Tag Archive love

Happiness Comes from Your Soul, Not from the Eyes of Others

Integrity is at the core of the Bantu life philosophy. This philosophy states that as a human being, you are the beneficiary of the love, work and commitment of those who came before you and, therefore, you too have a duty to love and serve humanity to the best of your ability.

If you accept this, you will, undoubtedly, adopt honesty and uprightness as your guiding principles.

Obviously, it is not always easy for us to remain honest or upright throughout our lives. Too often, we feel compelled to subordinate truth, uprightness and justice to the demands of our loved ones, or our bosses, or the communities from which we derive a sense of identity, pride and belonging.

Nevertheless, we must strive to resist these pressures. If we have already fallen prey to them, we must resolve to free ourselves. We can hardly delight in our actions when, deep down, we know that they are unjust, dishonest and wrongful. If we view ourselves as the privileged beneficiaries, keepers and transmitters of the love, efforts and commitment of our predecessors, we would not be happy to see this wonderful legacy defiled by dishonesty, injustice, greed and so many other things that are threatening our integrity.

No soul should be above ours when it comes to preserving, improving and passing on the legacy of love, work and commitment of the people who came before us. “Ye nsísim woe wa tag?” (Is your soul rejoicing?), my grandfather used to ask me whenever he would either chastise me or urge me to think about the possible consequences of my planned actions. The happiness of our soul, not the eyes of others, should guide and inspire our actions.

By Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell

Founder and CEO, Medzan Training                            Contact Sylvie

Tags, , , , , , ,

Obsessing over an Unrequited Love Demeans Our Humanity

Too often, we fall in love with a person who does not love us back. It may be because they are already in love with someone else. Sometimes it is because they are not emotionally available. Some other times this is simply due to the fact that they are not at all attracted to us. Whatever the reason for the unrequited love, however deep and strong our desire, yearning and passion for the beloved, we must not let these feelings overpower us. We must not allow ourselves to fall prey to obsession.

While we cannot control who we fall in love with, our humanity is stronger than any feeling we may experience. The Akomdo (the life philosophy of the Beti, a Bantu subgroup) teaches us that as human beings, we have supreme control over feelings because we have the power of thought and the power of mind. However much we love somebody, we can and should understand that there is absolutely no obligation on their part to desire or love us back. Instead of harbouring negative feelings such as jealousy against the partner of our beloved, or hatred because we think that we have been scorned, or uncontrollable obsession, we can channel our thoughts and mind towards more positive feelings.

To achieve this, we must understand that though our passion, desire or yearning for the beloved are circumstances beyond our control, we can always control how we react to them.  Furthermore, they are, like most circumstances, temporary states or, as the Beti call them, “belot zene” (passers-by) that will either fizzle out or morph into something else; unlike our humanity, which is everlasting and far more precious. Therefore, we must not allow our humanity to be demeaned by the negative feelings triggered by an unrequited love. The essence of our humanity is to be and remain kind, loving and compassionate towards other human beings, and committed to their welfare, regardless of our circumstances.

By Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell

Founder and CEO, Medzan Training                            Contact Sylvie

Tags, , ,

Being Alive Is Being Wealthy

“Being alive is being wealthy”. Uummmm… Really?

It is tempting to think that this thought is not true. But as with many things deriving from the Akomdo (the life philosophy of the Beti, a Bantu subgroup), we must not take it literally. Obviously, poverty exists and there will always be some people who are rich while others endure misery, deprivation and hardship. But the Akomdo encourages all human beings, regardless of their material situation, to appreciate the free, yet enriching, fulfilling and rewarding things that life has to offer. For instance, true love, genuine friendship, and parental affection are all free. No amount of money can buy them, and no material possession, however valuable, can fill the void and the sensation of emptiness we feel when we lack these things.

This does not mean that if we are penniless, we must not strive to become rich and acquire material possessions. Nevertheless, in our quest for material comfort, we must be careful not to lose our humanity. We must always bear in mind that wealth is not an end in itself, but a tool to help us serve humanity better.

Being alive is being wealthy because regardless of our circumstances, we are all inheritors of something that is far more precious than material wealth: the love, work and commitment of the people who came before us. Whatever we do, whatever our aspirations are, we must always remember that the ultimate purpose of our existence is to cherish, improve and pass on this legacy.

By Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell

Founder and CEO, Medzan Training                            Contact Sylvie

Tags, , , , , ,