You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2011 12 16Article 225661

Opinions of Friday, 16 December 2011

Columnist: Appiah-Adjei, Daniel

Oral Village Ideas

BY

DANIEL APPIAH-ADJEI

DENKYEM "crocodile"

This week, I want to share some idea on the crocodile as one of the Adinkra symbols and declare a plea for tolerance in our homes during the coming Christmas. My readers will recall that, I have written quite extensively on symbols and would continue from time to time as I want to compile them into a book.

The crocodile symbol denotes adaptability and endurance “the crocodile lives in the water yet breathe the air”. This attitude demonstrates its ability to adapt to circumstances by living on land and living in water as well.

Like the crocodile and all other creatures, every human needs a place of serenity and peace. They need a safe haven where all is good, nice and pleasant. Where they can let their guard down and there's heaven on earth. Sometimes we don't know we need it, but we do. Having a haven of safety in a relationship that you can share with someone is the one of the main reasons we decide to co-habitat with someone else.

The crocodile lives in water with other creatures like fishes (small and big). It is rather sad for one to recognize and one can how they move around it, slapping, and stepping, simply put, fooling around the crocodile despite its size but cannot harm any of these small creatures.

Why?

It is because when the crocodile opens its mouth in water, it is going to die instantly. It would be choked by water. In that case, the animal has to come out of the water and eat on land or stretches its neck above water level to eat. When on land too, it cannot deal well with some of the creatures it encounters. They too are faster than the crocodile and sometimes too, it cannot hear them because of its hearing impairment on land. What a fate? Yet, this does not prevent the crocodile living and being adaptive to any environment it finds itself. Does living together mean, loving together? The crocodile lives with others both on land and in water. Can we say there is love? Indeed, they stress up the crocodile in many ways with many issues.

Love hurts

Though, love hurts and I'm not going to lie, we want to:

1. Share our space with someone 2. Be open with our sacred feelings 3. Connect on a spiritual and emotional level of infinite hope and joy.

The number one killer to unfulfillment is STRESS. Stress has been a health factor for centuries. But It's a fact, stress isn't really the killer. It's how you deal with the stress that makes you physically, emotional and spiritually ill. I personally think Stress should be classified as a disease, bacteria or virus and there should be stress clinics around as fruitful as STD clinics to combat not only the stress itself but the side effects that it brings on to the mind, body and soul.There are ways to release stress by yourself, but couples need to acknowledge and help each other relieve stress.

Domestic Violence

The treatment meted out to the crocodile both on land and in water can be likened to domestic violence. But in all, we should face the situation and be adaptive. And more importantly, to discover ourselves and know where we belong. That is what the symbol seems to establish.

What is the purpose of life?

This is almost a tricky question because the implication is that there is only ONE purpose of life. I believe the more purposes we can think of, the closer we will come to the truth, so here are Eight:

1. To help you discover yourself. That is, to discover your own greatness.

Very few realize how magnificent they are. Oddly enough, we are quick to recognize the magnificence of a pod of whales, pride of lions, or herd of horses. Yet, we are slow to understand the greatness of humanity. You see, we are the answer we seek, but don't realize it.

How do you discover your own magnificence? By acting kindly. By being compassionate. By helping others. By opening your heart. By making a difference. As we do these things, we discover our power and greatness. And life generously provides ample opportunities for us to practice, develop, and polish our skills.

2. To help you learn how you can contribute. We are not here to take from life, but to contribute to it. The purpose of life is to express its splendor through us, but it needs our cooperation. How should you contribute to life? Well, the answer will appear after you take action. First, you must have the right intention and do your best to make the world a better place. Many small acts of kindness equal one very large one, so there is an opportunity for all of us to become involved. The more frequently you practice, the sooner you will discover which of your unique talents are the most helpful and most in demand.

3. To awaken you to its grandeur. Life is a gift waiting to be unwrapped; it is a gift of boundless joy that few discover because they are busy chasing after trivialities. But if you soak in its beauty, leap at its opportunities, and hearken to its urgings, you will experience limitless joy.

4. The purpose of life is to lead a life of purpose. When we have a reason for being, life becomes meaningful. Life doesn't impose a specific role or purpose on us, but provides us with numerous gifts that we can use as resources to create our own purpose. Life is not a demanding parent telling us what to do, but a partner that delights in our own creativity.

5. Life is here to marvel at. Some of the greatest gifts life provides are wonder, mystery, and awe. It is liberating to accept the unanswerable and embrace the unknowable. Without mystery we cannot have faith.

6. "Life is a great school for the development of character, and all, through strife and struggle, vice and virtue, success and failure, are slowly but surely learning the lessons of wisdom." (James Allen, 1864 -1912)

7. "The purpose of life is to unlearn what has been learned and to remember what has been forgotten." What has been forgotten? When we were infants, we were trusting, courageous, and curious, yet now we are suspicious, fearful, and satisfied with the status quo. Isn't it time to remember and return to our former glory?

8. The purpose of life is to keep breathing! Okay, I'm joking, but I do have a serious point to make. Isn't the purpose of life to live? However, many prefer to prepare for the future or for a future life, rather than live right here, right now. Here's what Father Alfred D'souza (Austrailian, died 2004) has to say on the matter and quoted by Agatha in Atobra written by Daniel Appiah-Adjei.

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin-real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that those obstacles were my life...."This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time and remember that time waits for no one."

Don’t wait

Please, stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose thousand Ghana Cedis, until you gain thousand Ghana Cedis, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until rainy season, until dry season, until harvest time, until sowing time, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you've had a drink, until you've sobered up, until you die, until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

Types of Goals

Before we work on our goals, we should state our values or mission in life because goals are subordinate to our values. Here's how understanding our values and mission can help:

Wofa Adu's mission is to make the world a better place by encouraging, consoling, inspiring, and accepting everyone he meets. Because of the troubling economic times we live in, Wofa Adu not only lost his job, but the industry he worked in no longer exists. All of Wofa Adu's friends from the factory are panicking because their skills are no longer needed. Confused, they have no idea of what type of job to look for.

Wofa Adu, on the other hand, is comfortable taking any job he can find because all jobs provide him with the opportunity to carry out his mission of being kind to others. So, when our mission comes first, we are in a much more flexible position and can respond to any opportunity that comes along. But when we are more narrowly focused on a specific goal or vocation, such as office manager, engineer, or brick layer, then our options are more limited and may be unattainable.

We can have many types of goals, including career, family, health, personal development, spiritual, hobbies and recreation. And for a balanced life, it is wise to set goals in all areas. Another way of describing goals is by how they make us feel. For example, it makes sense to choose goals that resonate with us, inspire us, uplift us, and make us better people. But our first goal must always be action, for without it we cannot achieve anything.

We also want to carefully balance our goals. By that I mean we want to have goals that stretch us, but we don't want to overreach. For if we try to stretch ourselves too far, we will fail and that may discourage us, causing us to give up. Yet, if the goals are too easy to reach, there will be no thrill or excitement after their accomplishment.

But how do we know we are overreaching without first trying? We don't. When in doubt, I prefer to 'overreach' because I may succeed. But if I don't, I simply tell myself I haven't succeeded YET. I then learn from the experience, make any adjustments that may be necessary, or carry out some intermediate steps that will take me where I want to go. Anything we can imagine is possible for us to do, but we need to be willing to overcome obstacles and persist.

When your primary goal is to receive, you become a taker, and receive little. But when your primary goal is to give, you receive much. We have to give away what we wish to receive. A moment's reflection will reveal that it's impossible to help others without helping ourselves.

Employers pay us money for our service, but life pays us with joy. So, whenever our reader provides useful service and enhances the enjoyment of the customers at her Bank, she is serving the customers, her employer, life, and herself. She serves herself because whenever we willingly do the right thing, we become joyful. This brings us to spiritual goals. If we wish to experience the divine, there is no need to study theology, all we have to do is hold the hands of the suffering and gaze into their eyes. Let’s learn to accommodate everybody.

By His grace, I shall be back