sure she can biko. As an aside, I’m now convinced I will be one of those moms whose children can do no wrong. Not to say they won’t get corrected when they misbehave, just saying they will fart and I’ll probably smell roses and patchouli. Yep, that kind of mom.

Okay, why am I writing this? So Talia understands what it means to put something in the trash – so biscuit wraps, empty Ribena packs, those kinds of things, she will drop them in the trash when you ask nicely (read as ask at least three times while she repeats what you’re saying). But, eventually, she goes and drops whatever item in the bin. Sometimes I can get her to go drop it back in the bin by herself, other times I have to be really firm.

The curious thing though, is that, especially for wraps for edible things, she’ll drop them in, then go take them out in another 3-5 minutes. She’s not trying to be naughty or difficult, but I guess she doesn’t just understand why something that appears shiny or pretty should be dropped in the bin. The interesting thing is even if I have a new, full pack of whatever she’s disposed of, she still wants the one she’s picked out from the bin, which she threw away in the first instance because it was empty, finished, done with.

And that last sentence is the thrust of this piece. As adults, we end up going back to things, or people, or situations we know we are done with; we know there’s nothing left, that no matter how we squeeze, the juice is finished.

But we’re afraid to reach out for new, to seek (and receive) our due. We’re scared of the unknown, and potentially not being satisfied in the new. So we go back, get stung (or unsatisfied), but keep going back. And sometimes God is beckoning on us, asking us to stretch out our hands and receive from His bounty. But no, we want to go back to the bin, because there’s comfort in familiarity. Even when we’re absolutely sure what we have in our hands is trash.

All I’m saying this morning is, a closed hand can’t receive new things, ditto for a hand that’s full (with, in this case, trash). Trust God today, that thing, situation, person He’s been speaking to you about? Trust that He knows the end from the beginning, sees the full picture, and has your best end to heart.

I hope you have a great week!

 

 

So, online media has had a field day analysing MI’s recent appearance on Osagie Alonge’s podcast series. To be honest, I avoided it; I kept on telling myself I would stay away from it, and I was successful, up till today.

A colleague played the #LooseTalkPodcast in the office this afternoon, I listened, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the bits I listened to. Tweeted a bit, even made a Facebook post on it, but the matter didn’t leave me so I thought I’d provide some more context here.

For starters, here’s the video. Make sure you have approximately three hours to set on fire, and note that it’s not suitable for work because of all the cursing.

Again, I’m not a ‘hip-hop head’; this is to preempt the ones whose only basis for disagreement with this will be “you do not understand hip hop, you’re not a hip-hop head. I agree in advance.

Fact: Osagie Alonge was rude; there are no ifs, ands, or buts about that. Also fact: MI’s calmness is #goals. Either that or he has a liking for masochism. If my memory serves Osagie has taken quite a few swipes at him in the past, almost, as it were, building (or attempting to build) notoriety off ‘critiquing’ Jude.

I thought I would take a few minutes to look up the word ‘critique’, because Osagie went on and on about people saying he was negative when he was only ‘critiquing’ their work. Here goes.

Critique – to evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way. It refers more to literary, theoretical or philosophical bodies of work, but stretches to other forms of artistic expression. It is from the Greek word kritikē, from kritikos meaning ‘able to discern.’

Where was the analysis? Where was the careful, structured presentation of fact backing the many wild allegations he made? Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Even law has it that “he who alleges/asserts must prove.” At some point he was yelling, “we have the receipts, we have the facts.” Where were they? The reference to his colleague as his data back up?

Yet, there was no desire to brook any facts countering his opinions. MI came back with a few statistics on album ranking, money he’s made off the album in question, etc., Osagie disputed them, citing the difference in demographics. So let’s get this straight – you make a claim (without facts), it is countered with facts, you reject the counter (without facts), but somehow we’re all supposed to take your opinion as law?

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Speaking of opinions, Isaac Asimov said, “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” Emphasis on ‘your’ – no one is under any obligation to agree with you, even if you’re their fan.

I do not know that I would ever be able to sit through that amount of swearing & disrespect in the name of critique or fandom. I know quite a few Nigerian artistes who would have walked out, who might have even thrown a few punches.

Call me old-fashioned, but there are still standards for public-facing conversations, even private ones. Some might say interviews for podcasts cannot be viewed through the lens of textbook journalism, but do you want to be taken seriously or not? Hiding behind ‘my opinion’ or ‘I said what I said’ or ‘I can say this because I’m a long time fan’ to put down your guest is unprofessional. It was worse because both guest and the lead interviewer kept referring to being friends. Friendship? Who needs enemies?

It’s not even about my respect for Jude Abaga (which has quadrupled since listening to this); it’s about the decency of engagement that was missing. Talking over the guest, interrupting him the entire time, downright rubbishing his work, this was painful to watch/listen to.

In my short time facilitating learning around strategic communication and advocacy I always warn against inadvertently drowning out the message because of the language, the messenger, or even the design. In engineering it’s referred to as the signal-to-noise ratio; where the background noise adversely affects the strength and utility of an electrical signal. This was quite messy, overflowing with emotion, and lacking the coherence to justify doing it in the first place.

Finally, I probably won’t ever endure listen to #LooseTalkPodcast again; I cringed for all of the 90 minutes I got through. I probably don’t like music this much, or maybe my expectations for 2 hours 47 minutes are just too high.

It’s raining – the thunder woke me up, and I’ve been unable to go back to sleep. My niece is beside me, snuggling a little closer every few minutes, so much that if it isn’t morning soon she might edge me off the bed, or put her fingers into my eyes. Lol. Bless her.

What’s going on with/around you? I’m in Abuja, Nigeria and a few things are – there were floods in Makurdi, Benue State about a week ago, displacing between 80, 000 to 130, 000 people. Kudos to my friends Andy Madaki and Alu Azege, and everyone else who has worked tirelessly since then, collating and disbursing donations, providing temporary shelters and emergency care for the people. The Vice President finally visited the state (yesterday) the 6th of September, approximately 10 days after the incident.

 

In other news, Friday and Monday were public holidays to commemorate the Big Sallah. Tuesday would normally have been Federal Executive Council meeting but the Ministry of Information released a statement saying the holidays didn’t allow them time to prepare for the meeting. I don’t get it. From Boko Haram to universities and now resident doctors going on strike, internally displaced people in Makurdi adding to the IDPs we’ve had in the north for a few years (and the outbreak of cholera there), where is the urgency? I’m so confused and hurt. Nigerians are certainly not the priority for this government.

What else? Nigeria’s officially out of a recession. Difficult to celebrate that because one pronouncement doesn’t undo the suffering of the last 18 months. Plus, analysts say we ‘wasted’ the recession, have no clear plans for stabilizing or even increasing this growth, so we might slide back in again. Dreary thought. Ugh.

I saw a discussion on Twitter an hour ago, some admonition for women going to restaurants with guys and ordering the cheapest thing or at least what the guy ordered. Beyond rolling my eyes and wondering if women will ever graduate from the school called ‘How Do We Please Men Today’, I have no other comments.  It’s almost Christmas. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Looks like this year Christmas will be different; I can’t say how yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

What else? It’s almost Christmas. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Looks like this year Christmas will be different; I can’t say how yet, but I’m looking forward to it. God keep us.

Finally, I miss my aunty. Yeah, same one who died in July 2013, 6.58pm on the 21st. So much to talk with her about. Sometimes I wonder how much different my life would be if she were still alive. I don’t know.

What’s going on around you?

By the way, it’s still raining. Ugh.

PS: Sending love and light to the various locations around the world reeling from excessive rainfall and flooding, mudslides and hurricanes. My heart is with you.

PPS: Thoughts and prayers for the Rohingya in Myanmar. May we not see our heroes turn into oppressors. Aung San Suu Kyi I’m looking at you.

PPPS: The uptake of African rulers shutting down the Internet to drown opposing views/punish their people is scary. 50% increase so far from 2015. Togo’s just shut down their internet. Crazy times.

Hey everyone!

So I’ll try to make this quick. How are you? Good weekend? I had a really busy last 10 days, but lots of learning and successes. More about that later. And I started my morning by going to the gym! I haven’t been in about a month so I was really excited about the 47 minutes spent trying to whip my body back into shape. Gosh, such a struggle!

So, as I headed out of our estate about 7am this morning, I saw two young men surrounded by a mob. Both men had been stripped naked, and had car batteries on their heads. I was told these men were in the habit of stealing car batteries from parked cars in the estate. The estate security had set a trap for them and voila. They looked like they had been beaten, but they also had been told to “start going”. So I asked the security man where they were going, and why they had to be naked. His answer? “Madam dem be thief na, dem go waka the whole estate today”.

As I drove off, I thought about the fact that in that entire mob, no one mentioned the police or any law enforcement agency. Shame because it shows the distrust in our systems, where people take laws into their hands because justice from the state is too slow, or a mirage. I also started thinking about nakedness on a few levels:

I also started thinking about nakedness on a few levels:

  1. There has got to be something about stripping a person naked that takes away their power and confers it on the mob.
  2. I didn’t see anyone molesting the men, touching their private parts or assaulting them sexually in anyway. Also, no one was filming. The opposite would be the case if the criminals were female. They would have been groped, fingered, and people would film. There was one horrible case last year where two women had ground pepper poured into her vagina by a mob. Horrifying stuff. One of them died. Another woman who stole at a mall was stripped and had an iron rod inserted into her vagina. Google is replete with stories like this.

Why? What is this need to remove the clothing of an offender?

I did a quick skim of Wikipedia, trying to find roots of this madness, and this article on public humiliation is interesting. From wearing badges to getting their feet unshod and flogged, to getting them to recount their crimes in the market square or some other public place, humans seem to have devised several ways of punishing offenders.

Going back to Bible times, nakedness was used as a form of punishment. There’s the tale in Ezekiel 37 about a woman who was essentially whoring about, and she got her comeuppance in the form of nakedness, losing her children, and then death.

Islam also cites nakedness as a punishment for offenders, going back to the days of Aadam and Hawwaa (Adam and Eve). Apparently when they disobeyed, listened to the serpent and ate of the fruit they had been warned not eat of, they were made (aware of their) nakedness. Longer narration here.

Away from religion and back to history, Hesiod, a renown Greek poet implored people to “Sow naked, and plough naked, and harvest naked if you wish to bring in all Demeter’s fruits in due season.” Demeter was the goddess of seasons and harvests. Now, this was optional, but there are records of men (and women) ploughing their fields without a thread on.

Back to this morning. I hope (for the sake of the men caught stealing), that they are handed over to the police. And I hope that we slowly start move away from humiliation and on to rehabilitation, or at least punishment that leaves people’s clothes on.

No I’m not writing about the (in)famous “follow me” sometimes perpetuated on social media. I personally will consider requests on a case by case basis but I know quite a few people who don’t brook it at all. Thankfully, on Twitter, you can leave your DMs open for private messages so that’s not an excuse for the request anymore.

But that’s not what this is about.  So I was in a bit of hurry a few days ago, don’t remember where I was headed but I remember I was in a hurry. And then at some point where it was a single-lane road, we were all held up. I waited for a little while, then I left the growing queue only to find out that the person in front of the line was waiting behind a parked car.

Sigh. I had spent a few minutes I didn’t have in a queue behind a parked car? Sigh.

Made me wonder about the many times we expect to make progress but we’re headed in the wrong direction or even stagnant.

I’ve written about this before – one time when I’d spent the night at a friend’s and I was really hot, even after I took after everything I was wearing. Turns out I’d been working the radiator wrong, and therefore not getting any results for all the effort I was putting in.

So think about it. Are you not hitting your targets because the targets are wrong or your process is wrong, or you’re headed in the opposite direction of that target?

The exigencies of today mean that we must be on point as far as direction and focus is concerned. So we cannot afford to be headed in the wrong direction, not even for a wee minute. I read somewhere that it is better to run back than to run the wrong way. As in it’s never too late to retrace your steps and take another stab at achieving whatever you were trying to that hasn’t yet worked out.

Dr Seuss said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

I wish you all the best with that!