Character Is Destiny: Lessons from My Mother

It is over twenty years now but lessons from my mother still informs my everyday life decision. In her whole life I have not seen her shout at anybody, nor did I see my father shouting at her. She always appreciates others without reservation; she has utmost respect for others no matter the social status.
From her I learnt the essence of character, she always said to me ” Shadrack, sleep hungry if you really don’t have anything to eat, for tomorrow there is hope. But make sure you don’t steal for the repercussion of your actions will be dire and nasty tomorrow”. These words run through my mind everyday as I engage in different activities.
If you have been surprised why I abhor discrimination and social injustice, then the story of my mother will confirm that under my skin, within my blood and in my heart I have been conditioned to love and respect others as able and created with special gifts and talents that I don’t have . No wonder our finger prints in our family and indeed in the world are not the same.
It causes me pain when I read mega corruption scandals, it hurts to know that there are those who will miss out to be treated in hospitals because some crude and shameless individuals have supplied air and have banked millions in their banks. It is discouraging and heart breaking knowing that our roads have been poorly done, just because a constructor has paid bribes and has to recover his money by doing substandard work. All these gives every reason to wake up and think how we can let people openly have discourse for us to find solution to this menace.
I believe if we ever think of solving this puzzle then we have to go back to our value system. What has our minds been conditioned to? With the wide coverage of these nasty happenings of embezzlement and corruption and human rights violation, then we need to find platforms where we can start shifting our conversation.
Family is the basic unit of society and that is where we will start from. We may start forming Peer Learning groups among family friends to adopt them as areas that we can start revolutionizing our conversation. It is in these groups, that we can foster building of trust, it is in these groups that we can explore means and ways of getting ourselves out of the bondage of social inequality and injustice. It is these places; I think we can achieve great results, for in these groups people will manage to build self-confidence which is a key component of personal development.
I believe in the Peer Learning Forums we can impact the lives of our friends, we can learn better practices of handling crises, it is in these places that we can start a conversation of good governance, and it is the place we can start a conversation on informing people of what is right and how it will benefit them. Empowerment should be a process of helping the Bottom of the Pyramid to access the right information for their use in decision making.
This is not an easy exercise, it is not cheap, but one thing I know, it can be done. We only need to get people who are submerged in the sea of proper character and those that uphold social justice to take a front line in influencing and recruiting generals for this course. We can achieve it. If Martin Luther king Jr with his Nonviolence Movement survived and managed to create a positive impact, believe me we can eradicate Poverty in Africa


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