The great philosopher Confucius once said “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember…” Our brains have cravings for bright pictures and creative images. All social media apps wouldn’t be relevant without the addition of images option. People would want to see more than they read. Friends sometimes say the real truth to me that they barely read my articles, but would watch my IG posts or WhatsApp status images.
Images are everything in this our world today. It’s not a wonder that people have bought into the idea of pre-wedding photoshoot. Instagram (IG) is the new wedding announcer. It’s easier to carry a message through pictures than employing a P.A system. As the saying goes, “pictures speak a thousand words.” Pre-wedding photoshoot has become a method of announcing your wedding, and previewing information like date of the wedding, logo, etc. These days ignoring a pre-wedding photoshoot is like the local government starting a demolition exercise without prior warning.
P re-wedding photoshoot basically has to do with finding the right photographer and developing a befitting theme, concept and location for it.
Sometimes people complain and wonder why photographers charge a lot without considering that it takes real creativity to capture captivating moments with a matching concept. As the couple you have to know what you prefer. You have to tell a story with your photoshoot. Do you want to narrate your story in the setting of a telenovela or as a creation story of Adam and Eve? It all depends on what you want. Creatives like me always want to be mind blown with refreshing artistic content. It’s always good take up what Napoleon couldn’t do. You can decide to go traditional, old school, cowboy, romantic or beachy with your photoshoot. Viewers are just daring for something that would keep their jaws dropping. So flex your creative muscles, and keep it as hip as possible.
Coming up with this post, a friend told me if he’ll ever do a pre-wedding photoshoot, it’ll be at where he met the love of his life. So what about you? Where do you want to have yours?
Not closing up on the range of ingenuity the photoshoot is better done at a serene atmosphere, which captures the intimacy and enjoyment the couple share. It can be by the roadside, on the mountains, in the valleys, forest areas, studio, or even in the room.
I’ve seen a glut of pre-wedding photos… I’d want to see yours soon. I’d want to have may pupils dilate and goosebumps spread all over me. And I know you’d love to give the world a top pre-wedding photo album.
The life others have lived will not determine how ours will turn out to be. It is true that people do things and fail. The fact that a person did something and could not go through or finish it does not mean the same thing will happen to us if we do a similar thing.
The methods people use will be different from ours. We may have people who will tell us that they tried, or their parents or friends tried and could not do it. What these people will do is put fear in us when they find out that our goals are beyond their imaginations. The fact that a person did something and failed and gave up does not mean the same thing will happen to us. There are some things we are the only people who are meant to start them.
Also, we are not them, that is, their strengths and weaknesses are not the same as ours. We are all different, so the things they cannot do we can. When we allow people to limit us, it reduces our confidence and belief we have in ourselves. Negative and visionless people will tend to put fear in us by what they see and how they live their lives.
All that we can do is to stay away from them. A lot of people like to sit on the bench and not take any risk. If all the major breakthroughs and inventions had been ignored because of fear; where would we be? Starting something no one or a few people have done is risky and scary. All sorts of things rush into our heads and the negative monster of possible failure will stick its head out.
Nonetheless, we feel powerful and reenergised when the thought of our idea runs in our head, knowing it’ll bring a bright light into our world. That thought and feeling should take away any fear from us. We should learn to spend less time with people who tell us our goals are impossible. As we focus on what we want to accomplish, better people will come our way. These people will push us toward our goals. They will show us ways to accomplish them; because they know how it feels to have a goal and have the desire to pursue it no matter what. They will be our source of inspiration where we can draw our strength from when we feel weak.
People we meet in life can be compared to the food we take in. Some will have to stay temporarily and not even get to become nutrients, others stay in our blood stream to provide us nutrition. We meet all kinds of people in life; some may leave us when they have finished with the roles they perform in our lives. Others will stay with us till the end. The people who stay and leave are all important. As already hinted, when we take in food or water, some enter our blood stream and others leave the body through our digestive system.
The food that is egested is important but not so important to stay in the body after digestion process is complete. They have to come out; when these substances stay in the body, they become poisonous. That is how people who enter would have to leave when they have finished with the task or the role they played in our lives. When they stay longer, they will deprive us or hinder our progress. The others who happen to stay with us temporarily come to teach us lessons. These lessons are there to shape and strengthen us but these lessons should be learnt in a very short time. These people come into our lives when the lessons are meant to be taught and leave as soon as they finish their work.
The food products that enter our blood stream stay and form blood which serve as energy our bodies need to survive. These are the permanent people who will stay with us like digested food that enters the blood stream and works on our bones and other parts of the body. These people reduce in number as we grow. They stay with us and may not be seen as making much contributions in our lives, but they stay no matter what the situation is.
We should learn to identify these people; those who are staying and people who will leave. They are all needed for the journey we are taking. Some will have to leave eventually but all these people are important in development and growth. We all need each other to survive. Some will be with us for a short time but they are needed others that is a few will stay with us for life. At the end of the day, it is the shaped life and how it turns out to be that is important. These lessons from temporary people are like short courses offered in schools. They are brief but they stay with us throughout our lives. At the end of our lives, a few friends and family members will stay and be faithful till the end.
As humans, our first reaction toward a negative comment or criticism about us is defence. This is the easiest; that is brushing off our mistakes or weak points. I won’t say it is totally bad because, dwelling on our weaknesses diminishes our confidence and makes us feel not enough and incapable even when we are capable. It is normal to get defensive upon hearing a bad or negative comment about ourselves however, pondering on these negative comments and criticisms and wondering how they can benefit us rather than brushing them off all the time sometimes determines how mature a person can be.
The body as it stands loves to be satisfied all the time no matter what. Just like the id and the ego, the body is primitive in nature; picking up fights, arguing, yelling at someone who has wronged you, eating food that tastes good in the mouth but harmful to the body all feel good at the moment they are being done when we are satisfying the needs of the body.
To be mature people, we have to learn how to tone down all these unnecessary demands of the body which will do nothing but ruin and destroy our integrity and respect we have spent years building for ourselves. The fact that a person wrongs or offends us shouldn’t make us destroy all the reputation and respect we have built for ourselves over the years by acting in a way that the body dictates to us to act since it feels right to burst out in rage or fury. A person can offend us but we should not let that same person take away our good emotions and respect as well. No matter what a person does; it will never be okay to trade our emotions when a person criticism.
A person can be good to us all their lives but might make a mistake or offend us and this will make us judge and treat this person who has been good to us all our lives as if he/she is our enemy. This is just like a very small stain in a white shirt; we notice it immediately and concentrate on that rather than all the other parts of the shirt which is white. This is the same way we treat criticisms and negative comments about ourselves.
Things are not bad in themselves till we define them as bad our negative so no comment about us is meant to destroy us even though that could be the intention of the critic; we should look at it from the point of view that, that comment is meant to make us better, an opportunity to learn something new about ourselves. Though not every comment we hear about ourselves is true, some of them are; and we have to ponder on them and find out how that comment can improve our lives.
Most of the time, there is a lesson we have to learn out of these comments or there should be some changes we have to make in our lives and these criticisms are there to guide us. When we avoid these criticisms they will appear in different forms and cause us to take a good look at our lives and make the necessary changes. We should be cautious of the people we consider their criticism; some people will complain about every little thing we do and will never appreciate our efforts.
Most comments from these people should be ignored. We do not have to change our entire lives to either please them or stop them from talking about us. Instead, when a person corrects us or makes a comment about our actions and we know in our hearts that it is true, we should take it and make the best out of that comment or criticism.
People are surprised when they hear that a person they think they know very well has
committed a crime. There is something called “persona” that is a mask every human
being puts on. This mask is put on especially when people are watching; we are the
kindest, most faithful and always at our best. We do things to please people but deep
within us we know we are opposite what we portray to be.
This makes people put their trust in us only for them to be disappointed. What we do not realise is that; whatever has been covered by the mask will be revealed no matter what. There is no point in living a double life; we have to be at our best even when people are not watching. If we decide to live lives that are going to please people we realise we are the only people who are unhappy because; we pretend to be something or people we are not, and will never be, and can never be. We all have to live lives of excellence. It is not an option but a requirement.
We should be people who our colleagues at work or in school look up to and
emulate. When a new student or a new person is employed in the company or
institution we work in, we should be selected as their mentors. Not because we have
pretended to be but deep within ourselves, we know we are truly what we exhibit in
public for everyone to see and we do that while we are alone as well. I personally
believe we should all strive for excellence and not perfection. Excellence is when you do
the right thing when no one is watching and you know very well that is the right thing to
People of excellence have positive attitudes. They do think and think about things that
are good and helpful to humanity, and they are selfless too. They live a stress-free life
knowing they do not have to be someone they can never be in the presence of their
family, colleagues at school, home or workplaces in order to be accepted by anyone. We
should not pretend to like our bosses and be so respectful and kind to them while all the
employees and the boss himself or herself is around; and turn round to gossip and insult
the boss right after he or she or our colleagues leave our presence.
We find out that we receive the same treatment we give out to people. When we
pretend, we meet people who also pretend and fake their love for us. That is how this
world is. Our true attitudes are reflected in other people’s behaviour towards us. Life is
short to live a pretentious life. This means we should not only dress up and keep our
houses and environs in place because we will be expecting visitors; rather we should do
it because, we know the right thing and the right thing should be done always. We
should let everything we do count because we do not know where our attitudes will
lead us to.
…When the so-called non-conformists are not engaged in any act, they like to listen to music, especially those songs which express expletive vulgarity. When asked why they like to listen to such songs, they told me such tracks really depict how they feel. But how do they really feel? They feel that the world has neglected them. They think that nobody cares about them.
When they see their colleagues they were in basic school with, who have been able to climb the ladder to higher heights, mostly because they had some people to love and care for them, they begin to perceive how unlucky they have been, or how unfair the world is. They are not likely to vote or take part in any social obligations. Instead, they would invest their energies in building themselves to take back what the society has taken from them.
They can only do this by finding ways of bullying those who are privileged or affluent and taking part of their belongings or money away because such people would not voluntarily give them what they have worked for or in most cases, inherited. They know that when they get some of the things these people have, the society would show them love, at least that’s what the music they listen to, and the movies they watch inform them. That is not to say the music they listen to, or the movies they watch have corrupted their moral beings. It is the robbing of what they need by the society which has corrupted their conscience- the principal coordinator of the moral being.
When you critically examine the principles that govern man as a moral being, it would be clear that, man as a moral being is made up of three or four very distinct, but closely related components, which when not well regulated, could lead to corruption of the mind. These constituents are the desires and the affections including self-love; the will or volitions; the governing moral principles or what is commonly termed conscience; and lastly, the moral relation of man to his deity, or what has been termed religion.
These three or four constituents are one way or the other contingent on one another. An exercise of the will of an individual could be directed towards, first, an action to be performed to others; second, an object to be obtained; both of which are connected to a previously existing mental condition of the individual. In regard to objects to be obtained, such a person’s mental condition would be that of desire- and that of actions towards others would be affection.
The conscience coordinates the exercise of volitions or the will of a man and how they are influenced by the affections or desires of such a man. Sometimes, the relation between a man and their Deity could regulate how they exercise their volitions. Clearly, it could be inferred that the desires and affections of an individual are the fundamental principles, upon which all other moral constituents build upon. That is to say, the affections or desires are the moving powers from which our actions proceed.
The affections, particularly, have been demonstrated to be that aspect of the moral being that enables an individual to relate with other men. They have been grouped into two, somehow contrasting groups: Uniting affections, including justice, benevolence, veracity, friendship, love, patriotism and domestic affections. Such affections bind a person to the entire community: an individual is obligated to demonstrate such affections towards others. In addition, there are defensive affections, including jealousy, disapprobation, and anger. How these affections are exercised depend largely on how other men exercise their own moral principles on an individual or how an individual perceive the morals of others to be.
If for instance, a person feels that he is part of a larger community because the community exhibits such uniting affection as love towards them, it is likely that such a person would exhibit one of the uniting moral principles, for example, patriotism in return. In a like manner, a person would employ a more defensive affection in response to the reverse situation-when they perceive other humans do not exercise a uniting affection such as love, justice or veracity towards them.
Such is the case of the four persons I interacted with, who do not feel any love, justice or any of the uniting affections from their immediate community or the society at large, so they employ defensive mechanisms resulting from acting on their defensive affections. The defense mechanisms such as bullying others are what society terms vice. But are these really vice or vengeance, serving only as defensive mechanism for those involved in such acts?
I do not intend to applaud these acts, but if our attentions are not directed towards the fundamental cause of them, regardless of how many churches we established, how many religious leaders we train or how large our prisons are, the number of criminals would keep increasing. So we should extend the uniting affections to everyone, especially those who are deprived of them, not because such acts keeps us closer to our Deity, but also such acts makes others feel a sense of belonging to the society. As we celebrate this month of love, we should all endeavor to show more of the uniting affections to such people, as this is the most likely way to properly do away with acts of bullying and other ruffianisms.
What kind of world are we living in where there’re always new motivational speakers, religious leaders, and many more new penitentiaries springing up, yet the number of crimes being committed keep increasing, or at their best, do not decrease? I do not know why this is happening but I know that the presence of this antagonism has been largely due to the inept methods employed in addressing various problems facing our society, especially crimes committed by gangbangers.
Specifically, the primary cause of crimes, especially those involving armed robbery and other brutal ruffianism has not been duly attended to. Motivational speakers talk against these crimes, yet encourage people to be filthy rich in one way or the other, for if this is not the central theme of all such speakers, what then is? Religious leaders keep showering blessings on people who are able to donate significant amounts of money to their respective religious bodies; at the same time encouraging those who can’t do similar to try harder, in one way or the other.
Penitentiaries are being built, or expanded to accommodate the ever increasing number of criminals, but in actuality the function of prison services has not been fully achieved. Do they transform, or reform or they just punish internees? I believe they only punish them, and have no intent to transform or reform them, because you can only transform or reform a person by giving them what they need; and not by depriving them of it. So what do armed robbers, thugs, ruffians and all criminals in general need? They need love.
Visit a secluded part of town that harbors gangs, smokers, and other persons engaged in activities that do not conform to the societal norms or values. You are likely to find people who had no parents to give them that ‘parental love’ or whose parent(s) either died or neglected them along the way. This is not to say that lack of parental care should lead young people to indulge in nonconforming acts, as there have been several people who have flourished in ways that are accepted by the society with little or no parental love whatsoever. I do, by stating the absence of parental love in these places, imply that the cause of the rising tide of ruffianism could be due to the begging for love which is widespread in these areas.
I interacted with four very young adults living in one area in Kumasi noted for breeding all sort of societal nonconformists. One of them, Gabby by name, is addicted to alcohol. According to him, he wants to drink anytime he misses his mum. His mum died when he completed high school, just as he was about to begin his higher education. Due to his mother’s death, he was unable to continue his education because there was no one else to cater for his education. To make matters worse, close relatives that he believed could help him fund his education, disappointed him.
At this point, he lost all hope of possibly achieving his childhood dream that one day he would land a well paying job, and take care of his mother. He has lost his mother, nobody else seems to care about him, and what breaks his heart even more is his inability to continue his education to achieve his childhood dream. The story of the other three is not any different.
The only difference being that, unlike Gabby, their parents are still alive. The parents of one of them are themselves homeless. They hardly eke a living out of the jobs they do, so they left him to fend for himself at a very tender age. He hasn’t seen any of his parents in a long while, at least not after he moved to the ghetto he stays now with his other friends. When I asked them how they survive since they are not engaged in any active job, they couldn’t give any direct answer. However, according to people living around the area, they are engaged in various rotten acts such as bullying passers-by to do away with their belongings…
As humans we go through tough times in life. This is when we think all hope is gone;
people we expect to provide or show some care or compassion toward us may turn
against us. The friends and family members we may turn to for uplifting messages may
not provide what we expect. This is when we might think that our whole world is
Situations like this happen and it is normal to expect some sort of physical or emotional
support from friends or family members. On the other hand, during such difficult times,
our characters are being tested. Our attitudes are shaped and we become stronger and
better during and after such difficult times. When such issues happen, it is easy to focus
on all the negative things or energies that surround such issues.
What we have to do is to look beneath these negative things and look at what that issue is trying to tell or teach us. We do not have to get angry or bitter when people fail to offer help but insult, and ridicule or judge us despite the pain we feel at that moment. We have to bear in mind that; every situation is temporal, we just have to be patient and learn and grow out of that situation.
Sometimes, these situations happen for us to know the real intentions of people who are
very close to us; what is hidden behind their smiles and compliments. Tough times reveal
who they truly are and what they will do when we’re at their mercies.
Again, such issues help us learn valuable lessons like tolerance, forgiveness, patience,
perseverance and others.
In all, issues we see as bad or negative come to teach us lessons in life; valuable lessons that we need to help shape our character or attitude, our thinking
and how well we should live our lives as a whole. Everything in life happens for our good
and as we face tough issues, we get to know what a meaningful life is all about. Mostly, in
those times, we are left alone to reflect and find the hidden things that need discovery.
We should see tough times as the time we are given to open our eyes wide, listen carefully
and close our mouths to get the full understanding of all that is happening around us.
We may not get the message or all the answers to the questions we ask ourselves, as fast as we want. But after sometime; when we give time, time, we will realise that; all the things we saw as tearing us apart or pushing us down or putting us in shame may uplift us; if only we are patient enough to go through the lessons and open our eyes and ears wide,
we will know those lessons.
Sometimes, such lessons gained from those times may help us find ourselves, appreciate
our lives more and even know the purpose of our lives. We may also discover things about
ourselves we did not know existed. All that we have to do is to be patient, watch closely
and listen very well. Everything happens for us.
Words by Adwoa Owusuaa
When we pay a visit to our various work places, schools and places of worship and other
places where people are expected to put in much effort to achieve more; we find
out that, people do not work as hard as they are expected and these same people
are expected to be rewarded for their haphazard behaviour toward work.
People do things anyhow and anyway they want; when people report to school or work
early, their colleagues ask whether the school or job is for their parents.
Working extra hard makes it worse. Students are given all sorts of names and people fail
to associate with them because of their hard working nature. At various work
places, people report late in the morning and are first people to leave when time
is up. What we do not realize is that, there could be someone or people watching
and copying our actions without our knowledge.
People read us like books, watch us like televisions sets or listen to us like music on the radio. Our own siblings, children or anybody at all could be watching and copying our lifestyle. This does not mean we should pretend to be perfect and please people rather, we
should give everything we do our all, not our best, because giving your best is
trying; but giving your all is putting everything you have in what you are doing.
When we fail to learn as students, a question we should ask ourselves is “Would I
be happy if my children do the same thing to me when I toil and provide for their
needs so they wouldn’t worry?” Also, as adults when we fail to give our best at or
places of work we should ask ourselves “Would I be happy if this company was
mine, and my workers behave the way I do?”
We should not follow the masses but be unique in the things we do. People will call you
names and say all sorts of things about us when we go the extra mile because;
they know the only way they can beat us is to pull us down and we will only be
affected if we pay attention to what they say or do. In various competitions we do
not look at the person or the group that is failing rather, our attention is drawn
to the winner or winners because we know they are making the difference. That
is how it is when we go the extra mile and give our all when we do things we are
supposed to do.
Successful people are those who give everything and are committed to whatever they
do especially in schools and work places. They give it their all whether the job is
theirs or not. Such people are able to manage their private companies because
they end up hiring people who are also as hard working as they are. We should
be a yardstick at various institutions we find ourselves, to our colleagues and
everyone around us.
Words by Adwoa Owusuaa.