“If there is no meaning to life… then life is without a driving force, without overall substance or explanation” – Ravi Zacharias (author)
Life is supposed to be cherry, champagne, and glory. This greatest truth means that life should be a fruitful and interesting journey. No one was pre-ordained to suffer. God put you on earth so that you can enjoy life and equally blessed you with so much talent that you can manoeuvre and overcome anything. He created man to be a master of all creatures here on Earth. By giving man the ultimate authority and power on Earth, God empowered you to make decisions that will determine your destiny. You were creatively crafted to fulfil a meaning, a meaning that you must find and fulfil.
God put man at the top of the list on the ecological system; He wanted you to be in control of your destiny. Happiness is out there He just want you to find the meaning for which He created you and as a result open the door to abundance and fulfilment. Everyone’s destiny is in their hands; you will determine your happiness or unhappiness. That is why God endowed you with the flexibility of choice.
Despite human being’s various meanings here on Earth the ultimate longing of humanity is fulfilment and abundance which lead to happiness. When man finds happiness the world is at peace and there is spiritual harmony. Man is in pursuit of happiness but a lot of time people don not where to start to live the life of their dreams.
Everyone on Earth strives to fulfil their wishes spiritually, physically and material abundance. Physical and material abundance leads to spiritual abundance. No man except those with demented minds finds joy and fulfilment physically or materially only; there is a more powerful spiritual loneliness that can only be filled by finding meaning.
Finding meaning is the convergence of your physical and material longing with your spiritual urge. Your zest to live a life that you want is driven by engaging in activities so dear to you that abundance flows into your life. When you are spiritually fed you exercise your abilities fluently.
If you find your meaning you would have found the burning desire of your heart and you will summon all your energies and talents in pursuing that which you like. When life attains a new meaning, the thought process deepens because of the found harmony between the man and the spirit.
Nothing even the greatest adversity will sway you away from going after what you cherish most. You find one thing that you would rather die than not do and nothing can absolutely stop you from achieving what you want.
Meaning gives you the ability to zero your energy in what you want; gives you focus and your efforts are engaged in pursuing the one thing that defines your true desires. The resources that you have including your mental power are concentrated in achieving your meaning. You become a fanatic of your meaning. You breathe and live your meaning and embody it in all facets of your life.
Just like the magnifying glass is able to converge the sun rays to create fire, finding meaning is the same exercise of converging your talents and abilities to burn the light of achievement and fulfilment.
Meaning creates a new realization that abundance and happiness can never be found in the midst of selfishness; it is always inherently tied to the inner urge to help others fulfil what they want. The world is inter-connected so is the human race and helping others is one of the many known ways of one finding true meaning. Everybody in the world has the resource that humanity needs, in opulent abundance; the resource of time. You can give your time to pursuing things that makes the world a better place.
The issue of self-discovery is one of the intriguing puzzles of the world. But once meaning is found the glory of the world will be perennially enjoyed.
Finding meaning albeit being motivated by some external forces is predominately an inner-self-discovery. It is an exploration journey of the heart, the mind and the spirit where their convergence becomes a focal force that drives spurts of passion in a given cause.
In finding meaning because of the spiritual nature of the journey the mind needs to be clear of the past. The brain needs to be rewired to think much more positively. It is obvious that meaning cannot be found in the midst of mental turbulence. Meaning cannot thrive in negativity and gardens of storm. It is so sacred and blossoms in positivity.
Meaning is a product of inner-tranquillity and the harmony of all positive forces driving the being towards spiritual fulfilment. The pursuit of happiness is simple the pursuit of man trying to find his place here on Earth, trying to find his role and equitably discharging himself to that meaning.
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This century is always looking at improving new super high speed technology to make life easier. On the other hand, beckoning as an emerging fierce reversal force to equally match or dominate this life enhancing super new tech, comes swift human adversaries which seem to have come to make living on earth even more difficult.
The recent discovery of a pandemic, Covid-19, which moves at a pace of unimaginable and unpredictable proportions; locking people inside homes and barring human interactions with its dreaded death threat, is currently being felt.
Member of Parliament for Kanye North, Thapelo Letsholo has cautioned Government against excessive borrowing and poorly managed debt levels.
He was speaking in Parliament on Tuesday delivering Parliament’s Finance Committee report after assessing a motion that sought to raise Government Bond program ceiling to P30 billion, a big jump from the initial P15 Billion.
Government Investment Account (GIA) which forms part of the Pula fund has been significantly drawn down to finance Botswana’s budget deficits since 2008/09 Global financial crises.
The 2009 global economic recession triggered the collapse of financial markets in the United States, sending waves of shock across world economies, eroding business sentiment, and causing financiers of trade to excise heightened caution and hold onto their cash.
The ripple effects of this economic catastrophe were mostly felt by low to middle income resource based economies, amplifying their vulnerability to external shocks. The diamond industry which forms the gist of Botswana’s economic make up collapsed to zero trade levels across the entire value chain.
The Upstream, where Botswana gathers much of its diamond revenue was adversely impacted by muted demand in the Midstream. The situation was exacerbated by zero appetite of polished goods by jewelry manufacturers and retail outlets due to lowered tail end consumer demand.
This resulted in sharp decline of Government revenue, ballooned budget deficits and suspension of some developmental projects. To finance the deficit and some prioritized national development projects, government had to dip into cash balances, foreign reserves and borrow both externally and locally.
Much of drawing was from Government Investment Account as opposed to drawing from foreign reserve component of the Pula Fund; the latter was spared as a fiscal buffer for the worst rainy days.
Consequently this resulted in significant decline in funds held in the Government Investment Account (GIA). The account serves as Government’s main savings depository and fund for national policy objectives.
However as the world emerged from the 2009 recession government revenue graph picked up to pre recession levels before going down again around 2016/17 owing to challenges in the diamond industry.
Due to a number of budget surpluses from 2012/13 financial year the Government Investment Account started expanding back to P30 billion levels before a series of budget deficits in the National Development Plan 11 pushed it back to decline a decline wave.
When the National Development Plan 11 commenced three (3) financial years ago, government announced that the first half of the NDP would run at budget deficits.
This as explained by Minister of Finance in 2017 would be occasioned by decline in diamond revenue mainly due to government forfeiting some of its dividend from Debswana to fund mine expansion projects.
Cumulatively since 2017/18 to 2019/20 financial year the budget deficit totaled to over P16 billion, of which was financed by both external and domestic borrowing and drawing down from government cash balances. Drawing down from government cash balances meant significant withdrawals from the Government Investment Account.
The Government Investment Account (GIA) was established in accordance with Section 35 of the Bank of Botswana Act Cap. 55:01. The Account represents Government’s share of the Botswana‘s foreign exchange reserves, its investment and management strategies are aligned to the Bank of Botswana’s foreign exchange reserves management and investment guidelines.
Government Investment Account, comprises of Pula denominated deposits at the Bank of Botswana and held in the Pula Fund, which is the long-term investment tranche of the foreign exchange reserves.
In June 2017 while answering a question from Bogolo Kenewendo, the then Minister of Finance & Economic Development Kenneth Mathambo told parliament that as of June 30, 2017, the total assets in the Pula Fund was P56.818 billion, of which the balance in the GIA was P30.832 billion.
Kenewendo was still a back bench specially elected Member of Parliament before ascending to cabinet post in 2018. Last week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, when presenting a motion to raise government local borrowing ceiling from P15 billion to P30 Billion told parliament that as of December 2019 Government Investment Account amounted to P18.3 billion.
Dr Matsheka further told parliament that prior to financial crisis of 2008/9 the account amounted to P30.5 billion (41 % of GDP) in December of 2008 while as at December 2019 it stood at P18.3 billion (only 9 % of GDP) mirroring a total decline by P11 billion in the entire 11 years.
Back in 2017 Parliament was also told that the Government Investment Account may be drawn-down or added to, in line with actuations in the Government’s expenditure and revenue outturns. “This is intended to provide the Government with appropriate funds to execute its functions and responsibilities effectively and efficiently” said Mathambo, then Minister of Finance.
Acknowledging the need to draw down from GIA no more, current Minister of Finance Dr Matsheka said “It is under this background that it would be advisable to avoid excessive draw down from this account to preserve it as a financial buffer”
He further cautioned “The danger with substantially reduced financial buffers is that when an economic shock occurs or a disaster descends upon us and adversely affects our economy it becomes very difficult for the country to manage such a shock”