Preparing for success

According to uberfacts, in 2002, a 19-year-old garbage collector won $15 million dollars – He spent it on gambling, drugs and prostitutes. He’s a garbage man again.

Wow! What a tragedy!

This is what happens to a man who is not prepared for success.

Mental preparation is the first and most important step in succeeding. I would have thought that, while working at his job of collecting garbage, he would have fantasized about going on to bigger things, but obviously, he was contented with what he was doing and when the UNEXPECTED happened, he didn’t know what to do with it and thereby, wasted it.

According to Benjamin Disraeli, “the secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.”

Success loves preparation.  If the perfect opportunity presented itself today, would you be ready?  It’s better to be ready and not have an opportunity, than to have an opportunity and not be ready.

To succeed, you must be ready when opportunity comes.  Spend your time preparing for success, when your opportunity comes, you’ll be glad you did.

Marriage Advice: What I’ve Learned About Marriage by Sara Wilson, the Editor of Huffington Post Divorce

I came across this article on huffington post written by Sara Wilson and found it to be a good read and thought to share it with my followers.

What I’ve learnt about marriage

Two and a half years ago, I embarked on a crash course in marital dissolution. As editor of Huffington Post Divorce, I immersed myself in the full spectrum of turmoil — psychological, physical, financial, spiritual — that comes with ending a marriage. I spent my days reading hundreds of blogs by our roster of experts (lawyers, psychologists, financial planners, and divorcees among them), writing stories on the latest divorce-related news and trends, combing through thousands of tweets and comments, and sharing my expertise on the subject at divorce conferences (yes, there are such things). While I haven’t been married or divorced myself, I’m a child of divorce (and therefore have a lot of opinions on the subject), and what makes certain marriages endure and others implode is a topic with which I’ve long been obsessed. Then, a year and a half ago, I became the editor of Huffington Post Weddings and spent over a year examining relationships from the other side, which turned out to be just as fascinating and complex and only enhanced my (intellectual, if not experiential) understanding of relationships. So what has this expertise given me — aside from enough cocktail party conversation to last a lifetime? As I move on to my next role at the Huffington Post overseeing special projects, I thought I’d share some of the most helpful nuggets of wisdom I’ve accumulated from my time in the trenches.

1. Talk about money before you get hitched.

Finances are among the biggest stressors in most marriages and a leading cause of divorce. Why? Because like it or not, how we spend money is deeply reflective of our personal values, beliefs and goals, so if couples have conflicting spending philosophies, they’ll inevitably encounter problems. High-profile divorce attorney Laura Wasser knows this better than most. Her advice resonated with me: in order to avoid the fate of her A-list Hollywood clients like Britney Spears, Angelina Jolie, and Kiefer Sutherland, sit down together and map out every detail of your future lives together, even the most quotidian. (Will you rough it or stay at 5-star resorts on vacation? Will weekend entertainment consist of tasting menus at the hottest new restaurants or Netflix and take-out on the couch? Will your future kids go to private or public school?) This may be a painfully un-romantic exercise, but it will ensure that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to financial expectations — or whether the differences you do have are deal-breakers.

2. The trait that initially endeared you to your partner may end up annoying the hell out of you.

Her vivaciousness is what first attracted you to her; now you roll your eyes at her loud-talking ways. His sweet gestures once made your knees weak; now you think they’re suffocating. Some version of this plays out in more or less every long-term relationship, to a lesser or greater degree. Before you settle down with someone, ask yourself: Are these irritants ones you can live with for the long haul?

3. Drop out of the workforce after you get married at your peril.

All the chatter these days about women “Leaning In” and “Opting Out” obscures a critical fact: leaving work for an extended period of time is a pretty risky proposition in the face of the sobering statistic that around 50 percent of marriages (still) end in divorce. Because women are usually the ones to leave the workforce after having kids, we often find ourselves at most risk if the relationship implodes. This isn’t a value judgment about deciding to stay home and raise children. If you choose this path, just make sure you have a solid backup plan if the worst happens — like having your own financial resources to draw upon if you can’t immediately return to the workforce full time.

4. Who you choose to marry is one of life’s most important decisions — and it’s extremely easy to mess the decision up.

I always considered this a grating platitude until I heard it from Dr. Neil Clark Warren, founder of the online dating site I figured someone so pro-marriage — I mean, the guy is a Christian theologian who founded a multi-million-dollar website for the sole purpose of helping heterosexual couples get hitched — might be a little more laid-back about the whole enterprise, as long as “I do” remained the endgame. But according to Warren, it’s “frighteningly easy to choose the wrong person” because attraction and chemistry are often mistaken for love. It’s the reason so many people rush into marriage or remarry. But if spouses are ill-suited, all the chemistry in the world doesn’t matter. So slow down and embrace the daunting but not impossible challenge of finding the right person for you.

5. Unorthodox arrangements can work.

We have a somewhat narrow idea of how marriage should look, which hasn’t evolved much since “Leave It to Beaver.” So to those couples who reinvent the form, I say, Bravo. One example of this: “living apart together” wherein committed pairs maintain separate homes by choice, like this South Florida couple, who keep ever-so-stylish his-and-hers adjacent bungalows. Bottom line: as long as you’re not hurting anyone, go ahead and design a marriage that works for you.

6. If a marriage looks perfect, it probably isn’t.

It’s not just Al and Tipper Gore-caliber breakups that incite cries of “but-they-seemed-so-perfect together!” It is often the case that the more flawless things look on the outside, the more dysfunctional things actually are. Perhaps the most poignant example of this was relationship expert Sharyn Wolf’s confession that while she repeatedly doled out advice about how to have a happy marriage and satisfying love life on “The Oprah Show,” her own marriage was coming apart. “I was lying to myself,” wrote Wolf in a follow-up piece that showed even marriage counselors feel the need to keep up appearances. “I kept thinking if I could only change a few things, the marriage would work.” Wolf left her husband three years later.

7. Even if you say “divorce is not an option for us,” divorce is always an option.

I hear this frequently from twentysomethings (and not just Lady Gaga). Maybe it’s because they don’t want to mess up their own marriages like many of their parents did. Maybe it’s because they possess the arrogance of youth and think bad things can’t happen to them. Maybe it’s because they think if they utter this statement enough times, it’ll actually be true. But the fact remains that unless you live in the Philippines or Vatican City — the only two places in the world where divorce is actually illegal — it’s always an option. I see this as a good thing; my theory is that when divorce is an option, it forces couples to work harder to stave off complacency.

8. If you feel something is amiss in your relationship, it probably is.

Most of us have pretty good instincts. We’re just not always good at acting on them. But I learned about the importance of trusting your gut from one author who wrote a blog post drawing on research she had conducted for her book, How Not To Marry The Wrong Guy, in which she found that 30 percent of divorced women knew they definitely shouldn’t be getting married while they walked down the aisle. The lesson: don’t sweep nagging feelings of doubt (or nagging feelings of any kind) aside.

9. Even though it seems like everyone else is married, they’re not.

We’re in the midst of a major demographic shift in this country: for the first time, married couples are not in the majority. As a nation, we’re reinventing what “family” looks like and those new definitions don’t always include marriage. To cite just a few examples: there are now almost 1 million same-sex households and over 12 million single parent families in the U.S., cohabitating couples are on the rise and single households increased by 30 percent worldwide from 2001 to 2011. So relax — if you’re not married, you’re definitely not alone.

10. If you express contempt for your spouse, your marriage is basically screwed.

Psychologist John Gottman has spent almost four decades studying couples up close in his Relationship Research Institute (a.k.a “Love Lab”) in Seattle. According to Gottman, there are a handful of negative actions that can spell doom for relationships, but the one that stuck with me most is contempt, which can be demonstrated through behavior, tone, and words. Wondering what qualifies as contempt? This fascinating footage of couples fighting in the Love Lab should offer some clarity.

11. Total honesty with your spouse is overrated.

It’s not exactly news that we’re living in an age of extreme over-sharing (can you wait one sec while I Instagram my breakfast?). This extends to relationships, where we’re encouraged to aspire to “transparency” and “communication” at all times in the name of stronger, better bonds. Yes, those things are fundamental to the success of any marriage, but marital intimacy doesn’t — and shouldn’t — mean complete honesty. Read: your spouse need not know what you’re thinking and doing at all times, or every sordid detail from your past. Psychologist Cecilia d’Felice, who is quoted here, says it best: “If it serves no purpose to tell the truth other than to assuage your guilt, offload your problems or hurt your partner, there may be times when an untruth will serve your relationship better.”

12. It’s completely fine to go to bed angry.

Contrary to popular wisdom, not every spousal tiff needs to be wrapped up in a neat bow by lights out. You have your entire lives together to talk things through and resolve issues both big and small (even Psychology Today agrees with me on this one). Now stop staying up all night hashing it out and get some sleep.

13. Cultivate a rich and full life outside the marriage.

The “soul mate” model of marriage — wherein your spouse is supposed to fulfill every last one of your physical, mental, and spiritual desires — is actually a fairly recent concept in the history of marriage. While it’s a nice idea, it’s a deeply flawed ideal that sets up an impossible standard and puts undue pressure on you both. Bottom line: one person (even the seemingly perfect person with whom you’ve chosen to spend your life) can’t possibly satisfy your every need. So do something to cultivate passion and purpose outside the marriage. Go on girls’ trips. Join a Lean In circle. Start a bowling league for goodness’ sake. Your marriage will be stronger for it.

14. You will probably want to flee your marriage or strangle your spouse sometimes, and that’s OK.

We all know marriage isn’t a cakewalk. But what most of us don’t know — or perhaps don’t like to admit — is just how common it is to actually despise your significant other and frequently think about leaving, even if you’re madly in love. Author Iris Krasnow, who has been married for over 25 years, was the first to alert me to the “eggshell thin line that separates loving from loathing.” She writes it best in her book The Secret Lives of Wives, culled from interviews with hundreds of married couples: “My biggest shock is how many outwardly cheerful women who have been married forever think about divorce if not weekly, at least once a month.” As long as you’re not consumed by these desires, they’re not cause for shame or great alarm. Indeed, they’re a fact of married life.

15. You may fantasize about someone you encounter on social media. Don’t act on it.

The statistic I encountered a zillion times that “1 in 5 American divorces now involve Facebook” is dubious, but it does speak to the prevalence (okay, dominance) of Facebook and other social networking sites today, and the ease with which they put other (seemingly better, hotter) offerings tantalizingly within our reach. It’s totally fine to imagine what might happen if you reached out to an old flame or fetching friend-of-a-friend who pops up on your newsfeed, but do yourself (and your partner) a favor and avoid actually doing it, or you may end up in dangerous waters.

16. Infidelity is never black and white.

Everyone has an opinion about marital infidelity, and it’s usually binary: the spouse who cheated is the so-called perpetrator, the spouse who was cheated on is the so-called victim. But the reality is that cheating — and what it means for marriage — is far more complex than that. As therapist Tammy Nelson argues, perhaps it’s time to revisit the concept of monogamy itself, which is under more pressure than ever, what with opportunities to cheat just a mouse click away and ever-increasing lifespans that mean, if couples wed in their 30s, they’re vowing to love, honor, and get busy with only each other for over half a century. If we can admit that most of us are stumped about how to handle monogamy, maybe we can begin to have a conversation that is as complex as infidelity itself.

17. Keep having sex at all costs.

We’ve all heard of sexless marriages. Of course they exist; maybe you’re even in one. But they’re not inevitable. Or so says psychologist Esther Perel, who brilliantly assesses why sex often fades in long-term relationships, even when everyday intimacy between partners is good. According to Perel, the very qualities we privilege in marriage (security, stability) are the same qualities that flatline erotic desire. Doing things to keep the heat in your marriage — taking time apart, flirting, sharing fantasies — can be antidotes that can help keep your marriage intact. And since couples who have a lot of sex report that they have happier marriages, perhaps it’s worth the effort.

18. You have to be married to your marriage as much as you are married to your spouse.

When couples vow “till death do us part,” they’re pledging to “love, honor and cherish” each other. But if they don’t pledge the same allegiance to the actual union, which inevitably requires compromise, then the marriage may run into serious trouble down the road. Blogger Vicki Larson’s analysis of a fascinating UCLA study on what it takes to maintain marital commitment is a potent reminder of this subtle-but-important distinction. If you don’t want to read the study, just watch an episode of NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”; if there’s a more realistic depiction of this type of commitment than Coach Eric and Tami Taylor’s, I haven’t seen it.

Inner beauty versus outer beauty

While it is believed that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I personally believe that isn’t necessarily so. I think beauty is within ourselves. What others see when they look at us is a projection of what we want them to see.

Inner beauty is the beauty that comes from the inside and is characterized by the following;


When we say a person has an aura about him or her that we like, that aura can possibly include kindness. When someone practices kindness, we think that that person is beautiful on the inside (whether or not she or he is beautiful on the outside).


Among one of the many characteristics we expect to find in “holy” people, compassion is an act of sympathy and empathy. If and when we are able to put ourselves in others’ shoes, we can say that we are empathetic.


A person who has inner beauty is, undoubtedly, genuine in his or her words and actions. He is true to his word, or she is trustworthy. His actions are motivated by the right reasons. He or she will naturally have what is called “human flaws,” but these flaws are corrected by this person’s ability to know what to do in the right or wrong situation.


And lastly, love is one of the key characteristics that describes a person with inner beauty. Though inner beauty is often defined by each person, and is unique to himself or herself, love permeates all definitions. A person who loves, through and through, is a person with inner beauty. And, love can be related to kindness or compassion and even genuineness.

Whatever your definition of inner beauty, it is clear that inner beauty must be shown through words and actions. And, though we all have our own definitions of inner beauty, we all know and realize that a handful of characteristics are essential to a universal definition of inner beauty.

Outer beauty simply refers to a person’s physical attributes, from how he/she looks facially and bodily to the way they dress, to their smiles etc. Outer beauty refers to a person’s outer shell.

In essence, one is looking beautiful while the other is feeling beautiful. Your skin, your hair, your body shape are all visual elements that contribute to (or detract from) your outer beauty.

When you fill your thoughts with positive energy and inner beauty, you’d appreciate the things that are around you a lot more too. Even when you look at an inanimate object like a painting, or even a view of the ocean, it seems more beautiful to you because you see the beauty that overflows within you reflect in everything else around you.

If you feel beautiful, your own self belief and confidence brings out a glow of beauty that no outer beauty can compete with. But if you feel ugly, your inner beauty will reflect the same idea and project it on your outer beauty. If you truly feel beautiful on the inside, you’d never seem unappealing to anyone else.

Many people think inner beauty is just a phrase used for ugly people to make them feel better about themselves.” People who think that are sorely mistaken.

Not all people who have inner beauty are “ugly.” In fact, many people with inner beauty also have outer beauty. So you can’t just look at someone and know if they have inner beauty, you have to get to know them first.

Ever heard the phrase, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts”? It’s true.
She doesn’t have any inner beauty, the only thing she has is her looks.

What about outer beauty? Can outer beauty, say a beautiful waterfall, a majestic mountain or the brilliant stars in heaven, be enjoyed without inner beauty? I think not. A person can be attracted by outward beauty only to find on closer examination that it is ugly on the inside. A beautiful looking person can be filled with hatred or with love. But how do we know unless we look on the inside? We often judge people when we first meet them by the way they look. It has always been said; you cannot judge a book by its cover. So look inside when you first meet people and look for that inner beauty, in the long run it is far more important than outward beauty.

The Acceptance Prophecy: How You Control Who Likes You

The acceptance prophecy states that when we think other people are going to like us, we behave more warmly towards them and consequently they like us more. When we think other people aren’t going to like us, we behave more coldly and they don’t like us as much.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy because if we predict acceptance we get it, if not we don’t. It’s also an intuitively appealing explanation for how people come to like (or dislike) each other. But the question for psychologists is whether it is really true or just a neat fairy story.

The waters are, of course, muddied by all the usual individual and cultural differences—some people care more about other’s acceptance and some people are naturally more accepting—but let’s set those aside for a moment and just imagine two people who are identical except that one expects others to accept her and one expects others to reject her.

What the research has found is that one part of the acceptance prophecy has strong evidence to support it, while the other part does not. Until now.

The first part, in a model put forward by Dr Danu Anthony Stinson at the University of Waterloo and colleagues, is that the interpersonal warmth people project predicts how much others like them (Stinson et al., 2009). For psychologists this is uncontroversial; people take better to others who are genuinely warm with accurate judgements about their warmth made in only 30 seconds (Ambady et al., 2000).

Pleased to meet you

What has proved more controversial is whether anticipating acceptance really does increase the interpersonal warmth that people project towards others. It’s this question that Stinson et al. (2009) set out to test by manipulated people’s expectations about a person they were about to meet for the first time.

They told 14 of 28 men recruited for their study that the attractive woman they were going to meet was nervous and worried about how she would be perceived by them. Quite naturally when these men found that the woman was nervous and insecure it made them feel better in comparison. This had the effect of making the men much less anxious about the interaction (actually about half as nervous as judged by independent observers) and consequently much warmer.

In comparison the other 14 sweaty-palmed participants were only given basic demographic information about the woman they were going to talk to, nothing that would calm their fears of rejection. This manipulation created two groups, then, one that was anticipating acceptance more than the other.

What the results showed was that when the risk of rejection was lower, men acted more warmly towards the woman to whom they were talking. This extra warmth also lead to a panel of observers liking them more in comparison with those who were more fearful of risk and therefore interpersonally colder.

So this provides evidence that the acceptance prophecy holds true. In this experiment people who expected to be accepted did act more warmly towards a stranger and consequently they were perceived as more likeable.

Social optimist or pessimist?

There was an exception, though, to the results of this study. One sub-group were not affected by the experimental manipulation to increase how much they expected to be accepted. That’s because they already expected to be accepted. These are the social optimists (or at least people who think rather a lot of themselves!).

Social optimists, of course, are in the happy position of expecting to be accepted and finding that, generally speaking, they are. Social pessimists, though, face the dark side of what sociologist Robert K. Merton—who coined the expression ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’—has called a ‘reign of error’. Expectation of rejection leads to the projection of colder, more defensive behaviour towards others, and this leads to actual rejection.

Feeling good about yourself and being happy

You might have noticed that some people spread cheer wherever they go. They are amazingly positive and always pleasant. This is because they are happy with what they do and most importantly, what they are. It is only when a person feels satisfied and lives a life of fulfillment, can he feel good about himself. For that, you need to have an invincible self-esteem and take pride in what you are. Humans have a malleable mind; you can whittle it any way you want. If you haven’t really tried doing that before, it is the time you mould your mind in a way to beef up your self-image and feel good about yourself. Steer clear of all negative thoughts or doings. This often has serious implications on the way you think. Frustrated, demoralised people are more prone to depression and other psychological disorders and often develop suicidal tendencies. So, it’s best to evade all negativities and make it a point to feel good about yourself. This article will help you with tips on how to make yourself  happy. Read on. 

How To Feel Good About Yourself 

Always Be Happy
You should always try to keep yourself happy. There may be difficult situations to confront, but realize that those situations are not permanent, difficult times shall pass. Optimism is the only thing that can drive your life forward. You should be aware of your thoughts—never allow any negative thought to dominate your mind and brain. 

Build Self-Esteem
Work on building your self-esteem. Remember, unless you value yourself, no one else would value you. Always make sure that you give your best to everything you do.  Build self-respect and reap good results.

Maintain Healthy Relationship
Maintaining healthy relationship is very important for happiness. Relationships are energy boosters, as they pep you up whenever you feel down in the dumps. It provides immense moral support that helps you overcome every difficult situation. Besides, relationships make you feel loved, cared for, and appreciated which is any day a big booster.

Change is Good
Dare to experiment! Changes are good. They are refreshing and always give you something new to explore. This avoids boredom and creates new relationships and contacts. You can also experiment with your looks and style. You may receive appreciations and comments on your make over and you can definitely enjoy it. People often feel comfortable with their regular activities and thus are stuck inside a shell. Break out of the shell and explore the possibilities around you.

You are as beautiful as you feel. It is important that you maintain your body with care. You should eat healthy food and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body. A healthy body is the abode of healthy mind. It is very important to be active in today’s fast pace world. You need a healthy body to utilize your competence, skills and ideas to the maximum. Weak body always makes you lethargic and takes away the enthusiasm and thus, you lose the excitement to achieve more.

Do Things You Are Good At
Utilize your skills and do things you are good at. This will provide you with confidence. Utilize the free time to develop your talents—dance, music or whatever you are passionate about. Hobbies are excellent stress busters, which absorb the stress in your daily life and make you feel fresh and good. You can also try something innovative like testing your cooking skills. All these make you feel good about what you are.

Take Breaks
In today’s busy world, you may not get enough time to relax. However, it is not good to remain continuously in stress for a long time. Schedule breaks so that it takes you off from the work atmosphere and gives you an opportunity to enjoy life. You can plan some trips if you like travelling or do what you feel like doing.

Spend Time With People You Love
This is an excellent way to make you feel good. Being amongst your loved ones provide you with the feeling of being loved and care for, which is very important in life.  We are social animals and so, we cannot survive alone. Busy work life may take you away from your close ones and gradually you may move on to a mechanical life. This is not good. Do not lead a mechanical life. Always make sure that you don’t lose those good things in life.

No Comparisons
Never compare yourself with others. This one mistake can destroy the happiness and peace in your life. Why should you think about others? You should design your life and live it according to your wish. Different people have different situations around. Success and failure are relative. Do not bother about them and try to be happy about what you have.

Create Your Own Style
You can always create your own style to standout from others. The only thing you should consider is that it should be sensible. If you have a good sense of the current fashion and trends, it won’t be a big task to create your own style. This experiment may help you to create a different impression in others and you will be confident enough to present yourself in a group.

Accept Compliments And Criticisms
Acknowledge your acceptance whenever someone says something good about you. If someone says that your new hairstyle suites you, just say a ‘Thank You’ just to show that you accepted it. There may be situations you face criticism. Try to take it in the right way. Respect the other persons thought and do not feel bad. If someone criticizes you, then sort those criticisms into one of the following three piles (in your mine) – “not valid,”” “not a moral fault but worth putting in correction” and “I’m not going to change that one”, This will help you deal with criticisms effectively.

Do not hesitate to laugh. It is the best medicine that can make you feel light and happy within matter of seconds.  Also, try to cheer yourself up whenever you feel low. Listen to comic videos, watch movies, read books or do anything you like.

Feeling good about yourself is very important to develop confidence and self-esteem. It keeps your life lighter and makes you happy and pleasant every time. It relieves your tension and fills you with a positive energy. Follow the tips mentioned above and always feel good about yourself.

Relationship Killers: Emotional Immaturity, Selfishness and Instant Gratification

Emotional maturity is something some folks never accomplish, no matter how many years they live. Immaturity, self-centered behavior, and the desire for instant gratification are three of the reasons why marriages fail. All of these behaviors combined with the attitude of “if it does not work out, we will just go our separate ways” contribute to a high divorce rate.

What is emotional immaturity? Some people live by the maxim, “I may grow old, but I refuse to grow up.” This may be humorous when seen on a T-shirt, but when people take this attitude into their marriages, they are setting themselves and their relationship up for misery. This does not mean that you have to be serious all the time; far from it. It just means that you cannot allow your emotions to rule you and to affect how you behave toward your spouse.

Being self-centered or selfish is all about the “me first” attitude. “My needs are more important than yours” is the rally cry of the self-centered person. A self-centered person tends to criticize and blame rather than looking at her/his own behavior. A self-centered person sees nothing wrong with manipulating her spouse to get her way. A self-centered person thinks nothing of putting his family in danger by drinking and driving.

What about instant gratification? For some people, if everything is not perfect and to their liking, they tend to resort to complaints about their marriage. They think of their marriage like fast food instead of fine dining. They want a ‘quick fix’. It becomes a disposable commodity instead of something to be treasured and enjoyed if the relationship is not going in the direction they have envisioned.

Like they said, ‘nothing good comes easy’. Marriage inclusive. Our relationships requires maintenance to make it successful. It will require extra work if you are engaging in these damaging behaviors. The good news is that you, too, can create a happier marriage if you are willing to begin with yourself. You have to be willing to put in the time and energy required to help your marriage become a strong one. But it all starts with you. Personal responsibility is the key. As you work on yourself, you are bound to see changes in your relationship. You must learn to look past your spouse’s shortcomings and accept him/her the way he/she is, because your acceptance of him will definitely produce a change in you first of all and ultimately, in him/her.

This is not going to be a ‘piece of cake’, but it is possible. And in an instance where you think this is too much for you, you may seek help from relationship counselors.

Let everything you do be directed towards the success of your marriage.

I left the love of my life because I thought I could do better. Now I’m childless and alone at 42 By KAREN CROSS

I saw this story on dailymail and thought it was a good read with a timeless lesson for all women out there, both the married and the unmarried. It is the story of a woman who left a secured relationship because she thought she needed more than what she was getting.
Pls read and enjoy.

Laughing and dancing with my fiance at our engagement party, I thought I might actually burst with happiness.

Surrounded by our family and friends, I looked at Matthew and felt certain I had met the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with.

Quite simply, he was my soulmate.

We were desperately in love and had our future life together mapped out.

First we  would save to buy our own home, then would come a romantic wedding ceremony and children would follow.

 So why, 20 years later, do I find myself  single, childless and tormented by the fact that I have thrown away the only true chance of happiness I ever had?

Eight years after that wonderful engagement party in 1989, I walked away from dear, devoted, loyal Matthew, convinced that somewhere out there, a better, more exciting, more fulfilling life awaited me.
Only there wasn’t.

Now I am 42 and have all the trappings of success – a high-flying career, financial security and a home in the heart of London’s trendy Notting Hill. But I don’t have the one thing I crave more than anything: a loving husband and family.

‘My father warned me not to throw this love away. But I was sure I’d find Mr Perfect around the corner’
You see, I never did find another man who offered everything Matthew did, who understood me and loved me like he did. Someone who was my best friend as well as my lover.

Today, seeing friends with their children around them tortures me, as I know I am unlikely ever to have a family of my own. I think about the times Matthew and I talked about having children, even discussing the names we would choose. I cannot believe I turned my back on so much happiness.
Instead, here I am back on the singles market, looking for the very thing I discarded with barely a backward glance all those years ago.

I know I can’t have Matthew back, and it hurts when I hear snippets of information about his life and how content he is. Fifteen years after I ended our relationship, he is happily married.

At this time of year, so many people will be assessing their lives and relationships, wondering if the grass is greener on the other side. Many will mistake contentment for boredom, forgetting to cherish the good things they have. I would urge those who are considering walking away from such riches to think again.

How different things would be for me now if only I’d listened to Matthew when he pleaded with me not to leave him in 1997, tears pouring down his face. I was crying too, and it tortured me to watch the heart of the man I loved breaking in front of me. But I was resolute.

‘One day I might look back and realise  I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life,’ I told him as we clung to each other desperately. How prophetic those words have proven to be.

‘I will always be here for you,’ Matthew promised. And I, arrogantly, thought that somehow I could put him on ice and return to him.

Matthew and I met when we attended the same comprehensive school in Essex. We started dating just before Christmas 1987 when I was 17 and studying for my A-levels. By that time he had left school and was working as a motorcycle courier.

We got on like a house on fire, and our  families each supported the relationship. Before long, we had fallen in love. Matthew was romantic but incredibly practical, something that would later come to annoy me. His gifts to me that Christmas were a leather jacket – and a pair of thermal leggings.

Two weeks later, when we’d been seeing each other for less than a month, he proposed. We were in my little Mini Clubman when he shouted at me to stop the car. Scared something was wrong, I braked in the middle of traffic and we both jumped out.

Then, oblivious to the other drivers beeping their horns, he got down on one knee in the middle of the road. ‘I love you, Karen Cross,’ he said. ‘Promise you’ll marry me one day.’ I laughed and said yes, thrilled that he felt the same way that I did.

In the summer of 1989, while out for a romantic meal, Matthew proposed properly with a diamond solitaire ring. Two months later, we held our engagement party for 40 friends and family at the little house we were renting at the time.

The following year, we bought a tiny starter home in Grays, Essex, which we moved into with furniture we had begged, borrowed and stolen. We giggled with delight at the thought of this grown-up new life.
I was in my first junior role at a women’s magazine and Matthew worked fitting tyres and exhausts, so our combined salaries of around £15,000 a year meant we struggled to make the mortgage payments. But we didn’t care, telling ourselves that it wouldn’t be long before we were earning more and able to afford weekly treats and a bigger home where we could bring up the babies we had planned.

But then, the housing market crashed and we were plunged into negative equity.

Struggling should have brought us closer together, and at first it did. But as time went on, and my magazine career – and salary – advanced, I started to resent Matthew as he drifted from one dead-end job to another.

I still loved him, but I began to feel embarrassed by his blue-collar jobs, annoyed that, despite his intelligence, he didn’t have a career. Then he bought a lurid blue and pink VW  Beetle.

Why couldn’t he drive a normal car? Things that now seem incredibly insignificant began to niggle.

I began to wish he was more sophisticated and earned more. I felt envious of friends with better-off partners, who were able to support them as they started their families.

I stopped seeing Matthew as my equal. I stopped seeing all the qualities that had made me fall in love with him – his fierce intelligence, our shared sense of humour, his determination not to follow the crowd. Instead, I saw someone who was holding me back.

‘I hated the fact Matthew was suddenly putting another woman before me. How dare she come between us! Over the next few weeks, I’m ashamed to say I vented my spleen at both of them in a series of heated phone calls’
I encouraged him to find a career and was thrilled when he was accepted to join the police in 1995. It should have heralded a new chapter in our lives, but it only hastened the end. We went from spending every evening and weekend together, to hardly seeing one another. Matthew was doing round-the-clock shifts, while I worked long hours on the launch of a new magazine.

Our sex life had dwindled and nights out together were rare. I stopped appreciating little things he did, like leaving romantic notes on the pillow or scouring secondhand bookshops for novels he knew I’d love. He was my best friend, yet I took him totally for granted.

After festering for weeks about his shortcomings, I told Matthew I was leaving. We spent hours talking and crying as he tried to convince me to stay, but I was adamant.

My parents were horrified that I was walking away from a man they felt was right for me. My father’s words to me that day continue to haunt me. ‘Karen, think carefully about what you’re doing. There’s a lot to be said for someone who truly loves you.’

‘It’s been 11 years since Matthew and I last spoke, I have to accept that door has closed’ (posed by model)

But, I refused to listen, convinced there would be another, better Mr Right waiting around the corner.

I moved into a rented flat a few miles away in Hornchurch, Essex, and embraced single life with a vengeance. By now I was an editor on a national magazine. Life was one long round of premieres and dinner or drinks parties.

Matthew and I remained close, even telling each other about new relationships. But though I’d dumped him, I never felt the women he met were good enough. I can see now I was acting out of jealousy. I clearly wanted to keep him for myself.

Our closeness was, however, called to a halt in 2000 when he met his first serious girlfriend after me, Sara.

One night shortly after his 34th birthday, I phoned to ask his advice about something.

Matthew was unusually abrupt and asked me not to call him again. ‘Please don’t send me birthday or Christmas cards any more either. Sara opened your card last week and was really upset. I have to put her feelings first.’

I hated the fact Matthew was suddenly putting another woman before me. How dare she come between us! Over the next few weeks, I’m ashamed to say I vented my spleen at both of them in a series of heated phone calls.

I was completely irrational. I didn’t want Matthew back, but felt upstaged by Sara. 

Unsurprisingly, after one particularly nasty argument, Matthew put the phone down and refused to take any more of my calls. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I would never speak to him again.

Shortly afterwards, I met Richard. It was a whirlwind romance, and within a year we were engaged and buying an idyllic farmhouse in the Norfolk countryside while I continued my journalistic career, commuting to London.

He was a successful singer and, as we toured the country, I thought I had finally found the excitement and love that I craved.

But Matthew was never far from my thoughts, and Richard complained that I often brought him into conversations, even comparing them both.

They were so different. Although outwardly romantic, Richard was repeatedly unfaithful, and I never felt secure enough to start a family with him. Eventually, after three-and-a-half years together, he walked out, having admitted his latest paramour was pregnant by him.

My life fell apart. Over the next year, I struggled to pull myself back together and did a lot of soul-searching. I finally understood what my father had meant. I realised Matthew was the only person who had loved and understood me.

When I heard through a mutual friend that he had split up with Sara, I wrote to him, apologising and asking for forgiveness – and a second chance. It was six years since we had last spoken, but naively I thought he would want to hear from me.

What I didn’t know was that Sara was still living at the house and it was she who opened my very personal letter. It included my phone number, and she left me several angry, hurtful. voicemails.

Yet again, I had inadvertently caused problems in Matthew’s life, so it was unsurprising I never heard from him, despite writing several times over the next few months. In the end, I left it at birthday and Christmas cards, thinking he’d find a way to get in touch if he ever changed his mind.

Then, I heard a couple of years ago Matthew had married his new partner, Nicola. For a few moments I couldn’t breathe, then the tears came.

Matthew and Nicola still live in Essex and, as far as I know, don’t yet have children. That’s the next milestone I truly dread.

It’s been 11 years since Matthew and I last spoke, and I have to accept that door has closed.

Perhaps he has found what  he is looking for and I am a distant memory.

I have had one other  significant relationship since Richard – with Rob – but that recently ended after four years. Rob reminded me a lot of Matthew. He was decent and honourable, the life and soul of the party but with a kind and sensitive side.

But we were each too jaded by previous heartbreak to make it work. And while I wanted children, he had a grown-up son and didn’t want to start over again.
So once again I am on my own, my mind full of ‘if-onlys’. If only I’d stayed with Matthew, we’d almost certainly be married with children.

Or, maybe Matthew wasn’t the right man. I will never know  the answer, but my decision to leave him has definitely cost me the chance of ever becoming a mother.

Now I can only look back and admonish my selfish, younger self. When I visit friends and family back in our home town, I can’t help but hope I’ll bump into  Matthew.

I’d like to think I’d say sorry. That I will always be there for him. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned his back on me and kept walking.

To those out there thinking of walking away from humdrum relationships, I would say don’t mistake contentment for unhappiness, as I did. It could be a choice you’ll regret for the rest of your life.

Karen stopped appreciating little things he did, like leaving romantic notes on the pillow

Karen stopped appreciating little things he did, like leaving romantic notes on the pillow

Africa: where black is not really beautiful

South Africa is marketed to the world as Mandela’s rainbow nation, where everyone is proud of their race and heritage. But for some black South Africans there is such a thing as being too black.

A recent study by the University of Cape Town suggests that one woman in three in South Africa bleaches her skin. The reasons for this are as varied as the cultures in this country but most people say they use skin-lighteners because they want “white skin”.

Local musician Nomasonto “Mshoza” Mnisi, now several shades lighter, says her new skin makes her feel more beautiful and confident.

She has been widely criticised in the local media and social networking sites for her appearance but the 30-year-old says skin-bleaching is a personal choice, no different from breast implants or a having nose job.

“I’ve been black and dark-skinned for many years, I wanted to see the other side. I wanted to see what it would be like to be white and I’m happy,” she says candidly.

Over the past couple of years Ms Mnisi has had several treatments. Each session can cost around 5,000 rand (£360; $590), she tells the BBC.

Unlike many in the country, she uses high-end products which are believed to be safer than the creams sold on the black market but they are by no means risk-free, doctors say.

Costly beauty

Ms Mnisi says she does not understand the criticism about her new appearance.

“Yes, part of it is a self-esteem issue and I have addressed that and I am happy now. I’m not white inside, I’m not really fluent in English, I have black kids. I’m a township girl, I’ve just changed the way I look on the outside,” she says.

The dangers associated with the use of some of these creams include blood cancers such as leukaemia and cancers of the liver and kidneys, as well as a severe skin condition called ochronosis, a form of hyper-pigmentation which causes the skin to turn a dark purple shade, according to senior researcher at the University of Cape Town, Dr Lester Davids.

“Very few people in South Africa and Africa know the concentration of the toxic compounds that are contained in the products on the black market and that is concerning. We need to do more to educate people about these dangerous products,” says Dr Davids.

He says over the past six years there has been a significant increase in the number of skin lighteners flooding local markets, some of them legal and some illegal. This is what prompted their research.

Local dermatologists say they are seeing more and more patients whose skin has been damaged by years of bleaching – most of the time irreversibly.

“I’m getting patients from all over Africa needing help with treating their ochronosis. There is very little we can do to reverse the damage and yet people are still in denial about the side-effects of these products,” says Dr Noora Moti-Joosub.

In many parts of Africa and Asia, lighter-skinned woman are considered more beautiful, are believed to be more successful and more likely to find marriage.

The origin of this belief in Africa is not clear, but researchers have linked it to Africa’s colonial history where white skin was the epitome of beauty.

Some have also suggested that people from “brown nations” around the world tended to look down upon dark-skinned people.

‘I don’t like black skin’

The World Health Organization has reported that Nigerians are the highest users of such products: 77% of Nigerian women use the products on a regular basis. They are followed by Togo with 59%; South Africa with 35%; and Mali at 25%.
Studies have found that men are also beginning to bleach their skin
South Africa banned products containing more than 2% of hydroquinone – the most common active ingredient in in the 1980s. But it is easy to see creams and lotions containing the chemical on the stalls here. Some creams contain harmful steroids and others mercury.

While skin-lightening creams have been used by some South Africans for many years, they have become more common recently with the influx of people from countries such as Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo, where they are even more widespread.

In a bustling African market in the centre of Yeoville in Johannesburg, it is skin lighteners galore.

Walking through this community is like walking through a mini-Africa: you can find someone from any part of the continent here.

I notice that many of the women have uncharacteristically light skin faces while the rest of their bodies are darker.

Some even have scabby burns on their cheeks from the harmful chemicals used to strip the skin of pigmentation.

They don’t want to speak openly about why they bleach their skin, or even have their pictures taken.

Psychologists say there are also underlying reasons why people bleach their skin – but low self-esteem and, to some degree self-hate, are a common thread.

But skin-lightening is not just a fascination and obsession of women. Congolese hair stylist Jackson Marcelle says he has been using special injections to bleach his skin for the past 10 years. Each injection lasts for six months.

“I pray every day and I ask God, ‘God why did you make me black?’ I don’t like being black. I don’t like black skin,” he tells me.

Skin lightening creams are popular in many parts of Africa
Mr Marcelle – known in this busy community as Africa’s Michael Jackson – says his mother used to apply creams on him when he was young in order to make him appear “less black”.

“I like white people. Black people are seen as dangerous; that’s why I don’t like being black. People treat me better now because I look like I’m white,” he adds.

Entrenched in the minds of many Africans from a young age is the adage “if it’s white, it’s all right”, a belief that has chipped away at the self-esteem of millions.

Until this changes, no amount of official bans or public information campaigns will stop people risking serious damage to their health in the pursuit of what they think is beauty.

Culled from BBC News

The important things in life

A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car.

The sand is everything else. The small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.

Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

Standing in line by John Igbinovia

At some point, we all will find ourselves in that place. Time, as we know it, will not really be what concerns us as we wait for our turn. All men will come to that place.

Your number might 38,925 or it might just be 23….but no matter how long it takes, it will be your turn. It will not matter who “pastored” you, or even who fathered you. It will just be about you.

Then your number – or your name will be called….or you will simply know it is your turn, like the myriad of souls around you. The crowd will part to let you go through – or maybe you will step out from the line and make your way to the front. However the case may be, you will eventually come to that place…all men will come to that place.

The judge will look down at you; no man will ever be as great or tall or all encompassing as He is. He will look into your face and you will gaze into GLORY – and at that point, you will know that the Judge knows it all. The things you have never said to anyone, the reasons behind the reasons you give for the actions you take, the evil behind the good that has been done or the good in what was termed to be evil…. He who has seen and knows it all will look into your total nakedness as you stand before him….and you will know that He knows it all.

Maybe HE will ask “why”, though you both will already know why. Maybe HE will listen to you stutter through your explanations. Perhaps, you will try to rationalise why someone else was the reason why certain actions were taken, why you allowed certain failings, maybe attempt to explain, based on “emperical proof” and “firm facts”, why hormones or the dictates of societal “norms” were the reasons for your embrace of evil. Perhaps, infidelity was “unavoidable”, pulling down another to climb was mere “competition”, not following purpose was de-emphasised by “more pressing” needs, and yet, whatever means of communication may be employed on that day as you attempt to explain, you will know that He knows it all.

You will also know that the decision made about you on that “day” will be final with no grey areas – and will be totally irreversible – and  ALL men will come that place.

And when it’s all being said and done, when your life is the movie to be watched by saints, angels and the I AM, may the outcome not be “Depart from me”, because, when it’s all being said and done, ONLY the outcome of that moment will determine if your WHOLE life was meaningful…after all.

What do you really want?

Have you ever noticed an internal conflict in your own thought process about what you want out of life? Sometimes, these can be pretty simple conflicts: some part of you wants ice cream and another part wants to lose weight.
When you ask people what they want, you get varying answers.
For the most part, people tend to list all kinds of things they want. Cars, houses, money, and toys of all sorts frequently come to mind for most individuals. All pretty understandable, really.
If you dig into the what-do-you-want question with a bit more resolve, you might find yourself coming up with some large buckets of life in which you would like to experience greater satisfaction or fulfillment. Typical categories include health, wealth, career, family, relationship, personal or spiritual growth, fun, adventure and the like. As you think about what you want in your life, consider these three questions:
Why do you want those things?
What do you hope will be true if you have the [job, money, house, relationship, etc.]?
What experience are you looking for if you only had the right [car, house, money, etc.]
Most people say they want more money. When asked why they want more money, or what more money would do for them, they usually say something about buying things — the house, car, travel, etc. If that’s true for you, my suggestion is that you think a bit more deeply on what you hope to experience, not just on what you hope to buy: “What positive experience or experiences would you associate with having more money?”
From here, the answers might become more interesting. If you had more money, what would you imagine experiencing? Greater freedom? Security? Peace of mind? Sense of power or success?
If you are after the experience of being secure, free and at peace, is there any amount of money (or house, or car, or perfect relationship) that will produce those experiences? Think on that one for a moment: do you know anyone of little money who seems content? Do you know anyone with tons of cash who never seems at peace, secure or happy? Of course, there are people with money and peace, just as there are people who lack both money and contentment.
The point is that there is no equation here. No amount of money produces security, or peace or fulfillment.
How do you produce what you truly want? The obvious starting point is to clarify what it is that you want in the first place. As has been written many times over, there’s an old cliché that applies every time: if you don’t know where you are going, any road will do.
So, play with this a little. If what you want is freedom, peace of mind, security, a sense of fullness or completion, and you have freedom, peace of mind, security, and a sense of fullness or completion in your life, would it matter how much money you have?
Wait a minute. Is this a trick question?
Well, yes and no. What I have found is that the more I focus on the positive experiences I want out of life, not only do I tend to produce those more frequently, but also the easier it is to produce more of the material “things” in life as well. Strangely, focusing on money hasn’t made anyone more secure or free, yet focusing on producing freedom and security has made it easier to create material success to go along with those inner qualities of success.
So, now what happens when you come to one of those forks in the road?
If your focus on what you want is more on physical possessions, then at least you have some guidance about how to choose: which fork is more likely to lead to the job, house, car, or money? However, if what you truly want is found more in the quality of experience than the quantity of possessions, then you need to make certain that you are thinking about the experiences you seek and not just the possessions you could accumulate.
Have you ever really, really wanted something, focused hard on getting it, wound up getting it and then wondered why you ever wanted it in the first place? If so, my suggestion would be to consider what matters most to you. After all, can you ever get enough of what you don’t really want?
So here we are at the fork again. How should I choose? How about choosing toward the experiences you seek? Which fork is more likely to lead to freedom, security, fun or whatever experiences you truly are seeking?
The choice is yours to make.

‘Things Fall Apart’ author Chinua Achebe dies

(CNN) – Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, acclaimed in part for his groundbreaking 1958 novel “Things Fall Apart,” has died, his British publisher, Penguin Books, said Friday.

He was 82.

An author of more than 20 books, his honors included the 2007 Man Booker International Prize for Fiction.

He was also accorded his country’s highest award for intellectual achievement, the Nigerian National Merit Award.

Achebe is a major part of African literature, and is popular all over the continent for his novels, especially “Anthills of the Savannah,” which was itself shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1987, and “Things Fall Apart.”

The latter was required reading in countless high schools and colleges in the continent, and has been translated into dozens of languages.

Set in precolonial Nigeria, “Things Fall Apart” portrays the story of a farmer, Okonkwo, who struggles to preserve his customs despite pressure from British colonizers. The story resonated in post-independent Africa, and the character became a household name in the continent.

Achebe’s stories included proverbs and tackled complex issues of African identity, nationalism and decolonization, adding to his books’ popularity.

He once wrote an essay criticizing Joseph Conrad, author of “Heart of Darkness,” as a racist for his depiction of Africans as savages. Conrad’s popularity took a hit after the accusation — a testament to Achebe’s credibility.

He also criticized corruption and poor governance in Africa, and had been known to reject accolades by the Nigerian government to protest political problems.

Penguin Books’ Twitter feed said: “Chinua Achebe: a brilliant writer, and a giant of African literature. Nelson Mandela said he ‘brought Africa to the rest of the world’. RIP.”

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan issued a statement paying tribute to Achebe as “Nigeria’s globally acclaimed writer, scholar, tutor, cultural icon, nationalist and artist of the very first rank.”

While Achebe will be greatly missed, Jonathan said, he will live on in the minds of present and future generations through his great works.

He added that Achebe’s “frank, truthful and fearless interventions in national affairs will be greatly missed at home … because while others may have disagreed with his views, most Nigerians never doubted his immense patriotism and sincere commitment to the building of a greater, more united and prosperous nation that all Africans and the entire black race could be proud of.”

Biafran War

Born in Nigeria in 1930, Achebe was raised in the large village of Ogidi, one of the first centers of Anglican missionary work in Eastern Nigeria, according to a biography posted by Penguin.

He was an early graduate of the respected University of Ibadan, established in Nigeria before the end of British colonial rule in 1960.

He worked in radio but in 1966 left his post during the national upheaval that led to the bloody Biafran War, in which Nigeria’s southeastern provinces attempted to secede.

Achebe joined the Biafran Ministry of Information and represented Biafra on diplomatic and fund-raising missions before the civil war came to an end after two and a half years.

He subsequently took up university posts in Nigeria and overseas, including teaching at Bard College in New York and Brown University in Rhode Island, where he was professor of Africana Studies.
Achebe’s 2012 memoir, “There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra,” draws on his recollections of that painful period in Nigeria’s past.

In an interview for the Paris Review of Books in 1994, Achebe spoke of how his early love of stories led him to realize that they reflected only the point of view of the white man. That spurred him to write himself.

“There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. … Once I realized that, I had to be a writer. I had to be that historian,” he said.

“It’s not one man’s job. It’s not one person’s job. But it is something we have to do, so that the story of the hunt will also reflect the agony, the travail — the bravery, even, of the lions.”


WARNING ON HAIR:                   
My dear. Let me give you a background b4 I tell u my story:

My sister inlaw came to pray with me last two years. She said she was experiencing ill luck during the week. So many nasty things happening to her.I prayed wit her and the Spirit led me to ask her wat hair she had on, she said indian. I was led to tell her to remove it and not give out but pray and burn it. She obeyed and things went back to normal. Sometime after that, I and my hubby were watching TV and saw a documentary about how ladies in India sacrifice their hair to the gods if they havE nothing else (material/worthy) to sacrifice.

My husband likes human hair. So even though I like my full dreadlocks kind of hairstyles, I give him wat he likes most times. I have done brazilian and Peruvian so thought to try smtin different and more natural… Indian. Last weekend I ordered for it and made it. Prayed on it and believed it was fine. Yesterday night, I had the strangest of dreams. I saw that I made a hair that allowed me to pack it thus project my face and make it look slimmer. All of a sudden, I got into a scam wit 3 pple and began to chase me all over the place to kill me. I got off from them narrowly then got into a market. There, a mad man began to chase me.
I escaped him narrowly then 2 rapist-thugs came after me. All the while, I felt I was carrying someone else’s face. I ran into a house with pple praying. The lady in charge there looked at me and showed me a picture of my self with my regular synthetic dread-like hair and said “but that is ur regular look, why are u carrying someone else’s face?” Then from no where another lovely lady came from outside, drew me to the corner and began to ask me about my look. She said “you are having problems with your hair right?” While she was talking, I noticed something in her mouth; a bow of cowries and the face of a Benin god, I looked closer and asked her wat it was and why she had it. She said her man likes her because of that decor in her mouth —cowries and the face of a god like a shrine in one’s mouth? and that she is comfortable. She also said that it’s beautiful
I woke up and prayed. I immediately understood what the message was but didn’t want to let go of my cute human hair that cost so much. I decided to ask my husband cos he interpretes dreams accurately. He immediately told me to remove the hair. At the same time, the Spirit told me to cut it off and not remove it gracefully cos it tried to bring me shame and pain. Cut it off, anoint my head, anoint and pray on the hair to refute all ill then not to only throw it away or give it out but BURN IT. I obeyed.

I have decided to only carry my natural hair or synthetic hair. This is bcos the Bible says; “The hair is the woman’s crowning glory”. Carrying another’s is like carrying the other person’s spirit. The worst is even Indian. Nothing wrong with Indians; They are beautiful and we loooove them especially in Films but those hairs sold are sacrifices to gods. Thus, they are cursed. There are loads of other human-looking hair made with synthetic in the market if you want that look or if you insist on wearing real human hair, try those from other Countries but pray on them and be ready to bear any consequence.

Felt to share. Love Rachel. God bless you all

President Barack Obama’s look alike Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni cast as satan in History channel’s ‘ The Bible’

SOCIAL media platforms erupted on Sunday night when US TV viewers noted an alarming similarity between President Barack Obama and an actor playing the Devil.

Thousands of the 13.1 million viewers of The Bible commented on social media platforms on the resemblance of actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni to the 44th President of the United States.

Interest was piqued when right-wing commentator and radio-host Glenn Beck tweeted: “Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?

Barack Obama’s limousine breaks down in Israel

One of US President Barack Obama’s limousines has broken down in Israel.

The black, heavily guarded limousine experienced mechanical problems in Tel Aviv before Mr Obama landed in the country for a state visit.

Media reports said the vehicle was mistakenly filled with diesel rather than petrol.

The disabled limo was swapped for a back-up, and Mr Obama’s busy itinerary in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on Wednesday was not affected.

“This is why we bring multiple vehicles and a mechanic on all trips,” US Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said in a statement.

“Situations like this are planned for extensively by our advance teams so that the President’s itinerary is unaffected by these types of issues.” 

The US President arrived in the Middle East on Wednesday for a three-day tour of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

It is his first trip to the region since he first took office in 2009.

Things i have learned

I’ve learned –
that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is
be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned –
that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned –
that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned –
that it’s not what you have in your life
but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned –
that you can get by on charm
for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned –
that you shouldn’t compare
yourself to the best others can do
but to the best you can do.

I’ve learned –
that it’s not what happens to people
that’s important. It’s what they do about it.

I’ve learned –
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned –
that no matter how thin you slice it,
there are always two sides.

I’ve learned –
that it’s taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.

I’ve learned –
that it’s a lot easier
to react than it is to think.

I’ve learned –
that you should always leave
loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

I’ve learned –
that you can keep going
long after you think you can’t.

I’ve learned –
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned –
that either you control your attitude
or it controls you.

I’ve learned –
that regardless of how hot and steamy
a relationship is at first,
the passion fades and there had better be
something else to take its place.

I’ve learned –
that heroes are the people
who do what has to be done
when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned –
that learning to forgive takes practice.

I’ve learned –
that there are people who love you dearly,
but just don’t know how to show it.

I’ve learned –
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I’ve learned –
that my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned –
that sometimes the people you expect
to kick you when you’re down
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned –
that sometimes when I’m angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me
the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned –
that true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned –
that just because someone doesn’t love you
the way you want them to doesn’t mean
they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned –
that maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you’ve had
and what you’ve learned from them
and less to do with how many
birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned _
that you should never tell a child
their dreams are unlikely or outlandish.
Few things are more humiliating, and
what a tragedy it would be
if they believed it.

I’ve learned –
that your family won’t always
be there for you. It may seem funny,
but people you aren’t related to
can take care of you and love you
and teach you to trust people again.
Families aren’t biological.

I’ve learned –
that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you
every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned –
that it isn’t always enough
to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes you have to learn
to forgive yourself.

I’ve learned –
that no matter how bad
your heart is broken
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned –
that our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned –
that sometimes when my friends fight,
I’m forced to choose sides
even when I don’t want to.

I’ve learned –
that just because two people argue,
it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other
And just because they don’t argue,
it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned –
that sometimes you have to put
the individual ahead of their actions.

I’ve learned –
that we don’t have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned –
that you shouldn’t be so
eager to find out a secret.
It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned –
that two people can look
at the exact same thing
and see something totally different.

I’ve learned –
that no matter how you try to protect
your children, they will eventually get hurt
and you will hurt in the process.

I’ve learned –
that there are many ways of falling
and staying in love.

I’ve learned –
that no matter the consequences,
those who are honest with themselves
get farther in life.

I’ve learned –
that no matter how many friends you have,
if you are their pillar you will feel lonely
and lost at the times you need them most.

I’ve learned –
that your life can be changed
in a matter of hours
by people who don’t even know you.

I’ve learned –
that even when you think
you have no more to give,
when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned –
that writing, as well as talking,
can ease emotional pains.

I’ve learned –
that the paradigm we live in
is not all that is offered to us.

I’ve learned –
that credentials on the wall
do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned –
that the people you care most about in life
are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned –
that although the word “love”
can have many different meanings,
it loses value when overly used.

I’ve learned –
that it’s hard to determine
where to draw the line
between being nice and
not hurting people’s feelings
and standing up for what you believe.

Lawsuit says two-year-old boy ate used condom at Chicago McDonald’s

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp has been sued by a woman who said her two-year-old son ate a used condom he found in the play area of one of its restaurants in Chicago.

Anishi Spencer filed the complaint against the fast-food restaurant chain on Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of herself and her sons, Jonathan Hines and Jacquel Hines.

According to the complaint, Spencer and her sons were at a McDonald’s restaurant in Chicago’s South Side on February 4, 2012 when Jacquel picked up the used condom from the floor, and shortly thereafter coughed up a piece of it.

Both boys required medical care, and have suffered lasting injuries, pain and discomfort, the complaint said.

Spencer accused McDonald’s of negligence for failing to clean hazardous debris from the play area, and failing to use appropriate security measures to help uncover “deviant activities.” The lawsuit seeks at least $50,000 of damages.

“This is a very disgusting case,” Jeffrey Deutschman, a lawyer for Spencer and her sons at Deutschman & Associates in Chicago, said in a phone interview.

He said he tried to settle, but was unable to do so after having to deal with “layers and layers” of bureaucracy at McDonald’s, which is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.

McDonald’s spokeswomen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Jonathan is now 4 and Jacquel is now 3.

The case is Hines et al v. McDonald’s Restaurants of Illinois Inc et al, Cook County Circuit Court, No. 2013L002625.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

New pope urges Church to return to its Gospel roots

In his first public Mass, Pope Francis urged the Catholic Church on Thursday to stick to its Gospel roots and shun modern temptations, warning that it would become just another charitable group if it forgot its true mission.

In a heartfelt, simple homily, the Argentinian pope laid out a clear moral path for the 1.2-billion-member Church, which is beset by scandals, intrigue and strife.

Addressing cardinals in the frescoed Sistine Chapel the day after his election there, Jorge Bergoglio said the Church should be more focused on the Gospels of Jesus Christ.

“We can walk all we want, we can build many things, but if we don’t proclaim Jesus Christ, something is wrong. We would become a compassionate NGO and not a Church which is the bride of Christ,” he said, speaking in Italian without notes.

The first non-European pope in 1,300 years, Bergoglio’s initial steps suggested he would bring a new style to the papacy, favoring humility and simplicity over pomp, grandeur and ambition among its top officials.

Whereas his predecessor, Pope Benedict, delivered his first homily in Latin, laying out his broad vision for the Church, Francis adopted the tone of parish priest, focusing on faith.

“When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we proclaim Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly,” he told the massed ranks of cardinals clad in golden vestments.

“We may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, all of this, but we are not disciples of the Lord,” he added.

Earlier, Pope Francis had quietly slipped out of the Vatican to pray for guidance at one of Rome’s great basilicas before returning briefly to a Rome hostel, where he had left his bags before entering the secret conclave on Tuesday.

Francis, who has a reputation for frugality and an understated lifestyle, insisted on paying the bill. “He was concerned about giving a good example of what priests and bishops should do,” a Vatican spokesman said.

Father Pawel Rytel-Andrianik, who lives in the same residence in the winding backstreets of central Rome, told Reuters: “I don’t think he needs to worry about the bill. This house is part of the Church and it’s his Church now.”


The new pontiff has postponed for a few days a trip to the papal summer retreat south of Rome, to meet Benedict, who last month became the first pontiff in 600 years to step down, saying that at 85 he was too frail to lead the troubled Church.

Francis is, at 76, older than many other contenders for the papacy and his age was one of several big surprises about the selection of the Argentine cardinal. The Vatican said on Thursday he was “in very good shape” despite having a lung partially removed more than 50 years ago.

Bergoglio is the first Jesuit pope, an order traditionally dedicated to serving the papacy, and the first to take the name Francis in honor of the 12th-century Italian saint from Assisi who spurned wealth to pursue a life of poverty.

No Vatican watchers had expected the conservative Argentinian to get the nod, and some of the background to the surprise vote began trickling out on Thursday.

French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard told reporters: “We were looking for a pope who was spiritual, a shepherd. I think with Cardinal Bergoglio, we have this kind of person. He is also a man of great intellectual character who I believe is also a man of governance.”

Ricard added that what Bergoglio said during cardinals’ meetings before the conclave also impressed the 114 electors.

Despite never having been tipped for success, Austria Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said the Argentinian was clearly popular amongst the so-called princes of the Church from the start.

“Cardinal Bergoglio wouldn’t have become pope in the fifth ballot, if he had not been a really strong contender for the papacy from the beginning,” he said.

Morale among the faithful has been hit by a widespread child sex abuse scandal and in-fighting in the Church government or Curia, which many prelates believe needs radical reform.

Francis is seen as a Church leader with the common touch and communications skills, in sharp contrast with Benedict’s aloof intellectual nature.

The new style was immediately on display on Wednesday as he took his first tentative steps as pontiff into the public gaze, addressing cheering crowds gathered in the cobbled esplanade beneath St. Peter’s Basilica.

“I ask a favor of you … pray for me,” he urged the crowds, telling them the 114 other cardinal-electors “went almost to the end of the world” to find a new leader.


Bergoglio’s election answered some fundamental questions about the direction of the Church in the coming years.

After more than a millennium of European leadership, the cardinal-electors looked to Latin America, where 42 percent of the world’s Catholics live. The continent is more focused on poverty and the rise of evangelical churches than questions of materialism and sexual abuse, which dominate in the West.

Italian media commentators said on Thursday the power of the Italian voting bloc amongst the cardinals, nearly a quarter of the total, had been undermined by the “Vatileaks” scandal that revealed turmoil and corruption inside the Curia.

This reduced the chances of election of one of the front runners, Milan Archbishop Angelo Scola.

Italian bishops had egg on their faces on Thursday after it was revealed that they sent congratulations to Scola, assuming he had been chosen, just after Bergoglio appeared at the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica following his election.

Bergoglio was born into a family of seven, his father an Italian immigrant railway worker and his mother a housewife. He became a priest at 32, a decade after losing a lung due to respiratory illness and quitting his chemistry studies. He has a reputation as someone willing to challenge powerful interests and has had a sometimes difficult relationship with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez and her late husband and predecessor, Nestor Kirchner.

Displaying his conservative orthodoxy, he has spoken out strongly against gay marriage, denouncing it in 2010 as “an attempt to destroy God’s plan,” and is expected to pursue the uncompromising moral teachings of Benedict and John Paul II, but with a great concern for the poor and social problems.

According to New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Francis raised gales of laughter from fellow cardinals at a relaxed dinner after his election, telling them: “May God forgive you.”

At the Basilica of St. Francis in the Italian town of Assisi, the monks were overjoyed at Francis’s choice of name. One of them, Father Guillermo Spirito, said he was also from Argentina.

“I have great admiration for his great humility, his simple, everyman manner. The last time I was with him was in 2010 and he told me that St. Francis was a paradigm of how to live the gospel,” he told Reuters.

Francis’ inaugural Mass will be held on Tuesday.


By fairrose Posted in NEWS


Televangelist Benny Hinn and his wife Suzanne remarried on Sunday at the Holyland Experience in Orlando, Fla. in front of a thousand people.
“Thank you for praying for Suzanne and me! It is because of your prayers, intercession and love, that we are where we are today,” Pastor Hinn said on his Facebook page, thanking well-wishers.
The Examiner reported that the ceremony was open to the congregation and spectators, drawing close to a thousand people who showed up to give their well-wishes to the formerly divorced couple.
“The audience was inspired and comforted at the fact that God has brought these two back together again more powerful than ever,” The Examiner reported.
The long-awaited remarriage was officiated by Pastor Jack Hayford and renowned evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, who is a German charismatic preacher known for his ministry outreach in Africa.
The couple had been separated since 2010, with the prosperity gospel preacher revealing that several problems had split them apart – including Suzanne’s struggles with drug dependency and Benny Hinn’s hectic schedule that pulled him away from his family for extended periods of time.
In a blog post on his website, the pastor revealed that the reconciliation process began on Christmas 2011, during a family holiday get-together in Florida, where he and Suzanne were surrounded by their children and grandchildren.
“It was a beautiful day I will never forget, and that is when the Lord began to do His mighty work in our hearts-individually and together,” Hinn explained.
“Since that time, as Sue and I have submitted to godly counsel and oversight to ensure our past mistakes will not be repeated, God has worked so mightily in our midst. The love we shared as a young couple has been restored beyond anything we could have imagined.”
Benny Hinn Ministries, located in Grapevine, Texas, has been scrutinized for their faith-healing promise and prophecy telling claims. Hinn was also the subject of a 2007 Senate investigation of the financial dealings of several high-profile prosperity preachers, and is considered a controversial figure by many.
The Hinns had been married for 30 years before their split in 2010, and have three daughters and a son, Joshua. The 21-year old son was recently questioned by law enforcement officials during an evangelical trip in Brazil for allegedly beating up a deaf and mute man, but at the end was allowed to return to the U.S. with no charges filed.

The Christian Post

By fairrose Posted in NEWS

Pope Francis elected: Everything you need to know about Jorge Mario

Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernised Argentina’s conservative Catholic church.

Known until today as Jorge Bergoglio, the 76-year-old is known as a humble man who denied himself the luxuries that previous Buenos Aires cardinals enjoyed.
He came close to becoming pope last time, reportedly gaining the second-highest vote total in several rounds of voting before he bowed out of the running in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI
Groups of supporters waved Argentine flags in St Peter’s Square as Francis, wearing simple white robes, made his first public appearance as pope.
Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening, he said before making a reference to his roots in Latin America, which accounts for about 40% of the world’s Roman Catholics .
Bergoglio often rode the bus to work, cooked his own meals and regularly visited the slums that ring Argentina’s capital. He considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church.
He accused fellow church leaders of hypocrisy and forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.
Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit, Bergoglio told Argentina’s priests last year.
Bergoglio’s legacy as cardinal includes his efforts to repair the reputation of a church that lost many followers by failing to openly challenge Argentina’s murderous 1976-83 dictatorship. He also worked to recover the church’s traditional political influence in society, but his outspoken criticism of President Cristina Kirchner couldn’t stop her from imposing socially liberal measures that are anathema to the church, from gay marriage and adoption to free contraceptives for all.
In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don’t baptise the children of single mothers because they weren’t conceived in the sanctity of marriage, Bergoglio told his priests. These are today’s hypocrites. Those who clericalise the Church. Those who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish so that it’s baptised!
Bergoglio compared this concept of Catholicism, this Church of ‘come inside so we make decisions and announcements between ourselves and those who don’t come in, don’t belong, to the Pharisees of Christ’s time – people who congratulate themselves while condemning all others.
This sort of pastoral work, aimed at capturing more souls and building the flock, was an essential skill for any religious leader in the modern era, said Bergoglio’s authorised biographer, Sergio Rubin.
But Bergoglio himself felt most comfortable taking a very low profile, and his personal style was the antithesis of Vatican splendour.
It’s a very curious thing: When bishops meet, he always wants to sit in the back rows. This sense of humility is very well seen in Rome, Rubin said before the 2013 conclave to choose Benedict’s successor.
Bergoglio’s influence seemed to stop at the presidential palace door after Nestor Kirchner and then his wife, Cristina Fernandez, took over the Argentina’s government. His outspoken criticism couldn’t prevent Argentina from becoming the Latin American country to legalize gay marriage, or stop Fernandez from promoting free contraception and artificial insemination.
His church had no say when the Argentine Supreme Court expanded access to legal abortions in rape cases, and when Bergoglio argued that gay adoptions discriminate against children, Fernandez compared his tone to medieval times and the Inquisition.
This kind of demonisation is unfair, says Rubin, who obtained an extremely rare interview of Bergoglio for his biography, the The Jesuit.
Is Bergoglio a progressive – a liberation theologist even? No. He’s no third-world priest. Does he criticise the International Monetary Fund, and neoliberalism? Yes. Does he spend a great deal of time in the slums? Yes, Rubin said.
Bergoglio has stood out for his austerity. Even after he became Argentina’s top church official in 2001, he never lived in the ornate church mansion where Pope John Paul II stayed when visiting the country, preferring a simple bed in a downtown building, heated by a small stove on frigid weekends. For years, he took public transport around the city, and cooked his own meals.
Bergoglio almost never granted media interviews, limiting himself to speeches from the pulpit, and was reluctant to contradict his critics, even when he knew their allegations against him were false, said Rubin.
That attitude was burnished as human rights activists tried to force him to answer uncomfortable questions about what church officials knew and did about the dictatorship’s abuses after the 1976 coup.
Many Argentines remain angry over the church’s acknowledged failure to openly confront a regime that was kidnapping and killing thousands of people as it sought to eliminate subversive elements in society. It’s one reason why more than two-thirds of Argentines describe themselves as Catholic, but fewer than 10% regularly attend mass.
Under Bergoglio’s leadership, Argentina’s bishops issued a collective apology in October 2012 for the church’s failures to protect its flock. But the statement blamed the era’s violence in roughly equal measure on both the junta and its enemies.
Bergoglio has been very critical of human rights violations during the dictatorship, but he has also criticised the leftist guerrillas; he doesn’t forget that side, Rubin said.
The bishops also said we exhort those who have information about the location of stolen babies, or who know where bodies were secretly buried, that they realise they are morally obligated to inform the pertinent authorities.
That statement came far too late for some activists, who accused Bergoglio of being more concerned about the church’s image than about aiding the many human rights investigations of the Kirchners’ era.
Bergoglio twice invoked his right under Argentine law to refuse to appear in open court, and when he eventually did testify in 2010, his answers were evasive, human rights attorney Myriam Bregman said.
At least two cases directly involved Bergoglio. One examined the torture of two of his Jesuit priests – Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics – who were kidnapped in 1976 from the slums where they advocated liberation theology. Yorio accused Bergoglio of effectively handing them over to the death squads by declining to tell the regime that he endorsed their work. Jalics refused to discuss it after moving into seclusion in a German monastery.
Both men were freed after Bergoglio took extraordinary, behind-the-scenes action to save them – including persuading dictator Jorge Videla’s family priest to call in sick so that he could say Mass in the junta leader’s home, where he privately appealed for mercy. His intervention likely saved their lives, but Bergoglio never shared the details until Rubin interviewed him for the 2010 biography.
Bergoglio – who ran Argentina’s Jesuit order during the dictatorship – told Rubin that he regularly hid people on church property during the dictatorship, and once gave his identity papers to a man with similar features, enabling him to escape across the border. But all this was done in secret, at a time when church leaders publicly endorsed the junta and called on Catholics to restore their love for country despite the terror in the streets.
Rubin said failing to challenge the dictators was simply pragmatic at a time when so many people were getting killed, and attributed Bergoglio’s later reluctance to share his side of the story as a reflection of his humility.
But Bregman said Bergoglio’s own statements proved church officials knew from early on that the junta was torturing and killing its citizens, and yet publicly endorsed the dictators. The dictatorship could not have operated this way without this key support, she said.
Bergoglio was also accused of turning his back on a family that lost five relatives to state terror, including a young woman who was five-months’ pregnant before she was kidnapped and killed in 1977. The De la Cuadra family appealed to the leader of the Jesuits in Rome, who urged Bergoglio to help them; Bergoglio then assigned a monsignor to the case. Months passed before the monsignor came back with a written note from a colonel: It revealed that the woman had given birth in captivity to a girl who was given to a family too important for the adoption to be reversed.
Despite this written evidence in a case he was personally involved with, Bergoglio testified in 2010 that he didn’t know about any stolen babies until well after the dictatorship was over.
Bergoglio has a very cowardly attitude when it comes to something so terrible as the theft of babies. He says he didn’t know anything about it until 1985, said the baby’s aunt, Estela de la Cuadra, whose mother Alicia co-founded the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in 1977 in hopes of identifying these babies. He doesn’t face this reality and it doesn’t bother him. The question is how to save his name, save himself. But he can’t keep these allegations from reaching the public. The people know how he is.
Initially trained as a chemist, Bergoglio taught literature, psychology, philosophy and theology before taking over as Buenos Aires archbishop in 1998. He became cardinal in 2001, when the economy was collapsing, and won respect for blaming unrestrained capitalism for impoverishing millions of Argentines.
Later, there was little love lost between Bergoglio and Fernandez. Their relations became so frigid that the president stopped attending his annual Te Deum address, when church leaders traditionally tell political leaders what’s wrong with society.
During the dictatorship era, other church leaders only feebly mentioned a need to respect human rights. When Bergoglio spoke to the powerful, he was much more forceful. In his 2012 address, he said Argentina was being harmed by demagoguery, totalitarianism, corruption and efforts to secure unlimited power. The message resonated in a country whose president was ruling by decree, where political scandals rarely were punished and where top ministers openly lobbied for Fernandez to rule indefinitely.

Yahoo News


Mothers  are one of the best creations of God. She has amazing powers. She can multitask without complaining. She cares for everyone without any demands. Read here and marvel at the wonder called – Mother.

By the time the Lord made mothers, he was into his Sixth day of working overtime. An Angel appeared and said, “Why are you spending so much time on this one?”

And the Lord answered and said, “Have you seen the special sheet on her? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have 200 movable parts, all replaceable, run on black coffee and leftovers, have a lap that can hold three children at one time and that disappears when she stands up, have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart, and have six pairs of hands.”

The Angel was astounded at the requirements for this one. “Six pairs of hands! No Way!” said the Angel.

The Lord replied, “Oh, it’s not the hands that are the problem. It’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers must have!”

“And that’s just on the standard model?” The Angel asked.

The Lord nodded in agreement. “Yes, one pair of eyes is to see through the closed door as she asks her children what they are doing even though she already knows. Another pair in the back of her head is to see what she needs to know even though no one thinks she can. And the third pair is here in the front of her head. They are for looking at an errant child and saying that she understands and loves him or her without even saying a single word.”

The Angel tried to stop the Lord. “This is too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish. ”

But I can’t!” The Lord protested, “I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick AND can feed a family of six on a pound of rice and can get a two year old to stand in the shower.”

The Angel moved closer and touched the woman, “But you have made her so soft, Lord”.

“She is soft”, Lord agreed, “but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish.”

“Will she be able to think?” asked the Angel.

The Lord replied, “Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason and negotiate.”

The Angel then noticed something and reached out and touched the woman’s cheek. “Oops, it looks like you have a leak with this model. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one.”

“That’s not a leak.” The Lord objected. “That’s a tear!”

“What’s the tear for?” the Angel asked.

The Lord said, “The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her loneliness, her grief, and her pride.”

The Angel was impressed. “You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything, for MOTHERS are truly amazing.”

They have strengths that amaze men. They carry children, they carry hardships, and they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy. They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous. They fight for what they believe in. They stand up for injustice. They don’t take “no” for an answer when they believe there is a better solution. They go without new shoes so their children can have them. They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their loved ones get awards. They are happy when they hear about a birth or a new marriage. They are strong when they think there is no strength left. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart. Mothers come in all sizes, in all colors and shapes. They’ll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you. The heart of a mother is what makes the world spin! Mothers do more than just give birth. They bring joy and hope. They give compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. Mothers have a lot to say and a lot to give.


Hello everyone!
Welcome to my blog! I’m so delighted to have a space of my own, to put down my thoughts and other happenings around me and the world at large.
I have been thinking of doing this for quite some time now, but I’m at a loss where to begin. Even as I write this, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. Right now, I’m just writing whatever comes to my head. I’m hoping I can rub minds with you and glean some ideas. And also open to receiving posts from you.
A friend of mine suggested to me some weeks ago to write a book when I complained of how bored I was. I thought the idea was fine until I gave it some serious thoughts, then I decided it wasn’t for me. Writing a book is not a piece of cake you know, with all of the intricacies, the pros and cons, maybe I will do that in my next life but definitely not now ‘smiles’. Big ups to you my friend!
So! Here we are! I’m looking forward to having a happy and fruitful time here. I hope to meet your expectations as best as I can while at the same time counting on you to help me along.
Welcome once again!

When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you

So true!


Yesterday I called one of my close friends to tell her about all the things on my mind, of which there were many. Not that they were new worries (should I be in New York, should I move back to California, am I doing what I love, what if I’m meant to be doing something else, maybe I should go on an Eat, Pray, Love journey but just do the eating part, etc, etc), but she listened, like good friends do, and when we got off the phone she sent me a link to this list of reminders. It was exactly what I needed to hear. 

1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a…

View original post 1,600 more words