NO IDEA IS ORIGINAL

In a conversation with a friend yesterday he said that one thing that makes all people similar is their need for attention. Old, young, good or bad it really doesn’t matter but everyone just wants to be attended to. We might go about it through different means and channels but the bigger goal is always identical, every single time. The way our brains are wired, our feelings, the actions we take, the reactions we respond with to situations are always similar, because we are all just the same people.

It starts at an early age, before we can even walk or talk actually. For instance, when a baby cries when the mother puts him down, and smiles when she picks him up to stroke him. Childhood is where our emotions, feelings and thoughts are the clearest, because this is before we develop defensive “coping mechanisms” to help us survive in this supposedly cold world. Babies want to be attended to and they play certain mind games to go about achieving such, so it’s impossible to ignore your kid when he’s crying and rolling on the floor. Babies are generally happy, because they have a positive outlook on the world. Again, this is before you discover you cannot always have your way with everyone and everything. This is before you discover actions have consequences, so you do anything recklessly and you’re know you’ll get away with it because you’re just a “baby”.

The years before teenage years are when young people start to get bitter at the world a bit. That is when you start learning about responsibility. You learn that you cannot talk to your elders in a certain way, you may not eat this and that, you must do the dishes and keep your room tidy at all times, you must do your homework before watching your favorite cartoons and you’re not to stay up at night until certain time. This is introduction to a harsh reality, especially for someone who is used to getting their way. And the problem about all these rules and responsibilities is that you have to comply or there will be consequences. Consequence is always punishment. They differ from one family to the next, on another family they might ground you, others deprive you of your favorite possessions and some just do it the old school way, straight up kick your butt (obviously not in that harsh manner).

By the time you get to the teenage years you are already fed-up. That is when the rebellion commences. You no longer do your chores thoroughly or in time, and now you no longer comply with family rules you lived by your whole primary school life. You are overwhelmed by the world. You have given up on the idea of getting the stroking and the attention you need from home that you start looking for it elsewhere. At this stage, influences on the streets start to be more powerful in your life than those at home. You have this delusion that you are experiencing unique circumstances in life and you cannot talk to your parents about them because “they would not understand”. Now all of the sudden your friends become so resourceful, so understanding, and so supportive that spending time with them is more meaningful than spending time at home. The changes in your body make it all worse; the curiosity to experiment with sex and drugs doesn’t help it either. Long story short, at this point you commit so many mistakes that you don’t even recognize as mistakes. All your life you have recognized mistakes with consequences, and now it becomes harder to recognize them since there is no one taking your cellphone from you or hitting you with a belt, because as kids get to a certain age, parents lose the will and power to apply the belt method to reinforce the sense of responsibility in their children.

The adult life is all about responsibility as well. And it gets more complex at this stage because it’s one thing to be responsible for doing the dishes, and a complete different story to have to be responsible for providing something to put on the dishes so they can be there to be washed. Responsibility is at its peak at this stage because now you’re not just responsible for certain responsibilities, but you’re now responsible for people as well. You have to work so you can provide food; have a home and the works not just for you, but for other people as well. At this point you cannot just quit your job and start traveling because if that venture fails, you’re not the only person who will be affected. The quality of your adult life is often determined by how well you did as a teenager. You can never compare a person who took extra classes, was the ambassador of the swimming team at high school, played chess on Saturdays and went to church every Sunday as a teenager, with a person who hosted all the neighborhood parties, skipped school and dated every cheerleader as a teenager. So let’s backtrack a bit, the times that went unpunished as a teenager were actually preparing you for this. It didn’t slide, it simply got banked. So being hit with a belt is nothing compared to being an unqualified barber who lives in informal settlements whilst the people you grew up with are corporate giants who drive German cars, wear Tom Ford suits and have mansions by three in every state.

The quality of your life also leads to certain feelings. No idea is original. These are feeling every one of us experiences at some point or another. We never really talk about them so we never really know that we’re not the only ones who go through such and such.

Let’s talk about love. How pure, original and unique the feeling is that no matter how hard you try to describe it you just feel that people do not really “get you”. And at that time you forget that every one of us goes through love at one point or another, and even if you remembered, you would still feel that yours is different than others, so they still do not really “get you”. And all of us, like all of us, have felt that at some point or another. We have looked at a lady with a big butt, desired her and started to fantasize about what we would do to that butt given a chance. The idea is really fascinating until you remember you’re in public and how other people might be watching and as you look around to the check the coast you realize that that other guy looking out he’s car’s window is looking at the same woman and probably thinking the same damn thing as well.

We all have hated certain people or certain situations, and the feeling was so powerful that every time you saw them you just wanted to scream ‘I HATE YOU SO MUCH!!”. The feeling of hatred is the only feeling that is almost as powerful as love. If you hate someone, they can go to Africa and cure Ebola, build schools and libraries and drop off Christmas goodies for homeless people you would still find some angle to look at it as a bad thing. Another thing about hatred is that there is a very thin line between it and jealousy. As the matter of fact, any hatred that cannot be justified using common sense is jealousy. Jealousy is cousins with pride and shame. Sometimes we are just too proud to humble ourselves and be grateful to someone for the good that they are doing, and sometimes we’re just too ashamed to admit that some people are doing better than us since we always thought that we would be the ones who do better. And everyone at some point has reacted with these responses, nothing is new. And if you think that you have never, it would not be strange at all as you would just be reacting with yet another completely normal human response everybody has, it’s being in denial. We all have it. Nothing is new.

Is being young so fulfilling that we spend the rest of our adult life trying to recapture the power we believe we once possessed as kids? We may never really know. But nonetheless we had the greatest possessions of this world as kids, love and attention. In the quest to reacquire these two people do crazy things. Some people murder people in a series, in a certain pattern and leave certain traces so that someone would be able to piece it all together someday and catch them. Why? So that somebody can notice them. Even your normal everyday crimes there are people who do not steal because they are poor, but who do it so people can know they are criminals and they’re dangerous. Why though? So that they can be given certain attention, love and respect.

Attention seeking is really that vast that it consists of every being in this world. No idea is original. A friend of mine once said he has always wished to get sick so that he can be noticed, cared for and catered to. And he expressed it so explicitly that I learned that it was not the sickness he longed for, but rather the attention that came with it. Poor people use the very same method, they do not enjoy being poor but they do enjoy being noticed, felt sorry for and provided food parcels to that they feel entitled to them, and hell would break lose if the privileged were to neglect them in that way.

The rich seek the same attention as well, as in some cases delivering food parcels is about stroking their egos than caring for the needy. Rich people feel entitled to certain things as well, that people of lesser social status are obliged to treat them in a certain way, it is your duty to know who they are, you are not to say no to them and you are not to correct them, even when they are really being out of line. The previously disadvantaged are even worse, they believe they possess special powers and that is why they were able to turn their circumstances around, everyone else must praise their capacity and they have earned the right to look down on other people because nobody else possesses what they do.

I guess we would go all day if we were to talk about certain behavioral patterns that we all possess, but for some reason everyone thinks they are the only ones. Any idea you might think of, no matter how crazy, creative or stupid, just know that they is somebody who has thought of it before, or even implemented it in some instances.

“No idea is original; there is nothing new under the sun. it is not what you do, but how it was done”.

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BE INSPIRED TO INSPIRE

I have recently discovered this amazing man. I have no idea who he is or what he does, but the words I heard him speak immediately made sense to me. I am always optimistic, I believe that God always places one exactly where they need to be, every single time. With everything that is going on in my life right now the Lord knows I could do with some motivation.

I have recently discovered a gentleman by the name of Gayton McKenzie. Before writing this piece I thought about googling him so to make my case more credible, but I decided to stick to the blurry vision that I have of him and keep my story as original as it possibly can. The first time I heard him speak was on Kaya FM on a radio show of this gentleman named T-bose. He was talking about his new book called “The uncomfortable truth”, the book is supposedly written for women and relationships and that is not really in my bucket list at the moment, but you know when a person is truly touching he can touch you whilst he’s not even talking to you. I then heard him on Metro FM on the Real Phat Joe’s radio show. He has a slot called the “Hustler’s Bible”, he comes through every week. The Hustlers bible is truly moving for me, it is aimed directly at people like me that just need to be reassured that it is possible to make it against all odds.

I’m a young man with big dreams, a man who often feels like his dreams are too big even for him and a man who often struggles to find the purpose for his existence; it is really a tough battle. I really did not have the smoothest upbringing. I was born and raised in KZN, I came to Johannesburg in 2003, I lived with my stepmom and things didn’t work out quite well, my father was around physically but was never really “there”. I was taken to live with my aunt around 2005, 12 months of complete disaster. I came back in 06 when my parents reconciled, but my father had lost his fancy job at that time and had been vulnerable to alcohol so the abuse he inflicted on the family was unbearable, it was no home at all. We were very unhappy, poor and abused, and all we had was just a fancy house to hide our pain from the rest of the world. The bank wanted to repossess the family home around 2007, my daddy sold it quickly before they could and so in 2008 we were staying even in a fancier one, but the problem is its rent was paid by the money from the first house, and by the time it ran out, hell broke loose. Have you ever struggled so hard that you couldn’t even afford toilet paper? But then maybe at that time toilet paper was an unnecessary luxury, because if there had been nothing in your stomach a trip to the loo seems rather meaningless. And when we were finally evicted from that house we had to use black disposable bags to move our stuff as we had no means to transport them, or even if we could, we had no accommodation for them.

As a result I have lived my life treasuring my pain in a way, glorifying it actually. I assumed that because of my situation, my failures are justified. But it has only been recent that I discovered that there are people out there who went through 3 times what I went through, and yet they still found a way to make something of themselves.

I do not really know much about Mr. McKenzie. I told a friend about him, I think he must have googled him because he told me that he was an ex-convict (which was the only thing I knew), and that he served time of about 10 years in prison and when he came out he decided he wants be a motivational speaker, and he took the liberty to self-study English (he apparently did not know it) so he can reach a wider audience, he achieved his goal and that opened more doors for him that he had ever imagined.

I looked at myself again, I have been blessed with satisfactory physical health, and so that means there is nothing stopping me from achieving my goals. I can never use my parent’s failures to justify those of my own because those were their lives and the decision they made were not mine, so I will have to make mine as well.

If someone who has been to prison for such a long time, hung with the type of people he did and still rose above the influence of his environment, what could stop me? He is only human, so am I.

I looked at the concept of inspiration more thoroughly. How one needs to be inspired in order to inspire others. Be inspired to put in the necessary effort to realize your dreams, use your success to inspire others who will be at that time where you once were. A lot of people often get it wrong; they usually confuse bragging with motivating. It is bragging when you make your success seem to be out of the ordinary and yourself to be an out-of-the-ordinary being for achieving it. It is motivation when you make your success to seem as not that much of a big deal but as something that can be attained by anyone who puts in the very same effort you did.

A friend of mine has recently said; “A broke motivational speaker can do nothing for me”. It may seem shallow unless you acknowledge that my friend is aspired to be rich, and unless you have been rich before you can never tutor people on how to be rich, because if your methods really worked you would have used them your damn self. At least that’s how I interpreted it.

I have been touched, I have been made to realize that there is nothing standing in between me and my dreams, and I someday hope to do for others what he has done for me. I have realized that being born poor doesn’t count for anything. I have realized that being poor doesn’t stop you from doing the things that you really want to do.

I have been inspired. I am inspired. To inspire.

KNOWLEDGE IS KING

Before I even begin this one I have a confession to make, I am very ashamed of myself. As a kid I used to be very naïve, and very very stupid to say the least. I believed that I knew everything, I was super smart, super intelligent and super good looking that everyone was keen to be around me. I often referred to myself as an “advanced thinker”, believing that I exceeded the “average standards” of thinking for a human being. He, who sees himself to be a wise man, must be the complete opposite of that, and I am living proof.

In my quest to prove my supposedly wisdom, I proved the exact opposite. I have made a fool of myself more times than it is legal. The moment you go out of your way to prove your wisdom, with that on its own you’re in fact proving your foolishness. If you were to prove wisdom, where would you begin? Would you just stop any random person you meet and tell them something really smart? Would you ask those around you to ask you anything and you respond with these super smart answers? I do not know, but I do know that the biggest mistake we make is thinking that wisdom is words. The thing about words is if there is no meaningful action to back them up, they remain as just that, words.

The concept of being “attractive” is rather complex. There are many factors to be considered, especially when talking attraction to the opposite sex. Both men and women often underestimate the intensity of this idea, which is why you get women who think just because they have a big booty, breasts, long hair and other features used to define physical beauty they are attractive, and they can score a man to spend the rest of their lives with, based on just those.

I seriously do not know what attracts women in men but I’m very ashamed to recall that at some point I thought I was it. And don’t get me wrong, it is not that I lack confidence in myself but it is just that I do appreciate the complexity of the matter of attraction. Although it is the looks (facial features, posture, weight, height) but I believe there is much more to it than that, and most of us think that if we have the looks, a well-paying job and a couple of jokes we are good to go. We overlook our ability to understand things, the patience we have with certain situations, how we treat those around us and how we manage our time. It is easy to capture the eye, but it is a complete different story to keep it captured.

With that said, I want to add the advantage of knowing, to know what you have, what you lack, what to do, how to do it, where and when to do it exactly. Knowledge is King.

I have always believed that knowledge is attractive. Knowledge is power of attraction. It expands capacity.

Every day is just a quest for knowledge. I would like to discuss three common sources of data which can be processed to very powerful knowledge. They are;

1. READING.

Honestly when I started reading it was not just because I wanted to learn more, connect more with the world and enhance my thinking capacity to advance my growth as a human being. I had very shameful motivation. I wanted to read so that I can show off new ideas I’ll learn, my vocabulary and a stack of books I always have with me everywhere. As soon as I started I waited with much anticipation for that day I started sounding very smart, but it just never came. Instead it was quite the opposite, the more I grew in books is the more I realized how clueless I was. My perspective slowly changed, I realized reading books don’t make you smarter although it does introduce you to a couple of ides you had never thought/heard of before, and it triggers your overall curiosity about everything. Books are written by other normal thinking individuals as yourself so they offer nothing out of the ordinary, but they definitely do engage with you in a very constructive perspective-building process. The authors I have read their work have become my friends in that we are connected in ideology, so writing and reading builds seriously close relationship in between people that probably will never even meet.

Another misconception we have is thinking that books are the only things to be read. Reading is far deeper than that. I am on Facebook on daily basis and it has advanced my overall literature capacity. I don’t know how many people actually acknowledge that social media platforms have blessed us with a platform to read and write as much as we can, daily. It has challenged each one of us to always share something fresh and new every day, if it is not your own idea, you’re sharing your sentiments on an idea shared by a friend. The amount of information we receive each day from social media is imaginable.

Reading is everywhere on everything. Some people only consider books, newspapers and magazines but it is much deeper than that. I learned to spell the word “protégé’ because I saw it on the subtitles of this other movie I was watching, and I was reading the subtitles. That just shows how vast reading goes and engaging yourself with something so versatile in nature will only result in you being a versatile person.

2. OBSERVING.

The power of the visuals we process every day is also a very powerful tool. It teaches one how to behave, what is expected of them and how to deliver it. I am not talking about adhering to social rules and trends but I’m talking about conducting yourself in a “human” manner. It would be impossible for us to behave like human beings if we never saw any human beings who behaved like human beings before us.

Let’s talk about a baby; I think a baby would just lay on its back its whole life if it never saw human beings walking. A baby just lies there, observe people as they do this walking practice that seems so fun and helps them to go about living their lives in a very interesting way, and then a baby is inspired to get up and also embark on this practice.

No one man is an island. No idea is original. All that is done now has been done before. It has reached our generation because someone might have seen it from someone was inspired and started practicing it as well, and he inspired someone who inspired someone who inspired someone who might have inspired you.

We live in global village, in a world where trends as far as China influence people in South Africa in the very same way as the Chinese. To survive in such a fast world you need to keep an open mind, and I believe it is impossible to do so unless you started with opening your eyes. As it had been said, your eyes are indeed the windows of your souls.

3. LISTENING.

Back in high school there would be that one naughty boy who would interrupt the teacher and speak whilst the teacher was still talking, the other kids would just chant; “listening is a skill!! Listening is a skill!!” Listening is indeed a skill in a way that it has to be learned, and believe me it is no different from learning how to apply telekinesis, it is really that much of a complex nature.

I am very talkative. I often feel guilty after most of my social encounters because I feel I talk so much that I often forget to give the other person the opportunity to express their feelings as well. I am very ashamed of that. But that goes to show how complex this concept really is, one moment you might be just telling a friend about a beautiful place you’ve recently visited, and before you know it you will have talked about who you went with, who you met there, the cold you caught on your way back and before you know it again, you will have successfully changed the topic from places to diseases now. And this happens in everyday encounters from all around the world but nobody really reads much into it.

There is nothing wrong with talking, but there is nothing wrong with listening either. Share as much as you have to share, but allow other people to do the same as well. In that, not only were you a “good listener” but you were also a friend, it might be you gave attention to someone who doesn’t usually get it and that made them to feel good about themselves, you helped a pal get something off his chest or you had an awesome laughter with someone who had a really good joke and they just needed someone to share it with.

I work with these two Shangaan folks, a lady in her mid-30s and a gentleman in his early 40s. We do not really relate much so we don’t usually talk, well at least not me anyway. I spend most of my time with them and they talk to each other most of the time but because I’m always around I realized that I’ve started picking up a bit of the Shangaan language. I am a Zulu man from KZN and before them I had never had any Shangaan friends whatsoever, but since I’m around and I have nothing to share I really listen, hence I am starting to pick up the language.

That goes to show the capacity of the brain. That goes to show the true power of just listening, not because you’re waiting for someone to finish up so you can get your chance as well, but because you genuinely care what they have to say. Not because you’re just quiet and occupied with your own thoughts, but because you are fully engaged with the speaker. You will learn far more than you ever would had you just ran your mouth and repeated all the ideas you are already familiar with, but every now and then it helps to ease back a bit and let other people share with you their ideas you have never heard of before.

Search for knowledge, whether about yourself or about the world. The trends around the world, the views you have about them and their impact on your life. Search within yourself, your philosophy, your aspirations, your beliefs, and your values as well. You need to be aware of such to always keep you in check with your own world.

Search for knowledge, around the world and within yourself.

I thank you once again for reading up to this point.

God Bless!!!!