TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE — FACING FAMILY
- Raising Creative, confident Children
- The Making of a mum
- My Baby Girl
- Weekend with Uncle Akin
- A Workaholic Mom
- Fourth Generation and Health
- Mother-Daughter Differences
- Remembering Grand-Ma
- The Plight of an Orphan
- Non- identical twins
CHAPTER TWO – FACING HEALTH
- Anti-dote to Aging
- Man’s mustache
- Fatique Might Not Be Normal
- Warrior Brains
- Exercise Makes the Difference
- Food of Love
- She was’t Shy
- Illiteracy Is a Disease
- Death with Dignity
- StoriesThat Stick
CHAPTER THREE – FACING HORROR
- Power Imbalance
- Philomena’s Annoyance
- It’s Risky
- Breach of Promise to Marry
- Husband Was a Boss
- Memorable Honey Moon
- Designer Kids
- A Nightmare
- Threatened to Be Fired
- Last Stick of Cigarette
CHAPTER FOUR- FACING INSPIRATION
- Paradise Village
- Planting A Seed
- Lady with The Cup
- Designer Antibiotics
- Altered Grand- mother’s Dress
- Choose Life
- Twist of Fate
- Papa Michael at 100
- Guilty-Child- Syndrrome
CHAPTER FIVE- FACING LOVE
- Pet Names
- The Healing Pine-apple
- Plate Woman’s Place
- Kids Raised with Gratitude
- Impulsive School Boy
- Heart of Stone
- Mama’s Ideas
- Spare the Rod and Spoil the ChildRomeo and Juliet
- Community Leader
CHAPTER SIX – FACING NATURE
- Faith Worked
- Food and Water, with Love
- Animal World
- Female-care Net-work
- Accident Meant to Be
- Aging Is a Gift
- The Essential Word
Oka Village Inside-Out
- Embrace Your Calling
- Life After Death
CHAPTER SEVEN – FACING TECHNOLOGY
- I.D.H. Patient
- Grocery Woman
- The Fun and Beauty in Education
- Magdalene’s Bright Boys
- Phillip’s Choice Car
- Teresa’s Noble Ideas
- Soji, the Brick-layer
- Her First Time in the Plane
- She Recognized Me
CHAPTER EIGHT- FACING WISDOM
- Sussan’s Social Glue
- Success Story
- The Drama of Life
- Stand Your Ground
- No weekness Baggage
- Answer Challenges
Reshape and Remake
- Pass on The Torch
CONCLUSION – EXPERTS’ TIPTOP STORIES
DEDICATIONThis book is dedicated to my late grand-mother, Deborah, for her love, her highly – respected wisdom as the market – women leader in her days, and to all human – resource providers in this data age. Your contribution in life had been a source of inspiration.
The stories in this book are not just awesome, but educational, inspiring, exciting, and entertaining. Most are carved from scientific journals and books to keep abreast of the mighty occurrences in this data age. The idea is a self-help program for youngsters to develop their own strategies and show them the virtues in life’s principle magnet. When they learn other peoples’ experiences they know how to move forward. The stories make you feel relaxed, as if reading-Riddle and Jokes in News-papers. The names of actors, titles of stories are fictional
Science speaks seemingly impossible stories, proven and validated in the laboratories. The attempt is to take the very complex findings and technological ideas to the level many people find easy to understand and enjoy in terms of their historical significance. Modern scientists grow their potentials virtually in all spheres of life; exploring new areas, indulging in creativity, researching on the brain, genes, oldest rocks on earth, the planet, and other amazing fields. These sciences cover many disciplines like astronomy, evolution, medicine, marine exploration, neuro-science, plant biology, air security, climate science, energy, cosmology, to mention a few. Unfortunately, not many people indulge themselves to read their books. Combining life stories with scientific discoverings is believed to produce an amazing result.
Some life stories in the book illustrate love, horror, nature, family setting as experienced by some people in real life, to put laughter on faces. The various experiences and ground- breaking discoverings open eyes to see the world differently, and motivate incentives in personal issues and community development. Diversity and learning other- peoples’ culture could be rewarding and awesome. History is important to us. If we know history, we know where we are going. Imagine a world without medicines, strangers changing citizens’ lives, traits driving forces that take some people to the top? All these look like drama in real life. Brain and memory are common expressions in neuro-science. Stories like Heart of Stone, Healing pine-apple, induce laughter, fun, and entertainment, and deliver some worthwhile lessons to readers. But stories like Electric Motor Car, Vibration in the Ear, though educative are seemingly scary. Young- brains would find them interesting and challenging.
This book is aimed to bridge the gap between the young minds and the aged, like welding copper and gold to produce a different and more affordable alloy. That is combining stories emanating from different sources and diverse minds to make the most- scary scientific knowledge more friendly, acceptable and understood. The benefits are for the majority of ambitious people. They are for youngsters who want to move forward and grow. The World is changing fast. The knowledge covers all areas; Industrialization, Education, Health, Theology, Acheology, Space-management, Agriculture and various endevours in life. It is believed that men learn more in a relaxed atmosphere. Most of the stories illuminate investigatory efforts of hundreds of meticulous men and women throughout history, and showed how hard-won expeditions; tireless work and endless inquisitiveness changed the face of technology and general- life-styles to our advantage
The actors in this book offered hard-won wisdom and first-hand experiences; taking risks, finding love, and living without regret. All these are priceless inheritance for you. It is hoped that the wisdom would have a genuine impact on you and help you lead a better and more fruitful life. This book is a literature companion for both old and young, additively readable just like candy for book lovers, an eye-opener to see how great people sacrifice their lives for humanity and development. Adjust your seat-belt get fun and knowledge as you read our love stories. Studies showed that informational reading is fun, critical to success, yet entertaining. Discover the treasury of joy as you go through them. Then you would see the unexpected gift and fun that could change lives for good forever. The odd, unbelievable and seemingly unbearable could convincingly be made possible.
The authors thanked the various actors for sharing their extra-ordinary experiences to convince the masses, educate them and change their opinions positively. Things look impossible until they are tried. Enjoy as you read.
CHAPTER ONE — FACING THE FAMILY
Raising Creative, Confident Children
My brother Raphael was a very brilliant student. His parents wanted him to study medicine, as a profession, but he hated being bugged with school assignment. He preferred to play with his paper and pencil to draw toys, and paint them. One Sunday Afternoon he drew the portrait of our dad reading Daily Times in the living room. The portrait was just daddy’s image. Everybody in the Neighborhood admired it. Mother and father felt excited and proud. My brother did not spend hours to present the work. He was only enthusiastic, passionate and focussed. He did it because he loved and believed in it. He developed standards of his own measure and saw to it that he met them. With satisfaction he saw his purpose, conceived his ideas, dedicated himself to them, and produced good work. Choosing and doing it for himself, he earned his confidence and self-worth.
Raphael had his self-fulfilment in his hobby. The whole family were elated. Our proud father framed the portrait and placed it as center-piece in the living room. My brother did not think of any other profession than the one his natural desire chose for him. Everybody who saw the portrait made by the twelve – year old- boy, knew an Architect had arrived in the family. Bliss does not have to be big and important, nor must it bring one accolade of any luster to matter. Bliss is more than its own reward.
Another boy called Joe was quiet, self-possessed, responsible, amply courteous, and eminently likeable. He was attentive and receptive in class and well-disciplined. He believed in free and permissible atmosphere with a little adult supervision as possible. His idea was that kids should face what seem like’ really dangerous risks ‘and conquer them alone. That is what built self-confidence and courage. A professor of early childhood education published a paper in 2011 that children have a sensory need to taste danger and excitement; this doesn’t mean that what they do has to actually be dangerous, only that they feel they are taking a great risk. That scares them, but then they overcome the fear. The irony is that our close attention to safety has not in fact made a tremendous difference in the number of accidents children have
Trust in general has eroded. And parents have sought to control more closely what their children do. The result is a continuous and ultimately dramatic decline in children’s opportunities to play and explore in their own chosen ways. Raphael became the first Architect in his town. He was well-respected and famous. He was a man of integrity, loved and admired by all. He wouldn’t have had anything better than his chosen profession.
THE MAKING OFA MOM
The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying- I will try again tomorrow. Auntie Stella died many years ago, long before I was born. Cinderella was introduced to me as her daughter. I could not believe that she was adopted until my mother told me the whole story. Auntie Stella married into a very rich family. She lived happily with her husband for ten years without a child. Because she had no issue, her mother and father –in –law did not like her. They wanted Joe her husband to get another wife. Auntie Stella became desperate and desired to adopt a child which was not the norm in Nigeria in those days.
On the 24th day of December 1935, she went a shopping and walked out of the store with something more valuable than anything money could buy. She found hope in the unlikeliest of places after months of despair. Thanks to a woman who decided to strike up a conversation with her in the store. Auntie Stella had never met the woman before. The new acquaintance told her, she was exhausted, having been up half the night. She had been in the public bus for three days. She came from Coutonu, Benin Republic in Africa to Lagos. She did not know anybody in Nigeria. She needed accommodation for a week to get familiar with Nigerian languages, Lagos in particular. Auntie Stella chatted with her for about two hours. She later offered her accommodation. Mary became her guest and they went home together. Auntie Stella introduced her to Joe as a special visitor from Coutonu.
Auntie Stella had suffered three devastating miscarriages in three years. At 47, she was slowly coming to terms with the idea of never been able to have a child. Up until that point, she never really gave much thought to being a mother. She had been noticing babies and their happy smiling mothers wherever she went. Her husband’s relatives hated her. They wanted to drive her away from the matrimonial home to get another wife for Joe. She wished she could talk to her late mother about the yearning, hurt and confusion she was experiencing in life. On that fateful day, she’d been fidgeting around the house, bemoaning her fate. A voice inside her cried out – You missed your chance to be a mother. Her younger sister my mother, had gotten married with two children ages 7 and 4.The first one the boy was named after his father, and the small one a girl after her grandmother. Auntie loved them played with them but couldn’t help being jealous at times. One could see the burning desire in her.
Mary her guest was elegantly dressed. She looked slightly older than her. She would be 61 years in March. Mary opened her wallet and showed auntie the picture of a beautiful girl currently a student in one Nursery school in England. She called her name Cinderella. Auntie was remotely interested. She reached across the table, as she handed her a photo of a smiling girl, about seven years old wearing a lovely pink dress. Mary had adopted her when she was born. Cinderella was abandoned in the hospital ward where she was working as a matron. Because she didn’t want work to be her whole life, she adopted her to be her playmate. Mary never got married, but she adopted her as a single parent. Now that she was getting old she wanted to keep her promise to her late mother. Mary saw in auntieStella the features of motherhood and she observed her personality and status. She would be happy to hand over Cinderella to her, to love and to cherish forever. Though a stranger in Lagos, she had received adequate information about the fame and generosity of auntieStella.
Tears welled up in auntieStella’s eyes as she listened to Mary’s story. Actually, Mary’s parents were from West Africa; her father from Coutonu Benin Republic, and her mother from Lagos in Nigeria. The two of them met in England where Mary was born. She never got married. A few years back her two parents met their death in a motor accident right in the heart of London leaving only herself and Cinderella to survive them. Long before the fatal accident, Mary’s mother had requested her to go back home to raise Cinderella. She had promised. Their parents left them only a merger property including a house in one suburb area in London.
Mary had come home to investigate the possibility of her coming to Nigeria to settle down, to get a suitable mother for Cinderella and to fulfill her promise to her mother. She felt strongly about teaching her daughter about Nigerian customs and maintaining ties to her heritage. The adoption of Cinderella was the most rewarding, exciting thing she ever did.
At that moment auntie Stella saw a happier, more fulfilled version of herself. A night before she had dreamed of her mother, reminding her that she once wanted to adopt a child but her father hadn’t felt the same way. It seemed like a good idea at that time as a pillar of wisdom. But this was the first time she ever saw her mother in her dreams. When she woke up, her desire to become a mother became ignited.
A few days later she told her husband that she wanted to look into adopting a girl. She told him Mary’s story and the co-incidence of her dream. Her husband consented. Two months later they registered with an adoption agency. Cinderella was in her thoughts. When the adoption process was over, Cinderella was summoned home from England to meet her new parents. She was registered in the best International-school in the country under her new name as the daughter of Stella the most popular woman in town.
Cinderella came over to live in the family house and became their most cherished daughter. Only close relatives of my age knew that Cinderella was adopted. She looked very much like auntie Stella; beautiful tall with round face. Auntie showered all her affection on her. Cinderella changed auntie- Stella’s life to become a responsible mom of an adorable daughter. When auntie died in 2014, she willed more than half of her property to Cinderella. Most importantly all family-members loved her.
MY BABY GIRL
I entered into labor to deliver a child by 12 midnight 20th January 1970. I had the baby by 12 noon on that memorable day. My baby was wrapped up with the white linen I brought from home. The nurse came to my ward, carried the baby and gave her to me to feed. I took the bundle of joy from her, not knowing where to hold. I could see the head, the eyes, nose, hands and fingers. I saw her opening her mouth to suck milk. Assisted by the nurse I put my breast in her mouth. She sucked firmly without any effort. What a big surprise? My happiness knew no bounds. After feeding her for 10 minutes my anxiety and fear came to a rest. I put her inside the cot, removed the wrapper on her. I examined the head, saw the luxurious black hair, two bright eyes, a mouth looking like mine. I looked at the two legs, two hands, ten toes and ten fingers. Everything on her was perfect and complete. Only expectant women could entertain similar fear and anxiety like mine. The week I was to deliver my baby, I saw on the front page of the Daily Times, the first set of Siamese twins whose heads joined together. I was scared to the marrow. I feared going into labor. I was afraid to see such children. Every second I prayed to God to take charge of me and the baby. My safe and successful delivery was the answer to my prayer. I believed that my perfect baby was a gift from God and she had a destiny to fulfill.
I remembered what God said in the holy Bible—Mark 9:37 I quote
Anyone who welcomes a little child, like this on my behalf, welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes not only me but also MY Father who sent me.
I also remembered Prophet Khalil Gibran’s poem that says, I quote
Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself
They come through you but not from you
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you
You may give them your love but not your thoughts
For they have their own thoughts
You may house their bones but not their souls
For their soul dwell in the house of tomorrow
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams
You may strive to be like them,
But seek not to make them like you
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday
Science created safer communities and I saw the importance at this critical moment. Many important inventions and innovations have been made, but many questions have been overlooked or unacknowledged because the experiences of investigators are limited. Separation of Siamese twins broadened my respect for medicine and made science more interesting and meaningful for me. Many people recognized the role of personal experience. All my life I had loved science but I could not imagine seeing two babies joined together. There and then I was ignited. One of the most important things I learned in life is that who you are helps define how you look at the world and how you approach a problem. We need people who approach problems from this perspective, so that we can learn, and hopefully teach others how to be better stewards of the land.
I felt a deep charge to connect the social benefits of science. Pursuing a dream is hard work. But the right words delivered at the right time by people who’ve walked the walk, can be just what we need—
Words that say-I did it and so can you. The good news is that whatever you desire in your heart is yours. Today that beautiful girl with me when I first saw Siamese twins on the cover page of the News-paper is now a medical doctor. With science, everyone wins.
WEEKEND WITH UNCLE AKIN
Uncle Akin, my father’s junior brother lived in the village. He always wanted us to spend weekends with him. He was persistent in winning over my family’s affection. It wasn’t that we disliked him but the man talked too much, and being an illiterate, had little to offer us. He was a drop-out at school. Despite my daddy’s effort to help him, he believed he was not created to understand basic Arithmetic in Maths. He didn’t open his mind to education. He thought he wasn’t cut out for it. He made up his mind to specialize in farming like his father. Disappointed as my father was, he had no other choice than to allow him to have his way. So, we avoided him as much as possible and he went back to the village to settle down. Soon, he got two wives with six children. His first son Joseph two years younger than me was a smart boy, and he loved to associate himself with our family. He spent his holidays with us most times, but not one of us had ever visited them in the village. Uncle Akin would inevitably urge us to make the long drive to his home to spend some weekends, see his family, greet his friends and watch their cultural shows. After seven years of politely saying ‘’No we are busy all weekends’ we ran out of excuses.
One day my parents urged me to go with Joe. Since he had been so friendly I accepted to go with my mouth doing the talking without my consent. A couple of hours later Joe and I pulled onto the road inside the Taxi-cab that plied their village. Uncle was waiting on his front porch to welcome us for the driver had informed him the arrival time. After exchanging greetings, he showed me around his backyard, which was part enchanted garden and part punk yard. He took me to important places in the village. We visited many huts belonging to friends and the richest man popularly referred to as the chief who had the only cemented building in the neighborhood. The village had only one church, one Primary school and High school. The village was lucky to have such facilities because the population was not more than 500 with few mud houses, roofs made of bamboo trees and leaves. The Primary school was headed by a female teacher and the High school by a male Principal. Their dressing was nothing to write home about, for none of the school children wore shoes but their teachers wore canvass-shoes. This was 60 years ago. Joe told me ten years later that the village grew in population and developed to a big town. The Country was even contemplating erecting a university there the following year.
Uncle Akin showed me a special rock that he dedicated as the tomb stone of his father, the founder of the village. He liked it here a lot. And this was a spot where he came to pray for our family. He believed our ancestors were there to answer prayers, and that the church was a public place only for Christians to meet. He felt very happy and great as I finally paid him the visit. In fact, most people I saw in the village liked him for his bravery and integrity. Then I realized the village was not only our uncle’s but the monument of our ancestors. Uncle Akin was a simple man who lived in the boonies and desired only a few things in the city.
I was glad I went. The moment passed and it was back to business. Uncle Akin had mapped out our schedule. There was a cultural show organized by the church and schools as they had the same board of directors. Students- marching, display of natural costume and hair-styles, dancing, and ancient performers from the chief’s family entertained us. That afternoon, we laughed, danced and ate chicken and pounded-yam and we drank palm-wine freely. It was the silliest and freest moments I had felt in a long time. Joseph treated me lavishly in his own way with activities like hunting animals; bush rats, crickets and birds with catapults. Small invisible insects bite me in the bush and I was uncomfortable. So, I asked to go back to the hut after 2 hours.
Uncle Akin had begged us to visit him in the village, and we’d been refusing him. This time we accepted involuntarily. Perhaps being part of a family is to recognize, even subliminally, when one of your kin is in need of some care. We monitor our actions so painstakingly with friends, coworkers, and strangers. But family members often get our undeserved attentions. Showing kindness is often not a deliberate act within families. Rather, it is instinctive and related to kin. To be treated kinly is to be treated as if one were a relative part of a family. How funny that the kindness we bestow upon family members can often look absurd? On leaving the village Uncle Akin gave me a goat and 10 big tubers of new yam for my mother. We smiled, knowing it was his way to say ‘Thank you for coming ‘. I came to learn that the word – kindness is related to kin.
A WORK-A-HOLIC MOM
Michelle was a work-a-holic mom. She trained as a teacher but learnt various disciplines by mere curiosity. She became an expert in sewing, weaving, cooking and parenting. Though a graduate of Mathematics she excelled as the best sewing-mistress in town because she took accurate measurements using the tape measure or tape rule. She was a good and fluent communicator. Even as a part-time sewing mistress her house soon turned into a factory or sewing – institute. During Christmas sessions ladies preferred her institute to fix up their wedding gowns.
She was very famous. Actually, she won His Royal Highness contract to sew garments for his family. She out-shined other tailors in town because she was able to fix beads to make crowns and shoes. As a designer she changed the colors of materials, learnt ’Dye and Tie’ from her mother who was a textile dealer. In her saloon she fixed up fashionable women, coloured their dresses, nails and hairs; everything to match.
Michel made more money from her hobbies than her teaching profession. Her husband was very proud of her. Volunteers cheerfully helped her because they were impressed with her talent and ambition. People always like to be associated with success. After three years the various businesses expanded. And instead of calling herself the C.E.O., She presented herself as the supervisor, the price of humility. Her fame spread around as the Controller of most trades, women did for a living in the Neighborhood.
Four years later Michel’s husband died when she was only 35 years old, and left the heavy burden of raising the children on her alone. She had four children, all in High School. Towns’ people knew Michel would be able to cope with the school fees, feeding and general up-keep of the family. She certainly missed the assistance and contribution of her late husband but money wasn’t her problem. She determined not to remarry but to tighten her belt to assist the children. She stood firm and continued her usual cores. The four children went through High School, and University programs using only their mummy’s generous contribution. Like their mummy they became responsible and held prominent positions in their respective disciplines.
In the olden days, women were limited to the kitchen. They were subordinates to their husbands. Today people accept equality of sex. It is not that women should boss their husbands. They are help-mates to their partners. Women deserve the respect of their husbands because nobody knows tomorrow. Don’t rely on somebody-else, not even the Government to carry your burden. Because of the intensive input of this multi-tasking mum, her health soon dwindled and she had stroke. Fortunately, she healed up fast and became an active survivor, to the delight of her admirers. She learnt a lesson and this was to relax, enjoy life with simplicity and fun. Michel lived the rest of her life as a champion and a successful mother and her children called her ‘Blessed.’ People who raise their hands deserve to be ahead of who don’t.
FOURTH-GENERATION AND HEALTH
I was born in 1940 and thus belonged to the old generation. Many things seemingly impossible to my generation have been proved possible in this data age. This is the reason why we need to encourage new developments which build health, confidence and happiness for prosperity. Considering DNA as the controlling factor in our physical being, sounded to most of us as un-thinkable, ridiculous and un-realistic. Previously we assigned most events to nature. These days experts explained such things accepted innocently and proved them true using laboratory analysis. This dismissed most of our ignorances.
Some scientists recently proved that new traits are heritable at-least up to fourth-generation? The inherited traits due to ancestral exposure are – prostate, kidney, testicular disease in males, obesity in males, ovarian disease in females, low testosterone in males, abnormal ovaries or early puberty in females, infertility or premature delivery in females, reduced sperm count and motility, heightened anxiety in females. This transgeneration- inheritance can appear in the third generation if the exposure occurred to a male grand- parent. New- traits in pups could be the direct exposure of their father’s sperm or to their mother while they were in the womb. Such direct effects are not strictly inherited independently, but reset shortly after conception. Ancestral exposure like pollutants, stress, diet and other environmental factors can cause these persistent changes and alter how cells and tissue behave. The acquired changes pass onto descendants. That is the health of parents and children may be affected by what great-grand mothers or father was exposed to during pregnancy or other health status. Truly heritable information flow from parents to children had long been accepted possible. Such a case was confirmed by some natives in years past.
Pa Jerome lost three fingers to an accident before he met his death in 1917. His great-grand son born 70 years later came to life with abnormal right arm with only two fingers. Elders believed that this absurd situation was probably caused by witch-craft. Some superstitious people believed that Pa Jerome came back to life in his great-grand son. Native people did not know anything about DNA in cells at-least in those days. Thank God for science. It has corrected their false allegation. Heritable- information flow explained the possible reasons for the baby’s abnormal arm.
Heritable information is not limited to health. Other human concerns are affected like mere electricity. Our great grand-fathers knew nothing called electricity, and they had very good health. As children carried forward some bad deseases from fore-fathers, so were the negative feelings never experienced. The U.K recently published the deleterious effect of continuous electricity on health- adverse effect of civilization. The report had it that mere electricity makes people sick and fat because it allows them to stay glued to their laptops from night to morning. This has been proved to have serious implications for people’s health and waistlines. The report had it that thousands of years back, we were up at sunrise and did most of our activities during daylight hours. When it was dark we had little to do besides sleep. But over the past century people in developed countries relied on electricity and begun staying up late. This forced them to go against natural circadian rhythms, which threw off important hormones like melatonin, insulin, and cortisol which cause ill-health and perhaps credit to nature.
Electricity is here to stay. We are used to it. Life would be unbearable without it, but we can limit its effects on our health by keeping a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time on weekdays and on weekends. We can make our rooms as dark as possible, limit night-time TV and Computer use. Certainly children in this generation will find this advice difficult to reason because our old beliefs have no foundation to convince them but the goal of all anticipations is to have bright, healthful and promising life ahead for the generations yet unborn.The present generation have a lot to be thankful for. Experts enlightened us of the current developments and furthermore showed us the way on how to move forward.
Mother and daughter are the closest kin ever known although they are different personalities in life – goals, determinations, integrity, behaviors and other ideologies. Mothers may give children love but they cannot change their thoughts neither can one force the other to like her.Life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
At 55, I was mature and married with 2 teenage sons.yet my mother saw me as her baby. This was shown glaringly when I gave her a treat last summer, by inviting her to come on vacation trip with my family. The plan was to go to Vancouver in British Columbia by road through Jasper. My friends told me about the amazing chain of mountains, and the animals in Jasper reserve village. I had been longing for months to see things myself. I felt it was going to be a big treat for mum
Actually Christian, my first son was a pupil in one High School at Victoria Island, near Vancouver. He had been going to school by air because that route was safer and faster. His junior brother John desired to visit the school. But because we needed to go in a boat to cross over from Vancouver to Victoria Island, we turned down his wish to travel alone and planned a vacation along with mum. I looked forward to this vacation as it was the first time I ever travelled at such a long journey with my mum. I was expecting the best of times and very fulfilling adventure. As soon as we set out my mother wasn’t doing anything other than to warn me saying-You are going too fast. She just read the road signs out loud as if they were something she had just happened to see – Seventy kilometers an hour, fifty kilometers an hour. Her intent was to caution me. I think she figured this was subtle and for her it was.
You might think that I did not get along with my mother who was 87 and in excellent health. She was up for everything entertaining as we talked for hours on favourite subjects, what everybody else in the family was doing wrong with his or her life. As travel-mates we had problems, just because my mother considered what things cost on the road. For instance, she was appalled that the historic mountain hotel with potted palms in the lobby charged $ 140 per night for one room. She refused to lodge in, until I found a motel for $60 a night in the near-by village which looked shabby, and unkempt. The rooms were small, wash-rooms small, surroundings not well maintained, with no single flower in the vicinity. I persuaded mum to let us go back to that reputable hotel decorated with beautiful flowers and a fascinating fountain. I told mum that a thing of beauty gladdens the heart forever, and that I would pay the price. John actuallyliked the place and without doubt that hotel would be my husband’s choice, had he accompanied us on the trip. Mummy simply said ‘’well if you want to throw your money away, fine; just please yourself.’’ I consented to her wish but booked for meals where the bill was $30 and instructed the waitress to give my mum the menu without the prices and stuff her like a goose. ‘’I hated to think what this was costing you’’, Ma said, halfway through a four-course menu. I only told her to admit that it’s better than her former choice of $20 cost. Mummy replied me saying that the menu did not have to be that fancy, she believed it was too rich and good at her age. She preferred something simple and modest.
My advice to those contemplating to be on the road with mothers is to choose common places where you get things free or cheap. Such places will delight them and put them to sleep. And you can always sign up for one of those cheap rooms in the near-by suburb. Old generations behave alike. My late grandmother kept a compulsory night vigil to watch the children’s cars packed outside the garage, hoping to keep them safe by mere looking outside. Aging is a daunting process. Instead focus on understanding their wishes and be patient. Play to your parent’s timeline by not rushing a decision. Let them know they’re in control of their life, and you’re willing to assist them through these processes to whatever degree they need or are comfortable with. Undoubtedly, mother – daughter love-sharing is self-fulfilling, exciting and worth-looking forward to, for prosperity but mothers like to be in control.
I celebrate my grand-mother’s memory by paying tribute to her. My life was satisfied with her functional being as she lifted my weak bodies, reduced my burdens, moved me right to keep her happiness left, grabbed my hand as a baby till I became of age. And promptly without pause, with warm heart, I enjoined her bosom. I celebrate her outstanding life which to me is like yesterday. To me she was a brain, an epitone of beauty and a model – worthy of emulation
Brain is defined as soft mass of nervous tissue in the head that houses intellectual ability. The mind isthe thinking facility that affects memories and attention. Neuro-scientists brought-out the similarities between brain and mind. Neurons of the nervous tissue in the head are the thinking facilities responsible for the memories of familiar and important fact. A brainless person is described as stupid. Mindful person keeps the awareness of things, requires no thought for trivial matter and becomes intelligent to value good things around. Mindless creature requires no such thoughts but brains know the benefits of love and community.
Surprisingly it has been proved scientifically that human brains honor grand-mother and each person or thing in our everyday life exists with its own corresponding set of neurons. Neuro-scientists say that the neurons in the brain are the important physical basis of human cognitive ability. One of their theories suggests that single neuron holds the recollection of familiar things like the visual image of grand-mother’s face or her entire body. Another theory postulated that grand0mother cells were more than a solitary neuron but concept cells. For instance, a big store of brain cells pictures grand-ma smiling, weaving, drinking tea, or waiting at the bus stop.
Neuro-scientists say that without the hippocampus in both sides of the brain everything that happens quickly fall into oblivion. And that the hippocampus is not necessary for perception but critical for transferring short-term memories into long term memories. These cells are critical for translating what is in our awareness into long term memories. What is important is to grasp the gist of particular situation involving persons and concepts relevant rather than remembering overwhelming myriad of meaningless details. Things like wedding day, my beautiful guard of honor, the happiness on my husband and parents’ faces were relevant to me but I cared less for meaningless details like names of friends and their dresses.
The concept hypothesis gives a physiological explanation for how neurons in the brain encode association. These concept cells link perception to memories like people, places, object, all the meaningful concepts that makeup our individual world. They constitute the building blocks for the memories of facts and events of our lives. Our minds leave aside countless un-important details and extract meaning that can be used to make new association and memories to encode what is critical to retain from xperiences.
My own perception of my grand-mother is amazing and admirable. Though she died in 1977 at the age of 100, I can still remember the details of her beauty. She looked as pretty and fresh as the lilies of the valley. She was the most adorable creature in my entire life because I spent nearly half of my life with her. Scientists reasoned that the burning love could be due to the close connection we shared together. As a growing child – 10 months to 2 years, her breasts were my toys. She nursed me herself until I was 12 years old. She showered me with love during the most sensitive period of my life, when I needed love most and she made my IQ higher than an average girl of my age, as she shaped my immature brain. All these she did for me while my immediate parents were busy looking for money. I recalled how she covered the walls of her living-room withamel decorations of angels, birds, assorted animals and popular men in history. Many people today used just wall-papers. I remembered her elegant figure and gentle temperament. Honestly if taken to the scoring b0ard, I would score her 100 percent.
Thanks to Neuro-scientists who confirm that neurons in the brain bring the memories of my grandma to the fore front, well ahead of other less captivating incidences. I was the most pampered grand—child that ever lived. The memory of the grandma that raised me will ever remain fresh in my memory and will always be cherished.
THE PLIGHT OF AN ORPHAN
To make this story understood and enjoyable, certain terms are defined;
– An orphan is an abandoned child or one whose parents have died.
– Orphanage is an environment where typically one adult oversees 12-15 children
– 1Q is a measure of intelligence quotient
– EEG is electroencephalogram which assesses brain electrical activity
– Sensitive period is when children begin to experience a more favourable living environment
It is recently believed that early-life-love shapes development across peoples’ life span Parents are to pay more attention to adversity and the institution of a growing child. This is to enable change in the capacity of a maturing child to traverse future emotional hazards of adolescence, and acquire the needed resilience to cope with the travails of adult life. In the olden days, abandoned children were not housed in Orphanages but cared for by relatives or allowed to die. Then young adult delinquency rarely surfaced. We rarely hear of young adults committing suicide or indulged in hard drugs. As we imbibed good cultures, we also cultivated bad changes from civilized world. Patronized by Missionaries whose ambition was to save lives, some business-people setup Orphanage.However the plight of an orphan- seen in the psychic and physical scars right from the first year spent without a loving responsible mother- has its toll
Scientific studies showed that children who passed the first two years in an Orphanage had a low IQ and attenuated brain activity compared with foster children or those living with parents. Early life in an Orphanage had adverse consequences and didn’t come close to matching the care of parent, even if that parent was not the natural mother or father. Orphanages are beautiful houses, highly structured, adorned with fountain and decorations, but they are hopeless bleak environments. Children feel happier and better loved with parents living in huts. I saw cases where young infants refused to be carried by strangers even when enticed with goodies like candies and toys.
The study on neurological and emotional development employed the premise of what early experience exerted on children particularly the influence in shaping the immature brain. The results showed that some behaviors like neural connections form in early years, in response to environmental influence especially during sensitive periods. A child who listens to spoken language or simply looks around receives aural and visual input that shapes its neural connection. I saw cases where infants learnt their mother tongue very early in life. A crawling child obeyed simple commands from parents; mono-syllabus like –go, come and mimicked the words. He ran away from dangers and moved towards friendly faces.
At 30, 40, and 52 months the average IQ of children in the Orphanage is as low as 70% but 100% for children living with parents. Infants learnt from experience to seek comfort, support and protection from their care-givers, whether those individuals are natural or foster parents Only conditions that limit opportunities for a child to form attachments can interfere with a process fundamtal for normal social development. Majority of children display incompletely formal relationship with care-givers in the Orphanage. They don’t appear to receive much personal attention They have paucity of language exposure and delays in speech development. With children at home, before 15 to 16 months their language becomes normal in most cases. Civilization today narrows the meaning of family to just husband, wife and possibly their two children. Community cooperation becomes non-economical and unnecessary. And the establishment of Orphanages becomes popular despite demerits. But it forfeits the original scope. Some turned them to humanitarian industries to exploit well-meaning organizations.
Studies also show that anxiety and depression are reduced by half for children living at home. Relationships are found important for ensuring good mental health. The more secure the attachment between a child and his parents the less, the bad behavior. Assessing brain activity using electroencephalography- EEG showed that infants in Orphanages had significant reduction in one component of EEG activity and a heightened level in another. This pattern reflects delayed brain maturation. Children in Orphanages have smaller brain volume than children at homes but the gray matter is compare-able. This accounted for the changes in their brain activities.
Sensitive periods can be less than 2 years and children cared for by stable emotionally invested parents early, produce better chances for a more normal development
. I remembered vividly what happened when I was 2 years old. An important meeting took place to share the inheritance of him who died intestate without a will. Five children held the important meeting under closed doors with me sitting unnoticed as an infant grandchild. I sat on the floor in the center of the living room with some toys. Involuntarily I imbibed their decisions step-by-step. The participants thought I was too young to be interested or concerned. Seven years later, December 24, 1950, a day set aside for their family thanks-giving ceremonies, same participants converged with their children for similar meeting, possibly to take possession of the inheritance as concluded seven years ago. My grandmother’s immediate junior brother was callous and greedy. He wanted the best portion of the estate. The others reminded him of the 1943 agreement which unfortunately was not documented. He disagreed with the others. At 7 years of age I rose up boldly to recount relevant evidences to confirm their former agreement. Those in attendance were amazed that a child of two, 5 years ago could testify convincingly. This was no magic, because I was heartily pampered by my grandmother right from day one and my IQ was superb for the much- needed testimony.
In conclusion, Orphanages do not ompare favorably well with living with own parents. Missionaries aimed to save the lives of abandoned children but unfortunately business-people degradeOrphanage-setting .They abuse their praise-worthy intentions. Children from whatever background, as leaders of tomorrow, deserve the right to live. The scientists’ investigation was to alert humanitarians on the loop-holes of Orphanage, not to strike fear but calm and focus their minds. Organizing orhanages like foster homes could be the only hope for some abandoned children. All children deserve the right to live well. Missionaries have praise-worthy intentions to give orphans bright future. They deserve our encouragement but business people need to take care.
NONIDENTICAL – TWINS
It is blessings galore. It is a blessing to deliver one child, and double blessings to have two. Science told us that same gene divides into two to form identical twins. And non-identical twins originate from separate genes. Both could be like their parents and have same or different sexes.
I felt honoured to be closely associated with the two boys born in 1935. When delivered, the one that came out first was called Taiwo, the second came out 10 minutes later and called Kehinde. They didn’t look like twins – only close friends could call them so. Kehinde resembled their mother; an oblong face, light complexion. He looked quiet, stay-at-home type and was better loved by his mother. Taiwo took after the father, round face and masculine features, the apple of his eyes. Kehinde was smarter physically and academically. Both of them liked science; Taiwo graduated as a chemist, Kehinde as physicist and worked as professional teachers. Both of them taught me in High school June 1962 – 1963. Taiwo looked older and more mature while Kehinde’s baby-face made him look feminine- an attribute that made him look more handsome
The twins loved to play pranks with students especially girls, with the two of them dating the same girl on different occasions without full knowledge of the victims. They were known as socialites. Much as they loved their work, they also loved women, and were called ‘men – about – the – town’. They enjoyed associating themselves with influential women who equally enjoyed their company, because of their achievement and personalities. Most girls were carried away because of their status and fell prey thinking that would boost their ego as belonging to a high – class circle. Though not identical, they were brought up todo things together, like dressing and eating habit. Their poise actually commanded respect.
It came to pass that Kehinde fell in love with Jane-the only daughter of the Royal Highness.She was beautiful but very proud. She was full of herself, and Kehinde hoped to marry her. Entangled with the newly-found –love, he cautiously and treasonably shunned away his brother. He advised Taiwo to stay – clear of Jane. On many occasions he reported him to their mother, complaining of his interest in his new girl- friend. His attitude to his twin-brother changed, and nearly fell on the rock, as Kehinde stubbornly kept his distance. Taiwo had no choice other than to look for his own love, and life partner. He looked for a juicy girl, and eventually he got one good girl through his mother.
Surprisingly, the twins became friends again and planned to get married on the same day. At 30, they had an un-forgettable wedding ceremony; same officiating pastor, same Best-man, brides-maids and the other bridal train. The wedding was the talk of the town. They cut their two wedding cakes the same time. Infact, all commitments and spendings were reduced to one. Their wives desired to keep separate appartments in the same vicinity. Their movement together was curtailed as each family had different cars; the same model but different plate numbers and colours. The two wives Angel and Jane tried to be friends, but later moved apart because of Jane’s pride. Her rich family back- ground made her feel superior over Angel. For self-pride and to maintain peace the two families agreed to stay apart
After three years, family squabble aroused possibly caused by their wives. The two wives had different believes with their husbands. They no longer believed in sharing; common purse and other facilities. Mama Rose and daddy Abraham tried in vain to bring them together but they were heady. They moved to separate places, far away from their former houses, and communicated only through the telephone.
Because the two of them married their former students, one would expect the two wives to be friendly but they were not. They hardly did anything in common for nearly 20 years. Their mother’s serious sickness brought them together by June 1930. Mama Rose prayed for both of them but asked them to relate to each other as twin-brothers. She told them it was the only thing she desired in life. On her request Taiwo lifted her up from the sick bed and she gave up the ghost in his hands.
Their mother’s death worried them and firmly tied their bond together. Once again, they became inseparable. Their children, now teenagers loved to call themselves brothers and sisters, not caring their mothers’ differences. They soon brought their mothers together as sisters. The twins now believed that the greatest ordained gift in life is LOVE, the most important thing they inherited from their mother. The two families rejoiced and thanked God for this inspiration. Their unison after their mummy’s death became the talk of the town, as Jane, Angel, their fathers, grandfather and children united for the burial ceremonies. Daddy Abraham died a year later and was given a befitting burial. The whole town praised them and prayed for such unity
Taiwo and Kehinde tried to immortalize the memories of their parents and happiness. They ordered good portraits of theirs and their parents wedding photographs on the most conspicuous place in their living rooms. According to them photos boost their happiness and make lives more beautiful for them.
Hippocrates admonished physicians to do no harm but good. Body is well with sharp brain, balanced My story started by paying tribute to my late grandmother to celebrate her memory. My life was satisfied with her functional being as she lifted my weak bodies, reduced my burdens, moved me right to keep her happiness left. She grabbed my hand as a baby till I became of age, promptly without pause, with warm heart and joy in her bosom. I celebrated her outstanding life and would always cherish her memory. To me she was a model worthy of emulation and an epitome of beauty
system, immune jet that produced anti-bodies to face foreign bodies, balanced diet, exercise, water and much more. This section showed the studies done by some physicians to prove their worth, concerns, and how people benefitted by them.
ANTI-DOTE TO AGING
Justina was a police officer. Due to her brilliancy she attended many courses to climb ranks in police force, and became the first lady Inspector General, a scary position for a woman. She was advised to stoop down for a male counterpart to act as the ruling Inspector General. This she did reluctantly because she knew she was able to risk it. Not-withstanding she retired with full benefits. At 65 she was allowed to hold the highest executive post in the force as the chairman of their bank. Up till last year she improved most of their previous executive functions, and served longest in the Police force. Given her combination of longevity and brain power, Justina had a lot to be happy about. People thought all the bustle-trouble shooting problems around her could cause her untimely death. Not so. It’s what kept her alive and strong and healthy
There are lots of great ways to stay sharp while the clock ticks away, like reading, gardening, bird-watching, pottery. Scientists suggested the tips for fit mind;
-Don’t struggleto remember a detail or date? Don’t spin your wheels, look up the answer. Remembering yourself of the correct response will help you hang on to information.
– Studies showed that working 25 to 30 minutes eliminating distractions, followed by 5 minutes break boosts productivity
– An effective way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. Translating the material into your own words helps new knowledge take root
– Device a quiz after reading a chapter or hearing a lecture. Testing yourself strengthens neural pathways and produces better retrieval routes for remembering
– Cramming is a short-term fix. To improve long-term recall, wait 2 or 3 days between study sessions-a trick cognitive researchers call it-spacing effect.
Studies showed that executive function needs life-long learning. You can’t pick up a new skill or keep old one without it. It’s the key to a long rewarding independent life. And it is the last cognitive area to mature in childhood and the first to go as we age. This process is in the heart of neuroscientists; how to improve executive function and maintain it longer.
A skill you practise provides greater benefits to executive function than a hobby. Your voice itself is a musical instrument, you have to focus your attention and act decisively. Studies showed that the memory loss experienced by older people is largely a matter of stress, not age. Prolonged exposure of the brain to cortisol (a hormone released during chronic anxiety) is found in seniors- who is also experiencing memory loss. Cortisol production is accelerated by age, because the brain of seniors becomes more vulnerable to the effect of the hormone. The hippo-campus consolidates short-term memory into long –term memory and plays a major role in learning. Infact the hippo-campus is one of the few areas of the brain that produces new brain cells as we age, and new learning helps those cells live. The most practical way to strengthen executive function is to have a full dance card; enroll in classes, join a social circle, visit relatives, attend religious services. A social life can have a powerful effect on well-being. Seniors who double up their good deeds live longer.
Justina wanted to stay sharp. She was part of a generation used to being active. She wanted continuous learning. She wanted opportunities that called on her abilities. To reward her, the Government gave her The National Award as BEST POLICE OFFICER, a title never given to a woman. My advice to you is just to discover what you love and love what you do. Don’t become something because someone else wants you to, or because it’s easy; you won’t be happy. You have to do what you really like, even if it scares the shit out of you. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving is an anti-dote to aging.
This is an amazing report from an expert;
A 61year-old man was seen by his primary care physician two weeks ago. He now complained of protracted vomiting and diarrhea. Every test known was done and found normal; blood works, liver, kidney, radiologic tests, ultrasound, CT scan. There were no signs of infection. Scooping the stomach and lower intestines showed nonspecific signs of inflammation; mild redness or swelling. Nothing diagnostic was found helpful, so most doctors ruled out all possible causes.
Now the weird thing came. Wisdom prompted one doctor to say once you have eliminated the usual causes, whatever left, however improbable, must indeed be the correct diagnosis. So the investigating panel went back to continue the research, this time on unusual things. On the way, the G.I.T doctor probed deeper into memory to find out unusual possibilities. He reviewed causes of diarrhea not wanting to miss something; food poisoning occurs when one ingests foods that have toxins produced by infectious agents such as staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli but these have been ruled out.
The patient had not been traveling in an area where he might have contracted traveller’s diarrhea which can be due to infectious organisms such as shigella, salmonella, giardia or camphylobacter, among others. Tests for all these were negative. Viral gastroenteritis, an infection of the walls of the stomach and intestine and conditions after taking a course of antibiotics were, all ruled out.
When the team of doctors reached the patient’s room, the first thing they noticed was the man’s mustache, impressive and handsomely full. Even more striking than its bulk was how jet-back it was. The same went for his hair-colour. They noticed that the patient occasionally run the tongue along the mustache; left to right, right to left, up and down and bite the hair. So it occurred to one doctor to ask the patient questions about his mustache. He said, Mr Adams, how long have you had that mustache, and how was it that you kept it so black? He was amazed that a man of his age didn’t have some grays. The patient admitted using hair-colour. The doctor requested to see the product. He suggested that the vomiting and diarrhea might be caused by the ingestion of the chemicals and predicted that if he shaved his mustache his vomiting and diarrhea would stop.
Hair-coloring is an oxidation process- using chemical dyes, typically benzene or toluene. These chemicals are toxic, atleast they cause skin irritation and should never be ingested. Chronic intake may lead to serious health consequencies. Mr Adams was advised to shave off the offending facial hair and be free.
He finally did and the symptoms disappeared. Sometimes the key to solving a misery is staring you right in the face. Your life is precious and you’ve only got one. Don’t waste it on bad things or bad people. Be wise on what you want to do. Seek wisdom from experts. Your resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.
FATIGUE MIGHT NOT BE NORMAL
This was confirmed by Soji’s death. We searched our souls wondering what could have been done to prevent the horror. The only thing unusual that was noted was that he paced restlessly inside the bank between other clients. But then evertbody had his own peculiarities. Soji had been our tenant for two years at River-Bend square when the tragedy occurred. Educated in Britain as an accountant, he had the grace and elegance that many cultured Nigerian accountants possessed. He was married to a charming young woman, Bose, a caterer by profession. After 7 years of barren-ness, his wife delivered their first child in June 2013. Everybody taught that was a good cause for their joy, for all friends were happy for them. There was no hint that anything was amiss for on that memorable morning Soji left his family hail and hearty to collect money from his account in the bank. Eye-witnesses saw Soji slumped down in front of a bank cashier and died instantly. We were alarmed as we expressed our concern. Soji died right under the very noses of other customers in the bank. His case was inexplicable. In our grief, we talked it over for months. There were no real clues that Soji was so distraught that he would have killed himself. He could not have committed suicide. His wife and child went to live with the brother-in-law six months later.
There were no signs to suggest any foul play or any other serious conditions. We left the case as it was.
A new doctor trained in Britain told us his experience to convince us that there was no normal fatigue. He narrated the case of another young doctor, Albert, a very close friend of his. Albert became very tired after his honey-moon. He had been healthy and fit all his life. He was examined for evidences of conditions that could cause fatigue, like anaemia, all was in order. His blood test reported normal but the level of thyroid hormone low, and made his symptom sensible. Normally the thyroid gland manufactures hormones and releases them into the blood-stream which carries them throughout the body to play a critical regulatory role in almost all body functions. When there isn’t enough of the hormone, things generally slow down including metabolism. Weight may go up, mental activity miay get sluggish and fatigue can develop. It is not common but hypo-thyroidism occurs at almost any age. The most common reason for a drop in thyroid hormone production is auto-immune thyroiditis, an attack on the thyroid gland by the body’s own defense mechanisms. Fatigue has non-specific symptoms. When a patient’s sole complaintias tiredness the underlying cause could be elusive. At the follow-up visit Albert previously healthy dropped nearly 10 pounds in four months. He lost not only his energy and some weight but also his appetite. He also had a low-blood pressure. Rising from a lying to a standing position, his blood pressure fell to a seriously low level, low enough to cause light-headed and even fainting in most people. Diseases like fatigue, hypo-tention, low- blood pressure with postural changes, loss of appetite with accompanying weight loss, all fit with the diagnosis of Addison’s disease. This is the disorder of the adrenal glands. And it results in lack of cortisol, a vital hormone produced by the gland’s outer layer.
New blood tests confirmed that Albert’s cortisol levels were quite low. He was prescribed replacement steroid of adrenal-hormone called aldosterone for the rest of his life. Cortisol is often called the stress hormone. Finally, Albert regained his energy, his appetite and his weight.
Thank God Paul’s lecture succeeded to convince all and dismissed suspected suicide. His wife’s mind was put at peace. If Soji had not slumped to meet his death that day, he would have needed hormone replacement for the rest of his life to survive. Time heals but the memory still pains. Soji was too good to die from supposedly mere fatigue
The soldier who possessed warrior brain benefitted from an ideal balance of neurological and biological responses. He stood a much better chance of mentally withstanding war if he could visualize it. Theo proved this in his irritable attitude that soldiers though not born, they could be made.
My vacation trip with my daughter to Helsinki in Finland September 1987 explained it all. It zoomed into focus on the life of 35 year-old soldier. Theo and I met in one hotel in Helsinki as co-travellers. He was friendly, sociable, hefty-looking with well- trimmed- moustache. As soon as he saw that I came from Nigeria, he entered into a lengthy friendly discussion with me, about his family. I introduced myself and trustingly, he confided in me his mission in Finland. He was a British soldier, happily married but his family was based in the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Definitely he missed them. He opened his heart to me, as if he was eager to write His Life final Will for me. He handed over to me all the credentials in his possession, his savings, bank-account, some house and car-keys. He opened his brief-case, gave me $ 5000 to give to his wife with a note on how to spend the money. After leaving school, Magdalene his daughter was to get married to a man that accepted a compound name. That is to merge his name and the husband’s name like THEO-SAMUEL, if Samuel were the husband’s name. And that all his property was to go to them. Theo left a handsome amount of money for Magdalene’s wedding dress. He warned Mary not to buy stark white but ivory-lace dress. Theo already imagined how beautiful his daughter would be. What could one do when one glimpsed a moment one would not live to see? A memory was made in Theo mind. His brain already concluded the belief that the-enemy-fear-is real. He ruled out the possibility of ever going back to his family. Army scientists believe that science makes soldiers and that good- soldiers are made, not born. Studies on neurobiology of fear and anxiety coaxed resilience and hardiness from most timid animals. And made an anxious man braver by slightly stressing them. Army scientists believe that fear is a chemical reaction and the brain alerts them to danger. They believe that fear is the enemy and psychological trauma and have profound negative effects on brain function. Soldier’s fear is their best friend-a chemical reaction that gives signal to pay attention to a threat. The brain alerts them to danger, triggers the classic fight-or-flight respons. It produces sweaty palms, dry mouth, increase in breading, heart rate and a jolt of adrenaline—to help them survive. But when the brain doesn’t return to normal after a stressful incidence or when too many incidents happen, thi hormone- driven alert system becomes toxic. Some enemies use terror as a weapon in the past. Ideally citizens don’t want someone without fear response atall. That’s not brave, that’s just abnormal. Ana high stress response is also unhealthy. The optimal fear response accurately assesses risk, saves room for cognitive thought and rapidly returnes to base-line when the danger passes. Warrior brain is a gift of the DNA. Soldiers who possesses it benefits from an ideal balance of neurological and biological responses.
Theo’s belief had a sound foundation. His courage should be applauded. Three weeks later, my daughter and I went back home to see his wife and his beautiful daughter, Magdalene. The good will message was delivered but my prayer was for Theo to succeed in the battle-field and come back home to lead his precious daughter to the altar on her wedding day.
EXERCISE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
Most people do not realize that moderate to vigorous physical activity completely changes bodies from the inside out. Investigations recently identified numerous ways in which habitual exercise reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. And how it helps control diabetes and even facilitates learning. Prolonged sitting may however cancel some of the health advantages gained through regular exercise. Latest scientific findings helped to know that exercise takes many forms and occurs at different levels of intensity.
The benefits of exercise really accumulate when you make physical activity a routine habit. The body adapts to the increasing demands placed on it, leading to increased stamina as individuals become more fit. Athletes have long known that exercise boosts their mood and mental health. And yet it was not until 2005 that scientists were able to directly measure the so-called runner’s high, a sense of euphoria that occurred after prolonged exercise. Not only did they show that the brain released more endorphins (hormone that pleasurable feelings) during a long- distance run, they also determined that the compounds were active in evokes regions of the brain responsible for strong emotions.
More recently, investigators focused on the chemical changes in the brain by which exercise enhanced ability to concentrate, think and make decisions. In 2011 a scientifically rigorous experiment of 120 people in their 60’s and 70’s demonstrated that exercise increased the size of a part of the brain called hippocampus. The specific portion of the hippocampus that affects exercise is one that allows people to remember surroundings. Studies showed that exercise increased the number of larger, safer LDL molecules while decreasing the number of small dangerous ones. And it altered the ratio by boosting the activity of an enzyme called lipoprotein, lipase in fat and muscle tissue.
Cinderella, a new school teacher, learnt the biggest lesson of her life as she ran miles when a troubled student fled the school, outside the class-room to avoid punishment. The run-away boy, Joe, 12 years old was born to a drug-addicted mother. Many teachers spent weeks teaching the children appropriate behavior for public outing. On this particular day, in the corridor between class-rooms, Joe began screaming, cursing, splitting and swinging at anything within striking distance. Spectators thought he was insane. The crowd of onlookers that congregated during the spectacle watched in disbelief as Joe dashed straight into the heavy morning traffic in front of the school. Cinderella ran miles after him, at-least to be able to keep him in her sight and know that he was alive. He was heaving to catch his breath when he saw her. He stopped and stood up abruptly like a frightened animal, but his was not a look of fear but love, as his body relaxed. He did not attempt to run again. The two of them locked eyes, and Cinderella felt compassion for him. Familiar teachers commented that, ‘No one ever ran after him before. They just let him go with his awkward attitude. Nobody attempted to be so concerned in his problems. Eventually Joe came back to his senses. He hugged Cinderella smiling because the rigorous exercise had calmed him. It was amazing that he was developing a bond with Cinderella. Things changed as she ran miles after him. He felt that Cinderella cared for him. It was the day Cinderella’s presence made a profound difference. Without any particular medication Joe received his cure. Unexpectedly he grasped her hand and quietly said to her- I love you Cinderella. I never told anyone that before. Joe’s – brain probably released the pleasure- feeling endorphins to love Cinderella. Exercise – not only obscure some parts of the body, it has added love, the greatest gift through Joe.
FOOD OF LOVE
Akin was a popular musician, known for his Rege songs and guitar strumming. He made his living in music and trained one of his two children to be a musician. By October 1995 he sent his second son, Adeyemi to Dublin, to study Medicine. A year later he took ill but his disease was not diagnosed. He started noticing small dull aches like a toothache, in the back- left side of his mouth. He also started getting headaches that would last only a few seconds. No doctor at home could find anything wrong. The headache came more often, his teeth and neck started to hurt, always on the left side. The week before Christmas he started getting these incredible episodes of jabbing pain, like someone was stabbing him in the jaw. Two days before Christmas Eve, he got a stab of pain so bad that he passed out. That night his wife Sabina telephoned his son in Dublin to alert him with the seriousness of his father’s illness. Adeyemi asked him to come to Dublin for treatment. And by August 2001, Sabina, his wife accompanied him. Adeyemi had arranged with a doctor in Dublin, where his daddy would be admitted. He was admitted into the male ward, the very second day, still undiagnosed. Some people thought he had brain fatigue but his doctor was yet to confirm. Adeyemi contacted a doctor and arranged to get him admitted into the Teaching Hospital with all necessary facilities. That night Akin cried hysterically because no one could tell him what was going on. He spent the day crying in his ward, the stabbing pain was so intense, he felt like he was being electrocuted every few minutes. His heart was racing his blood pressure was through the roof. He was tested for stroke and heart attack, all negative. Four hours later, he showed where the pain was by stretching his hand to cover his left temple, jaw, and the spot under his nose. Yet his ailment was undiagnosed. Surprisingly by the fourth day Akin started to be friendly, cheerful, better at peace with him-self. Sabina and Adeyemi were astonished because up till then, there was no specific drug recommended. He was just on the normal routine drugs like the vitamins. It was noticed however that one lady musician was coming to the ward everyday to sing and strum her guitar. It was her hobby and she did it voluntarily to cheer up patients particularly the kids. Akin seemed to fall in love with the woman, for he became relaxed and more peaceful on her arrival. As a one- time musician himself, he was attracted to Roseline. He was even tempted to collect her guitar one Sunday to strum some favorite tunes.
Roseline was a music therapist. She visited hospital wards to softly strum guitar, with the hope of relieving some pains. She watched the patients to gauge their responses. Halfway through her songs she tried to notice changes. Akin reacted to her melody, became still and comfortable. Adeyemi and Sabina were astonished, for Akin was completely settled. Unbelievable said Sabina. This was all in a day’s work for Rseline, the lady musician. She created small miracles for patients and families. Roseline used music to bring comfort to scores of patients who sometimes had to undergo uncomfortable medical procedures in an unfamiliar environment. Music therapists weren’t there to perform but there to engage and involve people. It was not an entertainment service but a therapist first and foremost. Their job was to find the best way to use music to help the patients. She considered many factors including the patient’s health, age and musical tastes. It’s all about adapting to the situation. Roseline formerly worked with children from infancy to adolescence, although most patients were 10 years or younger. With very young babies she would hold the infant in her arms and sing a lullaby. It’s pretty well known that the human voice was very therapeutic for babies or children – who were unable to move around. She played her guitar and sing at the bed sides. For intellectual stimulation she would give the dis-abled child colourful hand-held instrument to play with from her cart. Every patient’s needs were different but Roseline’s philosophy was the same. It’s her goal to involve patients as much as possible- whether to make choices about what they liked or enjoyed.
Akin, a former musician himself, enjoyed listening to her pop music. It made him happy, alleviated the stress of being in the hospital. The power of music calmed him down, distracted him from the fear and discomfort previously experienced. Of course, not just patients benefited from music, families were often relieved when their loved ones received a visit from the therapist. When Roseline walked into a ward, families often sighed audibly. Even in the most critical situation, when any patient was dying Roseline made them die in dignity. Her training allowed her to use music to provide peaceful anti-dote to the suffering of patients and their families. Music had therapeutic benefit for virtually everyone, not just emotionally, but physiologically.
Research showed that music slowed a person’s heart and respiration rates, and that brains were most engaged when listening to music. It came as no surprise that patients who participated in music therapy while in the hospital not only experienced less anxiety but ended up having shorter stays. Music reached people inside like food, satisfied hunger and watered thirst
A week later, Akins’s doctor accompanied by another doctor came specially to see him. The other doctor said to Akin -Have you ever heard of trigeminal neuralgia, is the pain ever triggered by something like feeling wind on your face? Akin said yes. He was happy that he got the correct diagnosis. So, a neurologist was recommended to see him. A surgery was organised for Akin. This time he was well-composed, the pain was getting less severe. Roseline noticed his flair for music. So, she decided to spend more time with him, humming his favorite songs and strumming her guitar. Four days after the surgery, Akin was perfectly well and discharged from the hospital. Roseline became their family friend. Akin collected Roseline’ guitar and strummed some tunes on it.
February 2002 Akin went back to Nigeria, hail and hearty. He thanked God for saving his life, for sending Roseline and the Neuro-surgeon to his aid. Sabina and Adeyemi could not thank Roseline enough. Roseline remained a regular volunteer musical- therapist with the hospital. Akin went to a music –shop to buy two modern guitars; one for himself and the other for Roseline to keep as souvenir. Though he retired from activeservice in 2000, he decided to remain in the business of music. He reorganized his former band and encouraged the staff to keep the ball rolling. He was no longer the chief vocalist. He assigned responsibilities to younger folk but always in attendance to cheer them up. Akin registered in a church choir a year later and became their life patron. You can always find your way back to a life of joy, purpose, and back to a hopeful and long life. If music be the food of love, play on.
SHE WASN’T SHY
Can our work today build a better tomorrow? We’re all part of something bigger and we all have a stake in shaping the future of our children. Are there better ways to sustain our quality of life not just this year or next, but for generations to come? Was your 3-5 year- old shy in public places?
Sophie was the leader in one commercial organization in Lagos. Part of her duty was to set the tone for people to express their ideas, even if they differed from those of their colleagues. She would not allow someone’s ideas to be dismissed without consideration. She also established an environment where people felt safe in asking questions that often go unasked because everybody was afraid of being the only one who didn’t already know the answer.
Among her major concerns as a leader was that she would allow the best idea in the room to go unexpressed because someone did not feel comfortable enough to express it. Diversity of age, gender, skin colour, ethnicity, and more was often visible and easy to identify and required focus to engage and develop. The presence of diversity was often an indicator of an inclusive environment that embraced diversity of thought. 12th August for the 10 am meeting. Sophie had worried about her daughter’s quietness in the past. Presently she felt she had out-grown it. Before, people complained of her quietness, in public places, even the school. But because she spoke fluently at home, her mother taught she would be able to present her case successfully. She looked forward to appraise her. Lo and behold, throughout the four- hour meeting, Caroline didn’t utter a word in the way of response. Staff-members were disappointed. Sophie was embarrassed but consoled her-self saying that her daughter was only shy. Onlookers complained that some 3 yearold child would do better, and advised Sophie to see a speech specialist.
This visit exposed Caroline unnatural disposition, called- speech- delay. Speech specialist said it was one of the most complex tasks young brain had to master as one of the many childhood disorders. Kids with development al delay or autism commonly showed up in the hospitals. They could talk mile in a minute at home but wouldn’t talk at school or anywhere outside. When younger they talked all the time, and everywhere. But at about 3 they started getting quiet and wouldn’t say a word the entire time. At first people might think they were shy. Scientists called this classic case of a condition – selective mutism. Children with selective mutism had been traumatized in some way, and then decided not to talk in certain settings.
Speech pathologists and psychologists began to recognize that these children often demonsrated other symptoms of social anxiety and that this was the root cause of theit not speaking. In 1994 the name of the disorder was changed from selective to selective mutism, emphasizing that the child was not making not making a conscious decision to remain silent but was actually unable to speak in certain situations. It is different from simple shyness. A shy child may find it uncomfortable to talk with someone, she doesn’t know but she will usually manage to warm up, given time and support. A child with selective mutism truly cannot talk in some settings and will not improve over time without treatment.
Selective mutism is not a language disorder, since children communicate perfectly well when they are in their comfort zone
Some researchers suggested that these disorders might be trigerred by an imbalance of neurotrasmitters in an area of the brain called the amygdala. The amygdala helped determine the emotional significance of things perceived. Activity in the amygdala is regulated by at-least three systems of brain chemicals called neuro-transmitters. Studies showed that some children affected by selective mutism have such severe anxiety that they have to undergo one treatment method called cognitive behavioral therapy but first required treatment with a medication. This combination of behavioral therapy and medical treatment worked for most children optimistically and are able to speak in public within a few months, aalthough some of them continue to experience significant symptoms of anxiety. Hopefully within a year the child would be able to stand infront of her class and read out loud.
Sophie acknowledged the truth of what the speech therapist had to say. Her daughter had been correctly diagnosed, and blamed herself for taking too much for granted. She had thought that her daughter was merely quiet and shy. After the counselling the speech specialist Dr Jones took Caroline as one of her clients, and convinced Sophie that within a year the child would be able to interact successfully with her colleagues in the office and in her school. Delayed speech is not shyness. Wake up early to build a better tomorrow.
ILLITERACY IS A DISEASE
Kwashiorkor is a disease, children with big head, tummies, tinny- legs, no stamina but general debility. Memory lane took me back to 1950 in a village called Langbodo. There I saw a 7 yearold boy called Ojo, an orphan living with a distant relative. I could see that Ojo was somehow maltreated. What I noticed particularly was his big head, tummy and two tiny legs. Despite this caricature appearance, he ran errands for mostly everybody in the village, going to school was completely ruled out for him. The food dished out for him three times a day was foo-foo, cassava starch, the cheapest food in the village, size which doubled his head. Despite the awkward size Ojo always wanted more, like Oliver Twist. He was never satisfied. People indulged giving him more, to make him work more. At the end of the day Ojo’s tummy looked distended and over-stretched like balloon. I was amazed to see him as he tried to push- down the food inside, using a soft hand brush on his tummy. His ignorance was to create more space for more foo-foo. The more of it, the happier he was.
Lack of knowledge led Ojo to this dilemma. As a village boy he had access to natural foods in the garden; vegetables and fruits. But according to him those were cash crops, not meant to be eaten.
Ojo didn’t know how to leave well. His wish was only to fill the tummy.
Five years later, I saw Ojo looking a different person, as if it wasn’t he I saw in the village. He told me that his uncle on the mother’s side came from England and brought him to Lagos. He now discovered how those in the village took pleasure in his misfortune and treated him like an underdog. There he was knocked down, leaving no value in him. Uncle James with his high moral principles and excellent child-rearing experience turned him upside down. Uncle James made him eat variety of foods; beans, rice, meat, vegetables and fruits along with his own children. This new diet had remarkable effect on Ojo, and his natural beauty, slim-fit features started to shape. Ojo never wished to eat only foo-foo again, never used hand brush to push food down in the tummy anymore. Uncle James educated him on how food travelled to generate energy for the body. Illiteracy is a disease
Scientists gave us more explanation on these processes, that the gut flora was a teeming mass, around 100 – trillions- microorganisms, living on the lining. They helped with digestion by breaking down nutrients and keeping various germs in check. Once food was chewed up and arrived in the stomach, the gut went to work; and started giving it a good massage, flexing its muscle in gentle rhythmic contractions to break it down. Then chemicals like hydrochloric acid dissolved the food with the help of those massaging muscles to wring critical nutrients from the body’s food. The stomach, a hollow sac about the size of an empty fist, located just below the ribs on the right was super-stretchy. It processed each food; proteins, fats, and carbohydrates at different sp
eeds and with the help of different digestive enzymes. Fat took longest. So, processing all food took several hours. Some scientists called gut, the second brain because it contained 100 million nerve cells, called the enteric nervous system embedded in the lining. The two brains worked closely together all day long, passing information through their nerve cells and hormones to make the body good and anxious.
Digesting process continued, food continued to move out of the stomach into the small intestine; a tube, an inch in diameter which meandered back and forth through the lower torso for more than 20 feet. Every bit of this surface was a transit point for the nutrients. They oozed through the intestine walls into the circulatory system, coursing through 60,000 miles of blood vessels to deliver essential raw materials to every inch of the body to provide energy.
Scientists also showed that unhealthy diet was not only bad for waist, it triggered alzheimer disease. When people gorged on fatty or sugary food, their insulin spiked repeatedly. Muscles, liver, and fat cells stopped responding to the hormone, not mopping up glucose and fat in the blood. As a result, the pancreas desperately worked overtime to make more insulin to control the glucose, and levels of the two molecules skyrocket.
Other studies showed 3 types of diabetes of the brain and body.
Type 1 – typically diagnosed in children and young adults. The body attacked the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and made it unable to regulate blood sugar. These patients needed insulin therapy to survive.
Type 2 – the most common type; either the pancreas did not produce enough insulin or muscle, liver, and fat cells ignored insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels and increased risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, nerve damage, and amputation.
Type 3 – diabetes arose when brain tissue became insulin resistant and this primarily concerned the brain
In the United States alone, 19 million people had been diagnosed with diabetes, while 79 million were considered pre-diabetic, showing some of the early signs of insulin resistance. But even if someone didn’t develop diabetes, a bad diet could set the wheels in motion for brain degeneration. Their research indicated that maintaining a healthy weight and life style helped stave off cognitive decline. Insulin resistance emerged from a bad diet. Conversely, diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids helped the brain manage insulin efficiently and exercise encouraged the body to conquer insulin resistance.
Knowledge is wealth, and illiteracy is a disease.
DEATH WITH DIGNITY
Auntie Comfort was my father’s senior sister and auxilliary nurse by profession. She hated injections and had alerted her children and family members when she celebrated her 50th birthday, never to give any form of injections to treat her ailment either in the hospital or at home. Like most doctors she preferred to die with dignity. She hoped to go gentle into that good night, for she had seen a lot in the hospitals.
Hospice care which focused on providing terminally ill patients with comfort and dignity, offered most people better final days. Scientists have found that people in hospice often lived longer than those with the same disease who sought active cures pills for her ailments. She lived the next one- year wih her brother before she moved into her own private apartment. She had fun like she never had in decades.
One day, auntie Comfort found a lump in her stomach. She was uninterested, but just focused spending time with her family. She didn’t get chemotherapy, radiation or surgical treatment. Medicare didn’t spend much on her. She made her children realize that doctors too die. What’s unusual was not how much treatment they got compared with other people, but how little. They had seen what was going to happen and had generally assessed any medical care they would need. They knew enough about death to understand what all people feared most; dying in pain and dying alone. They had talked about this in their families. They wanted to be sure when the time arrived, that no heroic measures would happen, for they knew modern medicine’s limit.
Auntie Comfort was a very strong believer of the Gospel. She believed that when death knocked, no body could stop it, except the Creator. Almost all medical professionals had seen – futile care performed. That’s when doctors brought the cutting edge of technology to bear on a grievously ill person near the end of life. The patient would get cut open, perforated with tubes, hooked up to machines and assaulted with drugs. As a paramedic, auntie Comfort saw all these in the Intensive Care Unit at a cost of ten times of thousands of dollars a day. It brought misery one would not inflict on the most heinous criminal. Doctors administered care they wouldn’t want for themselves. Auntie had seen hundreds of people in the emergency. She knew that if a patient had severe illness, old age or an incurable disease, the odds of a good outcome were infinitesimal. Doctors only attempted to relieve suffering, if they advised against further treatment. Even when the right preparation had been made, the system could still swallow people.
Researchers found that people made best decisions at-times; even a pre-emptive aspirin could ward off pain or even save life. Relatives did not take auntie Comfort seriously with her decision never to be given any injection. One Saturday morning she suffered a massive stroke in front of her church and was rushed to the hospital by on-lookers. She accepted some pills orally and this brought her down temporarily but she knew she was going to die.
She talked about her late mother and father, her brothers and sisters. She talked about how she learned what love was, and what it was not. She talked about the love she felt, and the love she gave, and did not receive or the love she did not know how to offer, the love she withheld, or the love she might never had loved unconditionally.
Auntie Comfort was married with three children many years ago. Her husband divorced her in 1996 and as a single mother she raised her two children by herself under a lot of hardship. She had rented apartment in down town but being fond of my mother, she spent not less than two hours with her most evenings.
By evening time, she passed out and the doctor on duty tried to resuscitate her and connected Intra-venous fluid. This was her worst night mare. She looked around, probably to see some people. The doctor thought she had successfully resuscitated her but an hour later she gave up the ghost, at exactly 5 p.m. Even with all her written wishes auntie hadn’t died as she hoped, the system had intervened. One lesson learnt from her, was that almost anyone can die in peace at home, only Hospice care focused on providing terminally ill-patients with comfort and dignity for better final days.
Family was where we first experienced love and where we first gave it. Comfort’s case instructed us that the best way to teach our children about God is by loving each other wholly and forgiving each other fully. Comfort knew that her family came next to God.
STORIES THAT STICK
The stories described here referred to names and common terms that stick to the memories of most health workers. Many of us have benefitted from these legends; Fleming who discovered our popular antibiotics, Louis Pasteur whose name gave birth to pasteurization in the making of milk. He introduced sterility to control infections. Vaccination came to bear through a British doctor named Edward Jenner. He introduced the noble belief that diseases could be better prevented than cured. Terms like Conjunctivitis, ringworm, iron-deficiency anaemia are popular diseases of school children.
ANTIBIOTICS – One of the largest advances in medicine was the discovery of Antibiotics by Alexander Fleming. Without antibiotics modern medicine as we know it would be unrecognizable.
In 1928, Fleming was researching the properties of the well-known staphylococcus bacterium, which continues to haunt us today in the form of the antibiotic- resistant superbug.
One September morning, he noticed that one of his staph cultures had been over grown by a fungus. This fungus was from the penicillin genus, and all the staph colonies near it had died while thos farther away were normal. He called the bacteria-killing substance ‘’ penicillin’’
This penicillin had the ability to kill many kinds of gram-positive bacteria; such as those that caused scarlet fever, meningitis, diphtheria and bacterial pneumonia. Fleming abandoned most of his work with the new drug because of the difficulties in producing large amounts of it. The job of mass-producing penicillin fell to two Oxford Reseachers. Howard Florey and Ernest Cha. Fleming received the lion’s share of recognition for penicillin but the three of them won the 1945 Nobel- prize in Medicine.
STERILE PROCEDURES – To control infections sterile procedure is the norm today. Surgeons changed gowns and gloves, and washed hands thoroughly between patients. They also used sterilized surgical instruments, operating rooms using disinfectants. These sterile procedures reduce rate of infection and ward fevers after surgery. This germ theory reported that microorganisms cause many diseases. It was first proposed in the 16th century through the work of Louis Pasteur. 300 years later, Sir Joseph Lister began applying that knowledge. In the 1860s, medicine changed for the better because of it. Lister who was familiar with the work of Pasteur, made the connection between lack ofsanitation and ward fever, the high rate of patient infections and the deaths after surgeries.
These days the dangers of hospital-acquired infections are well known, and hospitals and other health providers that do not follow sanitary procedures are held accountable. Thus, this Scottish surgeon, Lister, contributed immensely to medicine and had saved many millions of lives.
IMMUNIZATION – Since the time of Galen and Hippocrates, medicines’ purpose has been to heal the sick. While that remains the noblest of undertakings, a British doctor named Edward Jenner thought medicine could be something more. What if you could prevent people from getting sick in the first place. That idea took root in 1796. Edward noticed that, those who worked closely with cows and contacted an illness called cowpox didn’t contract the horror seen in smallpox. Exceptionally contagious smallpox killed hundreds of millions of people but cowpox was less severe in nature, and the disease was not fatal. So, Jenner tried something that would change history. He drained some pus from cowpox blisters and injected the pus into the arm. The recipient became mildly ill but did not develop smallpox and he fully recovered i a few days. Thus, was born the smallpox vaccine, and a vaccination compaign that lasted until the World Health Organization declared the disease one of the greatest -enemy to human race but it was eradicated by 1980. Today the impact of immunology on human race is incalculable. It was estimated that the vaccines given to American infants and children over the past 20 years will prevent 322- millions- illnesses, 21- millions- hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths over the course of those lifetimes. Since Jenner’s discovery, vaccines have been developed for many other diseases, to name a few; measles, rubella, diphtheria, mumps, polio, meningitis, hepatitis A and B, Influenza, rabies, yellow fever and tetanus.
CONJUNCTIVITIS – This out side the eyeball is covered with a thin, clear membrane called the conjunctiva. Occasionally, a tiny blood vessel bursts underneath to flood the surrounding area with blood. It’s almost always harmless and heals in about a week. Most of the time a cause is never determined but can be from violent coughing, sneezing or vomiting.
RING – WORM- is vermicular vernacular. This is the most widely spoken language of a particular people or place. Ringworm isn’t a worm, but a fungus, closely related to the fungi behind athlete’s foot and jock itch. It is one of the more widespread zoonotic diseases, those which can be passed from animal to human. It is easy to treat, simply apply antifungal cream to the affected area until it is gone.
IRON – DEFICIENCY called ANEMIA causes big and widespread problems. Your body needs iron to produce hemoglobin and your body needs hemoglobin to transport oxygen throughout it. With anemia, it’ss basically as if every function in your body is slowly suffocating. It can be caused by a bleed somewhere in your body. Or it can be caused by a lack of iron in your diet or an inability to absorb iron. Treatment typically involves taking iron supplement, identifying the cause and other remedies based on the particular cause.
This life is full of ups and downs; many roses and thorns. Many have seen and sailed through various storms. This section described suc experiences for us to learn and enjoy.
Alice met Peter as a boy when he moved into an apartment in Akoka. Peter was three years older than Alice but they ran in the same circles. He was highly intelligent and surpassed all academic expectations. He was also a self-proclaimed know-it-all, which did not help him make close friendships. Alice’s mother Janet Adewole remembered Peter as an altar boy and honor student like that who looked like he had a promising future.
Alice was out-going, she loved animals; and had a lot of friends. She was not always the best student and was drawn to Peter’s self-confidence and intellect. At age 16, Alice had her first boyfriend in Peter. By outside accounts, Peter was the one in charge in their relationship. He had opinion about virtually everYthing. He dictated how she wore her hair and makeup. He was extremely jealous and would not allow Alice to socialize without him, even with her own family. Overtime, her friends became fewer as they were tired of being around Peter and of telling Alice how they felt about her boyfriend. Peter’s behavior often confused her, and made her doubt the relationship. Yet Peter could be loving and kind, and Alice had come to rely on him for direction. She convinced herself that he was just a very protective boyfriend who wanted the best for her. As if to fortify this bond, Peter defended his actions with statements of love, insisting he had Alice’s best interests at heart. He would remind Alice that he was in her life to help make her better. Without him he added, she would go nowhere.
After High school, Peter and Alice got married and lived in a low-income apartment owned by his family in Onike village. While Peter was working as a Civil Engineer, Alice went to law-school. Peter decided to attend a graduate school in the University of Lagos, very close to their house, an achievement that made it easy for him to convince Alice they would have a wonderful future together. To make Peter focus on his studies, she obliged to suspend her own-training in the law-school, took a job as a secretary, 10 miles from their home. Peter bought a car to drive in the campus, and gave Alice a bike. Even in rain or burning sun, Alice biked to and from work, and handed Peter her pay-checks. He bossed her around constantly, and she did as she was told to avoid his wrath
One night when Alice’s sister -Angela and her husband Joseph paid them courtesy call at home, they watched Peter as he slapped Alice across the face for not understanding an assignment and yelled at her in disgust. The emotional and physical assaults started to wear on Alice’s health. Their basic problem of not having a child after three years of marriage, added more to her problem. Peter now left their home and stayed with a friend. The separation lasted one month. Peter told Alice he could not live without her, so he returned home. Their church pastor intervened and advised them to trust in God for children. They started to pray and fast. Beneath the veneer of normalcy, Peter’s reign continued.
To outsiders Peter and Alice were seen as a perfect couple, for no one heard yelling coming from their home. Peter was a quiet, educated man who wore suit to school all the time. Other men on the block found him to be reserved but nice although they did not form close friendships. They did not socialize as a couple with their neighbors. Within, Peter treated his wife with dis-respect Alice felt intense pressure to keep the family whole, especially when emotional abuse had not escalated to physical assault. She did not see it as abuse. She felt they just needed time to work harder at their marriage, and in faith, to believe in God for their children.
Before long, her mind became divided. She could no longer trust Peter. She was trapped in fear, recollecting all her dilemma. Her migraine worsened, as Peter badgered her about her expenditures, insisting to see all receipts and financial book. A few weeks later, Alice told her mother she wanted to divorce Peter. Her mother had not been completely blind to the abuse but did not know its’ extend. She had thought that Peter was unhappy with Alice because she could not have a child. At the courthouse, Alice filled a petition to describe to a judge the emotional, verbal, sexual, financial and physical abuse she had endured.
Alice finally had freedom. Peter believed he was the victim, based on the comments he received from a friend and a sister. Peter became increasingly concerned that alicehad been having extramarital affairs. He also believed she was a drug addict. Peter however minimized his own aggression towards his wife, as he admitted striking her last three years ago, and that the kicking had only little effect on her. Finally, during the early morning hours of September 9, 2002, even before the divorce case, Alice slumped in her bed-room and gave up the ghost.
Days after, Alice’s family struggled with the horror of how she was made to live and die in Peter’s house. On the day of the funeral, friends wished they could go back in time and talk to Alice about what had been happening to her. They would have told her that Peter’s behavior toward her wasn’t her fault and that she had a right to be treated with respect. Most of all they could have helped her get out of the relationship safely.
In 1980 researchers acknowledged the possibility of traumatic bonding, in which deep emotional attachments developed from two features of abusive relationship; A power imbalance and Unpredictable shifts between warmth and malice. These dynamics keep a victim working ever harder to make her abuser happy, in hopes of earning a bit of kindness from him. Because she was told that she was the cause of the relationship problems, she felt responsible for fixing them. As the pattern persisted, it became normal to them and the tie between abuser and victim grew stronger.
Research showed that people like Peter had the desire to have upper-hand all the time. Peter did not know that it could suffocate his wife to death. This was 1980 belief. In this data age, such toxic treatment by male partners is not motivated by love, but insecurity and a need for power and control. Peter’s attempts to isolate Alice from her friends and family deepened his insecurity. Demeaning comments are another common means of putting a partner in his place andconsolidating power. Beware of power imbalance at home.
A 13 yearold girl, Philomena, was born in London, England to a Ghanaian-father Edward Mensar and a part-time worker, an Irish woman Velicity in the year 1966. Her father and mother met as neighbors in the down town. Soon, Velicity got pregnant and delivered a beautiful girl, named Philomena. Edward was a University student and Velicity was a part-time house-governor to one rich man in their neighborhood. When Edward graduated, he attended a graduate school, an achievement that made it easy for him to convince Velicity that they would soon get married officially and get enough money to spend on their family. After seven years of deceit, under Edward’s control, Velicity dropped her job and went to the school of Nursing. By June 1969, Edward graduated with Master’s degree in Engineering. On the graduation day himself, Velicity and Philomena took a group photograph as a happy family. Edward worked briefly as an Engineer in London before he took an unexpected leave to Ghana. Since October 1971 Edward didn’t phone or write a letter to Velicity. There was no information about him. He left all his property; clothes, shoes, books, even documents in Velicity’s apartment. A few friends from his office asked of him, meaning he didn’t take permission from his office. Philomena was just five years old. Velocity registered her in the school nearest to her Nursing school and she became a single parent. Life was extremely difficult for her; coping with feeding, keeping Philomena at school and her own school activities. All became a big burden for her. When Philomena graduated from the junior school at 12, she made up her mind to follow up and trace Edward in Ghana
A Ghanaian friend of her, Joy about the same age with her, promised to help with the search. Philomena took her father’s diary to trace his home in Kumasi. The two of them crammed all the addresses in the diary. Both took plane to Kumasi. Joy was met at the Airport by Joe, her grandfather, the only relative she knew in Ghana. They went off to their village. Joy and Philomena shared Joe’s guest room where Philomena got infection, incredible joint pain, crushing headache along with the tormenting search. In the guest room, Philomena kicked at her sheets, trying to cool off. The next day, she discovered welts on her ankles. She wasn’t surprised, because she had been warned about the mosquitoes in Africa. But she never imagined that the malignant virus could enter her blood during her brief stay. In just two weeks Philomena became sicker than she could ever remember being. She lay in a dark room, collecting her thoughts. Several days later, her eyes were burning, her skin clammy, and limbs heavy with fatigue. She visited an urgent medicine dealer, the village doctor. He looked flummoxed when she saw her condition; skin erupted in a dusky, red rash. He finally wangled an appointment with a properly licensed medical practitioner in town. The spots covered her arms, chest and abdomen.
The doctor sent Philomena for routine blood tests. Meanwhile her lower back pain and joint aches got worse. Soon she could barely walk. The lab results were unhelpful; her white cells were down which fit with a viral infection, but she wasn’t anemic, her liver enzymes were normal. And her platelets, those little cellular bits that help stanch bleeding, were neither too high nor too low. Mosquito-borne viruses had been prevalent in Africa. The doctor confirmed she had malaria fever. She was advised to stay in the hospital overnight for some intravenous fluids. The doctor lectured Philomena about malaria parasites. Folks who reside in Tropical cities, towns and villages where mosquitoes are well established suffer hemorrhagic fever, a truly life-threatening illness for which supportive measures such as fluid, electrolytes and blood products are the only treatment. Every year, close to million people experience some form of treatment and more than 20,000 people- mainly children- die from hemorrhage- fever, according to the World Health Organization. This is the reason why prevention had been encouraged; protective clothin and insecticides to minimize mosquito bites, whether at home or abroad.
Philomena was discharged from the hospital after three days. She and Joy travelled to Kumasi to fulfill their mission. They first called on a church pastor to find out from him whether he ever met Edward Mensa. Nobody knew him in that church. They tried all the addresses in the diary, there was no success. Philomena got disappointed because there was no help anywhere. The mother in London could not help either, since she had never visited Ghana. Philomena had no other choice but to go back to her mother in London, utterly disappointed, confused and rejected. Joy, her only friend was a born-again Christian. She preached to Philomena day and night to take console in God, our Heavenly- Father, for He will never forsake His children. Despite the terrible annoyance Philomena went back to England to meet her mother and continue her life with the peace of the Lord in her heart. Do not confuse dreams with wishes. There is a difference. Dreams are where you visualize yourself being successful at what it’s important to you to accomplish. Wishes are hoping good things will happen to you. But there is no fire in your gut that causes you to put everything forth to overcome all the obstacles. Philomena should come down with her annoyance. God is on the throne.
Jonathan of Brazil was proud and felt great to win medals, gold and set new world records for his country. He was the lucky few in athletics. He skipped over all hurdles but his life wasn’t full of roses and it is not as easy as thought. He considered all odds and possibilities before the ventures. God on his side, he succeeded. Sports like football taught important values like team work, self- sacrifice and outlet for youthful aggression. Some days- back a one-time lover of football lived in a trailer outside his brother’s house. He got angry and had a hard time sleeping with his family, his estranged wife and children were afraid.
Research shows that football physically destroys its participants; from the outside in – breaking bones, smashing shoulders, shredding ligaments. And brain damage destroys lives from the inside out, big hits, little hits unavoidably add up. A one-time proud, intelligent man became hollow and half-mad. But the NFL are callous, and fans are even more so. But for many people ignorance is bliss, even when it involves the health of their children.
Scientific studies link repeated brain injuries to early-onset Alzheimer’s depression, dementia and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Personal risk factors may also play big role. Problems with short-term memory, depressed mood, and aggressive behavior usually don’t present until years or decades after exposure to repetitive brain trauma. Concussions aren’t the whole story.
Many researchers believe that repetitive sub-concussive blows-often incur during practice- played a more important role. They suspect that exposure to brain trauma early in life may increase the risk, more than exposure later in life, especially, High School players. Football hits pull the brain like Silly Putty, stretching and shearing nerve cells. Some hits cause- concussions, some don’t. Regardless, damage accumulates.
Before becoming a player, Samson was a happy, healthy kid, good student, popular and well liked- the type of guy mothers would like their daughters to marry. He ended his life with an injury, a damage of the fibers connecting his nerve cells. Doctors strongly suspected the injury led to his sudden, in-explicable decisions.
It is true, you can suffer a concussion driving a car or riding a bike. Life is a risk. But one thing is sure, you minimize the risk. Unfortunately, only 42 percent of high schools in 2010 even had access to certified athletic trainer educated in concussion care. The suggestion that children under 14 years of age shouldn’t play collision sports appeared in-order. But because College football is a multi-billion-dollar- tax payer-subsidized business, football’s popularity seems to grow every year, without considering the risk. Seeing people ruin themselves for entertainment’s sake is found not just sordid but ghoulish. Lovers of football should try to break up with those hits in the head.
As advocates for concussion safety; Children under 14 years of age shouldn’t play collision sport, or they should have access to certified athletic trainer educated in concussion care. We enjoy these children more when they become sport-scientists, sport-writers or even retired successful players.
BREACH OF PROMISE TO MARRY
Promise is a debt, as people commonly ascertain. My sister Juliet was heading into the busiest, most exciting month of her life. In less than a year, on December 2, 1967, she would marry her fiancée, Adekunle Ojo, in Lagos where they’d been living together for more than three years. The couple were both pharmacists, fresh out of the same university, and had dated for two years before Adekunle proposed on July 2, 1966.
December 1966, they had an elaborate engagement party in Juliet’s family house in Ijebu-ode. Her parents were very happy and excited. They spent a lot of money on the preparations; food, engagement-cake, band, saloon services, photographer, cloths and accessories. Juliet’s parents invited many big personalities in town for the engagement party, and the church wedding was fixed for December 2 the following year. The postponement was because, the fiancé and the fiancée needed to serve their youth service that year. A lot of preparations were organized in advance, for the D-Day.
Juliet’s parents were affluent and wanted to declare their surplus to honour their first daughter. Very important personalities; like the Governors from different states, members of the House of parliament, permanent secretaries of various institutions, chiefs and many social workers were invited for December 2nd 1967 wedding. The invitation cards were printed, to be dispatched by courier at a later date. A contract had been awarded for the most elegant wedding gown-Princess Diana style, was chosen. Wedding counsellors were permitted to choose the colour of the wedding gown and for the bridal train. The band to play music in the reception hall had been notified. The bishop of the cathedral church was their family friend, and had been chosen as the chair-man of the Day. He actually took part in most of the planning arrangement, including the church programme. To cut matters short, all arrangement for the wedding was in place.
Adekunle and Juliet graduated from the same university but came from different towns and different back-grounds. Both Juliet’s parents were popular elites from Lagos but Adekunle Ojo came from Ekiti, state. The Ojo family were somehow awkward, being semi-illiterate. They feared that if their son should marry from such a rich family as Juliet’s parents, he would be lost to them, because a wife like that would never come down to their level. During the engagement ceremony, they were remorse. The display of wealth and superiority suffocated them.
Unknowing to Juliet and her family Adekunle had been lured to an illegal wedding with Sussan in his village. He not only had sexual relations with her, Sussan had gotten pregnant for him. All these were kept secret. Adekunle was not informed about the pregnancy until Sussan’s tummy started protruding.
Meanwhile the plan for the wedding between Juliet and Adekunle was still on. Juliet and her parents were totally in the dark, but the Ojo family had something else up their sleeves. They knew December wedding would not hold. Adekunle had a wife in the village and she was pregnant for him. The Ojo family rumoured it around that Sussan was Adekunle’s high school girl friend, already known by their family But Juliet met him in the university and used her affluence and personality to woo him. Everything came to light towards the end of November. Juliet was nearly mad, precisely three months before their scheduled wedding day. Her parents could not believe their ears, but as soon as it came back to them, they quickly announced in the radio about the cancellation of the wedding. This was to inform all contractors to stay put on their preparations. Half of the advances were paid but half of it was written off. Juliet herself travelled to Toronto, where she hoped to live for the rest of her life as a citizen.
Adekunle had erred with wrong advice. He needed to realize his mistakes not to keep making them over and over again because the heart-break he caused for Juliet looked in-surmountable. But by the grace of God, Juliet herself got married to a successful business man the following year.
HUSBAND WAS A BOSS
Mama Ubi showed me convincingly that husband was a boss in the olden days. At the age of 10, I saw it with my two eyes, as Mama Ubi carried her husband’s- food-tray on the head, kneeling down beside him until the man finished the food. I was perplexed. I could not understand until somebody told me that was the norm with slaves in the olden days. She was inherited for Alhaji at 14 as a property from his late father. Mama Ubi was about 35 years old, much older than my grandmother. Because Alhaji was old enough to have a wife, Mama Ubi became his first wife. She was pretty and neat; fit to be a wife.
Alhaji Oyetunji had 17 wives; one of them was my grandmother’s friend-Mama Alice. In the company of my grand-mother, I had the opportunity to see the family-setting. The youngest wife should be my mother’s age mate. Mama Ubi was the favorite and the most responsible wife but probably she was the only slave. The other wives never carried food-trays on the head, though they seemed to worship Alhaji; kneeling down on two knees to pay homage to him every morning. The wives feared him because anyone of them could be sent packing if she miss-behaved. I didn’t see any sign of love in any of them. Women were very submissive in those days, and gave way easily to husband’s dominance. Today human beings played tug-of-war polities to attain equality.
Research scientifically shows that in the creation of new life, parent’s genes compete in a tug-of-war for dominance. Natural selection is thought of as competition; operating within each fertilized human egg, each parent’s DNA competes for control of the developing offspring, each with a different goal. The fetal genes lock in this battle for survival with molecules coming from either the mother or the father. Normally each egg and sperm contribute one copy of the full set of human genes to an embryo. Mothers and fathers each contributed something essential to their offspring. Males and females have a strong interest in seeing their offspring survive, but their reproductive strategies differed, leading them to want different things for their offspring. It is in a male partner’s interest for her to devote all possible resources to developing his embryos but the female to maximize the number of surviving offspring. Her strategy is to give an embryo only what it needed.
That is genes inherited from fathers encourage more growth, spurring the fetus to demand more resources from its mother while in the womb. Genes inherited from mother, on the other hand, slow that growth, enabling the mother to conserve resources for her subsequent offspring. This is a critical evidence of the competition between maternal and paternal genes. Other researchers soon discover that genes push for growth. This competition results in a tug-of-war with the two sides tugging on the rope. They’re not shifting much; it’s just a little bit one way or the other. And they come to depend on each other, on the other side holding the rope.
What a nice analogy? Individuals like a social entity, play internal politics and agent with competing agendas. The evidence of such internal turmoil is all around us, whether to cooperate or compete, and we waver between immediate gratification and long- term planning. Perhaps the push and pull between husband and wife is the setting of scores among their competing genes. Women consider long-term planning; husbands, immediate gratification. Last Sunday, I listened to the preacher of The Good News, he admitted to this ideology; that women are described as weaker vessels, because men are expected to be stronger morally.
Thanks to God for civilization and the abolition of slave trade. New breed husbands buried their dominance and took position as life partners. There is more gain in unity. Love is the answer. Husband is not a boss but a better half for his wife.
MEMORABLE HONEY MOON
Cats and leopards are animals in the same family. Some people love cats and keep them as pets. I too love pets but not cats. Brazzo was the name of my darling dog. When I saw him wag his tail, to welcome me home, after a hard day’s job, the sight kept me alive, excited and great. I should have taken him with me when I went to South Africa. I mistakingly took for granted that my house-keeper would keep him safe. My heart was broken to be told that Brazzo was killed one night by one drunkard who drove carelessly in the neighborhood. Ever since I had not seen a substitute pet to replace Brazzo
Much as I loved pets, I hated cats, not to talk of leopards- large spotted carnivorous animal of the cat family, which lived in the bush. After our wedding my husband, Albert, chose our own miss-adventure for the honey moon. He decided we went on a trip to an unknown village, not far away from home, but to be left alone by ourselves for the first time to meditate on our future life together as husband and wife. The idea sounded good. The whole journey was just 30- kilometer from home. We carried our load by hand. Albert decided to walk bare-footed after losing one sandal in an accident that tore it into shreds. The sand felt good on his feet. As dusk fell, we entered the jungle at the far end of the road, following a faint trail into the dim canopy. By this time, Albert was limping noticeably, his bare-foot tactic, fired back with an arch strain. I was about 20 minutes ahead of him when I reached an opening in the thickest that would be our camp-site for the night. A sudden pang struck my stomach, followed by another session a minute later, then another. Albert eventually appeared, and eyes wide, from the darkness of the jungle. Back on the trail, he’d been hobbling along with only a torch-light to guide him. Suddenly, a leopard had appeared in his light beam, disappeared back into the darkness. A moment later, a guttural growl had arisen from the night. He had wrapped his hands around his throat to defend against an impending attack. Nothing, still clutching his neck, he continued on to the camp. Fire-flies flitted like a galaxy of stars in the inky-blackness. As I darted light back and forth, I noticed two specially- large and still fire-flies. Taking a closer look into the bush, I saw they weren’t fire-flies at-all, but the glowing eyes of a crouching leopard. Too tired to care or react, I returned to the tent.
“Hey; I shouted to Albert, your leopard is back”. He looked at me for a moment, nodded in unflinching acknowledgement. Then both of us dropped into the tent, resigned to whatever fate had in store for us. ‘’For better for worse”, we hummed. The following morning, we didn’t see any sign of the leopard. We journeyed a few more hours through the bush. Eventually we came back home. Later we learnt that the village was a-no-go area, where the heads of dead kings were buried in the past. People in the town congratulated us for our boldness. After-all the visit to Ora-jungle had gone smoothly. We learnt that exposing self to deepest fear had no power because when fear vanished, one became free. From our own free- will we chose our miss-adventure. Everyone is the captain of his own ship. And that free will is alive, well and powerful. At the end we prayed, sang the song” How Great Thou Art” to close the memorable honey moon.
Some people coveted male to female children. Historically in Nigeria, men kept many wives to procure many children; male and female, to maintain their industries, farming or selling. Without a male child a wife was counted unworthy, since no good fruit came from her. The belief was that male kept the family flag flying, and female got attached to another family, in due course. Consequently, wives were desperate for male children. Some women treated their boys specially, to the extent of spoiling them- lavishing unnecessary favor on them. These made the boys pompous and felt superior. Some families wouldn’t educate their daughters, because they would not yield any dividend.
Information from other sources, made it clear that this horrible ideology was generally practised in other countries of the world, even in the U.S. Some parents not only long for male children, some even struggle to have designer kids. Scientists reported that if doctors could create healthy babies, they could also make designer ones. They identifY chromosomes in embryo to study everything. They could please clients who desire various sexes; boys or girls with blue eyes. The girl part had been established and the practice was legal and booming in the U.S. despite the high cost upward $18,000. Out of 415 reproductive clinics surveyed in 2006, nearly half wanted pre-implantation genetic diagnosis for medical reasons, and this percentage went up ever since. Some American families underwent sex selection for family-balancing or health reasons. After using IVF to conceive two boys, the couple wanted a girl. They bucked up their previous IVF technology, their doctor implanted a single female embryo in January 2014. She was due with a baby girl in October same year.
The fertility doctor explained that sex selection is the only beginning. She knows how to select for babies with blue eyes, by looking for a pigment in the stroma of the iris. According to her ‘’ If you have a lot of pigment, you make brown eyes and if no pigment you make blue eyes. Technology seems to be moving faster than the society’s ability to deal with it. Twenty years ago, people thought IVF was going to produce zombies, but she said most kids seen in parties today are IVF babies. Selecting eye colours would become a reality in the next five years. Hair colour selection was only 90 to 94 percent accurate, but with more funding, additional research would increase accuracy to 99 percent
Choosing a child’s features is off-course controversial for a number of reasons having nothing to do with technology. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists worry that sex selection would reinforce biases against women, but amazingly more than half of parents who used sex selection in the U.S. did so to have baby girls. The argument is that once you start to select sex, eye colour, hair colour, wealthy parents would like to engineer smarter, more athletic, and more conventionally babies too. Imagine a world, where ‘’ designer kids ‘’, of well-to-do parents out-compete their genetically inferior, naturally conceived counter-part?’’ Science is still a long way of, traits like IQ, height and beauty are complex issues to identify. The best fertility doctors can do is to choose naturally produced embryo already formed by God from parent’s genetic material.
As a mother to a three-year-old, with another baby on the way, the scientist herself couldn’t imagine wanting those types of babies. Part of her excitement as a mother was to see that her baby was half of her, half her husband’s- a natural genetic blend of the two of them. Selecting embryo for medical reasons, and the desire to want a balanced family make some sense but manipulating daughter’s genes to look like somebody else offered no special appeal but nonentity.
One thing is for sure, genetic research is advancing rapidly. It is conceive-able that our children or grandchildren will live in a world in which they can ‘’ design ‘’ their babies, at-least to a degree. The question is whether the values of future generations will embrace such a future or fight against it? Your answer is as good as mine.
A NIGHTMARE VACATION
The Thomas family; Pa John 60, Maureen 56, Jane 30, Christian 15, and little Abby 7, took a cruise from Rome to Paris on vacation. It was like they almost went down unto the sea. The ship slammed into rocks on the first night. Panicked passengers were pushing, shoving their way out of the dining room. There was zero organization.
Pa John was trying to be strong, not to worry the others but his face said this was the end. Maureen started saying the creed and The Lord’s prayer that she said so many times in church. They talked and prayed, waiting to die. Yet they couldn’t understand that there wasn’t some way out. Maureen felt half of her was at peace with the idea of death and the other half was in total denial.
John took his cellphone, even though it didn’t have service, thinking that might by some miracle get a call out to Jane to tell her goodbye. Jane, the oldest daughter got married a few months ago and couldn’t go with them. One of the strangest things was that none of them cried. It had to be unbelievably hard for all the family in the cruise to think of leaving Jane. But they stayed strong and Maureen just kept telling the children how much she loved them.
At a stage, the water didn’t come. Maureen didn’t know that the ship had come to rest on rocks. Some people might call that luck but the family knew it was a miracle, for the room was pitch-dark. Finally, they decided to get off by the railing to find out what was happening. They used their own saliva to activate the lights on their life jacket, so they could see well. Men were shoving, women and children aside and older people were being trampled, going towards the ladder, the only way to get up onto the side of the ship, and possibly out.
Maureen couldn’t stand watching the kids being pushed mercilessly out of the way. So she and John muscled their way to the front and got as many children up the ladder as they could. Once they had all the kids up, it was their turn. The children looked back, but the couple told them not to worry about them; they had lived their lives but wanted the children safe. At a stage Maureen saw a woman severely twisted her ankle but there was no way to help her. Maureen realized that not everybody believed in miracles but she in that instant, she did. As the gates opened, passengers made a mad dash, shoving others aside and jumping in. Some got on a boat and took their seats, relieved that they were safe. Everything was a nightmare. People were screaming and crying. Maureen remembered saying that she’d never be able to help all of them. She had to concentrate on saving her family. After much confusion, people got off the ladder onto the boat. Some climbed through another metal railing and found them-selves high up on the slippery outer side of the ship. It was dark but there were lights from boats and helicopters, which they assumed were part of the rescue operation. They were upset about the helicopters not seeing them. They waved their arms and yelled, but it did no good
After about an hour, one fellow passenger decided to make his way back down toward the middle where it looked like another lifeboat had gotten up close-enough for people to jump on. The man seemed pretty excited about it. Most passengers found themselves directly above a lifeboat. Amazingly, a passenger sat on the side of the ship, at 2.30 in the morning, calmly smoking cigarette, while all others were evacuating. Surely, he used the cigarette to calm his nerves, in small doses as recommended by a doctor.
Doctors prescribe nicotine to promote the entry of calcium for survival at odd times. Nicotine at medicinal doses has antioxidant effect which mops up toxic free radicals produced as a byproduct of metabolism to protect the brain. Some scientists studied the neuro-protective effect of nicotine in a randomized clinical trial, involving 67 subjects in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, where memory was slightly impaired but decision-making and other cognitive abilities remained intact. The results found significant nicotine-associated improvements in attention, memory and psychomotor speed, with excellent safety and tolerability. This man appeared to be a regular traveller in cruise and he protected himself by smoking cigarette. Nicotine in cigarette has enhanced his attention and wakefulness. It had shut out irrelevant stimuli and the important information in his mind was to get home on time. Nicotine is also used for schizophrenia where afflicted individuals are overwhelmed by sights, sounds and thoughts. However, cigarette was baned by the government. Science recalled that tobacco has thousands of dangerous chemical constituents that caused addiction and harmful to health.
Initially the look on Pa John was heart-breaking. The ship was rolling over. John knew that when they capsized, they could be trapped under water with a cruise ship forcing them down to the bottom of the sea. Pa John tried to be strong and not worry them, but his face showed this was the end. On the other hand, Maureen obviously knew they were in a dire situation, and the look on Pa John’s face made it more real.
Finally, they came to land. Together they had survived. After more chaos and insufficient provisions on land Thomas family made it home safely. Looking back, Maureen was amazed at their physical feats. Everyone in the family was in decent shape. She was incredibly proud that they never allowed fear or self-doubt stand between them and survival
Once in a while, one needs to be courageous, strive to survive particularly where life seems unattainable, and elusive. They marvelled in awe, and with gratitude to God. What a nightmare vacation? They said to one another, consolling themselves.
THREATENED TO BE FIRED
A command-an-control leader issues orders to overpower, and some use fear as leadership style to take advantage, control and manipulate people. Yelling, shouting, threatening to punish an insubordinate in the office isn’t leadership; it is coercion. Such leaders will never empower people to peak performance over a sustained period of time
Janet was a small teacher in one school in the cosmopolitan city of Kano. Janet was a good girl and reserved. She didn’t like taking rules into her hand. She wouldn’t speak ill of anybody, very quiet by nature. The principal of the school noticed her and took interest in her. He was a married man but Janet had just left Teachers’ training school. She was still single, innocent and ambitious. The principal wanted Janet by all means. He bullied her, threatened her saying that if she didn’t come along with him, she would never be promoted in the school. Janet needed the job. Initially she thought it was a blessing for her to get such a job in the city.
Janet was disturbed because the principal kept on pressing her. One day, he came to Janet’s class to shout and yell at her. He accused her of many false issues; like not been punctual at class, not teaching well, not smart enough for the job and not co-ordinating the students properly. Janet was terrified. Overtime her performance declined. When the principal publicly accosted her verbally, yelling at her about her indecency and submissiveness to authorities, Janet didn’t know how to respond. She wasn’t motivated but hardened her heart, as a disciplined girl.
Instead, she went home and reported the case to her elder brother, John who incidentally knew the principal’s wife, Mary. She took the bull by the horn. That same night John went across to see Mary and narrated how her husband had been treating his sister at school. John and Mary planned to set a trap for the principal. Janet was told to accept to go out with him. Next day, Janet went cheerfully to the principal and pretended to like him. The principal was happy, he thought he had won. He made an offer to take Janet out to the nearest pub house just for a drink. Janet accepted. When Janet got home she told her brother everything; the venue and the time. John and Mary agreed to hide somewhere in the same pub house that moment.
Not knowing the secret, Janet picked her best dress from the house, neatly folded and packed without any suspicion. After school hours, she dressed gorgeously in the flowing gown and went with Abraham, the principal. They went in the principal’s Mercedes car. Abraham had previously told his wife that he would come home late because of an important meeting. By 6 p.m. Abraham took Janet by hand and walked her majestically from the car inside the pub house. Janet sat down by one table and Abraham went to the receptionist to collect a key of the room he had hired. John and Mary stood right behind him. Janet smiled but Abraham was terrified. His wife yelled and started to cry. John was the peace maker. He took Mary and his sister by hand to a table. Abraham had no choice but to follow them.
Mary accused the husband of telling her lies about important meeting. Janet narrated how Abraham had been insulting her, threatening her about loss of her job. She said the plan was to expose Abraham.
Abraham was disgraced openly. He lamented his actions and promised to change, but John took the case to the Ministry of Education, for appropriate action.
Most of all, these days people are looking for significance in their work, not just compensation. If people devoted more time to their work than any other aspect, life would be more meaningful and appreciated. Abraham deserved the disgrace and had taught many culprits a lesson.
Remember that a NO is free. Ask for what you like, and get used to being turned down. Rejection is hard, and to get acceptance, you have to put up with a lot of rejection. If you really like something, believe that you can just say it. It might take really a long time, because people never say you are good at first. The only stumbling block is fear of failure. Janet didn’t want illegal success, so she went ahead without it. She had untold strengths and resources inside her, and she maintained her glorious self in the end. Praise God.
LAST STICKS OF CIGARETTE
Uncle Josiah was a very serious smoker. He smoked more than two packets of 10 cigarettes a day. The day he broke down with hernia, we picked six cigarette-burnt-heads on the ash tray near his relaxing chair. He actually went into coma that night. I began to think within myself what addiction meant. Addiction really isn’t a decease but refusal to exercise control over certain actions, like drinking, shopping, exercising uncontrollably. Addiction is simply an inability to stop a repeated desire in-spite of negative consequences. If untreated over a long time, the addicts could lose their lives. Many people struggled in this area but found it easy to lie. Uncle Josiah was unable to give up smoking cigarette. He thought that since he functioned well in his job, there was nothing to fear about him. People in his office even thought that he was a great man; quiet and friendly. It was possible to be a high performer and still be out of control with how you used things like alcohol, exercises and cigars.
Scientists elaborated on the god and evil effects of addiction as follows;
Sense of powerlessness in life, hunger for love, inability to gain mastery, feeling of shame, guilt, failure, inability to deal with losses, trauma, hurt, abuse, feeling of inferiority and being dominated by others. All these factors are symptoms of another deeper condition.
Uncle Josiah’s children seemed to know when their daddy started smoking. He told people that it gave him pleasure but he became psychologically and physically dependent on it, as stress-reliever. He failed to recognize this was happening, and he continued. He thought it was normal and acceptable to blow off some steam.
A young researcher shows that cocaine changes human brain, by using cutting-edge brain-scanning tools to pin point not only the physical changes wrought by addiction, but also the inherited brain abnormalities that make some people more vulnerable to it. Her work provided a potent rejoinder to anyone arguing that addiction is simply a matter of willpower. In the brain of normal person, blood flows all over the cortex but decreases in addicts, just like in stroke; an interrupted blood-flow.
When exposed to the stimuli, the addicts become activated to the craving and become very apathetic to the environment. Uncle Josiah’s behavior fitted into this description. We knew it was immoral though smoking was the order of the day for most elites in the 20th century. His doctor counselled him and joined hands with his relatives to persuade him to stop smoking in the interest of his health. His children later on invited the church pastor to intercede for him. At-last he found strength in reaching out to God with his new pastor and he eventually stopped. He lived for more than 10 years after this incidence. He finally died of hypertension but not due to excessive smoking, even though it could be a cumulative effect. His children kept his last sticks of cigarette as souvenir in the family living room to warn them that smoking for pleasure could be a death-trap.
This section dealt with aroused emotions; good ideas, creative influences or stimuli to obtain higher grounds. Filled with enthusiasm, many people achieved greatness in life.
The farming village of Kajola is about 20 minutes -drive from Ondo town in Nigeria. It contained about 240 people. It had a fascinating scenic, historical and cultural, fostering friendships and business relationship and even courtship. At the community center, you would find a half- dozen residents drinking palm wine after a long day of laboring in their farms. The mood was always jovial, like they hadn’t a worry in the world. People were always happy like I saw many faces breaking into smiles. They had one convenience store containing very cheap fresh and affordable groceries, and utilities like candles, table-lamps, detergents and some cosmetics. Market-people like my grandmother smarmed the village, flooding residents with nice offers of textiles, and music-sets like gramophone. Aged grandmothers sat at home with pounded-yam and bush-meat soup for dinner to serve their families later in the day. The community was created in 1950 and Mama Jola was one of the original settlers
For the first four years, there were only five families, working the land and fending for themselves. Eventually more than fifteen families settled in the village. Mama Jola was my grandmother’s friend and customer. Her major concern was in the making of Oils; red palm oil from palm fruits, one black-oil called ‘’ Adin ‘’ from palm kernel. The shaft from palm fruit was not a waste but converted into burning slates like candles. After the extraction of the fine oil by boiling, the residue at the bottom of the drum and the scum on the surface blended together to form ‘’Ikete’’ the most delicious butter I ever tasted. Our take-away of it would last more than six months in my grandmother’s kitchen store. Nothing on palm tree was a waste; palm- wine obtained directly from the freshly-cut branches, and the edible live-caterpillars from dead palm-trees.
To entertain us, Mama Jola made pounded-yam with freshly collected vegetables, palm-tree-caterpillar, and palm oil. This was their favorite menu in the village. The taste of the pudding is in the eating. We enjoyed eating food with hand, like the natives. Residents didn’t go crazy. They didn’t buy and spend money on luxury in the sleepy village. The most remarkable thing was that they were all farmers; men and women and there was a familiar sense of togetherness.
It is noteworthy that current scientists appreciate their mode of living. From elementary knowledge I learnt that caterpillars are pests – egg – caterpillar – butterfly. But in Kajola the caterpillars originating from palm-tree is edible. Ecology scientists agree that pests or wastes can be converted into foods. This ideology is a tribute for Kajola -settlers.
The village was the most beautiful locality I ever saw; peaceful, and fertile. The wild flowers were about I meter high. Some of the animals like goats, grasshoppers roamed around eating fresh grasses without molestation. People thought that grasshoppers and termites were pests; they formed beautiful varieties when fried or cooked well by food specialists. Ecologists even advise that such so-called pests can be converted to special diets in popular restaurants. Kajola village had everything to offer to make life be like paradise. Everything was beautiful, rich and in abundance
Over eating could be a problem as one would be tempted to eat more and more in Kajola. Scientists researched into over eating and suggested that drugs used to treat addiction might help to prevent the craving for more food. Self-discipline is most probable for the control; take just enough and keep some. This advice is appropriate for occasional Kajola visitors like us. Over eating anything-whether fats, carbohydrates or protein – increase body fat
It appears as if some scientists approve Kajola’s local cooking methods. They reasoned that Cooking and pounding yam favour food digestion and taste. Kajola Paradise had a lot to offer people. On the morning of December 22, we left the village, before the jubilant celebration of the New Year. Everyone had his or her peace of mind in Kajola. Residents were peace-loving and content with life. It is a locality for relaxation and holidaying. I dare say that the village is paradise on earth.
PLANTING A SEED
Reverend Mary Una was a Missionary from Ireland. She was the most respected teacher, I ever had. She was a seasoned teacher, capable and always ready to teach any subject. Her hard-earned lessons stood on their own merits. Her strength of character qualified her as my favorite-high school teacher. She taught me science, maths, and home-economics. She was a really nice lady with a good sense of humor, and a selfless passion for helping students appreciate the artistry and wisdom in her beloved classic teachings. She was the first person who ever told me, I was born a scientist, which actually didn’t mean that much to me at the time.
What perhaps led her to that conclusion was my performance in her class. She gave us a sample of salt to identify in the laboratory; within 5 minutes I told her it was ‘Epsom – salt’. The only test to confirm this was the’ flame- test’ she earlier taught us. I knew it was Epsom-salt, without touching a test-tube, because my mother added it to our bath-water at home. My quick correct answer baffled Mary Una and won me her heart from hence forth. She monitored my academic work through- out my five-year stay in the high school. She made me the head girl which gave me authority over the junior ones. After my term in the school, she wanted me to come back to the school as a full-time teacher which my parents objected to. Her impact on me made me what I am today.
Mary Una never got the satisfaction of seeing any of her students suddenly find direction and purpose. She took the time to plant a seed in the rocky clay hillside of many adolescent brains. She helped families, friends, and even occasional strangers. She instituted old peoples’ home for rejected old citizens without helpers to fend for them. Her every kindness, encouraging words, friendly smiles planted seeds in many people.
In home economics, she taught us how to tidy the house like mothers. She made us realize that we would be mothers one day and cater for our children. As she taught us maths and science, she took home economics seriously. Today the seeds she planted in us had been tremendously useful and appreciated.
Scientists studied how mice fared when they ate foods like yams and meat; raw versus cooked, whole versus pounded. Carefully controlling the amount of the food taken, along with the energy they expended moving around, they assessed their net energetic gain through looking by body mass changes, and found that pounding had relatively little effect, whereas cooking led to significant increases in body weight. Study showed that animals got more net energy out of their food when cooked than when raw and that pounding had positive effects on energy gain, cooking had much bigger effects. It’s fine to eat raw food if you want to lose weight, but children or adults who are thin, and like to gain weight don’t want raw meat diet.
The goal of all scientific innovations is to produce sweet, bountiful fruits like Mary Una who planted good, unforgettable seeds in all her students and benefactors. February 10 marked the day she went to heaven. Old students sang her favourite song- Ave Maria – in her memory every year. No student who passed under her could forget her, for she sewed the seed. Our solace is that she had gone to her Father to rest. Ave Maria, we loved you.
LADY WITH THE CUP
Magdalene was my next-door neighbor at River Valley Crescent in Edmonton. She was tall, thin with short auburn hair and large, blue eyes. She had an aristocratic poise, walked so gracefully that she could easily qualify for a beauty queen, especially in her leisure moments, like when going to church. Ordinary days – Monday to Friday – she wore tight jeans and dead-fitting blouses to match; always in a hurry to go to work. What amazed me about her was the cup she carried in her hand – around 7 a.m. every morning, as I watered the plants on our front balcony. Thank God, she had a seat for the cup in her car. I didn’t know her name but we smiled to each other as formal greetings. I watched her doing this regularly for nearly 4 months. Her youngest daughter Sisi and my grand-daughter Abigail were class-mates in St Joseph’s school near our River-Valley-Crescent house. Sisi and Abigail were close friends, right from school and they liked to play together.
Without any previous notice the family moved into their new house, somewhere in Lemieux close, far from her former house but close to the children’s school. I didn’t set my eyes on her until after 10 years. This time, we met at the park in Toronto, Ontario. We greeted each other with a hug, as old acquaintances. She told me she was a visitor and she intended to spend her 2- week- vacation with her senior daughter, whose family lived inToronto. After exchanging pleasantries, I teased her with her usual cup-in-hand-to-work episode. She laughed and opened up to me, what she knew about coffee, apparently the cup she carried contained coffee beverage, to serve as breakfast in the office. She told me she had been drinking coffee since her high-school –days, to stimulate her and make her concentrate more. In actual fact, her parents did likewise and their family doctor encouraged them.
Scientific papers show that a hit of caffeine neutralizes adenosine in the brain and helps you to feel less sleepy, and it improves physical performance. In mice, caffeine not only defended against inevitable memory impairment, but also substantially decreases the amount of beta-amyloid, the bitter protein that many researchers believed as the cause of some diseases. In headache, it constricts the blood vessels widened in the brain. As opposed to what people believe, caffeine- regular or decaf doesn’t increase the risk of cardiac arrhythmias, even among those with existing heart conditions. This study involved more than 130,000 men and women for 30 years.
She registered my disappointment and smiled. Who was I to accuse her further? I tried to give her the benefit of doubt, but I was skeptical. The only time I had a cup of it, I couldn’t sleep through-out the whole night. I was edgy and easily irritated. Any-way, people have different tolerance and could act negatively or positively to ordinary ice water. I changed the topic and joked with her that before I knew her name, I described her to friends as ‘’ Lady with the cup ‘’. She laughed as usual and we left the park amicably. The following Sunday, she invited me and Julia, the lady I put up with, for dinner in her daughter’s house. I watched Magdalene as she crossed the polished hardwood floor toward the dinning- table, covered with imported English lace. She still possessed that transcendent beauty, that refined grace not quantified by age, symmetry or fad. She looked identical with her daughter aged 28, at 50. She gave us 3-course- menu; chicken soup and bread, curry-rice and jelly.
Magdalene was as beautiful, young, and agile as she looked, 10 years ago. I could hardly differentiate her and Grace, her equally beautiful daughter. As I watched her with admiration, I wondered how many souls she had captured with her beauty. We chatted as we ate the delicious dinner. Julia and I gave Magdalene and Grace a simple pack of cosmetics, probably to say ‘’ Thank you ‘’. Hugging, we bade each other, GOOD BYE. From hence-forth, I would rather call her Magdalene instead of Lady with the cup.
Mama Bola was a popular medicine woman in Ondo; the president of the local herbalist association. She lived in the past, when tribes thanked spirits for bountiful harvest, dancing and drumming. Her husband was actually a drummer. To them drumming carried the heart-beat of mother earth, the nations and spirit together. Her grandmother, Debo, was very powerful and a sort of inspiration to her. Debo had told her to follow the medicine trade because it considered how people think, heal, feed and move in the world. And it determined their future, and well-being.This early training taught Mama Bola what to do in later life. She learnt that medicine road had magnificent scenery but no high way signs to offer direction. The only navigational tool was people’s soul, a deep understanding that the mind and spirit were not separate from the body. They needed nourishment to experience wholeness.
Mama Bola’s early years were happy and challenging. She was beautiful, tall and proud, being a princess, the only daughter of the Royal Highness Oba Agagunmolu. She was shown how to be strong and brave. Those with broken bones got their relief in her shrine, or call it the treatment room. She did her operation manually using special techniques, without any instrument. The broken bones reset themselves naturally with the use of specially-made ointment, called God’s loan, and wrapped with red bandage. People referred to the ointment and the RED bandage as JUJU, which means- evil power. Mama Bola’s astronomically expensive ointment and red bandage, I referred to as DESIGNER ANTIBIOTIC.But she called them loan from God. Within 3 days the patient’s septic wound receded, and in a few weeks, it came to normal. Her operation never required surgery or amputation. Ordinary sprains were easy to treat.
Mama Bola did her orthopaedic operation as an illiterate; no school, no books in her days. Instead of encouraging her, her children abandoned her noble profession but one became a Western-trained – medical doctor. At 30 in 1996 Bailey got married, and his life started to change. That year at the advice of his friends, he dutifully gathered his mother’s utensils and art-works and burnt them. Soon after he was exposed to the computer, the internet allowed him to venture into the world of traditional medicine. He started to communicate with people who held similar opinions, and those conversations raised questions in his head. He began to realize how very small the box, he was living in. Slowly he began to lose his phobia as the son of a medicine woman. He was once told that native medicine was satan-art-work. Later he realized how stupid he had been for burning his mother’s legacy. This was the turning point in his life; he was ignited. His wife, Josephine came from another tribe, but with similar history. She encouraged her husband, Bailey, to recall his mother’s practice, use God’s loan antibiotic as an annex to his general practice
The red bandages which native people called JUJU was in place because red symbolized blood. Surprisingly, a research published in the journal Appetite recently reported that Red traffic lights signalled people to stop driving, and red dishes warn people to eat less. The scientist said participants ate less when food was served on red plates, than when served on blue or white. Researchers theorized that RED was an unconscious stop sign that could slow snackers down. In other words, Mama Bola’s use of RED bandages, after applying her designer antibiotic unconsciously told the infection and pain to stop.
Modern Scientists hoped to embark on a new way to link artificial arms and hands to the nervous system to allow the brain to control prostheses as smoothly as if they were natural limbs. Bioengineers liked to connect prosthetic arms and hands directly to the nervous system. Two- way communication would allow the brain to control a limb’s movements and to feel its presence. The first step would develop a sort of adaptor cord to translate nerve impulses into electrical signals. The authors would develop such an interface with laboratory-grown nerve fibres and electricity-conducting polymers.
These researchers built a kind of adaptor plug in rats that allowed them to connect living nerves on one end with conductive filaments on the other. If all went well, scientists would eventually use such bio-hybrid bridges to link up the severed nerves in a device, to move and feel like a neural hand. The foreseeable future hoped to create a ‘’ living bridge ‘’ between the peripheral nervous system of a human being and a prosthetic device. First, scientists hoped to direct laboratory-grown nerves to grow at the edge of electrically conductive micro-filaments. Then the neurons would be gently pulled apart, causing the axons to stretch. After placing the bridge near the stump, the host axons would extend across the bridge, allowing signals to flow back and forth between the brain, spinal cord and the artificial limb
The moral behind this story is that old tradition can boost new ideas after thorough examination. Mama Bola’s God’s loan is probably the native setting-of-the-bone technology she inherited. The red bandage was placed in place- I guess to reduce the pain. I believe that ‘’Design Antibiotic’’ is a worthy research.
ALTERED GRANDMOTHER’S DRESS
Ajayi 13 came from the village to live with Stephen and his wife, Janet. Both were Elementary school teachers. Hither-to Ajayi did not go to school but Jane his cousin wanted him educated. She registered him in the same class with her first child, Ayo 4. She gave the two of them extra coaching at home to enable them excel. Ajayi was not interested and his parents did not encourage him either because they believed that school was a white man culture. Ayo on the other hand was very intelligent, before 6 he had memorized the Time-Table at the back of his exercise book. Ajayi had similar exposure but refused to learn. His excuse was that ‘’ I cannot know it. I cannot help myself. It’s fate. I ‘m not destined to go to school, it is a white man’s culture ‘’. This was because his parents earlier in life planned or ear-marked him to play the free- way; to catch crickets and run after birds in the farm. Ajayi could no longer trust himself.
Thus, Ajayi lived under his parents’ destructive commands- a curse and refused to do his own thinking. As he got older, he felt helpless in the face of fate. He was not completely in a rut. He followed his parents plan for him. He left the town, went back to the village to live with his parents who were just road-side farmers. He got married at 20 to another farmer in the same area. They hardly came to town. They liked the rural life. However, they were blessed with children. I wondered whether Ajayi’s behavior was a genetic issue or a curse by his parents. Experts made an attempt to solve it, explaining the similarities and differences between parental genes and family curses.
Biologists and Psychologists offered opposing explanation on how behaviors develop and persist, not only within a single individual but across generations. Their concern was how grandma’s lousy or excellent childhood affected children’s personality; anxiety or resilience and this concerned altering the expression of genes in the brain, like bad inheritance or bad mothering. Life experiences can directly affect genes, not only one’s life but those of mother’s, grandmothers’ and beyond. The candid advice is to shake it hard enough and wipe clean the family curse. Originally the changes are believed to occur only during fetal development but pioneering studies show that some molecules could be added to DNA in adulthood could set off changes like changes in diet and exposure to certain chemicals. Geneticists are surprised to find that changes can be passed down from parent to child, one generation after the next.
Experiences of our fore-bearers are never gone, even if forgotten, they remain part of us. Though the mechanisms of behavioral epigenetics underlie not only deficits and weaknesses but strengths and resilience like mood even the epigenetic changes themselves, like grandmother’s dress. You can wear it or have it altered. The changes could increase or decrease by infection, environmental exposure or life experience. Behavioral traits associated with genes change and transmit across generations. However, babies gain genetic attachments through their upbringing. Grandparents could be so special in a child’s life.
Experts reported that a person who lives under destructive commands-a curse- and refuses to do his or her own thinking is spell bound. When older, the person becomes helpless in the face of fate. Spell-bounds can develop verbally saying ‘’It’s fate, I’ m a born loser, or I cannot help myself’. Everybody is born a unique individual. He inherited capabilities and potentials to develop experience. Each child is a potential prince or princess. Very early in life some children receive messages from significant people that discount them in some way. ThIs causes them to function below their real potential. They become frogs or beasts instead of winners they are created to be. Experts narrated a story of a handsome prince who because of a spell cast by a wicked witch was trapped inside a frog and was destined to live like a frog. People who lived their lives under the spell of curse should give up blaming their parents, they had the blame. Parental messages can contain varying degrees of constructiveness, destructiveness, or non-productiveness, wisdom is the answer.
In this jet age, children should be willing to let go destructive commands. They should realize they are princes and princesses, born to reign. Later in life Ajayi and his family were able to distinguish between destructive and constructive commands. They encouraged their children to go to school early in life. They instilled in them the ability to do well like other people. Ajayi now wanted his children to be lawyers, teachers and to ride cars.
The experts’ explainations appeared logical. Both are family curses. Grandparents can be special genetically in a child’s life. At the same time, destructive commands can reverse image. Everyone is born to be great. One can refuse to live under the spell of curse and alter grandmother’s dress. Shake it hard enough to wipe clean family curse. Years later Ajayi and his family achieved their life ambition. They were rich as farmers, despite their not going to school. Wisdom is a gift, dispensed anywhere, anytime. But it is a good thing to alter grandmother’s dress and denounce curses to reach enviable height in life.
The caution I took that brought me joy and respect took place in 1962. I was the head-girl in-charge of 40 girls in a block of 10 rooms, containing 2 double-decker beds in a room. We were all girls aged 17-20 years. We lived together happily as friends in a single family and we enjoyed our freedom. Our block was the hostel for girls, not far away was the boys’ hostel, in a Federal Government College. We were treated like workers and paid salaries at the end of the month- a sort of incentive to encourage science students. Because of our freedom we hardly locked our doors and windows because we had 2 securities; 1 in the morning and 1 at night for the students had day and night lectures.
By 2 A.M. on the 30th November 1962, I saw a robber breaking into our room. He went straight to pick a bag belonging to Taiwo who carelessly left the bag by her bed, the lower one of the double-decker opposite mine. Taiwo was my junior, a first- year medical student in the college. Unfortunately, that was the day, her stipend was paid. I guessed the money was still in her bag.
Initially I wanted to raise an alarm, but I remembered one should not raise alarm under such circumstances, but should pretend to be asleep. So, I did. I covered my head with my bed-cover. The robber tip-toed, took Taiwo’s purse and left. 30 minutes later, when I felt the robber had finished his or their operations, I shouted Thief, Thief. Other students woke up and joined me. Luckily the robber or robbers were unable to carry all their loots over the fence. Some boxes were still left at the back of the fence. Nobody was killed; some boxes were lost, but Taiwo’s purse was not found.
This was an incidence I could never forget. Taiwo retired as a medical doctor in Nigeria, and we joked over this any time we met, even in the presence of her children. The robber or robbers could have killed, had I raised alarm as soon as they entered the dormitory. When I reported the case to the principal, he commended me for my wisdom and caution. He guessed the robber himself was inexperienced and he might be a familiar visitor to the hostel and knew the place as Girl’s Hostel. He had come merely to steal our pocket-money, not to kill. However, if I had exposed him earlier, he could have changed his mission to assassination. I thank God for His timely intervention
Scientists proved that some evidences point to human being innately cooperative. At later stages in life we routinely work together to reach goals and help out in times of need. Yet instances of selfish behavior also abound in society. Researchers found that being selfish is more advantageous than cooperating. But the benefits may be short-lived. Another study shows that players who cooperate do better in the long run. Human nature supports both prosocial and selfish traits Students showed that adults can improve their emotional intelligence with training. Psychologists’ current research suggested that people can almost surely increase their emotional competence-that is the ability to reason about emotions and their emotional information; recognizing, understanding and managing feelings in themselves. Psychologists view intelligence as mental capacity.
Mathematical laws called ‘’ Improbability Principle’’ shows that we should not be surprised by coincidence. In fact we should expect coincidences to happen. This law proposed that given enough opportunities, we should expect a specified event to happen. And no matter how unlikely it might be at each opportunity, sometimes many opportunities could look relatively few. This misperception under-estimated the probability of an event. It could be incredibly unlikely, when it’s actually very likely, and perhaps almost certain. Extremely unlikely events actually happen around us all the time. The mathematical law of truly large numbers as well as the law of combinations helped to explain why. The law of combination implies many interacting powers or objects. If there are 30 students in a class, they can interact in various ways; as individuals or as pairs. This seemingly strange coincidence makes me think of the Improbability principle; of choosing my life instead of facing death from the hands of armed robbers. Many people credited me for this. Caution is paying attention to safety. Most criminal cases could be averted by taking necessary caution.
TWIST OF FATE
The caution I took that brought me joy and respect took place in 1962. I was the head-girl in-charge of 40 girls in a block of 10 rooms, containing 2 double-decker beds in a room. We were all girls aged 17-20 years. We lived together happily as friends in a single family and we enjoyed our freedom. Our block was the hostel for girls, not far away was the boys’ hostel, in a Federal Government College. We were treated like workers and paid salaries at the end of the month- a sort of incentive to encourage science students. Because of our freedom we hardly locked our doors and windows for we had 2 securities; 1 in the morning and 1 at night because the students had day and night lectures.
By 2 A.M. on the 30th November 1962, I saw a robber breaking into our room. He went straight to pick a bag belonging to Taiwo who carelessly left the bag by her bed, the lower one of the double-decker opposite mine. Taiwo was my junior, a first- year medical student in the college. Unfortunately, that was the day, her stipend was paid. I guessed the money was still in her bag.
Initially I wanted to raise an alarm, but I remembered one should not raise alarm under such circumstances, but should pretend to be asleep. So, I did. I covered my head with my bed-cover. The robber tip-toed, took Taiwo’s purse and left. 30 minutes later, when I felt the robber had finished his or their operations, I shouted Thief, Thief. Other students woke up and joined me. Luckily the robber or robbers were unable to carry all their loots over the fence. Some boxes were still left at the back of the fence. Nobody was killed; some boxes were lost, but Taiwo’s purse was not found.
This was an incidence I could never forget. Taiwo retired as a medical doctor in Nigeria, and we joked over this any time we met, even in the presence of her children. The robber or robbers could have killed, had I raised alarm as soon as they entered the dormitory. When I reported the case to the principal, he commended me for my wisdom and caution. He guessed the robber himself was inexperienced and might be a familiar visitor to the hostel and knew the place as Girl’s Hostel. He had come merely to steal our pocket-money, not to kill. However, if I had exposed him earlier, he could have changed his mission to assassination. I thank God for His timely intervention
Scientists proved that some evidences point to human being innately cooperative. At later stages in life we routinely work together to reach goals and help out in times of need. Yet instances of selfish behavior also abound in society. Researchers found that being selfish is more advantageous than cooperating. But the benefits may be short-lived. Another study shows that players who cooperate do better in the long run. Human nature supports both prosocial and selfish traits Students showed that adults can improve their emotional intelligence with training. Psychologists’ current research suggested that people can almost surely increase their emotional competence-that is the ability to reason about emotions and their emotional information; recognizing, understanding and managing feelings in themselves. Psychologists view intelligence as mental capacity.
Mathematical laws called ‘’ Improbability Principle’’ shows that we should not be surprised by coincidence. In fact we should expect coincidences to happen. This law proposed that given enough opportunities, we should expect a specified event to happen. And no matter how unlikely it might be at each opportunity, sometimes many opportunities could look relatively few. This misperception under-estimated the probability of an event. It could be incredibly unlikely, when it’s actually very likely, and perhaps almost certain. Extremely unlikely events actually happen around us all the time. The mathematical law of truly large numbers as well as the law of combinations helped to explain why. The law of combination implies many interacting powers or objects. If there are 30 students in a class, they can interact in various ways; as individuals or as pairs. This seemingly strange coincidence makes me think of the Improbability principle; of choosing my life instead of facing death from the hands of armed robbers. Many people credited me for this. Caution is paying attention to safety. Most criminal cases could be averted by taking necessary caution.
PAPA MICHAEL AT 100
Busy brains stay longer because creativity pushes back old age. It was not a coincidence that Papa Michael lived for about 100 years. He knew my great-grandmother, grandmother and parents. He died when my first daughter got married. New findings show that doing what you loved, adds years to your age.
Scientists say when you use your brain a lot as opposed to sitting around looking at the wall, you repair things centrally. Not all intellectual functions are preserved with age, but as processing power declines, the brain compensates in ways that actually enhances creativity.
Papa Michael was an artisan; dealing with wood-works, but majored in carving. He carved nearly every-day; no holiday, no teacher, he worked his way through, always having a lot to do. He just loved carving; his work produced beauty in palaces and rich peoples’ homes. I doubted whether there was museum in those days to preserve his art work. He was simply unique in style and was much appreciated by most people. He designed portraits of kings, queens, animals and sceneries. Even house-hold- furniture like beds, tables, chairs, made by him, featured some artistic designs with portraits of women, angels, birds attached. He gave me the portrait of a queen in full regent-out-fit, as a gift when I got married. I cherished it very much and I kept it in my living room as a souvenir. Papa Michael was unique in style and quality, his intelligence at that age was the virtue, most people commended.
Biologists believed that sedentary, bored or depressed people are far likelier to come down, with physical ailments than happy, occupied ones. Increasingly brain research shows that in the case of creative people, mortal cause-and-effect pays powerful dividends because the act of doing creative work helps add those extra years. Neuro-biologists believed that business people who think creatively, love their work, and probably do better as the result. Their work may not get hung in museum, but being able to do what they love, makes them more satisfied and less depressed. The key is finding work that calls on you to remain nimble, adaptive and visionary, to invent and ideas. And also, to solve problems on the fly rather than just responding to the same questions with the same answers again and again.
It is believed that the effect of learning a language, irrespective of proficiency, brings mental dividends. You can stay sharp while the clock ticked away by reading, gardening, bird-watching, pottery. These activities significantly raise the odds of enjoying your final decades.
Recently, scientists made a significant break-through locating a calcium-binding-protein that could contribute to a healthier brain, sharper mind and clearer thinking. These proteins are found naturally through-out the body. They bInd with excess calcium in body cells to keep them from rising to toxic levels. At around age 40, these vital proteins start to decrease to lead to cell damage and even cell death, resulting in loss of memory, like forgetting names and places.
Genes have something to do with life span. But one can live up to 100 if one makes big dent in the risk of chronic diseases, stay connected, with higher purpose in mind. There’s nothing more fulfilling than being at your mental best in order to enjoy every moment with friends and families. Brain experts advised people to take a walk for better memory; aerobic exercise is good for your body, great for your brain. New investigations revealed that the hippocampi- of- adult who walked briskly for about 45 minutes 3 times a week, grew by about 2 percent over the course of a year, staving off age-related shrinking.
Of all said and done, Papa Michael at 100, though bent, didn’t lose his sight, hearing and voice. He recognized, even people like me whom he didn’t see for years. He remembered; the period I was living with my grandmother, names of my parents, brother and other siblings, even incidences. His brain was sharp as a tack, his thinking was superb, even though he remained in the room, most of the time. I thank God for his life, only the lucky ones could be so blessed.
GUILTY – CHILD – SYNDROME
Every human was born with a capacity for knowing standards. Ability is never met in the universe. Labake was my friend’s daughter and we lived in the same neighborhood for years. She was pretty -lucky to have many suitors to propose marriage to her. Unfortunately, the one she loved was a drunkard; a man about the town, his standing commanded respect. And because of his charisma, popular girls in town ran after him. However, Labeke’s mother disapproved her daughter’s choiceand persuaded her against it. She even called him, irresponsible lot. This persuasion persisted for nearly one year but Labeke was adamant.
Soon Labeke and her lover-boy got married. Labeke’s mum did not attend both the engagement and the wedding ceremonies. Her mum was a single parent for her father died a long time ago when she was a student and so Labeke and the groom did not bother about society wedding. The bridal train comprised of only one bride’s maid and the best man; birds of the same feather flock together, the best man John, himself was as notorious as the groom.
Joseph and Labake lived together happily for only one year. Soon after the husband started to show his true colours; going to pop houses to drink, walking out on his wife for days without permission. Labake was left alone for nights and there was no child yet to keep her company. Now the weight of her guilt started to dawn on her. She tried to rewrite what she was taught about right and wrong. She had tried to live with her guilt and take on the identity of a sinner. She knew that she was ‘’bad’’, and she adopted the way of thinking about herself and tried to accept it
Labake felt guilty because she had some impossible standards in her head. But when she started to socialize with some friends, they began to be real with each other. She found that some girls were just like her- subject to same imperfection. She became realistic; moving from being perfect to really, really imperfect. Labake became broken hearted; no genuine friend to confide in or to console her. She believed the best thing for her was to go back to her mum and ask for forgiveness. This would validate her pain and feelings, and let her know that she cared for her. The mother might not even know and saw the burden she had been carrying. Her mum knew the truth about her and tried to relieve her of the unnecessary sufferings. Labake looked at the reality of her failure. She took it seriously and saw the destructiveness in her stubbornness. Will all humility she went to her mum, and reconciled with her. She worked hard to make the false messages in her head more realistic. She opened up to her friends who were also imperfect and she re-adjusted herself to be a good child
Experts discover that children feel guilty, when fall-short of the standards their parents- set-up for them. But they can get over the guilt that keeps them down, and become mature people. They can think about the reality of the problems, come out of the ‘’guilty-child-syndrome’’ in relation to other people and see self, equal with other adults. Finally, Labake claimed her freedom. Mother forgave her and her husband who had been nutty got his senses back, probably after a dose of oxytoxin. Many friends in the neighborhood intervened in their problem. Labake’s mother now accepted the union, and Joseph’s parents rallied round to welcome Labake into Ogunbadero’s family. Guilt and shame that previously raged in both families disappeared to give place to happiness and hope.
Scientists believe that- To alter peoples’ habits, you have to shift something in their environment as well. An economist tested a roomful of people whether they washed their hands, after visiting a rest-room, a great number lied. Why? Because people produce an answer they think you want them to give. And self-reporting data can be very mis-leading. Joseph could not explain his shameful, irresponsible behavior to Labake after their wedding
Scientist guessed that that oxytoxin- often called the love hormone-ould have played a powerful role in the bonding. In one experiment, a clinical psychologist administered oxytoxin to quarreling lovers. It helpes people reduce their hostility and increase their willingness to take another’s perspective. Finally, Labake discovered her mistake herself; readjusted her life-style and the guilty-child-syndrome in her. By the grace of God, and through the effect of oxytoxin Labake was warmly accepted by her husband, and other well –wishers. To God be the glory, they lived happily together ever after.
Love is the greatest gift on earth. It could be; love of God, families, spouses, children, friends -vice-versa. And it could be expressed in so many ways. This section showed some examples backed with related scientific explanations.
Old people in Nigeria called their siblings pet-names. Funny names, they liked to play with. Three children in a family could look completely different; short, tall, hairy, bald, heft, trim, funny, or cheeky, and yet showed the mysterious thread of resemblance, that connected them to their parents. From the very beginning of time God created the great idea called family, wondrously made, deliberately made. They are not made by coincidence, not by random consequence, but wondrously, deliberately made and crafted by God for a purpose. Family is a gift not to be squandered, or cheapened or tossed aside. They are wondrously, deliberately loved, loved in a way that cannot be ignored, loved with a passion that inspires a response
The story of Jacob and Joseph in the Holy Bible reminded me of granny’s love. My grandmother had two daughters in her life-time, Mojisola, her first born and my mother, the second. Mojisola was barren; she married for 10 years without any issue. My mother got married, and was blessed with five children; one son and four daughters. I was granny’s first grand-daughter. Probably due to frustration, auntie Mojisola died the month I was born. My parents, friends and neighbors used me to console granny. They believed that I was born to replace the deceased woman. My grandmother believed them, accepted their pleadings and consolation. Thus I gained the birth-right of the first child from my mother. I grew up to have the quiet temperament like my late auntie. Granny saw in me identical behavior with her. Incidentally, story had it that I was asking for the property, she left behind which I wasn’t supposed to know. Could it be true that dead people incarnated?
On the other hand, my mother was an out-going woman, bold, out-spoken and rebellious. She never took No, for an answer. I behaved differently from my mother. Granny loved me so much and lavished so much on me. At birth she wanted to name me Mojisola, after my late auntie, but second thought she coined me a pet-name, OLOWO-OLOMO meaning that I had come back into this world the second time with many children and plenty of wealth. When I grew up she sewed me velvet attire, wine in colour, green edges, golden round-spots, looking like Joseph’s royal robe in the bible. My grandmother came from the royal family. She was beautiful, sociable and fashionable. The attire was sewed into a dress and admired by everybody. I was very proud of it. I wore it most often to accompany grandma to socials, for she was in-charge of the market women. I became her umbrella, always going hand-in-hand with her. Funny enough, I never lived with my parents for up to a week. I received enough love from granny and the other siblings were very jealous of me. My own parents had enough children to play with; my brother and three other daughters. So, they could not miss me.
All these came to an end, when I was 12. Fearing granny had spoilt me with too much love. They registered me in the boarding house of our high school. Though granny had enough staff to attend to her needs at home and in her shops, she hated parting with me. She ordered my photograph to be taken and she kept a copy under her pillow. In the photograph I wore my OLOWO-OLOMO velvet dress, black shoes to match today’s dressing, head-tie looking like a boat, supposedly the vogue in 1945. I looked beautiful and bourgeois in the whole out-fit, more or less like a caricature but I was proud of it. My grandmother ordered extra copies, probably to show my parents; hardly did she know that it would be passed down to the 3rd generation. I enlarged the post-card size photo to 6 feet by 6 feet and I framed it to keep as a souvenir.
Photographers say that photographs preserve cherished memories, reveal the beauty of life and even changed the world from good to great, and that the fundamentals of photos showed everything to know and not forgotten.
Psychologists explained how our minds work and came to the conclusion that looked startling. People often made decisions without having much thought-
Research recently brought to light just how profoundly, our conscious mind shapes our day-to-day interactions. Automatic thought process; fast, efficient and typically outside the realm of conscious awareness, makes devoid deliberation or planning because it requires simple stimulus. But controlled impulses are the opposite. They require purposeful and relatively slow engagement of conscious thought. Automatic and controlled systems complement each other but conflict at times. Snap judgments, relatively automatic thoughts, abound in our daily life and for good reasons. Some expectations came to us immediately and without our thinking about them, act promptly based only on a person’s social place. The unconscious way we perceive people during the day is a reflective reaction, but we need to exert willful, conscious effort to put aside the unexplained impulse.
Scientists reported the essence of conscious and unconscious occurrences as the ability to regulate own behaviors, temperament and social support net-work. But also hinge on our capacity to identify and overcome automatic impulses and emotions that influence every aspect of our working life. Can it be said that Granny’s pet name for me came to her automatically or through her identifying me as a special child?
My grandmother died on the 5th of October 1977. My OLOWO-OLOMO photo stood in the family living room to cherish her memory by generations, yet unborn. After I graduated from the university I got married and blessed with children. My grandmother lived with me to babysit my first daughter. She gave her a pet-name similar to mine- OMOLADE-ARUGBO. This means that children are the crown of the aged. My husband liked the name and he made it his business name, till today. Before granny died at 100, she instructed my mother that half of her property belonged to me. My mother consented, and up till this day, late grandma’s fanciful dishes, golden ornaments, decorations remained in my possession, as soveniers for children yet unborn. Her blessings, shown in my pet-name are like Abraham’s blessings in the Holy Bible on me. Today by God’s grace I have enough to make me happy and the peace of the Lord is in my heart. Praise God.
THE HEALING PINE-APPLE
Deborah, my grand-mother, who raised me up precisely from age one to twelve, being her first grand-daughter papered me almost to a fault. Everything I desired was made almost my birth-right. Children of my age-group looked on me with envy. Granny was rich, popular, and had all the luxury to bestow on me. She was the only daughter of the Royal Highness, but she had other brothers, not of the same mother. Kabiyesi, her father had four wives, but granny lived in her own big mansion as the first daughter.
My parents who knew the importance of education felt something awesome. They felt that too much display of love from granny would stand against my future progress. So, they took me forcefully from under her roof, and lodged me in the boarding house of our high-school. I was taken away on the 24th of December 1954.she fell ill by March 1955. Her health deteriorated because she refused any treatment; food or medicine. Her only request was to see me. She lost weight, looking lean like a ghost within one month of willful starvation. At once to save her life I was summoned from the boarding house which I personally didn’t like myself. To me it was like living in the prison yard, I adjusted myself because I had no choice. It was a big relief for me when my parents took permission from the principal to take me home. Like me, granny was very happy to see me home. She complained that I had lost weight and looked emaciated and uncared for. My coming home was a relief for her, she became lively and she requested to eat pine-apple that had been kept in the refrigerator for three days. I peeled the pine-apple, cut it into pieces, mouth-size. She requested me to feed her, and to eat along with her. Together, I and grandma took the whole pine-apple. After two days, she was completely healed. This wasn’t a woo-woo magic. My presence lowered her fever. I raised her spirits. My turning her room into a sensory-friendly zone was a big fun
From that day, I believe that home is where you receive the best healing, the thing closest to your heart. And that it is difficult to build up emotional strength until one feels happy and safe, and conjure up memories loved. Her frustration before I camehome; not eating, nor wanting to please anyone vanished. She came alive when she saw me.
Experts remind us that when life knocks us down, all needed is inner GPS to help us up and make us capable again. Healing meant various things to some people; going to church, various things and places but safety, contentment and freedom from worries are most important
Brain researchers discovered that a spot called para-hippocampal cortex responds specifically to sweeping vistas. This area of the brain, rich in opioid receptors connect to the parts where people experience pleasure. Looking at a beautiful- scenery, people give themselves a shot of endorphins. Studies after studies reveal profound connections between pleasurable views, stress reduction, and strengthening the immune system. So, when not feeling well, people should search sights that please them. In million ways of definition, healing destination can be spiritual but adds awe and peace. The feeling of greatness releases endorphins to make you feel calm and peaceful.
I took ‘’ natural pharmacy ‘’home to mama and she became well. Pin apple is often called ‘’ the stomach’s friend, nd it brought the healing. Scientists told us that pine apple aids digestion. Matured pine apple contains double properties like; 11 percent carbohydrate, mostly sugars with negligible fat and protein content. The vitamins are C, B1, B6 and the minerals are manganese – 1.65mg/100g, followed by copper, potassium, magnesium, and iron.
To conclude grandma’s love released her endorphins to make her happy and her supposed ill-health disappeared with the help of the healing pine apple. I thanked my parents and her doctor for yielding to her request to bring me home. Last but not the least, I thanked my grandmother, mama Deborah, for her genuine, unconditional love for me. Pine apple ‘’ the stomach friend’ that I gave her unconsciously provided all the nutrients she needed. And with gratitude to God, she lived well, enjoyed her life till the age of 100.
Sussan was the celebrated owner of the Plate- woman’s place. She shared a fabulous collection of recipes; grand-mothers’ home-made, local and international styles. She engaged in home spun humor to help you celebrate special occasions and holidays. Plate-woman’s place was her business name, a kind of restaurant. People; old and young loved to celebrate happy events in her restaurant because she made everybody; rich or poor feel at home. Payment for services wasn’t her issue. She just loved to make people happy. The children celebrating birth-days were always loaded with gifts like toys, and candies as take-away. Plate-woman’s place had menu for break-fasts, brunches, lunches, dinners and parties- with scrumptious variety; special free smoothies, grilled corn and colourful cookies for Christmas and for the New Year day. She also rendered Christmas home-delivery to families and friends. It was a big delight for people visiting Plate woman’s place. Her motto was to have love, compassion, empathy, generosity for all.
Advances in neuro imagining and other technologies enable scientists to gain insight into what happen in the brain. They focus attention on mindfulness, compassion and loving kindness. This practice directs the meditators to concentrate on the in-out cycle of breathing. A brain scanning study pinpoints distinct brain areas as attention- shifts. Mindful-lness entails observing sights, and other sensation like thoughts. In this practice, the meditators cultivate a feeling of benevolence directed toward other people, whether friend or enemies. And show brain regions that fire upwhen putting oneself in the place of another. The’ tempo-parietal junction indicates increase in activity that is the loving kindness and compassion towards other people whether close relatives, strangers or enemies. This practice entails being aware of someone else’s needs and then experiencing a sincere, compassionate desire to help that person or alleviate the suffering of the person. Compassion reinforces an inner balance, strength of mind, and a courageous determination to help those in need.
To explore the mechanisms of empathy and compassion, scientists divided about 60 volunteers into 2 groups; one meditated on love and compassion, and the other experimental regimen trained participants to cultivate feelings of empathy for others. Preliminary results showed that after a week of meditation-based on loving kindness and compassion- novice subjects saw suffering people with more positive and benevolent feelings. The other subjects who devoted a week to an experimental regimen that just cultivated empathy, experienced emotions that resonated deeply with others’ sufferings.
Adding training to empathy counterbalances detrimental effects; negative emotions diminish and positive emotions increase. These results accompay corresponding changes in the areas of several brain -network associated with compassion, positive emotions, maternal love. The researchers, moreover, were able to demonstrate that a week of training in compassion increased prosocial behavior in a virtual game specially developed to measure the capacity to help.
Further research work on meditation provided new insights into methods of mental training to enhance human health and well- being, the ability to cultivate compassion and other positive human qualities. These have a profoundly beneficial effect on all aspects of human societies.
With Sussan, the plate-woman, I doubted whether she received any form of training to be compassionate. It seemed natural with her. Generous as she was, her restaurant boomed with people, lively all the time, and surely, she made enough money to remain in business. What she enjoyed most was the love of sharing. Sussan had one daughter, Margaret, who supervised smooth maintenance of the restaurant. Sussan lost her husband in an accident, years back but she was never in need though she didn’t remarry. Herself and her lone daughter carried on their business with consolation, joy and peace; running plate-woman’s place like their second home.
Sussan- the plate-woman accepted all human beings; black, white, old, young, rich, or poor as blood related. Everybody was heartily welcome. Her attitude displayed the kind of human-family-tree described by eco-scientists. Sussan- the plate-woman was worthy of emulation. Her motto in life were happiness, joy, peace, love, compassion, empathy and charity, to everybody that crossed her path. Freely was she given and freely she gave out.
KID-RAISED WITH GRATITUDE
Caroline’s daughter, Angela, was raised with gratitude. She started kindergarten at 4, entered University at 18 with ease, always with applause. Angela was a determined girl, never influenced by anything negative; News-paper news or Television shows. Like her mother, she trusted in the Lord for direction in life. She put in for Medicine, and before people knew she graduated with honors, got married with one of her peers, David, in her study group. They were a good match; responsible and God fearing- result of prayer.
Caroline, a single parent, grew up in the rural area, the second oldest and sole sister of four boys. She eagerly took part in tree- climbing, always around boys and their friends. She wasn’t afraid to try things that girls at that time normally wouldn’t do. She was convinced that if she had daughters of her own, they would be as rough-and-tumble as she had been. Her daughter had her own mind, little interest in her vision of child-hood plays. She didn’t try to push her one way or the other. She just felt that if she had girls, they would be tomboys and would naturally follow her foot-steps. But Caroline had one unique characteristic; she was a praying woman. She committed her ways, particularly the upbringing of her daughter to her Heavenly Father. She was convinced that Angela would behave appropriately. Angela too was sensible, she knew the sort of home she came from. She concentrated on her studies, didn’t allow herself to be influenced by awkward things and decided to study Medicine to help the sick.
Caroline didn’t use any force to train her daughter and the up-bringing was not spectacular, just normal like middle class people. She believed there was value in working and she impacted this on her daughter. Of-course there was nothing like Trust-Fund, her only trust was in the Lord. She was only able to make enough to live on and bring up her lone daughter. She entered a straight talk with the daughter to be self-sufficient in life. Angela learnt early in life- motivation by her mother- that working experience was necessary for development, so she took interest in volunteering jobs at her spare time. No day was wasted in her life, always busy running around. However, she studied seriously. Shepassed her examinations with flying colors and got married instantly to her college-mate that same year after their house-jobs.
Caroline was a lucky woman. When she retired from active service in 1965, her lone daughter, Angela then with three children, persuaded her to come and live under their comfort zone. With gratitude to God she crossed over. Her only job was to play with her grand- children. Angela and David had enough for their family and they remembered their praying mom. She lived with them until death parted them in 2012.She enjoyed the fruits of her labour.
Parents think their off-springs should take after them, because they are their blood. This assumption proves wrong. Children have two major exposures; half their parents and half the environment. Both merge to form who he or she will be in future. One exposure can be positive, and the other negative. Only The Supreme Being can intervene. The belief that children are raised with gratitude for unforeseen circumstances is the best approach for successful up-bringing.
Experts discover that this generation of children, hard-ly do almost nothing on their own. They are over-protected like domestic animals, incapable of surviving on their own .For parents to be happy, they needed to put a higher priority on themselves, and allow the children to grow on their own. It is true that love is the cradle that holds the baby. Studies show that parents who make a priority of the rituals of marriage and dont focus 100 percent of their attention on the baby are happier- and so are their babies. The infants smile more, laugh more, play more, cry less, and show an increased capacity to self-soothe, as measured by their heart rate.
Studies showed that moms and dads may be among the worst judges of their kids. Misperceptions are a natural part of parenting. Mothers and fathers see their children as they want to see them- often as they see them since birth-. They also persist in envisioning long-imagined futures for the kids. Experts agreed in looking through the mirror as egocentric creatures see the world through the perspective they know best-their own. They have far more information about themselves than they do about other people. And influence their assumptions and judgements about the people they interrupt with every-day, their off-springs most definitely included.
Psychologists said parents made highly subjective judgements of themselves. The self-serving bias gives them an exaggerated sense of their own uniqueness. Such positive illusions provide real psychological benefits. They promote optimism, and give them more of a sense of control over their future. Parents extend these positive illusions to their children, believing consciously or unconsciously that their off-springs possess special qualities that also reflect favorably on their own parenting skills. Of-course it helps to see children in the best positive light, unless they conflict awful relationship. Parents give their kids, the benefit of doubt. They think their kids are smarter than they really are and probably more attractive than they really are.
Biology also plays a powerful role in parental bias. From an evolutionary perspective, parents are compelled to reproduce ad pass their genetic line to future generations to avoid extinction. Their off-springs represent a biological investment in their own futureAnd they are driven to engage in strategic behavior to protect their investment. Parents have this mis-guided notion in Western culture and in Western psychology. They, invariably, unconditionally and indisputably loved their children and devoted themselves to them. In-fact the evolutionary analysis is that children are investments that parents make, perhaps un-knowingly as a function of the return they might get on those children.
Experts believe that in reality, a child’s home-environment is only one of a range of factors that influence who or she becomes in future. That is the mistake a lot of parents make. They think it is their genes that make their kids like them. Studies of behavioral genetics show that, on average, people personalities are about half genetically determined and half environmentally determined.And the half, is not necessarily parental. So, parents shouldn’t be convinced that their kids are just like them
However, parents could influence their children’s lives by placing them in good schools where they would thrive, and create home environment that supports creative activity. But parents attempted to model behavior not typically effective. Moms and dads have no more influence on a child’s behavior than did his or her peers. However, certainly, parents do exert some influence on their children, in some cases more than others. Genetically, parents pass on certain physiological and physical characteristics. And environmentally, they provide children with training, contacts and a step-up in a certain career.
Angela became successful, by the grace of God. Her mother partially contributed because she was sent to a good school where she thrived with-out any negative influence. Prayer was however the key to her success. Her achievement in life showed that she was a kid raised with gratitude to the Almighty God.
IMPULSIVE SCHOOL BOY
-A few months ago, I ran across a boy, Adekunle, who I last saw at my high school graduation in 1967. In-fact the last time we interacted, he asked me to tell one of my friends that he liked her. After that things happened as they always did- friendship shifted, some kids grew up quickly, and some grew up slowly, and every one headed out into the world to make the best ofhimself. It stunned me that this boy came from a small town, 2000 miles from where I grew up, and for more than 30 years we didn’t meet. At-last, we met along the street in London, he was going to work, and I was going around shopping. After the first meeting, we went back and forth for days, about one convenience store in the neighbor-hood. One Saturday afternoon, we finally got together to talk. He turned around and started to ask me questions about our former class-mates in Nigeria. Both of us were now married, with children. He told me his own story that he was married with three children and I told him mine. Incidentally his wife was my cousin, though I saw her last when she was 11. I observed the vein in his fore head. We sat down by the window. It became clear that I remembered him better than he remembered me.
He was a bit wild in school, while I was quiet and studious, no one gossiped about me. He was wild. Every-one gossiped about him. We kept talking, leaned forward towards one another. His ugly irrational behavior came ringing in my ears. When I knew him as a boy, I liked to keep distance with him, would never open myself to him or allow him discuss any-thing with me openly. His character was just appalling to me. He could say any-thing any-where, to hurt you. I pretended to be friendly though I was never his friend. He remembered our high school days. He wanted to know the latest news about our former class-mates.
Some of our fellow students had died; some died early in their 20s. We talked about teachers, but he didn’t remember any-one fondly. But my favorite, a man I thought was funny and subversive had accused him of plagiarism. For me college had been a smooth escape, the first stage of my launch toward actually learning something. For him it had been a dead end, followed by another and another. Adekunle suddenly looked me in the eye and apologized for any- thing he might have done, that hurt me. I pretended not to remember any; I told him we had all out-grown the past. Every-one’s view into the past was telescopic, narrow and sharp; dark for some, light for others. We cataloged our adventures, our educations, our off-springs, our marriages, our mid-life crises, the anxieties that some-how we got rid of. I was aware that behind every communication there was a wealth of images insights, emotions, and memories. But sitting with this familiar face that I hadn’t seen for 30 years, enriched that sense of fullness. After an hour, we both had things to do, time to head out. We had enjoyed our time together. Adekunle was a soldier, probably on vacation when I saw him in London. Few years later, I learnt that he died. It was a big shock to me. I did not expect a strong man, timid-less like that to die at such a tender age of 55.
Adekunle had turned into a man, a soldier who knew himself- someone who had investigated his feelings and his history, who had sought lenses for seeing what he needed to see. All of a sudden and just for a moment, I glimpsed the whole of a single life and for that moment, I loved him and cherished his memory.
Experts believe that anger evolves to change the minds of other people by forcing them to recalibrate the value they place on you. Anger is hardly a useful modality but it has positive values in our emotional lives. Psychologists said that strong men report more success resolving- inter- personal- conflicts in their favor than weak men. But by their own accounts they are more prone to anger. They endorse personal aggression but likely to approve the use of military force in global conflicts.
Anger preserves a sense of control and the desire to defend what’s yours. Researchers amassed evidence that anger is a potent form of social communication. It is an appetitive force that not only moves us towards what we want but fuel optimism, creative brain—storming, and problem solving by forcing mind and mood in high refined ways. But brain-wise, it is the polar opposite of fear, sadness, and anxiety. The feelings that prompt avoidance and cause us to move away from what we deem unpleasant. When the gall rises, it propells the inrate toward challenges they otherwise will flee away from to get others to do what they wish. Psychologists said that anger feels rewarding, because it moves us closer to our goals and thwart the aggression. Anger is positive because the angry man aims at what he can attain, and the aim is to be pleasant. Babies are born ready to express anger and nature favors. Anger conserves love, fear, sadness and anxiety. Biologically, when people are aroused to some degree of anger and let off steam, their heart rate, blood pressure and testosterone level all increase. This suggests that anger freaks us out and in-fact as the levels of the stress hormone cortisol drop, anger helps us calm down and get ready to address a problem and not run from it.
Although anger is considered a full negative emotion, recent ly neuro-science over-turned that view. Scientists know that two basic motivational forces underlie all behaviors; the impulse to approach or move towards some-thing desired and the impulse to withdraw or move away from unpleasantness. Hard wired in the brain, these behaviors are head-quartered in the frontal- cortex which acts as the executive branch of the emotions. Brain imagining and electrical studies of the brain consistently show that the left frontal lobe is crucial to establishing approach behavior that pushes us to pursue desired goals and rewards in rational, logical, systematic and ordered ways. The activation of the right frontal cortex is tied to the more negative, withdrawal motivational system, marked by inhibition, timidity, and avoidance of punishment and treat.
Brain scan shows that anger significantly activates the left anterior cortex associated with positive- approach behaviors. Anger more over appears to be down- right rewarding, even pleasurable. In studies showing predominant left-brain activation, angry subjects proved that anger can make things better.
When I went back home, I went to see late Adekunle’s family to register my condolence. From henceforth, I became their family friend in cherished memory of the deseased.
HEART OF STONE
My days in the high school could be described as holy days. I attended a Catholic school. Our teachers were mostly Reverend Sisters. The school had only students in their boarding house, and the teachers preached holiness to us every-day; total abstinence from boys. Students who had ‘boy friends’ or received love- letters from boys were seriously punished y the Principal. They were called names; like cheap girls or penny-a-penny girls.
I was very obedient. Other students called me nick-names like Heart of stone or Sisters’ girl. My parents supported my belief; I was daddy’s girl. Any boy coming to our house to visit me during the holidays was disgraced mercilessly because I believed he had come to insult my moral
As I grew older, my feelings towards boys changed. I realized that some girls with boy-friends were very happy and getting on finely socially. I saw them having Dates with boys. They attended socials like cinema, dancing places and picnics together. They looked their best and very cheerful. I started to feel wanting. I had scared away all my suitors. Then I turned my attention to God. I needed a good boy-friend- the one to be my future life partner; but he had to be from my tribe. The first man that came to me, though handsome and sociable, looked foreign to me. I knew my parents would never accept him. I kept on believing in God that he would show me the right man; the man of His choice for me, to show me in a miraculous way. Lo and behold, at the first Christian meeting, I attended in the University, a man on the pulpit preached the word of God. He was not a pastor but in-charge of the Christian organization. He encouraged students to take Christianity seriously. This man spoke my mind and right on the spot, I fell in love with him.
My pride appeared humbled. My desire for him seemed to give me up. To keep up my head, I started avoiding this man. I desisted from Christian meetings, to avoid seeing him. Weeks later, I dreamt of him, holding my hands in a warm embrace. My passion for him increased. I kept on praying. That same man probably had the same dream. He on his part, was looking for me; he asked some of my friends where I had been. I was surprised that he recognized my absence even though Christian population in the university was large. At-last when he saw me, he expressed his feelings, and I could no longer hide mine. So we hugged each other and we became friends. Four years later, we were happily married and blessed with many children.
At the end of the day, these mental activities made each of us unique and gave our lives purpose and meaning. It was only through day-dreaming that we could go beyond what was-to what could be. Experts told us that one key to personal- intelligence is the ability to distinguish our perception of another person from who the person really is. The more accurate our mental model of others, the better we would know how to inter-act with them. Those who possess personal intelligence evaluate others more accurately and how their acquaintances make more allowances for others’ foibles. They are better at acknowledging their own limitations too. Those who are talented at these reasoning- powers make better guesses about how people are likely to behave. And they have a generally good idea about how their acquaintances, colleagues and friends perceive them. They know their own reputation. They seek out people they can trust and rely on them for guidance. Experts pointed out that sometimes we behave like ‘’ cognitive miser ‘’ toward others, saving our attention for perceived key people. We don’t need to spend much time understanding the people who slipped quickly in and out of our lives. That is the man waiting at the bus-stop. At other times, however, we encounter people with whom we are likely to inter-act for long term. Our overall well-being depends on how easily and positively we can relate to them. To promote positive interactions with a given individual, we apply our personal intelligence to the clues we gather about him.
Experts said that human cognition does not emerge from a single brain region but depends on a team effort involving multiple brain net-works. Attending to the external and internal environments rely on separate mental machinery. The external attention net-work consists mainly of communication between frontal eye field and the superior parietal lobe and helps us focus on what actually exist in the world, what’s out there. In contrast, the generation of inner experience relies on collaboration between the medial prefrontal cortex and the hippo-campus. This is the posterior cingulate cortex. Their interaction covers a lot of mental- territory, including recalling auto-biographical memories and semantic information.
I sincerely believed that the union between me and Solomon originated from Heaven, an answer to my prayer. My brain-network connected instantly to Solomon’s human brain, right on the pulpit without a word from any of us. That could only be supernatural intervention? Even heart of stone yielded to God’s calling.
Clara was only fifteen when her mom- alias mama, started telling her stories about her own successful marital life, just like doctors, giving catalogue of prescriptions to keep us healthy. Her first recommendation was that Clara should hold on for love; never to be in a hurry. Patience was the key, because eventually the right person would come.
Expressions of love could be small or big. Naturally, husbands and wives argued one time or the other. This could create a bad feeling for them, to the extent that both could keep grudge, by not talking to each other for days. None of the children would know how the unnecessary argument or discomfort was settled. It could be each reconsidered the cause of the argument and decided to wave it aside. All the children saw later was when their mum set daddy’s best diet-Obokun fish- and pounded-yam on the dining table. And dad moved graciously to the table to eat, with his mouth full of praises for the delicacy of the food for a man who had previously refused to eat in the house for days because of the quarrel. He majestically, lovingly invited his wife to join him at table. Two of them might even feed each other- a sort of African romance- in the presence of the children. A husband should never be deprived of his food. Good- wives provide regular meals for their partners to appease them in times of turmoil. Some men believe that the way to Heaven is through the stomach, when tummy is satisfied, love making is more meaningful.
Delicious meal was the way of expression of love in their generation, and the prescription to settle anger. Some parents sacrificed anything; wealth, health, recognition to prolong their married life. There was nothing like divorce in those days. Once married it was for better for worse, all needed was to make each other happy.
After work, mama met papa with a hug to welcome him at-times with a hug, and took his brief-case by the door, held his hand to the sofa and offered him cold water to quench his thirst after his busy and tiring job at work. Any problem at home was never raised in the presence of the children. This was the affair between husband and wife; usually settled in their bed-room. Peace at home all the time was a very clear formula for success in a relationship.
At 21, Clara, got married, and acted the advice she was given at home. Her husband, Oliver, loved her so much that he didn’t mind to sacrifice his life for her. Unfortunately, they had only three children when Oliver met his death in a ghastly motor accident, on his way from the office. Clara was just 40. She could have remarried to another man but because she loved the late husband and her children, she preferred to remain a single parent. She told her advisers that her children would suffer; life could not be the same again with a step-father. Clara was very considerate; mama’s ideas were the solid rock in her brain. She remembered that people should do the right thing for the people they loved. and go to any level to express their deepest feelings
Experts reported that many people’s goals are directed toward the welfare of others, as is the case for parents who put their children’s interests above their own. A psychologist spent countless thousands of words in providing explanations as to why our unfulfilled wishes express themselves in the imaginery and stories that populate our mighty dreams. The latest research provided a more pragmatic perspective on how thoughts and emotions just below the surface of our awareness shape the way we relate to a boss, parent, spouse, or child. That means we can set aside antiquated coplexes and accept the reality that the unconscious asserted its presence in every moment of our lives.
Biology scientists show that marine-mammals forge strong social bonds with one another. Pasts studies of individuals found that false -killed -whales are social animals and maintained friendship- swimming, hunting and cavorting-for years. They formed relationship that crossed species boundaries. In a new study, researchers found that social pairings between individuals of two species span both time and space. Some of the inter-species pairings lasted more than 5 years with pairs spotted together at locations up to 650 kilometers apart. This study was published online in marine mammal science.
Some benefits of interspecies groupings may be purely practical like Interactions between individual members of each species, such as two animals touching as they swam side by side. The fact that interactions between individual members of each species are observed regularly over the course of 5 years is an important finding. It means that false- killed whales and bottle-nose dolphins choose to spend time with specific members of other species rather than randomly mixing or engaging in brief opportunistic encounters. If animals could inter-act amicably, how much more humans They are more mportant mothers to their children.
Wisdom and advice are never displayed in market places. Lucky is the man who accepts warnings and advice. Clara was a happy wife and mother; thanks to ‘mama’s ideas’ for her.
SPARE THE ROD AND SPOIL THE CHILD
Spare the rod and spoil the child, is a well-coined saying. In the dark ages, male children had priorities over the female. If a couple got married and had the first child as male, it was a successful marriage. The first baby-boy was a special gift from God to continue the family name. In-future he would take care of the parents and other siblings. The belief was that a girl-child was some-body else property. She would get married one day and attached to another family. Training a girl-child was a waste on their property. The first boy was the luckiest; better-loved, adored and respected in the family because he was special.
Some parents didn’t mind to borrow money to educate him as he was their life investment, and the girl-child was expected to support them
Ebenezer family, though educated, was a typical example. They named their first son, Emmanuel, because he was special. Elizabeth his mother was a school teacher, and his father, an Electrical Engineer; both knew the benefits of education. They wanted their son to study Medicine in the University. Emmaculate was brilliant; he took after his parents in excellence, getting the highest grade in the class. The teachers loved him and respected his magic brain. The parents were disciplinarians; every night they revised his school-assignment with him, and made sure he was up-to-date in it. Actually, his teachers made him teach his weak-class-mates in the school. His parents would never allow him to be in any dubious group or activity; he was a pampered child.
However, Mr and Mrs Ebenezer could not tie him on their apron, all the time, he had a group of friends in the school. The group belonged to a secret society or a cult. Innocent Emmanuel didn’t know the implications; the cult members were children of the Elites in town, and most of them were his class-mates. The freedom given to him, was just to socialize with some of his friends, because some jeered at him and called him names like big-baby, daddy’s wrapper at 18. The so-called friends dissuaded him strongly, advised him to revolt against his father’s authorities over him. They assured Emmaculate that the cult members would take good care of him
Kunle, the ring leader of the cult was a hefty looking man, the son of a well-known politician; he was 35, much older and stronger than most of the others in the group. He was not a good student; left the high school as a drop out at the age of fifteen. Ever since he decided to make a living in business; selling all sorts of things. He was a shrewd man; brilliant in recruiting young boys to join his cult. He was once imprisoned for an assault. He raped the daughter of their village pastor; in-fact he was notorious in the vicinity
Emmanuel didn’t know his history, but his parents knew everything about him. When Elizabeth and John learnt that Emmanuel was lured into their group, they were mad and scared stiff. They called him to caution and promised to withdraw all their subsidies. They collected his car-key, no more pocket-money and no more food for him in their home. Thus, Emmanuel was made to come back to his senses. He was made to know the history of Kunle, a man denounced by his parents, when he was imprisoned for the rape of pastor’s daughter. Many people in their community avoided him, for he who was.
They dissuaded their son from ever having anything, to do with Kunle. To them their discipline was borne out of love for their son, their priority was to make their son responsible, and well-educated. Emmaculate was permitted to choose his own friends but not like Kunle.
Thanks to a new field of research called inter-personal neurobiology. Scientists are beginning to understand how feelings of love or lack of them affects specific areas of the brain. In a particular Reseach they threated married women with an electric shock. When the women held their husband’s hands during the experiment, their anterior cingulate cortex and other pain-and anxiety-related centers in the brain show significantly less activation than when they held hands with others or with no one at-all. This showed that mere touching with love heals.
Research showed that when men and women in happy relationships looked at the photographs of their partners, their brains’ pleasure center, lit up. The brains of long married couples also registered feelings of attachment and calm. Scientists found that the same areas of the brain associated with physical pain, such as the dorsal posterior insula, became active when someone experienced rejection
Elizabeth and John were very lucky to be alerted on time that Emmanuel had joined a bad gang and the son was also lucky to accept his guilt on time- his early withdrawal from the cult. Emmaculate graduated from the University as a lawyer and he became a politician. And later in life he was voted in as the Governor of his State.It was hoped that he would pay homage to his parents as expected of the first son in the family.
Kunle, the notorious man received a jail-term the second time for breaking into a house as an armed robber. Definitely he had no home-training as a boy; spare the rod and spoil the child. Well-wishers entreated that Kunle had learnt enough lession in the prison yard would now turn a new leaf and live a responsible life.
ROMEO AND JULIET
In July 1963, Olaniyi was in his final year in the University. He was 30 years old but the plot revolved around him as a highly intelligent student, expected to become a full-time staff-member in three months. His life became upended after meeting Mary, a new undergraduate in the same department.
Olaniyi found the first girl who could match him in looks, spirituality, and professional appeal. It would be an electrifying pair- he said.
Mary was born in Lagos, far away from Oyo, where Olaniyi came from. When Olaniyi met Mary, they greeted each other, stopped in mid-sentence and broke into nervous laughter. They were dressed like young professionals. She was in a white knit-double-breasted jacket and a-line skirt. He wore a suit and tie. Their conservative appearance hid the fact that they both shared a devil within
They were quiet, polite, and careful. They both knew what was going to happen once they got to know each other. They felt a current that went straight through them. This was a force they couldn’t control. On day one they realized the relationship would be serious; it was like discovering a soul-mate, shy on the outside, but unbridled within. Both had remained childlike and emotionally dependent. They sought that same unqualified love their parents gave them. This touched something deep within their psyche. They saw mirror images in each other and the minute they looked into each other’s eye, they clicked
It was the worst possible time for Olaniyi to fall in love- only four months earlier he had installed his teen-age girl friend, Ayo, in the village and in his bed. But Mary really was the love of his life. Both behaved as kids, laughing and having fun. They spent a lot of time together, holding hands as they paraded the University campus and they lunched together in seclusion. Ayo knew he had little affairs, all the time, but she didn’t bother herself, thinking he would leave the campus in just three months. At any rate Olaniyi had the same flair for both men and women. Later Ayo came up with a new strategy, paired up with a friend in the campus; watched Mary, learned some of her characters, did same hair-style with her. Ayo was humiliated when Mary announced openly to some friends that she loved Olaniyi but didn’t know if they would marry
With anger, Ayo picked up a flower vase and threw it against the wall, saying loudly that she hated Mary. But Olaniyi went on the offensive. He complained that he didn’t know, this was going to get out of hand. He wanted a woman who’s going to understand, that things like this could happen. He looked at Ayo hard in the eye. In the end Ayo went back to their village
The following June, Olaniyi and Mary were still together playing ‘’Romeo and Juliet’’ round the University campus. You could see he was enamoured; he truly and really cared for her. Later Olaniyi confided in his friends that he loved both of them, but chose Mary because of her intelligence and her personality; he wanted a smart and a professional person. However, he was confused about the time his parents would live with him, was sensitive and considerate, he knew about manners and honor. He went to the village to apologize to Ayo and explained to her that both of them knew – no matter how much close or how long they stayed together, the association was not going to last, because he loved somebody-else instead of her
Eventually, as soon as Mary graduated, the morning of May 1, 1967, Olaniyi and Mary said ‘’ I do ‘’ first in the court of law and before God in the church. Olaniyi became a law-lecturer in the University. Three days later, the newly- weds went to London for their honey moon
Marital researchers conducted a long-term study of 130 newly-wed couples. Two-thirds of the new parents self-reported that they were very unhappy after the birth of their first child. Couples with children treated oneanother with more contempt, belligerence, and sadness as well as with less affection, humor and empathy. Hostility between partners increased dramatically and their romance dissolved hree years later. More than a hundred studies showed that marital satisfaction fell off a cliff, after the birth of the first child and didn’t get much better.
Historians say that marriage serves the purposes of reproduction and economic security and the creation of alliances between families. No one dreams of resting such a corner stone of society on something as fickle as love. There is little room for feelings of disappointment. By the 1950’s, people marry predominantly for love. Men and women have separate roles, separate set of friends and separate leisure activities. Children are told to go out and play. No one felt guilty about it as long as women perform their marital duties deemed good. But In 1970, the birth of modern feminism, the resources given to relationships diminished. In the contemporary era, couples were expected to be best friends, to have complete equality in all spheres of life, and to sustain an ongoing romance with mutual sexual satisfaction. At the same time, modern marriage is accompanied by ever more dedication of time and resources to children.
Sexual satisfaction is one of the best predictors of overall happiness. In one scientific study, only 12 percent of couples reported not having serious sexual problems after having children. It was not their fault. The abrupt change in sexual connection between partners is hormonally influenced, through -out the nursing years. Prolactin production depressed the sex hormones; estrogen and testosterone. Biologically these encourage women to de-emphasize mating and focus energy on keeping their new born alive. Further, breast-feeding stimulates the bonding hormone and prompt shift in attention toward baby and away from husband
Research showed that a full three years after child-birth, women reported feeling- not very sexual, but men had orgasms more often. The dramatic switch in women’s attention from mate to baby, guided by oxytocin was detrimental to intimacy between partners. The conclusion is that reproduction success is bad for marital success. The advice is to have a brake on child-bearing.
Olaniyi and Mary appeared bonded together, despite the rumour that he became incapacitated after the sudden stroke he hais to haved after their first child, Funmilayo was born. Mary stood by him, nursed him in wheel-chair, without showing any sign of remorse. For better for worse, she continued to tell people. Couples of that generation were very tolerant. Olaniyi had no orgasms for years, after his stroke and Mary remained faithful to him. She believed she had been equally affected.
Experts claimed that today’s marital ideal was when it worked, good job, but when it didn’t, they felt deeply betrayed
Through good luck and hard work, his grandfather was a pioneer and became very successful, but he never took it for granted. He realized that not everybody got equal opportunities to achieve that success; whether for health reasons or other circumstances. Matthew and Jenifer had a keen eye for determining services needed in the community. They were always interested in talking to people to find out how and where they could help to build a stronger community. They had just come back from abroad but aimed high to up-lift Aiyedere community to an enviable World standard.
Years after the Biafran war in Nigeria, Matthew and Jenifer launched Aiyedere community program; anti-poverty advocates in 1967, joined by some volunteers. Matthew was the president. Health, education, social services, poverty alleviation and human rights were at the core of their vision. They altered the face of Aiyedere settlement; their generosity was ubiquitous. They were community builders. People could be generous and inclusive, someone had to step up to lead and show the way, and that’s what Matthew and Jenifer did. Team effort contributed immensely to their success. He needed a tight network of professionals to co-ordinate the various operations; to ensure successful outcome. Matthew built a diverse net-work of collaborative workers to play vital roles in the process. Each member was responsible for ensuring the delivery of expert care to create the best possible for everything. With stresses, rigorous planning, and community net-working, Aiyedere settlement became the envy of other villages in that state.
Previously, most people in the settlement were illiterates; young ones at school, elites interested in social serves few, yet the team worked diligently to ensure- Electricity, water-supply, all social services were available. Matthew connected with some indigenes in over-sea countries, and some of them supported his visions, so he was not actually alone; team-effort all the way. Matthew was an achiever; he discovered what he loved and loved what he did, his mind wasn’t at peace until he achieved his goal. Like any great relationship, the association got better and better as the years rolled on. Member of the team believed that, people who raised their hands deserved to be ahead of people who didn’t, they were proud of their achievement, and did it with pleasure. Matthew was lucky with his abled associates.
By 1970, team-members pulled themselves together to have a loud voice in the whole community, Matthew was elected the community leader to represent the entire community in the state; Aiyedere was the richest and most respected village in the whole area, and Governors in the other states learnt from him. Matthew and Jenifer were dynamic, inspirational and philanthropic, but they were more than that, they were community builders
Though Matthew’s parents came from a humble beginning, he became the first full leader of that community, later the first local government representative for the entire community, and finally the governor of the whole state.
Scientists said, the ability to cooperate in large societies has deep evolutionary roots in the animal kingdom. Traditional discussions on how humanity become the dominant form of life with a population of more than 7- billions – focuses on competition Our ancestors seized land, wiped out other species and hunted big pedators to extinction. They conquered nature, red in tooth and claw. In brief human beings had a unique ability to cooperate in large, well-organized groups and employed a complex morality that relied on reputation and punishment. But much of the foundation for the cooperation- including empathy and altruism- could also be observed in our primate cousins. Homo sapiens’ unique cooperative abilities were what had allowed the species to become the dominant one on the earth.
Humans provide sharp examples on how sharing is linked with survival. In societies with greater self-sufficiency, such as those in which every family tends its own plot of land, equity is less important. We were the only species to cooperate with outsiders and strangers. Although our willingness to cooperate depends on the circumstances, primates in nature are mostly competitive between groups. The way human communities allow outsiders to travel through their territories, share meals with them, exchange goods and gifts, or bond together against common enemies is not a typical primate pattern. Most animal cooperation is self-organized in that individuals fulfill roles according to their capacities and the ‘slots’ opened to them. Scientists believe that concerns over reputation can have been the primordial glue that enables early Homo sapiens to stick together in ever larger societies
Modern people demonstrate a robust potential for peace and trade between communities, which suggested that early Homo sapiens had these traits too. It is these cooperative tendencies in-born in some of our leaders
that had brought us as far as we had come.
Nature is defined as fundamentals and essential qualities of a person or thing. It could also mean- the whole system of the existence, forces and events of the physical world that are not controlled by human beings. In this section we hoped to describe story-like events – faith worked, food and water, animals, the essential word, embracing your calling, female-care network, accident that was meant to be, aging is a gift, Oka village inside out, life after death.
Call this a dream or what you like. It all happened in the middle of the night. Stella remembered the story vividly as if it happened today in real life. Stella, a middle-aged woman with six children lost her husband, who left her a considerably big commercial house in the heart of the city. This sudden death left deleterious impact on her stamina and reasoning; completely worn out. On second thought, she considered the fate of the children. They had to live and continue their own lives. Her friends and relations advised her to take over the family business in the interest of the children. Fortunately, Stella and her late husband were in the same trade and she could successfully run the business.
Meanwhile, soon after the death of her husband relations of the husband had gone into the family business, on the pretence that Stella was too proud or not interested just to lower the moral of the widow. Their ulterior motive was to confiscate and deprive her of her husband’s property.
Guided by the Holy Spirit Stella went to an Elder, member of their family to complain. The old man had been her mentor even when the husband was alive. He condemned the action of the greedy lot and advised Stella to take over, strongly supported by him. Stella took his advice, curbed his fears, and went immediately to take over. Before the end of that month Stella dreamt at night; found herself inside the family business-house. Through the glass-wall, she saw a hefty figure looking like a dinousol, or pagan chief holding a cane to flog somebody. Stella was scared but prayerful. She recognized that figure-pagan chief dressed in juju regalia during pagan festivals. All of a sudden, a red spot-car with open roof came and landed right in front of the chief. In the car were three girls that dressed like Stella in Nurses’ uniform. Immediately the pagan chief disappeared. The door of the commercial house opened instantly and one of the girls took Stella by hand and walked her into the car. The girl sat in the front with Stella and the remaining two on the back seat.
This dream was very timely. Stella assumed that God sent angels to drive evil powers from the shop and got her established in the late husband’s business successfully. She confidently drove away all the illegal occupants; managed the business for long, was able to provide for the children until they became of age. Stella’s friends called this a miracle. In some countries, relatives of a deceased spouse, demoralized and tortured, the widow for their personal gains. What a narrow escape for Stella?
In the Holy Bible God spoke to some people; Moses, Jacob, even Saul who later became Paul. Without seeing God, they heard His words which came to pass in their lives. God has a way of showing His Sovereignty to His children through visions or dreams.
Spiritualists claim that angels can come in different shapes and sizes. One may have difficulty in recognizing them; not necessarily as serene beings with enormous wings. And in most cases only the dreamer could see him or her. Dreams give courage, security, consolation, hopeful – hints and knowledge that God and His angels are watching over you day and night.
Scientists believe that during regular dreaming, the part of the brain commanding executive function- the dorsal prefrontal cortext turns to remove conscious control. But if the dorsal prefrontal cortext switches back on, either spontaneously or stimulated by an outside event, consciousness invades REM sleep and enables lucid control of dream. This sleep paralysis is the inverse of lucid dreams in another blended state. The dorsal prefrontal cortext switches on and the person become alert while the paralyzing neurochemicals of dreams and REM continues to permeate the body, making movement if possible.
Stella believed the spiritual interpretation of her dream. People in her church gave similar testimonies. It was a narrow escape for her. God sent her guardian angels to help her. Dreams and visions are real. God devises them to save His children, an indication that He and the angels are watching over you day and night. Without doubt, Stella’s faith in God worked in her life.
FOOD AND WATER WITH LOVE
My great uncle, Pa Jonathan, was a happy all-purpose farmer. His farm-land, Odo, was his home; children loved to visit him during the holidays. He reared animals like goats, chicken, rabbits, and he tendered cocoa, cola-nuts, yam, fruits and vegetables. He was self-sufficient, happy and content with life; loved to pilot children around to see nature in the village. Everybody drank water from the brook; nothing like previous treatment. In Odo, Pa Jonathan had all basic necessities; foods of all types in abundance, fresh brook water that tasted clean like rain water and fished in the local river and pool. The farm-land was a truly virgin place to enjoy life; no wonder Uncle Jonathan lived 120 years-a ripe age, no stress, nothing to worry him. His life was rich and peaceful. I always looked forward to visiting him, when I was a little girl.
Philosophers claimed that water has no flavor, just the base-line for the sense of taste. Water is the starting point and null condition- Water Is to tongues as darkness is to eyes, and silence is to ears. The natural substance-water per se- tends to be tasteless. Previously scientists viewed it only as the vehicle for flavor. Eventually, they began to notice that a draught of pure distilled water provokes a certain taste. Some studies found it bitter on the tongue. Others said it was insipid. 1920s evidences showed that water changed flavor depending on what you tasted just before.
A physiologist noticed no responses for water at the front of the tongue but cells tasted water toward the back of the mouth. He felt that water should have its own taste as the most common thing in the world- 75 percent of the body, and 75 percent of the planet.
Animals were also looked after in the village. Biologists declared that animal-rearing i n the community, caused significant impacts-disease risk. If people understood that preserving wild-life also preserved their own health, perhaps they would be less likely to tolerate losses to biodiversity. Big animals kept smaller ones carrying diseases in check. Biologists long thought that when large mammals, such as elephants, were driven to extinction, small critters inherited the earth. As those critters- rodents multiply, so were the number of disease-carrying fleas.
Scientists now experimentally confirmed this scenario because it led to a rise in human infection .Diseases could be transferred between animals and people. Biologists embarked on a large-scale experiment to understand the importance of diversity. They divided land and changed the types of wild-life living on each one. In some, they removed all large animals, leaving behind only smaller than 33 Ibs mammals. As the years went on, they kept a record of the species that inhabited each plot. Using those records, ecologists compared rodent abundance in tracts free of large animals with similar areas opened to all wild-life. The scientists discovered that the landscapes rid of large mammals contained twice as many rodents as the uncontrolled area. The findings were published.
Psychologists said that the physical sensations of objects touched, influence abstract feelings; not just the physical contact, but unexpected reverberations in psyches. How physical body interacts with the world was fundamentally connected to our thinking. Physical selves shape our physical selves, known as embodied cognition. For example, a 2010 study revealed that the physical qualities of objects people touched- their hardness or softness, heaviness or lightness, roughness or smoothness- tilt peoples’ judgment toward them. So, folks holding a heavy clip-board are more likely to judge someone as serious. Touching a rough texture is linked to judgment of harshness. A 2008 study found that holding a hot drink makes people rate strangers as warmer- more caring and generous. Another study, published in 2011 in emotion revealed that the feeling of loneliness was mitigated by an experience of physical warmth (holding a warm pack)
Thus, such translation of touch sensations into abstract qualities, offer a glimpse into how the physical sensations experienced early in life. It becomes a kind of mental scaffold that supports more metaphorical thinking as we grow older. We build abstract concepts on top of the physical ones -rough or coarse personality, based on our understanding of tactile roughness. The connection between physical sensation and abstract concept remains. The former triggers the latter, and like magic trick, the phenomenon works and your mind overrule.
Eperts discovered several kinds of love; selfish, mean, grasping, egotistic, ugly and crippling kind. The other was out-pouring of everything good in you- of kindness and consideration and respect- not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which was recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind made you sick and small and weak but the second released in you -strength, and courage and goodness, and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.
Uncle Jonathan was hail and hearty, no arthritis- no need of medicare- even at 120. All amenities needed in the farm were made available. Scientists adviced him on water and the animals he reared. Lovingly he cared for his pet-animals likechildren. His friends and families rallied round and volunteered to help him. But the baseline was that he lived a peaceful life with everybody; strength, courage, goodness, not the selfish egotistic, ugly type of love, that make people sick and small. His ambition in life was good water, sufficient food, happiness and love for all.
Brasso was my dog; a pet which lived with me for 14 years and I liked him like my son. At table, I served him my own type of food, which he quickly ate and enjoyed. Brasso loved to sit near me, on the floor near my chair, brushing his hair and tail on me. Like him, I equally enjoyed it. The period I loved him best was when I saw him wagging his tail, hopping, dancing around me whenever I returned from office. At night, Brasso, seemed to be the night-guard; barking at the sight of any strange movement in the house. I made the greatest mistake of my life when I travelled outside the town, leaving him in-charge of my steward. I was away for only 3 weeks on holiday. One week after leaving home, Brasso slept outside in one corner along the road side, knocked down and killed. When I received the bad news on my phone, I cried bitterly for the big loss. I ordered him to be wrapped up in my most cherished house-coat and buried near my window in the apartment. A monument was kept sacred in the memory of Brasso at the spot. Pets are like children; they are lovers and should be equally loved. I missed Brasso, I could never have any pet like him.
Scientists discovered that humans are not alone in grieving over the loss of a loved one. Animal behaviorist traditionally shielded away from attributing emotions, such as grief, to responses by animals; but a growing body of evidences indicated that species ranging from dolphins to ducks mourned the passing of relatives and close companions. These observations suggested that although the ways in which we mourned might be uniquely human, our capacity for grief had deep evolutionary roots. Many emotions are similar across species. For instance, grief and jealousy, as well as pleasure and vexation grief, and sadness differ in intensity. It is logical to think that long-lived species whose members partner most closely with others in tight-knit pairs, family groups or communities may more readily mourn the deaths of loved ones than other species do. Variation in the immediate social contexts and personalities of the survivor complicate matters. For instance, allowing a survivor to view the dead-body sometimes reduces a period of distressed searching.
Love in the animal world often entwine with grief in acute mutuality. There are varying levels of comprehension when animals grieve, just as there are different levels of empathy expressed by different species and even across individuals within a species. The capacity to mourn may become quite costly for any animal in both physical and emotional terms. The cost involves in grief confer separation responses, when two individuals, keely attached are forced apart from each other. Under such circumstances, the missing partners search for each other, hope to reunite and live to see another day.
From this perspective, scientists link grief with love. That is to say, grief results from love-lost. Exploring emotions in a variety of species, ecologists and animal behaviorists embrace the idea that many animals feel ‘love’ as well as ‘grief’ even though they are hard to define precisely. In a book, they told the story of a coyote called Mom whom they observed for several years during behavioral studies. At one point, Mom began to make short journeys on her own away from the pack. Her offspring rejoiced when she returned. They licked Mom and rolled over exuberantly at her feet. Then Mom left for good. Some of the coyotes in her pack paced; others searched for her, setting out in the direction she had departed. For more than a week some spark seemed to be gone. Her family missed her. This was attributed to her family’s response of love. Generally, the potential for love was strong in species such as coyotes, wolves, cats, dogs and many birds.
It is love between individuals that predicts when grief is expressed. In our modern world, grief is no longer inevitably confined to kin, close social partners or individual members of one’s own community. All convey visibly the power of agonized global mourning when called-for. Our uniquely human capacity for sorrow at the deaths of strangers is built on an evolutionary substrate. Our own way of mourning may be unique, but the human capacity to grieve deeplyis something we share with other animals.
Scientists also document that animals are good at faces. Conventional wisdom holds that the ability to recognize faces requires a complex mammalian brain, but some insects are surprisingly adept at this task. Until recently, scientists thought that the ability to recognize individual faces require a large mammalian brain. But studies of paper-wasps and honey-bees showed that some small-brained insects managed this feat too. These insects use a face-processing mechanism, similar to the ones human use to tell faces apart. The wasps and bees buzzing around your garden might seem like simple-minded creatures; they built nests, forage for nectar, raised their young and died. Their lives typically play out over the course of a single year or less. Some of these species rivalled humans and other primates in at-least one intellectual skill. They recognize the individual faces of their peers.
After a bee learnt the front and side-view of a particular face, it correctly chose the picture of the same face rotated 30 degrees, even it had not previously seen this particular image. Taken together, studies in insects told us something fundamental about how face recognition evolved. The simple system that P. metricus wasps and honey-bees learnt to recognize faces through experience even though they did not normally distinguish among individuals in their everyday lives, might be based on the general pattern-recognition abilities these species used during foraging. It might also function as an intermediate step in the evolution of face specialization. When the fore runners of today’s P. fuscatus wasps found themselves in a novel social environment in which telling individuals apart aided their survival and reproduction; the wasps could learn to identify individuals. Over time natural selection most likely built on that foundation. And it produced the ability of the wasps to face specialization to sort friends from foe quickly and reliably. Their last common ancestors had the comparatively primitive face-learning system seen in P. metricus. Thus P. fuscatus’ biological adaptation to processing faces efficiently evolved recently, after its line-age diverged from that of P. metricus. So next time, appreciate the resident wasps and bees in your garden. They have so much more going on in their teensy brains than we imagined possible.
Zoologists also claimed that natural selection works at a rapid rate and that grasshoppers’ battle grounds are the roads. They make their calls by scraping rows of tiny pegs on roads with their back legs against a thickened vein on the forewing. Each grasshopper species has its own call, simply determined by the number of tiny pegs and the rate of this ‘stridulation’. Because grasshoppers often shared habitats with a number of other grasshopper species, natural selection has driven each to stand out from the others when calling. When comparing population of bow-winged grasshoppers from locations near busy roads with those away from roads, some scientists in 2012 spotted a few key differences. They found that some grass hoppers from noisy habitats tried to boost the low-frequency parts of their song to get their voices better-heard against the low-frequency drone of traffic. Nature fought back because the low-frequency of animal songs were similarly vulnerable to the blaring noise of road traffic
In early 2013, a study showed that the presence of low-frequency elements in a song could be used to predict, to a degree, the abundance of song-birds setting up shop near a road. In human terms, it seemed that low-frequency singers lost patience with roads and thought. The screw indicated- I ‘m off to somewhere quieter.
Such results are fascinating because they high-light how animals like song-birds unconsciously calculate the effectiveness of their efforts, looking for the best time, and the best place, to let rip with a song. Some research suggested that this is one reason why birds sing first thing in the morning- after all, sound travels farther on a cool morning.
Similar studies compared noisy and non-noisy habitats and looked at the birds that sang there. They hinted at the same thing; lower-frequency sex songs were being drowned out by the human-din. In some countries it’s observable that many had more high-pitched songs in towns and cities than their country side neighbors. In other countries, the nightingales sang up to 14 decibels louder nearer to roads than in nearby forests.
Animals are adapting, and relatively quickly. It can be that they are listening and responding to the surrounding lower-level frequencies, or it can be that a genetic shift in song behavior is occurring within – gene pool, since some of the population aren’t heard and simply die off unmated, their genes lost. Either way, the dawn chorus is losing its tenor. Brasso was a dog; not a bird; his barking and wagging of tail were sweet melodies to me like nightingale-bird’s song. Pets are lovers; love them equally, they too can mourn like human.
FEMALE- CARE NETWORK
Concerning gender equality, Scientists reported that young male workers wanted to be involved fathers and wives, committed career-workers. In 1980s, stay-at-home dad came into existence. Fathers balanced life at home and in the office. Formally the concern of women was to face house jobs, and probably helped to add to the income of the family, while husbands wore their open-collar shirts to joke at home. Experts reported that these days, guys are more serious about parenting as they are with their promotion in the office, and showed to be better at women issues than women themselves.
Research on Modern Parenthood found nearly equal proportions of male-female tried to do it all. 48 percent of working fathers and 52 percent of working mothers preferred to be home with their children, but needed to work for more income. In 2000, men in their 20s, willing to accept a lower salary to spend more time with their families was 70 percent compared with 63 percent women. Bright young men felt that they wanted something more out of life than just climbing a ladder. In this generation ambitious male workers demanded where women weren’t eager to be stay-at-home mothers. Statistics showed that married-couple families in which both parents worked; was 59 percent in 2012. Husbands worked part-time, allowing each to have time at home with their kids.
Some men enjoy and feel more fulfilled when they spend less time in the office, and more time rough-housing with their toddlers. But it is generally mocked than celebrated, in most parts of the world. A guy with an infant strapped to his chest is far more likely to be held up as a source of comedy than as a masculine ideal.
Experts confirmed that babies began to receive tactile signals even before birth, as the vibration of mothers’ heart beat is amplified by aniniotic fluid. Touch is an essential channel of communication with care givers for a child. A mother’s touch enhances attachment between mother and child to signify security. And depending on the type of touch could generate; positive or negative emotions. Th e gentle patting makes infants happy, while a sudden squeeze signalls –warning. Mom’s touch even seems to mitigate pain when children are given a blood-test. Scientists linked touch in the form of message for benefits like – better sleep, reduced irritability, increased sociability among infants, and improved growth of preemies.
In 2009, a psychologist demonstrated innate ability to decode emotions via touch alone. The true indicator of a healthy long-term relationship is not how often you touch your children, but how often your children touch you in response to your touch. Brain scan reveals that a part of the brain called the primary somato sensory cortext responds more sharply to a woman’s touch than to a man’s. The primary somato sensory cortex is thought to encode only basic qualities of touch; such as smoothness, or pressure. Its activities vary depending on the belief of the subjects; the touch- emotions expected. Social components of touch are inseparable from physical sensation. Psychologists said when touched by another person, brain is set up not to give the objective qualities of that touch, the entire experience is affected by social evaluation of the person touching you.
Facial expression, and other modalities for expressing emotions; anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, sympathy, happiness, and sadness are natural instincts of mothers. Scientists believe that touching is simply a means of enhancing messages, signalled through speech or body language. But it seems that touch is a much more nuanced, sophisticated, and precise way to communicate emotions to loved ones. We feel more connected to someone if they touch us. This immediacy is particularly noteworthy when it comes to bonding of children to their mothers
Scientists discovered that the fast growth of young brains comes at the expense of infant memories. In a new experiment, scientists manipulate the rate at which hippo- campus neurons grow in young and adult mice. The hippocampus is the region in the brain that records auto-biographical events. The young mice with slow neuron growth, has better long-term memory. Conversely, the older mice with increased rates of neuron formation had memory loss. These results were published. They thought that rapid neuron-growth during early childhood disrupts the brain circuity that stores old memories, making them inaccessible. Young children also have underdeveloped pre-frontal cortex, another region of the brain that encode memories. Infantile amnesia may be a combination of these two factors. As we grow, neurogenesis slows, and the hippocampus achieves a balance of memory formation and attention. At any rate children don’t need to remember all those crying, crawling and sleeping, babies did.
However, new reseashers realized that early Homo mothers cooperated with other females to help share the burden of raising increasingly dependent off-springs. As these early Homo species evolved, mothers birthed biger, more dependent babies that they couldn’t raise alone. Scientists developed an alternative hypothesis to explain how those females managed. They were suspicious of the idea of mother staying home with the kid while dad brought back food because no other monogamous mammal evolved such a parenting arrangement
Their – cooperative mothers-hypothesis suggests that parental care and nursing responsibilities are to be shared by a group. Alloparenting provides a highly adaptive strategy. However, their study contradicts the idea that pair bonding (think Adam and Eve) represensd the most primal social arrangement. Primarily men were hunters, provided the food while women mated only with males who were successful hunters. Researchers said cooperative-mother-network (along with more indirect help from males) propells evolution. Alloparenting also allows mothers extra time to gather food and hunt.
ACCIDENT MEANT TO BE
Mary was a happily married woman with four children. She never experienced any form of hardship. Because she was very ambitious, she took up two jobs; one pensionable, the other private- a set-up for the future. She did this for over 25 years before she had a terrible fateful accident; broken back-bone, but survived, while her three colleagues in the same car died out-rightly. She found it difficult to put it behind her, but she remained in the wheel-chair for long.
Mary was a socialite, good communicator, jovial, amiable to all her colleagues. She had a seasoned family doctor, so there wasn’t any reason for her to be sick but for the accident that incapacitated her for years. The family was affluent, possessed mostly all the things needed for happiness in life; not obese, non-alcoholic, not a smoker, she even advised her friends how to live well. She slept constantly at 9 p. m. everyday; her husband adored her; to cut long story short, she had no problem. To some people she was too care-free, looking for fun every-where, but worked seriously when at work because she believed she had to generate money for the future. She believed she had all the strength and could never fall sick. The accident which she and her friends had when coming back from a business conference in Abuja, was a very heavy blow on her. Miraculously, she survived, others died; but why didn’t she die?
The unforgettable incidence created a huge sense of purpose in her. If she didn’t make something positive out of it she would feel as if all of that suffering was for nothing. The experience led to an obsessive need to understand why they had the accident to start with; the roads were good, the driver well-experienced. She read every book she could find on; travelling, safety, accident, and some spiritual books. Many accident-survivors like Mary believed there was a reason, they were spared; otherwise, it was hard for them to make sense of why many people perished, leaving some to survive. Mary believed there was a simple supernatural purpose to fulfill.
Psychologists believed that this proactive attitude was critical in moving a trauma; many survivors successfully coped by obsessively busy and becoming workaholic. After the accident, ideas sprang up in her memory; Mary started writing children stories from the Holy Bible. The effect wiped out some of the terrible memories by distracting the brain with something entirely new. She wrote volumes and volumes; and complied four books within a year. But Mary couldn’t wear her shoes herself. She needed help for that but she continued with her medicaments for the debilitating back pain. She still maintained the fact that the accident came on for some purpose.
A few years later, she began to think about things differently. It made her examine how she’d been living her life and what she should do in future. Mary decided to continue the obsessive story-writing which she never did before the accident, as her contribution to life. She credited the work to the ability to manage her time well and ultimately help some people-one way or the other.
Scientists discovered that the genius within some people arises as a result of damage but varies from case to case. Several studies dating back to 1970s showed that damage or abnormal inactivity in the anterior temporal lobes of the left hemisphere, found in some diseases- is found in autistic patient with mathematic and memory loss- using single-photon-emission computed-tomography. In most cases, scientists attributed this enhanced brain activity to neuroplasticity, the organ’s ability to devote more cortical real estate to developing skills.
Scientists agreed that our brains maintain healthy body-weight by signalling when to eat and when to stop. Hormones regulate feeding circuits that control appetite and satiety. But fatty, sugary foods could motivate some people to over eat. The more they do the more they want ; a sensation common in drug-addiction. In normal eating; hormones signal start and stop. Appetite-stimulating hormones from the gut alerts feeding. The circuit is in the hypothalamus. They also stimulate reward centers such as the ventral tegmental area and the striatum, which increases the pleasure associated with eating. As the gut is filled and blood nutrient levels rises, appetite-suppressing hormones such as leptin and insulin are released in the hypothalamus. The rewarded centers suppress appetite and inhibit pleasure, making more food less appealing.
The eating of foods also sparks dopamine release by the striatum which motivates feeding-habit. It moves into the prefrontal cortext which influences decision making. In some people, the actions of endorphins, dopamine and other chemicals that regulated reward systems could over power hormonal signals and conscious effort to stop eating when full.
Mary experienced the care, touch, love and compassion of families when recuperating. She was grateful that in the dark days of her life, she walked through those doors of hers to the brightest future- she never dreamt of. She became an author; N.Y. BEST-SELLER when in actual fact, English was her worst subject at school. Her brain damage enhanced her brain activity, syndrome known as neuroplasticity- the ability to develop new skills. Mary was only 60, but had many prosperous years ahead; if she maintained good health guide-lines as advised. Above all she was kept alive because God had a purpose for her life.
AGING IS A GIFT
Debora exercised by walking long distances to greet families, till she passed away in 1977 at 100. Given her combination of longevity and brain-power grandmother had a lot to be proud of. She was the leader of the market-women; position she held for more than twenty years. Her job was somehow political; market-women came to her to settle quarrel or misunderstanding amongst them, more or less like Solomon in the Holy Bible, or a judge. People liked her; judgements always respected and accepted as gospel truth. Debora volunteered on a number of committees and boards in town. The king often-times sought her opinion before taking any conclusive action in any important matter. She was the chair- person of the residents- association in the community, where she settled regular trouble-shooting problems.
I used to think the bustle would cause her early death, but now, I know better. It was what kept her alive all along. Experts advised on a lot of great ways to stay sharp while the clock ticked away; reading, gardening, walking, bird and nature-watching. These activities could significantly raise the odds of enjoying our final decades; they might even be the most powerful antidotes to aging available. Her families boosted her well-being with their unconditional love. They supported her and backed her up. She grew her organic vegetables and had the routine of going to bed at 7 P.M.to wake up at 5 A.M. Her only meal was launch taken at 3 p.m. Apart from walking, she enjoyed bed-room activities; stretching – hands and legs, 5 minutes a day to exercise. To her ‘’ wisdom was the gift of aging, no young person could buy it; you had to thrive and be healthier than ever as a person.
Scientific researchers assumed that highly reactive molecules called free radicals caused aging by damaging cells and thus undermined the functioning of tissues and organs. Recent experiments showed that increases in certain free radicals in mice and worms correlated with long-life-span. In some circumstances free radicals, seemed to signal cellular-repair-networks. The findings suggested that anti-oxidants in the form of vitamins or other supplements could do more harm than good in otherwise healthy individuals. This is the potential down-side of anti-oxidants and challenges previous reports. It seems that in certain amounts in some situations, these highly-energy molecules might not be dangerous, but useful and healthy, igniting intrinsic defence mechanisms that kept bodies in top shape. If the oxidative damage is wrong, then aging is more complicated than researchers thought. They might ultimately need to revise their understanding of what health aging looks like on the molecular level. Scientists would probably be looking at other theories as well. Free radicals do explain why exercise is thought to be beneficial. For years researchers assumed exercise is good inspite of the fact that it produces free radicals. But In 2009, some scientists found that exercisers who did not pop vitamins were healthier than those who did.
If free radicals were not always bad, then the antidotes, the anti-oxidants, may not always be good. Scientists reported that antioxidant supplements did not reduce therisk of death. Certain ones were linked to increased risk of death in some cases up to 16 percent. It is now advised not to take antioxidant supplements except to treat a diagnosed vitamin E deficiency. Literatures provided growing evidences that these supplements- in particular at high doses- do not necessarily have the beneficial effects previously thought to have. Evidences suggest that aging is far more complex than imagined 60 years ago.
In other studies, scientists revealed the secret to long life. They said that intellectual stimulation helped sustain old people throughout their waning years. The aged people who read the dailies, keep-up to speed on politics or social discussion of various types; with a nimble mind retained fit-bodies. Research suggested that throwing full attention at the task itself, irrespective of perfection brings big mental dividend because the brain finds new neural pathways and stores up old ones. More precisely, neurologists said it strenthens executive function. Most of the scientists dedicated themselves to decoding executive function. The core set of cognitive skills helps to recall events; like where we put our keys and keeps track of appointments. Neuroscientists said the brain oversees ability to weed out distraction and focus on goal. Executive function is critical in other words for long life-learning. You can’t pick up a new skill or keep old ones without it. It is a key to a long rewarding, independent life. It is the last cognitive area to mature in childhood and the first to go as we age. A skill practised, provides greater benefits to executive function than a hobby; seniors who had been professional musicians showed more rapid mental processing than those who never unpacked musical instruments. In playing music they focused attention, isolated information that mattered and acted decisively with better benefits, better word recall, attention and self-control.
New findings showed- how doing what you love adds years to age. Not all intellectual functions preserve age, but as processing power declines the brain compensates in ways that actually enhances creativity; the breathing room in the brain. For older person simple life circumstances like making demands help liberate the mind. That kind of activity doesn’t come free. At some point you may simply tap out the energy reserves that otherwise go to making you creative. A psychologist who studied emotion and aging said that older people free up same horse power in the service of creativity.
Researchers discovered that myelination-the growth of fatty insulation on neuron keeps circuit running smoothly. It started early in babyhood, when the full suite of executive functions in the prefrontal cortex comes More recent studies conducted with post-mortem exams, pushed the myelination limit even further. In some parts of the brain, including the temporal-which was involved with processing visual memories, language, meaning and emotions- insulating fat layers are still laid down at age 50s and even 60s. The key is to remain mentally active. Just as you can’t build muscle mass without working the body, you can’t grow new myelin, at-least enough of it- without working your brain. When you use your brain a lot as opposed to setting around looking at the wall, you repair things centrally. Age could be murder on what’s known as fluid intelligence- This involves working memory, computing speed, the ability to hold multiple ideas in the mind at once. Like harder skills, Mathematicians tend to do their greatest work at 20s and 30s since the discipline requires just the kind of agile, fast-clicking brain, characteristics of those ages. It is the, same reason why kids acquire languages, master computers better than older people. They all take place in the left hemisphere. Other functions- like spatial reasoning plays- out in the right. Though processing power of old people declines, it is compensated in other ways. It can actually enhance creativity.
Studies with functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), showed that in the older brain, one hemisphere is not shy about calling on the other for help, if having trouble with a task. Neuroscientists said that any decline in function was partly compensated for by reorganization in function. The brain shows these changes into the 80s.
Surely for grannie at 100, the expected decline in the function of her brain was adequately compensated. Her living to that age with such vigor and vitality was surely her gift from God.No young person can buy it. Scientists believed that aging was more complex than people thought. Bottom-line is thrive to get healthy all the time; exercise, play music, watch nature-flowers, birds, and get engaged in useful activities. Above all trust in The Lord.
THE ESSENTIAL WORD
Paulina was the most extra-ordinary woman, I ever saw; pious, modest, obedient, quiet, honest, just name it. She was brought up by the old missionaries and she imbibed their life-style. The story in this passage was the testimony, she gave in one of the meetings, I had the opportunity to attend. According to her, it was a true account of two of her dreams that convinced her that she was not alone. The dreams looked alike, they both happened at night, only those in the Christendom can believe.
The first time, she saw a naked pitch-dark man, trying to fall on her in bed, she was very scared but as she shouted ‘’JESUS’’ the dark figure fled. The second time, she saw a mighty figure looking like dinosaur with bird-like face; beak, feathers, wings, long claws, about to fight with her, after shouting ‘’JESUS’’ it disappeared. Everyone in the audience believed that her faith in the Word delivered her but I was curious. I couldn’t take that for an answer. I started to watch Paulina to know what really made her qualified to be so protected. I listened to her as she prayed. Her prayer seemed to be divided into four parts;
Firstly, she recited God’s names; ELOHIM, EL SHADDAI, EL ELYON, ADONAI, YAHWEH-JEHOVA, YAHWEH SABAOTH, ALMIGHTY FATHER, OMNIPOTENT GOD, OMNIPRESENT GOD, OMNIPRESENT GOD, OMNI-SCIENT GOD, OUR CREATOR, TEACHER, and so on. Secondly, she thanked Him for what He had done in the past and yet to do in in future with the belief that all had been done.
Thirdly she enumerated the beneficiaries; self, husband, children, relatives, neighbors, friends, collegues, her country, and the whole world.
She felt so much at peace as she continued prayerfully for hours, unending. The fourth stage was the real praise-worship; singing all sorts of songs to praise The Lord. At-last she ended the prayer saying- In Jesus’ name we pray. No wonder that SPECIAL name came to her sub-conscious mind to defend her in those dark moments. Paulina would be given 100 percent score in the Bible school for the prayer she rendered so generously, even a lay-man like me was convinced that Paulina deserved to be called child of God, assuming the prayers came from her heart. When I asked Paulina why her prayer was so lengthy, she simply said she felt happy in the presence of The Lord.She was not protected due to her righteousness but through His grace. She prayed incessantly in her heart because she didn’t want to leave any vacuum in her heart for the devil to dwell. She quoted the Bible which said – All righteousness are filthy rags- She preached to me, to pray, say kind words to Him, and call Him names to complement Him.
Theologists explained that faith in Jesus our Lord is the key-word. People are seldom permitted to see or hear from God but He abided with us all the time; ready to fight our battle. Actually, since Jesus redeemed us on the cross, the problems were no longer our own. God’s reasons are not to be fathomed but the fact remains; no poor earthling can be so privileged without standing in awe of the One who created us. And if nothing else, you will have a feeling of security, from knowing that Jesus is our Savior; watching over us, all night, all day. At this point I was able to maintain some measure of courage. The dreams had toughened me. I have the assuring faith that Jesus is with me all the time, even in odd places when faced with any type of danger
Christians believe that knowing Jesus as your Lord, Father and Savior means that you need to get closer to Him in prayer. Pray unceasingly day and night because demons could come any time to steal and destroy.
Scientists said something about moral purity. Researchers found that revulsion activated the brains harm-avoidance center, invocated notions of cleanliness and moral purity as a primal mechanism for avoiding disease. In a small study, people exposed to the smell of butyric acid, the putrid-smelling essence of vomit, subsequently expressed dramatically more conservative attitudes about premarital sex, pornography and religion- including increased dis-belief in Biblical truth- than those who sniffed an odorless concoction. The topic of same-sex marriage proved especially repugnant to those who had been subjected to the stench.
Experts wrote in a book that ‘’ Christ’’, as World Teacher for this age, is already among us. This great teacher, whose personal name is- Jesus, is gradually emerging into full public recognition. And is the One expected by all major religions, although under different names. This group of enlightened spiritual teachers will inspire the most profound changes in history, ushering humanity into a new age of sharing and justice for all. Christ is the master of wisdom.
Psychologists said – to the brain, receiving a compliment is as much a social reward as being given money. Kind words can be powerful motivators- But only if you praise the right things. Praising someone’s ability to work hard is more effective than gushing about how brilliant he is. The ideal is to help someone think positively but realistically about achieving goals while praising their hard work. When praised for persistence, those who think the path ahead will be difficult, but find the need to invest more effort.
Experts and psychologists said to change someone’s – mood, mind+ or willingness and to win agreement without anger is to figure out what he wanted. And to go about getting it; never to debate the undebatable, instead focus on goals and control the mood with volume tone. Stories are to be watched for persuadable moments. And most important to gain agreement be agreeable – express similarities and share values. Show people that you have their best interests as well as your own at heart. This is ‘’social evidence’’
In conclusion, Jesus is ‘’the Essential Word’’ for all believers. As long as your heart is on Him, you can move mountains. Spiritualists said all ower had been given to Him to cast Satan and demons into everlasting fire, also at the mention of His name all knees should bow. Kind words, songs and praises to acknowledge His Supremacy inspired Him into action instantly. Be wise.
OKA VILLAGE INSIDE-OUT
Esther 40, was raised in the village, had lived her entire life there. She loved watching birds singing, fishes swimming undisturbed in the local pond, and goats roaming around aimlessly between huts.
She loved to eat freshly collected vegetables and fruits. No wonder she had indisputable immunity; she was never ill, never visited a doctor and she slept leisurely at night -8 p. m. most times. Nothing ever bothered her; at peace with everybody.
She woke up every morning to hear sweet bird songs-notes high and low; that promised her beauty in its splendor. God truly blessed the country-side people, not just with awesome scenery but with good folks, country kids, flowering red-buds adding a splash of pink to the fresh foliage on the tree.
Oka village was a local cultural, refused-to-develop area only 2 hours-journey on a motor-bike from the nearest town, Aiyede. The view had not changed that much from more than a century back. Adventurers- or promoters of culture, especially school and University students welcomed the scenery as something to be embraced rather than simply destroyed. Oka might have faded as a tourist destination if not for the late Kabiyesi, who adopted the town after marrying Mary, the grand-daughter of Adesewe, the Alafin of Owo; a rail-road magnate. The Alafin bought and restored the land-mark of Oka and donated the farm to the National Town Service, and even funded the burying of power lines in order to preserve its look. In the past, there was a series of openings and up-grading, most with a decidedly contemporary twist. Oka Holiday Inn covered with chic black and white wall-paper, had 12 rooms, adorned with fluorescent light. The show-stopping department stored with souvenirs and convenient stuff like toiletries, snacks had crimson lamps. Another Inn called River- Inn, debuted in December of that year belonged to Adams Charles who also grew up in the village but married into a- hotelier family, the owner of Durbar Hotel in South Africa. River Inn Hotel had 8 rooms, 2-storey buildings. Dinner in Oka Holiday Inn was a parade of artfully composed dishes; pounded-yam, goat meat, foo-foo and chicken-soup. At night travellers could walk around the cottage under three-quarter moon to fully enjoy the splendor of the scenery.
The major attraction that most people liked about the village, was their old deity; olofin shrine, a small mud-house situated in the middle of the village. The mud structure looked like the portrait ofan oracle; woman beaded from neck to the waist-line. The oracle had a mouth-like aperture which was made to open and close mechanically. The belief was that the oracle was to identify liars; mouth-open to signify True, close to signify False. The people in the neighboring towns believed in this witch-craft, and patronized it. One family in the villagewho controlled the shrine and mademoney out of it, would like to keep the shrine permanently there. One of the reasons why Oka village did not develop. N obody dared to break-down the mud house. Only- adventurers trooped there to see. The shrine had been left there as a sort of heritage to preserve.
Scientific researchers recently landed on a potential solution that used speakers to send out directional buzzing noise- a sonic shield- to keep feathered pests away from farm fields as well as tall buildings. Scientists believed that birds were vocalized to alert each other to food sources. Biologists hypothesized that interrupting the conversations could increase birds’ vigilance, leaving less time for loitering and dinning. The tests at the aviaries where food patches were subjected to eight hours of the so-called sonic net, saw a 46 percent drop in bird presence compared with control groups. So sonic- net proved to be a more – lasting, and safer deterrents to birds, than other tactics such as poisons.
Scientists discovered that Human Growth Hormone was long been thought to be necessary to stimulate the body to full adult size and therefore unnecessary past the age of 20. Recent studies overturned this notion completely. Instead, the natural decline of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is from age 21 to 61(the average age at which there is only a trace left in the body. And this is the main reason why the body aged and fail to regenerate itself after 25 years. Like a picked flower cut from the source, it gradually wilts physically and mentally.And body becomes vulnerable to a host of degenerative diseases; not susceptible to in early adult years.Many complexes like rise in blood glucose, diabetes, skin wrinkling and so on. Other aging symptoms can also be stopped or controlled by HGL
Oka village was a beautiful quiet environment; ideal place to live in, stress-free life. At 40, one would take Esther for 25, looking fresh and elegant. She had been adequately advised on how to keep pests away from the village. It is hoped that Esther would join hands with the enlightened people in the neighboring villages to resurface the area, move the shrine away or destroy it completely. This is a civilized world.
EMBRACE YOUR CALLING
A calling is a gift to be embraced with hope, faith and enthusiasm. If the ‘calling’ came from God as un-merited favour, it would work out well. Tina’s parents wanted her to be a medical doctor, but she hated to see anything dead or even see blood, and to be successful in that field, these excuses were imminent. She chose another angle of saving life, to be a herbalist, and this pleased her parents. She liked to make herbal medicines and prescribe them. She even specialized in setting bones the local way. Her greatest amazement was to see her only daughter, boasting of eating snacks in the mortuary- house where dead people are kept before burial. She realized vocation was an in-burn gift in a man; doctors battled with diseases to save lives, farmers provided food for living, engineers invented computers, aeroplanes and vehicles to make life enjoyable. With this collaborative effort, the world provided all facilities needed for progress. Tina took pride in her own choice which she called her ‘calling’. She did it so devotedly and conscientiously that everybody picked her as the best herbalist in town. Her specialization- the setting of bones gave her an edge over others- even those ahead of her.
Patients with broken bones, dislocations, arthritis approached her for treatment. Orthopedic specialists in some modern hospitals accepted her practise and occasionally sent people to her. Patients came to her from nearby countries, and she became very popular. Her approach was soon named after her- Tina’s style. She was successful, and could not have done any better profession than the one God chose for her-her calling. Universities often invited her to give the undergraduates lectures on her unique technology-Tina’s style. And because of this recognition, The University Student Union gave Tina an award on alternative medicine. Thus, her name entered the book of ‘stars’ in that field.
Scientists believed that thinking too- hard -work wears people out, is all in the mind. The brain is made up of about 1/50 of body weight; consumed about 1/5 of the oxygen breathed. People think that overtaxing the cerebrum leaves one feeling lethargic but this is not quite true, because the brain uses most of its energy just to maintain its baseline state. 1/10 of energy at rest goes to pumping sodium and potassium ions across brain-cell membrane. This simple process keeps each neuron charged and ready. Specific mental activity whether chatting with a friend or doing a cross-word doesn’t suck up much energy.
Scientific studies show that people slow down after performing and having mental tasks. One experiment splits subjects into two groups – Members of the firs group played mentally, those in the second group watched a documentary about cars. Then everyone took an endurance test. Result showed that people who were mentally exhausted gave up more quickly than those playing on toys, as if the heavy thinking had worn them out. The mental work-out didn’t seem to slow their bodies so much to skew the perception of how hard work related to physical energy.
Neuroscientists said adults generate new neurons daily. This subtracts anxiety from adult brain. They reported that the adult brain generated neurons daily and the cells help to distinguish one memory from another. In brief, this keeps memories from becoming jumbled, the brain encodes distinct features of events and situations in a way that allows them to be distinguished from one another- a process called pattern separation- which enables people to distinguish situations from similar ones. The process occurs in one of the two regions of the brain that generates neurons throughout life. These fledgling cells seem to be critical to pattern separation. They proposed that freshly – minted neurons in the brain participate in pattern separation- the ability to distinguish between similar experiences and the hypothesis explained how new neurons contribute to pattern separation, and why lack of them cause someone to confuse non-threatening situations. New neurons encode novel information better than older cells. Scientists believed that this effect throws into sharp relief the distinctive details of both new experience and recollection of similar experiences. Without new neurons confusion reigns, more cells fire in response to new inputs and to the memories evoked
Research on motivational synchronicity said that colleagues influence people in more ways than recognized. Work-place mimicry shapes thoughts, creative thinking and ultimately determine the quality of work. Choosing to spend the majority of waking hours with a particular set of people not only determines the tenor of daily experiences but defines the person eventually. Tina’s colleagues influenced her in many ways than she recognized. Motivation became contagious and unconsciously mimicking drove her around through beneficial result.
The baseline was that Tina chose her associates and profession wisely, and her brain encoded the distinct features of her calling. She understood- pattern separation which gave her an edge over the others in her chosen discipline. The new neurons generated in her brain fired in necessary response. Any vocation is as good as another, if opportunities are managed positively. Tina could not have chosen a better profession. She only embraced hers with hope, enthusiasm and worked conscientiously to make ‘name’ in the divinely chosen profession- her calling.
LIFE AFTER DEATH
‘’After life’’ had been a battle between science and religion. Investigations seemed to have illuminated the age- old concepts of the soul, and what happened after death- the question that- Does the mind continue to function when the brain does not? The true evidences below would probably throw some light.
Titi’s brother died at 11 p.m. Nigerian time on November 30, 2012. The news came to cousins in Canada promptly on the telephone, but kept secret from his only sister, Titi. Cousins waited for the church pastor to break the bad news to her; fortunately, it was on a Sunday. Meanwhile, Titi dreamt for the first time in her life and saw a close friend, Adesola a friend and the only school colleague from her town- presenting her with a gift-parcel, just before dawn that day. Titi was puzzled at the dream. She asked people for the interpretation, but nobody could help her. On the first day of December, after church-service two pastors came home to disclose to her that Daniel, her brother died, a day before and consoled her with prayers. Titi now understood her dream; that was the exact time her brother gave up the ghost in Lagos-his spirit came using Adesola’s face as a mask, not to frighten her. The pastors were amazed when she narrated her dream and they believed her interpretation.
A widow, Cecilia, saw the corpse of her husband, Jonathan buried. By the grave yard, she recited a love-poem to say farewell. A few months later, she dreamt and saw herself reciting the same poem while the late husband stood on his coffin, dancing. He wore his best suit. Cecilia was happy. She believed her late husband was happy wherever he was, because he had conquered death.
Some people experienced divine encounter, a visit from the Heavenly realm. When Olumide was very ill in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Edmonton, she saw her late mother who passed away 12 years ago, guarding her bed-side. She believed she was sent from Heaven to shelter her and be there for her in time of need.
Gladys saw a pillar of white fluorescence light standing-tall by her bed in the night. She was wide awake but meditating. Fear paralyzed her because she never saw anything like that before. She quickly turned her back and continued to recite her psalm. After some time, the white pillar disappeared, she had her peace and slept off. At day time, Gladys thought of the apparition; could it be day-dreaming? Nobody could believe her. Still puzzled, she remembered her husband passed away about one year that night. She wondered whether his spirit came to her in that white pillar of light, for she once learnt that loved ones never left completely. Though body buried, their spirits remained somewhere in the universe as a form of energy. That was it; she consoled herself.
Some Scientists believe that superstitions; whether magical or simple physical movements, have an innately reassuring effect. Psychologists’ general assumption is that driving force away from bodies helps to feel better about negative possibilities, and the common underlying mechanism is to tempt fate. Superstitions seem to reside in bodies as much as in enchanted objects and suspicious omens.
A 2012 paper found that students were less fazed by misfortune if they washed their hands- suggesting a sense that bad luck could be scrubbed away. Psychologists themselves believe that superstition fill the gap when there is nothing-else to do. These seemingly innate feelings help explain how quick and easy rituals serve the purpose.
However, the origins and nature of consciousness remain one of the biggest open questions in science. Some- say personal consciousness survive the body and exists as a force or energy in the universe at large. Some experts say- when you go; the body or the mind does not but is aware as never before that you exist beyond this world. That consciousness is divine. The question is- either we have spirit or soul that survives death or we all have similar brains that die in a similar way.
But Scientists wanted to know if consciousness is annihilated immediately after death or continued to exist. If so, for how long? Investigations confirmed that in the first few minutes after death, consciousness is not annihilated but whether it fades away afterwards, they do not know. But right after death consciousness is not lost. Some suggested paralytic process-lucid dream-a state of consciousness in which dreamers had enough awareness to control actions. During regular dream- REM sleep, the part of the brain commanding executive function-the dorsal prefrontal cortex turns off, removing conscious control. The dorsal prefrontal cortex switches back on, either spontaneously or simulated by an outside event. Then consciousness invades REM sleep, and enables lucid control of dreams.
Sleep paralysis in many ways, the inverse of lucid dreams is another blended state. The dorsal prefrontal cortex switches on and the person becomes alert while the paralyzing neuro-chemicals of dreams sleep. REM continues to permeate the body, making movement impossible. Most Scientists believe that consciousness transcends death. Next question is- could the mind continue to function when the brain does not? They believe that the mind is a separate undiscovered scientific entity not produced through the brain’s usual electrical or chemical process.
Dreams are said to comprise three phases- transition, light sleep and deep sleep. In transition stage experts say the brain drifts into sleep, images flick in the mind and the body. Sometimes they perk giving sleepers the impression of tripping or falling. Most muscle activities slow down, brain-activity decreases and the eyes barely move.
In light sleep stage, the eyes stop moving, body-temperature drops.Both heart rate and breathing are steady. Brain activity slows, exhibiting regular- electrical waves called – K-Complexes which turn out external noises. It also shows bursts of activity called sleep spindles which play a role in learning and incorporating new memories. In 2013, research showed that administering drugs to increase number of sleep spindles dramatically improved the verbal memory.
In deep sleep stage, the brain produces slowly oscillating electrical signals body relaxes, blood pressure drops and breathing slows. Waking during this stage often leads to grogginess. Deep sleep is the most physically restorative phase and also most important for retaining memories.
Last year, psychologists found that structural changes in the brain as it aged were associated with a decrease in both deep sleep and memory retention. Rapid Eye Movement sleep-stag is when most dreams occur. Nearly all muscles become paralyzed, the eyes move rapidly. Scientists recently showed that during this stage, neurons in the hippocampus of rats, replayed tasks learnt during the day, indicating that this sleep-stage reinforced learned behavior. But despite years of research dreams remain a mystery. Popular hypotheses said – sleeping- brain builds stories to make sense of daily life, secondly, dreams regulate emotions and incorporate them into long term memory.Thirdly violent dreams prepare our ancestors for real life danger. But these explanations are piece-meal. Scientists’ goal is one theory that elegantly accounts for everything seen in dream-life.
Based on true evidences, it appears pertinent to believe those scientists who agree that personal consciousness survive the body and exists as a force or energy in the universe at large, and that soul and spirit survive death as it appears in- The Holy Bible that ‘’the spirit of man goes upward’’.
Technology is the application of practical or mechanical sciences to Industry or commerce. This section attempted to portray the inventions and new discoveries of our modern scientists, who also gave indispensable advice on how to improve life at large. Amongst the topics discussed are; Biosensors, grocery woman, novel materials, electrical cars, flying animals, mind games, biological makers, and current fun in education.
Sandra was a medical staff with the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 1955. In those days staff-members went on posting routinely to work in various hospitals in the Country; at-least for experience. Sandra’s mother, Monica, couldn’t hold her tears when it came to her daughter’s turn to go to I.D.H. – Infectious Diseases Hospital. Sandra was scheduled to be the ward-nurse for six months (January- June 1956). Monica dreaded I.D.H. The name alone was frightening, and Sandra herself didn’t like to work there. As a nurse; she had to attend to the in-mate patients; clean for them, give them food and medicine.
Normally the hospital was completely cut away; visitors not allowed not even relatives, to avoid spreading the diseases; small pox, measles, tuberculosis, influenza, and more. These were deadly diseases. Most patients died and some could stay for months. Sandra, however, had no choice if she had to retain her job. She took her time; wore face-masks and hand-gloves 24 hours in a day. She refused to eat, nor drink, even water in the ward. Before the expiration of her tenure, she was stressed up and she lost more than 10 IB in weight.
Today contagious illnesses kill more rarely in Nigeria. Improvements in sanitation, nutrition, vaccines and the introduction of antibiotics have virtually eliminated premature deaths from such afflictions. But current methods for diagnosing infectious diseases are based in culture technique that dated back more than 150 years to Louis Pasteur.
Modern technology has made our world smaller and our lives easier, perhaps it has also diminished life’s mysteries. New devices can quickly identify virtually any bacterium, virus or fungus. By installing them in a net-work of hospitals, health authorities are able to spot disease out-break earlier than ever before. Machines that can quickly identify virtually any bacterium, virus or fungus are being developed for hospitals. Net-working the devices could allow health authorities to save lives by spoting disease out-breaks earlier than ever before.
Scientists discovered biosensors which can identify the viral, bacterial or fungal origin of disease or infection within a few hours of testing a sample from a patient. Individuals receive the right treatment sooner. And doctors are more likely to prescribe antibiotics only when truly necessary. If as few as 200 of these biosensors were collected together, emerging epidemics or bio-terrorism attacks would be detected. Greatest obstacles that create such net-work are mostly political and regulatory challenges- not technical ones.
These new molecular biosensors would allow physicians to quickly determine whether a patient is suffering from a bacterial or other kind of infection. A key time-saving feature of these devices is that they look for almost all pathogens at once, instead of testing for individual microorganisms, or one at a time. These rapid diagnostic machines are to become commercially available in hospitals and clinics in the next few years.
A society approach to infectious disease diagnosis will be more effective and substantially less expensive than the current approach to public health and medical counter measures for the detection of pandemic – agents and bio-threats. This concept has great potential to improve patient care.
Doctors warn that germs aren’t the only things to worry about catching diseases. Emotions are also infectious, according to research on social contagions. Moods and behaviors spread from person to person. We like to think we’re in control of our well-being but research showed that traits and choices of our friends have a powerful effect on ours. Monica and Sandra were victims of considerable stress while in I.D.H. Social scientists gave some unexpected infections and advised on how to get inoculated. They said the brain is hard-wired to detect stress in other people, such as increases in breathing rate which trigger a cascade of stress hormone. Such stress is simply transmittable via e-mail, texts and social media. The remedy is to take breaks and get enough sleep.
In future, it is hoped that Infectious Disease Hospital – I.D.H. would be completely scrapped in Nigeria.New devices can quickly identify any bacterium, virus or fungus. Hospitals and health authorities are now able to spot disease out-breaks earlier than ever before. Modern technology has made our world smaller and our lives easier, and perhaps has also diminished life’s mysteries.
Abigail’s parents, daddy Solomon and mummy Rebecca were peasant farmers. Daddy Solomon did full-time farming; weeding, planting, wetting plants, and harvesting ripe ones. They dealt mainly on fruits and vegetables; about five mango trees, cashew-nut plants, paw-paw, spinach, tomatoes and more. Affluent people in town called them poor but by their own humble standard, the whole family felt self-sufficient and contented with their status.
They lived in a small house in a suburb area of Ajegunle. The house was adjacent to the farm and in the front was the grocery-shop, not far away from St. Anthony Primary School. Their generosity was noted in the neighbor-hood. Rebecca left a drum, as a reservoir, to contain ripe mangoes, bananas, cherry-nuts, for interested passers-by, permanently in-front of the shop. The fruits were frequently carried away by the pupils coming from St. Anthony Primary School. Most of them knew about Abigail’s generosity and took an advantage of it, as school-break snacks. The head master and other teachers knew about this, and sent an appreciation letter to Rebecca.Abigail who happened to be a pupil of that school was loved and respected by all.
Her generosity was broad-casted in the market place. The mothers of the pupils in St. Anthony School heard about Rebecca’s amazing generosity. It was also in her habit to take fresh fruits and vegetables to some popular women in the market; some of whom paid her back with foods like; bags of Uncle Ben’s rice, frozen fish, gallons of ground-nut oil and more. It looked like a sort of trade-by-batter. At-times she came home with shoes, hand-bags, clothes, spent less money and had more returns in market places than most people.
Her church community knew about her generosity. She and her husband always paid their church dues on record time, in most cases ahead of others, they were the first to pay towards voluntary donations. The church council recognized Solomon and Rebecca as special people to emulate by all and sundry. Eventually Daddy Solomon was ordained as a knight, and Rebecca was made the leader of the Evangelical group. Thus, both husband and wife became popular, honourable, and respected in their town.
Technology is the application of practical or mechanical sciences to Industry or commerce. Rebecca and Solomon benefitted from the advice given to them by modern scientists. They advised supermarket women on modern techniques. They learnt how to produce crops that taste better, larger and prodigious enough to meet the demands of Industrial and agriculture. They noted that new fruits in the market often lacked flavor and nutrition compared with older varieties. This new technique called genetic engineering, or marker-assisted breeding combine traditional plant breeding with ever speedier-DNA analysis and Rebecca adopted the special technique.
They were also advised on howto use microbes for food preservation. Microbes in and around food crops act as sentinels of food safety. It furnishes an environmentally sound alternative to massive inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. Researchers sprayed anti-salmonella soil bacteria on tomato seedlings to prevent annual out-breaks of food poisoning on raw tomatoes. They also apply fungi 0n cassava plants The project helps the roots acquire phosphate without the need for expensive fertilizers. This was a boom to peasant farmers like Solomon and Rebecca.
Scientists advised them on the pros and cons in the eating of soluble and insoluble fibers. People with diarrhea should watch out for fibers like whole wheat, wheat and corn bran, leafy vegetables, broccoli and tomatoes because insoluble fibers trigger bowel movements but to eat more soluble fiber instead.
Those easily constipated are to watch out for soluble fibers. They slow down digestion (the opposite of insoluble fibers). However, people prone to constipation often do well with a mix of both insoluble and soluble fibers.
Those having gas and bloating are to watch out for fructan and gos fiber. These groups of fiber acted like fast food for the bacteria in large intestine. Bacteria break them down quickly, leading to uncomfortable gas and bloating, with high-fructan foods like garlic, onion, watermelon and cashew. High-gos (galacto-oligosaccharides) foods, though not inherently unhealthy, some people’s GI tract could be sensitive to them.
Science enriched the minds of Solomon and Rebecca with various indispensable opportunities and technologies. Majority of scientific research supported the health effects of fibers as whole food sources. Fibers offered all the same benefits as that from vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains
Thus, daddy Solomon and mummy Rebecca became civilized and knowledgeable at-least in their profession without leaving their suburb environment. They picked up books to read about new scientific discoverings and thus became volunteer-teachers and even created a teaching annexe to teach other peasant farmers.Their grocery-shop was known all over the town. And Abigail, their daughter, kept the rich heritage alive till today.
THE FUN AND BEAUTY IN EDUCATION
Margaret was a student in the 1940s. Then all students were hand-writers. Learning technique was selective since they wrote significantly fewer words than today’s students who typed. They processed and selected more important information efficiently, mindfully and they excelled in the pursuit. Actually the hand has a unique relationship with the brain when it comes to compromising thoughts and ideas. Even hundreds of years ago, long before Margaret was born, the lucky educated humans saw beauty and fun in the sciences; Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, physics and other courses in nature. All the way people discovered the amazing utilities; medicine, engineering, finance, agriculture, games and a host of others. They became experts in the chosen fields and knew how every-thing in life was magically connected- the beautiful edifice of existence.
In traditional class-room, students completed a lesson, moved to the next regardless of whether they mastered it or not. Each student worked from individual aptitude- some learnt fast, some very slow. Teachers expected them to work on their own to catch up with others. Some teachers organised private coaching for weak students. Common tests and examinations compared student performances. The score in the exam compared student intelligence and helped them to enter the University.
Today, scientists said students in the maker age have more options to build, exploreand engage than ever before. They can access thousands of courses without leaving home or do experiments at the edge of space. Science technology; engineering and math education become no more boring and difficult. The training takes place beyond the class-room walls. They see and learn on computers. This innovative program teaches kids by un-leasing them on real-world challenges. And in the process, they become re-imagined educated
Kids forget paper and pencil, but are equipped with fun tools to un-leash their inner scientist or engineer. Classes with online videos and discussion build a prototype website. They can compete with inter-active real- world lab. Any-one with Internet-connection can take these courses. Education is now available to every body; rich or poor.
E- Readers and tablets become popular as technology improved. But reading on paper still has its advantages. Studies in the past decades indicated that people understood and remembered text on paper better than on a screen. Paper’s greatest strength is its simplicity. Brain perceives text in its entiretyas a kind of physical landscape and constructs a mental representation.
Paper and ink reflect ambient light but computers emit light, which tire eyes and tax concentration. In a 2003 survey, 80 percent of 687 students preferred to read text on paper rather than on a screen to
understand with clarity. Books and magazines are old fashioned, but they have one big advantage over text that appears in digital media; the mind can more easily grasp the concepts they convey.
Experts in digital learning told us that computerized-learning experience constantly assesses a student’s thinking habits. The technology seemingly takes teachers out of the lecturing business but computers can never replace teachers. Teachers enable students to be continually assessed. After-all humans learn better by playing. The future of education is not all digital, but it is very important for kids to get to do the real things; to work with objects that could be touched and felt. Students particularly those isolated by distance could connect with experts who might be thousands of miles away. The vital human connection between educator and learner is always the crucial spark in education. Digital technology however enhances the spark by helping teachers to use their time and talents more effectively and personalize learning experience to the needs and interests of individual students.
The scheme helps make learning happen actively, rather than passively. It creats many benefits akin to tutoring and helps to create motivation. Generally learning becoes enhanced when students work to construct their own explanations, rather than passively listening to teachers. In this way the properly designed automated intelligent tutoring system can foster learning.
Experts told us that online learning is a tool, just as the textbook is a tool. The way teachers and students use the tool is what really counts in the global experiment. This made us believe that education is a kind of magic power that opens any door in the world. Those accepted for online courses take classes from leading Universities for free with support and mentoring from American-teaching-fellows. The scheme created a course centered on the students doing things and getting frequent feed-backs.
Experts said that for years, humans relied on one another to recall things or events forgotten. Now we rely on the cloud- and it is changing how we perceive and remember the world around us. The Internet shows that human mind is no longer a power house. We off-load memories to ‘’ the cloud ‘’ just as readily as we would to a family, friend or love. All information today is readily available through a quick internet search. These days, when people are faced with requests for information, or answer to a question, their first impulse is to think of the internet. The internet stores, retrieves information in response to questions and even interacts with us in surprising human ways. The information retrieved from the internet now arrives sometimes more quickly than what we pull out of our own memories.
Some science students created a funny game. They tried to make a cloud inside the lab. They injected aerosol to learn precisely how clouds form, used aerosol-forming compounds and water vapour, black lights and a 200-kilowatt argon arc-lamp to simulate and mimic the sun.These factors are temperature, pressure, humidity, heat and various conditions. More than 30 instruments helped measure the aerosol-chemical and physical characteristics as they attract water to form cloud droplets. Because aerosols were the greatest source of uncertainty in climate models, the findings re-defined their understanding of climate change. They used the lab to study air-quality generating data to set emission standards.
Amazingly, even some scientists investigated Alien life without leaving earth. They collected a sample of the sulphur scented water across a rock at the edge of the stream. The park temperature exceeded 240 degrees Fahrenheit, too hot for most creatures, but potentially habitable to the types of microbes that populated earth 3.5 billion years ago. Understanding those conditions helped the scientists interpret signs of life on other planets, particularly Mars.
Two scientists explored a strange mechanism to explain how DNA mutates. This idea gives an insigt into the origins of genetic mutations and to biological kingdom- to find out how quantum effects stimulate biological processes.
A scholar of mathematics said, one can develop a fairly good understanding of the power and elegance of calculus without actually being able to use it to solve scientific or engineering problems, and described it to the work of art without acquiring the ability to paint or enjoy a symphony without being able to read music. Sadly, few avenues exist in our society to expose us to mathematical beauty alone.
In conclusion, the fun in education particularly the sciences is that most of the inherent professions are based on nothing more than fooling around numbers, lab and other exbperiences; like the students who attempted to make-’’earth in the lab’’, and those who investigated-’’Alien Life’’ without leaving the earth. Research is full of crazy and funny things, unimaginable decades ago. For future prosperity students have to get it right. Their preparedness will decide future economic strength. With the digital technology, teachers can connect with one another virtually not just to share strategies for effective teaching but through other online collaboration.
The internet has become part of human cognitive tool-set. The information age seems to have created a generation of people who feel they know than ever before; though a Grade 10 would rather look for the answer to 5×5 in the internet. Children no longer reason with their brain. However, the new inventions are a blessing to mankind in many positive ways; children become more creative.
Science education empowers scientists to desperately look for the truth about nature. Nothing is too small or too big to investigate. The fun and the beauty make scientists very happy.
MAGDALENE’S BRIGHT BOYS
As a grand-mom, Magdalene was connected to something greater than expected. On Sundays, she used to go to church in the mornings, attended soccer games with her grand-children in the evenings. Ordinary days, she attended to domestic obligations like laundry, shopping, cleaning but moments of grace hit her in an unexpected ways and profoundly ordinary ways.
One day the grandsons; Ayo and Tunde walked with her to the school bus-stop. Ayo started to practice mindfulness; pointing out foliage and wildlife. Their family lived in downtown, so the route was lined by apartment buildings and homes with small front yards with purple trees and spiky orange flowers.
Ayo, 10-year-old named one of the squirrels encountered ‘’ Joy ‘’. He was thoroughly convinced that he could identify ‘’ Joy ‘’ by a certain wink the little guy gave him. Walking the kids to the bus-stop taught Magdalene to pay attention to everyday delight; singing birds, beautiful flowers, sky turning orange in the evening. At night the boys invariably talked of the stars, life on other planets, all alien things –seen in the television. Tunde went a step further by working on a communication device that involved mirrors, flash-lights, double-sided tapes. He hoped to be an astronaut- he liked to travel to the Mars.
The two bright boys gave Magdalene another view as they discussed extraterrestrial existence- their pre-occupation with life on other planets. She started to believe the world beyond the intelligence of common people, believing that we are all connected in one spiritual journey despite the complication in the world, it is hard to be cynical on grace-filled days. She watched the boys grow and encouraged them to be exactly who they wanted to be.
Every-day, the boys collected information from books, television and friends. They kept abreast of the latest discovering. Ayo told a story that one day a friend who lived without electricity couldn’t get enough day-light time to study. A scientist invented a flash-light powered by human heat. The 16-year-old boy perfected the prototype and made the future brighter for all.
The two boys believed children have a good chance of succeeding in a subject perceived as playful and stimulating. Perhaps the most essential message to get across is that with good education, boys can reach not just for the sky or the stars or the edge of the universe but for timeless constellations of ideas that lie beyond. All children need a chance to practice them simply to grow. Scientists said; children should be allowed to have things, they desired. Parents shouldn’t let them feel weird and grow up stupid. Kids use smart phones to occupy their time and play games. The joy of being human is allowing our minds to wander. With cell-phones, kids are always preoccupied. Some people believe that smart-phones are the devils play things- that social media contaminate the children, erode their social skills and produced a generation of ner-sociopaths. Recent research doesn’t support the claim. The survey did find that having face-to-face communication makes kids feel more normal and socially successful
What children do with their plentiful playmates, their copious free time, their over-sight, are what right-minded kids have always done with freedom and opportunity. They play crazy-boys, Monopoly game, Robin Hood, Bat-man and watching fighters in the television is their chief joy. The sky is no longer the limit.
Scientists said mind-games and video-games transform education and have great potential to help confront the challenges of the 21st century. New research showed that video games have great educational potential. They exercise higher-order skills like reasoning, problem solving, collaboration and many others. At about the same time, an inspiration struck a scientist when his wife brought home a small hand-cranked music box, which pulled a ribbon with holes in it through two sets of pins. When pins encountered each other through the holes, one pin plucked another and produced a music tone. He predicted he could program such a system to instill pump fluids, control valves and generate liquid droplets. Working with a graduate student, the scientists paired a silicon chip with a small hand-cranked device and some punch-card paper to dictate when valves released the different fluids. This was the birth of VIOLA instrument and a $50,000 prize winner.
Psychologists said pushy parents could harm kids’ social skills. Thoughkids need rules, how parents make demands can powerfully influence a child’s social skills. For example – children at 13 who had strongly controlling parents floundered in friendly disagreements at 18. They had difficulty asserting their opinions in a confident, reasoned manner in comparison to the kids without controlling parents. And when they did speak up, they often failed to express themselves in warm and productive ways.
Research reported that manipulative parents undermine their child’s ability to learn how to argue his or her own view point in other relationship. Although parents need to set boundaries, domineering tactics damage the bond itself. Separate findings suggested that parents who explain the reasons behind their rules and turn disagreements into conversation leave youngsters better prepared for future dispute. The consequences of tense or domineering relationships appear to compound with time. Their study also found that social difficulties cause even poorer communication abilities even at 18.
Some research boys explained how to make rain. Clouds produced rain when tiny droplets of super-cooled water collide with dust particles of precisely the right size, forming ice-pellets that fall toward the ground and melt along the way. But the most widely practiced rain-making method involved injecting clouds with particles of silver iodide, ‘’ seeds ‘’ around which ice particles could form. They thought of this as a long-term solution to a recurring problem but the bottom line is that they couldn’t make it rain if there are no clouds or if it is not the right clouds.They couldn’t make something out of nothing. What they could only do is to enhance rain.
In conclusion Magdalene’s bright boys; Ayo and Tunde grew up to become what they desired in life. They contributed towards making her believe that humans are just a piece of something larger. She thought of the world beyond; got connected spiritually and physically with all the beautiful things surrounding her in nature; green leaves, rosy flowers, birds, the clouds and more importantly human safety and happiness. She concluded that feeling connected is the heart of human journey, and the love bond of her grandsons.
PHILLIPS’ CHOICE CAR
The best car Phillips ever used as a bachelor was a spot-car. The red car had black tarpaulin removable head-cover, four wheels, one steering, brake, tank and so on –as seen in all other cars. It used gasoline to fire and water to cool the carburetor.
As a married man with a wife and four daughters, he desired a much bigger car X which appeared impossible at-least for now. Bigger car controlled with automatic knobs for high-tech performance, safety, convenient features. The drive guard tires engineered to take a puncture and drive up to 100 miles. The commander knob to let him manage both the navigation and the entertainment system while minimizing eyes-of-the-road time. The- four mileage cylinder engines are to supply brisk power, braking energy to boost this model to class-best highway mileage and to contain adaptive cruise control, the Real seats to fold individually to accommodate kids and bulky gear as well with a back- up camera. Parents appreciate a trunk that swallows at-least two suit cases, Cutting-edge safety technology includes lane departure and forward collision warning systems. Lane watch brings peace of mind, flick the right-side road way beams onto the touch screen to show cars, pedestrians or cyclists who not otherwise seen. Radio and Television are a source of joy. Children listen to music and beautiful shows in the car- instead of just sitting there in blessed silence, staring out across the open road and contemplating on flimsy things.
On top of all car X is expected to contain sensors-better than GPS- a design called Mem-computer which could process information similar to the neurons in human brain. Up till now, car X hasn’t been assembled. Scientists might wish to combine the previously un-combinable; to create circuits that juggle numbers and store memories at the same time. The new deviseis expected to replace standard computer circuit elements with new components called memristors, memcapacitors and meminductors. These components exist in experimental form as at today. The new type of machine called memcomputer-a design close to the way the human brain works holds memories and process information in
the neurons. These new memcomputing machines are expected to be much swifter and smaller and use much less electricity than the current GPS. Complete memcomputers have not yet been built but their experiments with components raised the hope that they could have a huge impact on computer design and global sustainability. Over-ambitious – Phillips was very eager to be the pioneer-user of this car.
Few gas-powered cars surpassed 400 miles per hour. Phillips also had his eyes on electric cars. An industrious group of scientific students tried to break the barrier in an electric vehicle. They built the first electric vehicle. The challenges were to generate enough power from electricity to keep the car fast and stable, and to make sure the tires didn’t blow apart- an attempt to break the 400- mph barrier. This devise was cleaner and easier to use than cars burning gasoline. The answer was- batteries. In the 21st century electric cars would be the priority If the battery-scientist could design efficient battery to carry the necessary load. This would result in a new global industry and Phillips would probably have another choice
It is believed that the human capacity for innovation emerged over hundreds of thousands of years, driven by both biological and social factors. Researchers pointed to the period 4000 years ago that over the past decade scientists uncovered far older evidence of art and advanced technology They suggested that the human capacity to cook up new ideas evolved much earlier than previously thought- even before the emergence of H. Sapiens 2000,000 years, and Social factors including an increase in population size, seemed likely to have amplified our ancestors’ powers of innovation. They improved the odds that someone would come up with a break-through technology and by fostering connectedness between groups allowed them to exchange ideas.
In conclusion, new concepts, new blue prints and designs move across the sprawling social net-works of the world and never before was the pace of innovation accelerated so dramatically, filling our lives with new fashions, new electronics, new cars, new music and architecture. The human chain of invention remains unbroken and our singular talent to create raced on ahead of us. Phillips’ choice car X might be in the market very soon because of human connectedness. This is a challenge for our creative minds.
TERESA’S NOBLE IDEAS
Teresa was the head-mistress of St. Barnabas’ school. Clement, a 12- year-old boy in the school wanted a suit for Christmas. His mom dashed to a store near their home to find a suit and realized the stuff was expensive; His mom grabbed a too-short suit from the sale rack. The boy received it reluctantly because his play-mates had better ones. Teresa felt sad at Clements frustration because she hated seeing children denied anything for Christmas; she particularly liked Clement because of his smartness. And because she’d always been known for practical solutions to tough problems, she volunteered to fix a shop that funneled second-hand clothes in the village. She collected donated clothes; suits, dresses, shoes, bags, plastics and ornaments from missionaries, churches, companies and other volunteers. Two weeks before Christmas, she received plenty of wares, cleaned them, sorted them out and arranged in a temporary shed in her backyard. The handsome sales began and Margaret, her sister was the manager. They had a bounty sale at very-low and very much- affordable prices. Amazingly the parents of her students in Barnabas’ school patronized them. There is something empowering about knowing you’re presenting the best version of yourself. Teresa felt on top of the world.
When it was all over, Margaret hauled away the extra clothes and other wares and packed them neatly in plastic boxes with self-sealable lids. Teresa was happy that her dream came-through, children happy, their faces lit up with joy in their complete out-fit. They had a wonderful Christmas celebration like their friends in the city. Now Teresa and her sister moved a step further. An idea came to them to create a permanent second-hand –stuff company, to help the needy children in their community. Margaret took over the major responsibility as the manager. The wares were cleaned, sorted out into categories; clothes, ornaments, plastics and so on. Margaret contacted Recycling companies in the city, and reached an agreement for partnership. Afte the Christmas sales, the garbage was converted into polymers used for new products. By and by Teresa and Margaret incorporated a giant company from the small voluntarily donated second-hand stuff.
Terasa realized that drinking water was getting scarce and expensive for community world- wide. Scientists suggested new multi-step purification processes that helped solve the problem by converting waste water into clean tap water, and helped her to develop a state-of-that-art purification system. If regulators allowed treated sewage water directly into the tap, the operation could set the standard for many cities and countries. The biggest hurdle would be persuading the public to overcome the reluctance to drink treated waste water even if it proved better than the present drinking water. She discovered that our future depended on integrated and sustainable new system for providing food, water and energy by reducing wasted food, conserving energy and water; water to grow crops from wasted water and converting brackish water into fresh water.
Experts noted that answering challenges makes people feel good. And feeling good gives longer life-span greater happiness, better pain management and lower blood pressure – They referred to a boy who whenever he had a bad grade or felt. Left-out or on a rough day, was told to go out and do elsewhere? At that point he went out, across the road to help someone else and returned home feeling better. Experts saw science in the mom’s wisdom. Practicing philanthropy is one of the surest steps taken toward a happy, healthy life. Teresa reviewed 2013 studies on volunteering and philanthropy. 40studies suggested that volunteering added years to life. A separate study found that seniors who gave 100 hours or more annually were 28 percent less likely to die from any cause than less philanthropic counterparts. The important thing is to do it regularly. A new study found that high school students saw a drop in their cholesterol levels after volunteering with young kids once a week for two weeks. They found hat in volunteering the reward center of the brain pumped out the mood elevating neuro-transmitter dopamine, creating what reseachers called-helper’s high.
In-fact one study found that people who completed five small acts of kindness- helping a friend, visiting a relative or writing a thank-you noteone day a week for six weeks experienced a significant boost in overall feelings of well-being because the research considered a threshold of giving to have an impact. The report was that each has a cumulative effect- the more you did nice things, the more people responded positively towards you, and the better you felt. This madeTerasa felt fulfilled with her calling.
A study on Pain Management reported that when chronic pain sufferers helped other sufferers with the same ailment, they felt less discomfort. On a scale of 0 to 10, people’s average pain-ratings dropped from nearly 6 to below 4 after volunteering. People living with chronic pain often feel helpless about their condition but recognizing the positive effect they have on others in the same situation gives them a sense of purpose. In turn it gives them more confidence to find ways of managing their own discomfort. This kind of feelings works with other conditions, like volunteering lowering blood pressure. A 2013 study revealed that adults over the age of 50, who reported volunteering at-least 200 hours in the past year were 40 percent less likely than non-volunteers to develop hypertension four years later. This could be linked to the stress-reducing effects of being active
Teresa and Margaret concluded that it was profitable to regenerate wastes into useables. Reprocessed goods could also generate power for the nation, polymers for the Industries, and use-able out-fits for the needy ones. This made Teresa felt on top of the world as she succeeded to put light on the faces of the children, at the same time established a worthy Industry for the masses in her village.
SOJI, the BRICK-LAYER
Soji was one of the artisans working with the city-architect, Ademola. When the community decided on having a civil center, a committee consulted Arc. Ademola, to brief him on what they wanted; two-story buildings, 4 halls- each with a kitchen, two washrooms and two stores. Arc Ademola took orders, drew the plan, had it approved and submitted it to the committee. He did the costing; promised that the civil center would be ready in six months, if there was no delay in such things as money and availability of building materials. He trusted his artisan. Soji, the brick-layer had four assisstants in his company
I was an on-looker when they started the building on Easter Monday 1955. The materials used were; cement-blocks, cement-powder, gravels, sound, plank-wood and lots of water. The five workers worked unceasingly with only 30 minutes-launch-break daily, seven day a week for six months before the center was completely built. The cost of the building was incomparable with the stress of the workers.
Today scientists made life easier than ever before. One could actually build a house in less than one month if one followed goggle’s plant; get the plan in a day and the setting-up in few days. Material scientists introduced amazing step into the building Industry- programmable materials to build self-assembled houses. The following is an excerpt from programmable World; Novel materials, 3-D printers and a new way of thinking about design could yield objects capable of assembling themselves and changing shapes on command. Programmed objects such as the 3-D-printed polymer which folds into a wire-frame cube when submerged in water, change form or function when exposed to a trigger. This is the road to self-assembling houses and shape-shifting robots because it begins with something as simple as plumbing. Today when we want to build infrastructure for moving water around a city, we take rigid pipes with fixed capacities and then bury them. And the system works well enough- until we need to increase the flow of water to the area or until a pipe breaks. Then we have to dig the whole thing up and replace it. A nice alternative is flexible pipes that could change shape on demand. Advances in computer-aided designs (CAD) and material science are now making such pipes feasible and the new form of design yields a world of programmable matter-material objects capable of self-assembling, morphing into new shapes or changing properties on command.
Thus scientists are already building self-assembling machines that work as biochemical sensors and programmable matter that yields objects that save material, energy and labour. Think of a chair that turns itself into a table. Such systems would be particularly valuable in hostile environment to serve multiple purposes. In this case, those objects can change shapes or properties over time after they are printed.
Programmable matter sounded like magic to most of us. The future looked rosy and promising. Many people like Soji, the brick-layer cannot wait to see the beautiful day, when a storey-building will be built in a week and a chair turns itself into a table. The advantages of less stress, prompt assembling and new life-styles demonstrate quantifiable creativity and innovation. I cannot wait to see it happen.
HER FIRST TIME IN THE PLANE
Kemi 22, Dave 20 and Tom 3 went to London by air in 1985. Tom called the aeroplane flying animal. He was right from a child’s perspective; the plane looked like a bird with two wings and a tail and it flew around. Moreover, he saw the pilot in front directing it. Tom was excited as he walked inside it; he played with toys for some time before he fell asleep.
Kemi’s mind was not at peace all along; she was frightened, she could not even listen to the safety cautions announced by the air hostess. According to her she would not have gained anything from the announcement; she could neither dive nor swim. One hour after leaving the Air-port, she started to vomit. She gave the other passengers a lot of concern. The air hostess gave her 2 tablets to drink, feeling it was travelling sickness. Actually, she was 7 months pregnant; due to deliver in two months, but her doctor had told her that it was safe for her to travel. She committed her whole life absolutely to fate, for her the plane was a death-trap, she felt between heaven and earth. She prayed most of the time; she refused to eat, drink, read or sleep.
Her husband was worried and regretted ever embarking on the journey but Kemi’s sister- a citizen in Great Britain had invited them to attend her wedding ceremony in December, just one week ahead. Kemi saw her last as a baby and she was eager to represent the entire family of Badmus. It was a big relief for him when the plane reached Heathrow airport in London. Kemi took a deep breath as the feet touched the tarmac of the airport. Tom was hail and hearty; he started running around excitedly, never frightened or tired. Dave didn’t show any remorse but thankful to God for safe arrival. Unexpectedly Kemi fell into labor the following day and delivered a premature baby girl by 9 pm. The intended weeding took place four days after the delivery and it was double celebrations for them all but Kemi would never forget her first experience in the plane.
After decades of steady improvement, travelling by air became greener than cars. In the past decade dark horse plane emerged as the most energy-efficient mode of travel by aviation. Since the 1970s, the air industry cut its passenger per-mile consumption 75 percent and the electric plane, such as the air-bus E-Fan saved energy as it could – better efficiency than before and better aerodynamics. The more smoothly a plane sliced through the atmosphere, the less fuel it needed to get from city to city. Winglets-the little fins at the tips of the wings- broke up air flow and reduced drag on the plane. Boeing found that its winglets increased efficiency by 4 percent. Their key to an efficient engine was to maximize air compression for more thrust. Design improvements allowed air plane engines to squeeze air through more easily, and new materials enabled them to withstand the higher temperatures created by more efficient thrusters. The result was a lighter engine with more force out of less jet fuel. And the small cut in weight made a difference. Airlines boosted per-passenger efficiency with more passengers; reducing the number of flights and squeezing more seats onto planes, increased the number of people on each plane. The percentage of plane seats that airlines filled in 2013 was up-from 56 percent in 1970.Kemi and family were lucky to come on board at a time like this in 1985, when it was mainly a luxury to fly a plane
The new design modelled how pterosaurs flew. It combined the principles of physics and vertebrate anatomy with fossil data. The idea is to design new air craft and technology to places like NASA and to detect atoms and molecules of exoplanetary atmosphere and search for molecules that provide evidence of distant life studying what could piece together the molecular composition of the atmosphere.
For the first time, Kemi had ultrasound experience. She had a glimpse of her baby on an ultrasound machine-one of the most exciting moments of pregnancy. She was tested to make sure the baby was al-right. Until about a decade ago, a 2-D black and white ultrasound, blurry and alien-like, was the only peek most parents got of their little peanut. Now, 3-D ultrasound and even 4-D ultrasound was increasingly available at hospitals, ultrasound centers even the mall; Specialist saw your growing babe in the ultrasound-whether the pregnancy was progressing normally. Ultrasound is safe, non-invasive and no X-rays involved. The process lasted 15-30 minutes.
The baby born by Kemi in 1985 graduated later on to become a pilot. Kemi discussed her first flight with laughter. She praised the austranaught for her assistance. Kemi’s daughter cherished her wisdom and took her as life-mentor. Today Kemi had no cause to be afraid. The invention of ultrasound and the presence of abled professionals in the plane created fun and safety for all passengers. Moreover, it took less time, energy and other inconveniences than most cars. The wonderful experience, when plane cut through the cloud to the unending space above looks as if one is actually going to heave. Kemi advised first-timers to see this better by sitting close to the plane window. Good luck;
Adams visited the tallest building in New York. He took the elevator and looked through the floor to the ceiling of the 12th topmost floor. Stepping off the elevator directly into the penthouse, Adams couldn’t help but reflexively took off his shoes. In the stocking feet, he immediately experienced theluxuriousness of the pale-hued apartment whose fine, thin carpets acted as baffling plush landing pads. It was as though you had walked both on the clouds and among them.
Adams was struck by the city views, when he first toured the two-bedroom residence, located on the 12th floor. Inspired by moody skies and the rooftops of the surrounding buildings, he envisioned the interiors as an abstract panorama of grays. The windows had pleated curtains that resembled fluted columns when open, but also feel ephemeral like clouds passing through the sky. The occupants felt dazzled as they watched both sunrise and sunset. Christopher was sipping his coffee while reading Newspaper. A woman supposedly his wife was twirling her hair under illuminated lamplight, and a dog gazed out of the window at the busy street below. Adams took the pictures of the activities with the camera. However, the residents kept their shades drawn during the day. The pictures were taken as identifiable individuals and representations of human kind living in city-skyscraper in New York, the most sophisticated city in the world. Adams read about these occupants in the Newspaper.
He discovered later that the whole structure was built with woods mostly; 80 percent wood, 10 percent cement and 10 percent steel. Adams was struck with fear about the safety of life and the high cost of the building; fire casualty was rampant in his village. A building-scientist allayed his fears; telling him that the builders took care of any pending casualty because the ply-wood sheets were made inflammable and very rigid.
A scientist advised us on Interior Décor. He said a geometric carpet was great way to bring pattern to a room with solid upholstery. If you had a small space, trying combined lacquered walls and a carpet with two pile heights would make the room deeper and larger. They began every room with the rug. It was one of the first things selected because it was the soul of the space. They liked rugs for beach houses and heavy-traffic areas. Rugs came in many colors and could be bound for a polished look. Perennials made the most durable floor, coverings in really versatile patterns. The handsome striped rugs enriched the character of almost any room and were exceptionally chic on a sunporch or in a green house.
Scientists said steel and concrete may rule skylines today but a new building material is on the rise-w00d. In the journal excerpt we read that the world’s most advanced building material is wood, and it’s going to remake the skyline. Wood is both renewable and a carbon-sink. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels are cut to spec in a factory and assembled at the construction site. Scientists outlined the anatomy of a timber tower. Where as steel or concrete structures are skeletal, using columns to carry loads, CLT towers distribute weight over the entire solid vertical panel; steel or concrete L-brackets fix the horizontal and vertical CLT panels together; the horizontal spans between vertical CLT elements can be significantly longer than with steel or concrete beams; interior walls are usually fire-proofed by applying a layer of gypsium paneling on top of the mess timber panel; a two inch layer of concrete typically covers two two-inch layers of insulation. Elevators have double walls with insulation sand-witched between them for fire safety and sound-proofing. Mass timber is actually safer in a fire than steel and Adam felt elated. He thanked the man for the generous enlightenmentnt. He vowed to keep in touch with him always.
The process for producing cross-laminated timber makes it clear why scientists call it ‘’plywood on steroids’’. Its layered structure gives it immense strength in two directions; producing a light weight alternative to steel or concrete. Beams of wood usually spruce are set down side by side in layers, with each layer perpendicular to the one beneath it, creating a wood board up to a foot thick. A thin layer of glue is placed between each layer. The wood boards are placed in a massive press which squeezes them together. The edges of the boards are sanded down. If longer sections are needed, the edges are finger-boarded to create a serrated inter-locking end. They are then glued to the matching end of another panel to create sections up to 78 feet long. The boards are then cut to custom specification, ncorporating spaces for windows and utilities (END OF EXCERPT). Wood is the new building material in this data age, concrete is a 20th century material and steel is a 19th century material.
Adams never saw a skyscraper of more than 12 floors in his life. Experts hinted him of the possibility of 40-floor skyscraper, made by at-least 90 percent wood. According to them, wood is the concrete material for this century. Adams eagerly looked forward to the days but feared that occupants would need personal telescope to watch the mountain-tops and see friends walking on the busy streets of the cosmopolitan city.What an amazing life?
SHE RECOGNIZED ME
Mama Adeoye 120 was the oldest woman in town. She lived with my grandmother when I was a kid. She knew me, my mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Her contemporaries had died many years ago. She was on wheel-chair, when I saw her last 30 years ago, but soon restricted to her bed when her only grand-daughter, Adetoun died. In those days, two or more generations lived together in the same compound as family-members. Believe it or not, Mama Adeoye recognized voices, even of mere acquaintances, she did not see for many years. When I went to the family house in 1960, she called my name when I spoke near her room and asked questions about my parents. Apparently, she was not told they had died. She could not see, though the two eyes could open and close normally but her mind matched peoples’ names with their voices.
Experts said ‘’finger-prints don’t grow mustaches, and DNA can’t throw on a pair of sunglasses, but faces can sprout hair and sag with time’’. Scientists developed a soft-ware for law enforcement which could transform a poor 2-D photo into a 3-D model. This model passed through matching algorithms to enable suspect, looking away from the camera to be recognized by tilting and rotating the head.
A few years ago, matching a subject to a five-year-old photo meant a 25 percent drop in accuracy. Today, the loss is as low as 1 percent per year.
Today when a shopper entered some stores in New York, a face-detection system analyzed 10 to 20 frames per second to build a profile of the potential customer. The algorithms determined a shopper’s gender and age range as well as behavioral and emotional cues. It tracked glances and the amount of time spent standing in one place. However, face detection shouldn’t be confused with facial recognition. The images are destroyed within a fraction of a second, said the expert who developed the software. Most businesses aren’t interested in collecting faces, just the demographic info etched into it. Experts said the five biggest challenges to facial recognition are age, pose, illumination, expression and resolution
Scientists said the practice of identifying individuals with biological markers dated back more than a century to the first use of finger-prints as evidence. As computers grew, more powerful matching algorithms and the field of biometrics expanded to include everything from swabs of DNA to patterns of speech.
Scientists said ‘’If you don’t start learning 2nd language during your youth, you’ll be doomed to second-rate pronunciation. They compared the English skills of immigrants who arrived in the U.S. at different ages; the ones who showed up earlier in their lives seemed to have a clear advantage even if they’d spent the same amount of time immersed in English overall. As a rule, they were much better at pronunciation than the older peers. Child’s brain had special qualities that made it more adaptable or nimble. Other reasons are because children have an easier time with second language because their minds are not as cluttered with a first one. The more trained we are to native vowel sounds, the more automatic those sounds become and the harder it is to pronounce strange new ones.
Scientists developed thinking cap that boosts brain-power to test the notion that a mild current applied to the media frontal cortex-a brain region that governs adaptive behavior- speed up learning. It sounded a bit like snake oil, but electrical-chemical signals. Study volunteers who wore the cap for 20 minutes beforehand learned to match colours on a screen with controller buttons faster and more accurately than those wearing a placebo cap.
Experts said scalp, facial and body massage enhances circulation to give cells the oxygen and nutrients needed to regenerate and shine. It lowered blood pressure and stress hormones. Scientists believed in the Einstellung effect, that is the brain tendency to stick with familiar ideas and stubbornly ignore alternatives. Scientists knew about this mental phenomenon since the 1940s but only now did they have a solid understanding of how it happened. They knew that the adult brain generated neurons everyday and helped to distinguish one memory from another. To keep memories from becoming jumbled, the brain encoded the distinct features of events and stimulations in a way that allowed them to be distinguished from one another- a process called pattern separation. It enabled people to distinguish dangerous situations from similar ones that posed no risk. The process occurred in one of two regions of the brain that generated neurons throughout life. These fledgling cells seemed to be critical to pattern separation. Interventions that specifically boosted the ranks of rookie neurons could produce new ways to regulate mood and possibly treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Without new neurons, confusion reigned. Freshly minted neurons in the brains dentate gurus participate in pattern separation- the ability to distinguish between similar experiences. Lack of new neurons could cause someone to confuse a non-threatening situation with a scary one from the past.
Recent findings put a new spin on memory lapses suggesting they might often be due not to errors in recall but to the failure to tune out distractions. Recently scientists asked older adults, up to age 80 play a driving-based video game in which they were asked to identify some road signs and ignore others. After repeated sessions, their attention improved to the point that they could outscore 20-year-olds who hadn’t had practice. The older adults improved on other tests of memory and attention too, suggesting that game practice globally enhanced some underlying factor in cognitive control
Mama Adeoye died in 1980. She connected my voice with that of my parents at 120. Her case of matching peoples’ names with their voices was a very rare one. Inventing the machine to mimic this ability would help to identify criminals and would be an exciting game for the next generation.
Wisdom means ‘’good sense and judgment’’. This section attempted to show the scientific backings to regulate some behaviors; negative feelings, automatic impulses, the way we perceive life and our everyday actions.
SUSSAN’S SOCIAL GLUE
Two sisters Mary and Sussan lived in the same house. Mary was older by four years. She was beautiful and fashionable; admired by most men in the village. She got married at a tender age of fourteen to have children. She had a happy home and the husband adored her. Choked with her beauty, luck and good husband, she became pompous; she didn’t look kindly on the younger sister. She did not appreciate that her beauty and good husband was a gift from God. Many at-times she blamed and disgraced Sussan for not dressing well and cursed her that she would never get a husband.
Sussan was tolerant but had no other choice for their parents died when she was a baby. Quiet as she was, she was very witty, and good at art work. She and her sister had no school education. Sussan did most of the house-scores; cooking, dish-washing, and baby-sitting. She was attracted to their next-door neighbor Janet, the local seam-stress. Janet was very good to her. She taught her everything to know in sewing; botton-holes, different stiches and various designs. The teacher saw the haughty behaviour of her elder sister. Sussan’s training as a seam-stress was free. She did not pay cash but goodwill, for Sussan volunteered to keep an eye on her teacher’s two children.
Sussan was liked by most people in the community; they thought she was Janet’s blood-sister because she took care of Janet’s children like her own. Sussan was a hard-working girl, fixing up everything in her sister’s home and working relentlessly at her sewing lessons which was however part-time job for her. There was no day she was living in idleness; skillful at stitching and canvas. She was not lazy. At the end of the day, she took her work with her to sell for pocket-money. With toil and hard labour, she worked night and day, not to burden anybody.
When she needed advice, Janet guided her on right decisions. She ended up feel belonging. There followed a gradual unfolding; laughter, love sweetness in her life. Years later she saw how far one person’s benevolent influence rippled, growing from rings to the rolling waves. In due course, Sussan was self-sufficient. By the age of twenty-seven she could stand on her own. With the recommendation of Janet, she got married to one wealthy man in town, Josiah by name. This man had studied her, knew her virtues and limitations.
Life sent her serendipities. It dropped little miracles into her laps. Janet became her mentor. Soon Sussan and her husband set-up a giant industry in town and she became a director in the company. Thus, the grace of God brought her unexpected delight as she became popular and more respected than her sister. Sussan asked herself a question; who offered these gifts; God, the universe, dumb-luck, a metaphysical entity? The world looked marvellously mysterious to her Grace showed up now and again to remind her of this. I t was a blessing that couldn’t be earned, only received; simply miracles all the time. Janet was a source of wisdom and had given her a passion for life; to laugh, love, and thrive. Her social glue and God’s grace contributed to all the miracles.
Explaining the in explicable, a scientist explained that if you broke your day into two-second chunks, in a month’s time you would have experienced about a million of them- or a million opportunities for something wild to happen. Most people thought a one-in-a-million chance is unlikely but the principle suggests that with enough chances, crazy coincidences are likely to occur. Behaviors governed by the unconsciousness embed attitudes below the level of awareness. New studies provided a more pragmatic perspective on how we relate to a boss or spouse. Snap judgments abound in our daily life and come to us without our thinking about them, based only on a person’s social place. The unconscious way we perceive people during the course of the day is a reflexive reaction. We should exert willful conscious effort to put aside the unexplained and sometimes unwarranted negative feelings harbored toward others. The stronger the unconscious influence the harder we need to work consciously to overcome it.
The ability to regulate our own behavior- whether making friends- depends on more than genes, temperament and social net-works. It all hinges, in no small measure, on our capacity to identify and try to overcome the automatic impulses and emotions that influence every aspect of our waking life. To make our way in the world, we need to learn to come to terms with our unconscious self. Unconscious thoughts and feelings influence not only the way we perceive ourselves and the world around us but also our everyday actions. The effect the unconscious has on behavior provokes debate among scientists for decades. For good part of the 20th century, they argued forcefully that our actions were entirely under the control of what we saw, heard and touched in our surroundings and that conscious intent played a role. Unconscious imitation fosters empathetic feeling toward others and this social glue increases a sense of closeness even among total strangers. Research on behavior showed that it increased cooperation even if the individuals involved had never met before.
Scientists wanted to know whether people were inclined to act cooperatively or selfishly, and whether such behavior was genetic. Evidence pointed to humans being innately cooperative. Studies showed that in the first year of life, infants exhibited empathy toward others in distress. At later ages in life we routinely worked together to reach goals and helped out in times of need. Yet instances of selfish behavior also abound in society. One recent study used a version of the classic Prisoner’s Dilemma, which tested people’s willingness to set aside selfish interest to reach a greater good. After modeling different strategies and outcomes, the researchers found that being selfish was more advantageous than cooperating. The benefit might be short-lived, however. Another study showed that players who cooperated did better in the long run. It seemed that human nature supported both prosocial and selfish traits. Genetic studies made some progress toward identifying their biological roots. By comparing identical twins, who shared nearly 100 percent of their genes, and fraternal twins, who shared about half, researchers found over-whelming evidence for genetic effects on behaviors such as sharing and empathy. In these twin studies, identical and fraternal twins were placed in hypothetical scenarios and asked, for example, to split a sum of money with a peer. Such studies often also relied on careful psychological assessments and DNA analysis.
Cooperative behavior might have evolved first among relatives to promote the continuation of their genetic line. As communities diversified, such mutual support could have broadened to include individuals not linked by blood. Another possibility was that humans cooperated to gain some advantage, such as a boost in reputation. Finally, a hotly debated idea was that evolutionary process took place at the group level. Groups of highly cooperative individuals had higher chances of survival because they could work together to reach goals that were unattainable to less cooperative group. Yet almost no behavior was entirely genetic, even among identical twins. Culture, school and parenting were important determinants of cooperation and the degree to which we acted cooperatively or selfish was unique to each individual and hinged on a variety of genetic and environmental influences
Sussan worked to success, despite Mary’s non-cooperation. Her skill, persistent love for others unconsciously shaped many of her attitudes. Her actions were under the control of what she saw, heard and touched in her surroundings. She behaved in ways that she did not even understand. The grace of God connected her to Janet; just mere neighbor who later became her mentor and sister. Scientists taught us that greater emotional intelligence could improve relationships and happiness over time. Mary finally reconsidered her emotions, accepted Sussan with open hands as her only sister, and reconciled with Josiah as brother-in-law and Janet as a savior. Sussan’s social glue was pleasantly rewarded.
SUCCESS – STORY
Julie was 65, when she had a stroke that paralysed her on the right side of the body. Her body; face, hands were twisted to the right. She stood up bent to one side; one shoulder lower than the other, fingers dislocated and she could not write even her signature. Looking at the mirror, she couldn’t believe the figure she saw but her faith was great, she believed she would walk well one day.
Despite many exercises, she couldn’t stand-up straight. She limbed and walked with a cane for more than five years. Because of her age, she was not allowed to do any strenuous exercise with machine. Her success story started one Saturday morning by 3a.m. An idea suddenly came to her mind to do – Back-body-stretching, to strengthen the muscles and nerves. This she did; twisting her back, two shoulders, hands, and legs up and down on the bed, like a snake. Turning to the left side was very painful, like passing through hell. Initially, she used all the strength in her to do the exercises persistently, with few minutes rest in between. She had the cracking of bones and cartilages. After some time, the noise and pain subsided. She was able to lie flat and on both sides of the body on the bed. She repeated the exercise until day-break; and it became simpler and easier as she did.
In the morning, she was full of strength, stood up-rightly without bending to one side. Many people noticed the improvement in her posture and walking. She moved around vigorously in the house without cane. All along Julie was full of hope. She knew at God’s own time, she would walk well like other people. This success story showed the necessity of hope in all situations. Julie, not only regained her weight but also her confidence and belief in herself. She was now excited for her future. She knew God had a purpose for her life. Divine intervention changed Julie’s life and set her on a different course. One thing she had learned was that there was happiness in the world. You just have to let it come to you
Since she overcame the disability that made her inactive for 6 years, Julie, a mother of four daughters had been donating at-least $50 of her monthly pension allowance to charity or using the money to buy clothes or other gifts for neighbors in need. Since she got her strength back, she loved seeing people smile. This had been her dream- Act of kindness- tipping a hair stylist $100, paying for someone’s gas, buying new clothes and grocery for a homeless couple.
It is believed that the path to a truly successful and significant life is through friendship, family, acts of generosity and self-sacrifice. Affecting the life of even one person in a positive way makes a difference in the world. And it also proves that we do in fact matter. This idea helps us to navigate the rough patches of life; loss, guilt, crises of faith. And it resolves the conflict between conscience and success.
Experts said projecting goodwill into the world, is to focus your mind on a hopeful outcome. If you thought about people you love and wish them well put beneficial energy out there. These are impulses toward positivity, empathy and solidarity in the face of tragedies. Positive energy expressed through prayer is appreciation for life’s gift; the sunrise, kids, food, shelter, health and togetherness.
Prayer is an emotional, psychological space that holds both anxiety and hope. Grace indicates fluidity and elegance. The word ‘pray’ is derived from the Latin word ‘precarius’, which meant to obtain by entreating or begging. Prayer is much more than asking for something. We thank and ask for help. Despite modern methods, prayer is a means to talk directly to God; speak with him as you would to a friend or your father. It might be like just a conversation, or it could be like reading from a bible, singing or playing music.
One man gave a lens on the art of giving;
. $200 Tip for a hotel maid,
. Free car repairs for the adoptive parents of two special-needs daughters
. $2,000 engagement ring for a cash-strapped college couple
. $100 bills to eight homeless people
. Instead of giving money, can buy (the homeless) food.
These are just a few good deeds documented. Actually, people can personally help only a certain number of people. To show her gratitude to God, Julie imbibed the habit of giving things to people. She believed that becoming an abled, active woman, God had a purpose for her life. She changed her usual habits. Her family, friends, neighbors and well-wishers thanked God for the miracle. Julie acknowledged that the feeling of giving back is better than the feeling of receiving.
THE DRAMA OF LIFE
The drama of life varied in degrees of constructiveness, destructiveness or non-productiveness. Cecilia was forced to believe that it started at birth, though she learn’t that script instructions programmed into child-ego-state. As children grow, they learn to play parts within the context of the society in which they live and have dramatic patterns. Each unique drama includes elements of both family, cultural scripts and the inter-play. They all affect the drama of each person’s life and unfold the history of a person.
The dramatic change in Cecilia’s son, Albert, stepped out as he became mature and got married. His life-style became a case illustration. Being the only son and the first child, Cecilia loved him tenderly, perhaps even more than the other siblings. She gave him all he wanted. Actually, he was spoon-fed. Anthony, Cecilia’s husband was a big-time wine industrialist. He had thought Albert and his wife-Cindy would take charge of the farm and industry, together with the two siblings, after his death. Cecilia herself was optimistic, thinking Albert’s wife would accept her as a loving mother.
Lo and behold, the story was not as planned-Public stages on which people act out their scripts; home, place of worship, social gatherings, schools, office and so on. Albert and his wife had their own plan. Some people prefer one stage over the other. This was true of a person who spent most of his time at the office rather than at home, or a person who was a perpetual student and whose only public stage was the campus. Some people however spend their energies on several stages and often play different parts of each.
Albert, who was a tough disciplinarian and a good organizer in the family, taking after his late father, became a mass of jelly at the hands of his wife. Was it his love for the wife that caused the dramatic change? Cecilia didn’t expect this. She had thought Cindy was an additional daughter to the family. After living together for three months, Albert told his mother that culture didn’t favour married sons to live with the parents. Cecilia was aware of this, but she thought her case was different because of his son’s intimacy with her before he got married. She noticed that his attachment was more to his wife than to any other person in the house, even his two sisters. He no longer disciplined them as he used to do, saying they were no longer his responsibility. Eventually Albert and Cindy moved out into a rented apartment far away from their cottage. Cecilia welcomed the idea, she knew that was the culture and that Albert was just playing the drama of life.
Shakespeare said,’ All the world’s a stage, and all men and women merely players; had their exits and their entrances and that each man in his time played many parts. Each person had two stages; the private stage and the public stage where a person’s acting could be seen and where we prepared for the future roles we wanted to play.
Like all life experiences the food scenario in the world also exhibits a form of drama. Scientists saw the declining nutritional values in our foods. They said the declining quality of soil resulted in food nutrient deficiency. Studies showed that because Industrial farmers maximized harvest, soil quality and nutritional value of whole foods declined. Crops grew bigger and faster with-out the necessary nutrients. Scientists introduced genes to make plants-pests and herbicides-resistants. These are called foods-genetically modified organisms otherwise known as the GMOs. They worked on varieties of diseases that survive drought and flood. Humans had been manipulating genes of crops for millennia by selecting breeding plants with desirable traits-perfect examples are thousands of apple varieties. Ever- since virtually all food crops had been genetically modified in some way-drama of life.
The technique differs dramatically from traditional plant breeding. Scientists extracted a bit of DNA from an organism, modified or made copies of it and incorporated it into the genome of the same species or a second one. They did this by either using bacteria to deliver the new genetic material, or shooting tiny DNA- coated metal pellets into plant cells with a gene gun. When scientists couldn’t control where the foreign DNA landed, they repeated the experiment until they got a genome with the right information in the right place. That process allowed for genetic precision and with GMOs, they knew the genetic information. Hundreds of researchers had published peer-viewed safety studies – at-least a dozen medical and scientific groups world-wide including the World Health Organization stated that the GMOs currently approved for market were safe.
Even wine-processing had a drama of life. Scientists tried to preserve the flavour of red and white wines, because climate change altered the compounds in grapes. In brief, climatic change raised air temperatures in many wine-growing regions, and drove the accumulation of chemical components in the grapes. Higher temperature increased sugar- content, meaning higher alcohol during fermentation and reduced trace compounds that created aroma. They traced compounds that accounted for most of wine’s unique character to the’ smell ‘. The aroma bound with receptors in the nose and sent signals to the brain that interpreted it as flavour. Most perceived as taste was the exquisite sense of smell. Wine-tasting might better be named ‘wine-smelling ‘. To further help wine-farmers, scientists invented an aromatic-wheel as at home wine-tasting test. The center of the wheel established broad categories of aroma, such as fruity or spicy. Each category got more refined toward the edge of the wheel.
The drama of life was seen in mere happiness. British- Researchers recently surveyed people in search of ‘’ high note ‘’ for happiness. 375people sang in a choir, and some solo. All the activities were to measure emotional well-beings. People in choirs reported happier feeling than those who belted out tunes solo. Chorus members also rated their choirs as more meaningful. The physical synchronization- acting in time with others of choral singing promoted feelings of unity.
Good news that Cecilia progressed successfully with the family-wine-industry, even with-out Albert and his wife. She learnt all the new technologies. She could even use the home-wine-testing wheel. Coincidentally Albert, Cindy and their two children came to Cecilia after 10 years of separation. They had learnt that social grouping was better than solo and it strengthened family tree. Albert was just playing the drama of life, Cecilia said to herself giggling.
STAND YOUR GROUND
Benedicta was a girl of integrity as a student. She did not set her eyes on a moneyed future. Of the candidates that graduated from the college in 2000, she finished at the top. She went to work as an accountant in the bank. With more than 10 years of experience, she learnt true leadership in life. She noticed that leadership was not a skill but character. Successful, happy and fulfilled people embodied core values such as honor, courage and commitment to personal excellence. Real leaders commanded from the heart and developed an ethical code that made them good. When things went wrong, they looked within and sought to be better people. Authentic leadership stands her ground in life against which she measures all decisions.
Fortified with these ideals, Benedicta was able to settle the fraudulent allegations in the bank. And this brilliancy won her respect from her peers. The fraud which arose from the Central Bank championed by one of the directors was planned probably to dis-credit Benedicta. But she stood for justice, integrity and leadership and she trusted the junior officers working under her. Her trust and respect were reciprocated. The over-all boss came down to black-mail her and to query her on what she stood for; her rock-bottom beliefs about the fraudulent activities in the bank. She knew her stand was character speaking. Benedicta thought about her up-bringing and education, stood up, spoke the truth; not caring for criticism or procrastination and she succeeded to exonerate her team-mates.
She went a step further to coach them on ‘’Integrity and Leadership’’. Leadership is a privilege, not a right. A leader should work harder than expected and be more patient than others. Destiny favors those prepared in mind, body and spirit. People find happiness through seeking truth, wisdom, love and not by chasing thrills, wealth, titles or fame. And that leadership improves self, team and the world every-day.
Benedicta thought deeply about her personal ethos. She was able to articulate it, and her stand became a powerful guiding force. When faced with difficult decisions, she fell back on her stand. Her powerful foundation and coaching lessons helped all other workers to reach their full potential. The exercises produced an empowered version of Benedicta.
Speaking- out is the first step to a richer, happier and lovelier life. One morning in 1993, alady walked into an office of a famous business-man in New York and asked for a job as a writer. She had no previous appointment; no experience, and not a single-published article in her name. She knew nobody would knock on her door to fetch a talented writer. She just walked in, off the street and asked to be hired as a reporter. Though she was not hired immediately, she knew she was brave to make the announcement and wouldn’t have the pain of knowing she hadn’t tried. She stood her ground. A poet once wrote ‘’ the mere act of saying aloud- this is who I am and what I’ve come for’’ seemed to awaken a powerful force within. By articulating your wish, you’re making an announcement that you are serious about bringing forth the next great thing in your life.
Human mind is a meaning-making machine which chooses to look for help in every-thing. To live happily, humans don’t require the absence of suffering – but the call of potential meaning, seeing accidents as significant might and to trade nihilist despair for courage, comfort and wisdom.Some scientists worked on ‘’smiles and frowns’’. They sufficed to cause people to register the value judgment of liking or dis-liking of an object that was in their field of view. Study participants held pencils in either their teeth- activating the smile muscles or their lips and flexing frown muscles. The physical positioning of the facial muscles produced the corresponding psychological state. Studies in this area of research, known as embodied cognition, showed that a host of physical actions and sensations triggered psychological states and metaphorically related to those behaviors and feelings.
In the modern psychology of desire researchers found that whether or not conscious of a particular goal set for ourselves, the way we go about pursuing that goal is very similar. In the research for this phenomenon, study participants were asked to push a lever as hard and fast as they could when prompted. Before each trial, they received either a conscious or subliminal cue about the reward. They would receive (pounds vs pence). Higher incentive produced faster pushes, whether consciously perceived or not. Brain imaging revealed the same incentives and sensitive brain regions switched on in both the conscious and the subliminal reward trials. This and other studies suggest that an unconsciously perceived stimulus suffice to cause someone to actually pursue a goal without any awareness of how it originates. No conscious deliberation or free-will isrequired. Our conscious mind not only nudges us to choose a particular option but helps muster the necessary motivation to actually achieve it. Scientific research provides a perspective on how thought and emotion just below the surface of our awareness shapes the way we relate to boss, parents, spouse or child. That means we set aside notions of complexes and accept the reality that the unconscious asserts its presence in every moment of our lives when fully waking as well as when absorbed in the depths of a dream.
One study that used fMRI to see what parts of the brain were active when subjected to thoughts, present-future selves and a stranger, found that the brain thought about the future-self more like a stranger. Procrastination was struggle between two different brain systems; the limbic system- old part of brain responsible for our basic emotions and the very fast automated system that responded unconsciously to feel good now. The newer cortex controls planning and impulse slowly and consciously. The limbic system first activates the urgent goal of feeling better now, and the more responsible prefrontal cortex-needed to think about the benefits lag behind. Scientists also described the brain under criticism. People stuck to negative criticism more than positive ones. Over reaction called negativity bias helps keep ancient humans alive. Our brains become wired to focus on bad news but simple practices help to counteract the bias and negativity quickly become neural structure. Positive experience takes more time to encode. And you become happier and more resilient to receive compliment.
Benedicta, a lady of integrity knew that leadership role was a privilege not a right and that destiny favored those prepared in mind, body and spirit. She gained the respect of her peers and other team-mates. She was happy and did not bother herself about procrastination or criticism. Her goal was to exonerate her innocent colleagues. Her integrity awoke powerful force and traded despair for courage, comfort and wisdom. She pursued her goal without conscious deliberation of criticism and procrastination. She stood her ground, and happy that she did.
NO WEAKNESS BAGGAGE
We all have relationships, experiences and lessons in life that are sometimes painful, difficult and for whatever reason, hard to process. As a result, we walk around with certain feelings, patterns, and conflicts that do not really relate to the present but to people and events from a previous time.
Because those things are not ‘’finished’’, they get in the way of present situation, present relationships, or present goals. And the sad thing is – this ‘’baggage’’ that we carry around does not go away until it is dealt with or ‘’finished’’.
What happened to Sola was not a new thing but an old pattern in her life that re-surfaced one more time, around a new goal, in a new place with new people. It was all about her bullies in the high school.
Sola was very smart at school. She was liked by her teachers and the principal. More-over she came from a reputable family. Bullies do not know that nobody makes it alone in this world. We all need supportive relation-ships to get through challenging time, build long-term mutually beneficial relation-ships through net-working, shared vision, shared values and learn the best defense against toxic people who try to disrupt our success. Planting positive seeds; seeds of hope, encouragement, faith and love leave a lasting legacy by making a mark not easily erased, to transcend selves and reach out to make a difference in the lives of our families, friends and community. By changing your thinking, you can change your beliefs, your actions and your life.
Because of jealousy, the minds of other students were polluted against Sola. The seniors bullied her to show their power. They called her bad names, made her carry heavy loads on the head, cleaned the wash-rooms to re-place paid-workers- all sorts of degrading punishment to demoralize her. Sola was a girl of integrity. She decided to save them from dismissal from school by reporting them to higher authorities although they were strong and over-bearing. No matter what she did; she was not quite good enough, felt put down and unappreciated. She developed sensitivity to criticism for good reason. In many ways the bullies were just mean, but because of Sola’s talent, she often did well. Her weakness resurfaced after graduation, when she became a teacher. The daughter of one of the previous bullies needed help. Victoria and her mom were shocked to see Sola as the principal of the college and instinctively, she remembered the activities of the bullies in the high school. Those feelings and patterns were still very much present and active in her but she had the love of Christ in her. With God’s help, she worked through former hurts and patterns developed in previous painful situations- she dropped her weakness baggage. Sola had hurts in her heart that made her feel indifferent to her Alma-matter. When people talked good of their high school, she remembered her hurt in the present caused by the bullies. She hated to discuss high school experiences, though the teachers were good to her.
Experts advised that we should rescue our hearts from the past- get healing, receive forgiveness and forgive. What happened to you did not have to live within you- even bad circumstances could serve as a stepping stone to your goals. Everyone endured hardship. It could bring out the worst or inspired the best through new eyes.
An expert described weaknesses in baggage thus–When you have to work yourself into a state of excitement rather than naturally experiencing joy and passion-When you can do without rather than feeling gratitude for what you already have-When your focus is on the time and energy you invested in an endeavor , rather than the love, joy and gratification you’ve gained- When you’re making excuses about why you should stay put rather than going for what you really want- And when you spend more time complaining about what you have than appreciating it.All these are weaknesses. Scientists said that our brains were built to over react to a perceived- threat – Body releases cortisol hormones which set off the brain’s alarm bell by stimulating the emotionally charged amygdala while damaging neurons in the hippo campus. It shrinks the calming part of the brain and put things in perspective. To bring the stress response under control, newer brain regions-the prefrontal cortex regulates older ones. The higher brain regions allow them to re-interpret physical symptoms as a sign of excitement and ready to connect with the crowd. When people feel angry, it forces them to refocus and dial down the emotional reaction. The brain’s inhibitory system, centers in the right frontal cortex and direct attention to threat and punishment. And it sets in motion avoidant behavior. It also ushers in negative feelings, notably anxiety and depression, and humans would not be so successful without social cohesion. Living among others makes one adhere to embarrassment, quilt or shame. It repairs damage by saving face or by offering help to others and make you become more generous and cooperative even with strangers. If you knew what you deserved and someone else saw things differently, anger arose- your heart rate increased, you started to sweat, you thought about all the things you could do to set the other party straight – Safety, civility- such concerns evaporated when really enraged you couldn’t contain your physical energy- you became a volcano ready to erupt. Devaluation that leads to anger quite often gets upper-hand in the negotiation. It triggers activation of the left frontal cortex fueled by the neuro-transmitter-dopamine, to detect opportunities for material and social reward
Power of words- that is the things said and heard from others could be great causes of deadly weakness -Whether said in love or in anger- words left a lasting impression. Therefore, you should be very mindful of the things said, particularly in anger. Once released to the universe, words couldn’t be taken back. Gratitude and forgiveness are the antidotes to deadly weaknesses- move from hurting to healing, and know you are blessed with patience, understanding and joy. These combined made Sola got back in tip-top neurological shape. She forgave and made a conscious effort to calm down, after the traumatic event of high school. She tossed out the weakness baggage that had weighed down her life. She adopted attitude that allowed her talents to manifest and for her to find happiness and ever-lasting joy.
In the midst of a life-threating illness, Justina held on to who she was. It was not a dream but broad day-light, on the first day of June, 2015.She suddenly saw a snake twined round her feet, just a stone’s throw from their local church. She was the only one who saw it. Instantly, she could not walk. On-lookers rushed her to the hospital. She was admitted and immediately placed on intravenous fluids for 30 days. She saw families, friends, running here and there to save her life. Doctors said she was having stroke, but she knew it was an attack. Being a woman of strong faith, she told them to stop their worries.she convinced them that she would not die but only tempted. She did not see herself becoming a patient whose life hung in the balance. Instead, she was girded for battles to remain herself, no matter what she had to endure. The biblical image of Jacob’s wrestling- match with an angel became her touch stone. She visualized her illness and treatment as a struggle with a shadowy, menacing adversary. Justina took inspiration from a weed growing amongst thorns and survived to be mighty. She knew she would survive that stroke and live a normal life. After 30 days, her doctor confirmed her well and was discharged from the hospital. She got up from the sick bed, took un-steady steps at first, but with srong determination she walked back home. Her quick recovery surprised many people, even as the only survivor, out of the four stroke patients in the hospital ward. She knew the cause of the stroke and the answer to the challenge.
Science supported positive thinking to an extent. Researchers never proved that thoughts could literally alter reality and bend the universe toward our goals but plenty evidences like the placebo effect and the science of neuro-plasticity, confirmed it. The way of thinking plays a role in self-improvement and even produces physical changes in the brain. Positive thinking once competed with conventional healing. In the 19th century, many doctors practiced- heroic medicine. As the medical field modernized, the emphasis of mind power philosophies shifted from physical healing to psychological well-being and material prosperity. Experts believed that the mind is powerful enough to control the physical world. Though believing in yourself can lead you to do something risky, the mystical element seems effective enough without the embellishment. Neuroscience of every-day life teaches us that- all of our thoughts, perceptions, moods, passions, and dreams are the work of our brain and our neurons system – Neurons- synapses, neuro-transmitters and other biological processes produce all the experiences of our daily life, the mystery of our brain fires nearly 100 – billion- neurons and make us human. MRI scanning allows us to see how regions of the brain function and where certain emotions originate and shed light on how people make decisions, and answer challenges.
The lower part of the mind- the cerebellum and hypothalamus handle survival-oriented behavior like sex drive and eating. Higher center involves in emotional processing are the hippo campus and amygdala. Farther up- complex cortex- is the home to our thoughts and language. The interaction between these older and newer brain regions make us human, zeroing in on distortions in thinking revises thoughts to better reflect reality. These kinds of trial-runs help to feel more at ease in uncomfortable situations and also helps create muscle memory to act according to your values under high stress. In brain-imaging studies, participants with less activity in fear-related regions of the brain have the same areas that act rashly or immorally when panicking. In a new study- women had a higher perfusion of blood flow to the brain than men particularly to regions critical for emotional intelligence. It was observed that to deal with negative peer-pressure, two factors are crucial; instilling a conviction of what is right and wrong and fostering a strong sense of self-worth. It is not an easy task for adults to have necessary strength and judgment to respond appropriately to peer -pressure. It requires patience, a willingness to repeat the message as often as needed in varying ways and a readiness to deal constructively with the failures experienced. When anxiety arrives; motivation falls, and expectation s lows. Depletion of working memory creates various stumbling blocks to success. People tend to over think actions that would otherwise be automatic and become more sensitive to cues that indicate discrimination. An ambiguous expression could be misread as a sneer. And even one’s own anxiety could become a sign of imminent failure. Some studies suggested what most people expected to happen when an ethical challenge loomed was inconsistent with what actually happened. In one experiment, subjects were presented with two tasks; one short and easy, one long and tedious. Results showed that more than 90 percent of participants took the simple tasks- but when they watched others do the same- they were quick to condemn them. Scientists and researchers found that- to do the right thing, you did not need to be raised in a certain environment – what mattered was to put in the effort needed to stay in tip-top ethical shape- strengthening your moral muscle and train to be more ethical and have the capacity to do good needed work.
Scientific studies on neuro-biology of meditation showed that the practice had many of the characteristics of an ideal drug. It counters depression and pain and encourages a sense of well-being. What most people thought to happen was inconsistent with what actually happened to Justina. Of the four stroke patients on admission in the hospital ward, she was the only survivor. The practice of meditation had been shown to have the characteristics of ideal drug as it counters pain and encourages sense of well-being. All along Justina had positive thinking and was able to answer the challenge. She believed she would survive by His grace but temporarily wrestling with dark forces.
RESHAPE AND REMAKE
Angela was an accomplished woman. She had a lot of friends and no one would have guessed she had any problem. She had read all the right books, listened to all the right sermons and teachers. She was well educated. Perhaps she did not want to burden any of her friends with her problems. To out-siders she was happily married, though she had no child. With her wealth she could have adopted children. She wasn’t expecting any magic to happen over-night because she had been married for three years. Rufus, her husband did not believe in adoption. He said after all, he or she could never be his blood. The bottom line was that her mother-in-law, Josephine, was at her neck. She actually brought another woman, Ayo into her matrimonial home to have children for Rufus- she ruled out the possibility for Angela.
Diana, Rufus senior sister, was quite friendly with Angela- the two of them had the same mind. Diana enrolled her in a church in one remote area in the town. The pastor was an experienced woman in Christianity and fertility. She took up Angela’s case- to pray and counsel her on fertility. Within the short time of one year, Angela became the pastor’s friend and Diana was supportive. Miraculously, Rufus returned to his matrimonial home after 15 months separation, along with Ayo, his second wife. Angela had no stress, she continued patiently to wait on the Lord as advised. Words of prophesy came to the pastor that advised her to go in with her husband for she would conceive within three months and bear a son. Though Angela’s hope was at the bottom, she agreed. The pastor discovered that there was nothing wrong with both husband and wife physically. Believe it or not, the pastor’s prophecy came to pass. Within three months, Angela got pregnant and delivered a bouncing baby-boy on Christmas day. The new wife could not bear the miracle, voluntarily packed her things and ran away. After-all she had no official reason to be there.
It was known for at-least 80 years thathumans were not the only species to kill others of their own kind. Some insects do it too. Stingless beeTetragonula – carbonari are notorious for inciting war, usually to usurp the hive of another-Instead of wasting time to build own hives. They just steal one and redecorate it. The fights between stingless bee colonies are epic in scale. Swarms from the attacking and defendg hives collide mid-air and fight bees, fall to the ground locked in a death grip from which neither combatant survives. Psychologists said that anxiety loves company. A study showed that a person sought out company most when afraid or anxious about something. And a parental expert said a little girl likes attention and does not care whether she gets a positive response or a negative one. She just wants some- one to care enough to do something. This child needs private time with parents to bond and grow. The psychology is to let your complaints about a person’s lack of expression takes a back-seat to your investing yourself in the person and your relationship. Focus your efforts on being a good friend, parent or spouse. In a very short time, Angela reconcilled with Rufus and spent happy lives together as destined.
To a large extent, beliefs and values set in motion to justify circumstances in our lives. When opinions are vocalized, whether or not we believe, they usually come to pass. The pastor knew how to change Angela for the better. She became a good friend and her mediator. A psychologist said; plug in, listen to un-beat music and forgive. And those that work longer and chatter with strangers become happier than those in solitude. Social engagement could give a lift. Through His grace and the mediator of the pastor, Angela rose above her baggage and became the mother of a beautiful bouncing baby boy. Eventually, Angela and Rufus reshaped and remade their marriage.
PASS 0N THE TORCH
Veronica was a very proud woman- full of herself, not willing to take corrections from anybody. Her popular response was for everybody to mind his or her business. Her family members, friends and acquaintances avoided her. She received the reward of her pride when Adekunle became her boyfriend. This man was notorious- a drunkard and a popular cheat in the community. Veronica’s mother warned her vehemently to beware of him but she was adamant. Soon they got married in the local registry and relocated to another state. Three months later Adekunle brought out his true colours; smoking, cheating, living in pop-houses, and worst of all, it was read in the News- paper that he raped their neighbor’s daughter. For this; he was jailed for three months.
Veronica returned to the village; dis-appointed, feeling dis-figured with excruciating pain in her heart. Adekunle chattered her pride; rooted from the fact that her father was rich as the village head. She lobbied round to get her previous job as the village head-mistress. Families and friends rallied round to console her. However, she appreciated the few friends who stood by her, and now believed that no-one could live successfully in an island of calm and peace. She slowed down, upgraded her life, improved everything in her mood and treated herself a little kinder but learnt that she had to reshape and remake Adekunle. She bailed him out of the prison yard; did every-thing she could to convert her notorious, pretentious out-cast of a husband to a sweeter, better and more responsible man. Soon both of them became children of God. Veronica became a bible school teacher and Adekunle was sober. He repented from his sins. Five years later Adekunle graduated as an evangelist to preach the good news. Their testimonies always pictured their past life-styles. Many people gave their lives to Christ through them, as they passed down the torch.
Veronica soon learnt that Self-functioning involves various steps; philosophical view of the person, relationship between internal person and the external influences, the organized personality, unconscious relationship, the past, present and the future behavior. Experts reinvented the steps to take people from frustration today to a fulfilling tomorrow, teaching us that humans are some recombination of all their yesterdays- a gum on their psychological shoe, stuck to impede forward motion until scraped; to forgive self and others because there Is n o such thing as authentic self. Every person has an identity unique because each person has a complicated set of experiences and these negative feelings are called sins like envy, jealousy, frustration, sadness and shame. Electrical brain stimulation helps optimize brain function of healthy people; creativity, learning and neuroplasticity- brain ability to change nerve cells communicate with each other sending electrical signals. The neural- networks create mood regulation and explains mental disorders. Non-invasive brain- stimulation technologies boosts or dampens activity in specific brain regions-inducing plasticity and nudging neural networks in a beneficial direction. In 1980, researchers noticed that electricity enhanced creativity, mathematical ability and other cognitive skills. They studied its ability to improve mood. In 2008, it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the treating clinical depression. Scientists created social robot- a personable machine- like C-3PO. This is an artificial intelligence to react to emotions; anger, disgust, fear and happiness. They fed and taught the robots to spot changes in patients caused by medical conditions. In optimism dopamine is released from the infra limbic cortex to help the striatum imprint the habit as a semi-permanent brain activity. And the infra-limbic –cortext controls the stress. The two areas of brain crucial to learning and memory; the hippo campus and frontal cortex become flooded with hormones called glucocorticoids These help the body prioritize what is most important in crisis. Stress releases glucocorticoids non-stop -The hippo campus and frontal cortex continually become back-burner the house-keeping duties between neurons. The brain bounces back after periods of chronic stress but the extent to which neurons repair is not clear. The brain however restores itself after stress. Then conscious effort to calm down after a traumatic event with a range of stress reduction technique becomes apparent. Veronica learnt various behavior therapies like exercise, strong social support, mindfulness activities with simple tricks that help control habits; good and bad. The feed- back loop between the sensorimotor cortex and the striatum becomes strongly engaged to stamp routines into a single unit or chunk of brain activity. This activity resides in the striatum and relies on dopamine input from the mid-brain. With new behavior, prefrontal cortex connects with the striatum aided by dopamine.
Like late boomers, Veronica’s and Adekunle’s brains soon became organized, thanks to scientific enlightenment. The dopamine in both brains aided their relationships to change from frustration to a fulfilling tomorrow because both repented of their sins. They knew they couldn’t succeed in life by living in their own island. Analyzing relationship values, they committed their future lives for goodwill to the world. As latetricks bloomers and children of God Veronica got a transfer to the Bible school as a teacher and Adekunle became an Evangelist to spread the good news to the whole world. The testimonies of their past were inspiring and captivating. They passed on the touch, and won many souls for the kingdom of God.Their cornerstone was the life of Saul of Tarsus who became Paul when he met Jesus (Act 9; 1-9).
EXPERTS’- TIPTOP STORIES
- Bacteriophages are bacteria eaters. They are found in water, soil and even your digestive tract. They hijack the DNA of bacteria and replicate themselves within them until the cells burst. They are possibly new antimicrobial treatment.
- If you want kids, your best bet is to try when you wake up- men’s sperm counts are significantly higher in the early morning. We make our best decisions right after we wake up. Secondly, difficult problems require creative thinking- people do their most abstract thinking when tired and worn-out. You make creative solution to a problem that seemed insurmountable at noon.
- Body’s clock runs on a roughly 24 hours cycle;
12 a.m- 2.00 a.m, you enjoy deepest sleep,
4; 30 a.m, you have lowest body temperature,
6; 45 a.m, you have sharpest blood pressure jump,
3; 30 p.m, you have fastest reaction time,
6; 30 p.m, you have highest blood pressure.
- Eczemas are diseases on head, foot and mouth. They appear red, painful, blister-like bumps on the tongue, gums and inner cheeks; sometimes on palms, soles and buttocks. The itch-free rash goes away on it own and symptons last a week. They usually come with fever and sore throat, so you can give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for babies over 6 months, before you see your doctor. Cool compresses can dry out the blisters.
- The fat in avocados, olive oil and nuts is good. Fermented cheese produces good bacteria that help to reduce cholesterol. Eat smart; small serving sizes, nuts, fish- rich in unsaturated fatty acid, low-fat milk. Organic milk contains heart-healthy mix of fatty acids.
- Whatever the brain does a lot of is what the brain gets good at. In order words, doing something over and over again helps children improve their disciplines, perseverance and concentration.
- Lunar cycle affects the quality of our sleep;
6 percent deep sleep in full moon
29 percent- awake in full moon
11 percent deep sleep in alternate moon
20 percent- awake in alternate moon
9 percent deep sleep in new moon
22 percent- awake in new moon.
- For your perishables to last;
HERBS- Fill an ice cube tray two-thirds full with chopped herbs, cover with olive oil or melted butter; freeze until solid, at least a day. Transfer cubes to a ziplock bag, and store for up to one month.
MUSHROOMS- Store in the fridge in a paper bag which will absorb the excess moisture that evaporates from the mushrooms, maintaining their crispness,
PRODUCE-(like celery, lettuce and broccoli) wrap tightly in tinfoil before storing in the fridge. This will help the veggies stay crisp for up to four weeks,
COOKIES- Put a slice of bread in an airtight container with the cookies; as they lose their moisture, they’ll pull that mojo from the bread,
EXTRA BURGER OR HOT DOG BUNS- Tear into pieces and freeze in a ziplock bag. Ten to 20 pulses in a food processor will transform them into ready to use bread crumps- no thawing necessary.
- To tackle food waste; extend the refrigerated life of fruits and vegetables by up to five weeks in a permeable packet containing CUROXIN vapor, a proprietary disinfectant that releases slowly inside a clamshell container. It envelops fresh food in an antimicrobial cloud. The effect is that water loss and fungal growth are significantly arrested and maintains produces’ firness, color and taste.
- Bibliophile is a person who is fond of books. Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Reading is a form of exercise; it works the mind and walking works the body. Both are excellent when pursued in solitude. Each gets us from one place to another and en-large our sense of the world; expanding the territory and helping us to place ourselves within it. Both are excellent for health.
- Aspirin has the potential to help with more than just your heart. Taking Aspirin at-least 10 years between ages 50 and 65 not only lowers risks of heart-attack, stoke and premature death but also reduces the risk of cancers. It also has a positive effect on breast and lungs. However, speak with your doctor before starting a regimen because the adverse effect of gastrointestinal bleeding out-weighs the benefits.
- Air-borne pathogen-known as influenza- endures a perilous journey as it travels between hosts. When the virus leaves the body, it is encased in fluid- droplets- small enough to be carried by air. Sneezing, coughing and breathing are the most effective way to sread the virus. Influenza can stick around for a while but it is damaged by heat, light and ozone. The viral pathogen lands on host in sufficient numbers to actually create a new infection. And the process helps if the virus lands on a mucus membrane like inside the lungs, on the eye-lids or in the mouth. However, a strong immune system, that is antibodies from a previous infection and vaccines can all ward off the virus. But if those lines of defence fail, the chills and fever will set-in, and with every sneeze the transmission cycle will begin anew.
- Heart damage can be undone. You can reverse age by 10 to 20 years. Adoptions can be achieved with; heathy diet, exercise- 150 minutes or more each week, reducing stress and maintaining sleep – 7 to 8 hours nightly. Keep good company- group fitness and support. Sodoing, you can put your body’s age in instant reverse.
- Rooftop solar power is booming in some states in the U.S. Energy-efficient homes, paired with home-based solar, fuel cells and batteries could make the American dream of energy independence a reality.
STATES WITH THE MOST SOLAR HOMES
Massachusetts – 38,504
New Jersey – 33,701
The megawatts of residential solar installed were 494 in 2012, 792 in 2013. The utility transformation has begun.
- Manure promotes bacteria resistance besides antibiotic use. Over-use of antibiotics in live-stock fosters drug-resistant bacteria- dangerous to human health. This is from barn to table. Cow dung encourages antibiotic-resistance even if it comes from drug-free cows.
- Enrollment in foreign language courses dropped 6.7 percent from 2009 to2013 following about 20 years of consistent growth. Spanish and French continued to be the most studied foreign language, followed by America. Sign language which surpassed German as the third- most studied language.
- The hymen is a thin membrane, typically crescent-shaped that stretches across some or all of the vaginal opening. Hymen arose because it was a desirable trait due to the common societal preference for virginity wives. Also, hymen helps keep bacteria out of the vagina. Such infection prevention gives hymen-equipped female a survival and reproductive edge.
- The feelings and behavior of women change during menstrual cycle- the rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone. The reward system in women’s brains is most responsive prior to ovulation. Women eat less a few days before ovulation but strength increased at mid-cycle. Hormones are like weather systems; if you monitor them, you can avoid being surprised by a storm.
- You can catch fish with tiny battery-powered electrical system that flashed a blood-red light down a lure’s tail. When the lure moves in water, fish- thinking it’s an injured prey and strike. Some fishing authorities think that it gives fisher-men too much of an advantage.
- When two or more types of bacteria meet in human body, they can act unpredictably, abandoning their typical responses to antibiotics. Bacterial species can collude with one another to make treatment with antibiotics more difficult. Staphyllococcus aureus is usually harmless but when it’s in the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, things can get more serious.
- Oxytocin- often called love hormone- plays a powerful role in bonding. It helps people reduce their hostility and increases their willingness to take another’s perspective. Inhibiting the hormone causes animal to lose interest in long-term mating as partners.
- Good breath requires the right balance of oral microbes. About 150 different molecules are in human breath and many of them offend the human nose. Some of the malodorous compounds smell like –
Rotten eggs – Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
Rotten Carbage – Methyl mercaptan (C3H6S)
Garlic – Ally mercaptan (C3H6S)
Allyl methyl sulfide (C4H8S)
Fish – Dimethylamine (C2H7N)
Trimethylamine (C3H9N). About- 20 percent of people world- wide havechronic foul breath. The gas-emitting bacteria are on the tongue and below the gum line.
- Eye-lid bumps called styles often go away on their own. Style looks like pimple or bump on lash-line. The inside of eye-lids is lined with special oil-glands that keep eyes lubricated. Styles form when bacteria get into these glands to make it painful and sometimes pus-filled.
- Sleep strengthens the synapses in the brain and helps to cement memories of the day. It weakens the connections among nerve cells which strengthen during wakefulness to support learning and memory. By weakening synapses, sleep keeps brain-cells from becoming over-saturated with daily experiences and from consuming too much energy.
- Scientific American
- Popular Science
- Medical Mysteries- Discover Special Issues-
- Extreme Healing- Prevention
- Readers’ Digest
- The Oprah Magazine
- The Austin Chronicle- vol. 34, no 24, Feb. 13, 2015.