Tag Archives: peaceful

Africa’s Woes Triggered By Power-Hungry Presidents

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Africa’s Woes Triggered By Power-Hungry Presidents

By Tapiwa Kapurura

This piece is meant to corroborate Professor George Ayittey’s recent contribution on the problems bedeviling Africa. My thesis excavates the point that Africa has everything to re-establish herself as a dignified and self-sustaining continent but has been run down by selfish Fathers who are busy chasing power and wealth as the continent bleeds and suffers. In the face of inevitable failure, blame has been embarassingly apportioned to the erstwhile 1884 Scramble For Africa.

Africa’s current problems are linked to historical imbalances caused by Europe. Slavery, resource exploitation, segregation and land apportionment legislation unduly sidelined overpowered Africans in their own home. With independence, every African was supposed to enjoy economic and political independence, freedom and peace. Sadly besides flag independence, the majority of Africans remain poor, diseased and disgruntled. The leaders have even pushed citizens into the scary abyss. Social injustice, corruption, greed, government arbitrariness and use of force have driven Africans into sunken dark holes and anyone who raises the head is bashed to lie down by the evil hand of security forces. Besides calls for economic independence, the benefits have mainly been felt by a few as the majority raises endless questions in the ditches of poverty. In frustration, many continue to jump onto the refugee train because the future remains bleak at home as other continents present jobs, better healthcare and enticing infrastructure.

While economic imbalances remain an urgent issue, there is still need for re-grouping and getting organized in Africa. A redress of economic imbalances does not per se demand that a handful prosper as the majority suffers, neither does it mean that national assets and resources be channeled to Western markets as profits are diverted to offshore accounts for the benefit of a handful government leaders. Such public fraud, mismanagement of resources and corruption makes Africa poorer than ever because as the majority gets trinkets, the minority scoops real stuff and forcefully defend their gains in face of criticism and opposition. Despite her being the global basket of unique rich minerals, wildlife and other lucrative resources like oil, the majority of Africans continue to suffer and their infrastructure is now worse than during colonial days. Resultantly many have been forced to try other promising nations for jobs and social security.

As the leadership continues to blame century-old colonialism, the challenge still remains to see where the current leadership is heading and what they have done to demonstrate a sense of responsibility in resource management, good governance and public benefits. It makes a mockery of an oil or diamond-producing nation to have its environment damaged by marauding western companies swooping in to extract and leave without any sense of community giving back as African environmental activists risk being persecuted. It also defeats the cause for the African resources to be entrusted to exploitative foreign companies that extract and leave locals suffering as a handful stands to gain through foreign banked profits shared between mining companies and African leaders.

It also does not make any sense for Africa’s rich nations to continue begging for foreign aid like food and elections money yet they stand amid historical deposits of minerals on demand. A mineral-rich country should stand firm, feed its people and cater for their welfare. All profits should be publicly accounted for through a prudent fiscal policy implemented for the public good. Skilled human capital must be entrusted with the management of funds for the benefit of the nation at large. A self-help approach on national resources and assets simply works to expose how challenged, disorganized or backward we are as a continent. A clandestine management of national resources and entrusting of some foreign partners without public approval has seen some leaders becoming defensive, arbitrary and reckless in the pursuit of wealth. In some cases, blood has been spilt. The end result has been a blame game of critics labeled western apologists.

The world views Africa with admiration based on natural resources on her lands. Africa’s main issues have been the failure to organize the local and possible technical assistance to harness the resources for public benefit. The issues of private jets landing and taking off with heavy packages of unknown valuables for foreign markets speaks volumes of where Africa stands on resource management. The very people blaming the West are the champions of private deals and nocturnal arrangements for self-gain. If Africa managed her resources well, there could be an impressive Gross Happiness Index to usher peace, comfort and trust from among the citizenry. Sadly many are disgruntled due to joblessness,
poverty and hunger underlined by wanton use of force to silence them during bread riots or questionable public policies.

Despite failure to lead well, many African leaders have the appetite to hang on to power for life. Whoever expresses disgruntlement with certain policies in government becomes an enemy of the state. A challenge on rule of law and democracy simply means one is starting to align with the West. The West never tells any African leader to rape, kill or maim. Instead of buying food, many African governments would rather invest
in guns and tear smoke. The West never drags anyone by the collar to imprison local human rights activists; neither does it force Africa to have dilapidated infrastructure, more disease and arbitrariness. The problem lies with the selfish African leader who has forgotten about those under his chin.

Africans have been perceived as war mongers mainly because of poverty, hunger and anger. Disgruntlement has driven many to start questioning the legitimacy of their own governments. If all African leaders were considerate of their people’s wishes and welfare, there could be peace in Africa. To date the history of modern Africa is mired by dictators suppressing any voices of disgruntlement and changing the laws to strengthen
their reign. In all that arbitrariness, many of the African leaders have been hypocrites in that they denounce the West before the world media yet they partner with individual Western parties to find markets for African resources so as to promote a self-enrichment agenda.

Such a wanton pursuit of selfish interests, corruption and greed has killed Africa. History has always been the trump card for screaming expletives against Western ideologies. Whenever democracy has been questioned, the West has been heavily criticized as interfering with African
affairs. Many overlook the countless refugees fleeing independent Africa into Europe and America by the day as if a killer disease is about to wipe the continent. The West becomes concerned on some of the government practices due to shifted burdens on leadership responsibility. That carefree stance by African heads has triggered the West to set some conditions for Africa to follow. In any case the Bretton-Woods, World Bank and IMF have been run through the Western block and for there to be some co-ordination; there must be control measures established to guard against public fund abuse and profligacy. When such malfeasance has been challenged, our African Marjodomos have been quick to
scream abuse and told the West to mind their own business, lest colonialism is planted into the conversation.

Most African leaders need help and advice even from the young African minds. The resource abuse, defiance of the rule of law, absence of democracy, creation of military states, despotism and corruption have been concerning to the world yet our African leaders have remained impervious to advice and quick to point fingers. Ultimately we have continued to be labeled the “Dark Continent” because some of the deeds of our leaders are jaw-dropping in this modern day as manifested by genocides, internecine wars and tribal purging.

Independence meant African leaders taking personal responsibility to re-define their people’s needs. It also meant the establishment of new democratic institutions premised on majority rule and vibrant economies. Resource management and utilization demanded prudence. Poverty, disease and illiteracy would have to be eliminated. Justice and rule of law would have to prevail. Unfortunately, among the African
leadership, such values are as useless as used lasagna. Once one tastes power, he forgets about all forms of a civilized order. It is worse in that despite the existence of organizations like the Africa Union, ECOWAS, SADC and various others, their impact in resolving African issues has been as good as non-existent. Their focus has been on theories, workshops and conferencing as they have not yielded much milestones. To date the world is yet to experience one solid achievement especially from the Africa Union agenda.

Resultantly, concerned, hopeless and frustrated African citizens have wound up as refugees in other nations in search of peace and greener pastures. Unless African leaders reform to comport with the civilized global order, the world will still perceive Africa as a cauldron
of corruption, poverty, dictatorships and chaos. In any case it is the poor workman blaming his own tools. A peaceful, well-fed, comfortable and happy nation will never disobey or question an accountable and transparent government.

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11 sure fire ways to have a calm and peaceful mind

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http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2007/08/30/11-sure-fire-ways-to-have-a-calm-and-peaceful-mind/

The fast pace of the modern world may put our mind in chaotic state. Information comes and goes, we must do this and do that. There are simply too many things that reside in our mind. While it may cause stress or even depression, at the very least it puts us away from a peaceful state of mind. But a peaceful mind is essential for our effectiveness. It keeps us calm no matter how the situation is, and it allows us to stay joyful during the day. At the end of the day, it makes us happier and more productive.

So here Mind like waterI’d like to share 11 ways to have a “mind like water”, a state of mind so peaceful that it’s like a calm water. Pick the ones that work for you:

1. Reduce your use of rational thinking

We need rational thinking, but we tend to overuse it in analyzing our situations and making decisions. That brings a lot of things into our mind which potentially also brings in noise. Is rational thinking really that important? I don’t think so. Even Einstein once said that “I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.”

 

2. Listen to your intuition

While you should reduce your use of rational thinking, you should increase your use of intuition. Listen to your intuition whenever you need to make decisions. Your intuition often knows more than you think. Furthermore, since intuition works instantly, it won’t bring a lot of things into your mind. Your mind will remain calm and peaceful. No wonder Einstein said that “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

3. Listen to your heart

Your heart tells you what is right to do. There is where your deepest value and principles reside. Following what your heart says helps you be true to yourself, and that has a great effect on giving you peace of mind. So learn to listen more to your heart, and do what it tells you to do.

4. Get the stuff out of your mind

This is a basic principle of Getting Things Done (GTD). In fact, the term “mind like water” comes from GTD. You should record the things you need to do or remember on an external system you trust so that they do not occupy your mind. This way your mind will be freed to focus on your current task.

5. Meditate

Meditation is one of the best ways to calm your mind and have a “mind like water”. Even if you do the other ways mentioned in this post, sometimes there is still noise left in your mind. Meditation is a good way to purify it. There are many forms of meditation to choose from.

6. Limit your information intake

Consuming more information often means introducing more noise into your mind. That’s why limiting your information intake is essential to have a calm and peaceful mind. The rule of thumb in consuming information is this: consume information no more than what is necessary. But how do you know what is necessary? Rational thinking may help you figure it out, but I believe that your heart and intuition can help you just as much – if not more.

7. Read spiritual texts

Spiritual texts are among the purest kinds of information you can possibly get. It helps you link together your mind, heart, and intuition. While generally you should limit your information intake, I believe that you can safely consume spiritual texts without introducing noise into your mind.

8. Eliminate unessential stuff

It will be easier to have a peaceful mind if you don’t have too much stuff to worry about. So always look for ways to simplify your life. Eliminate the things which are not essential so that you can focus on the essential. Elimination should be a constant part of your life.

9. Don’t think too much about yourself

We usually think about our own needs and problems most of the time. But self-centered thoughts rarely bring peace into our mind. Quite the opposite, it may make us feel stressed and frustrated. So don’t think too much about yourself; forget yourself for a while.

10. Do something for others

Instead of thinking too much of ourselves, we should think more of others. Think of what you can do for others and do it. There is joy in giving which will give you peace of mind.

11. Slow down

In whatever you do, you do not need to be in rush. Doing so may only bring you faster to the wrong direction. First of all, you need to know where is the right direction to go. Slow down so that you can clearly hear the voice of your heart and intuition.