I continually strive to keep my inner world in good order. When I’m unsettled internally it tends to show in my mood and overall demeanour. And for us extroverts when something is off it’s easily noticeable. That’s when my baby sharks start asking, “Daddy what’s wrong?” just when I think I’m concealing what I’m going through, their questions confirm that their little sharp eyes see right through me kama Xray.
I once attended a webinar on emotional intelligence. The speaker told us that our emotions speak to us whether positive or negative. So we need to train our minds to figure out what our emotions are trying to say. If we can master that then a big part of ordering our inner world will be done. And the benefits of that will manifest in our outer world. What is within us is what reflects on the outside. As we used to be told in primary school – garbage in garbage out. Let’s strive to keep growing and improving our inner man. It’s long hard work but well worth the effort.
Its been about four months since I lost my dad. I think about him often and things he would say to me. I also remember the quiet confidence and assurance he demonstrated especially when the wheels of life threatened to come off. Dad seemed to live life as if he had leakage of what would happen tomorrow. He saw further than I did. Maybe that comes with age. Kuishi kwengi, kuona mengi as the Swahili saying goes. I’d like the ability to remain ( or at least appear) cool irrespective of adversity.
I visit mum often and most of the time I spend time in dad’s home office. I feel closer to him but I leave missing him even more. I can even smell him when in his office. We are still on the journey of adjustment. While in his office I’ve realised dad was a hardcopy guy just like me. If he came across information that he wants to consume he would have it printed. I too like information on paper as much as possible. I don’t fancy too much soft copy. I like the smell of paper when reading books plus I highlight and scribble on the pages. That makes it easier to go back to a particular page when I need to. I know you can bookmark pages on soft too but I still prefer a hard copy.
I have come across several articles and quotes dad had printed and scribbled on. This has helped me learn about my father’s inner world kidogo. I was once told that we are more honest when we write compared to when we speak. As a writer, I concur there’s some truth in that. Could this have been dad’s secret source of strength that made him the family patriarch that we adored? His bible is well-read too and that says what kind of man he was more than any words can.
I came across an article that made my eyes start sweating (not tears hehe) almost immediately. It was a prayer by General Douglas MacArthur titled, – A father’s prayer. The fact that dad printed this prayer meant that he must have prayed it at least once. What touched me was that this was a father praying for his son. I imagined dad praying for my brother and me, standing in the gap for us. I dare admit that most of the stuff I have achieved in this life is due to prayers by my father and mother too. He prayed when I didn’t know he was, about stuff that concerned me, and at times when I couldn’t even pray for myself. Thank you mzee. We stand today on those prayers you made for us and will continue to benefit from them because unlike perishable goods, earnest prayers do not expire, they multiply. Especially a parent’s prayers for their children.
Allow me to be like my father and share the same prayer with all the fathers (and mothers too) out there. This is my prayer for my son and your sons too.
Build me a son, o lord who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.
Lead him I pray not in the path of ease and comfort but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenges. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humour, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.
Then, I his father, will dare to whisper, “ I have not lived in vain.”
My mzee did not live in vain and I pray that we may not live in vain too. That those who are entrusted to us will stand on the petitions we make for them in secret and face the future with confidence. Get on your knees folks. It’s the best way to stand.