Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Working out for one hour

Okay, you have always had time on your side....you have counted the minutes and they did in fact elapse. Then the moment you were waiting for happened. Have you ever been asked to do those hard squats where you remain mid-way and someone times you? The first few seconds make you feel you are a master! The next you actually feel you are breaking some tendons, ligaments, sinews..you name it. In moments like these why does time go really slow? You are almost 200 pounds, six feet tall and have an attitude of been there! Get up that pulley. Lift yourself without letting your hands stretch out full. Keep them folded...aha! There! Like that. And so, you go up and down. One , two , three.....Then you stop because you have run out of breathe! Then you are led off to do those crazy press ups designed to punish you. Someone must have had it in for you! You think. Then you are led to the 'burps' platform. You jump up the platform with legs inward, then outward you jump off. You jump off and bend, with your your palms touching the platform and you perform the push-ups. Then you go through the cycle. Ummhh.....say, 20 times will do!! What?????? That is after 5 times! Oh! You are now at the abdominal exercise gear. Harness up, raise legs, breathe out as you bring them down. Do it like 12 times. And do three sets please. "Can the trainer, disappear off the face of the earth?" No! He is still around and timing! That was my one hour at the gym this Saturday. I have had to swaet in my life but not this profusely!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Qui Tacet Consetir Videtur: He who is silent is understood to consent


He who is silent is understood to consent. I faced up and made noise against my weaknesses. I no longer consented to what relegated me to being the loser. I had these three deep seated and jealously guarded fears.  I had earlier made a decision. I agreed to myself never to raise any argument on the subject of my own weaknesses. ‘What are those 3 fears?’ You may be driven to ask. Yes, number one on the list is vanity, secondly a tendency for prodigality and thirdly a contentment with simplicity. I do want what is good. I guess this is every one’s story.  I want to show the goodness of life and treasures. I know hard work is fruitful. I have always driven myself so hard to achieve a better life. It is a lonely path. It is not taken by many. I did give up when I realized I was alone in this. I slackened the grip and mentality towards work. This was my undoing. I have accumulated some assets in my life but I have ended up giving them away to supposedly badly off friends. I later turned to them in my times of need and they remarked: ‘why did he not save his money for such bad times?’ I could have remained on the very hard roads of life’s toil. I gave up so much. I discouraged myself from achieving more.

That stopped when I stopped consenting to failure. I stopped giving in to fear. I made noise. I discovered what I could be. I immediately designed and embarked on a plan of action to re-educate myself. I crossed out the word ‘quit’ from my action verbs. I went deep into myself and brought out my fears. I decided to surround myself with success. This is my re-birth. I faced anything that belittles me. I set myself on a path of knowledge. I knew I was held back by what I decided not to learn. I knew so much yet knew so little. I chose to know myself. I chose not to consent to silence. I chose not to acknowledge defeat, fear, ridicule and belittling. There is uniqueness in every one as long as we all know we are capable of being better. I am unique and different. I looked into myself with honesty. I am full of life and am around loving people. I got to see this because I made decisions that galvanize us more as we continue interacting.  I do appreciate the people I come into contact on a daily basis. They appreciate me too. I am conscious, I am part of them and I matter to them.  I continued interacting with them as I continued on the path to self actualization.  I shared my dreams with them. They were honest with me. They guided me as I continued being open to them. I admitted I needed their help. I would give them guidance too.  I worked consistently and persistently.  This is what made me who I am.  This now defines me.  The world inside me was cleansed.  I decided to make a new garden in me. I make sure that I listen to myself, evaluate myself and reduce all sensual reports, experiential cues and visceral stimuli into a unified common purpose and goal. I am true to myself above all.  Truth follows as night does day. I am sure then I cannot be false to any other person. I decided not to be silent lest I am understood to consent to failure. 

Sunday, 19 May 2013

A public health Resource Facility targeting low income beneficiaries


In providing services for low income beneficiaries my experience has been based on a model that has a static facility which acts as a base. This resource Center will be a drop-in facility with scheduled health education and Life planning resources catering to young persons and adults. The P-health will be an opportunity to bring policy, personal development and public health together at a venue and in an environment that is friendly. The resources collected and distributed will be in the forms: paper, electronic and prophylactic consumables. This venue will have a library, office, meeting place, training facility and a conference space to enable persons engage in mentored conversation. A one stop community services center, the P-health will offer the following services: provide information, education and communication services geared at influencing decisions for health seeking and life preserving practices.

The P-health is part of the bigger Universal Mission Foundation LLC whose mission is to serve new Americans. We believe that integration and assimilation for a new comer in USA may require psycho-social-economical empowerment. We also believe that for all these to occur an individual’s public health status has to be of quality. We empower individuals to take charge of the basic preventive health practices by guiding them to access health services in their vicinity. We encourage our beneficiaries to know their contexts. This empowerment gives control and belief in life.

The following are our main activities:
1.   Design and develop a standard operating procedure manual ( documentation, transportation, mobility, nutrition, assimilation and integration)
2.   Establish a support service directing beneficiaries where to seek health care and psycho-social support (identify referral points for further interventions).
3.   Provide a hotline to link beneficiaries with service providers.
4.   To follow up beneficiaries (encourage screening strategies: depression. Substance use, pre-existing chronic care, employment, benefits, education)
5.   To design and develop information and use of resources (Special supplemental Nutrition, housing, job training, documentation, community activities, education, food pantries, life planning skills, self-help development, personal safety, security, legal, civic order, conduct).
6.   To act as a drop-in venue.
7.   To collect and distribute life preserving resources (consumables).
8.   To engage in mobilization of beneficiaries to adhere to life preserving commitments.
9.   To link beneficiaries with wider community.

The activities of the P-health will help increase on the critical number of persons who engage in life preserving activities, who seek health services, who access social benefits and create a wider high value peerage/ support community.

The Heart is in it!


Today is Pentecost day. I overheard a conversation where one was saying it is also the birthday of Christianity. I went for service early in the morning. I liked, as always, this morning’s preacher who was from the Dominican Congregation of Virginia, USA. I got to learn the Dominicans are also known as the Order of Preachers. Now, I happen to be in an area where there are quite many Jesuits. I know of the jokes they exchange among themselves that is the Franciscans, Jesuits and Dominicans. It is joked that one of each orders has a combination of these virtues in different amounts:  hermitic, pragmatic and philosopher. These virtues happen to be the butt of many jokes. This time it was about...never mind. The joke is so old I may sound like an old broken record. But, my morning Sunday service was a warm and a spiritual fulfilment for me.
 At around 10.00 am, I joined 3 friends of mine as a team of four. We were part of a larger group of over 300 people (adults, young and children pushed in prams). We walked 1:3:5 miles to raise funds and to raise awareness around what communities can do to reduce the risks that exacerbate cardio-vascular diseases. We met at one place, were flagged off and as a team we walked the different assigned miles. Our team walked all the five miles. There are so many lessons one learns when one decides to engage in community activities. As a strong advocate for community-work in which one expects not to be paid a salary, I have always told my friends and any who cares to listen to my philosophy the three reasons why we engage in work: reward, skills and networks. Rewards may be in various forms and not necessarily the salary. It could be psychological satisfaction that one is able to take time off and be part of a number of persons who have accomplished an activity. Skills may come in many ways including person-to-person communication or organization of an event. One does not fail to pick a lesson or two on organization of events. Humans are social and in engaging in these kind of events it may enable one fulfil the social aspect of meeting other people. It may add to the feeling of being part of society. It may be a point of reference for one as well as topic for conversation. Such experiences make up the stock materials in one’s brains and being part of one’s memory it may be enrichment that will form future conversational or problem-solving points of reference.
There were two major intentions of the walk: raising awareness about cardio-vascular diseases and; renewing a commitment towards engaging in physical exercises as one of the best ways to prevent cardiovascular and lung related diseases. The event was colourful and the sun was bright. By the end of the walk a dark cloud was forming and later after two or three hours a down pour followed. I had kept my bicycle somewhere convenient. I managed, to barely make it back home before it rained, to file this report.