On Free Speech and Common Sense

Photo by Caique Silva on Pexels.com

Twenty-three years ago, I was a fresh graduate who was keen on saving the world from every form of evil and injustice. My armour was my pen, and I was operating within the laudable confines of free speech. I got a job with the local newspaper in my state and embarked on my journey.

I was unmarried then and as free as a bird. My salary was pitiable, but I was still living with my parents, and my bills were practically nonexistent. My dad was a firm believer in free speech with common sense, of course, so he taught me to write and report on issues affecting the ‘average person’ and that I should be upright and fearless. I took his advice and within a few months, I got promotion from roaming the fields looking for ‘breaking news’ to having a desk at the State House of Assembly (our House of Common here in the UK).

I was hungry for news and reported on mundane and boring things like the House Members sponsoring a Bill etc. One day, I was finishing my report when a member of the opposition party approached me, and dropped a paper on my desk.

‘See me at the Press Centre’, he said quietly.

Intrigued, I wanted to know more. As a respectable journalist, I believed in reporting the truth; I have to be impartial.

Later that evening, I met the gentleman, and he handed over some documents that were so hot, I turned bright red. The governor of the state had misappropriated over two hundred and forty-one million naira, (equivalent of almost a hundred million pounds), and although fear ripped through my body, I stuck by my principles and arranged an editorial meeting with my editor. 

My parents were petrified. My mum voiced her concerns for my safety, but I was unperturbed. I was dabbling into the unknown world of mucky politics. My dad tried everything he could to dissuade me from publishing the story, but failed. 

Although my editor was delighted for such a large ‘scoop,’ he was hesitant. However, I stuck to my guns. The public deserved to know the truth about the misappropriation of funds, and we published the story. The effect ripped through the state like a tsunami.

Luckily, I didn’t die through assassination attempts on my life like my dad had feared. After the ruckus died down, my dad was adamant that I should stick to writing articles and novels rather than investigating corrupt government officials. I took his advice, and I was glad I did.

What was I getting at? You may wonder. I believe in free speech but with the emergence of the internet and mobile technology, everyone has become a ‘source’ and misinformation and online bullying has reached a crescendo. People should be responsible online, words are powerful, it can build people up, or it may destroy them.

There are several ways we can change our world, and I think it starts with kindness, which is in short supply nowadays. 

As a journalist, I believe in the power of free speech, but ‘keyboard’ warriors spurting hatred, racism and misogyny abound on social media, and that is disheartening.

The world is changing but if we think before we type anything online, we might be saving a life.

Think about it.

Life

I love the expression on his face. Life is beautiful.

Earlier today, I was going through my posts on Facebook and saw this short article. I wrote it on April 16th, 2019. A lot has happened since then and this is just an update. However, the bottom line is, God has always been faithful. I am so grateful to be alive today. In January this year, I was sure I may not see the next morning due to so many obstacles I don’t want to write about yet. I want to encourage anyone reading this, the sun will shine again. Everything you are going through will make you stronger, just hold on.

If you have time, please read on.😀

God has been good to me, but it has not been plain sailing. I’ve had several surgeries in my short life. My heart has stopped thrice on an operating table.

I’ve experienced the loss of a child, and I’ve been blessed with three beautiful children.
I’ve lost my sweet, dearest father, but I carry in me, his strength, and love.

I’d endured pains unimaginable, yet, God has not handed me over to death. Life is hard, and incredibly beautiful at the same time.

If you meet someone on the street, and ask,
’excuse me, do you have a story?’ I bet they’ll tell you things you’d never have expected.

That’s the reason I enjoy reading more than writing, the passion behind my love for books, and publishing the works of other writers.

Bottom line, let’s be kind to one another. Life is short, and love is not costly, it is the most incredible gift in this part of heaven.

Let’s make love, not war. Let’s see beauty in diversity, not racism. Let’s see humanity, not religion. Let’s see hope, not despair.

Let’s work hard, and enjoy the rewards. Let’s build, not destroy. Let’s give, for we came to this world with nothing, and will leave with nothing.

Love can change our world.
Who wants love?

Much love, always!☺️

2021 is a Year of Possibilities

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Everyone knows how difficult 2020 has been and I won’t keep writing about that, but things are still so difficult for so many people. Anxieties, fear, loss and uncertainties pervaded the seconds, days, and months of that dreaded year.
Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

There’s hope again. I believe in renewal and second chances and that is the reason we have new days. In a few hours, we will walk into the unknown that is 2021 and my prayer is that we will breathe freely and live with fresh hopes.

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

It’s time for a positive outlook. I believe it. I have not made any new year resolutions, but I have a vision of what I want to achieve. Here’s to a year of possibilities friends, believe it and let’s work into 2021 with hope in our hearts, strength in our bones, and dreams in our eyes.

Happy New Year to you all. 🙂

Much love, always! 🙂

Why Celebrate Christmas?

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.com

As a Christian, Christmas reaffirms my faith in Jesus Christ. It brings to the fore, the reasons I celebrate. This year has been very difficult for the world, and to be alive, and well, are reasons enough to celebrate.

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

We live in such a beautiful world, and there are moments when the stress and pressures of life may blind us to see the surrounding beauty. Let us take a pause during this holiday season to enjoy being alive and appreciate that many people aren’t so lucky.

Some people may mourn loved ones; if you’re in that position, take heart, the sun will shine again. It’s easier to say, you may think, but it gets easier with time. May the joy inherent in Christ be with us all.

To my friends who aren’t Christians, may you find joy, rest, and peace this holiday season. 🙂

Wishing all my friends a peaceful Christmas and a happy new year!

Much love, always. 🙂

Decisions and the Ripple Effects

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com. A nice, snowy, magical road!

When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.

Paulo Coelho

I want to touch briefly on decisions but before I do that, it’s December folks! Yay! I can’t believe it’s already December ( honestly, I’m grateful 2020 is rolling away!)

We’ve all been living in the backdrop of the pandemic, and while many lives have changed dramatically, we’ve all been affected by the events of this year, one way or another. It’s been sobering, sad, inspirational, boring, and the list go on. The human cost has been huge, my prayers go to anyone that has been affected by the faceless virus.

On the bright side, we now have a vaccine! (different vaccines, by the way). But like everything in life, many people are pro-vaccine, some are not. (I will be taking the vaccine when it’s available). On my side, I have been very busy as usual but I am determined to update my website as often as possible, starting now.

Photo by Louis on Pexels.com. I love the picture of this dude. He’s probably contemplating how to spend the rest of 2020 Covid free! 🙂

Something happened to me recently, it’s just a mundane thing but it got me thinking. It’s true that we may not be able to determine our race, family, or the colour of our eyes, however, there are some decisions we make that will ultimately change the trajectory of our lives.

A couple of weeks ago, I was on my way to a very important meeting. Before I left home, I decided to check the backdoor again, there was nothing bad in being extra careful but that last-minute decision ultimately changed my day. I was still able to go for my meeting but I was very late, and I hate giving a bad impression but there you go. Some decisions have deeper consequences and could be life-changing, and that is the reason we need to tread carefully and weigh our options before committing to a project or an idea.

We should weigh our decisions carefully. Life has no rewind timer. Our decisions shows the type of person we are and the content of our character. The late Adolf Hitler had friends and followers and they murdered millions of people, and he started by convincing people to follow him.

They made the call. They made the decision. Aptly put, think before you act. Your life may depend on it.

Does anyone have any decisions they made that changed their lives? I would like to know in the comments below.

I hope everyone will continue to stay safe.

Much love to you! Always!! 🙂 🙂

TIME

*Please visit my new website:

https://ssdfilms.wordpress.com/

It is packed with unseen footage of my new documentary ‘Chasing Humans’, I am also using the website for one of my Master’s degree course. I would be publishing new articles on it today and every fortnight. I would also appreciate any comment and discussion on the blog.*

Thank you, guys! 🙂

Artist John Seymour Lucas 1849-1923. Dated 1885

 

The world is still reeling from the effects of Coronavirus, here in the UK, we have the second-highest number of deaths in the world. It’s nothing to be proud of, it is heart-wrenching. I know a few people who have been affected by the passing of a loved one, believe me, it is not a good place to be.

Life is beautiful and challenging at the same time. When my dad passed away, I thought the world has come to an end, and when my family and friends consoled me with the fact that, time is a great healer, I didn’t believe them.

Is time really a healer? How do we tell the thousands of people who have lost loved ones that time heals? In my experience, time doesn’t stop the pain, even time cannot replace a loved one. Time can only give you the space to grieve and come to terms with their passing.

I think of my dad every day, just like that painting of the artist John Seymour Lucas, we can never replace time lost. It’s gone forever. However, we can cherish the memories, and hold them dear to our hearts.

As I was rummaging through the cellar today and found this precious painting of the artist Seymour Lucas, so we can check through our memories and find treasures of loved ones, who have been locked safely away bursting forth in our hearts. We can recapture times of joy, of laughter permeating through the fog of sadness, shining gloriously through the tears and sorrow.

TIME doesn’t heal, it helps us in our moment of weakness, to reclaim everything we hold dear.

Much love, always! 🙂

Hope

Hope is a mere four-letter word, but it is loaded with life in these unprecedented times. The world is grappling with a faceless enemy that can not be annihilated by bombs or weapons of mass destruction. We have to fight together, regardless of our race, religious affiliations or differences.

Andre Bocelli’s voice resonated through an empty street in Italy but with it comes hope amid death. The song ‘Amazing Grace’ has been sung several times, but this performance outstrips them all.

His voice carried with it, the gift of rebirth, and how Jesus Christ’s resurrection gives hope to all of humanity. One of my WhatsApp groups in my local church, BE Church in Barking, London shared the clips, and I just had to do the same.

There is hope for all, we just have to believe it!

Much love, always! 🙂

Looking Through Heaven’s Eyes

 

I love the story of redemption. The ability to be able to start again, rebuild and succeed appeals to me immensely.

And that’s what heaven did through Jesus’s crucifixion on the cross. No matter how bad we’ve erred the fact that there is redemption means heaven is looking at our frailty through the eyes of grace.

I am a product of heaven’s grace through the redemptive power of Jesus, and I am proud of that.

 

I leave you with this song from the Prince of Egypt ‘Through Heaven’s Eyes,’ it blesses my soul. Have a fabulous week ahead, friends!

Much love, always!

🙂 🙂

The Human Story

(Firemen tackling the Australian bush fires)

The scene was total and absolute destruction. It’s more like a disaster movie. A BBC reporter claimed on the news today that the acres of land burnt in Australia is akin to fifteen million football pitches. Throughout the Christmas and New Year celebrations, I watched with growing apprehension as Australia burns with such ferocity, it was like the end of the world. And in other parts of the world such as Indonesia, Kenya, and a large swathe of Africa, people were losing their lives in natural disasters such as flooding, landslides, etc.

Thankfully, it has started to rain in Australia, but we’re not out of the woods yet. The worrying climate event around the world forms part of our human story.

 

Climate change is a reality. Temperatures are rising as large sheets of ice in the Arctic continues to melt. And yet, some governments around the world were paying lip service to improve pollution. We are literally killing our home, planet earth. All our bickering, superiority, and worries pale into insignificance if we lose our home. We lose everything.

 

When I compared the drama surrounding the semi-retirement of Prince Harry and his wife, Megan, from active royal duties, to the heartbreaking news of our climate, it was a welcome distraction. Don’t get me wrong; I think the press has unfairly vilified Megan, but she is also human as we all are, but the challenge that is facing us all dwarfs any drama playing out in the Royal family. Or the Middle East, for that matter.

Speaking of the Middle East, I was on my way home in a cab earlier this week when the driver suddenly retorted.

”Solemaini is alive, everything is a conspiracy, President Trump is colluding with the Iranians to increase the price of oil!”

”Well, we can’t be sure,” I muttered nonplussed, and I didn’t know how to react. Then he continued,

‘The world is a stage; there are men in power who control everything that happens in the world.”

”You’re right, but what about climate change?”

”I don’t know about that,” he replied.

His response got me thinking. The average person may have an opinion about every topic and incidents around the world, but Global warming is still not that important. Sir David Attenborough hammered home another warning today, and we need to act now. I genuinely hope our human story will not end in tears because we live in such a beautiful world!

 

 

I’ll touch on other matters now. It’s a bit surreal that while I was busy running around, working, attending hospital appointments, I haven’t updated my website for months, although I feel guilty life’s been, well life. This is my first article in a long while, and I’m sorry if I’m ranting.

I am currently working on a short film, a documentary called ‘Chasing Humans,’ for one of my Master’s degree modules. The film touched on core topics around safety in London. I wrote and directed it, and I’ll keep updating on the progress of the film.

I have missed many awesome articles from my WordPress family. I will visit every one in a couple of weeks after meeting some of my deadlines.

It’s so good to be back. I hope 2020 would be an excellent year for us all.

Much love, always! 🙂

 

The Theory Of A Second

 

(Photo credit: Flickr)

‘Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods, Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.’ Robert H. Schuller.

A second makes a year, and in fact, it makes a lifetime! When you calculate every second of our lives, add that to decisions we make in split seconds, and there, that’s our lives all tidied up and going in seconds. That’s all it takes to cross over to the New Year, just one second. And that got me thinking about decisions and the much-celebrated New Year’s resolutions.

We all have to make choices in life, and when doing that, that’s when the seconds ticked by. From the second we decide whom to marry, to the second we choose our careers to when we define our life goals, the seconds are counting.

We can make the seconds of our lives count by weighing up our options, and in the case of the young Saudi Arabian woman who renounced Islam and barricaded herself in a hotel in Thailand, she must have decided to run away within seconds. That decision will now change her life.

Thankfully, the UN has approved her refugee status, and Australia is keen to allow, and process Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun’s asylum application. This brave young woman made a decision that ultimately changed her life.

So whatever you do this year, make the seconds count!

It’s 2019 folks!!