Building Relationships We Can All Be Proud Of

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


IF SOMEONE TELLS YOU SPECIFIC THINGS THEY DO NOT LIKE and you go ahead to do it, for whatever reason, you cannot fault them for the kind of response they will give back to you. I think sometimes we are a little too selfish; overly, trespassing-ly and disrespectfully selfish. And at times, I find it intolerable to hear people say, ‘what is wrong with what I did?’ Or, ‘must you respond the way you did?’ You find it expedient to seek pardon and justification for leniency or empathic understanding of your action; what about the other person's simple ‘I DON’T LIKE THIS’ that you did not abide by?

We hurt people by our actions and we think we have the moral right to determine how they respond to us, failing to see that we gave them the power to treat us anyhow they please, by first not respecting their position on an issue.

If you do not agree with someone's position on an issue, you have to tell them. You do not agree to it and later act contrary and then demand they act in ways that suit your 'anticipated reaction'.

If you agree to do something or not to do something, you overtly or covertly subject yourself to all manner of reaction that your lack of cooperation on the matter you have subscribed to will bring upon you.

Husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends; it is imperative we take our responses, promises and intentions serious. Sometimes, that is what the other person holds us to and measures us by.

There is nothing like ‘even if I did that, must you do this.’ A person’s reaction is their prerogative, hard as this may come to us. The lack of understanding of this is one of the reasons why little issues in relationships get out of hand. We have created mental impressions of how a person must respond in any given situation, and by these impression, we minimize their response to some of our actions and therefore feel less inclined to refrain from those actions. Then, after we have acted, the real response sets in, ending up being totally different from what we anticipated. That it when we get mad with them for not acting in accordance with our mental images and therefore brand them as being unfair and irrational.

The truth is, people are emotional and Emotion is a human phenomenon which operates in a spectrum; from cold detachment to hyper sensitivity. Someone will laugh at a table joke, someone will kill over a table joke; Has the person told you they do not appreciate cracking jokes about them when people are around? Then don’t do it when there are people around. Simple. No one cares about what you think, and its appropriateness or otherwise; respect the person and save your jokes. If you can’t help but give jokes, then the person is not for you.

Many things in our day to day activities can fall into this; but always remember, if you feel you can do whatever you want, then people around you can always respond as seen appropriate by them. Just as you don't see anything wrong with your actions, so it may surprise you to know the other person does not also see anything wrong with their reactions.


Friday, 30 November 2012


I was on the Kanda highway one Friday after work in the thicket of traffic when I noticed a helpless lady was standing by a relatively new Toyota Camry with the bonnet opened. Obviously the car was sick. Some gentlemen were trying to show concern...Just showing concern, because they were equally helpless. 

I started thinking to myself, who would have ever thought this posh looking ride could be sick? Nothing showed on it. All I saw were the tinted windows, the blinged huge alloy spinners, neon lights and metallic purple paint job and all. It was completely pimped out.  
As I was trudging through the gridlock traffic, I was asking myself questions. One key question was, 'how do you tell the worth of a thing by just looking at how it appears?' You know, by looking at the exterior, this ride was all a guy or a lady with a taste for pimped out rides, needed. But does the exterior reflects the contents and the quality under the hood or the bonnet? Can you, by just looking at how it appears, decide it will act and live like that as well? Does the glory that is visible to the eyes, be the same as that which is hidden from the eyes? When we decide to do a thorough check would we have an impressive outcome? 

From my little experience in cars (as a professional insurance underwriter, auto insurance and the lot) I know most people buy used cars without actually testing and asking relevant questions. Maybe a mechanic will go with them to check a few things and tell them the ride is good. It could be that the car is indeed in a good shape, the mechanic does not know what to check or the seller is preventing the mechanic from fidgeting with the car - since you have not bought it yet (Welcome to Ghana). Somehow, because the buyer may have fallen for the exterior and the interior, what is under the hood is not really scrutinized.... something that sometimes blows up in their faces.  

I was just thinking, does this really play out in our love lives? Yep! How often do we fall in love with the facade? Many times!! The voice, the words, the family, the physique, the work, finance and all that. How often are we distracted by these things? Because we make up our minds based on what we see, most often than not, we are blinded by the essential things that we need to look out for. Every word of advice or caution to you is either evil or unfair. When you ask those you trust to help you evaluate that man or woman you are crushing on, they either do a terrible job because they do not know where to look or what to look out for, or their jobs are sabotaged by your crush who is ensuring that your attention is on them and not on the one doing the assessment. Some people only come to confirm what they know you have chosen and would not change your mind about. 

Sometimes, we go to God after we have made the choice and ask him to confirm it for us...Which he gladly does. What else do you want? You came to him with your choice; you did not go to him to help you make a choice. So we end up choosing based on what we see and not what we have to look out for. Sometimes, we just don't want to rock the boat, probe too much; the fear of finding maggots is too haunting we would play the ostrich instead. 

How can you tell her sickness by looking at her dress, her make-up and by feeling her cologne? How can you tell what his innermost and under-the-hood ailments are by just listening to his glorious voice, looking at his swag and considering his cash? How do you evaluate the most important things you are looking for in the relationship like honestly, fidelity, sincerity, loyalty, companionship among others when all you are fixated upon is how the person appears? 

There is so much hidden under the hood you will never know until you are told, experience it yourself or probe them out. There are so many ailments hidden under the hood that if you knew them you wouldn't attempt hitting the highway of life with them. Ailments of character, of the heart and desires, of intentions and motives, sicknesses of past hurts and hatred, contagious and wasting dis-eases all hidden in the bonnet and covered up in a heap of glitz, glamour and deception waiting for the innocent; waiting for someone to commit. Then one problem after the other starts. 

As it is expected, because you lack the total picture of what you are dealing with, you solve each problem as you know best how to. Yet as hard as you try, each problem solved leads to another problem revealed. What did you do wrong? You made the best choice there was. Well it might appear so... but you were captured by the body..the exterior...the visible and not what was under the bonnet. not the hidden things that needed thorough investigation and observation (and for the Christian) prayer in addition to unearth. Do not pray with your eyes closed; people are stealing purses at church lately. Pray, but investigate. 

Someone, said to me, when she starts a new relationship with someone, she does not want to know about the person's past. It is gone, keep it there. That is a very dumb way of looking at life. I told her. You need to know why the person is in the market of love for your own good. Why are they single? If you don't know why a government was overthrown, don't you think, as a new government, you are likely to repeat the mistakes of the past Government? You only do a different thing when you know what was done before you. Do not invent the process; get the person talking and they will give you clues. Sometimes, you get to know what the ex did and you know you would not last in the relationship because you see the ex in you. You sometimes hear the story and you realise the ex was not the problem; the one in front of you is. You need to know so you know how to cope with the person, how to help them pull through whatever it is they are dealing with. 

That conversation reveals much; the way they talk about their exes, the kind of words they use on people when they are bitter, how bitter and unforgiving they can be, how cold and short-tempered they can be, their pettiness level among others. Indeed, it can even give you a clue whether they are indeed over their exes or they are looking for a rebound relationship. But to say, you don't want to know, is a very sad way of entering a relationship...the same way not wanting to know what kind of loss the car suffered for which it was imported to Ghana can cost you dearly. Was it flood? Road accident (and where) or even kpa kpa kpa move bi like that will give you a clue as to what you are dealing with. You need to know because not all losses are easy to fix, the same way not all damaged emotions and character traits are easy to live with. 

May your eyes be opened to see beyond the body and the beauty of it... But even better may the sicknesses and the hidden illnesses manifest before you commit so you can quietly walk away... May wisdom and the grace of God ensure this. You don't want to be left in the middle of the highway...

~PG Sebastian~
2012 All Rights Reserved


One morning while on the motorway going to work I was observing a funny phenomenon that we might all have been caught up in in one way or the other. LANES CHANGING.

The critical observation for me was the risk we all take when we change the lanes. Sometimes we change lanes and that lane we have joined, which was moving fast, suddenly slows down. Wrong choice. Sometimes our calculations come out right and we skip loads of cars. 

When you miscalculate and the lane you joined suddenly slows down, you miss your chance and your place in the adjacent lane you moved from, while all the vehicles which were behind you move ahead to compound the traffic. Sometimes you can quickly switch lanes again and rejoin the one you left just when you see your mistake; sometimes you can't.

As we all travel the course of life, there are times our various lanes appear to be slower than the next lane... Our marriages, promotions, finances, social status among others. The temptation, as we see the other lane moving fast, is to switch lanes. The risk we take is, we might be right or wrong in deciding to change lanes: leave that man or woman, quit that job, consider that deal, travel and go hustle for the cash.

  There are times the best choice you will ever make is to change the lanes; at other times you are better off if you stayed where you are and as they say, endure the night of weeping while you wait for joy to come in the morning.

I know some good people who now wish they are still with their exes, some wish they can re-apply for that job they hurriedly quit without even showing the traffic indicator, some people wish they never made that journey; now they don't even have money to buy a plane ticket to return home. For others those choices were the best decisions of their lives.

One thing which is unpredictable is what lies ahead. I realize that as we do all our calculations and change lanes, some Trotro driver suddenly slows down, building a heap of cars behind it. The lane you moved away from suddenly picks up speed because the car which was slowing down the lane has stopped or has also changed lanes...sometimes to join the very lane you have now join.

I cannot tell you not to changes lanes on the road; God knows I change lanes on the highway more than I can count. But I can tell you that you need a lot of patience and prayers before you change the lanes of life. Some changes can cost you a life time of misery as you watch the people and places you left behind thinking you were out pacing them, suddenly come and ride past you leavingh you behind. You left to leave others behind but you end up leaving to be left behind.

Don't toy with your steering wheel in the lane of life... No lane on the road is empty.

~The Sage and Patriarch, George Sebastian~

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


 Many parents worry when they think of the influence that is likely to be exerted on their children by their peers. These worries are genuine and every parent should have them. As a matter of fact for a parent to worry about the safety of their children outside of home is a first step towards accepting the fact that the open world has everything - good or bad - to offer children.

This acknowledgement should push parents into finding solutions to these fears. It is rather unfortunate that most parents, though they acknowledge these problems, do not end up with solutions to them.

  Children are easily influenced and it is of great import for parents intending to raise proper children to take a “little time out of their busy schedule” to ensure that their children are always keeping the proper company. 

Children make friends with their others of their age range. Within this level friendship there is an intensive interaction which, if parental control is lapsed, can replace the appropriate training the child needs.

At tender ages when children meet, they make and unmake many decisions. One kid with a proper training will spell out the rules and regulations that govern his home only for another kid with a bad grooming to give a counter argument. They give reasons why it is not always necessary to follow laid down rules and regulation and how it is easy to get away with it. With the natural adventure that lurks in every child, and without much thought about the consequences, they suddenly find that being a rule breaker might be interesting.

As a parent, the degree of this influence on the child and how it impinges on your efforts at giving the child a proper training depends on many things including the age of the child, the number of friends they have and the percentage of these kids who are from good home – remember it is not practically possible for your kid to always walk with ‘saintly kids’. If your kid is predominantly keeping the company of  kids from good homes, there is a possibility they are going to be positively influenced the reverse is also true that predominantly bad company keeping will have a corrupting effect on the child.

The age of the child as mentioned earlier and their self esteem can also inform the degree of influence that is likely to be exerted on them by their peers. Children who move with older friends are likely to imitation the behaviors of their older friends whether it is bad of good. The self esteem of a child also has an important effect on the child as they relate with others. Children with poor impression about themselves are more vulnerable to peer influence whether good or bad.

But the crust of the case is that every parent wants to be sure their children are safe and are really growing up in a proper and acceptable way both in the family standards and in the social expectations. The unfortunate thing, however, is that they do little to help things go the way they expect.

But there is hope! That is parents cannot be totally helpless as far as their children’s upbringings are concerned. There are safeguards every parent can put in place to ensure that their children are keeping the right company.


The first step for every parent to take to ensure that they know at any point in time who their children are with and what they are doing, is to make provisions for them in the house. Provisions are to be made for learning, for playing, for free expression among others.

Whenever children go out of their home, it is for two basic reasons: either to play or learn with friends. If any one of these two or both apply to your child, provide that environment home. But that is not an end in its self; encourage them to bring their friends home. That will be the starting point in what I call sifting through. If your children go out to learn at their friend’s home, provide that same conducive environment home. It can be a standard study or it can be a writing board mounted somewhere on the porch. But wherever it is it has to be where you can keep an eye on them.

If they go out to play you can bring that experience home.

I did not grow up with sophisticated toys, but my house was certainly the centre of all the games and things that made kids happy: picture books, work books; they were all there. Their was this small pitch in front of the house opposite – it was a guest house for Ghana Standards Boards at Anaji Estates in Takoradi. It was our football pitch until Christmas – then it became the site for our Christmas palm fronds tent. But be sure I owned the football.  The street in front of our house was not a busy one so we made it busy by running self-made wooden sit-in cart and tin toy cars.

Then there were our three dogs: Percy – mummy, Cyborg – the castrated first born and Billy - the castrated user-unfriendly one. I made it a point to dress them occasionally with my old clothes, and they loved it. And they even loved it more to see all the kids in the area running after them wherever they went. You should Percy wiggling her tail and forgetting that she is a dog and has to be fearsome.

At Christmas time we made cannons from bamboo trunks and carbide, and guns from exhaust pipes and matches.

All the games took place in my house.


Since children don’t usually play alone but in the company of others, encourage your children to bring their friends homes even if such visits come with some inconveniences.

In the event that your child’s friends are refusing to come home with them, it could be one of these reasons;
  • Your house is not welcoming enough – the general set up or your personality as a parent. If your children are scared of you or not comfortable around you, be sure they will even encourage their friends to stay away from their house. 
  • Again the absence of proper infrastructure for playing or learning will definitely push your children’s friends from your home. What are they coming to do there!
  •  It could also be that they are also of equally good homes where their parents also expect their friends to come home to visit.
  • It could also be that your children are moving with friends who are straight up a bad influence who cannot have their way in your house therefore choose to stay outside. These types of friends are always sure to be where they are comfortably out of reach of all authority.
However because you must know who your child is with it is important for you as a parent to find out why these kids are not coming to your house. If it is your personality that is keeping them out, then it is time you make some concessions and changes for the sake of your child. You cannot hold on to what is inimical to the development of your child and yet expect to have the best of that child.

Knowing your child’s friends is pivotal to establishing the root causes of certain behavior or predicting future behavior and therefore taking effective measures to handling them.

You will have to change for the sake of your child; your personality should be approachable enough for your children to be comfortable with you and go on to bring their friends home. 

Parents should keep it in mind that the worst or best of their children are noticed when they are in the midst of their peers. And since the only way to see this is when they are with their friends, encourage them to bring them home...otherwise you would have to do the opposite – go with them to their friend’s house…to play with them!!

If it has to do with the proper infrastructure for effective learning or play toys, then parents should try to make a few available for the child’s use. It need not be expensive learning or playing gadgets; improvising on the part of the parents will do as long as there is something to play or learn with, good enough to make a kid stay home and bring in their friends as well.

If it is a learning space, you have to improvise: a corner of your living room or your porch can be converted into a study for your kids; do it!!! That is one of the price you have to pay today for a certain future that will come.

It could also be that your child’s friend is of equally good home where their parents want to meet friends of their children. If you have such assurance, then it is ok to let your child venture into such homes, but on two conditions: firstly, you as a parent should make an effort at meeting the parents of these children – it is the only way you can be sure your children are going to be in a good home. Secondly you have to let such visit be tagged with expiry date unless it is reciprocated, so that it becomes a family-to-family thing in the long term.

Then we also have a generation of children who have effectively asked permission, and have been granted, off all forms of authority. These are either from homes where parents are overly permissive and indulging or homes where state of parenthood is non-existing. These will definitely have problems coming to your house where they know they will be under watchful eyes. They would rather want their friends to come to them so they can continue living in the kind of world they have.

That definitely makes the work even easier. Just restrain your children from moving along with such friends. But I must say it will not be easy to just tell your kid not to play with A or B; you will have to give them good reasons in an open well thought out discussions and be frank and candid about it because force or deceit seldom works.  If your effort at this is not yielding much response it is better to tell this particular friend of your child how uncomfortable you are with them around your children. Be polite but firm in this way. You might end up having to see the parents of this child to inform them of your decision and they should let their child stay away from your children.

Most often it happens that some parents might not be aware of how bad their children have become or are perceived out side and maybe your complaints might help in getting this particular child brought in line. But again don’t expect much; a crab can never reproduce a bird. You might end up reporting a misbehaving child to a hostile parent.


Do you have friends of your children who you know like you? Show special affection towards you? Visit and stay even if you kids are not around? You need to get to that level of openness!

Whenever these children come home, do not treat them passively; food-on-the-table and drink-in-the-fridge attitude is not enough. Be interest in know knowing what happened at school, the subject of their arguments, why they are suddenly quiet on the porch, why does it appear as if, without any verbal communication, some of the kids are manipulated by others. You will learn a lot.

Keep one ear on what they talk about without making it obvious, no matter how busy you are, once you are in the house occasional pop-ins will suffice.

When boys gather to play or learn, they end up “over learning” or “over playing”. If they are of the same age, they could be experimenting on just about anything from molding paper planes to playing computer games to playing with their genitals. Where there are considering age differences, there could be some form of coaching or experimenting going on somehow. Coaching could be in overt or covert forms in the areas of stealing, lying or even fighting.

The case is not so different amongst girls though the physical activities are minimal as opposed to attitudinal exchanges.

Parents should be wary of any kind of interaction between children of the opposite sex regardless of their age difference. Grown up boys can introduce sex to much younger girls while the opposite is also very true.

A colleague of mine told me of a girl in his 4-year old girl’s class. This girl was a bit older than the class average and usually played with the penis of another boy in the class.  One day while talking about what happened at school my colleague's little girl mentioned that the older girl in the class, whom my colleague knew, played with the “kakai” (a kid’s name for the sex organ in the Fante language- it is also a term for apparition or anything scary) of another boy in the class whom my colleague also knew – evidence of parental involvement. The shocked father asked the girl what was kakai and the girl pointed to her groin! My friend obviously had to go to the authorities of the school.

Whenever these friends come home create the environment where they can say, “Let’s ask Daddy George or Auntie Mensima if I am not the one whose is right.” Let mummy be mummy and daddy be daddy to your children’s friends. Help them bring their arguments and puzzles to you for solution; seize the opportunity to teach; build a confidence in them that will make your word faithful and your opinion the acceptable and final option.


When your children or their friends come to you for answers, as much as you can, help them and in the best way you can with all pleasure. It is only when you are willing to listen to them that you will really know how children think; what their perceptions of the world around them are how they are experiencing it. This will help you determine the chaff in them as well as the wheat. And when you know this, you don’t have to learn it in the hard or the embarrassing way.   

It is the only time you can authoritatively teach them what is right or wrong. They came to you so you taught them. It always work better than when you follow them around with lessons. When children are taught something and they accept it in the presence of others, it becomes very difficult to change.

Through this occasional interactions you will learn your children’s and their friend’s preferences, temperaments, emotional inclinations, intelligent levels among others. This will, to a large extent, tell you what they are learning at school, from friends, and even from the homes where they come from (in case of your children’s friends.)

These revelations will aid to constructively, in the case of your children, and subtly, the case of their friends, offer feed-backs and reinforcements to them. You encourage positive behaviors and discourage negative ones.

In a family of one-child this is very important much as families where the age gap between the kids are so wide to encourage specific interactions. Parents will definitely rely on the peers of their children to learn much about them.


After a considerable period of time, you can really tell each of these friends easily. That is when you will have to tell which kid can continue to be entertained in your house or indeed as friend to your child.

It will not be easy again to split good friends and as a parent you will need utmost tact to accomplish this. you just can’t throw out a kid you have entertained for a while. For this very reason, your ultimate goal in knowing these children is to train your child properly and affect positively their friends. If after a while you can prove unruliness on the part of any child then you would have to make that ultimate decision which will be difficult but possible.

Even in this situation it is always prudent to talk to the parents of these children; they could be angels at home and demons outside and such information to their parents will be a welcoming one for the child’s own good. It can also set their parents on the path of reform which will eventually transform their homes and eventually their children.

~PG Sebastian~
2005. All Rights Reserved.


The act of sex is a spiritual thing. Since sex is the ultimate expression of love between two people, it should be undertaken by two people who have agreed to live their lives together and be as the Bible puts it, become one flesh. In its reality, it is not just the merging of two flesh, which is physically impossible but the merging of two souls and their spirits. It is in this knowledge that sex, in many societies is ideally placed as a post marital encounter.

Anyone who gets into a sexual relationship goes into a spiritual bond with their partner, a bond that won’t easily be broken. And as long as that bond exists, the partners will always seek each other. If it is a sexual relationship between unmarried persons, the drive to seek each other, which is not socially bound because there is no marriage, will most often drive one partner or the other into another person’s arms since the other person they established that bond with might not be available at that time - or they might have moved on.

Since the soul cannot find that bond in this new person, it will not be satisfied and would want to go on searching. Unfortunately, it would have created another bond with this second person and therefore one soul would be seeking two souls it might not get. The scattered nature of such a search will drive the soul more and more to different people to find what is is seeking but cannot find. And the more it seeks the more it bonds itself with others and become more unsatisfied.

Let us not look at it as a spiritual abstraction, but a reality. Every soul operates in a body and the body responds to the desires of the soul and the spirit. And as long as these intangible and controlling parts of our beings are not satisfied, they would drive us to their bidding.

The practical manifestation of this is that anyone who has had promiscuous relationships finds it very difficult to stick to one partner. They might stay but will still look around. Those who prove faithful do so because most often, the condition to go else where might not exist. Most of such people easily fall when they are subjected to intense temptation.

Again, married women/men with premarital sexual experiences with people other than their partners are more likely to sleep again with those people from their past or with other people than people whose only sexual experience is with their partners.

It is again easy for people who have had multiple sexual relationships to break relationships; premarital or marital ones. This is all so because of the different bonding the soul has undergone and therefore its lack of definite channel of flow. 
Every parent would want to see their children grow up to be responsible parents of their own. If this will happen, they need to teach them to abstain from what they cannot handle once they touch it. No individual is ever the same once they have had one form or the other of a sexual encounter. It is easier for victims of sustained physical abuse to be rehabilitated than victims of rape even though they all happen on the person of the individual. It is easy to rehabilitate and completely set free a drug addict than to separate a person from sexual addiction. it is spiritual and an integral part of every human which stems from within. Every other addiction is introduced into the body or the spirit and therefore can be removed. 
Let us take care of our souls and spirits well, aside them, we are just dust.
 ~PG Sebastian~ 

Sunday, 4 November 2012


Relax…nothing lasts forever. Do not kill to have anything today and do not kill yourself over anything today. It will be of very little worth tomorrow…

How much did you pay for your first Cell Phone sim card when mobile phones were introduced in Ghana in the late 90s? The equivalent of $100? How much is it now? Less than 50 cents!

Remember the black and white TV you had to go and stand in people’s windows to watch? Or the color TV you had to pay to watch? Now there is something called 3D smart TV…and over what period? Less than 30 years! I remember when CD players were the hot stuffs; Our neighbor brought a Grundig 5-Piece Machine with surround sound from France. Boy… I hated my dad for not having that machine in our hall... Good ol’ 80s. I remember how you could build your own speakers or get one from the electrician around the corner. There was no 5.1 home theatre set. Infrared was the ish… But God bless Wifi and Bluetooth of today.

I was thinking of what I was doing exactly 10years ago this morning when I was on my way to the office… I remember I was dreaming of how I could raise money to buy a Nokia 3310… I remember when a friend sent me my first cellphone from England after praying and fasting about it… Siemens… Amber Screen… I had to split my pocket money in Half to afford a Buzz (Now Tigo) Chip…0277758527 … I think… Somewhere in March this year, 10years down the lane, another friend right here in Ghana Dashes me A Samsung Galaxy Note. Wow… I could draw on a glass and send it through the air into my inbox! It would have been almost a heresy to say such a thing 20years back.

I remember how having an automatic car was almost impossible. The Smiling Benz and the V-Booth, the Citroens and the Opel Omegas (And I learnt how to drive with an omega)…Now we have cars with sensors to sense everything, cameras and GPS…oh and the ones that talk back at you… Soon we will get one with An AFRICAN ACCENT.

You had to have jeans trousers as big as china; it had to sag, it had to be faded…it had to be called Karl Kani or FUBU. You needed Timberland ‘Combat’ footwear to go with it and a huge tee shirt of similar designer. Your hair was either Jelly curled, Punked or sloped with an ‘aboy’ boldly perching somewhere over your head. Now people even don’t want hairs on their heads again…and those who want it, want it Brazilian or Afro…or braided! As for the dresses, I now wonder if we are wearing any at all today… and those men who would have been heckled as faggots for their choice of dressing, are now freely promoting all these ‘skin-tight’ fashion. Young Money Fashion I call it.

You had to stay in Cantonment or Dansoman to know whatsup… now you know where is up. You had to go to Tech or Legon to be counted as a true university graduate… Do people still say Legon is the only uni in Ghana? Seriously? Smh...!

You see, at every point in time, there is something that would come up strong and make you feel that you need to have it; own one so you can also be counted as being a part of the system. And in the pursuit of it, we pierce ourselves with many affliction and woes.

Somewhere in 2005, the Ministry of health gave brand new cars to doctors and nurses on loans. All of a sudden, someone who had been doing ‘trotro’ bus or some ‘alatsa’ car for as long as they could remember, woke up driving a brand new Honda Civic or Fiat Palio. Some fresh graduates who didn’t know the difference between an accelerator and a gear, have found themselves taking fresh cars from the Showrooms because of flexible car loans from their companies…

So why would you want to go to any extent and do anything just to get someone buy you a secondhand corolla, or rent a house for you at East Legon or buy you a plane ticket. Whatever it is you are dying to have today will be of little or no value tomorrow; it would be so affordable to you you would realise you did not have to make all the sacrifices you made in getting it earlier… it is like spending GHS1,000.00 or more to Customize your number plate only to realise the vehicle you thought was one-in-town has become so common in a matter of 6 months you wish you were not even driving one.

Life changes. Our experiences and circumstances change. Events beyond us may rapidly change our lives, bringing things that seemed so far from us closer than we could ever imagine… You do not have to get something at all cost today. Yes some opportunities are once in a life time…but that does not close the doors to other opportunities.

Relax, don’t go chasing life, you can never fully comprehend and take hold of it. And if you make it your dream to do so, you will soon realise that you are denying yourself your sleep and peace. Our modern society and its culture of I-gotta-have-that is fueled by greed.

The best of your days are ahead of you. Grab what you can get today while you ride through life’s highway, when something slips out of your hand or it is found to be beyond your reach, be optimistic that all is not lost…Don’t stop and attempt to get what slipped at all cost.

They say the beautiful ones are not yet born; I say there are beautiful ones with us and there are those who yet to be born…if you can’t find one now, take it easy… there will be one tomorrow…

Think of the many silly things you did for love….look back and ask yourself, if would you have done the same thing for the same people for the same reason today?

~PG Sebastian~
2012 All Rights Reserved


It is getting very worrying the way young people who are supposed to be in serious relationships [and sometimes marriages] are living and sustaining these relationships through chat clients like Whatsapp, BBM and Facebook chat. Seriously, we need to get a wee bit serious with the important things in life; like our love lives. How on earth can you do it all in letters and emoticons and abbreviations? 
Your partner wants to hear it in your voice when you tell them you love them. When they offend you and apologize, they want to see forgiveness on your face via Skype or something if distance is your challenge, not a simple 'k' or 'ayt no p'. Who builds a future with stuff like that?

What is with the LOL? Is that all she gets for being humorous? She wants to hear it in your voice, bro, in the pauses and breaks, in your chuckles and straight up rolling on the floor laughing out loud. He doesn't want to hear 'network issues' when you pause the chat; for all he knows you are multi-tasking or worse, multi-chatting when it is supposed to be a very personal moment for the two of you.

How on earth is a serious relationship sustained when for 72 hours a lady or a guy can tell you they have not spoken with their partner and there is nothing wrong with it; they are okay with the chats. There is that lady in his apartment who gives a proper laughter to his jokes; who knows the extent of whatever is bothering him by just hearing his voice. It is not an emoticon business, it is not charlie-am-not-well chatting business... it is when-you-haven't-told-me-but-I-can-straight-up-pick-it-from-your-voice-that-something-is-wrong business!

How much can you learn from a person by just chatting with them? The I-miss-you and the I-love-you and the we-need-to-talk must come with a voice. It is bad enough that you can't see each other often; but for your own good get off the chats! 
How much does it cost to buy a call credit to make that call. I am not talking about 30 mins call. I am talking about hearing their voice. 15Minutes every morning, 15 every evening on the average will help a great deal. Sometimes you might have to stay a little longer, sometimes you might make it shorter, but how much will it cost you really? After you have spoken with them, you can choose to make the rest a chat business. 
Besides, there is a plethora of VOIP apps like Tango, Viber and the rest... And it cost only your data; a lot cheaper then the unnecessary videos you stream on YouTube.   

So in the end two people come to stay together as a husband and wife and they realize they are still strangers. They flow better with other people; some other guy in the office or some other lady from somewhere but not with their partners! They flow better when they get behind phone keypad console but not face-to-face with each other. They realise that all the I-love-you were just mechanical; there was no life in them. They realise that when they say they are sorry they still keep a wicked frown on their faces and murmur all day. When they say goodnight, it is just to get off the chat and start another chat with someone else! So people come together and they realise the letters and emoticons did not mean anything! So people come together and they realize, if they had spend a little bit of time and money to talk on phone, they might not have even gone on to marry.

Please let us give meaning to this thing called love, relationship and marriage; we cannot take the life out of it. People live in the same house, sleeping on the same bed and still manage to live a lie, and you think the few, opaque chats are safe and enough an evidence of love, think again. True love makes meaningful sacrifice and I am telling you, do not settle for letters and symbols; somethings are best kept old fashioned.

If you are a culprit, please it cost nothing to call and say good morning, how was your sleep and all that...for just a few minutes. And the same at the night. And if you are a victim, the next time they pop-up online to chat.... text this back... WE NEED TO TALK...VOICE.

~PG Sebastian~
2012 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 20 October 2012


The teen age is the most unsettling stage in all of the various stages of a child’s development. It is the period where adolescents struggle to carve out their identities and gain a measure of independence from authority, at the same time trying to maintain parental approval of them. It is a period where they suddenly wake up to the realisation that there are many issues to address urgently. They suddenly see beyond authority and openness towards the family and start seeing themselves: independent and matured enough to make lifelong choices.

It is a period they wish they knew it all and understood it all but they do not want to ask for this knowledge from authority. This is because by that gesture they would have submitted themselves to authority and become dependent on it, the very thing they are trying to be rid of.  It is a threshold between self-awareness and independent perception of the world as opposed to naivety and controlled perception of the world.

As they struggle to be independent and carve out their individuality, teenagers become secretive and independent thinkers and going beyond that, demand respect for their views. Unfortunately their inability to go through it all alone or handle that independence they are trying to wrest out of their parents and authority in general, tend to put them a step away from the precipice.

In their loneliness and frustrations they go through many challenging experiences and temptations. They become desperate and are prone to making decisions that will satisfy them momentarily while the long term effects are pushed to some distant future.

Being at this stage in one’s development is like being led to a thousand doors the entrance of each one leading to a whole complete maze of possibilities, alternatives and choices each one having their own endless consequences. And every day a teenager smiles at the rising sun he is beset with thousands of such doors. Each day they walk up the street they make and remake choices that affect them in the short term  and the long term. 

Teenagers, in going through that stage may choose either to flee peer pressure or to give in; either to try drugs or not; experiment with sex or not. They even choose whether they really want to continue depending on authority or be rid of it; whether they want to continue opening up to their parents or not.

Parents, at this stage, more than any other stage, should therefore provide that kind of support and show the sort of concern necessary for the child to always feel the hope of coming back whenever they feel the need to.

Rebellion among children begins here. The slightest lack of tact and any intentional effort at keeping the child in their rightful place is a fertile ground for breeding rebels in the home. However, a balance intervention, positive exhortation, quality proactive communication from parents and prompt response to teenage needs will help both parents and their teenagers.

At this stage, if your children will seek freedom and independence: give them a measure of those two and demand accountability and responsibility; respect the changes that are taking place on their physical persons and respect their need for privacy; appreciate their broadening perception of the world around them and use every opportunity you have to tactfully explain things to them. Do whatever you can by way of a balanced intervention, but for rebellion sake don’t intrude! You have led the way for the past 15 or more years, it is about time you walk hand in hand, side by side for the rest of the way!

Teens have countless questions and they demand answers to them. Make yourself relevant to them and be a one-stop centre for solutions. That is the only way they will always come to you rather than going outside for solutions. There is no such time as the right time. Whenever they ask questions, know they are not being impulsive; they have thought hard about it and have gathered the courage to ask! Remember most importantly that they also have in mind someone else they would be talking to in case they don’t get satisfactory answers from home.

With this in mind determine to be the only place where genuine information could be downloaded and therefore a surety that they will always come back to you than go to any other person.

Parents should avoid short yes-or-no answers in handling their teens. Every opportunity that presents itself, and they come rarely, should be moments of building closer ties, bridging the parent-child gap and going all out to be of help to them. 

Parents should be honest with their teens by helping them to trust them. You should let them know your fears, share relevant part of your past experiences with them and let them have a little insight into your concerns. That will be the only way they can understand and sometimes appreciate some of the actions you take. At this stage, any misunderstanding would be misconstrued to be another attempt by you to keep them leashed, all the good reason why they must be rid of you.

The communication that goes on should be quality, and proactive from the end of the parents. Parents should not, however, go snooping around because they want something to talk about. If you have nothing to say, just shut up. It should be at your teen’s convenience. Don’t let it look as though you are going to benefit from the subject of whichever conversation you get into. Sometimes you may talk at length without really saying anything; but you might have spoken volumes! You would have opened the door for future conversations.

At times, depending on family circumstances, teenage needs may go beyond emotional and psychological into material needs.  And in this era of fashion and proliferation of many things that enhances the outlook of teens, like phones and cars and the ability to feel in control financially, the temptation on the teenager to give in to a tempting situation in order to get these goodies are more than ever. 

Parents can throw up their hands in despair because they don’t have the money to meet those needs, or they can do something! Openly let the child know the circumstances at home. It is not enough for daddy to tell mummy there is no money and expect her to tell the children, directly or indirectly! It has to be discussed somehow and in an open and candid way. Let the children know what efforts are being made to sort things out and the circumstances that have made things the way they are! Most importantly, paint a brighter picture about the future; either theirs through the kind of education you are giving them or the kind upbringing they are getting, or a future in your life as a parent because of your expectations that things will work out pretty soon. Silence seldom works. 

Even couples sometimes assume that the other is rich but are refusing to help financially, how much more your children, who see you going in and out looking all good and in control? They would easily conclude you are for yourself and not for them. You do not want your teenagers to think that way about you. 
Teens are apt to develop some attachment towards their parents when they feel that sense of honesty in them; it is human nature! Cry with your child if you have to! 

For your children, to know your childhood failings and triumphs; your fears and aspirations and what you have been able to achieve and what you have failed to achieve, is a big leap over the field of parent-child relationship to the field of friendship. Let them know why you think you failed and what you could have done but did not do for whatever reasons. Let them even suggest what they would have done if they stood in your place. Sometimes we need to tell the story as it is. 

Intimate secrets are never treated as old school nonsense by teenagers; they are rather received as priceless lessons in life that can help them guide their own lives. 

For any parent to pretend they never went through any of these struggles is a denial of the human nature and indirectly telling the teenager that what they are experiencing is an aberration and unnatural! Not all the stories may be comfortable to talk about, but as much as a parent can, they should find a way of identifying with the needs, fears and desperations of their teenagers in a way that will not leave them alienated and bound in their plight. 

It is important to let your teens know the effect of allowing their thoughts to be infiltrated by insalubrious things that have the propensity to create a gradually infesting hunger which can lead them into temptations!

In the final analysis many parents have issues with their teenagers because the latter wanted to have their ways and the parents involved would have none of them. It is however imperative for parents to know that primarily, whatever a teenager becomes during that stage in their development is predominantly outside of the teenager's direct control; It is really more in the control of parents. You either invest time in them while they are growing up so that their transition into the teen age and their ability to cope would be smooth, or you spend time coping and handling the various unsettling issues that come up in teenage. But of this be sure; issues will come up during the teen age and the ability to handle it well will determine to a large extent what a child becomes in the future and what kind of relationship would exist between them and their parents.

Secondly, parents should remember that they cannot expect their children to make all the right choices because they did not whilst growing up! Problems that come up are developmental, and differences of any kind should not be taken so personal as to wash one’s hands off their children.

Today determine to make better the relationship that exists between you and your teens. It does not matter how many times they may have walked on you and your counsel. We all at different stages in our lives had had conflicts with people who had our best interest at heart because we took them as nothing short of puppeteers. The funny thing is after the picture was complete, we went back thanking them!

Your teenage kids would not make it any easy for you, but you have to roll-up your sleeves and be ready to work it out for the good of them. You cannot fail in this area or you would have failed in all areas as a parent.

~PG Sebastian~
2005 All Rights Reserved.