To Be Influenced or Not.

It seems quite common for people to act as a collective when it suits their agenda and be divided when it does not. One of the global cultural phenomenon that had emerged over the years is the influencer culture. When I was younger there were international personalities that I liked and listened to but never really thought about unless I was consuming some aspect of their productivity. So I had my favourite singers, movie stars ect. However, outside of those roles I did not know nor did I care to get to know them more. I was fine just enjoying their talent for a limited time and living MY life for the duration of my existence.

Today I notice that there are many persons who are obsessed with those personalities they admire, which for me is a bit strange and also disturbing. The idea of an influencer has moved beyond the ubiquitous definition of someone who has the power to affect the buying power of consumers to, for many, someone who they see as their friend. Really an influencer is like a salesperson, there to sell you something not to be your friend. whether that thing is an actual product or a dream at the end of the day that is it.

Yet many choose to ignore this one unchangeable truth, and instead become so invested in the lives of these persons to the point where they ignore their own lives to preside over those they deem as being “like family”.

Sure there may be qualities in a person that you admire and they may motivate you in some way but the key here is that no matter what you do, you can never replicate them or their lives. The danger comes when persons ignore their reality to construct a possibility on someone else’s sand heap. The tide will always come in and tear it down. Many people rely on the voices of others to direct them and never the voice of the Almighty. They look at what others have achieved and think they can do it too, while being ill-equipped to do so.

On the other hand, one may say that positive influence should be separated from negative. While this is true, often times we do not realise that even when we aim to do what is “good” it is because we are influenced and not because it is a conviction that we have. What this suggests is that we want to please, or we want others to like us, so, we censor what we say and do to match the narrative we want others to have about us. When someone is influenced to do something “good” or “right” does it make being influenced a good or bad thing? Wherever we stand, we must be honest enough to acknowledge that being influenced is a way of life that has led to many unhappy persons, who seem stuck in slow motion, as they grapple with where their opinions begin versus those who have influenced them.

I Knew You.

 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all my days were written in Your book and ordained for me before one of them came to be.  Psl 139:16

You i knew
before my memory got so poor.
Old age cannot explain why I cannot see you.
I think
but my thoughts are all jumbled:
don'tiknowtheyouyouareandtheyouyouaresupposetobe?
A string of thoughts.
No rhyme or reason.
An idea half formed,
destroyed before it could be born.
Or was it killed,
A dream not born of a woman
or man -
We must always be
'politically correct"
right?
I know of you,
or so I would like to believe.
But do I know you
really
as you should have been?
In setting me a part by my appointment did it work?
If it is your Word that comes
why does it not enter,
why is it locked out,
strangled under the weight of not knowing.
Like a bolom maybe I had lost
my salvation.
How to get it back but to retrace my steps and hope I have my way
back.
A silent cry is what I hear and turn to.
A cry that has no beginning
no ending
no words
no sound.
So loud that it cannot be drowned
Cannot be silenced by the impracticality of your practicality.

If I awaken from my slumber
will I like that piteous monster,
cry to dream again?
one wonders, if a simple awakening is enough.

Storytelling

Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, and images, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and to instill moral values.

definitions.net

The least we can do is to try to understand the story of another and if you can’t understand do not deny it.

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We hear and tell stories everyday. No matter where we are, but at least once per day, we recount some incident we experienced to someone. Sometimes theses stories end up being fantastic tales, because something wildly unexpected and exciting happens. Whether it is an accident, a disagreement that got out of control, a funny incident or not so funny one, but something dramatic that can make your day a memorable one.

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Then we may find ourselves in a situation where we have to use an experience from out past or from someone else’s past, to make a point and perhaps inspire someone. We gladly share, because our intent is that these stories will change lives. And sometimes, in the act of sharing our stories or someone else’s, we are reminded of what we are capable of. So, our stories not only inspire others but we are also inspired by it. Stories matter and the telling of them matters greatly.

Then, there are stories that we dare not tell, no matter the audience. These are stories that will be misunderstood and rejected by listeners. These are stories that may not be fit for public scrutiny -depending again on who is listening. It may be because of where we come from, how they are told and who is doing the telling. When your story challenges the status quo, then it becomes harder for it to be heard and you feel as if your story does not matter. But somewhere out there is someone who needs your story, so they too can have the courage to tell their own.

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When you tell your story, those who hear become witnesses to that story. Stories are not limited to renown writers; millions of potential stories are crafted everyday by people living their unique situation and are waiting simply for the instrument through which they will be given life, to enter the lives of people who need them and who they need, to keep alive a part of you after you are no longer hear to do the telling. These stories live and never die, when those bearing witness, listen without judgement, without adhering to previously held prejudices and who in the process, restore dignity where lost and the power to simple be what it is and not what others would want it to be. Every story does not have to be our individual or collective realities but every story needs to be told.

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My Truth

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free

John 8:32

When you make a mistake how far does it follow you before it lets you life. How long do you have to feel the weight of it before the burden is removed?

The truth is, many people do not like the version of the truth they are told, if it differs from what they expect. They like the thrill of a secret until they know what it is. They are intrigued by your mystery until they discover it, and realize that it’s really not that deep!

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I am sure we can all admit that from time to that we make mistakes – unless you are delusional. Everyone does something that they are not proud of. Yet, we are so quick to condemn each other when we are not in the hot seat . It’s especially easy to do when things are going well for us; when we don’t have to look in the mirror, when we are not faced with our mistakes. We can quite happily pretend that all is right in our world and we, unlike mere mortals, are the example and certainly not the rule.

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Then there are those who would love to reveal their imperfect beings, but those around them do not offer them the grace to be human. They listen carefully to what others say about them and they realize that they have to hide a part of who they are, because people do not want to see or acknowledge a side they do not understand. So some mistakes are never seen. But, because it is never seen, does it mean it never happened? Does it mean that those who make certain types of mistakes are absolved of them, when they are not expected to fess up?

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It’s funny how many want to hear they truth until they do:

all you have to do is just tell the truth

you know what they say, and the truth shall set you free

Yes my friends, free until you really start doing the telling.

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What they don’t tell you is that they want the pleasant truth, the one that will not make them feel uncomfortable. Only the truth that makes sense for them will do; not your truth. Sometimes the truth is the last thing that people want to hear and so they never do. Instead many of us pretend to be what we hope will go down easily, make us accepted and we find out too late that even in telling a truth that’s not the truth we may not be accepted; it was never going to happen. The truth is funny and sometimes a slippery slope to your demise when people celebrate the lie that comforts, lies that have been institutionalized. We hang on too long to things that no longer work. We do this when the truth is harder to tell than the lies that soothe. When we have moved on in every way but physically, it’s not because we want to but because even though we have said in every way that we are ready, no one really listens. And if we are honest the lies allow us to belong on the inside – because who really wants to stand on the outside looking in?

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So we wait too long to get the courage to tell our truth and live it. We pass up opportunities to break free from a glass house that can be shattered at anytime. So what should we do? Maybe we just need to take a chance on ourselves and just live our truth.

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