I Am Gay

‘I’m not one to make excuses; I’m not one to place the blame on others. I’m not one to take the easy way out, I’m just a man trying to do the best I can…’, thus went the immortal words of J. Moss’ song ‘Just James’.

In the world we live in today, various human rights activists have come to the forefront as regards the way gays are being treated. Diverse interest groups have pushed various governments into making laws that ensure that homos are being protected by the constitutions of their countries. From the U.S. down to South Africa, more individuals are becoming more open about their preferred sexuality. ‘We are normal humans too’, they all seem to cry at once and they back this up with the appropriate actions, so we have gay profs, gay scientists, gay politicians and even gay priests.

I have my personal and quite unique opinions about this issue but I must admit to you that I’m gay. ‘Gaier’ than you might even think. Sometimes, I could be very gay and at other times, I’m not as gay as I would have loved to be. However, there’s no point in time when there’s not a bit of ‘gayness’ in me. Infact, I’m going to share the source of my gay life with you, because I woke up this morning feeling particularly gay.

Anybody reading this piece, thus far, could either be disgusted with my blatant admission to being gay; Or be quite impressed with my boldness to admit that I’m gay, in such a very homophobic society as this country. Whichever way, the English language is a very queer one. Back in the Victorian ages, people would talk of having a gay coloured hat, a gay temperament or even a gay life and nobody would feel offended. Then, the word ‘faggot’ only meant a bundle of anything and being ‘fagged’ only implied that one was extremely tired. However, you fastfoward a century and all these terms have a completely new meaning.

I’m not going to use this piece to condemn the activities of anybody. However, I would appreciate it if you, (yes you!) took a little time out today just to look at the wonderful works of God through nature. Or just take some time off your busy schedule and make a mental flashback of all that has ensued in your life in time past. Definitely, you’d find something to be thankful for. Then, you’d end up being as happy as I am. So gay!

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Substance Over Style

Let’s start from the scratch: The noise that a hollow container would make is definitely much more than the sound that would be made when a half-filled (or half-empty, depending on how you see it) container is struck. The rule is – The fuller the container, the deeper the sound and the lower the volume of the sound made. Apparently, this was what the observation of the English folk, when they came up with, ‘Empty barrels make the most noise’

Let’s go a little bit deeper now: The noise that the hollow container makes would also be quite similar to the noise that a fancy coloured container would make, so far as it is still empty. Though the amount of noise that would emanate from the empty container is dependent on the material from which the container is made, it is nevertheless also still relative to the fact that the container is empty.

Still hang in there. Now, the sound that would be made by a fully filled container would be dependent on the type of material that is used to fill up the container. For example, the sound made by a container filled with gravel would be different from the sound that is made by a container filled with engine oil.

Eventually, whatever that is within you would count!

If you’ve managed to come this far in this particular post, you might be wondering about what I’m talking about. I’m actually asking a couple of questions.
What do you have within you?
What do people see in you when the stakes are down?
Who is the ‘real you’ that people don’t know of?
I’m asking, ‘Is there an ‘animal’ within you that comes out when the pressure is on?’

And talking about pressure. Pressure is that phenomenon that allows people to see what you’ve got inside you. Whether you are just an empty vessel filled with HOT AIR. Empty within, yet on the outside, people see a well decorated, courteous container. Who do you think you are fooling? It’s high time you underwent a ‘self check-up’.

And for those who are glad that they’ve got something within, what exactly do you have within you? HARD STONES to pelt at people around you, and even yourself. Or FINE SAWDUST to sprinkle into the eyes of those who are watching you. Or maybe it is COOL WATER or better still a GRACEFUL PUNCH of VARIOUS EXOTIC FRUIT JUICES that people can’t just get enough of, even in the face of pressure! Yes, even when you are going through your own challenges, you are still capable of refreshing others.

This post was not written with anybody in mind. It is meant for everyone, including myself. I think it is high time we all examined ourselves to find out whether or not we can stand the FIRE OF TESTS AND TRIALS as it comes. And WHEN it comes, would we be happy with whatever we find within ourselves???

Crosswords Remix – Another Poem.

Marks, unremovable and permanently etched in gold,
On my heart they lay,
despite the years of experience
Serving as reminders of what was, what is
Or maybe what should have been –
the Dream you don’t remember.

Peering into the future, I see it,
yet not as you do.
Eyes turned inside out,
closely examining what my mind has missed

Far away, however,
something else might have clicked within
Only that it was totally expected,
never for once out of character

Life is full of choices,
and no one has to remain the doormat
Unless, of course,
it is the ultimate test for faithfulness

Whichever way, whatever is yours,
would always come back to you.
A word, they say,
is enough for the wise

Strike Three – You’re Out!

Baseball is a sport that is not too common in this part of the world. Infact, had it not been that I’m a bit exposed to some foreign movies, I might not have known what the heading of this post meant. Just for the fun of it, ask any Nigerian University student what ‘strike’ means and you’d get the unanimous reply that it means ‘when lecturers do not go to work’.

I’ve been in school for almost 4 years now and I’ve encountered 3 major instances when the Academic Staff Union decided to go on a strike to force the Nigerian government to meet their demands.

Strike One! This came before I resumed for my freshman year. I can’t remember the exact details of that particular strike. What I remember, however, is that this strike lasted 5 months! Let me say that again in slow-mo: F-I-V-E-M-O-N-T-H-S. I was downcast. Almost depressed. My classmates in secondary school were almost through with their freshman year in the private universities they opted for by the time the strike was called off. The aftermath was a lopsided school calender with the session commencing January, instead of September the previous year.

Strike Two!! This lasted about 5 weeks and in comparison with the previous strike, this strike was highly welcome. I think this one came at the end of my sophomore year. The session was a rapid-fire, high-tension one that was chronically rushed for we students. We wrote our exams and soon as the last student dropped his pen, the strike started. Well, it didn’t exactly happen like that but the ink on our exam papers were not yet dry….okay, okay, at least you get my point. This strike afforded me the time I needed to regain my strength and get refreshed after such a tedious session. I even made a couple of bucks during that period.

Strike Three!!! ASUU and the government were soon at it again. Going at loggerheads like rival wives in a polygamous home. Again, for me, this strike was a highly welcome development. Very timely. Infact, I had been praying for it since my 1st semester. Why not? I had a research project to work on; I had a magazine publication to work on (Check my post, ”FACTOR VI”); I needed to prepare for some elective courses. But in a fast-paced semester, the time always seemed not to be enough. Well, thanks to the strike, I can work more optimally in a lower pressure environment and by the time the strike’s over, I should have gone far.

Just as a bonus, it is necessary to pass this message of solidarity to all final year students in all public universities in Nigeria: You’ve been through, Strike One, Strike Two and Strike Three, no one needs to tell you that You Are Out!!!
GRADUATION IN VIEW……

God Is My Brother.

This is going to be a very short and laconic one. Okay, now that is settled, can we move on to today’s issue?

For reasons I’m not too sure of, many people think that what I right here resemble sermons and consequently that makes me a pastor, or something. I really don’t understand that sentiment. I made it quite clear in my first post on this blog that I would be writing on various issues from my heart and mind’s perspective.

Pardon my sense of continuity but I had to settle that, because today’s issue might look as if I’m preaching. But I’m not. Okay, I was doing something quite random yesterday and a name was impressed on my heart. Ahijah. Now, I’m quite familiar with that name. I scanned through the recesses of my mind and I remembered that in the Bible, this was the prophet that told a man called Jeroboam, that he (Jeroboam) was eventually going to rule over ten out twelve Israel tribes. Then, an impression was made in my mind. The meaning of Ahijah. For those that do not know, in Biblical times, the interpretation of an individual’s name went a long way in determining his character. For example, Simon (Peter) means ‘reed’, a very weak, easily swayed plant. This was evident in his unstable character during Jesus’ Earthly ministry.

The name Ahijah, means ‘God is my Brother’. Isn’t that awesome. I made another mental scan to find out other individuals who made this seemingly ‘boastful’ claim in the Old testament (in the New testament, Jesus called the doers of His Words, His brothers; Paul also called us joint-heirs with Christ). Father Abraham was called the friend of God, the Great David qualified to be a man after God’s heart. But Ahijah. He called God his Brother.

To me, I am fully convinced that the man Ahijah didn’t just bear the name for the fun of it. No. He was an embodiment of the name both in character and in deeds. How many of us would take a new suit and tear it into pieces, just to explain God’s point to somebody. This guy’s relationship with God was so tight. Even when the man Ahijah was so old and blind, he could not be deceived by the very same test that Isaac failed miserably. I really can’t tell you all you have to know about this man Ahijah. Maybe in your free time, you should check 1 Kings 11 & 14.

I didn’t plan for this article to be this long, but I won’t be satisfied if I didn’t say this: I’m not asking you to change your name to Ahijah so that your character would be like his. Afterall, Jabez, who probably had the worst name anybody could dream to have, didn’t change his name before God changed his story. What I’m really concerned about is how we all get our relationship with God to be so tight that we can boldly unequivocally call God our brother too.

God is yearning for people to have a deep, real-life family-like relationship with Him. But apparently, many people are afraid to draw near to God because of what He might tell them to do. Always remember this: God loves you and He has your best interest in mind. Why not draw nearer to Him, so He’d do the same with you?

Selah!

Limitations: Who sets ’em?

I needed the money so urgently. When I eventually got to the ATM gallery in front of the bank, I was discouraged. There was a very long, slow-moving queue in front of JUST two of the many ATM cubicles at the gallery. I was pissed to the marrows. So, after securing a space for myself at the end of one of the two long lines, I walked up to one of the ATM cubicles without a line in front of it to find out why this was so. Immediately I got there, I instantly wished that I had not gone through the trouble of walking up to the front in the first place. Not a few people snickered at me, probably wondering if I had been too blind to notice the fact that the other ATM machines were not working – that was the reason why there were just two long queues. I felt slightly embarassed but I chose to be unperturbed. I went on to the next ATM cubicle and I saw the same unwelcome welcome on this ATM machine too “OUT OF ORDER”. By the time, I sensed that the whole world was looking at me. What could they be thinking? Maybe, ‘Why isn’t this guy playing by the UNWRITTEN rule?’ or ‘Why is he so impatient?’ or maybe, ‘Does he think he’s smarter than us?’ ‘What point is he trying to prove?’ ‘Would he eventually come back to the end of our line?

I was now on the third ATM and I was met with the same, ‘OUT OF BOUNDS’ response. Within me, I instantly got a flash of intuition and I noticed that amongst all those on the long lines, probably a few, if any, managed to get to this particular ATM cubicle before concluding that all other ATM machines would not work. So, I went on to the next ATM cubicle…

I got inside the cubicle and I did not come out a minute later. There was a sudden hush that fell on all who were there. I came out about five minutes later beaming triumphantly. ‘It’s dispensing!’, I said.

So many people are of the opinion that limitations are ubiquitous. They feel that things are just not meant to go right. If they feel that others from time past have not been able to do something, then that thingy is impossible. See, limitations are a thing of the mine. To illustrate this point, follow this study: A line was drawn on the ground and people were given a small ball on one side of the line to throw in a very narrow cup at the other side of the line. Most of the individuals in this study stood behind the line to throw the ball to the narrow cup on the other side and all missed, when they could have easily walked up to the cup and dropped the ball into it. The power of the mind.

If you wholeheartedly believe within you that you lack the ability to get something, you’d probably never get it done.

So, what would you do? Renew your mind set. Think outside the box. Step out of the ‘what is’ and enter into ‘what should be’. Say NO to limitations of every kind and Believe – in God, your abilities and yourself.

Crossword – A Poem

Yet again, as I continually
discover myself to be, always
Aware that I’m lost again
for the exact words to express my thoughts
Now they flutter,
sometimes in my head, sometimes in my heart
Maybe if I’m patient enough, I’d get
to taste and feel the flow
In the surreal, however,
they are quite vivid and real
Fair enough, I must struggle within myself,
searching with the light of hope, thinking,
‘Even if the words are few,
once found, they would amount to much’

Words Onwards

Confusion, fear and all its adherent complications all start from that small seed that we all tend to forget exists – a word. Peace of mind, sense of joy, happiness and fulfilment also spring from the self-same, almost negligible source – a word. The baffling issue, however, is why do we see more of the former around us than the latter, if they both are from the same origin. The reason is not far-fetched: We fail to recognize the tremendous amount of power that is latently existent in a word.

You see, a word is capable of triggering an idea which in turn provides a reference point for our emotions and thoughts which would invariably govern our actions. The power of a word, whether spoken or written, is more or less like a dynamite – use it wisely and you might get some form of natural resources from a rock, or use it wrongly and you might just inflict injuries on yourself and others around you.

Now, if a word is as a see, there’s nothing more qualified to serve as the fertile ground than our minds. The mind is unique in that it processes information only in the form of pictures. This is why you would enjoy reading a novel more than watching the movie adaptation of the same movie. Furthermore, we know that when someone speaks to us, the words we hear are not seen or perceived as letters in our minds but as pictures too.

Pay attention now, I’m heading somewhere: If what we read and what we hear are seen by our minds’ eyes as pictures, then our thoughts and emotions are more or less the products of what we see or hear, and what we say or write is simply an expression of our thoughts and emotions which would invariably govern our actions.

So what am I saying? In order to possess that sense of peace, joy, happiness and fulfilment within and around you, you have to choose to make words work for you. For example, if you keep on reading positively edifying literature, over time, you’d see desirable changes in your thoughts, emotions and actions. Conversely, if you keep on giving your mind non-edifying material to consume, there’s no chance of you not having deteriorations in your thoughts, emotions and actions. The same applies to the spoken words. Definitely, you do not have a choice in determining what you hear but you can choose whatever you listem to. So selectively choose wisely. You could also speak out positivity continuously into your own hearing and with time, you would only be wishing that you had started the practice earlier.

Words are the sources of the ideas that could make you or mar you. Make words work for you as you push onwards in life.