18 Sep 2017

Dare to question and challenge



Do you dare to question the supposed culture and system of beliefs that the society in which you live amongst practice?  It takes courage born from reason. 

I was never convinced about the reasoning behind many things observed from the time I was a child old enough to think for myself. There are flaws in the system of beliefs and practices which do not make any sense. It made you question the entire system of faith practiced. There are also unfounded beliefs about how one should worship, rituals with questionable logic, ways of worship to gain favour from the gods in this life and during prayers for the afterlife.

Unwritten rules on how something should be done, autocratic,  androcentric and open to abuse social rules that put the rights of women, children and in-laws in peril or at a disadvantage. There are unfounded beliefs in the proper diet for longevity and health and what one should wear on normal days and days where certain events are observed. 

Even food, traditional recipes passed down that are found to be unhealthy to the body and places those in good health at risk from their consumption ought to be modified or done away with altogether. There is no sense in consuming something that will harm you, not even for the pride of your culture, ancestors and people. 

These are ample reasons why I can never be a traditionalist. I see too many weaknesses and gaps in logic of such practices that render them untenable for any generation except for the most unenlightened, those easily cowed into submission, those with vested interests in a position of gain and those incapable of thinking for themselves. I cannot and will not commit to something that does not make any sense to an enquiring mind, a mind that had often questioned and challenged the practices of elders from a young age.

7 Sep 2017

Identity



When struggling with questions of identity while basing it on your ethnic and familial roots, you’re missing the most significant point here.

Identity is more than skin deep or appearance. It’s more than culture, language, genetics, background and upbringing.  You can be greater than the environment that you were born in. You can be something else despite it all. You don’t always have to accept everything that you were told or comply with them. You were given intelligence with which you can plot your own path and make your own choices.

It’s what your mind is and what it can be if properly harnessed.  

What you really are beneath your physical manifestation and what you can be if you are truly sure of your powers. To attain that stage, the human mind requires nurturing, direction and constant effort invested to elevate oneself from a previous level to a higher one. If you’re spiritual, then you are firm in your faith and its foundation. If you’re logical, then you are firm in the fruits of your learning and their application to your interactions. 

Your identity at any given moment is essentially the sum of your consciousness.

25 Aug 2017

Publishers and publishing mass market need to see beyond the novel



Think outside the boxed notion of a novel. The publishing industry perpetuates the idea that unless you write a novel, you’re not deemed a writer. It’s like saying unless you write a symphony, then you’re not a music composer. Most publishers deem a 50000 word composition the hallmark of respectability and prerequisite for consideration as a candidate into the fold.

What’s a novel? A long form work of fiction. Start, middle and end, with plots and sub-plots, a build-up of tension, a climax and outcome. What about others? What if you’re a non-fiction curator of thoughts? What if you’re a poet? What of the humorist? Aren’t they too writers? You could of course split hair and say essayist, poet, playwright, script writer, short story writer, journalist, yet they are writers.  So here we are back again whereby to bestow only a certain cachet to a novelist is like saying only a symphony composer is a musician or you’re a recording artist only when you release an album. Singles, extended play recordings don’t count. 

Funny though, Shakespeare is a playwright who wrote for the stage for the masses to watch, listen and be entertained. He also wrote eloquent poetry when not writing for the stage. So does that make him any less?
If prejudice cannot be weeded from creative classification and accordance of prestige, then the arts isn’t liberal at all. 

With the hegemony of agents and acquisition editors acting as the guardians of taste and mass market interest, the easiest part is creating.  Creating itself is a challenging phase, as any creator would know. Persuading a skeptical, know-it-all coterie only open to the current trends or celebrity associated titles is the bane of many authors. If there is a shortage of open minds and open hearts in the industry, how then do you expect to accommodate divergent paths? This ails all artistic forms. How do you expect the arts to thrive when you discourage artists from making a living from their passion? I know how it feels to be turned away and turned down or coming close to acceptance but the rest of the committee isn’t convinced because they have an eye on a current trend. It’s like saying “I like your style but you’re not the stuff the market likes so we cannot sign you up” or “You’re too far away from so-and-so’s style and we are looking for that.” How would you know for sure unless effort is made to communicate a certain work by promoting it? I’m sure there are writers who are just as sick of the loop as I am. If I keep at this, it won’t end even after I’m well gone. 

That is why the self-publishing market exists and it will continue to grow with accessibility to simple publishing and distribution tools from digital shop fronts. Even this humble medium of a blog allows me to display my works and display them I will.  When you have something worthy to share, just share it. The best time is when you’re ready and not when someone else who doesn’t know you at all says you are. Don’t wait a lifetime. Don’t squander your fire while it burns bright.

9 Aug 2017

Every second of our lives



If we allocate our energies and focus judiciously in the physical and non physical realm based on the knowledge that the time we fritter away during spells of blithe carelessness is part of our finite lifespan, we would place a check upon ourselves then steer our energies towards meaningful activity.  
With awareness that our time here is finite, then it is for our own good, spent on matters where we can cast the highest benefit and impact positively to all around us.