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.


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…?

Only Somebody Can Scratch Your Back

BY: Dan Phale*

It is the open secret that various individuals on earth have different talents. That is how God created us. He gave us different endowments so that collectively we can achieve something in life… In this regard nobody is better than another, just as the desert is also fertile.

This is a story about a certain man who thought he was more superior than others.

Once upon a time there was a carpenter. He was popularly known for his skills in carpentry and joinery in entire Mwima township. In fact nearly all residents in the township knew that he was second to none in this industry. Gradually this yielded him much better connections with those people in the elite class who thronged to his shop to get the best furniture and other related products. With great earnings he established a paradise of his own kind on earth. Little by little he grew into a person full of complacency, selfglory, and vanity, to the extent that he began severing good ties with his old friends and others… He became very callous about the suffering of others.

But there came a very critical moment for the carpenter to learn some bitter lessons in life. It was on the onset of the rainy season when there were stormy rains which saw many dwelling houses demolished. And the carpenter’s dwelling house was not an exception. The worst thing is that the storm occurred at night such that it was too difficult for him to escape from this fate. Most of his property got damaged and some got lost as well. The damages and losses were so huge that he could not afford to replace sooner than later.

In the following morning, the carpenter was forced by the adverse circumstances to kneel down before the same people he had despised ever before to beg for their succour in one way or another. Of course, in the interim, his principal plea was to get a shelter before his house would be reconstructed. But his plea fell on the deaf ears. Everybody who was once in the group of the good-for-nothings now turned to be the most important in this tormenting time of his life.

My fellow beings, it is true that there is a moment when bricklayers start looking for broken bricks in order to fill the gaps left in the walls of a building. In this regard, no matter what, only somebody can scratch your back.

Nobody Is More Important Than Others

BY: Dan Phale*

Our life is like a voyage whereas the boat does not know the identity of each of those on board. It does not matter whether somebody is male or female, royal or ordinary, poor or rich; they are all equal. And when that vessel capsizes everybody gets wet and/or drowns alongside others because they are sailing together.

Let us further liken our life to a chicken. It is biologically believed that feathers of a chicken are what give it warmth. In this regard no any single feather can provide such warmth that is required in the chicken’s body.

We have, therefore, to unanimously agree on the fact that each of us has something to contribute for our common good. When we look around we see that in our midst there are people with different abilities and skills. There are motor vehicle drivers and/or mechanics, soldiers and/or police officers, doctors, bricklayers, landlords and tenants, farmers and consumers, religious and community leaders, merchants, producers and users, and many more… But each group is equally in need of services provided by the other.

And as I am in the process of publishing this article, I am quickly reminded of the fact that the old wise folks in my beloved country, Malawi, say that “when the leg does not walk the stomach does not eat, and if the stomach does not eat the leg will not have energy to walk.” By this we are assured that there is a requisite need for a mutual dependence among human beings so that they can ably complement one another with their basic needs in a bid to make life better for all.

However, in a sharp contrast more often than not we do witness very disturbing levels of self regard and lack of solidarity as evidenced through a spirit of pride. Somebody has a false feeling that he or she is more important and/or better than other people. But, as I have always argued, pride only goes the length that one can spit… In true sense, such feelings are very hilarious and retrospective because they only give rise to discrimination in a society. As a matter of fact some people are considered a socially inferior group. And the inferiority complex, vis-à-vis, inhibits the expected human growth and development.

In view of the foregoing, I am prompted to urge all and sundry to realise and adopt the importance of a theory of interdependence which is about mutual reliance among groups of people in a society. In this concept human beings become emotionally, socioeconomically, and morally reliant on, and responsible to, one another. Surely this way only we are destined to achieve a lot in our life.