A scapegoat.

Merriam-webster dictionary defines the scapegoat as, a goat upon whose head the sins of the people were symbolically placed after which it is sent into the wilderness in the biblical ceremony for Yom Kippur. It also defines it as one that bears the blame for others or one that is the object of irrational hostility. Based on the first definition any goat could be selected during the feast of Yum Kippur to be the scapegoat. Up till the point when the priest casts the lot in the Jewish tradition either of the two goats could end up being the goat on whose head everyone’s sins were cast. It is important to note that the goat did not commit any sin of its own. It was only culpable in so much as it was a member of the Jewish community, at the time of Yom Kippur. It was unfortunate for whatever arbitrary reason to catch the attention of the priest and thus selected as one of the chosen for the fast .

This unfair fate is not relegated to goats alone. As the second definition above demonstrates man has been known to make a scapegoat of his fellow man. Regardless, of status in life whether noble, serf, leader, follower, innocent, guilty, loner or life of the party. One can quickly find themselves under the confessing tongues of many accusers. In similitude to the biblical scapegoat it would take an act of God to alter the desired outcome set upon by the community in which the accused exists in at the time. For many goats and people, being a scapegoat has never been a threat, nor even something they have ever imagined.

There are two fundamental things required for a scapegoat system to thrive. First, the system must be in place. There must be a need to have someone or something to take the guilty, sins and scruples of the people away. A conduit between man and his conscience, a tool to make a man feel that his deeds are not as gruesome. Or that they have been erased/forgiven thus neither God nor karma can revisit those sins on them. Although we no longer live in the olden days, this system still prevails in society. A good example is the current situation in Nigeria, where the presidential candidate for the labour party Mr Peter Obi has been designated the saviour of the nation. Alas! I fear he is nothing but a scapegoat. Atonement for the many sins of the past and the present.

The system has certain characteristics, one , it excludes anyone that does not fit in with the exisrung modus operandi in place. Two, iy is a rootless as well as ruthless system. Devouring both the fruits (benefits) and seeds (foundation) of the system. It also celebrates results rather than methods. Mr Peter Obi from all indications is a man who does the opposite. He wants systems that outlast a class, a group, a tenure, or a generation. A system that does not want to wash its hands of its guilt or wrongdoing. But learn from it. It is completely impossible to rid the world of guilt or the process of placing guilt on someone else’s shoulder. However, it is possible to create a system where a scapegoat is not a desired option. This can only happen when a system has its resources and demands/expectations evenly paired. For instance, two managers, four general assistants and one receptionist are required to smoothly run a business every day of the week. We will assume that this number of staff is decided to run the business at the peak hours. This means that at a less busy time, less staff might be required. Regardless of this, it must be understood that the office or system would be set up to fail if someone decides to run it with either less staff or with a different mixture of skills. For example hiring one manager, four general assistants and two receptionists, might seem adequate as the number of staff is accurate, but it, unfortunately, leaves certain parts uninsured and others unduly fortified. Creating the perfect opportunity for a scapegoat to arise, should the system not run smoothly.

The above scenario creates room for undue or maladjusted interpersonal skills to thrive. One that has less to do with the overall objective of the system/business or organisation in view and more to do with personal likes, dislikes and opinions. This system would make it easy for cliques to arise and for other variables which should normally stay on the parameters of the system to become the heart of it. Thus, elevating the people above the system. Whilst this is not a bad thing, in so much as “things were made for man and not man for things”, it can, unfortunately, become dangerous if the wrong people are at the core. This sad reality is the sorry state of Nigeria and a lot of organisations around the world. Systems that bear no resemblance to the original sketch on which it was built, as piece by piece people have changed the original with alternatives that are more individual serving than having a wider reach in view. This makes it a different system; its expectations and resources are altered. This is why placing all hope in one man might not be the best approach. For if or when he fails another will replace him. It will remain fallible unless the people refuse to move the structures to suit personal gain. This brings us to the second factor that creates a thriving system for the emergence of scapegoats; people. Whether they are leaders or followers.

In the series ‘The Last Kingdom Cnut answers Ragnar the fearless’s question regarding the worth of Æthelwold’, saying “his worth is in his ability to drip poison into every ear”. As simple or as mindless as it sounds, the aforementioned is the very backbone on which systems are re-engineered, broken or simply destroyed. As earlier mentioned, a system is made for man, but man is the only thing that can determine if the system will stand and endure. According to Winston, B. and Patterson, K. (2006), leadership is a major factor that determines how people fit into a system. But for this to materialise the leader must thoroughly know the system and uphold the system. This perhaps is the bases for which many people herald or advocate for Mr Peter Obi to become president. The hope is that a good leader will spearhead a good system. This is an ideology shared by Winston, B. and Patterson, K. (2006), in their definition of a leader, they assert that not only does a leader know how people should fit into the system, but a leader also deals equitably and supports diversity amongst his followers. This type of leadership also fosters the individual growth of each follower, encouraging them to take risks and innovate, (Winston, B. E. and Patterson, K. 2006). Under such leadership, when properly executed the chances of a scapegoat emerging is slim.

In addition to the above, (a good leader), there must be good followers. People who refute the “dripping of poison into ears”. People who hold the system above the individual. The task is not an easy one, it is often even difficult to identify when one has become caught up in the words that start the rot in the foundation of every system. From the above example regarding the number of staff required to run a business to the example of Æthelwold who exemplifies the spread of rot that destroys the system. Both show that a failure on one side or a gap on one side creates lapses and births a new system in place of what should be. There must first be a lapse in the system, an unbalancing of the scales. This creates the room through which the oil that destroys everything starts to drip, slowly but surely. But to achieve its maximum effect it must have willing vessels; leaders who through direct or indirect means encourage the spread. Followers who revel in the safety provided in the number of shared drips that oil the ear.

In summary, it is my opinion that the scapegoat system was replaced with Christ, to ensure that the corruptible and fallible arms of man do not taint the new system. Each man under Christ is given access to admit his guilt, ensuring that his heart and God alone know the truth of his intent. Similarly, systems need to be built in a way that safeguards the system as much as possible from man’s fallible nature. Every man is much the same as the other, fallible in different ways and through different means. Often, in need of a scapegoat to justify his actions. If he is also allowed to buy the conscience of others over then a new system emerges and the scapegoat system becomes successful. And will often find a head to fit into a noose.

Running week 4 & 5

Hello people,

Hope your day is going well? Hope the week has not been too stressful.

Well, I decided to upload our running posts on alternate weeks.

So here is week four and five updates.

Week four was a bit of a struggle. Had to repeatedly encourage and motivate Lady L to run. Mister L, however literally dashes off from the house and comes bundling back with the same enthusiasm. Altogether we motivate each other and give it our best. For week four we attained almost an hour of running and 3119 steps.

Week five was different. It was HALF TERM!!

This gave us the opportunity to enjoy the weather at its’ best. We ran at 12:00 noon. The day was bright and warm. Not too hot to be uncomfortable, it was just perfect. We did our regular four laps between the goal posts. Then, we added in football practice and skipping. This week, my daughter paticipated more and we had alot of fun. There was glucose shots by way of fruitella sweets to energize and motivate the team.

The days are getting cooler but we keep hoping for one day each week to do our run. The objective of our runninng becomes even more important at this time. Join us to help make winter/ christmas less bleaky for someone out there.Thank you so much for your support so far. Click the link to donate to our venture.

To give please click this link.

And the princess put on her glass slippers and went to work.

I remember hearing the story of a woman who left her husband and family to start a new life at age 67. I remember wondering at the time what was going through her mind as she made such a life-changing decision. A few months before she left home, the woman had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and it is believed this must have ignited the flames of her decision.


Questions: was she in a loving relationship? Did she have a caring family? Was she already unhappy? Did she feel like a burden to the family? Did she just want a new life and no one was able or willing to go with her? Did it sound unreasonable to everyone?
From the above questions, there is only one question anyone other than the woman and her family can answer truthfully and with certainty. That is the last question; how reasonable does this decision sound to you? The answer will be subject to your perspective, preferences and priorities in life.


Will Smith in an interview said something I find very profound: “you can never succeed your way out of childhood trauma, you heal it by doing something for others.” (this is paraphrased and I could not share the link, but it is on Instagram).
In my own words, I translate the above to mean “you can not silence a disgruntled or hurtful inner voice through external results, you calm it by seeking answers, but more importantly pursuing peace.”


Answers to past misgivings or reasons for why they happened are important steps for bringing closure. They help you understand the people involved, to determine how you want to relate with them going forward. It is important to note that no answer, is an answer in itself. And when you get the answer or you’ve done all you can to get the answers, please pursue inner peace with even greater zeal.


Ideally, one should never say to a traumatized victim, let’s pretend that never happened. Or it was all his/her fault and none of yours. Or it was all your (the victims) fault. We could never say this to car crash victims, so why do we say it to emotional, physical or domestic abuse victims. Like an ambulance team at the scene what you need are the facts, the contributing factors and a way forward.


Nothing resurrects childhood trauma’s like having your own children. They remind you of everything that happened in vivid images. This becomes more problematic if you haven’t found healing or moved on from the situation. You want to take them away from anything that might trigger the past again, you begin to hyperventilate and imagine the worst when any shadows from the past seem to cast a gaze over them. In other to silence that inner voice, to find peace and hope for growth, some questions will need direct answers, some places might need to be forgotten. People say love is a powerful motivator, I say fear is an even stronger one.


Considering the above, I would like to ask your thoughts on Harry and Meghan’s decision for their future? How do you resolve your inner voice conflicts?


The papers would have us believe that Thomas Merkle (Meghan’s) dad believes she has just made useless every girl’s fantasy of marrying a prince and living happily ever after. And to him I send this reply and listen carefully Sir, for I shall only say this once:


“THAT SHIP HAS SAILED!” And logistically speaking the number of princes around cannot go round the entire female population in the world. Unless we are aiming to beat King Solomon’s records. Women now wine and dine their ‘princes’, taking the higher road and letting the men curb crawl as they please. knight-1598250_1280 (1)Women now wear the swords and shields of financial responsibility, the helmet of logic and organisational skills, and a firm boot of brass to kick the ‘prince’ totally off the curb, should he start to ask for more than he’s worth, not pull his assigned weight or complicate his duties in the ‘other room.’ For those who still want a prince in the old fashioned sense, have had a rude awakening to the reality that some princes no longer want to be princes in that capacity, and some just can’t be those type of princes due to several changes in society.


I perhaps in my naivety, believe that the mark of a true prince is to put the needs of his followers above his. In this light, you Sir Thomas if you have ever been a prince, through this statement and several others in the past, it is clear that you have fallen down the slopes of nobility.


What say ye, my people?
Is Harry a prince amongst his pears or not?
I raise my tankard of ale to Prince Harry, his bean and their wee bairn.
God save the queen
God save all mankind.

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Floaty dreams

Recruitment exercise for Happy-Ever daily star 2018

Company motto: assumption never produces bestsellers, at best they make tabloids.

Candidates requirements:

  • Long hair(extensions are acceptable)
  • Healthy weight and lifestyle
  • Single or divorced (without children)
  • Related to at least one crazy, bitter or cynical individual
  • Well spoken
  • Good carriage and public conduct.
  • Have very connected friends.

Essentials:

  • Must be productive/hard-working
  • Must be involved in charitable causes (with possibly a history of doing so from a young age)
  • Must be assertive (necessary for dealing with impromptu press appearances)
  • Must be adaptable to change
  • Humorous and good natured.

Due to recent events the company also advices that you acquire or get involved in one or two other special skills/activities not listed above. For example: global exploration, nature studies etc.

It is said that to do the same thing and hope to excel is folly, please be guided.

Our recruitment process is gruelling, do expect the unexpected and the possibility of a non-favourable outcome.

Assumption: the belief that you have all the details on any experience when viewing from a distance. It is to attempt to replicate the same experience without having full disclosure of the facts. 

                                                      

Photographer: Yui Mok

Organisation: Press Association.

Source: www.msn.com

N.B: happy married life H and M xxx

 

 

Frozen puddles

Bland cream pastel walls, sterile, with no semblance of human interaction. It looked a lot like a room suited for an interrogation, a mafia led interrogation. A room designed to convey the subtle message of fatality either ways you answered.

“Right, what else do we have here other than the victim?”

“Excluding the mug and table, nothing else.”

“Any finger prints or DNA tissue obtained?”

“No finger prints. Aimee is working on the victim as we speak, but nothing’s turned up.”

“Any ideas on the mug content?”

“Other than remind me of luka’s diaper contents last night, we’re stumped on that as well.”

They both smiled.

“Whatever happened here, that mug seems to be the only evidence of a storm that occurred.”

“Premeditated or random?”

“Definitely premeditated.”

His phone rang.

“Inspector Morris here….. right…. any clue as to the cause of death?”.

“Turns out the victim is an amateur sculpture at some Michigan college …”

“Won’t be far-fetched to assume that’s mud?” pointing to the mug.

“No speculations Jake. What  brought him way out here?”


In response to the writing challenge flash fiction for aspiring writers hosted by Priceless Joy click on the link to visit the blog. The photograph is from the lovely artycaptures (interesting photo can’t wait to see all the stories it inspires) and the challenge is to write a 100 – 150 words (+/- 25 words) story inspired by it. Do click on the link for other stories.

On top

“I told you one day we would rule the world didn’t I?”

“Yes you did.”

“This is all ours, we own everything.

“Everything.”

” I remember you said it was impossible, but I told you we could do it.”

“Yes you did.”

“A couple of jelly sweets, candy bars  and the tree house is ours for a day. Get Ralph and everyone else.”

“The purple gang rules today.”

“Don’t get too comfortable up there smelly pants.” Screamed Margret. “It’s just for my day off, tomorrow I get to take over the world.”


Sorry just  couldn’t think of anything more diverse.

In response to the writing challenge flash fiction for aspiring writers hosted by Priceless Joy click on the link to visit the blog. The photograph is from the lovely Jessica Haines (interesting photo can’t wait to see all the stories it inspires) and the challenge is to write a 100 – 150 words (+/- 25 words) story inspired by it. Do click on the link for other stories. 

First assignment

Sweat dripped down furrowed brow, one could mistaken him for a sacrificial lamb at the altar. He felt every one of his bones age with each passing minute. To say he envisaged a different beginning to his divine call would be putting his present predicament lightly.

Renting the night air, the scream temporarily halted his thoughts.

Surely the almighty could have found another route for childbirth.

Still attached to its mother the babe was silenced with a single swing of the sword.

He fainted, his master scoffed, a second scream pierced the night. 

Twins had no place in this court.


Written for Friday fictioneers a writing challenge hosted by Rochelle. The picture was provided by the lovely Janet Webb, the task is to write a 100 words story inspired by it. Thanks Rochelle for hosting the challenge. Thank you for stopping by… do click on the link to read other stories.

 

THE METHODOLOGY OF ASSASSINATION

This is simply brilliant.
Makes me think of bond and his lady’s.

- MIKE STEEDEN -

albino-5

First a sip of champagne, then a rare girlish tilt of the head and in an instant, her naked iris, roseate eyes ambushed mine. Detained them for the duration. Not too long, yet likely just long enough. Was it contemplation as to my purpose of being? Mental telepathy? Thought transference? I never could translate the language of those conspicuous, yet most agreeable eyes.

A little earlier, not long after we had sat at our corner table and the waiter had taken our drinks order, she had insisted the candle be snuffed. “My photophobia demands it” her courteous reasoning.  I obliged, killing the flame twixt wetted finger and thumb. She had me light her cigarette. I was keen to ask of her why she had chosen to wear a white silk cocktail gown upon her snowy frame, yet thought better of it. Felt it improper to delve.  Notwithstanding, it was charmingly…

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Out cold

“Morning darling,”

“Morning gorgeous, off to work already?”

“You bet I am, no rest for the wicked and what not.”

Her phone rumbled with his laughter.

“Did you get any snow over there?”

“Nope! Not a speck of snow or frost in sight. Mr sunshine is basking in warmth.”

“You lucky devil.”

“Well I brought hell with me baby and your missing it.”

She smiled.

“Can you open the door for me?”

“The door …”

“Surprise!”

His smile looped into a convex shape.

“You’re in room 546 right? Come on my feet hurt.”

Hell was getting an icy makeover.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot


Sorry I have been missing for a while now, my mind was overtaken by life.

Written for Friday fictioneers a writing challenge hosted by Rochelle. The picture was provided by the lovely Roger Bultot the task is to write a 100 words story inspired by it. Thanks Rochelle for hosting the challenge. Thank you for stopping by… do click on the link to read other stories.

Institutionalised victims

My sister snatched my doll from me in a not too friendly manner. I watched in growing anger and horror as she proceeded to pull her little chubby legs out of her sockets. Not one to be out done by her antics, I immediately reached for her drawings on the table rendering them master pieces of a vengeful heart. At this point we were both screaming in pitches that would make Celine Dion jealous; mum intervened but it didn’t end well for me as I had hoped. We each got a good measure of home-made discipline served olden days style – a good smacking. We also memorized a lesson for the day – retaliation isn’t the best response from a victim – or words to that effect.

I watched the inauguration of America’s new president with some reserve, as reports of disagreement between Trump supporters and protesters flooded in, my mood turned sour. It ‘s amazing how a difference in opinions can quickly escalates to a free for all fight wrestling match. The aftermath leaving everyone in pain including people who are indifferent to the situation or have no stake in the issue. Now I sit here wondering who the victim is, who really is the victim?

My friend had a rubbish week at work and from the looks of things the issues that rubbed her sore were likely to change any time soon. She was tired of being treated like an outsider, slowly losing patience with her colleagues ability to play corporate ‘hide and seek’ when difficult situations arose. Basically the prolonged hazing period was starting to grate on her nerves, turning work days into a feat of positive energy exercise – an empowering process in short solemn moments, but a mentally draining one when infused with physically challenging circumstances. Again I ask who is the victim, her, her colleagues or the client?

As they say in my native language – ‘okwu na ebute okwu’ (one story often leads to another) my friend and I moved from her infuriating work colleagues to the numerous ‘claim’ adverts on telly. You might know these ads; the ones that end with the famous last words – if you’ve been a victim of blah, blahblah – it got us wondering if these ads weren’t slowly indoctrinating the mindset of victims into us all. These ads like magnifying lens enlarge the other persons actions or inaction, taking our minds off our contribution to the situation. Like individuals institutionalised by physical structures most of the population have become institutionalised by the ‘campaigning victim squad’. And so once more I ask who is a victim?

a) the one who speaks first?

b) the one who shouts the most?

c) the one who has someone to back them up?

d) the one who suffers the most?

There are victims everywhere in the world; you’re a victim, I am a victim. Each one of us can become victims of circumstances man made and other wise, someone’s actions or inaction gives birth to new victims every second, our actions or inaction opens us up to being victimized. However, we must endeavour not to wake up each morning as victims, it’s a status that turns a view of the world skewed and it often gives rise to more victims. This taking mentality has a colossal effect on society as it makes people focus on how not to become a victim of another persons circumstances rather than maximizing life to the limit which often involves taking the odd risk, being willing to adapt to accommodate another person. Simply put we go about covering our backs rather than ensuring the outfit we have on is appropriate, this lets the dodgiest of characters escape under the dotted lines.

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#STAYINGSTRONGSTAYINGTRUE