In life it is hard to determine what makes people who they are; we can have names to define ourselves or other definitions but fate plays a role.
I saw the moving funeral service for Michael Jackson and the refrain was the same “if only Michael could see this” we always wait till people die to truly appreciate them.
MJ was a perfect illustration of a person who felt unloved, who felt ugly, unappreciated, insignificant and worse of all he felt people loved his talent and not him.
A human being is a fragile thing and a simple thing can break a soul; if only Michael Jackson had lived a normal life at the factory as would have been his fate until he was discovered at age 5, maybe he would have lived till 90.
I look at myself and think what got me to this situation of relative comfort while someone born on the same day has a harder life; I enjoy a cold soda at lunch but never thought of the man who has to carry the crates to the top of the hill.
Most of my friends are of a similar background to myself; educated, modern, lived in the West and so on.
I wondered why that was and chose to get out of my comfort zone; I wandered in the urban jungle and met so many characters, from Nyamirambo to Nyabugogo to Remera and Kabuga. I met mechanics who pound parts in the ashy dust without a worktop, carpenters who make furniture on a sloping surface.
I met a man called Jean-Claude, the exact opposite of me; short, wiry, poor, and content. I found a man who had bashed around by the world but had a positive attitude; he asked for nothing and gave all in return.
One day he told me he had prayed for me; I wondered why some members of my own family don’t pray for me and yet he pray for me who had everything.
I decided that I would help JC whatever happened and I got to know his family; I wondered what I could do to help him and asked him to research into a good little business.
He arrived at a venture and I chose to back him; much like Dragon’s den the TV show, I gave him the money to start and left for England content that I had helped someone.
When I returned I was surprised to find he had actually regressed and gotten poorer; his business started well but started to go downhill and he ploughed more into it.
They were evicted from Gisozi and found themselves renting in worse conditions. JC kept saying the same thing “satani nu’mugome” the devil is wicked and blamed all his ills on the devil or the jealousy of others.
I realised that I gave him an opportunity without preparing him for the task; I could have encouraged him more, advised him and taken time.
In life opportunities are only any good if you can exploit them.
I remember a Benny Hinn sermon when he stopped and said “I don’t care if you never learn anything from me, as long as you remember this – your thoughts determine your actions, your actions determine your habits, and your habits determine your character.” JC had been through so much failure that it had entered his being; as a man thinks, so he is.
He visualised failure more than he saw success; he didn’t have the self-belief, so even if he had the resources. When you look at a person with success they got it three ways; born into it, it was given to them, or they earned it.
In order to earn it, one has to be equipped to do so otherwise it can destroy their character. I had to reassure JC that I wasn’t angry; for me it was a month’s salary but for him it was chance of a lifetime.
I will not give up on JC and we’ll try again and again until he succeeds; next time he’ll have money, skills and a new mental attitude.
Your thoughts determine you actions, what you do from day to day becomes engrained in your character by the habits you keep. Champions have locked on to this; they visualise success before it happens, they block out negative images, and they cannot entertain thoughts of defeat.
This is something I am struggling with my own life; to have that ice-cold resolute self-belief that I am destined to succeed. They say that “Quitters never win and winners never quit.”