STOP KILLING THEM BEFORE THEY GROW

Nobody is born thinking he or she has less dignity or less worth than another human being. No child thinks it has less dignity or less worth – or more dignity or worth – than another child. These things are trained, instilled, indoctrinated and socialized into them in the process of growing up. By the time they become adults, they „accept“ their position, their place and their role.

Teach and train your children, above all, to be confident and self-confident. Self-confidence is the most powerful weapon in the soul‘s arsenal. It is what makes people cross boundaries and borders, break barriers, and open up new vistas of experiencing as well as make new discoveries for themselves, their environment and even for humankind. Self-confidence is the original character and prime characteristic of the Spirit.

When the spirit opens its eyes for the first time in the world of matter, it just finds itself confronted by this gigantic unknown world around it. But it is not intimidated, it is curious and full of the urge to adventure and discover. It is self-confidence that makes it set forth, intuitively certain that it will overcome all obstacles and challenges, thirsty for experiencing and knowledge, and wanting to forge its destiny, and find itself.

Children carry a deep sense of worth, of „I-am-somebody-ness“ inside of them. Of „I deserve whatever another child deserves“. They have a sensitive inner antenna against discrimination, and an instinctive feeling of having the same rights as very other child. Strengthen and preserve this intuition within them, so that they will never ever surrender their dignity and equality without a fight all through their life. And they will always win the fight.

But teach them too that in addition to their rights, as payment and balance for their rights, that they also have equal responsibilities as everybody else too. The responsibility to enact and uphold and obey fair and just laws. The responsibility to create and maintain and constantly improve a system that helps the disadvantaged without unfairly suppressing and disempowering the talented. The responsibility to not only preserve every good thing already achieved by humankind, but to be untiringly innovative and to invent and constantly re-invent the future. The responsibility to never stop seeking the truth, seeking to understand life, seeking to know what makes us human, what links us as humans, and how to become better humans. The responsibility to listen to their conscience.

This is a responsibility we all share – old and young. We pass on the torch endlessly to the next generation. We do this by igniting the flame within the young souls of children. Even if we are all reincarnated souls, Every Childhood is a new chance to re-engineer humanity, correct or discontinue the past, and save the future of humankind. Every child is worth the effort. Never stop trying. Never give up on a child.

Seek always to bring out the best in your child, in a child, in every child.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

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THE NEXT STEP

Don‘t give up because the first step was not perfect and the critics have only zoomed in on the weak areas.

Rejoice because you took the first step at all and your journey has now started.

Rejoice because you know what you did right and what you did wrong, so you know what to work on and what to improve.

Rejoice because you have feedback and critics and cheerleaders.

Rejoice because you have the one thing that everybody wants, but only few possess – Courage.

It is courage that gets to distant goals, not criticism. Because courage has legs and is very restless. And the only thing that makes courage happy, and satisfies courage, is movement; is overcoming challenges.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

THE FRIEND SHIP

It‘s strange how what we call deep Love ends so quickly, and what we call just Friendship lasts and lasts and lasts.

It‘s funny how love affairs come and go, but Friendships remain and grow.

It‘s interesting how the things that touch the body can become uninteresting tomorrow, but the things that focus only on the spirit will always understand you and always be there.

Many people are more loyal to their friends than to their partners. Ever wondered why?

Many people are more open to their friends than to their partners. It causes some people pain, and yet some will defend it with their lives.

Many people feel misunderstood by their partners, but are deeply understood by their friends – and often wonder why they cannot find both in one.

Friendship is a treasure, a gift, a blessing, a wonderful wonderful bond. Treasure your friends, for you will have only few. And if you have a partner, may he or she be one of them.

When all else is dead and dark, and all hope is gone, true Friendship will show you the way back Home to Paradise.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

HOW ARE YOU?

We all part.
Your best company is yourself –
Be at home in yourself
Wherever you are.

Life is in the How.
Not in the What, Why, Where or When.
It is the How that is
The platform of eternal living

Not the nation, not the race
Not politics, power, money or gender
Not family and every thing that will pass –
Only the How counts.

The way you in every moment live your life
Your inner life
This alone will keep you living and happy
Long after all Matter has died.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

WHEN THE PATH FEELS WRONG, YOU SEARCH HARDER

You might sometimes find yourself, for long periods of your earthlife, striving after the wrong things; even worse, striving via the wrong principles and means; unaware of how you got there, sometimes unaware perhaps even of whatever it was you once really wanted, and not knowing how to change back onto the right track.

This is a trick that life plays on every Seeker – to force you to light up the inner Lantern within your consciousness; for the aim of the cocoon is to turn the caterpillar into a butterfly. So too does life make you blind in order to awaken your Insight – and then, nothing can blind you anymore apart from you yourself. Sometimes the wrong path is the right path, as long as you keep on honestly and tirelessly seeking. You will find yourself.

 – Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

ETERNAL SUNRISE

When the Darkness wakes up in the morning, the first thing it does is to look out of the window, see the Light shinning outside – and become full of anger, envy and rage all over again. 

Because yesterday when night fell and it went to sleep, it made the great mistake of thinking that the Light is now dead.

The Light is never dead. It will rise again. It is we who turn our backs on it.

But it will rise again.

 – Che Chidi Chukwumerije 

MEETING ORLANDO JULIUS

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Back in 2008 when I used to work partly in Nigeria, partly in Ghana and partly in Equatorial Guinea, the late great Sir Maliki Showman – the wonderful man who taught me how to play the saxophone (that’s a tale I’ll tell another day) – told me that if I ever had the chance , I should pay a visit to and say Hello to the pioneer of Afrobeat music and one of the greatest living Nigerian saxophonists of all time, Orlando Julius, who had at that time temporarily moved from Nigeria to the Ghanaian countryside, to a quiet village on the outskirts of Accra.

So one weekend in Accra, I chartered a Taxi and drove over, where I met the maestro himself, Orlando Julius Ekemode, and his incredibly gracious and beautiful wife and dancer, Latoya Aduke Ekemode. I have seldom experienced greater hospitality than they showered to me on that day. They took me as their son, we ate together, drank together and the great man regaled me with funny and touching and inspiring tales from the good old days of Nigerian music long before I was born – just like his friend Maliki Showman always used to do too.

Finally Orlando brought out his tenor sax and asked me to unpack mine which I had brought along. And after I showed him how far Sir Maliki had already brought me as at that time, Orlando Julius proceeded to lovingly show me new tricks on the Tenor sax and to expand my knowledge of the instrument and of African and Jazz music, like a father would. These are precious memories I‘ll never forget.

And last night, in Frankfurt, more than a decade later, and many years after the death of my friend and teacher Maliki Showman, it was such a joy for me to see Orlando Julius and his wife Latoya and his whole band again on stage, slamming out one great old hit after another. At 74 he is still going strong and the tunes are still as irresistible as ever.

To crown it all, they saw me in the crowd and they remembered. Latoya told the crowd how I had come to visit them in Ghana years ago. And then Orlando asked me to dance with them on stage. New precious memories. Great great people.

Highlife, Afrobeat, Funk, Jazz – they all originate from okdschool African Music… and Orlando Julius remains among the greatest of all time.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

NEO-AFRICANISM

Nigeria has not yet had a Nigerian President. South Africa has had many Presidents, but only Nelson Mandela was a South African President. The others, before and after him, white and black, have all been just sectional leaders. Africa has had very very few AFRICAN leaders-of-state, Pan-African heads of government. Selfless father-figures and servants who are a father to all and a mother to all, regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation.

Why? Because it is not easy. It is not easy to place loyalty to high ideals above loyalty to tribe, religion, family and every thing else. When people come campaigning for votes and popularity, and they claim they will be „President of everybody“, „there will be no sacred cows“, they will be „everybody‘s friend and nobody‘s friend“, „everybody will be equal under the law“, they will rise above „tribalism and religious chauvinism“, they will not favour „their side above any other side“, etc etc etc…

Look at them carefully or just wait for it. In time, they have almost always turned out to be just a Big Fraud.
Why? Because it is not easy. Deep in their heart, everyone loves their ethnic nationality, their religion, their spiritual philosophy, their origin. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It is normal and healthy. The question is: WHO loves the Truth and Justice more than he or she loves ANY OTHER THING? That is the Point. Who, above loving his tribe or faith, loves the progress of the Whole more than any other thing.

It is not easy. It requires honest and painful soul-searching. It requires self-unmasking experiencing. It requires self-conquest. It requires, not self-abnegation (for you cannot deny who you are, and anyone who denies who he or she is, is a liar or is still in the process of finding himself). It requires Ennoblement and Maturity. It requires elevation into Selfless Love.

These are the new kinds of leaders we need in Africa now and in the future. These are the people we should look for and encourage, instead of discouraging them. These are the people we should begin to awaken within our own souls. These are the Neo-Africans.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE FORCE IS WITH YOU

Every profession can bring out the best in you or the worst in you.

A policeman can over the course of his career develop an ever stronger urge to protect the weak and to prevent the unjust victimization of the innocent. Or he can nurture hatred and suspicion in his heart, and actively seek the demonization and destruction of those that fit certain stereotypes. And whenever a policeman passes by you and you look deep into each other’s eyes, you know which off the two he or she has become.

A politician can be or become a selfless servant or a selfish manipulator.

A teacher can become ever more patient with the slow-at-learning and develop an ever greater capacity and urge to accommodate and further each and every student. Or he can become one of those teachers who focus on and take delight only in the bright students, and say to the Slow students: “Nothing good will ever come of you in life.”

A teacher can also, over time, grow more fascinated and convinced of the unique miracle in each child, and try to patiently seek out, recognize and nurture whatever special flower is waiting to blossom in each young soul. Or she can become impatient, self-centered and self-absorbed, and seek to impose a one-size-fits-all grooming and goal on all students.

A teacher can become a fair defender of humanity who sees all children as God’s creatures. Or a teacher can become a biased agent of a one-sided ideology that favors some children and disadvantages others on grounds of origin or appearance.

A teacher can become an even more avid learner than his students. Or he can stop learning altogether, because he knows it all.

And so it is with all professions, situations, and life.

Events do not shape people. Professions do not shape people. They only offer options for development. The Free Will of each individual alone it is that determines if and in what way each individual will be shaped.

At some point, we have to accept responsibility for who and what and how we are. Like spring that dawns anew every year, every human personality feels an impetus once in a while, over the course of an earth life, to re-examine themselves and their character, to re-appraise how they look at life and how they react to life; to make a fresh new decision about what kind of person they want to be.

When you look into the past and remember all the forces that have shaped you…; When you look around you and consider all the forces pressuring you and moulding you…; When you look into the future and imagine all the forces that will happen upon and hit you…; – do not forget to also include one special force in the list of all those forces that shape your spiritual destiny; the one force that will always be with you: YOUR OWN FREE WILL.

It is the strongest power of all in the determination of what kind of Human Being you become.

Don’t blame your parents forever.
Don’t blame your teachers forever.
Don’t blame your country forever.
Don’t blame your culture and tradition forever.
Don’t blame your religion forever.
Don’t blame your employers forever.
Don’t blame Injustice and Unfairness forever.
Don’t blame your physical body forever.
You will blame them for a while, I know. We all do. We are human, and we need time to heal.
But don’t blame them forever.

In you is the power and the force to birth a new you. It is your FREE WILL. Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of that thought. It is really true. You are the reincarnation, the result and the resolution… of yourself. You are a Jedi – and the Force is already with you.

Use it.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.