A Stitch In Time Serves Nine

BY: Dan Phale*

Not all of us remember what happened in the past; and probably in future will not remember what happens between now and then. In the same way, in most cases we tend to complain about an outburst of challenges and/or problems which wreck havoc in our day-to-day life. Unbearable situations do emanate from our own omission to do the needful in a range of issues which affect our lives such as behaviour and culture, economy, education, health services, etcetera. But, just like the lost traveler who has no campus in the desert becomes clueless, we seldom realize what actually brings about such challenges and/or problems that inhibit us from getting on well with our lives.

If we critically look at what we are facing today, we shall find out that what happened in the past has a great bearing on today’s life. For instance, within one family or home, children may not be in good terms with each other. And try to analyze how they were brought up, you will be tempted to form an opinion that they were moulded by their parents or guardians into their present personality and status by which they are known, as characterised by their likes or dislikes, hobbies, and their behavioural pattern.

The economic growth and development for all of us, be it at the household level or at the community level, also depends on the past happenings and/or trends. In this regard what a person, whether alone or in a group, did for a living, and how he or she managed whatever he or she got on daily basis has an influence in today’s social and economic graph or status of every entire community which comes into question. We also know that bribery or corrupt practices, greed or selfishness, have very negative impacts on our livelihood.

As per the aforementioned issues, we are destined to get to our future status which strictly is linked to what we do in the present day. It is, therefore, requisite that we should be greatly cautious as we manage our lives. Being extravagant takes us to the road which leads towards the chains of poverty and miserable life. Permitting the spirit of discontentment, greed and envy to exist in our midst will take us to such burdens that are caused by oppression and repression. Allowing any hooligan to exist in our society is more than sowing seeds of terrorism in our own backyard.

So, the question is: what do we have to do to evade such difficult situations? Well; it is very simple. Being proactive is by far better than being reactive. Our elders do say that a stick is straightened while it is still young. We have to fix the root cause before the actual consequences arise… When we find eggs of a snake we should break them up immediately before they hatch into little dangerous reptiles which after growing up, will harm and kill us or will harm and kill the next generation of mankind. As I have always said in other articles, charity begins at home, which is why I advocate that it must start from a family which – in my view – is the domestic school unit for teaching and/or learning advantages and values of the best human conduct.

As clearly hinted above, more often than not, we face adverse situations because of our own default to address pertinent issues at the right time… Well, in line with a motion put forward by the headline of this article, a stitch in time serves nine, let us fix an issue before it haunts us. At least we should be custodians as well as the stewards of our own destiny. The past is there for us to learn, and the present is here for us to manage, while the future is there for us to plan. It is not then but now, or never.

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Wisdom Is Imperative

BY: Dan Phale*

Do we take our time to consider the fact that life has its dynamics? In the same vein, has it ever occurred in our minds that our future life is likely going to be negatively different from our current status if we are not sufficiently wise? Do we remind ourselves that there is no any graph which rises up beyond the horizon? Or, Should we say that we are too blind to realize that the endowments which were once given freely by the Creator of universe are diminishing in quantity and quality?

A story which has been so far told to us by the old wise folks about a fish and a crab is recipe for a very much important lesson here and now… Briefly the story says that a Fish and a Crab once lived in the same water source, say like a well. The wise and visionary Crab foresaw the likelihood of water drying up in summer season, a situation that would make life difficult. He therefore dug into the wall of the water source in readiness of the inevitable dry season. On the other hand, the Fish did nothing. So it happened that when the dry season approached, the Crab migrated into the hole which he had dug, whereas the Fish had nowhere to go to… While the Crab lived comfortably in the hole which was always supplied with percolating water, the Fish suffered and succumbed to the scorching sunlight.

Well, we may be rich people today – or we may have rich parents and/or guardians – almost lacking nothing in our homes. But we should realize the fact that there will be a day when all things that are at our disposal shall be gone, and gone for ever. What shall we do in order for us to earn a living? Lest we forget, in life there are uncertainties that can probably pull us down from our status quo… Suppose that robbers stormed into our dwelling compound, or our business place, and ransacked everything, would we be able to sustain our livelihood? Let us also assume that we’re involved in a serious accident – or natural disasters – and we are thus rendered physically challenged, would we be able to live on without much socioeconomic troubles?

It is – in my well considered view – wise that all of us should take an active role in controlling human population at all levels. At the same time, we have a duty to take care of the natural resources which include air, land, vegetation, and water. Simultaneously, we should be very prudent in the manner we use what we have today, otherwise extravagant and impulsive expenditure is a recipe for a decline of our economic development and growth.

Let us be wise and visionary as the Crab is. Otherwise, we shall undoubtedly be as stranded as the Fish. In fact, wisdom is imperative and important… Whether we are business people, or we are employed by others, or we depend upon social cash transfers provided by well-wishers, a day shall obviously come when volumes of all resources which are readily available today, will diminish. There is no graph which rises up beyond the horizon. Gravity is the rule.

Irrefutable Facts, Rarely Spoken By Those In Command

BY: Dan Phale*

It appears that the social structure which exists generally across the world particularly in various work institutions and/or decision making entities has the potential to create discriminatory lines between those in command and their average staff plus those at the extreme receiving end. In this article the phrase Those In Command includes the top dogs in various work institutions, eg the supervisors; those with positions in the society, or the so-called honourable figures.

Let us begin with supervisors… For the purpose of common understanding we have to refer to the dictionary… In this regard ‘to supervise‘ is synonymous with ‘to direct‘ or ‘to guide‘ which implies, in fact, that a supervisor is not actually the lone actor in the mainstream operations. He or she is often supported by his or her junior staff members. In the same vein, it is an irrefutable fact that subordinates are the ones who play a bigger role than their supervisors.

Surprisingly, most of the times, we hear supervisors praising themselves for an achievement which, without their junior staff, would not have been possible at all. At the end of particular work their tongues rarely make use of the pronoun we when giving a progress report. In this way supervisors portray themselves as single-handed heroes… Apparently, the head would fail to anchor itself up if it did not rest over the neck. In accordance with 1 Corinthians 12: 20, there are many parts but one body… Surely, they need to understand that everybody is equally important, whether a supervisor or the average staff.

The other fact which is irrefutable but is rarely or never mentioned by those in command is that no person is holier than another. More often than not when there is a problem, a supervisor is too quick to accuse his or her subbordinates of some professional mistakes, and it is actually baffling to realise that the accusation is phrased in such a way that reflects the holier-than-thou syndrome. But ironically it is very rare for a leader to come in open and accept his or her mistakes. And one wonders if leaders are such angelic that they don’t make mistakes…! For the sake of our integrity as mankind, let us not pretend to forget that they only feign to be gods with small g’s.

As a matter of truth, supervisors are the ones who, more often than not, commit more serious wrongs than those at the base of the file and ranking. This comes about in the spirit of abuse of power as they feel like they are on the tiptop of the world.

This article would be incomplete if we left out the questionable conduct shown by some selfish people who are in the justice administration system in various corners of the world. As a matter of legal requirement, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that everybody is equal before the law. Furthermore it entrenches the right for victims of human rights violation to have unconditional access to tribunals and courts of justice for legal redress; however this is not the reality on the ground, as most of the low class and less privileged are vulnerable to various forms of social injustice.

It is very sad to take notice of the fact that when the so-called high-class men and women are on the wrong side of the law, their titles play a very influential role in evading justice. Sarcastically, poor people are the ones who are mostly deemed to be wrong even when they are innocent.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that all irrefutable facts cannot be suppressed willy-nilly as the truth has the potential to withstand any attempt to overshadow it with lies. I also believe that it is our noble duty, both as individuals and in groups, to bring social sanity in all our communities.

From The Barrel Comes No Peace

BY: Dan Phale*

History has always revealed – and it continues to reveal – horrendous facts about a failure of coexistence among human beings across the world. This follows the fact that most of the times we are not in terms with one another on some issues affecting our lives, which is why we have witnessed a number of conflicts. Making the situations worse, some people reach a point of resorting to fight… But this is not the right way to resolve matters.

When we look at several books in the archive, we get to know that even before the first and second world wars, nations and races fought against one another. In a bid to justify their bloody actions, the leaders could give out incomprehensible reasons, such as protection of national interest, and many more. But honestly speaking, war did not help them achieve what they aimed at; in lieu thereof it only made their differences soar to the much more aggravated levels.

Unfortunately, most of those who are in the leadership positions nowadays have little or no keenness to learn from the past events on issues of differences. All we hear is ‘We will destroy your territory’; ‘We’re more superior than your country; and this and that. When shall they adjust their tongues to harmonious talking? I mean, no matter what, two wrongs cannot make a right thing. As a matter of fact, it is such a confrontational attitude that fuels up intolerance and lack of peace among races or tribes and nations. And worse still, the young generations get a very bad precedent.

The magnitude of the impact of the use of a guns when the situation is not okay is quite immense; it only makes it more volatile. In fact peace does not come with a gun. In a sharp contrast it brings about instability in various aspects of human lives as it negatively impacts on growth and development such as health services cannot be easily accessed by everyone because the trained medical professionals are on the run; economy is shattered down; education system too dwindles; everything becomes in deep shambles as there is fire everywhere. Apparently, scores of innocent people get displaced from their homes.

So do people need the guns for them to get the peace which they desperately want? Affirmatively no…! Guns bring about pieces instead of promoting the much needed peace. Let us often remind ourselves that it is as easy for us to live in peace and harmony as the cat and a dog tamed by one person within a single compound. Is our creator not one God…?

Economic Miracle With A Kitchen Garden

BY: Dan Phale*

This is my third time for me to publish a post related to kitchen gardens since I created this blog on WordPress a couple of years ago. I am, actually, publishing this article with all reasons to proudly say that I am a regular kitchen gardener, filled up to the brim of my mind with a keen interest in sharing with everybody what positive things a kitchen garden can bring in our lives.

It appears that there is an imbalance of of life as characterised by insufficient human needs. Actually, most of us have much less earning capacity than the ever rising cost of living. And this makes it a requirement for all of us to have viable and diverse means of sustaining our livelihood at household level, both in the short term and long term. In fact, one of the short term means, in accordance with my mother’s advice, happens to be the creation of a kitchen garden.

Managing The Kitchen Garden is not all that challenging. Let us bear in mind that the soil needs to be regularly boosted, and we can do this by adding composite manure both before and after planting vegetables; or we can plant nitrate fixing plants. If we rare chicken or guinea fowls or ducks on free range basis, we should ponder erecting a woven bamboo fence, or a wire mesh fence, or a twine mesh fence around the garden with an aim of keeping them away from the vegetables.

After planting, it is also very important to ensure there is adequate moisture in the garden. This is achieved through a number of ways, for example, adequate and regular irrigation and mulching. And in terms of irrigation, we have to create basin-like planting stations which allow water to go deeper into the soil so that our vegetables do not wither.

It is further vital for us to randomly plant shrubs around the garden with an aim of providing some shade for the vegetables. The shade provided by the shrubs helps in shielding the vegetables from the scorching sunlight, and the soil doesn’t get dry just anyhow.

Benefits Of A Kitchen Garden are quite numerous. For instance, we are able to get healthy and fresh vegetables which are highly enriched in all the nutritive values within our compound; wasteland around our compound is made useful as well as productive; waste materials like the sweepings and/or the droppings are accessed easily and/or cheaply as in comparison with manufactured fertilizer; there is a reasonable saving of the cost of buying vegetables.

Well, the savings cannot be seen in just overnight. But after a period of time, let us quantify vegetables so far consumed, we surely realise that there is a huge saving in this initiative. At the meantime, for instance, there are mustard leafy vegetables in my kitchen garden which, in view of my estimation, will help me save the sum of K8, 000.00 which is equivalent to the sum of US10 dollars in a period of three months… This means, for the whole year, a substantial amount of money can be saved.

Let us take notice of the fact that we can also plant medicinal herbal crops in our kitchen gardens. Actually, this initiative shall ease the task of moving up and down in the quest for the herbs in times of need because they will be readily available for use… And to some extent, such plants – skillfully intercropped with vegetables – do add some colour to the beautiful scenery of the surrounding of our compound.

The But-why Method In Countering Poor Duty Standards

BY: Dan Phale*

Most of the times many managers and supervisors in various work institutions tend to groan about poor standards of services discharged by those who are under their command. However they seem to have very little or no time to make an in-depth analysis of everything in a bid to understand why such is the case. It is in this regard that I have decided to publish this article so that we discuss some of the various issues that negatively affect performance of the duty bearers.

First and foremost, we need to come to terms with the fact that there are quite many people who are well educated but are not employed. In a sharp contrast, those who are entrusted with the duty to work in certain fields are not suitably qualified for the job. Rather, they are recruited on the basis of nepotism, or regionalism, or tribalism, and so on and so forth. Usually, such are the people who do not perform their duties to the required best standards.

Let us check around, and we shall find out that even promotions are not done on merits… Not at all. Those with strong extraordinary unprofessional strings attached to their existence in work institutions have an upper hand to be elevated from one position to the next level than those without. The latter group of workers can, thus, work for many years without being considered for promotion let alone some kind of incentives; and, calling a spade a spade, they feel quite disappointed as well discouraged. Just imagine that somebody who has always portrayed a vast professional character and experience is at the receiving end of discriminatory and unfair treatment by his or her superiors.

Abuse of power and corrupt practices are other factors which have negative impact on delivery of services. What has horns cannot be wrapped in a sack… No matter how long it may be hidden, one day the horns shall protrude out, and the secret will be known by everybody. As a matter of fact leaders must lead by good examples; otherwise, eventually almost all junior employees will think that this is the right way to go. The wise old folks in Africa say that “when the chief limps, his subjects also limp.” You know, evil starts like a small seed and after germination it spreads like an oak tree.

In other circumstances, a superior in rank does not want to get views from those under his or her command. Even if he or she doesn’t know what to do, or goes astray in the line of duty, he or she doesn’t want or doesn’t accommodate views from the junior staff. Such are the know-it-all members of management. And this tendency is detrimental to the outcome of the intended objectives and goals.

There is another bad syndrome among some managers. More often than not, their eyes are blind such that they don’t seem to notice the good performance and achievements made by their junior workers. But when a very little mistake is committed, they swiftly produce insulting words or take very harsh administrative actions with little or no regard to the requirement of natural justice… This is very unfair.

Over and above, leadership is another key aspect in management of duties at every institution. How can there be the best quality services under unskilled and unsound leadership? And the issue of payments cannot be overemphasized; whereas little perks that are insufficient to match with the current cost of living are also a potential cause of poor performance of workers.

All in all, such issues as favouritism, abuse of power and corruption, unsound leadership, among other issues, bring about frustration among workers. And frustration is a catalyst for their poor standards in discharging duties. It is high time managers stopped being biased towards the selected group of their subordinates.

Some Human Beings Are More Inhuman Than Lucifer

BY: Dan Phale*

Miracle, extremely hopeless and in huge emotional and psychological pain, cried out loudly, “Where shall I go to? Who shall I approach to help me? Where shall I begin from, and how shall I begin it? My heavenly Father, why have you forsaken me…?” She sobbed, lamenting as she didn’t have any idea what to do in order to get herself out of an abyss of intricate problems.

The old wise folks have a proverb which says life is a teacher. However, at times its lessons are so excruciatingly painful. Miracle was born from a very poor lady whose husband passed away soon after her conception about seventeen years ago. As she grew up, Miracle’s mother found herself between a rock and a hard place as she struggled singlehandedly to raise financial resources. The money was not only to be used for the general well-being of the household but also for her daughter’s education. But her efforts proved futile. And this situation made life profusely unbearable for both Miracle and her single mother.

Now it happened that Miracle had just made it into the secondary school. Her caring mother continued striving in all possible ways to make ends meet so as to pay her school fees. But later on the heavens were not on her side as her mother fell critically ill… and due to the ever pressing poverty she had nothing to do in order to help her terminally sick mother. So she thought of moving up and down in the quest for money… Whether through working, or begging, but she vowed to find money so that she would take her dear mother to the hospital. At some point she met a certain rich man who, upon hearing her situation, took her to his house so as to give her a financial hand. But when they got there she was told that he would not give money to her unless on condition that she had sexual intercouse with him. Forced sexual intercouse. As if this was not enough, she was barred from leaving back until five days elapsed. What a great challenge…

The ruthless rich man took advantage of her predicament to enslave and torture her… Suffice to say that five days later Miracle was given some money and was released from the bondage and allowed to go home. However, upon getting there she found her mother dead. Too sad.

Well, three months after burial of her mother, she made a bold decision to go ahead with secondary education. In this regard she sold some of the household properties in order to realise money which she would use to pay for tuition fees and the like. But she didn’t know what lied ahead of her life. She was not feeling okay; and when she visited the clinic, she was told she was pregnant. And, according to education rules, this led to her dismissal from school. Again, with very tough moral bye laws, she was banished from the community. There and then she became a hopeless vagabond. As a matter of fact, the cross was, day by day, becoming too heavy for her to carry. She, thus became so much disturbed that she nearly committed suicide.

One day she caught sight of a signpost which said “The home of orphans” and she felt an assurance that she would find solace. Hence she walked into the compound. But in a twist of events, what she was about to face there was quite contrary. The owner and in charge, by the name of Bertha, was the human and/or child trafficker. She harboured quite a number of orphaned girls who were forced to have sexual intercouse such that they could conceive and give birth to babies that should then be sold away to childless couples. If any girl was caught attempting to escape, she was subjected to severe torture and/or death.

Miracle’s heart felt like bulging out of the chest cavity as she got these horrific instructions. It also came to her notice that the rich man who impregnated her was the one who slept with the girls in this compound. However, as the wise words tell us that even the darkest night cannot prevent the light of the morning, at the far end of the dark tunnel of her anxiety, despair and misery, there came light of miracle in Miracle’s life.

The law enforcers were tipped about slavery and trauma the orphaned girls were going through. And before Miracle gave birth to her baby, the heavily armed law enforcers raided the place and apprehended Bertha and her accomplice. Meanwhile the heartless Bertha and her accomplice are serving a life prison term with hard labour.