bench obsession

You just never know…..

It would appear I have an obsession. With benches

One of my nieces asked me, ‘why the obsession with benches?’ as I point the camera to yet another empty one. I told her I think benches are great pieces of story telling.
You see we never quite know who sat in a particular bench, or who they spoke to.
Did they meet someone with whom they struck up a conversation, or even develop a relationship or friendship that lasted years?
Or did they share the bench with another person, not speaking or connecting – merely centimeters and yet, worlds apart?
Or what happened to them – did they get up from that bench and life carried on as normal or did they walk away and find great fortune, causing them to succeed in life, beyond their wildest expectation?
Or did ill fortune strike and they returned to the bench with a blanket- the only place they could get some sleep?
You see, benches can be a temporary place of rest, from shopping or sight seeing;  they could be the citadel of a great idea, where a book was birthed; or a place where one experienced a pivotal shift in their life, even met a very important person.
Benches are interesting pieces of furniture when you actually stop to think about what may have happened or who might have sat there.
Next time you go past a bench, imagine what stories it has to tell you. You just never know.
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I am interested in people…

image

A friend once said to me, ‘you need to take an interest in people’, which is a curious thing to say especially as I make my livelihood asking people questions.

I want to know what they are interested in, what they are passionate about and what influences made them the way they are.  People often don’t know the precise answer to the third part.  Some would say their mother, a teacher or mentor,  or just the circumstances of life.

I believe that we are influenced by many things:  intentional or unintentional, positive or negative, consciously or otherwise.  This idea of what influences us to make the choices we do, and become who we are, will be featured in a series of interviews that I am conducting for ReAfrica.

ReAfrica is an online platform  and magazine telling the stories of interesting Africans across the world and attempting to reverse the ‘single story’ rhetoric of Africa and its people. So far I have met vibrant and passionate people whose lives have been influenced by a variety of sources, made them who they are and given them stories that would in turn influence us consciously, positively and intentionally. Most importantly, I think they would motivate us to be better.

One of my favourite quotes by Henry David Thoreau is this

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.

This clearly speaks to me of the importance of giving ourselves the gift of seeing, thinking and choosing differently in order to enrich our lives. And in so doing, the lives of others.

Check out the ‘Interesting People’ series on ReAfrica, starting this September and be inspired.

Sometimes you just need a pick me up

be happyDo you remember this?

Bobby McFerrin: Don’t worry, Be Happy

Here’s a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don’t worry be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy
(Don’t worry, be happy now)

Don’t worry
Be happy
Don’t worry, be happy
Don’t worry
Be happy
Don’t worry, be happy

Ain’t got no place to lay your head
Somebody came and took your bed
Don’t worry, be happy
The landlord say your rent is late
He may have to litigate
Don’t worry, be happy
(Look at me I am happy)

Don’t worry, be happy
Here I give you my phone number
When you worry call me
I make you happy

Don’t worry, be happy

Ain’t got no cash, ain’t got no style
Ain’t got no girl to make you smile
But don’t worry be happy
Cause when you worry
Your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
So don’t worry, be happy
(don’t worry, be happy now)

Don’t worry
Be happy
Don’t worry, be happy
Don’t worry
Be happy
Don’t worry, be happy

Now there is this song I wrote
I hope you learn it note for note
Like good little children
Don’t worry, be happy
Listen to what I say
In your life expect some trouble
When you worry
You make it double
But don’t worry
Be happy, be happy now

Don’t worry
Be happy
Don’t worry, be happy
Don’t worry
Be happy
Don’t worry, be happy

Don’t worry
Don’t worry don’t do it, be happy
Put a smile on your face
Don’t bring everybody down like this

Don’t worry
It will soon pass whatever it is
Don’t worry, be happy
I’m not worried, I’m happy