Building Relationships We Can All Be Proud Of

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

OFFICIAL WELCOMING OF MANDELA INTO THE AFTERLIFE BY OSAGYEFO DR. KWAME NKRUMAH

The is based on a work by PG Sebastian www.pgpedia.org. In this article, Kwame Nkrumah, the leader of the African Leaders' Quarters in the Land of the  Glorious Dead Welcomes Mandela, their newest member. The Article was written and read by PG Sebastian in the Voice of Nkrumah Just before he died.

Friday, 6 December 2013

OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OF THE WELCOMING ADDRESS TO NELSON MANDELA AT THE OTHER SIDE

THE OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OF THE WELCOMING ADDRESS ADDRESS TO NELSON MANDELA

DELIVERED BY OSAGYEFO DR KWAME NKRUMAH



Sir, it is with great honour and humility that we all gathered here this very exciting moment welcome you as one of our own. A mighty and accomplished son of the land has joined us today, not as a fallen hero as the living would want to believe, but as a legend and an immortal for all time.


We have waited for this day for a long time. We have stood at the gate of time and eternity hoping and praying for you to be free and feel ageless again. Alas, today you have obliged us and joined the choicest array of gallant men whom through their sweat, blood and back, have fought every kind of battle to make the lot of our people a better one.


Some of us were given bad names and hanged, like the proverbial dog. You, however, most wisely, learnt early enough the art of sleeping with the enemy in the same bed and slipping out with your throat intact. I bet we all could have learnt a few tips from you. [crowd laughs]


It is however, important we state that the task ahead of those who are alive and are attempting to walk in our shoes is a huge and tremendous one. You would all appreciate my daily trepidation as I sit here and watch petty politics and misguided ambitions take their eyes off the focal point of their shots. 


In the 50s, we took a shot at the future; a future where the African was capable of managing his own affairs; a future where the black man was not disadvantaged because of his skin colour. We looked at a future where doors opened to the black man because of what he was capable of bringing to the table – economically, intellectually, ideologically and politically. It was a future where anybody from any part of the imperialist world would visit us and leave with all doubts erased about our competence and ability to take our mutual destiny into our hands and carve out our names across the skies with Iron Indelibility. 


Our desire was to turn clockwise the wheels of industrialization, Education, infrastructure, health, Science, Commerce, commercial agriculture, effective and equitable tax regime and a complete control and harnessing of our natural resources in such a manner that makes it a natural consequence that we control the pricing of such "economy-movers". [Crowd cheers] We desired to build a future where standing armies were well trained and equipped to deal with any conflict and have a say in the world of defense. I once saw a future where we were also armed to the teeth with every conventional and hi-tech weapon that technological advancements could permit us to have so we could ward off any aggression from any part of the world.

Ambitious but achievable were our desires – and it was not because they were us-driven, NO! What we carried was immaculate conception and what drove it was the hand Of heaven itself! [thunderous applause with standing ovation] But well we were given bad names and hanged. From the days of Steve Biko to Brother Ghaddafi, Leaders who opposed imperialist agenda have been martyred in order to silent us. I mean Ghaddafi was the extreme, but hell, you do not kill a man like that in the name of revolution. That is gross. [Crowd goes into a frenzy. Mandela bows his head]


Look around you Madiba, look at all the faces that have gone down; some painfully, some peacefully. One thing I know you have learnt to do is to live with your enemies peaceably. Here you will have to live with some of your cruellest oppressors, like Tolbert and Doe are doing. And I am sure you realise Afrifa and Ankrah are sitting close to my left flank. We all share a common vision and goal: To pray that what we were not able to do, those who have followed us would sober down, keep calm and screw their heads on well and get to the business of the day and not be distracted by bantering media personalities. 


We welcome you Nelson Mandela, enjoy your stay. In the course of the day a lot more of our comrades will come and see you. We assure you of our support during this adjustment period. Feel at home and feel safe. Please my office is opened unto you.

[Crowd cheers and mutter words of welcome to Mandela]


Thank you.  

Saturday, 30 November 2013

LESSONS FROM A HARDWARE SHOP ON THE AFLAO ROAD... BE PROACTIVELY VISIBLE

I woke up this morning with work on my mind; cobwebs to remove, dirty laundry to do, painting works to ensure done and similar household chores society has reserved for unsuspecting husbands. I realized we did not have a ceiling brush at home and the broom was not in good shape so I decided to drive out to get some. 

After driving for about 2km, I found a chain of hardware shops on the Aflao Road. I slighted off the road and entered the premises. There were three shops. Two sold building materials among others, the third one sold electrical fittings. 

I had my eyes on the two shops that sold the building materials. There were two ladies sitting in one shop and two guys sitting in the other shop. Just when I was stepping out of the car, one of the two guys saluted me and I nodded in response. What do you think happened thereafter? I walk straight to his shop and got what I wanted and went to sit in my car. While I was driving off I realized the two ladies were looking hard at me. 

One thing struck me as I drove out and off: The importance of attracting attention to one's self.

There were two shops selling similar items under the same roof under similar conditions. Why did I choose one over the other? Yes, it could have been the nearness of one to where I parked over the other; it could be that I saw what I was looking for in one shop as soon as I parked, it could be that I knew one shop owner better. Many reasons could have accounted for my choice. The truth, however, was that none of the above was the reason for me choosing one shop over the other. For me, the decision was solely influenced by the personal effort made to attract my attention by the elderly man who tended one of the two shops. 

In Ghana there is an adage that goes like, 'good beads do not speak out loud'. It is like saying Lamborghini need not run an ad to attract customers. As much as it is true, the question is, 'is Lamborghini in the market for everyone to buy?' The answer clearly is no! Lamborghini has its own clientele that will always look for it with or without an ad. And so are good beads; they have kings and queens and rich folks who know their worth, who look for them. It is an error to look at life from that perspective; these ostentatious goods are not for everyone.

The fact that something is done on the quiet side does not mean it will attract curious eyes and assume value. In other words, silence is not a good indicator that people will start looking for you. In fact being silent about who you are, what you are capable of doing and what you can bring to the table is a recipe for dying uncelebrated. Unless you are an Emir in a gulf state or the reclusive investor who just bought Microsoft, Apple and Google in a series of strange and bizarre takeovers. With that, you can be sure people will dig deep and fly high just to find you.

For everything else, there is the absolute need to be proactive in attracting people to yourself. In your daily work at the office, note that there are more aggressive people all eying and counting the day that seat above will be vacant. There are people who are going the extra mile, either by meeting set corporate targets, closing huge business deals, being at the forefront of corporate innovations and finding smart and exciting ways of going through the same old boring routines. You cannot afford to go to work and be lost behind your desk, answering phone calls, replying e-mails, giving quotations, working on ledgers and going through the backbreaking routine and being lost in the line. 

You must attract your boss's attention, your boss's superior, their colleagues, your own colleagues in a way that carves a niche for you to the point where a specific aspect of the job is always synonymous to you. 

Everyday, people are taken to the altar. Are they necessarily the good people getting married? Absolutely not. I hear over and again how the good people are single and the 'crazy' ones are getting married en masse. I say, how are you attracting attention to yourself? How visible are you? How proactive are you to be taken? How well have you positioned yourself? 

You do not expect to be married if you are a single person whose friends are from same sex groups. How often do you expect to meet someone of the opposite sex and how good will that once-in-a-while-opposite-sex person be? And it is even worse if you work at a place where you  are cut off from clients and you close late in the day. How do you expect to be seen? You need to be visible. If you can, change your job...unless the job is important than your relationship, then by all means keep it. You can have your roles changed, you can be in the same job, but change your social circles so you meet more people of the opposite sex. You need not necessarily start going to all sort of crazy places and do crazy stuff in order to be seen and taken. You can find a lot of decent places and decent things to do through which you can meet a great number of people of the opposite sex. 

You are on various social media platforms, and you don't even have your picture there or anything about who you are or what you do or what you stand for. How do you expect anyone to be interested in you? That is not to say go and advertise yourself on Facebook; but let's face it, the one you will meet in the church room or at a charity ball is as a stranger as the one you will on Facebook. You have been single for three years and counting...you have 1,200 friends on Facebook....trust me you want to reconsider the wise saying that goes like, 'charity begins at home.' I am not expecting you to go all silly and do silly things and get heartbroken on social media....But there is that guy or lady who is close by, who you can meet and take it off Facebook into real life. I know what I am saying!

How do you expect your partner to be interested in you and always come home to you with excitement when you are not visible? You keep your conversations few, you seem distant when they want to be close...always sucked up in one thing or the other. You cannot wait for them to get home; it is the house help who must stay awake to attend to them. You cannot break your busy routine to check up on them if their day is going well; if you could pick them up for dinner. You cannot empathize with them as their go through their daily struggles. You are lost in the chain of life's events. Between you and your partner are many things that block their view of you; your busy-ness, the children, the house-help, your friends, your family, your personal space and your sensitivity. 

Much as you think it is not a logical conclusion, your children are taking up your space; the house help is now having her word over yours and in an argument, your husband may most likely side with her.  That man, that woman is now becoming a better head or voice to reason with or listen to...what else do you want to see broken down before the inevitable happens? Infidelity, divorce, separation, loss of glitter and bond and irreversible loss of interest at home...wherever that is. 

You need to be seen to be interested in your partner, no matter how busy you are. Sometimes the proactive act is not an expensive one. For the hardware seller, it was only a salute...20 meters away from me; that was all it took for me to decide to buy from him. For you it could be a silly joke via Whatsapp....which friends forward to you and you forward to everyone but your partner. It it could be a two minute call. It could be keeping wake to dish his food out for him if for one of those days he come home late. It could be sitting and listening to her without judging when she comes home ranting and raving about work, much as you feel like putting corks in your ears and slipping into a timed-coma. Sometimes all you have to do to be visible is agreeing to cancel your schedule so you can be with them at their important moment if you know it is within your power to do it. It may be nothing that expensive... but it might end up being priceless. 

I try not to be too idealistic about many things. I try to be real. Being real is when you recognize that your partner is selfish the same way your colleague is selfish. They are all in for what will make them happy and would not hesitate to exchange you for someone who will makes them happy. Do you remember Peter gave up Jesus to save his skin? So do not be surprise when others see themselves beyond you. No one goes into anything that will inherently make them sad; everyone is drawn to pleasure and happiness, willing only to cope with pressure and pain when they know it is for a moment. 

Everyday you go to work, every time you see a colleague give off their best, it may be conscious or unconscious, but in the end, it is the top position they may have in mind and it is someone at the top who will eventually notice them and start giving them a closer watch. What do you have in mind when you go to work? Every day someone is being nice to your partner and going out of their way to be nice to them, it could be deliberate or not, but it is attention they are directing at themselves and sooner than you know, it will end up in... Our Moment-of-Weakness Story.... Our One-Bad-Mistake Story... Our Animal-Chemistry Story.... Our-Desire-To-Make-This-Permanent Story. It may not start with evil intention in mind, but will end with evil as the ultimate evidence.

In the end someone might say, but many things hold you together than just a small show of affection. After all, in my case, I did not have any emotional attachment to any of the hardware sellers when I got there, which made it easy for me to make a rational choice. You cannot say same for your relationship or marriage. I wish I can side with this view, but the truth is, when you have two people in your life, putting you at a place of confusion, what do you think will happen? One person might want to trap you with some pull factors; familiarity, children, family strings, and social barriers. The other person may also trap you with pull factors that appeal to your personal yearns; your desire to be loved, cared for, attended to, be given the optimum that is due you etc. And which one do you think works better? The social needs or the personal needs? 

In the end, your partner may stay to fulfill all social demands, but will surreptitiously crawl out in the dead of the night and gulp down to the brim, the personal needs that are available to him or her in a well situated in the fields outside of their own field.   

PG Sebastian
Copyrights 2013

Thursday, 14 November 2013

WEDDINGS, PRODIGALITY AND THE SENSELESSNESS OF DIVORCE



The cost of weddings today in Ghana is staggering. A good wedding worth the description ‘Good’ in Ghana will cost nothing less than $20,000.00 – So let’s just work with that amount. When we talk of $20,000.00 it means all the 350 invited guests plus the their gate-crusher-invited-guest’s-invited-guest of about 50 or more, will all have places to sit, something to eat and not have to reduce the plate portion so everyone can have a bite…unless it is strictly by invitation and tables are name or numbered. 

And when I talk of food, I don’t mean a sickly looking buffet table; I mean a buffet table that is likely to have everything you will find on every proper buffet table…including a roasted Duck/lamb/pork/fish or all of them. A buffet table where you are in charge of the ladle rather than some ill-dressed sweaty waiters and waitresses. 

This kind of wedding has water available as and when you request for it, and at least two rounds of drinks – soft or alcoholic. Nothing runs short. 

It also means, the Décor is on point whether the reception is at an open space [like an event center, a beach, a stadium or a garden] or in an enclosed area.

It also means good cars are arrayed, a good band/DJ is playing, a live performance by a famed group or individual and the bridal party is nothing short of four. It means the bride and the groom must wear gowns and suits bought from UK, US or Italy…or maybe Paris. I don’t know about German wedding gowns. This also means the Bouquet must be natural flowers, the rings must be White Gold and the other dresses other than the wedding apparels must be sewn by a local designer with fabrics that cost excessively expensive to wear for just a day. 

I can go on and on and on…. But for us to put all of these in proper perspective, I think it is only reasonable that we cost all the above.

Photography and Videography is at least $2,500.00…Oh yea they charge in Dollars and it comes with a good photo book which is about $250.00 – At least Kwamena Som did not disappoint me. The Ring set is around $2,000.00, the Suits, the shoes, the gowns and all the apparel for the couple for the Saturday and the Sunday is hitting $2,000.00…that is if we replace some originals with Made-in-Chinas.  If you really want to leave a lasting taste on the tongues of your guests, you won’t pay anything less than $15.00 [GHC30.00] per head for food; multiply that by the number of guests. Water is either bottled and customized or just regular bottle water; that is roughly around $500.00 for about 600 people or 300 guests all of whom will take two bottles each… if you don’t want anyone to die of thirst. The décor is going for at least $800 if you want your wedding pictures to be anything to write home about. How much do they rent luxury cars in your area? How much does it cost to groom and make up the bride? Then we have the cost of venue, the MC, the DJ and the various performances.

Ah how could I have forgotten about the programme, the invitation cards, the favours and the small cupcakes so you don’t have to cut the actual wedding cake and take it round. How can I forget the bridal party and their apparel? If you have ‘nice’ friends they will foot the bill for their own stuff…otherwise, that is another cost to deal with. 

Aaah I can go on and on…and the more I do that, the more the cost sky rockets and the more I scare some people off. 

Yes indeed not everyone wants to be profligate with their wedding expenditure; if you are blessed with a good social and family ties, that may tell positively on you. You can also choose to find smart ways of recouping your wedding cost from your guests by stating emphatically in the invitation cards that all gifts must be in cash or gift vouchers from designated shops. Besides being crafty with defraying your cost, you also prevent people from bringing you gifts you really don’t need. Can you imagine four people bringing you the same wall hanging all written in English and translated into French and sold at Melcom? You don’t intend to open a cold store; so what is with 14 ice chests? No! 

What point am I trying to make with all these ramblings and rantings? I feel like an old man who is confused with the realities around him. An Old man I am, confused, I doubt. I am surely coming to the point. 

How much return on investment will come to you if you put that $20,000.00 or more into Treasury Bills in Ghana? About 20%? How much will you make in three years if you put $20,000.00 into treasury bills? I could use some Mathematical help right now.

Don’t get me wrong; the article is not about not marrying neither is it about being unconventionally frugal in your wedding expenditure. Only God knows I might have as well been sold together with my wife and my sons and daughters to defray the cost if my wife and I had to pay for our wedding from our pocket. It was grand; glory to God for sending kings and queens who just decided to line up and ask for the budget so they can take up their share even before we started counselling. It was like they saying, relax Guys, sit back and let's take care of this. The reception was at the Essipon sport stadium, in Takoradi with an invited guests of 600 and then uninvited guests! So my point again is not about small weddings.    

My whole point is, why do people spend all that money getting married and divorce after three years? Think about it. You spend over $20,000.00 [which again is a basic expenditure], tell the entire world of your intentions, enter into covenants/vows which are spiritually, legally and socially binding, join a club of the gold ringed prisoners and then after three years, and over trivia, decide that you want to call it quits. 

Yea I know what’s on your mind; it is better to be divorced and live a happy life than to live in such a thralldom. And if the cost of $20,000.00 and the loss of potential return on investment, if you would have even invested the money, is what you must bear in your bid to buy back that freedom that is viciously turning into a dream on the brink of miscarriage, then it is worth it. I wish I could give you a levitating ovation and pat you at the back, except, divorces are not so easily executed.

I know of a lady friend whose husband told her at a point blank range, he would give her the divorce she is so looking for after she is 40 years and effectively off the market of marriage. With a man like this, can you catch any fish at the high seas? I need not tell you of the many children whose lives are being ripped apart by having to be shuffled between divorced parents… especially when one parent is like South Korea and the other, North Korea. The disparity and the challenges, ineffable.  

In this part of the world, and in this day and age, yes people don’t talk ill to the face of those who have gone through a divorce, but well they can’t help their thoughts and the juicy gossips in the comfort of their cars and homes…when they are sure no one is victoriously recording them as if it is a Hammer and Sickle job. 

So shall we not divorce? Well it is not for me to say, but this article is not about divorce either! Oh dear! So what am I raving about? 

Oookkaayyy let me say it. Make the best choice while you can when you are outside of the gold circle! Do not fear to walk out of any relationship that does not give you the best. A man or woman hoping to be married by their partner is logically to give their best and try to impress upon them they are the best choice they could ever make. If during this period of trying to please, they are rather abusive, dishonest, unfaithful, then what else would they do when they have you and you have nowhere to go? Why make excuses to keep someone who does not make an excuse when it is you on the chopping board. 

Men are marrying for the wrong reasons; women are marrying for the wrong reasons. The problem? Loyalty. 

In the 50s and the 60s, there was something called Loyalty; your parents were loyal to their work and worked there till they retired, got fired- rarely, company collapsed or they died. Employers were loyal to employees even if being loyal to them meant the company was going to go under. Your mum was loyal to your dad and your dad was loyal to your mum…or at least your grand parents were. 

Do we have that loyalty today? No. Employers and Employees are all viewing each other with suspicion...husbands and wives are viewing each other with suspicion. When there is a slight sense of problem, instead of management or employers finding solutions that will not involve cutting down on workers, the first thing they do is to downsize. When employees sense that it could be better elsewhere, they move without a moment pause. Between moving and firing, each one gives their best to the other with the singular ulterior motive of getting more from the other. The same battle rages at home in our marriages today. When the man feels there could be trouble up ahead, he start giving the woman drama the size of the Milky Way, and when the woman feels she is not getting the best utility where she is, she surreptitiously put herself up for taking by any man who can afford to pay. In between that, when the man gives a Cent, he finds ways of taking a dollar from the woman, and when the woman cooks a decent meal at home, the next request will be for a dinner in a 5 star hotel. Everything has been reduced to business models. Where is Loyalty?

Loyalty has been hijack by pirates in the Indian Ocean, Alas. 

So why seeing all these, pretend to be gods who are able to fix all things, get into marriage only to prove that Divorce is still very much at work. Ravi Zacharias puts it this way; if you jump out of a window of a high rising apartment, you do not deny gravity, you only prove it. 

Over 70% of people today who are undergoing protracted and often costly divorce will tell you, they somehow saw it coming even before they tied the knot; they were only trying to see if they could work out their differences and find well negotiated grounds.  I say, stop seeing if it would work; people usually don’t change for good, we get worse! If you think I am a liar, check the health of the Earth now and compare it to 200 years back. What you see is the reflection of our individual lives; our pursuit of self-pleasing and self-serving expeditions. 

In the end, the question is why spend $20,000.00, legal battles, social stigmas, [for some cultures] torn and haunted lives [including that of your children] spiritual challenges [in some communities] just to prove that you really can’t live with someone? Why not choose the easier way? Why not walk out now…out of that abuse and toxic miasma now that you know you can’t live with the person…believe me when I say it, it is less of a stress. You must start getting tired of him…you must get tired of her. You have prayed, cried, talked and complained; you have even involved others, why not get out, why not at least try and see if by your exit they may be jolted out of their stupor and amend their ways. Do not be a part of the divorce statistics; trust me it is worse than the heartbreaks’ statistics.  


PG Sebastian
Copyrights 2013

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

A NOTE TO THE LADY UP THE LADDER

Dear Amiga,

This is just a quick one to bring your attention to something I believe you need to know. Please, if you find yourself standing three steps up the ladder of life, be careful when you have to look down at a man standing at the bottom of the ladder. Be weary if you have to give a 'poor man' a chance in your life. Think it over again...and again. It is a decision that must not be made lightly and in the convulsive fit of love sting.

On a normal day, I would have advised you to give him a chance; after all, no one knows anyone's destiny, and what is despised today may be exalted tomorrow. However, I will not stick my neck out for an empty man who is arrogant and proud. They are the dangerous kind.

Don't get me wrong; by my reference to poverty, I am not referring to material things. A man could be poor in spirit, in his thinking, in his soul, in his choice of words, in his impression of the world around him...in his emotional disposition... and...of course in his pocket. And a man who is this poor can be abusive, possessive, controlling and manipulative. All of these traits can be traced to insecurity and unresolved personal emotional conflicts and frustration. Again, such a man is self conceited, stiffnecked, unrepentant, argumentative and does not accept any form of alleviating help that he finds is an affront on his person. Poor and Proud. Clearly, why would he feel secure when you are up there and you seem to be moving too fast for him to catch up.

Be careful when you are dealing with such a man. 
Indeed, there are many predatory young men out there wearing big talks like necklaces and bandanas, brandishing dazzling impressions of themselves yet as empty as an endless hollow in a labyrinth.

Find a man your size or one who is higher than you in something... It could be in his spiritual life, his power of reasoning and insight, his intellectual prowess, his emotional maturity...his love and his gentleness of spirit. If you cannot find such a man, then by all means look for the one with a big bank account. In the end it all comes down to one of these two things; the one who blesses your life with inner peace and joy, or the one who blesses this same life with material things. You could have both...but do not miss both. 
Remember, women do not look down at men and men hate to look up to women. So if you have to look up to a man, then make sure he is the kind you won't have problems looking up to.

If you have any sense of religion, then you know that you would be called to accept him as the head of the house... A head that is distorted, paranoid, confused and filled with poor sense of judgment is a very very nasty tsunamic business to touch down in your backyard.

Not all women are called to marry....And none of those 'So called People' you fear will talk if you do not marry, will be there when this man, poor in everything, is killing you with one hastily scripted drama or the other. I would rather you cry because you are single [but free]...of course being single is lonesome and it is OK to cry a few times and...maybe...just maybe... soil your heart with a good cuppa ice cream. But Chica, I won't advise you to cry of loneliness when you are taken by a man who cages you and isolate you from everything that means something to you...and not even consider giving you a better replacement.

Look at him well... look at how he carries himself... You do everything for him... He thinks it is your responsibility... He thinks you have not seen his kind before... And In his trying to assert his authority as the man, he abuses you. You can imagine him with a political power or a huge business deal. Do you see him reading out a million laws you must abide by? Do you see him threatening all your friends out of your life? Yea.. I see it too.

Choose the head of the family very carefully; a man who is rich in something. Of course not all men are born with silver spoons and all men don't blossom at the same time. Nonetheless, there is something that must be present before you let him in; an inner quality that can comfortably over shadow every kind of material deficiency. 
 You are the king maker; your choice will affect you and your children.

Think deep about this and look at your options well. Don't make any excuses; It is not in your time that such men will change.

In the last days the love of many would wax cold. Guess what, we are in the last days and everyone is for him or herself. Be for yourself. This is not evangelism; and even that, we are admonished to seek our own salvation with fear and trembling. This is a life time decision; do not gamble with it.

Sincerely,
PG Sebastian 
Copy Rights 2013

Friday, 1 November 2013

15 THOUGHTS ON HOW TO BRING YOUR WOMAN HOME FROM THE TRENCHES



There are a lot of couples fighting bitter protracted trench wars of never-changing boundaries. Men are insisting they are the bosses, whether they know how the baby got fed or not…whether they have built mighty mansions for their women or not. However, unlike the wars of yesteryear where the men threw the cannons and the woman squealed in howling agony, the 21st Century woman now has her own biological warfare programme, gas masks and flame throwers.


Someway somehow, someone must give in. Most often we say the woman must give in... but what if the man has his own problem which fuels every action or reaction the woman is exhibiting? I may not get it entirely correct but I think men can do more to be reasonable and responsible heads, bringing their wives and families along in a mutual, all inclusive manner rather than a slave driver style of leadership where the man is the Law maker, the enforcer, the judge and the jailer.


I have put a few things down that can help families bring their blistering battles to an end. The focus is more on the man. I picked the points from an earlier article I wrote in 2010.

1.    If you are dealing with the 21st Century woman [and God bless you if she has exposure and she is socially active and well educated] the last thing you want to do is to pit yourself against her in anything. Do not be her enemy and adversary. She is naturally opinionated and defensive, willing and able to fight to the end to defend her mental, emotional and intellectual turf. Reason with her and allow her the space to say NO to you… say all you can say and do all you can do, but don’t draw your sabre. 


2.     your strength does not lie in your ability to insist on your way using every means necessary or frightening people into submission. They seldom work. The strength of a man is found in the gentleness with which he approaches and handles issues. Rage and temper tantrum is the preserve of weak men. [a portion of a song by Men of Integrity]  

 
3.     There are three major types of family Authorities – whether from Parents to the children or from the man to the rest of the family: Authoritative headship, Authoritarian headship and Indulging headship. The best for you is to be an Authoritative head [you can read on the rest] An authoritative father figure, commands respect; his arguments regarding general issues and critical issues of life are informed. He is experienced in his area of expertise and his directions, when given and heeded, lead to the intended result in most cases. They lead their families along their thought lines and actions; they don’t drag them along. They allow everyone to share their opinion and divergent views are always welcomed. No one is the jar and no one is the tea cup. There is a healthy horizontal and vertical flow of thought, views and impression. Everything is a two way affair, not a one way affair, from man to wife. 


4.     Do not under estimate your own socialization [upbringing and background] and hers. They have a huge impact in your world outlook and hers. She has a way of doing things, something she might have picked up from home or her various endeavours of life. Unless it is bad by all standards, you do not force her to abandon them because they do not suit you. If she is not coming along with you, do not drag her, work with her. She will change one day… [though I cannot promise you that change] Your thought processes are not the same. Your impression and interpretation of the world will continually differ. For you to understand her, you need to enter her mind and think like the way she thinks and see things the way she does. And the opposite is true for her. 


5.     In this day and age with such a modern woman as a wife, you cannot replicate your past and your family of orientation. You cannot demand obedience, you cannot demand submission; you cannot demand affection and support to mention just a few. Everything has to be earned. You need to give her reasons; by actions, by the quality of your reasoning or by result-evidence why certain things must be done or go the way you think they should go and why you are due certain things.How many times do you reason and argue your points across with an open mind. Most likely you will ask, but would she even listen? Yes she won’t because you have lost your authority to be relevant and make a lot of sound arguments. Because of this, her default thought about you is that of ‘Mr. I-want-you-to-come-along.’ And in order to prove the futility of your stance, her default response to you is, ‘make me come along’. Such a person is always defensive, and always looking for ways of putting you out. Every argument or conversation becomes, ‘who scored the most points’ and not ‘what are we doing to chart a better course for our common future.’ You live like competitors always striving to outdo each other rather than help each other.


6.     Where the two of you have reached, you don’t need to get her attention before you have a conversation with her; you will never get it. She will never sit to listen, and her mind would be switched to her default position towards you even if she sits to listen. With time, if she can predict when you are likely to come with your issues, she will find reasons to swerve them. She will always be busy with one thing or the other when you are around. If you have something to tell her, if you have a point to get across, or an issue to discuss, you don’t have to call her to sit down in front of you like your dad did to your mum or to you and your brothers. Anytime someone sits in front of you at your summons, the person feels they are the weaker party and their position in the case prejudiced against. Such a person unconsciously builds resistance even before they hear you out. Never sit with her face to face, sit with her facing the same direction; it shows equality, it shows the two of you are looking at one thing in the same direction. If you have been trying the early morning wake-up-and-lets-talk approach, maybe the time has come for you to revise it.


7.     You don’t have to mention her name or look into her eyes before you start talking. She does not want to be summoned. That simple. She doesn’t want to feel you are ruling over her. Do not demand responses when you are telling her something. Avoid feedback probes like, ‘are you listening to me?’ or ‘did you hear me?’ They only make the pill bitter to swallow. [But of course it is different if the conversation is on the phone and she is quiet, you may want to know she is there…in that case, a simple, ‘are you there’ will suffice]


8.   The time has come for you to start talking, first after a deep contemplation of what you are going to say; your tone, your choice of words, the likely implications of what you are going to say, her potential response and your counter arguments. This means you need a lot of self-control when she becomes aggressively defensive. You need a lot of patience to allow her to talk. Did you know that you are less likely to win an argument when you do not allow the other party to talk? They keep hitting at you, keep changing their story lines and appear frustrated by you. Ultimately you are seen in the bad light. Allow someone to talk, let them pour out their hearts, their points and their thoughts. Then you pick them one by one and address them. Most likely they will not have anything to say again and it won’t be easy for them to change the story nor accuse you of frustration. In fact when you allow someone to talk, you get to know their thought processes and impressions about events; that is the only way you can understand them and address their needs.

 

9.     When you start to say something, anything at all and she starts talking or arguing you out without hearing you out first, pause and let her talk; I did not say stop, I said pause. The difference is if you stop, you’ll have to start all over again; if you pause you continue from where you left off. After she finishes talking, treat it like you paused to do something else and resume without reference to what she said, unless it is relevant to the conversation and in a way that is beneficial and progressive to both of you and the topic of discussion. If it is to discourage or infuriate or rubbish what you started, disregard it. If you pick on everything she says you will never go on to say anything that is in your heart; you will be frustrated.

 
10.   You may have a prejudiced position against her. You also become defensive even if she is making sense. With a 21st Century Educated woman you cannot belittle her whether in the thoughts or arguments she espouses. Maybe if you also develop an open mind you would be more receptive to the things she says. Let her know you respect her by the way you handle things coming from her. Let her see herself as an important participant of the family relationship. Be more interested in her views and opinions.

11.  Learn to let things go. There are lot of things she knows you will respond to, so she comes up with her defense. Don’t strike when and where you are expected to strike, the other party will always have an upper hand. Learn to take the wind out of her sail. Silence is golden. A man who has a rein on his spirit and his tongue is stronger than a man who takes a city

12.   Learn to watch things pass by. Learn to let your suggestion go unheeded and temporarily learn to accept that your authority is compromised. Talk about important things when and only when you have to talk and she is around and in the mood to listen. One day you will catch her attention, then she will start listening more and more to you…it will be natural and it will be appetizing to want to listen to you. She will feel less inclined to resist and question you when you leave her without arguments or with weak arguments. She will start thinking with you when you start to build on her ideas, or reason her out of them and in their stead give something even better. It’s even better when you are someone who comes up with brilliant, workable and achievable ideas. When your reasoning and their results are the intended/expected/desirable results you start planting a seed of respect for you in her. Women want men they can look up to not the ones they can look down on.

 
13.    Do you think she doesn’t think with anyone else? She does; her family members, friends and colleagues. So you are the only person she probably doesn't think with. What it means is there is a problem with mutual-thinking equilibrium; you hardly have ‘the meeting of the minds.’ And it is frustrating when you are dealing with someone who is not thinking along.

 
14.   Try and relate with her in 3D and not in single dimension. It is not a touch-response or one-sided argument. You are dealing with a scholar so see her as such and act accordingly. Every single issue is multifaceted.

 
15.   She will never be like your mum, she will always be Miss independent, sure in herself, self-sufficient, self-conceited, self-opinionated and very voluble. You will need a lot more of tact to tame her. So far you have groomed her into a lioness.  But as I have always admonished, the Bible says the heart of the king is in the hands of God, and as a water course He turns it the way He pleases. God can turn your heart towards your wife and her heart towards you. Regardless of your failures as a husband, God still approves of your headship, so just have a serious introspection and commit the difficult designs you are dealing with into His hands. If you persist in your current path you will wear yourself out and live an unfulfilled marital life. One day you will wake up and find that she has abandoned herself to you. You will realize that she trusts you so much as to commit herself entirely to you without the fear of falling under. Until you get to that place as a man, trust me she will never give you her best. We all hope you will not have this epiphany at a time that will be too late for both of you and all of us.


I believe we can all make it work. The home is all we have.Let's fight to keep it. 

PG Sebastian
Copyrights 2013