RELATIONSHIPS AND MARRIAGE

“Being single no matter how bad is better than keeping a fake relationship.” – Terry Mark

Sometimes I wonder why after a beautiful wedding, a couple after some months/years begin to have very serious issues and worse leading to divorce. It’s scary! I wonder if there was any real exchange of emotions prior to this heartbreaking and psychologically devastating seperation. And worse is when there are kids involve! How can one bring such a horrible fate to such innocent souls? Seriously I find it impossible to be optimistic about issues and problem we humans cause to our selves. No one is perfect but yet there are more happier marriages and parents remaining together despite troubles in the marriage at least for the sake of the kids involve. Anyway, what can I do about it? I am still too young to understand… I may even end up being one of such parents, who knows…(God help me). It shall only be when I begin to do it on my own without God. That brings to mind, my secondary school motto: “WITHOUT GOD, NOTHING.”

I think (in my OPINION), we sometimes contribute to complications that arise sometimes in marriages and relationships that end so badly. I will share some:

1) Some quickly jump into relationships not really because they feel it in their hearts that it’s time and that this man/lady is the one truly made for them. How do you know if someone is not truly meant for you? When their reactions/actions forces you to begin to pretend to be someone you know deep inside that you are not… THINK.

Many young people today rush into some relationships today simply to avoid some uncomfortable and negative remarks from the society, family and friends which they feel makes them feel too old, left-out or abnormal. THINK: these advisers would not be the ones to live with the person you chose to marry. Even if your house become hell, they would not come and clean up the mess for you… But as usual, they would always be generous to offer you their genuine advise. Some advise would help but even if their advices failed, you can’t take them to court. A husband/wife may be bad, but that’s because he/she is meant for someone else and if they happen to meet the one truly meant for them, they become the nicest and most wonderful husbands/wives you never imagined they could be. If you truly love something or someone, no matter how they hurt you, you can’t hit them, you may want to revenge but you will soon forget about it because losing them is going to be even worse. I am not saying we shouldn’t consider meaningful advice from people but let the final choice come from us, so that when something goes wrong, we can blame ourselves. Blaming others for what we do is not being responsible.

2) The idea that ‘no marriage can ever be smooth’ though true, is not a good starting point. You keep that idea in your head and you may suddenly turn lazy towards working hard to have a happier marriage. Anytime something goes wrong, you are quick to remind yourself about that saying instead of facing the problem properly to see if it can be solved or avoided in subsequent times.

A family TRULY built on God’s principles is bound to enjoy a lot of grace, love and beauty that cannot be seen in families or homes that are products of societal opinions/norms. The problem with our society today is that people are rather interested on complicating issues than helping to solve it. It’s funny the kind of names people can call you for your choices simply because it doesn’t look normal in their eyes. Instead of using the holy book to judge you, they would instead use their own life styles as a standard for such judgements. They are the perfect examples to follow… Oh!  Really?

The painful thing about such opinions is the underlying ignorance and shallow thinking that accompany such statements and stereotypes. Seem they are trying to describe how beautiful or ugly the inside of a room looks, but the problem is that they are outside the room and have never been inside, yet they are certain about what they think the inside of the room should look. Maybe they have magic powers…

There’s no perfect marriage, yes, but there are happier ones, so strive to be among the happier and lucky ones.

Fear no opinion that comes from any mortal like you. I wonder how we let human opinions control our lives even more than what comes from God Himself. We have every reason to fear God because He is immortal, a great mystery and the most powerful force that controls the universe. That is why when science tries to explain a mystery it only opens door for more questions. The more we know, the more we realize how less we know and hence the desire to know more. Even to the end, we still learn because the experience of death itself would be new.

Even if one realizes later on that they have chosen the wrong partner, pray to God for a happier home and the grace to find joy and peace again… He would help, our doubts have remained our greatest obstacles to enjoying God’s gifts but we got to keep trying and never give up.

3) Many of us already have designed mental pictures of our ideal wife or husband. I am not saying it’s wrong, but does it agree with what God has in place for us? Or are we going to fight God over what we want. Can we win? We can enjoy the fantasy of having mental pictures of our ideal partners but quickly drop it when God brings His. His gifts for us are the best and ever lasting. Let the prayers be simply the grace to recognize him or her when the time comes. It doesn’t matter where or how it comes, if it’s from God, there can never be any better one.

It doesn’t matter if there’s someone beside you right now that’s telling you a million times everyday that they love you… If you don’t feel right about it, be honest with yourself. Only God can truly know the one that truly love us, because only He truly understands us, He created us. Human beings are very intelligent and complicated, they have the ability to manipulate and deceive each other to get what they want… That explains how someone can hide their real self until after marriage and sometimes even several years after marriage?

Life can be very simple and beautiful but all depends on our choices.

 

Thank God for another grace to write…thoughts kept coming but I just kept postponing… Wishing I could post them without typing (smiles a bit), no, I’m not that lazy, it was just you know… It won’t just happen again.

Have A Beautiful and Lovely Day!

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Think About This…

“Never make a mistake of allowing negative people or thoughts stay for too long in your life, they will destroy you. Nothing poisons the mind like negativity. Its effect is even worse than the deadly diseases. And worse, it never gives up hunting, so do your best never to fall prey to this silent killer. Learn and grow daily, but stay away from negative places, things and people. Negativity never helps anyone’s as it may appear to, it will only make you worse. Even if its coming from me, cut it off, you deserve to be happy.”

– Terry Mark

Strong Woman (Princess Diana)

In 1991, her husband, Prince Charles rekindled his romance with his true love, Camilla and a disillusioned Diana took the extraordinary risk of making her despair public.
She recorded her innermost thoughts for royal author Andrew Morton, on condition that her involvement be kept secret. The result was Diana, Her True Story, a best seller that shook the world. Two decades after her death in an auto crash, it is being republished with transcripts of Diana’s recordings. Daily Mail is publishing extracts and the revelations are just so sensational.
Read below:

The biggest disruption was when Mummy decided to leg it (in 1967). That’s the vivid memory the four of us children have. We all have our own interpretations of what should have happened and what did happen. People took sides. Various people didn’t speak to each other. For my brother and I, it was a very wishy-washy and painful experience.
Charles (my brother) said to me the other day that he hadn’t realised how much the divorce had affected him until he got married and started having a life of his own.
But my other sisters — their growing up was done out of our sight. We saw them at holidays. I don’t remember it being a big thing.

I idolised my eldest sister (Sarah, six years older) and I used to do all her washing when she came back from school. I packed her suitcase, ran her bath, made her bed — the whole lot. I did it all and I thought it was wonderful. I soon learned that doing that wasn’t such a good idea.
I always looked after my brother, really. We had so many changes of nannies, because Daddy was a very attractive divorcee and he was good bait for somebody. We tend to think they came for that, rather than for looking after my brother and me.
If we didn’t like them, we used to stick pins in their chair and throw their clothes out of the window. We always thought they were a threat because they tried to take mother’s position.
They were all very young and rather pretty. They were chosen by my father. It was terribly disruptive to come back from school one day to find a new nanny.
It was a very unhappy childhood. Always seeing our mum crying. Daddy never spoke to us about it — we could never ask questions. Very unstable, the whole thing.
At the age of 14, I remember thinking that I wasn’t very good at anything, that I was hopeless because my brother was always the one getting exams at school and I was the dropout.

I couldn’t understand why I was perhaps a nuisance to have around, which in later years I’ve perceived as being part of the whole question of the child who died before me. It was a son (John, who died within ten hours of his birth in 1960) and both my parents were crazy to have a son and heir. ‘What a bore, we’re going to have to try again.’ And then comes a third daughter.
I’ve recognised that now and that’s fine. I accept it.
I adored animals, guinea-pigs and all that. I had a mass of rabbits, guinea-pigs and hamsters. They all had names.
In my bed, I’d have 20 stuffed animals and there would be a midget’s space for me. They were all adored. That was my family.

I hated the dark — always had to have a light outside my door until I was at least ten. I used to hear my brother crying for my mother — he was unhappy, too — and my father was right down the other end of the house. I never could pluck up courage to get out of bed. I remember it to this day.
I remember seeing my father slap my mother across the face. I was hiding behind the door, and Mummy was crying. I remember Mummy crying an awful lot. Every Saturday, when we went up (to stay with her and Peter Shand Kydd) for weekends, every Saturday night, standard procedure, she would start crying. We would both see her crying. ‘What’s the matter, Mummy?’
‘Oh, I don’t want you to leave tomorrow,’ — which, for a nine-year-old, was devastating, you know.
I remember the most agonising decision I ever had to make. I was a bridesmaid to my first cousin, and to go to the rehearsal I had to be smart and wear a dress. And my mother gave me a green dress and my father had given me a white dress.
And they were both so smart, the dresses, and I can’t remember to this day which one I wore. But I remember being totally traumatised by it because it would show favouritism.

I remember there being a great discussion that a judge was going to come to me at Riddlesworth (my preparatory school) and ask who I would prefer to live with. The judge never turned up.
Basically, we couldn’t wait to be independent, Charles and I, in order to spread our wings and do our own thing.

We had become horribly different at school because we had divorced parents, and nobody else did at that time. But by the time we finished our five years at prep school, everybody was.
I always had this thing inside me that I was different. I didn’t know why. I couldn’t even talk about it, but it was there.

The divorce helped me to relate to anyone else who is upset in their family life, whether it be stepfather syndrome or mother or whatever, I understand it. Been there, done it.
We were always shunted over to Sandringham (the Queen’s Norfolk residence next door) for holidays. We used to go and see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the film.
We hated it so much. The atmosphere was always very strange, and I used to kick and fight anyone who tried to make us go over there. I said I didn’t want to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the third year running. Daddy was most insistent because it was rude (not to go).

Holidays were always very grim because, say, we had a four-week holiday: two weeks Mummy and two weeks Daddy, and the trauma of going from one house to another, and each individual parent trying to make it up in their area with material things rather than the actual tactile stuff, which is what we both craved but never got . . .

Birthdays were obviously a treat. My father once organised a dromedary to come along and give us rides around the lawn — he got it from Bristol Zoo. Birthdays were always a good time. Daddy loves parties.
But there was still none of the arms round the shoulder, or hugging. It was always the other things. I always wanted a pram for my birthday — and dolls. I was fiendish about the dolls and the prams.
And I collected pieces of china. All sorts of fairytale things, and tiny little rabbits. I mean, anything that was small was wonderful, as far as I was concerned.

Being naughty at prep school was fun
Actually, I loved being at school. Although, because I was busy looking after my father most of the time, and then suddenly realised I was going to be away from him (back at school), I used to make threats like: ‘If you love me, you won’t leave me here,’ which was jolly unkind to him at the time.
I was very naughty in the sense of always wanting to laugh and muck about rather than sit tight in the four walls of the schoolroom.

I remember school plays and the thrill of putting on make-up. I was a Dutch doll or something like that. My big moment. But I never put myself forward to speak in a play. I never read the lessons at school. If I was asked to do anything, my condition was I’d do it if I didn’t have to speak.
My first sporting cup was for diving. I won it four years running, actually! I always won all the swimming and diving cups. I won all sorts of prizes for the best-kept guinea-pig — maybe because mine was the only guinea-pig in the guinea-pig section.
But in the academic department, you might as well forget about that!
At school, we were only allowed one animal on the bed. I had a green hippo and painted his eyes luminous, so that at night it looked as though he was looking at me.
The dare that nearly got me expelled
I nearly got expelled — I must have been 11 or 12 — because one night somebody said to me: ‘Would you like to do a dare?’ I thought: ‘Why not? Life’s so boring.’

So they sent me out at 9 o’clock to the end of the drive, which was half a mile long, in pitch dark. I had to go and get some sweets at the gate from somebody called Polly Phillimore, I think she was called. I got there and there was nobody there. I hid behind the gate as these police cars were coming in.
I thought nothing more about it. I saw all the lights coming on in the school. I wandered back, terrified, to find that some twit in my bedroom said that she had appendicitis.

Then they asked ‘Where’s Diana?’ ‘I don’t know where she’s gone.’
Both my parents were summoned — they were divorced by then. Father was thrilled and my mother said: ‘I didn’t think you had it in you.’ No telling-off.

Why I never had any boyfriends
There was an enormous hall which they had just built on (at West Heath school, in Sevenoaks, Kent). I used to sneak down at night when it was all dark, and put on my music and do my ballet there in this enormous hall for hours on end, and no one ever found me.

All my friends knew where I was when I crept out, and it always released tremendous tension in my head.
I liked all subjects. History fascinated me. Tudors and Stuarts — I adored them. I never anticipated I’d end up in the system, in the books.
In English, I loved Far From The Madding Crowd and Pride And Prejudice. But in O-levels, you were so besieged with every single line that it became a chore rather than a pleasure. I took five — I got Ds for the lot. That’s not even a pass.
If I could study a subject now, it would be about people. The mind. Definitely the mind. I’d love to study psychology.

(At school) I played the piano. I did my tap dancing, which I absolutely adored; tennis, and I was captain of the netball team, hockey, you name it, because of my height. I was one of the tallest there.

I visited old people once a week, went to the local mental asylum once a week (Darenth Park, a large psychiatric hospital near Dartford). I adored that. It was sort of an introduction for bigger things.
Then, by the time I got to the top of the school, all my friends had boyfriends but not me, because I knew somehow that I had to keep myself very tidy for whatever was coming my way.

I had more girlfriends than boyfriends. I was always mucking about with girls. But I didn’t really have any friends that stuck.
I had crushes, serious crushes on all sorts of people, especially my sisters’ boyfriends. If they ever got chucked out from that department, I used to try my way.

Moving to Althorp was such a wrench
When I was 13, we moved to Althorp in Northampton (her father had become Earl Spencer in 1975 and inherited the estate.)
That was a terrible wrench, leaving Norfolk, because that’s where everybody who I’d grown up with lived. We had to move because grandfather died.

And life took a very big turn because my stepmother, Raine, appeared on the scene. (Then aged 46 and married to the Earl of Dartmouth, Raine was the daughter of romantic novelist Barbara Cartland.)

We all hated her so much because we thought she was going to take Daddy away from us. She was very clever and she wanted to marry Daddy; that was her target and that was it.
I’ve sat and boiled for years and years, and two Septembers ago (1989) my brother got married (to model Victoria Lockwood) and I told Raine what I thought about her — and I’ve never known such anger in me.
It’s because my stepmother and my father were very rude to my mother at the rehearsal before my brother’s wedding; they refused to speak to her, even while sitting next to her on a pew.

I thought that just for one day, for the sake of my brother, we could all be grown-up and get on with it. I just thought it was unbelievable.
So I took it upon myself to air everyone’s grievances in my family. And it was very difficult. My father didn’t speak to me for six months. Raine doesn’t speak to me now (although later they were to get on very well).

But I stuck up for Mummy, and my mother said that was the first time in 22 years anyone had ever stuck up for her.

I said everything I possibly could. Raine said: ‘You have no idea how much pain your mother has put your father through.’
I said: ‘Pain, Raine? That’s one word you don’t even know how to relate to. In my job and in my role (as Princess of Wales), I see people suffer like you’ve never seen — and you call that pain? You’ve got a lot to learn.’
I remember really going for her gullet — I was so angry.
I said: ‘I hate you so much. If only you knew how much we all hated you for what you’ve done. You’ve ruined the house, you spend Daddy’s money and what for?’ (Raine had embarked on a lavish redecoration of Althorp and sold off numerous paintings, antiques and other objets d’art.)
Daddy’s stroke left him a different man.

He had a brain haemorrhage (in 1978). He’d suffered headaches, took Disprins, told nobody.
They said: ‘He’s going to die.’ The brain had ruptured. And we saw another side of Raine which we hadn’t anticipated, as she basically blocked us out of the hospital; she wouldn’t let us see Daddy.

My eldest sister took charge of that and went in sometimes to see him. Meanwhile, he couldn’t talk because he had a tracheotomy, so he wasn’t able to ask where his other children were.

Goodness knows what he was thinking, because no one was telling him. Anyway, he got better and he basically changed character. He was one person before and he was certainly a different person afterwards. He’s remained estranged but adoring since.
He’s not the same since he had that haemorrhage.
I treat people nicely — even the gardener.
My father always said: ‘Treat everybody as an individual and never throw your weight around.’ I always got on very well with everybody. Whether it be the gardener or the local police or whoever, I always went over to talk to them.

My father used to sit us down every Christmas and birthday, and we had to write our thank-you letters within 24 hours. And now if I don’t, I get into a panic.

If I come back from a dinner party or somewhere that needs a letter, at midnight I’ll sit down and write it there — and not wait until next morning because it would wrestle with my conscience. William now does it — it’s great. It’s nice if other people appreciate it at the other end.
My brother’s clever, but not with people.

I’ve always seen him as the brains in the family. I still see that. He’s got S-levels, and things like that. But if you’re talking about how to deal with situations and how to deal with people — no.

I think that my brother, being the youngest and the only boy, was quite precious because Althorp is a big place.

I longed to be as good as Charles in the schoolroom. I was never jealous of him. I so understood him.
He’s quite mature in some ways; he’s quite immature in others. But that’s to be expected — for God’s sake, the boy’s only 28.

He’s very like me, as opposed to my two sisters. He will always suffer, Charles, because he’s like me — whereas my two sisters are blissfully happy being detached.
Finishing school was such a waste of money.

I know that when I went to finishing school (The Institut Alpin Videmanette in Switzerland, in 1977) I wrote something like 120 letters in the first month. I was so unhappy there — I just wrote and wrote and wrote.
I felt out of place there. I learnt how to ski, but I wasn’t very good with everybody else. It was just too claustrophobic for me, albeit it was in the mountains.

I did one term there. When I found out how much it cost to send me there, I told my parents it was a waste of their money. So they whipped me back.
My parents said: ‘You can’t come to London until you are 18. You can’t have a flat until you are 18.’
So I went and worked with a family in Headley, near Bordon in Hampshire — Philippa and Jeremy Whitaker. I looked after their one daughter, Alexandra, and lived as part of their team.

It was all right. But I was itching to go to London because I thought the grass was greener on the other side.

DILEMMA OF A DEPUTY- By Isyaku Dikko

I know the problems of a deputy because I was once a deputy and later a leader with a controversial deputy. As a deputy or vice, if you work hard people will say you are very ambitious, and if you slow down, they will say you are sabotaging your boss. Unfortunately, many bosses are suspicious of their deputies.

The problems of a deputy are largely associated with personalization of power. Instead of perceiving public office as a privilege to serve, it is perceived as an elevation to a higher social status, where power and authority are personal to the person who occupies an office. This makes the boss suspicious of anybody perceived to be encroaching his “territorial integrity”.

Framers of the 1999 constitution were quite aware of the occasional tension in the relationship between bosses and their deputies, therefore, denied vice president and deputy governors specific roles, other than the one’s assigned to them by their bosses. They are called spare tyres, but spare tyres cannot function in any capacity until the original tyre is not usable. In the case of deputy governors and vice president, their offices were specifically designed to complement the offices of their bosses and function at the same time with the bosses. This relationship is an opportunity for political tutelage. How can you train somebody for four or eight years, and throw him away at a time when he should be good enough to take over from you? Are you acknowledging your failure to train him good enough to succeed you? Isn’t it an irony that of the over one hundred deputy governors produced in Nigeria from 1998 to date, only two (Zamfara and Kano) succeed their bosses?

If we were a nation that takes research and political engineering seriously, we would have long ago found out why chief executives fear handing over to their deputies, and correct the anomaly so that trained deputy governors will not be wasted. This requires serious research because even the two governors that handed over to their deputies fell out with them and appear to be sworn-enemies.

It is often argued that most governors go for weak deputies to avoid challenges, therefore, found the deputies too weak to take over from them. This may be true in some cases, but certainly there were many good deputies. We can avoid the tragedy of a tragic deputy by being confident as leaders, aware of the fact that the mandate and the power are yours. Interestingly, the pattern is changing with a professor of biochemistry as deputy governor in Kano State, professor of political science and former Vice Chancellor of UNIJOS as deputy governor in Plateau State.

I was reluctant to write about the tenure of Professor Yemi Osinbajo as Acting President because it should be a simple administrative procedure, until I read the article of Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar in the Daily Trust of Friday, March 3, 2017 (Deft moves of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo). One thing I like about Dangiwa Umar is that he always intervene on the side of Nigeria. The point is that responsible Nigerians must always come out, take a position on national issues and push it, especially on contentious issues, otherwise, some reckless Nigerians will take over the driver’s seat of Nigeria and drive us recklessly to perdition.

To begin with, to accept and respect Professor Osinbajo is to respect the decision of God who gives power to whom He pleases. Equally important, President Muhammadu Buhari, is aware of the provisions of the constitution of the country when he picked Osinbajo. The message of Buhari is simple and clear: “In my absence, this man will be your leader. If at any time my creator decides to call me, he is your president”.

The dilemma of a deputy is more apparent when you are a pastor and a professor, who professes. In all the two capacities, you are expected to serve humanity diligently because that is what you chose by opting to be a man of God and an intellectual. And just as you step out to answer your name, some people started shouting: “This man is ambitious, stop him!”. You look around and ask yourself: What is my calling? Is it not to serve humanity? Is this not an opportunity to serve humanity?

Undoubtedly, Professor Osinbajo has done well and deserves commendation. For me, the assessment of a leader starts with whether he is a “philosopher king” or an ordinary person who cannot see beyond the horizon of his ordinary country men and women, therefore, cannot be a pathfinder or custodian of the future.

Philosophical leaders are known for their philosophical thought, philosophical statements, and coherent interventions. Osinbajo was at his best recently, during a civil service function, where he said, civil service is a call to service, a privilege to serve “and if you miss this, you have missed the point”. Period. This statement resonates more than a 500-page book on how to reform civil service in Nigeria. Also, consider the statement of the Acting President to some protesters. He said: “To those who are protesting… we hear you loud and clear. You deserve a decent life and we are working night and day to make life easier”.

There is no point arguing on who takes the credit of the impressive performance of Osinbajo. Nobody should. Not even Osinbajo. If you think that public service is about credit, not service to humanity, “you have missed the point”, to use the words of Osinbajo.

But it is legitimate to ask: what satisfaction should Osinbajo and Buhari draw from the performance of Osinbajo. For Osinbajo it is obvious. The joy of serving humanity and not disappointing your boss cannot be quantified. He is also a good ambassador of his religious and professional constituencies. Nobody will say: what is the point in making a pastor or a professor a president, when one of them failed as Acting President?

President Buhari should be elated that his decision to handover to his vice has vindicated him. This is how it should be. The presidency is for public service, and whoever finds himself in-charge of the office is to be pre-occupied with public service, not personal glory. Also, Buhari’s policy of picking “quality materials” as vice, says much about his self-confidence and passion for Nigeria. The two people he picked in the past to deputise for him, Major General Tunde Idiagbon and Pastor Tunde Bakare, are among the best Nigerians one can find.

We wish President Buhari quick recovery so that he will come back home and continue with the good work he started. The mandate is his.

Publish Date: March 8 2017.

WHAT IS A “VERB”?

What is a Verb

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 09/27/2016 – 10:00

TEACHER: What is a Verb?

CHIKE: A Verb is a valve found in bicycle tyre.

TEACHER: What are you saying?

CHIKE: It is a complete sentence sir.

TEACHER: Are you mad?

CHIKE: It is a question sir.

TEACHER: Don’t be stupid.

CHIKE: It is an advice sir.

TEACHER: Stop that nonsense.

CHIKE: It is a command sir.

TEACHER: You’re an idiot.

CHIKE: It is an insult sir.

TEACHER: Get out of my class.

CHIKE: It is an order sir.

TEACHER: Oh! Goodness, What a boy!

CHIKE: It is an exclamation sir.

TEACHER: May God have mercy on you.

CHIKE: It is a prayer sir

Author: 
@Shollay20

PEOPLE WITHOUT GIFTS

A man was invited to a wedding. When he reached the hotel, he found two doors written on them:

1. Bride’s relatives
2. Groom’s relatives

He entered the groom’s door and found two doors again.
1. Ladies
2. Men

He entered the men’s door and found two doors again.
1. People with gifts
2. People without gifts

He entered the second door (people without gifts) and
He found himself outside the hotel.

Author: 
@Tunjexpp

DEALING WITH DEVIANT BEHAVIOURS – By Chris Ebo Duruegbusoaku

In spite of the big dreams usually nursed by many youths today, a good number of them are facing several challenges and even getting into diverse troubles. No matter where they are found, there are always lots of pressures for the youths to deal with among friends, family and the larger society. For some of the youths, the pressures emanate from such unwholesome conditions like poverty, violence and other associated issues around them, including even parental problems and the various gangs they may have got themselves entangled with. Youths may also be concerned and have questions arising from their inability to fully grasp the significance of such issues like religion, gender roles, values or ethnicity.

Some of them (youths) may equally be having difficulties dealing with the past traumas they had experienced, which may have arisen, for instance, from the abuses they had suffered either from strangers or even relatives. There is equally the endless struggle between teenagers and their parents. This is usually because many of them tend to think that they require greater independence to explore their world when in fact they still need parental guidance. These conflicts may sometimes result in behavior problems which might in some cases degenerate and eventually abort the great dreams of some of the youths. There is need therefore to create awareness on the menace of deviant behaviors which have impeded and continues to hamper the progress of countless young people out there.

Deviances in youths manifest themselves through diverse vices like – shoplifting, truancy, fighting at school or other places, immoral acts, drug or alcohol ingestion, indulging in unhealthy entertainment, etc. Sometimes, these youths are unable to explain why they find this unwholesome conducts attractive. The adults who ought to help them understand and seek ways out of their predicaments may even be as confused as the youths themselves. Several youths even consider the vices they are manifesting as appropriate ways of dealing with some of the experiences they are grappling with. Naturally, when these youths misbehave, their parents and loved ones feel scared, angry, frustrated or hopeless, and in the process may not be able to evolve adequate responses to the situation. Even the misbehaving youths may later begin to feel guilty, wondering where they had gone wrong, and why their conducts (which they naively consider harmless) are provoking such kinds of reactions. These are feelings that are expected in the course of human development, but what is important is that those concerned should understand that there is help available to troubled youths and their families.

In this maiden contribution to this column, an attempt will be made to explain the sources of deviant behaviors and ways of resolving them.
~ SOURCES OF DEVIANT BEHAVIORS AND HOW TO RESOLVE THEM
Self-control is an individual characteristic that is established early in life and lack of it accounts for the deviant behaviors we witness in several young people and even adults. Self-control can be achieved through strong attachments to social foundations such as family, church, school or community. These social bonds possess the capacity to influence the level and extent of deviance somebody could engage in. It must be pointed out that people engage in unacceptable behaviors (like stealing, for instance) because of the immediate gratification they offer. In many cases, it only requires just a little time to think it over, and often does not have a long term goal which would require long waiting before it materializes. These results are appealing to children with low self-control or self-regulation. Self-regulation is the ability to set goals and apply the necessary effort and discipline to achieve them, refrain from problematic behaviors that might threaten them, and focus on long term goals that yield more beneficial and lasting ends. But a trend among adolescents is inability to maintain goals or restrain their behaviors without guidance. This inability to control challenging tendencies will influence the child to partake in deviant activities.

What is known as the social disorganization theory has tried to enhance our understanding of why adolescents partake in unhealthy conducts. The main thrust of this theory is that high rates of deviancy are witnessed when a community’s informal social control within the family and society deteriorates through negligence or condoning of resistance against correction by young people. This theory stresses the merits of community social control, as espoused in the African proverb that says that it takes a village to raise a child.

Parents are deemed to be the first models their children encounter in life. Research has shown that when parents are held in high esteem and are the main sources of inspiration for their children, those kids are more likely to model their lives after them. But negative attitudes by parents are more likely to be emulated by their children. And this will in the long run affect the rest of the society. Once their children begin to grow, it is normal for parents to begin to mould and shape their behaviors to conform to the norms of society. This demands that teenagers or young adults who are usually inclined to resisting parental controls on the grounds that they now feel grown-up and reasonable, or even supposedly possess more knowledge for self-direction, should resist such tendency and accept with delight parental control which most of the time is for their own good.

It has been observed that there are certain parenting techniques that tend to have greater impact on the child’s behavior than others; the most effective is “parental support” which consists of those positive attitudes toward the child, such as praising, encouraging and showing of affection, which build their self-confidence. These make the child the child to feel valued and loved. In multiple studies, it has been found that support from parents bonds the adolescent to institutions and builds their self-control. This building of self-control will impede the development of deviant behaviors and create in the child a positive personality. However, in today’s world good family bonding is speedily giving way for single or no parenting largely as a result of parents not being available to nurture their children due to divorce in some cases or outright decision of some not to be in husband/wife family structure, thus providing incentive to an ever increasing tendency to yield to unacceptable lifestyle.

For youths growing up in such environments without adequate parental support or under the kind of deviant parenting where unacceptable conducts are tolerated (or even promoted), experienced pastors of a church like the Watchman Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement can constitute a pool of alternative and reliable mentors outside the home; these are people whom they would be able to trust enough to disclose their plight and have them give them proper, godly guidance that would put them on the path of rectitude and lay for them the requisite foundation for growing into responsible members of the society and future leaders. And for this to work very well, the concerned youth must happily yield to effective discipline, monitoring and problem-solving techniques provided for their own good by these their self-adopted parents. Consistent discipline must be ensured at the sighting of deviant behavior in order to prevent their development. Every rewarding lifestyle would always require conscientious efforts to build. Youths who are determined to defeat deviances must invest time and energy to put into practice what they heard during church meetings, from parents and pastors.

When adolescents are distinguished by unwholesome conducts, what may happen is that they are most likely to be rejected by conventional peers causing them to drift into associations with deviant peers. And when this happens, and the concerned adolescent ceases to be restrained by the opinions of parents, teachers, pastors and conventional peers, his new deviant friends would encourage and reinforce him to participate in deviant behaviors. It is known that deviant friends happily accept each other and their deviant actions. The age at which adolescent begins associating with deviant peers influences the level of delinquency he might participate in. Every youth should carefully select the social group he wants to be associated with, as birds of the same feather always flock together. For Christian youths and those desirous of leading responsible lives, the best company available to them is other Christian youths, and they must endeavor to participate actively in the activities of the Youth Church. One cannot be different from the kind of friends one keeps.

Support for social learning has generated important implications for resolving deviancy. From a social learning perspective, deviant and criminal conducts are learned and sustained via associations with family and peer networks. If one agrees that this is the source of such behavior, then it follows that these behaviors could be modified to the extent that one is able to manipulate those same processes or the environmental contingencies that precipitate them early enough.

From this perspective, policy-makers should focus on developing and implementing preventive and rehabilitative programmes that use social learning variables to change behavior in a positive direction. Examples of programmes guided by social learning principles include mentoring, peer counseling and group interventions. The idea behind some of these types of programmes is that providing Watchman Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES) as a means of fostering good and productive social integration for overall development of our young ones.

It is however noteworthy here that the deviancies in persons and the world at large today, basically derives from deviations from our Creator’s originally drawn patterns of living in the world He created and put us in. Some parents themselves departing from these patterns established by our universal Father have gone ahead to lay foundation for a society that has become depraved and deviated from the original purpose of the Creator (Acts. 17:24-31).

Anyone who cares about fulfillment in life should first get back to God as the foundation of life, seek out His pattern in the areas of their concerns, and live by them, for in Him we live, move and have our being. Youths should desist from quickly seeking absolute freedom in the midst of ignorance, which is suicidal. They should rather make up their minds to be the best of what God designed them to be under the guidance of God’s word and their Godly parents (Prov. 6:20-23, 27 & 28; Isa. 8:12-20).

~ Chris Ebo Duruegbusoaku, Ph.D., is the WCCRM Diocesan Pastor of Ilorin and the Director, WCCRM Missions.

John Lennon, Where Are You? By Dr. Steven Farmer

I seem to find myself overwhelmed by the continual reporting of bad news, tragedies and the details and analyses over and over again that I have started to ignore much of it. As I contemplate the perpetual bombardment, somewhat surprisingly John Lennon’s song Imagine comes to mind, in particular this verse:

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace.

Can You imagine this? Is it hard to do? Or do you scoff and think that it’s just the vision of a crazy idealistic dreamer who is preoccupied with love and peace, spouting notions that are naive and simplistic? There’s definitely a part of me that would like to see us all hold hands and sing peace songs with the hope that the power generated would overcome war, killing, greed, e.t.c. Given the onslaught of depressing news these days, it takes a sort of blind innocence to even consider these possibilities.

As much as I love this song (as I do most of Lennon’s work) and the sentiments it expresses, there still resides in me a part that is quite cynical and at times despondent of our human nature. Though I choose not to dwell on these thoughts, I confess that there are times when these thoughts and feelings overtake me. To shake them off, I will play my guitar, go outside, or seek out my wife Jesseca for a hug and a few moments of solace and comfort that any of these can afford.

I’m reminded of a cherokee legend of which you may be familiar. Yet it is always worth recounting, particularly now. This version is closer to the original and is called “Grandfather Tells”, also known as “The Wolves Within.” It goes like this:
An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, “Let me tell you a story. I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times. He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way. But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.

Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.” The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “which one wins, Grandfather?” The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”

So which one will you feed?

~Dr. Steven Farmer is a world-renowned author, teacher, shamanic practitioner, soul healer and former psychotherapist.

YOUTHS AND PURPOSE

Have you ever wondered why you are created to live on this earth? Have you never asked what your purpose on earth is all about? These are very important questions for any human being living on this earth. Sometimes I go further to ask: why was I not created as a plant, animal, or other things other than a human being? This makes me realize just how important I am, as a human being. I doubt if there is any creature more blessed than a human being on earth. We are the best of God’s creations and thus born for very special purposes. But how many of us are in harmony with this truth that every human being has a very special role to play on this earth? Of course we all have our doubts and many are still looking for answers. Jesus says in Matthew 5:13-14, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart,” and Proverbs 3:1-8 says, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare will they give you. Let not loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”

I believe the first step in discovering our true purpose on earth is to establish a very strong relationship with God. Not a casual relationship, but a very strong relationship. We can only hear God if we are close to Him. The secrets to realizing our true purpose on earth is in the Holy Scripture. Simply create time for daily studies and meditation on the word of God. You can employ the assistance of a church or someone you are convinced is deeply rooted in the word of God to help out. You may be wondering why you need God to find your true purpose in life; well, if you want to know the original purpose of a particular thing, don’t you think it would be a good idea to ask the creator of that thing? Don’t we think God knows exactly what he made us for?

It can be scary sometimes to think about committing to following God’s purpose when we begin to imagine that God’s purpose might not be what we want or that it does not connect with the dreams we’ve already designed for our lives. We become afraid about having to give up some of our passions and dreams in allowing God’s purpose into our lives. Now look at this example: let say we have two bowls on a table; one bowl empty and the other containing water. Then on the same table is a fork, spoon and a cup. We are then asked to transfer the water from the bowl (the bowl containing water) into the empty bowl using either of the cup, fork or spoon. Now, which of the three do you think would be most helpful? Yes, the cup. The fork is a very important tool no doubt, but in transferring water from one bowl to another, it becomes almost useless. The cup is much better in that aspect. We are like these tools in the hands of God. Insisting on our own ways is like a fork insisting on being used in transferring water from one bowl to another. God knows our purpose because He created us, and He knows what we’ll be best at. God’s purpose for our lives is so amazing, but God is not going to force us to live according to this purpose. It is a choice to make for ourselves. What is preventing us from having faith in Him and walking in the light of His love to lead us to our true destination?

Ask yourself: WHAT AM I DOING TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE,? ARE YOU PROUD OF YOUR CONTRIBUTION? If not, then there is still space for improvement, try to fill it up. Someone once advised that time is very, very important and how we use our time determines the results of our investments. Don’t procrastinate what you can do today, time is precious, procrastination is delay. Just like an ice, the purposes we have designed for ourselves may seem strong and sturdy at the beginning, but as time goes, they begin to vanish under serious heat and pressures that come in forms of difficulties and challenges. They are built on a sandy foundation. God’s plans and purposes on the other hand, stand firm forever. So really, who do we think is better equipped to be in charge of our life’s purpose or destiny?

Have you ever bought someone very special a birthday gift? Like someone you know and love very much. Imagine it is a dress. Imagine looking for the perfect colour and design that suits them almost perfectly because you know them so well and so sure they would love it. You wrapped it excitedly and hid it carefully from every prying eye. Then you anxiously counted down the days to their birthday so you could finally hand it to them. Do you imagine how amazing such plans can be? That is a kind of how I imagine how God feels about handing us our purposes in life. He knows you better than anyone else ever will, and He has this amazing purpose for you that He has created. He is just excitedly waiting until we say YES to Him. Saying YES to God simply requires having FAITH in Him. In Matthew 14:31, Jesus while saving Peter from sinking as a result of his fear said, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” Faith is an essential quality in staying connected to God. Your past mistakes are not really a barrier if you want to reach out to God as long as you’ve made up your mind today to stay connected to Him. The choice is ours and the fruits are also ours to eat.

So when you open your Bible henceforth, and you come across a commandment or an instruction on how to live, don’t look at it as a rule. Look at it as God revealing your purpose to you. He knows you and knows what you need. He gave us an incredible gift of His word. So open it up and start living. I am still battling with my challenges as s youth, but I Will not give up. I’ll fight everyday to be a better person until the end. HAVE A GLORIOUS YEAR AHEAD!