Unnecessary, Null & Void Shouts

Is there an unwritten rule that you have to shout at the top of your lungs if your prayer is to be answered?

I was in a church service – or should I say, heaven knows how many I’ve been in 🙄 – where screaming at the top of your lungs was the apparent guarantee that your prayer will be answered.

I don’t know what spirituality culture we… wait. I don’t even know who the “we” are because I would never advocate for such. I don’t know where those who teach us to scream at the top of our lungs if our prayers are to be answered in a congregational church service learned it from. 😐 I’ve actually tried to figure it out, but I can’t. 

For me, there are health inconveniences that come with screaming at the top of my lungs in a place with auditorium-level acoustics, along with at least 200 other people screaming. It’s like grinding my teeth when my gums are sore. My ears feel tingly, I squint and have spasms from the deathly shrieks, my head is likely to start banging, and you still want me to join the screaming amidst all those reactions from my body? 😐

That’s just me. 

That this screaming and shouting of “amen” and whatever else the speaker asks the congregation to scream is made out to be their tickets to answered prayers, is problematic. We are told, “If you can shout the loudest ‘hallelujah’…”; “If you can shout a thunderous ‘amen’…”; “If your ‘amen’ can swallow that of your neighbour…”. 😐 It becomes a battle of voices. Hypothetically everyone wants their shout to swallow the ones they can hear. That’s the first part.

The second part of this problem is that a lot of these people are doing no more than plain shouting. There is no faith behind those shouts. The goal of the shouter is simply to swallow the other voices; they forget that they need to ignite their faith for their prayers to actually be answered, as opposed to thinking that swallowing the other voices will do it. They’re so carried away by supposedly impressing the heavens with the volumes of their voices that there is no faith to catapult that prayer into takeoff. Prayer without faith is pointless; it’s void.  

That is the problem I have with this shouting business in churches – void and faithless shouts to God. 

The other minor problem I have is the mentality that you need to shout before God can hear you. What the what?! God is not deaf that He cannot hear you! Why do we need to scream, then? Even when we don’t speak out in our moments of weariness and hopelessness, God hears and sees the thoughts of our hearts. He knows what we want before we even ask! Where then did we get the idea that we need to scream if He is to hear us?

Believe it or not, some church leaders have good motives behind getting the congregation to scream – they believe it gingers the congregation, some believe it wakes the congregation up, others believe it’s an effective way to get the otherwise apathetic or minimally active members of the congregation to pour their hearts out to God. Some other church leaders just like noise – maybe for the ostensible buzz, or due to a warped understanding of God’s hearing abilities. 

I actually hate praying in public or around other people – I get distracted by the noise from their loud prayers and chants. I sometimes struggle to hear my own self amidst all that noise and raucousness. 

Generally, I have nothing against screaming to God – be it in moments of emotional tension or enthusiasm. I do it at times. However, do it where you wouldn’t be selfishly inconveniencing others. Even in a congregation, there will be people who would rather you don’t scream. It startles some, it unsettles some, it irritates some, it gingers others. More importantly, whether you’re screaming your prayers or not, let faith be in the mix or you’re wasting all that energy. 😕

That’s all for today folks! 😁

P.S. I think I might start saying “I ♥️ you” at the end of my posts. It’s something I’ve picked up from this person I dutifully follow on IG – Professor Phanor. 

Until you see me again, ✌🏾. I ♥️ you!

Nigeria: Is Feminism a Trend?

It’s baffling how some Nigerian women think they can enrol into the school of thought of Feminism, and leave the lifestyle behind.

One question I’ve had to ask myself again and again – just to answer my own question of what Nigerian women are up to – is if feminism is nothing more than a trend to Nigerian women. 

It’s the 21st century! The average human being wants to be trendy in whatever areas of living they consider relevant to them. People buy things because their status needs them; people pursue opportunities because hypothetically everyone is pursuing those opportunities; people get into ventures because those ventures are supposedly the new money-mines; people alter their lives to match the lives of others because of the illusion of different represented states of affairs. 

Nigerian women are the champions of that movement: The Global Trend Followers’ Movement. They blindly copy trends – hair styles, fitness, fashion, ideologies, culinary, and much more – from the western world without evaluating the substance of those trends and deciding if they themselves are suitable followers of the trend. They don’t weigh the content and demands of the trends against their peculiar circumstances – location, environment, resources, values, beliefs, lifestyle, etc. – before adopting them. Unfortunately but not unsurprisingly, Nigerian women in their numbers have done this with feminism. Some of them ooze so much unenlightenment about the topic and it’s application in their lives that I just shudder at their speeches. 

I do not identify myself as a feminist. Matter of fact, I don’t come with any labels – that’s what I tell people when they start to categorise me. Nonetheless, I share some of the ideas entertained by feminists, to certain degrees, some of which I will discuss in relation to the topics below that address that the application of some of these ideas. 


Income Inequality & Performance Qualities
For instance, I believe that men and women should be treated equally as far as is practical and possibly so. If they both have the same job description but perform their duties to different degrees of quality, I don’t see a problem with them being paid differently. 

I can’t for the life of me spot any injustice or inequality in rewarding person A more than person B, where person A’s output is more than that of his/her colleague, person B, who is doing the exact same job. Now, some of the people I’ve talked to, who claim to be feminists, will categorically tell you that they don’t subscribe to that mindset. You’d hear some of them tell you that in so far as persons A and B are delivering the minimum required quality on the job, paying one more than the other for doing more breeds inequality 😐. Really? Ok. 

That is one. The next thing that actually makes me realise that some of these Nigerian women crying feminism don’t know what they’re on about, is where you hear them talk about equality and female independence, without wanting to put in the work required to activate that. Independence is a constant state of being; you don’t achieve independence once and for all, you have to keep it going. Equality is the same.


Equality & Adjustments
A lot of Nigerian women don’t seem to understand that if you want to be equal to someone, you have to do what it takes to be on the same level as they are. If you rearrange your fingers to match lengths, some are going to have to look taller, some will have to look shorter. You need to make adjustments; they just don’t fall into place. 

If you see a man you want to be equal to, you have to make adjustments to match his levels. You may have to earn the same amount, have the same expenses and income influxes; you may have to consume the same products that he consumers; you may have to match his residence, car(s), social circles; and so much more. If we are to be honest with ourselves, pursuing equality in some areas is impractical and pointless. I don’t see the need for comparison. 


Independence

“This product is not for the lazy nor the ‘all-talk-and-no-action’ people.” That’s a warning label that ought to come with independence as a pursuit. So many people crave, no, want independence, but they aren’t willing to put in the work needed to achieve it. Some others talk about independence so much you think it’s a done deal for them, but they’re not going to achieve it because they’re never going to move from talk to action. 

For you to stand on your own two feet, it means that you are able to afford what you desire without contribution from other sources; you are able to fend for yourself and singularly bear and perform your financial responsibilities.

Now, let me tell you what some “feminists” do or believe in Nigeria. They go out on dates and expect the guy to pay for expense they incur. They go to the salons to get their hairs done and expect their men to pay for the expenses. They splurge on products for themselves and expect their men to pay for the expenses. They travel to exotic locations and expect their men to foot the bills and make it an all-expense-paid trip. 😐

I haven’t started o! Some of these women are working and earning incomes, but do me the favour of asking them exactly what they do with their income. Some of them don’t even have a single stream of income, but they’re the most spending people. They’re buying the latest of everything; buying what they definitely cannot afford; spending someone else’s hard earned money on themselves… and they claim to be equal to those people and demand to be treated equally… how?

And if you’re by chance thinking “Oh, but it’s not all about money…”, let me tell you, it is. Money answers all things. All things. Money will fetch you the resources you need to achieve independence. If you don’t have the financial capability to build your own independence, don’t live off of someone else’s resources and expect to be placed on the same level as they are on. You’re not a match for them and that’s the truth. So you either get your own copy of independence or you humbly live off of another person’s benevolence. 

In case you still don’t get it: everything is not what it seems! That is the case with feminism. If you think it’s something that you want to get into, error; it’s not a profession or industry. If you think it’s a school of thought you want to enrol in, you’re half way there; there’s a whole lifestyle behind it that you have to be willing to adopt. As is with every other lifestyle change or decision, you have to evaluate if feminism is for you, and if you are for feminism. 

Until you see me again, 🤞🏾

Are African Men Still Shouting “Masculinity” in 2017?

The kitchen is a forbidden room to some African men.

Yesterday, I saw a post by a Nigerian celebrity, where she was teaching her son how to make puff-puff (Nigerian pastry balls). Someone somewhere challenged this and said that the mother was ‘doing a terrible job by exposing her son to femininity’. This unenlightened individual also said that it is “unAfrican” 😐. As a sensible and humorous individual put it, this unenlightened individual’s ‘masculinity is so fragile that cooking or going to the kitchen will destroy it’. I agree.

On a deeper note, it made me question the content and the quality of what we’re inculcating in our African Continue reading “Are African Men Still Shouting “Masculinity” in 2017?”

What Quality of Children Are We Raising in Africa?

The average African may be educated but is unenlightened.

I’ve been bingeing Instagram videos of Katie Stauffer’s twin girls and the McClure twins — oh, who doesn’t! 🙄 — for longer that I can remember or care to admit. I also occasionally come across videos of children who are outspoken, clearly smart, are exposed and whose parents are visibly interested in their development.

This is the thing: the average African — who lives in Africa or lived there for a long while — is very likely to think that such children are far developed than their years and are doing “exploits”. The truth is that these children are not necessarily developed beyond their years. They’re just surrounded by an environment — comprising of their parents, the educations system, the right media and more — that is aware of the need for these children to develop at the scientifically and academically recommended level for their ages. This type of environment is what is generally missing in Africa. Some are even naturally more developed beyond their years, but unlike their Africa-based counterparts, they are provided with the right resources to aid their development, and the right people to help them harness these available resources.

Once upon a time, I used to wonder why some people sound so regressive and unexposed in their thinking. My cousin made it clear: a lot are educated, but few are enlightened. A lot of African parents are educated but unenlightened. They are knowledgeable but they are not exposed. They are not aware of the potentials and the heights at which their children can perform. They are not aware that there are opportunities and more to life than what the African educational systems dictate. They keep their children shelled and sheltered from… from what please?

There are African children that are barely below the 2-figure ages, and cannot spell basic words. Their diction is below average for their age, their vocabulary is so sparse, their intellects are substandard. They are unfamiliar with a lot of concepts, with world histories, with world cultures, with technologies, with a whole lot of things. They are not exposed to the skills they should be developing; they’re not exposed to the tools and the facilities with which they can develop these skills. A lot of these children are smarter than years, but there is often no framework in place to allow the expression of their intelligence. It’s a huge shame that in Africa, we are proudly raising children who are significantly substandard for their ages.

I remember thinking more times than I’d care to admit during my degree, how much different my choices would have been and how my life could have panned out if I had more knowledge of the courses available at University before starting. In the average African household, there are only a number of courses a child can select from to study at university: medicine, law, engineering, accounting. Anything else is looking for trouble.

I originally wanted to study Fashion Designing but was asked to find a “serious” course. Fast-forward to my final year in uni and me almost crying every other day for my Law degree to come to an end. Still feeling grossly dissatisfied and unfulfilled, I am now chasing a career in Information Systems and Cyber Security, something I would have paid attention to early on if I hadn’t been brainwashed that those who study IT at university only do so to become cyber fraudsters (419ers).

The educational systems in Africa are only one of many ingredients that cook substandard children and individuals. The average educational institution in Africa does not inform pupils, students and parents/ guardians of the seemingly endless variety of courses available for study at university, inside or outside the country. They don’t do anything to kill the silly superstitions that certain degrees are substandard, insignificant or useless. They don’t provide career counselling. They don’t emphasise on the importance of aptitude tests and on their interpretation, and their application in decision-making. The average African child has to “figure it out all on their own”. It should not be so.

When will African-bred children start to sit at the same table with their inventor, media mogul, entrepreneur, developer, researcher peers? When will the average African child start to grow up enlightened and empowered?

Is Anyone Really a Liberal Thinker?

Maybe we’re all partisan-minded in reality.

I recently watched a video where CNN’s Fareed Zakaria made me realise that a lot of us — including me — that claim to be liberal in our views are really not liberal, in fact.

Fareed’s headline was “Liberals think they’re tolerant, but they’re not”. I must admit, I did feel a tad bit defensive when I first saw the headline, but I immediately remembered that I shouldn’t “judge”. So, I watched the video and was surprised when I was made to realise the error of Continue reading “Is Anyone Really a Liberal Thinker?”

Treat “Everyone” the Way You Want to be Treated?

Sure. I’ll just treat those that matter to me the way I want to be treated.

Yes, it’s a question. Living by the golden rule or doing to others as you would have them do unto you doesn’t apply only to those from whom you’re expecting fine treatment or any kind of treatment. It applies to everyone. Every. Single. Person.

Let me first say, I am a very huge advocate of Continue reading “Treat “Everyone” the Way You Want to be Treated?”

1 Cor. 14: Did Sexism Have Some of Its Roots in the Early Church?

Times have changed, but has history?

At first, I thought Paul was just occasionally chatting breeze, but I realised that it’s much deeper than Paul, himself.

First things first, this goes beyond Paul or 1Cor. 14; women being barred from public participation in church, was a practice of the early church.

P.S. I read from the YouVersion bible app, and I study and read mostly in the AMP (Amplified) version by The Lockman Foundation. Continue reading “1 Cor. 14: Did Sexism Have Some of Its Roots in the Early Church?”