Life Lessons From Facing A Global Pandemic:

Positive

1. Life is short – and unpredictable. Spend every minute chasing the things that set your soul on fire.

2. Over two hundred thousand people have died in the course of a few months. Over a million families were affected (if not more). There has never been a greater time to realize your mortality. And those of your loved ones. Gratitude is must.

3. You have never lacked time, just discipline.

4. Humanity still needs work. Police brutality is rampant. Country leaders would rather fortify their power over ensuring adequate health systems. The wealthy would rather earn more than contribute to your salvation. Capitalism, and the people it benefits, does not care about you. We need more empathy.

5. Live a life worth remembering, and you’ll become more than a statistic.

6. Stay positive. Even when your school was shut down, and you had to travel miles to get back home. Stay positive. Even if your graduation was delayed, and there is so much uncertainty filled in your heart about the future. Stay positive. Even when the media is filled with so much fear, and negativity. Stay positive. Because when everything is said and done, your mind is your greatest superpower. And nothing should be allowed to control it – but you.

Dear. Black. Boy.

Dear Black Boy
Models @wambui_wamaitha @_nanaamakwansima

 

Dear black boy,

I know they segregated your mind to swag, hip-hop and culture. I know they taught you how to rap before you could read. I know your new album confirms your indoctrination. I know your high is not of God, but of the leaf. I know, deep down, that you believe. I know you lose sleep over the dreams you stopped chasing. I know the blood on your shirt means you pulled the trigger. Or is that from fighting the police? I know you sag your jeans as a metaphor. I know your self-esteem hangs much lower than that. I know your “drip” is an ocean of pretense. I know your “ice” is the element you traded your soul with. I know you know how to love a woman, but can’t afford to be seen as less of a man. I know they say black men make poor fathers. I know your father was hardly a man. How could he take care of two sons and his only daughter? I know you know, you can end the cycle. I know you know, that you can escape the prison bars of a limiting narrative. I know you know, because I am you.

Signed,

another black boy.

Opinionated — a coping skill

You are unconscious of what you don’t know, so you believe in opinions. I am pleased with the epiphany, that this is why children frighten us; in the way they question our deepest convictions with such unnerving curiosity — wide eyed they ask, “Why’s the sky blue?”, and you realize you have lived twenty years without knowing yourself. 

Sadly, this is the condition of the tired and eerie creature named adult (or any human being for that matter); he puts the sugar in his cup first before the boiling water, sends his children to school to learn things he has long forgotten nor care to revise, and watches reality shows at the dismissal of his only and unforgiving life.



The journey for answers to him is unbearable — a test of character he fears may disillusion his very sense of self. In fact, he despises it so much so that he exchanges misconceptions for truth: Buddha, my dear friends, was not obese; medieval Europeans never believed the Earth was flat (to the contrary), and Napoleon Bonaparte was not short. This, of course, is but a euphemism for our inability to ‘think’ — in the truest sense of the word.



Evolutionary science would have it, that we form opinions in order to direct most of our attention towards more demanding tasks. In fact, the Nobel Memorial Prize recipient Daniel Kahneman defines this rather simply, that there two types of thinking. Type (1) is the fast and unconscious form — you know, how you tie your shoelaces without much thought of it. Type (2) is of a slower and more conscious form.



We have opinions then, to flee from the light of conscious thinking; even if it means forming a biased perception of someone else, or anything else for that matter. What scares you the most? — the demand of time and effort needed to find truth or truth himself? 



It goes without saying, that much of our thoughts are but opinions — till proven otherwise. Unfortunate, it stands to seem, that the vast immemorial of the opinions we have of ourselves are of a negative connotation, and given enough time — these solidify into beliefs.

I, therefore, urge you to start thinking.