Inspirations From Albert Einstein

Inspirations from Albert EinsteinII

Albert Einstein said, ‘The destiny of civilized humanity depends more than ever on the moral forces it is capable of generating.’
It is not my belief, as past generations like to posit, that there has been moral decay over the years, culminating in ‘the youth of today’; rather, I believe that not as much has been expended on moral progression as on technological advancement, and thus we find ourselves too immature to handle that which is meant to ease life. Cellphones are a big one. Whereas, it is universally known and understood that a child must not play with a knife, and it is accepted that using a knife to assist one in the kitchen is good, but using it to kill another (all things being equal) is bad, technological advancement has not brought with it a manual on the moral use of cellphones versus the wrong, so we find, in some cultures it is alright to take a call in the presence of company; and in different households of the same culture others are allowed to browse their facebooks via their smartphones at the dinner table; still, others find it appalling to give more attention to their Blackberries than a person they are hanging out with in the flesh, until they go to Chameleon and find all five of their friends who are sitting at the table are only giving a token of their attention to real time before bowing their heads down again to the Holy Grail in their hands. To which, any sane, integrity-keeping human responds in kind and takes out their daft phone to scroll up and down their phonebook, reread ten times, the ten text messages their under-par brick which used to pass for a phone 5 years ago, is able to store, before accepting that they are being daft and need to get a phone as smart as the times  since ‘hanging out aint hanging out’ until you can accessorise your conversation with squeals of what so ‘n’ so statused on facebook, talk about what’s trending on twitter, take a minute to answer that-guy-you-never-have-anything-to-talk-to-about-in-person’s all important ‘hi’, or all of the above.  
It would seem where advances in telecommunications, internet, social networks, are supposed to bring the human race closer and make the world one big giant community, they have only torn us further apart, isolated us from our neighbour, stripped us of face to face social etiquette, and made us slaves of the very things that are supposed to make our lives easier and happy.

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Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

So on Friday, I got the shocker of my life. “Ukumela ndevu ngati ine?” said a friend whom I had gone to visit over their lunch break at work. Now, it’s not that I didn’t know I have developed smatterings of very pronounced hair on my chin; no. It’s that I had fallen into the trap that only ensnares rich men and politicians- of which I am neither, as evidenced below, but we shall analyse whence I came to fall into this trap another day.
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(Actually, this photo is not evidence at all; I just really dig it and have been looking for a non-presumptuous way of sharing it with the world)

I digress. The constant companion of my working hours has always obliged me with a, “what beard are you talking about? I can’t even see anything,” to the point that I have been compelled to disregard the joint testimony of my eyes and fingertips which both attest to the existence of un-womanly (so there is ‘unmanly’ in the English language but not ‘unwomanly’) happenings on my jaw and to embrace the witness of a third party. So my friend’s statement gave me a very coarse and harsh jolt out of delusion land * BUT* the new age mantra is all about taking it like a champ; playing the cards you are dealt; blah blah SO it’s either I choose to rock the beard or get rid of the beard.
               **Alert** I am just messing; the first option is not really an option; please do   

                not rock beards; ‘Women! Please do not rock beards!’

So, I have seen some others of my friends in the same predicament plucking their beards; me? I don’t go down like that. I am not about the ‘treating the symptoms and not curing the disease’ philosophies. I ‘hit the snake on the head’; ‘go straight to the root of the problem’. So the problem is…LACK OF ESTROGEN vis a vis TOO MUCH TESTOSTERONE, and if I go deeper (sound effects: go deepppeeeer) we will see that this is because of this ‘independent woman’ bullshit: I am doing too much for myself, by myself, so because psychologically, I have taken on the role of the man in my life, my physical self has gotten the memo and is following suit- Lawrd knows I know it ain’t genetic: My mama didn’t even have a shadow of a ‘stache, and my two sisters’ faces testify to that. Anyway, since marriage does not seem to be around any corner, I think its best I become someone’s mistress: a kept woman, with all my material and financial obligations catered to, while still leaving me to my independence sans beard. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

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Please Disregard If I have Not Referred You To This Post Specifically

You are probably still reading but I would like to reassure you that this post is no tree of knowledge. It’s posted here simply because I would like to insert pictures into my narrative, and, either I am not email-savvy enough, or yahoo! does not allow photo insertions into text, so again, disregard this one, and I’ll hit you with a little something on Sunday.

To Whom It May Concern:
2007, my mother died and I moved back to Malawi to live with my Dad.
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 -the last photo I took with my mum

Exactly 11months and 2 weeks later, my father died from injuries sustained in a car accident.

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 -last photo I took with my Dad

Before he died, he was admitted in Kamuzu Central Hospital’s ICU for 3 days. I was his guardian. This allowed me front row view of the various strengths and weaknesses of this particular healthcare department.

After my father’s death, I left the country for a year, but when I came back I could not help but be drawn to KCH’s ICU. I ended up doing a mini-research focusing on the shortcomings of the ICU and providing options of solutions. In 2010, I submitted my findings to the OPC who were very responsive; I talked to then Min. of Finance Hon. Ken Kandodo about the findings, chiefly that there was lack of government initiative in  buying equipment for ICUs across the nation- he was appalled and allocated MK250Million to the Min. of Health, specifically for the buying of hospital equipment.

Then the OPC told me that government would do all it can to improve the situation, however, they said the reality was that they could not do it alone…I talked to some friends about collating our efforts to lobby the private sector to channel CSR funds to this particular healthcare need; there was overwhelming response and a sizeable group was formed, representatives of which went to MoH to establish a Memorandum of Understanding regarding our fund-raising and their commitment to the development of ICUs and High Dependency Care Units across the nation.

MoH was not aware of our group; was not aware of our talks with the OPC nor with the Finance minister; and was weary of do-gooders who come with a lot of aplomb but forsake them once they realise the level of commitment required to bring about any fruits.
The press started calling me saying they heard I did a research which had some suggestions for the improvement of our healthcare system but that MoH was not taking it on board; I alerted MoH about the pressure I was getting, however, they were still reluctant to work with us. As the months wore on, our group started disintegrating until, finally, by January 2013, there were just five us. In the meantime, Malawi saw a President die via circumstances that needed urgent and critical care; a commission of inquiry instituted by the current President pointed to the inadequacy of KCH’s ICU, and suggested developing it. The media was all over this story pointing to the fact that there was a group which had made this suggestion and yet was not taken up. MoH accused us of being all talk no action, we accused them of complacency; in the end, the Daily times got an article dubbed “Blame game dogs ICU” out of it…but we still did not have a thistle of development at any of our ICUs. The article was the impetus for MoH and our group to begin talks again, and they found that during the year of silence between us and them, we had not given up but were establishing ourselves as a trust, independently from MoH. I suppose the fact that we had been financing the cause for 3 years gave them a clue about our commitment to seeing it’s fruition. Immediately, they took us on board and gave us the mandate to design, lobby for funding for, and oversee the construction of, an expanded ICU at KCH. We realised we need to formalise taking this new mandate, and working hand in hand with MoH into account. We became icare.
That’s where we are now. June 8th 2013 saw the launch, which was also used as a podium to raise funds for the immediate needs of KCHs ICU, namely medication, bandages etc. We also wanted to honour KCH ICU/HDU staff (31 of them) and each was given a goodie bag.
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– KCH representatives accompanied by MoH architect, receiving a meagre token of our appreciation for all that they do.
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– Tokens of appreciation pictured on a banner carrying all the sponsors’ logos.

The launch was a great success; why? Because many connections were made with various corporations regarding long term partnerships doing this work; The fundraiser was a miserable failure; why? Because icare overestimated its own clout and was able to bring 130 people, and not 1000, to the dinner, thus only a drop in the ocean was made towards the MK15Million that we had promised KCH for their immediate needs.           

What now? Our priority is to finalise registering icare as a legal entity- a charitable trust; at the same time, we are following up on leads made at the launch. 

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On 20111008 On Education

ImageOn My “Masters”: I feel like such a fraud especially when people get overwhelmed about my having a master’s in “Economics and Finance”. Then I really feel the emptiness of my credentials. I mean “master” is such a…masterful word, I feel like I should be a connoisseur of my trade building (discovering really, for nothing there is that wasn’t before-Eccl.) whole theories Adam Smith-style, cooking up new recipes, but all I do is regurgitate tried and tested ones and use “economic terms” that make one seem clever when you are only speaking an uncommon, but nevertheless, taught, language; who the hell can’t say 2 if they are taught that’s the answer to 1+1; the real beast is the one who discovered that and u bcoma beast when u discover 1×1=1. So, that being said, its not really humility when I smile demurely to someone’s praiseful advances.  I just feel like if I utter a word, I will be discovered. I go and invest my benefactors’ life earnings into learning this vocation which necessarily makes one an ambassador of the vocation and thus must speak with authority about it but it only ends up feeling like an impertinent burden rather than the liberating duty that saves one from flailing about life’s journey without a purpose, and prevents one from that awkward defensive response which turns into a justification when asked a simple ‘just-making-conversation-type-question’ like “So, what are you up to these days?”.

I am not in anyway against education- shoot, it taught me how to ejaculate what’s on my mind, an activity that comes second only to reading…and sex?…and eating chocolate? Ok, rephrase: a non-sensual activity that comes second only to reading- but the pretentious eliticism that comes with the “formerly educated”. I guess it’s the difference between buying your charger from a wood-paneled Click Africa store, complete with receipt and tax-and boy do you get taxed-and getting it cheaper from a vendor- when Click Africa may also get it from the vendor and charge u an arm and a leg-just cause its sitting on wood and especially cause it comes with a receipt? Isn’t that what schools do as well? Charge you an arm and a leg to get ‘formal education’ and bring in ‘uneducated’ speakers like Bill Gates to give talks? The only thing wrong with this analogy is that Click Africa gives a warranty. I think schools should give warranty to employers as well. I digress, you expect Click Africa’s charger to be better, guaranteed, than the vendors so you don’t mind paying more for the receipt but I bet if u had 2040 vision and saw into the future and saw that both were just as good, you would go for the cheaper one. Soooo, I guess I’m just projecting my own feelings of “what’s the big whoo-ha”? Maybe I missed the point. Shooot, I probably missed the point didn’t I? On the flipside, “Let me not be misunderstood” *Obama voce*: I am not for using the whole “I’m educated by the street” philosophy as a way of side-stepping education because of one’s lethargy.  

 Personally, I don’t think one should ever go for a master’ s without letting reality test you on what pre-graduate has taught you; its like reading up on how to boil an egg and then going on to read how to make bloody Eggs Florentine without even having boiled water. One needs to bloody experiment first and know that cooking eggs for 8min in boiling water is not the only way to know they are done, and only then can you bring something to a master’s degree; horrifyingly, nobody told me this when I was going for mine so imagine my consternation on the first day of class when several of those overachievers that want-to-make-you-feel-like- a-loser-when-all-the-while-you-thought-you-were-on-the-right-track go up to the professor to talk about their thesis statements. I thought I had missed the school start date or hadn’t read one of those documents that they send you and become more important than your birth certificate pre-visa time and are now shoved in some box labeled miscellaneous, which would have told me to come bearing thesis statement or risk getting “weeded”.  You can also imagine my orgasmic joy at the professor saying “Chill out; its not time for that yet-first go through the course, then find a topic you want to explore more” I latched onto this as if this was the reasoning behind my incompetence.

Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t fail my master’s; I have mastered the art of regurgitating other people’s cud down to a capital T. And, undoubtedly off topic, the only reason I went and read up on Eggs Florentine after only trying to boil an egg once is because I’m not trying to make a career out of economics. It just a means to an end; Art and Literature. Some people do it the other way round; Art and Lit as a means of economic welfare. For me, something you love should not be 4yrs here, 1yr there; it should be a lifelong vocation-plus I don’t know who would pay me for reading books without requesting I write up on it or give some sort of authoritative opinion. But my point is: I am not trying to make a career out of economics. I don’t climax at econometrics—maybe at Adam Smith, but I’ve always had a weakness for this type of genius and singlemindedness which leads to making things look, what my father termed, QED (quite easily done), so even in this its not really economics; it’s the man. I always felt, before my bachelor’s, that once this hill is climbed, I’d feel Professor Chikaonda-esque. Three years into it, I don’t feel “educated”. I knew it would happen once I received the receipt of purchase formally called the certificate. When this did not happen, I was left with no choice but to go for the Master’s, and *Surprise! Surprise!* it’s the same emptiness leering its ugly head a year later. Is this why people get obsessed with formal education? They feel the emptiness of their accolades weighing down on them and so feel they must better themselves to match them? 

To all my friends with formal education, it’s not you, it’s me: I have a problem. I have been told more than once that I over-analyse things. Please understand that when I say things it’s usually very subjective. I noticed a few people deleted me from FB (and their lives?) after my “marriage rant”, and some awkwardness in face-to-face conversation with others, specifically espoused friends. I just try to put stuff into the context of my reality; do not take it as a piss on you- my friends list is already constricted as it is.

o to all the furckers (my siblings excluded caused I understand they need a return on their investment)  that keep “advising” me to get a job- I aint trynna leave a life vocation to settle for a job. I’d advise you to get a life vocation Period  

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“Cherry brandy….vodka, wine, and whiskey”

It’s three in the morning. They call it the devil’s hour. Your heart is breaking; your eyes are swimming; and the ‘close friends’ list in your phonebook is empty.

 Who do you talk to when your friends’ experiences are so out of touch with your reality?

Who wants to listen to your bitter rants when the latest fashion is to carry around a placard saying “Surround yourself with positive people; negativity will only bring you down”?

 You are such a failure, you even fail to end it. She said, “The world always looks better after I’ve put down a few.” So I tried her suggestions. “Cherry brandy…vodka, wine, and whiskey.” Misty. Through the fog only one thing remained clear. You are not here.

 I did not ask him to, but he kept coming around. I did not ask him to, but he kept opening verses. I did not ask him to, but he kept spewing the same hollow sermons. I did not ask him to, but he kept on, wasting his time-I was already wasted.

 Can a heart be intoxicated to health? Can it be preached into mending? Are they there to pick up the pieces when it blows up in your face even though they are the ones who told you to ‘love like you have never been hurt’?

 The left call you the life of the party; the right say you will lose your life if you party. How do you respond when you know you are dead already inside? Maybe one day I’ll be born again but for now-

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Kwa-a-acha! (kwacha!)

Seems like another lifetime since he found us literally naked; another lifetime since their stupid federation. Who is to be blamed for our lack of progression now that it seems we have to beg for even our daily bread? Today, we are steady consuming, never a kwacha invested in tomorrow. Big spending, small thinking, got us more dependent now that we are independent.

Kamuzu, is this why you came back to give us, the Africans of this country, our own independent form of government?
Chilembwe, was it worth picking up the guns?

And you, Rose? Is it still be an honour to be the first female minister?

Mr Sangala was it worth the sacrifice?

Inkosi Gomani, can you clarify your role?

Since you are the longest standing, Mbelwa, can you tell me where we went wrong?

Another lifetime since we were mbumba za ma President; never thought there would be a time in life when a mumba would be a President.

I hear they used to huddle up, secret meetings, igniting change; now all they want is to burn tax payers’ change. More than that, we think all our problems can be solved Overseas and we’ve forgotten why since 1915 the rebellion never ceased. Now we beg them to subsidise our budget 40%; we are so proud, instead of working together like brethren, we feel money should rain down on us like manna from heaven. I guess to us it is heaven; even now that we have built their nations, and they no longer need us, excluding us with their visas, we still weasel our way in saying, “Better to be a janitor in your house, Lord, than a king in my own.”

 

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Press that Green Button


I hate making excuses- not because I walk some higher moral ground-but because I hate transferring power over me to someone else. The minute I (carelessly) make some pledge or other, say….”I’ll call you”, I must fulfill it, even if I hate every agonising minute, before the call, spent psyching myself up for it. The thing is, more likely than not, I will come across this person again in life, and when that happens I’ll know, and they will know, that I was supposed to call and didn’t, so, inevitably, I will be obliged to offer an explanation and because not only is “I didn’t feel like calling” not an acceptable answer in polite society but also shows one as a hypocrite for making an insincere pledge in the first place, one must, necessarily, inflate one’s busy-ness a hundred per cent; one must parade around one’s carelessness with phones which causes them to lose numbers; one must call on that day trip out of town to account for a whole month’s silence-basically, one must put on a whole circus just to placate a possible confrontation. For me, one thought of this awkward degradation is enough motivation to press that green button.

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