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Marriage and Family

What about your mental muscles?

I get amused while passing through some neighbourhoods. I see bare-bodied young men walking in the streets, parading their well-chiseled bodies. I always say to myself, I hope these guys are also building their mental muscles. I do not know what goes on in their minds that make them walk the streets in daylight half naked, but I hope they are not fixated on the illusory assumption of the kind of man women want. In our teenage years, we were misled into the same illusion: Tall, handsome, muscle-bound with six ridges (albs), etc. As I grew older, especially when I became an undergraduate, I got confused because I saw “ugly” lecturers and professors, some of whom were barely five feet, married to tall, stunning beauties.

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“No perfect family”

There is no perfect family. We do not have perfect parents, we do not marry perfect people nor have perfect children. We have issues with one another. We disappoint one another. So there is no healthy marriage or healthy family without the exercise of forgiveness. Forgiveness is vital to our emotional health and spiritual survival. Without forgiveness the family becomes an arena of conflict and a stronghold of hurt. Without forgiveness, the family becomes ill. Forgiveness is the asepsis of the soul, the cleansing of the mind and the liberation of the heart. Hurt is poison that intoxicates and kills. Keeping heartache in the heart is a self-destructive gesture. It is autophagy. Those who do not forgive are physically, emotionally and spiritually ill – Pope Francis I

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Taming blackmailers

As a cub reporter with The Punch Newspapers in 1987, I interviewed the first indigenous female professor of a university. I asked her how she felt about the feat. She said she felt “fulfilled and vindicated.” Apparently, she felt the professorship should have come much earlier. I was uncomfortable with the word, “vindicated,” but I quoted her anyway. Later when I saw her, she complained that “vindicated” came too early in the story. In fact, she would have preferred it left out all together. Then I gave her an advice: “Ma, if you are talking to a journalist, assume you are talking to the whole world. Anything you would not say to the whole world, don’t tell a journalist.” “Is that so?” She retorted. “Yes ma,” I responded. I left her feeling giddy that a small boy like me had given a professor a lecture.

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