Books will Save you Many Years of Trouble

Photo credit: Image Viwer Mobile App

Books are treasures that we should cherish and make use of. We, referring to the literate population of course. Reading is what differentiates you from an illiterate. Someone said if you don’t read you are functionally an illiterate. That is deep, right? Isn’t it amazing that you can learn the lifetime experience of someone who lived decades, or even centuries ago in few hours. Only books give you that privilege, better still, luxury. The ability to read, understand and make use of a written text should be considered a rare luxury. It was reserved for a special class of people in the past. America is a good example. Slaves were not allowed to read. It was almost a crime, their masters used to keep money in books, because slaves will not open them. Access to books (knowledge) was segregated.

Someone spent years to gather valuable knowledge and put it in a book, readily available for your consumption. You just need to dedicate a small portion of your 24 hours to reading from some of the best books. They are unlimited like never before. Books are everywhere, some are cheaper than a pair of sneakers, pizza, or bottle of wine.

An average book takes between 4-7 hours of reading time. Others are even lighter, they take less than 3 hours to read from cover to cover. Books like As a man thinketh by James Allen and The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason can be read in a single sitting. Each page makes you eager to open the next. It is fun and exciting reading a great book like the above examples. These two books alone have changed millions of lives and counting since their publication in 1903 and 1926, respectively. That is how powerful the written word is. It has the power to transform lives through proper application, so will it do for you. Wherever you may be, a book somewhere has answers to your most pressing question(s) problem(s). Go grab it and read, it will safe you many years of trouble.

In this time and age, you can have access to unlimited quality books that could have cost you a fortune few years ago. If you have time for Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, videogames, news, WhatsApp, or YouTube, then you should be able to improve the quality of your life through books. You can use the same data or less to download some books for free on your Ipad, Tablet, iPhone or Android device. In every 10 people you have now, at least 3 or more have one of these gadgets in their possession. On top of hard cover books, you can make your device a library, a blessing unique to our generation. Based on your preferences, the world got you covered. There are audiobooks to enlighten you while commuting, jogging or at the gym. This is certainly the age of information. There is no excuse for mediocrity.

People used to spend a lot of money and time to acquire books. Some of them travelled far and wide just to see manuscripts. If they could treasure books, a special source of knowledge, why not us now? We will not be fair to ourselves and the world if we don’t read. Today, just with a library card or data on your gadget, you have access to thousands of books. If you are a serious student in my part of the world, Africa, for instance; you don’t necessarily need a special card to read. You can borrow any book from your school libray by just having your name recorded. Note that, not all schools in my continent have a library. Even the few which have, some are less equipped than others. Therefore, I thank God because my primary, middle and senior secondary school all have libraries which I’m proud to say I made good use of. However, my middle school library was not well furnished compared to my primary and senior secondary. But my only wish is to have read more than I did. Nonetheless, I will forever be grateful to my second grade English teacher and primary school librarian. They both encouraged me to read and fall in love with books very early in life. It is one of my best gifts. May God bless them wherever they are now.

Remember time is a valuable asset to all. No one gets more than 24 hours in a day. However, some are more productive than others at the end of each day. The reason is obvious, it boils down to our use of time. Tv, useless chatting, social media, entertainment, hanging out with people who have no direction for their lives are few ways many waste time and consequently their lives. Also, because of the rise of the automobile industry, some people spend more than 10 hours on commutes alone every week, to and from work or school. Yet, less than 5% of them use this time to read. Instead, they complain about the traffic jam, engage in meaningless conversations or increase their social media presence. You can download audiobooks as per your need and listen during your commute; if it is inconvenient to read on a bus or taxi. Imagine the type of person you would be in five years from now, by simply using even only 15-30 minutes of your daily time to invest in yourself. It pays dividends. No amount of time spent on self-development is too great or small. The aim is to understand and apply what you consume from books. It is not to gather information for the sake of it. No one ever changed himself by simply gathering information. Information is useless without comprehension and application.

Another important thing is, you have to be selective in your reading. One of the reasons being, there are more books than you will ever have the time to read, not even in 10 lifetimes. Of course, that is so if you are a serious student of life. I mean those who read for transformation, looking for ways to make the world better. Lifelong learners do not stop reading the day they left school. They read to the grave. They don’t just read to pass exam or to earn a degree. They read to discover, to know more about the world, to understand humanity in general, find solution to problems and use it to make the world a better place. Different authors write books for different reasons. That is why your choice of books should be basedon your specific need at every stage of life. There are books on every area of life; self-help, spiritual, business, law, parenting, politics, science, philosophy, finance, human relationship, understanding the universe; just to name a few. No matter your current status in life. The solution for a better version of you is written somewhere in a book. If you are a Christian, the Bible is a good start for you. My Muslim friends too can start with the Quran. The goal is to read to stay alive, because Henry Ford said learning keeps you young even at 80 and the opposite makes you old even at 40. Your choice will determine the quality of your life and ultimate influence in the world.

Written with love, Frank.

In conclusion, if you desire to lead a better or more fulfilled life, I can confidently guarantee that books got you covered. Whatever is your current need, someone has written about it. The first thing to do is to identify which aspect of your life needs improvement. Then look for related books in that particular area and read. You might be surprised, the first book you will stumble upon could be life changing. With the help of the internet, print media, and innovative individuals; more and more books are being published annually. “You’re what you read”. So you must take it serious, because this simple practice will make you a better citizen of the world. Remember, the goal is not just to read more books, but to understand and apply what you read for a better world. Books will drastically reduce your learning curve and therby save you many years of trouble. It happened to others. It is happening to people right now. It could happen to you too. So read to lead a better live.

Written with love, Frank.

Four (4) Things That Serve as Fuel for My Life

Photo credit: Designed by Gilbert Montero Mendes

Jim Rohn said life is a collection of experiences and not just the passing away of moments. Since I was a kid, I had a lot of fantasies and of course dreams. I think it is natural for humans, especially children to dream and have fantasies. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate dreams from fantasies as a child.

As I grow older and become wiser by experience as a student of life, I was able to know the difference and my life has never been the same. I appreciate the blessings in my life which challenge me to make my dream a reality. After all, nothing is beyond the reach of a willing and committed mind. From my little observation through various means; conversations with people, seminars, autobiographies and biographies, I have come to the realisation that I am living in a world of possibilities and abundance. We are all living solutions to our numerous problems in the world. Reading books and general knowledge of the universe affirmed this truth.

I have read about several ordinary men and women from very humble beginnings who left indelible marks on the sand of time. Carefully studying their lives made me to believe in the power of dreams. I read in James Allen’s classic book “As a man thinketh” that all successful people in the world are dreamers who shake the world for good. While, I may not agree with all of their ideals and philosophies, the common attribute is “every single one of them pursued their dreams. It was not all rosy along the way, but clarity and focus on what they set their minds to achieve made them changed the world for good. I had a similar post; on pursing your dream. You may like to read it as well👇

https://francis306.home.blog/2020/05/13/pursuing-your-dream-the-way-to-greatness/.

Continue reading “Four (4) Things That Serve as Fuel for My Life”

My Take for a Better Africa

Photo credit: Image Viewer mobile App

Africa, home of the brave and a land endowed with enormous natural resources. Youthful population, abundant sun light, rain, fertile soil, rich forest, and river. Africa is a blessed continent. Although colonialism has left indelible scars on the continent, but there is potential for growth and development.

We’re in the 21st century and it appears a lot of African nations are crawling in terms of development. There is a lot more to be done in all sectors. Healthcare is appalling, mass unemployment, leadership crisis, outdated school curriculum, poor road networks, bribery and corruption, nepotism, tribalism, underdeveloped infrastructure and so on.

As an African under 30, I have a vision for a better Africa and the world at large. This is highly achievable if more people commit to working for the common good. I challenge you, dear reader to be a good citizen of the world. There is no better time for concerted efforts for development than now. Below are my take for a better Africa.

(1) Servant Leadership: It is an open secret that one of the greatest challenges currently faced by Africa is leadership crisis. For a relatively long time, the continent has a track record of poor leadership. Part of this problem is political illiteracy and lack of patriotism. Although we produced good leaders like Nelson Mandela and Paul Kagame. The former is an icon and symbol of a servant leader recognized internationally. However, majority of African leaders have contributed to our underdevelopment and several other problems. They use politics as a means of enriching themselves, their immediate families, and relatives. Presidents and cabinet ministers usually assume a lifestyle of luxury while the masses wallow in abject poverty and misery. Official abuse and gross misuse of limited national resources is the order of the day. Their conduct contradicts what leadership entails. Lifestyle of African leaders would be a separate post. Today, I want to share my general take for the way forward as a continent.

Africa is in dire need of servant leaders, committed to the common good. While we may not have many examples or pointers, we can’t give up hope. One thing is clear, Africa has many energetic youths who need some form of coaching and mentoring to take the continent to the next level.

(2) Responsible Citizenry: I am sad to admit that most of the citizens are not responsible enough in Africa. It is more of a blame game. Leaders keep on blaming the colonialists for our underdevelopment, citizens blame their leaders for lack of jobs without improving their skills. More often than not, students blame teachers for academic failure. Some go to the extend of blaming their parents why they are not enrolled in a particular school or given certain privileges like private tutors. Yet, they spend several hours on irrelevant things everyday. In a nutshell, Africans according to my own view are not generally responsible. Did you know that some well to do individuals expect the government to take care of the potholes in their local government area? Did you know that some people blame the president for their standard of living without trying to acquire work or develop their manpower? Would you believe that in Africa, less than 6 in every 10 people who talk about politics actually vote during elections? These are just few of the examples I have to express how irresponsible Africans could be and yet expect progress. One of my favourite quotes is from Mahatma Gandhi “You must be the change you wish to see in the world“. I believe change is possible if more citizens take responsibility for their lives and start playing their roles towards national development.

(3) Irrelevant School Curriculum: For way too long, Africa has been using a curriculum that was designed to meet a particular need. It was basic literacy and arithmetic to ease the work of our colonial masters. The system is generally to train people to be job seekers after years of schooling without meaningful transformation. This type of education system is no longer relevant in our time and age. We are in the 21st century and preparing millions of people for jobs they don’t have passion for is deception. The current education does not encourage individuals to know who they are and how to contribute meaningfully to the world. Education is not properly understood. It’s about getting good grades for promotion and indoctrinated that academic success is a guarantee for success in life. When in actual it was an unintended lie by our teachers and even parents.

Everything about human existence has changed around the 18th century. The question is why do we still maintain such a curriculum after several decades? We still encourage everyone to go to elementary school through college or university and no consideration for life skills or entrepreneurship. I believe in the power of education, but one that transforms individuals to contribute their quota to the world. I don’t think traditional education will help make the world a better place. Africa need a more relevant school curriculum. Education should transform individuals and accord them the opportunity to practice what they learn and not just theory as it is currently the case. I share the vision of Vishen Lihiani, the founder of mindvalley; one of the biggest online learning platforms with millions of students worldwide. He is an advocate of transformational education which is evident in mindvalley programs with the world’s best teachers in every area of human development. This justifies why after more than 6 decades of formal education, Africa still has very little to show for it. Students are not equipped to put their knowledge to practice.

Read the following at least twice. “Education is a private matter between the world of knowledge and experience, and has nothing to do with school or college”. Lillian Smith. “Real education involves teaching children to discover who they are, their strengths, weaknesses and life’s mission. Real education consists of teaching a child to understand how never to separate life from work, because both ought to be the same, both ought to be fun and exciting”. Steve Courage.

(4) Investment in Modern Infrastructure: We are living in a fast pace world and most of it is seen in the type of infrastructure. African government should invest in modern infrastructure. The super powers are expoliting undergound and space when some African countries are struggling with outdated road network. While few are doing well in this regard, majority have little or nothing to show for it. Connecting certain towns is a major problem. The question is not about competition, but adapting to the realities of our time, new technology and development trends. Truly, the way forward is to invest heavily on modern infrastructure.

(5) Creation of More Job Opportunities: Africa is blessed with a very youthful population. Year in and year out, thousands of them come out of school to face the real world with few job opportunities. All these graduates are mere job seekers with no entrepreneurial skills, because that is what the system is designed to do. Yet, African policy makers are not creating enough jobs to meet this increasing demand. The job market is literally saturated. Most of it is occupied by incompetent people because of their connections, not based on merit. In the past few decades, the continent has been producing gruaduates who are still roaming the streets in search of lucrative jobs. Some of them compelled to become burglars or armed robbers harassing innocent citizens for survival. Competition for job is getting high yearly. Already we have lost many youths on high seas trying to seek greener pasture in Europe or elsewhere. Even those who succeeded making it there are barely struggling as undocumented foreigners. Of course, few are trying to support their families, but certainly not easy with them.

(6) Encourage Innovation: It will be a blue lie to say Africans are not innovative. The problem is creativity and innovation is rarely encouraged in Africa. That is partly responsible for our stagnation as a continent for a relatively long time. Starting from home, there is need to encourage innovation for a better Africa and the world at large. Even parents kill a lot of sound dreams by encouraging young kids to focus on different things instead of what they demonstrate interest, skills, and love for. For instance, an African will likely discourage a child who shows interest in mechanics, carpentry, sports (gradually changing) music, or design. They will tell say “I want you to be a doctor, teacher (very few), lawyer, or banker”. Just imagine how many potential pilots, engineers, authors, scientists, musicians, or poets have been silenced by their own parents. This is a serious problem and has done more harm than good to the continent. It’s time to encourage innovation and creativity, fellow Africans.

(7) Advocacy for the Empowerment of More Women and Girls: It is disheartening to know that until this time and age, Africans are with the view that females are meant for the kitchen. This limited way of thinking has significantly reduced the potential of females across the globe, but Africa is worst. Although, there is commendable change of mindset over the years. However, it is worth noting that many girls are not enjoying their basic right to education. Those that were privileged to receive education are discriminated against on a daily basis or harassed by callous insecure men in public offices. There is need for increased advocacy to empower more females across Africa. Studies have shown that they are capable of performing certain functions more effectively than men.

(8) Commitment to Clean Environment: I am sad to admit that many African countries are still struggling with clean environment, an eseential determinant of a healthy and prosperous nation. Almost all major religions believe that cleanliness is next to godliness. However, more often than not, it is about carelessness. It is common to see people littering the streets, both young and old. They become defensive immediately a more responsible citizen rebukes them. Even where there are dustbins, people just have reasons to litter the environment. We need to be commited to cleean environment as Africans, because a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.

(9) More Investment in Health: African health sector is appalling. It is unbelievable to know that women still die at childbirth and people die of minor diseases. I don’t know whether it is carelessness on the side of policy makers or lack of financial muscles. As I grow older, I come to believe the former to be the case, carelessness. Huge sums of money is annually allocated for the health sector. A lot of African hospitals lack specialists on major diseases and essential machinery. Many citizens die or their cases worsened before they are treated. Africa must invest heavily in the health sector in order to preserve more lives. Already, the continent has lost several lives, both young and old as a result of underdeveloped health sector.

(10) Change of Attitude Towards Time: African time, Gambian time or Senegalese time is a common phrase among people in the sub-region. They say it with pride as if it is a good thing to be careless about time. People would deliberately show up late for meetings and other important appointments. I read somewhere that time management is life management. It is very common for people to show up an hour late or more with no sign of guilt for being carelessness about time. How do you expect to make significant progress when you are not serious with your most treasured asset that would never be regained once lost? It is high time we changed our attitude towards time if we are serious about going forward as a continent. Africans waste their time and lives on useless things on a daily basis. Everyone, students and civil servants alike. Some students are perpetual late comers. Many people report late to work and leave early. The general norm is, Africans are poor at time management. That is why deadlines are mostly for formality sake. People show on time for job interviews, visa application, pay day or anywhere they expect immediate benefit. This is sad.

(11) See One Another as Fellow Africans: We have been separated by borders and have used it against ourselves for too long. Our colonial masters have succeeded in separating us, but reunification is up to us. However, we look at one another as different people based on nationality. Until we see ourselves as Africans and not Gambians, Senegalese, Nigerians, Congolese etc, Africa will continue to lag behind. Stereotype makes us look at one another with a suspicious eye. Why is it easier for some African nationals to travel to America, Asia or Europe than to some African countries? Also why can’t we have a common currency and why is it very hectic to cross certain borders within the continent? The simple reason is, we refused to see one another as Africans. African Union is just another myth if you closely question certain things.

(12) Change of Mindset: I choose to deliberately end with this, because everyone irrespective of where you come from needs it at some point. We all need a change of mindset in order to experience a new way of living. Africans, more than a anything else need a complete change of mindset. You only need to hear some of their conversations to get what am trying to say. Some people have conditioned their minds to believe there is nothing possible in Africa. There are those with an inferiority complex. Others feel Africa is a symbol of poverty and backwardness. Some think that Africa will never rise to it’s true meaning. Others say you cannot make a decent living in Africa without illegal means. Waw! Is it so? Some said Africa will never invent anything meaningful to the world? To many, Africa is a symbol of poverty and misery.

Written with love, Frank.

6 Things Schools Don’t Teach Our Kids

Schools should do more

The world is a complex place. There is so much to learn in a given lifetime. If one is bleesed with long life, in between is a lot to learn and apply for good living. While schools have contributed in changing millions of lives, there are numerous things that are not clearly taught within the four corners of the classroom.

No one can live a meaningful life without mastery of these 6 things I choose out of many that are not taught in schools. I am an advocate for the importance of education in humanity. As a citizen of the world in the 21st century, I can attribute several of my breakthroughs in life to education. I can boldly say it was one of the best investments by my family, getting me and my siblings educated to a university level. It is a peculiar privilege, because millions of children worldwide are denied their basic right to education.

Without much ado, I want to make it clear that the purpose of this post is not to look down on our school system. Rather, I want to share my little experience and take on some of the important things that are not taught in schools.

1. RELATIONSHIP: You will agree with me that the world is a place to network by establishing quality relationships with other people. Different people cross our paths at every stage of our lives. No one is an island and that we are all made for each other are common ancient sayings. Yet, there is no clear teaching on the subject of relationship in our classrooms. Divorce, discord, single parents or broken homes are very common nowadays, because most people don’t have what it takes to start and nurture fruitful relationship. Some people find it difficult to even make friends. Though schools sometimes encourage students to form certain groups as a way of assessment, they don’t teach relationship in depth. Yet, the quality of one’s life is determined by their relationship with others. In fact it is said that “your network determines your networth”.

2. HOW TO EMBRACE CHALLENGES/TEMPORARY FAILURE: One of the stark truths about life is that none is promised ease. Life could be challenging and if care is not taken, temporary failure have the tendency to kill dreams. We are not clearly instructed or guided to embrace the storms of life in our classrooms. That is why many young people with very promising future are bowed down by simple obstacles along the way. Schools majorly focused on right and wrong regarding academic work, and almost nothing on how to face life with a strong backbone. In school, we are made to believe that failure is bad. An F grade means you are dull and not good enough like your peers with A-C grades. Some schools even have ability groupings, one of the worst to be ever introduced in modern school system. Students in A class have more self-esteem than those in X. I have a first-hand experience on this as a young teacher. I personally believe schools should make it easy for young people to handle challenges and temporary failure with the right mindset. Schools don’t make it clear that challenges and failure are part and parcel of life.

3. NUTRITION AND GENERAL HEALTH: We are undoubtedly living in the most advanced age of human history. Unfortunately, our school system do not teach us about nutrition and general health. No wonder, we are overwhelmed with numerous health issues like diabetes, cancer and obesity, just to name a few. What we put in our bodies as a result of ignorance is responsible for some of our health challenges today. Life was going to be better if schools teach us about nutrition and general health like other subjects. What comes to your mind each time you see a smoker or an alcoholic fellow who has tasted the right to education? They occupy every sphere of human civilisation. Believe me or not, most of them would have been living a different lifestyle if schools had been mandated to teach children about their nutrition and health. Few lifelong learners come to realise the dangers inherent, sometimes too late. It is boldly written on packets of cigarettes that ‘smoking kills’. Why are a lot of people wasting their precious lives and money on a potential killer? Studies have shown that some kids trust their teachers more and rely on their advice than biological parents.

4. FINANCIAL LITERACY: While money may not guarantee good living, we are living in an age where almost nothing is done without it. Yet, financial literacy is not taught in our schools. Children spend years in school with little or no knowledge on savings, budgeting and investment. Robert Kiyosaki, in his book ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ contrasts two parents. One has academic degrees but knows next to nothing about finances. The other is financially literate and independent. You don’t need a magic wand to know which of them would live a more balanced life in the 21st century. While certain school departments deal with economics and other commerce-related subjects, financial literacy is not taught in schools like English grammar, Science, or Mathematics. That is why our work force is saturated with people who have sound degrees and barley living from hand to mouth in a world of abundance.

5. ENTREPRENEURSHIP: As important as entrepreneurial training is in our changing world, entrepreneurship is not taught in schools. Most of the top entrepreneurs of our time have learnt this on their own. Mark Cuban said at a TED talk, “Unfortunately, the school system is grooming this world to say, let’s be a lawyer or let’s be a doctor; and we’re missing that opportunity because no one ever says, ‘Hey, let’s be an entrepreneur”. It is suffice to say that our school is preparing us to be job seekers in an era where job security is a myth. From the subjects we are taught to the mode of assessment, there is almost no regard to entrepreneurship. Throughout my time in school, at least before teaching college and university; I don’t remember an instant when a particular student showed interests in entrepreneurship. We have all been following the staus quo; becoming a doctor, lawyer or banker. Learn all what you can, graduate and start climbing the corporate ladder for the rest of your life, even if it is against your values.

6. THE POWER OF OUR MINDS: Our mind is the most powerful machine there is. The mind like anything is at it’s best through use. However, our school system because of the nature of assessment does not teach us to maximise the power of our minds. They focus on right and worng answer even to questions that need more than one direct answer. While certain questions have a specific answer like 2+2=4, there are a lot of questions which required multiple answers. Critical thinking is sometimes frowned at in schools. In a nutshell, schools don’t encourge the use of our imagination to an extend. They limit our thinking capacity. In fact, incompetent teachers see students who think outside the box as problematic and even labelled impolite for demonstrating their creativity. Such students have the tendency to approach questions from a different angle. They need to be encouraged to use their imagination to solve problems, but more often than not, schools don’t provide that kind of atmosphere for them. Students tend to think in limited ways because of the system in place.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you do, please share at least 2 things that you were not taught in school and is now part of your life.

Written with love, Frank.

Unprecedented Surge of Covid-19 Cases in The Gambia and Senegal

Let’s flatten the curve

Right now, no one needs to be a health practitioner to know the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic. The entire world is feeling the pinch. It appears nowhere is spared as far the virus is concerned. Early cases of the virus in The Gambia and Senegal were recorded in March. Recently there has been an unprecedented surge of new cases, especially in The Gambia. Ignorance and negligence has contributed to the spread in this part of the world.

While countries like China, Italy, France and America were hit the hardest; Some citizens of The Gambia and Senegal were doubting it’s existence. It was very common to hear people say that there is no coronavirus in Africa. Some were of the view that it cannot kill blacks. Another group on the extreme end of the spectrum saw it as a mere game being played by our leaders in return for funds from WHO and other international organisations. In a nutshell, there was and still a lot of conspiracy theories about the virus even though it is killing globally.

To say I wasn’t carried away would be a lie. I was somehow not very convinced about the virus, especially when Senegal was initially doing well in the treatment of patients. Large number of people were recovering on daily basis while a lot were dying overseas. It took some time before the first death was ever recorded in Senegal. Although, I was observing social distancing and other preventive measures, I wasn’t fully taking it serious like the average citizen at the time. The more I check global statistics of cases, I have reasons to believe that coronavirus is real and deadly. I then published my fisrt post on the subject in April commending our health professionals across the globe.

The government of Senegal imposed night curfew on March 23rd, as a result of the increase in the number of cases. It was initially from 6am-8pm and later extended to 11pm. The motive is to curb the spread of the virus for a better world. However, some citizens still have reasons to complain. Obstinate ones who wanted to test the law from the onset became victims of the police and other security personnel. They were mercilessly beaten or given some form of punishment. People blamed the president for restricting their movements by formulating lies about a non-existent virus, Covid-19. The virus like anything else is not a respecter of persons. It continued spreading like wildfire. Global health sector is overwhelmed and pressured to stretch beyond limits.

The curfew was followed by instant ban of public gatherings; closure of restaurants, gym centres, bars and worship centres. Inter-regional travel was restricted, border was closed and schools across the country. This seemed to be one of the worst decisions made by President Macky. It aroused pubilc tension and debate among citizens. Day in and day out, Tv and radio stations were bombarded with discussions on the subject. Some religious figures agreed that banning public gatheirngs was okay, but mosques and churches should be excluded; owing that people should be allowed to congregate and pray to God for intervention. The president refused to revoke his statement about the matter, because cases were on the increase.

By June 22nd, Senegal recorded up to 5970 confirmed cases, 3953 fully recovered and 86 deaths. Isn’t that not enough reason to wake up from slumber and tighten our belt to fight against the virus? The Gambia on the other still was not responding as expected. Public emergency was declared, but normal life continued while the virus was gradually gaining momentum. During this period, the number of confirmed cases in The Gambia was less than 40.

Currently, Senegal has more than 10,000 confirmed cases and over 200 deaths. The Gambia on the other has more than 900 confirmed cases as of today and 16 deaths, within a span of less than two months. This is relatively a small number compared to other nations with higher population, but the trend is not encouraging considering our health infrastructure and megre resources. However, this should be a wake up call for everyone to do our part in flattening the curve. We have to take it seriously as responsible citizens. Your belief in God should not be a license for carelessness. That would be foolishness on your part. The measures for flattening the curve are clearly defined and easy to follow, but human beings often times refuse to help themselves. All throughout history, human negligence has contributed to most of the problems in the world.

The vice president of The Gambia, three cabinet ministers and the Mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council, Bensouda have tested positive of the virus and a lot more on quarantine. It is high time we took it serious and flatten the curve. Observe social distancing by reducing unnecessary outings. Join the #WearAMask challenge if you have enough reasons to be in public, regularly wash and sanitize your hands. Covid-19 is real. Don’t wait to be positive to believe its existence. Whatever you could do to protect yourself and loved ones is worthwhile.

Finally, as The Gambia imposed curfew for the next 21 days geared towards curbing the spread of Covid-19. I implore you, fellow citizens to cooperate and observe necessary preventive measures. There is also ongoing discussion in Senegal on the subject of bringing back the curfew. While this may limit our movements as citizens, the motive is for the common good. Remember a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. Let’s do our part and God will take care of the rest. #Stayhome #Staysafe #StayHealthy

Written with love, Frank.

Your Past Don’t Define You

There’s a place for you in the world

The world is an incredible place. Man should thank God for placing him above all other creatures. Everything he wants is within his reach. Man’s only problem is his inability to make use of his most treasured asset, his mindset. Right from creation, God has placed the seed of greatness in everyone of us. What we make of it, is up to us. However, certain circumstances may be against us at some point. For instance, the death of a loved one, unfavourable childhood, broken home, poverty or ill health. Well, I want to let you know that there is a place for you in the world, irrespective of what your past has been. You can change your story by making the best use of God’s unique gift to you, your mind. It is your powerhouse.

Human beings are full of stories, often about others. Most of us have forgotten to write and own our stories and have taken the role of policemen or policewomen, writing other people’s stories. Remember, your story was first written by God and significant others. Now that you are grown up, it is your responsibility to change your story. Don’t delegate that to anyone or allow the circumstances of life to write your story. Get out of your comfort zone and write your own story. No one is qualified enough to do it for you.

Your past don’t define you. No matter what has been your past, it has little or nothing to do with the best version of yourself, except lessons to make you wiser. Each of your difficult past is there to make you a better person. You would be doing yourself a lot of harm if you have a bad habit of reliving your challenging past, instead of thanking God for the lessons. Your past is just a reflection of your consciousness. It does not determine your future. The power to change your circumstance lies within. Harness it and the world will make way for you. Others did it, you too can do it.

For the fact that you are able to remember your past is a guarantee that you have the power required to make something out of it. It’s there to teach you an important lesson. Our stories may be similar, but no two people have the same story. A human being, created in the image of God is smart and endowed with the ability to change any situation. He either changes it for good or for worst. Whichever direction he chooses depends on his understanding of the world around him. The difference between achivers and total failures is their reaction to the circumstances of life. While one sees it as an opportunity to learn, grow and produce the best version of himself, another uses it to find all the reasons to give up. Choosing either way is up to you, but I guarantee, it is better to choose the former. Don’t allow your challenging past to determine thee true you. You are constantly creating yourself. Your best days are ahead.

Successful people in every walk of life have one thing in common, difficult past. Had they refused to adjust to the realities of life and change their stories, they have almost every reason to cast blame on someone or situations that surrounded them at some point in the past. However, they applied themselves and went on to make the world a little better than they found it.

In conclusion, I want to emphasize once again, that your past has little to do with the best version of yourself. The lives of Jabez ( biblical character) See 1 Chronicles 4:9,10, Zeno, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Thomas Edison, and Lisa Nichols to mention, but just a few should challenge you. They all had it rough in the beginning.

Jabez was born out of sorrow. What a sad way to be welcomed into the world. He called unto God and got his destiny changed for good. You are not an exception.

Zeno lost everything in a shipwreck in the 3rd century BC. He never allowed that to determine his eventual end, but went on to become prosperous and one of the wisest men who ever lived. He literally started all over again, from square one. For more than two thousand years later, his teachings continue to affect the lives of men and women everywhere. You probably haven’t lived more than 50% of your productive years to experience a lost of his kind.

Oprah Winfrey came from a very humble beginning and now placed herself among the most influential women in the world. She has inspired millions of people and counting. Your own beginning might be better than hers.

What can I say about Nelson Mandela, who spent nearly three decades in prison? Is that not enough reason to give up on your dream or make some foolish decisions in life? Well, Mandela came out as a visionary president and a model for servant leadership worldwide. His experience in prison did not blur his vision.

Thomas Edison’s life should challenge everyone of us. He couldn’t speak until at the age of 4. It didn’t take long before he was labelled as a retarded child in school. That never stopped Edison from writing his name among the great. He grew stronger from one failure to another. However, before his death in 1931, at the age of 84; he created the world’s first industrial research laboratory and invented the light bulb amongst others. His initial failures only made him stronger and more resilient. Don’t be afraid to fail.

And lastly on my list, Lisa Nichols. Imagine the stigma of being a struggling “single mom” in our modern world. Yet, she made her way through to a top motivational speaker, bestselling author and a featured teacher. I personally received very sound lectures from her through (YALI) i.e. Young African Leaders Initiative. I selected these six characters, but there are several of them. Read biographies of the most successful people in the world and you will be amazed.

Written with love, Frank

Building Your Life Around Your Passion

Everyone is born a champion. It is your responsibility to harness your potential as you progress in life. You need to constantly improve the quality of your life at every stage. No man is ever considered great or successful who has not built his life around his passion. You owe that to yourself and the world.

The key is to go out to the world with lofty questions. Such questions include; why was I created? What can I do to live a better life? How can I contribute more to the world? What are my strengths and weaknesses? How is my relationship with significant others? How does my attitude affect others positively or negatively? What do I need to change, how and when? What gives me pleasure or pain? These powerful and provoking questions will get you out of life’s comfort zone and propel you to move mountains. Remember, it is said questions determine the quality of our lives.

We live in a better, but busy world and if care is not taken, you would spend years living someone else’s life. The reason for this is, failure to live and build your life around your passion. Instead you are driven by others, family member(s), friends, celebrities or someone you have high regard for. Remember, God gave you this life to leave the world a little better. You can’t make the world better living someone else’s life, you got to be yourslef. God never creates duplicates. I always tell people that there is only one Francis Gomez in the whole world with unique assignmnet, talents and challenges. You are a unique being. Know that and build your unique life around your passion. There is enough space for you in the world. The earlier you focus on your passion, the better your life will be and the world at large.

Everyone has a role to play in this life, but your first duty is to make yourself better, because if you cannot improve your own life, be rest assured that you cannot make any one’s life better. It is a common saying that ” You cannot give what you don’t have”. Therefore, one of your priorities in life should be to invest greatly in yourself. When that is done, you are now armed with the necessary tools to positively influence the lives of other people. Always be in the look out for things that interest you or what you are truly passionate about. The secret of your future is hidden in your passion.

Different people are fascinated by different things and so is our passion. Even identical twins sometimes have different passions or interests. However, as we age we tend to develop new interests based on our environment and inner circle. Our friends and environment greatly affect the way we approach and live life. Remember, life is short and unpredictable. Therefore, to make the most of this dash (life), you have to build it around your passion. It is one of the surest ways of living a good life for yourself and the world. Whatever is your passion; caring for others, music, drawing, writing, painting, inventing new things, social work, tendency to support strangers, interest in nature etc. You will do yourself a lot of good and the world the earlier you build your life around that particular passion.

So don’t be distracted by anyone. There world has never been more supportive of people with passion than now. A lot has happened in our planet over the centuries. The rise of new democracies, states, businesses, financial freedom and independence, leadership strategies, breakthrough in health and fitness, specialists and so on. In a nutshell, alsmost every aspect of human life has experienced or is experiencing massive transformation. This is possible, because of men and women who built their unique lives around their passion. This is progressive and the world is also waiting for you to even do more, because it is very possible. For the fact that you’re reading this blog post now means you can take your passion to another level and the world will be better for it. Thank you for reading and stay safe, sound and healthy.

Written with love, Frank.

The World of Information-Educate Yourself

It is every citizen’s duty to be informed

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school”. Albert Einstein

It is an open secret that we are living in an information era. The rate at which knowledge  increases and the corresponding flow of information is overwhelming. The question is “How informed is the citizenry, beacuse to be infomred is every citizen’s duty? There is a lot going on in the world at the same time. Yet there is no curriculum for what you should know as an individual. The choice is yours, to be an informed citizen or not. Remember, the quality of your life is determined by how informed you are as a person. Be a good citizen of the world by being properly informed. Never take it for granted. However, the first thing is to have a sense of purpose for your life, because there is noise and distraction disguised as information.

Knowledge is the basis for living, that is why it is imperative for citizens to be properly informed. You are never better than what you know or the quality of the information you feed your mind with. Your mind needs information for growth. In a time like this, you don’t have to be a professor to be informed. Information is everywhere, but you need the right information for good living. Someone might say what is right for one person might not be right for another. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. The right information for me is what can improve your life and others in your circle of influence, to make the world a better place. Something which prevents you from making wrong decisions. For instance, two teenagers witnessed a street murder. An armed robber coveted an innocent woman’s possessions and used the means he could to have it. One of the teens decided he would do the same next time he was out of cash while the other saw the act as injutice in it’s height. What do you think happened? Both teens have just been educated of what happens in real life. They absorbed the same information differently and it affects their lives.

Throughout history, humans have been informed. The difference however, is the quality of information we absorb. There were times peope used to be informed through stories. Moral stories, which had so much good influnece on the world. Some had the peculiar privilege of directly learning from elders who told them about the past. Real life situations that provide wisdom for living a good life in a seemingly crazy world. They received firsthand information of great men and women who made the world better. They were told several stories with moral lessons about life. Some of these lessons include, honesty, hard work, love, the danger of hate, exemplary community life, the importance of values, the place for education and so on. As an African I recalled benefiting from similar experience. My grandma told me a lot of stories, some of which will continue to influence my view of the world for my living memory. She was trying to make me an informed citizen in her own way. I appreciaed those moments even more after she departed this world to answer the call of nature. Although I never lived by all of them, but my life has been affected by that mere experience.

The world has never been the same since the advent of technology. Information flows at an unprecedented speed than ever before. Does that mean that citizens are properly informed? Again, remember, it is your duty to be inforemd. Certain people or institutions are vested with the responsibility of informing us with the daily happenings in the world. Unfortunately they have failed us for the simple fact that for a long time, a lot of citizens are not privy to a lot of valuable information. I am referring to the media or the information ministry of our various countries.

We are always shown the negative side of life. Each time you turn on your TV or tuned your radio, what are the headlines? Corruption, murder, civil wars, prostitution, hunger in Africa, political crises and so on. They are not interested in showing or talking about those providing solutions or trying to make the world better. That street vendour who is the breadwinner in his/her family is ignored. No one cares about the multitude of manual labourers, poor farmers, rural teachers, single parents meetings the demands of parenting amidst economic headship, those who keep our streets clean, general civil servants with low wages etc. In a nutshell, there are a lot of silent heroes and heroines doing extraordinary things just to make our planet better. Unfortunately, the media hardly features such stories for the public to see the true pucture of the world. They feed us with the type of information they want us to hear. Stories that don’t inspire us. I am not in any way against such negative stories by the media, but am advocating for the right balance. Yes, people have the right to know about the problems in the world. They equally have absolute right to know or hear about inspiring stories, but the media have a different motive for informing the masses. This is not supposed to be. There are a lot good things that citizens should be informed of about.

In conclusion, everyone should strive to be informed on your own, because the media will always portray the picture they want you to see. It is your sole responsibility to be informed. Therefore, endeavour to educate yourself, because it is possible. Remember the words of Albert Einstein in the introduction. There are several reaources to make you informed in a world like this. Walk into a libray and pick a great book to read. Read/watch documentarie and biographies of great men and women who lived before you. Read magazines with relevant information. Subscribe to a good YouTube channel or newsletters. You can listen to audio podcasts. Use Google dearch engine to widen your knowledge on anything relevant to you. Attend seminars and webinars where there’s opportunity. We have enough reasons to be informed citizens outside the classroom. Therefore, school is just the foundation for knowledge in our changing world. You cannot rely only on the media for the information you need. Take it upon yourself to be an adequately informed person. There is a limit to how far you can go with little or unnecessary information. So keep studying. Keep learning and keep reading. This simple habit will change your life for good.

Stay home and stay safe.

Written with love, Frank.

Are You Concerned?

say no to racial injustice and inequality

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”, Martin Luther King Jr.There is no better time to stand against racism than now. Minority groups everywhere have been racially discriminated for a long time. The recent terrible death of George Floyd in the hands of an American policeman should be a cause for concern for the entire world, not just for the black community. We should all be concerned and stand against this evil called racism. Racial injustice against minority groups has been a problem for way too long. America is one of the developed countries where racial injustice continues to overwhelm global headlines. The world has gone through a lot over the centuries for the betterment of mankind. The order of the day should be freedom, equality and justice for all; irrespective of nationality, colour or race. Unfortunately, there are still some with superiority complex towards others. They have forgotten that all men are created equal. We just come from difference routes but belong to the same human race.

The founding fathers of America like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln fought tooth and nail to end slavery and all forms of inhumane treatment. While slavery have been abolished decades ago, blacks continue to live with the indelible scars. Every now and then, history repeats itself. This is a callous act and should be condemned by all and sundry. A human being kneeling on another’s neck for more than 8 minutes should be seen as a heinous crime against humanity. Ignoring it means compliance, allowing it to happen again to someone else. For the fact that God created you different from another doesn’t justify that you are better than him/her. What makes you think like that? Yet, there are people who for one reason or another believe they are superior to others. This myopic belief is a threat for global peace and progress. We should learn to live as brothers and sisters for a better world. Let us stand up for justice, because enough is enough. George’s case should be a wakeup call, because a lot of black Americans have been victimized over the years. It’s now time to be truly concerned and collectively seek justice.

The stoics believe in four most important virtues; wisdom, courage, justice and moderation. They believe eveything in life hinges around them. We have to balance them properly for good living. So right now, the world should cultivate the virtue of justice. Until we are all concerned for the greater good, the world would continue to be a mess. That is why people like Martin Luther King Jr and Mahatma Gandhi fought for similar courses. They advocated for the equality of black and white. Racial discrimination should not have a place in our modern society. Martin Luther believes that what affects one person directly affects all indirectly. Why? The answer is simple, because we all belong to the same human race. We are to celebrate our difference and not use it against one another. This is not the time to sit and think that it is a problem for blacks. You and I should be concerned and stand against it. There is no better time to stand for justice, freedom and equality for all than now. If you think this is a problem for blacks. Then, tell me who is spared from covid-19 and who will not eventually answer the call of nature, death?

For several decades, minority groups worldwide have suffered a lot; and blacks have been victims of racial injustice. This supposed not to be so. We are all created by the Creator of the universe, supreme God. After all, America is a country that preaches democracy. My understanding of the term democray is that true democracy encourages freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. Irrespective of our political, social, economical, or religious affiliations, we are all equal. None is better than the other. Know that. Diversity should be an opportunity for growth. Only those that are weaklings see others as a threat to their existence. They may appear strong by mere pretense, but deep within they are the weakest beings you can ever imagine. That is the only justification for their oppression and brutal murder of people of colour.

Remember the world would have not attained the level of progress we are currently enjoying if we did not celebrate our difference and use it for the greater good. Show me an industry that is occupied exclusively by a people of a single religion, colour, ethnicity or race and I will show you a very backward industry. The world is a place for diversity and we should use it well to serve one another amicably.

The whole world should be concerned about the death of George Floyd and several others before him. The saddest thing is that, this menace is perpetuated by authorities vested with the responsibility of maintaining peace, law and order “security personnel”. Then tell me, what is our problem as human beings? We have to wake up to the realities of our time and make the world a better place. Racial discrimination should be a thing of the past. Otherwise, what have we to learn from history? Help end racism.

#Black Lives Matter. #EndRacialInjustice. #SeekJustice. #MakeTheWorldBetter.

Written with love, Frank.

Climbing the Ladder of Success

Are you climbing?

Someone said life is a journey of no retardation, but of continual progress and adjustments as we climb the ladder to our desired goals in life. Human beings are in constant pursuit of happiness. Whatever we may be doing right now, the ultimate goal is to be happy in the end.

Like different routes lead to the city, different things lead to the top. However, below are ten ways that lead to the top based on my own study of the lives of some individuals who have achieved considerable success, both living and dead.

1. CLARITY OF PURPOSE: I believe the first thing that can propel one to achieve his/her dream in life is to have a clear purpose. Until you find out the purpose for your creation, you can’t amount to anything significant. That is why a lot of people merely exist, they don’t live. They lack a definite purpose for living this beautiful life. Life is about self-discovery. Every successful person lives a purposeful life. Some find it difficult to identify the purpose for their creation, because you have to discover it with time. That is why it is advisable you medidate or have occasional solitary moments. It is during such moments that purpose is discovered. Your purpose in life gives you the reason to wake up early every morning. You were created for a certain mission. Don’t just go through life as a spectator. Be an active participant.

2. PASSION TO SERVE: Martin Luther King Jr. said greatness is found in service. Of all the successful people that I have known, heard or read about have one thing in common, passion to serve others. “Earn your success based on service to others, not at the expense of others”. H. Jackson Brown Jr. Successful people render quality service to the people around them. They find real pleasure improving the lives of other people. They always have something to give. These are people who like to volunteer, iniate, or help others in need without being asked to do so. Even the greatest man to ever live, Jesus Christ has served more than all his disciples. Therefore, if you desire to be on top, you must find a way to serve others. Mother Teresa will always be remembered by her selfless service to humanity.

3. WILLINGNESS TO LEARN: The essence of life is learning. All successful people are committed to lifelong learning. Learning in this sense is not limited to going to school to earn a certificate or degree. I’m talking about learning to change yourself and the world for good. There is a lot to learn in this short life. No wonder, someone said you begin to die the day you stop learning. A young millionaire, Niklas said “You got to learn before you earn“. Have you ever wondered why some people seem to know a lot while others don’t even know what directly concerns them, like their own history? The answer is simple, one is willing to learn and the other is lazy and negligent. So, wherever you are, if you truly desire to be on top of the game or successful; you must be willing to learn. Learning about yourself is enough to give your life a new meaning. The more you learn, the more you earn.

4. HAVE MENTORS: A Mentor is someone you look up to in life. Someone who has done what you are yearning or dreaming to be. People like Napoleon Hill, Martin Luther King, Kobe Bryant, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, Barrack Obama etc all have mentors. Your parent, coach, teacher, celebrity or favourite author could be your mentor. You can have different mentors at different stages of your life. They are people that have achieved success in some areas that you admire. You can read their biographies to know their past and how they manuaved to be where they are today. Learning from mentors would safe you many years of hard work and propel you towards success faster than many people without mentors. With the advent of technology, one can enjoy mentorship services at very reasonable cost. What you need is create time to learn from them. You can request direct coaching, guidance, or training from them if you have the opportunity to. Sometimes, you may just have to follow them on social media or read their works. No matter what you are doing or wish to do with your life, you need a mentor to get to the peak of the success ladder.

5. EMBRACE CHALLENGES: Challenges are part of life, but they are also responsible for silencing many potential achievers. Weak minds shrink because of challenges, but great minds embrace them as stepping stones to higher heights. Everyone faces challenges in life. It could be health, relationship, financial, physical or emotional. Only the dead is spared from the sting of life’s challenges. That is why it is essential to train your mind to embrace trying moments. After all, they reveal the true you. Every great man is known by the obstacles he overcomes. Adversity reveals our identity. Don’t run away from them when they come, but embrace them with the mind of a conqueror or champion. You are stronger than you think.

6. POSITIVE MINDSET: Your mind is your powerhouse and needs to be well taken care of. There is nothing more powerful than a positive mindset and deadlier than a negative mindset. Choose one. The game of life is played in your mind. That is why you need to have mastery of this playground, otherwise, you will remain a victim. All great people have this in common. They are always positive and optimistic. Successful people don’t use their own mouths to limit themselves or welcome calamities into their lives like the average person does. During moments of distress, achievers are known by their reactions and verbal confession. You have to think and talk positive all the time. No one said it’s going to be always easy, the truth is you need a positive mindset to navigate the sea of life. Life sometimes tests us beyond measure, but throughout history, a positive mindset is priceless.

7. DESIRE FREEDOM NOT THINGS OR MONEY: We live in an era called “the rat race” where millions are rushing to acquire whatever comes their way without considering the means. They say the end justifies the means. No wonder some people do all sorts of illegal things to get rich like fraud, rituals or robbery. This misplaced priority justifies how miserable a lot of wealthy and influential people are. The reason is, they don’t desire the right thing, freedom. The goal is to seek freedom not money or things. We have millionaires and billionaires with relationship problems. Some of them are victims of drug abuse and other irrational behaviours. Freedom guarantees a blissful life. Make freedom your ultimate goal if you desire to lead a wonderful life.

8. REMEMBER LIFE IS SHORT: The shortness of life is what makes wise people to make use of the time they have right now. They maximise it daily throughout their lifespan. Knowing that life is short prepares you to live with eternity in view. You begin to take charge of your actions. You are not careless or frivolous. Rather you are careful and always looking for a way to be better than yesterday.

9. SELF-EVALUATION: Life is a race against yourself. You can make your life a masterpiece by constantly evaluating yourself. It helps you know where you are making progress and what needs to be done differently for a better you. Self-evaluation will produce quality questions geared towards revealing the best version of yourself. It is believed that the questions we ask determine the quality of our lives. How often do you ask questions like this? Why was I born? How can I serve better? How has my attitude affected other people? Who/what is influencing my life? What do I need to change? What can I sacrifice and so on? Such questions aligns you with the universe to grant your wildest request.

Self-evaluation is necessary for living a fulfilled life. Unless you know what, when, how and why you do something you will not do it the way it has to be done. Always evaluate yourself and do necessary adjustments.

10. FINANCIAL LITERACY: We live in a business world, where every aspect of our lives require certain amount of money for good living. Therefore, financial literacy cannot be left for bankers alone. Everyone needs at least basic financial literacy. In the book ” Rich dad poor dad” Robert challenges us to have knowledge of the power of money and how to use to our advantage in a dynamic world. Money may not be the end goal, but everyone needs to sokw of the rules governing its acquisition, use and multiplication. Another classic book is ” The Richest Man in Babylon” an incredible book for anyone who desires true prosperity.

I hope this will help you to live better. You can comment your thoughts on this post. Thanks for reading.

Written with love,Frank.