Usually at this time of the year many of us are returning from our well-earned break, hoping that our batteries have been recharged or just wanting to shake off the holiday mood and scrambling to doing as little as possible. But also many of us want easy reading that is inspiring and motivating to face the coming New Year because we are uncertain what the year ahead holds for us.
I have therefore chosen something that I hope will fill you with zest but more importantly inspire you to ponder about adopting a life changing attitude. Inspiration comes from outside but change comes from within.
Don't love the Heart that hurts you and don't hurt the Heart that loves you.
Don't cry over anyone who won't cry over you. Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget.
Most people walk in and out of your life, but only friend's leave footprints in your heart.
True friendship "never" ends. Friends are forever.
The eyes are like great friends: They don’t see each other except once in a while in the mirror, they blink together, they move together, they cry together, they see things together, and they shut out each other only in sleep: that's what friendship is.
People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges. yIf we are incapable of finding peace in ourselves, it is pointless to search elsewhere.
The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.
A change of heart changes everything.
Our greatest glory is not in ever falling, but in rising every time we fall.
You only live once – but if you work it right, once is enough.
One generation plants trees, and the next enjoys the shade.
It is difficult to live in the present, ridiculous to live in the future, and impossible to live in the past. Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.
The Road to Success is not straight and easy:
There is a curve called failure, a loop called confusion, speed bumps called friends, caution lights called family, and you will have ‘flats’ called life’s daily challenges. But, if you have a ‘spare’ called determination, an engine called perseverance, insurance called faith, and a driver called God, you will make it to a place called success!
Live for something:
Do good, and leave behind you a monument of virtue that the storms of time can never destroy. Write your name in kindness, love, and mercy on the hearts of thousands you come in contact with year by year, and you will never be forgotten. Your name and your good deeds will shine as the stars of heaven.
A Lesson in Life
This had appeared before in this column but I feel that we need to understand what the inspiration message that it carries. A daughter complained to her father about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it, and wanted to give up. She was tired of all the fighting and struggling. It seemed as though in solving one problem, two more would arise.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In one he placed carrots, in the second he placed eggs and the last he placed ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil without saying a word. The daughter impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After a few minutes he turned off the burners.
He fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and poured it in a cup.â€¨Turning to her he asked. “Darling, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.â€¨He asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.â€¨ Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. She humbly asked. “What does it mean dad?” He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity, boiling water, but each reacted differently.
The carrots went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. But after being subjected to the boiling water, they softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But after sitting through the boiling water, the insides became hardened. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? How about you? Are you the carrot that seems hard, but with pain and adversity do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? Are you the egg, which starts off with a changeable heart? You were a fluid spirit, but after difficult times, you became hardened. Your shell looks the same, but are you tough with a stiff spirit and heart?â€¨Are you like the coffee bean? The bean changes the hot water, the thing that is bringing the pain. When the water reaches its peak temperature, it just tastes better. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and make things better around you.
I hope that these few lines will give you ‘food’ for thought and who knows you may be inspired to re-look at your life and make some changes to our lives so that we learn to live in peace and harmony with our hearts and our souls. …and celebrate the constantly the praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before its setting; yes celebrate them for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day; that you may have spiritual joy (Qur’an 20:130).
With the festive break behind us and the new year that we have stepped into with its challenges, problems and normal tests, trials and tribulations of daily living. Let us look forward to this coming year with a positive attitude and hope that we can change our lifestyle and live in peace with ourselves. But more importantly lets us move closer to our Lord and Creator, so that we not only turn this into a new year but turn our lives around so that we find comfort in the arms of our Lord. Smile the Almighty Loves you.
Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.
The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.
Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.
At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.
Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.
Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).
This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.
In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.
Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?
Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.
POSITIVITY Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.
“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)
We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”
Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.
Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be. You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”
Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.
When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.
Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.
However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.” “Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)
COMPASSION, MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT
Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.
It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.
Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.
Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.
The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.
It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.