SOCIAL MEDIA IS AS ADDICTIVE AS SMOKING

Interesting Facts

  • Social Media now consumes an average of 142 minutes of our time, daily.
  • Big Social has the same effect on our bodies as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
  • It leads to addiction, anxiety, and higher suicide rates.
  • It isolates us from the important people in our lives and makes our relationships superficial. (By leaving us with less time and energy for deep conversations.)

Quotes by Big Tech Founders/Execs

“I feel tremendous guilt… I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” – Chamath Palihapitiya, Facebook’s former vice president for user growth.

“It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.” – Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook.

“There are some things that I won’t allow [my nephews do]. I don’t want them on a social network.” – Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO

Recommendation: Quit the Big Socials that have the most addictive impact on you.
Caveat: Ensure that you create a substitute activity for those times when the craving to return arise, otherwise, you will experience a relapse.
Benefits: More time opens up for greater productivity. Your relationships begin to bloom as you now have more time to interact deeply with loved ones.

Culled from Scrolling Is The New Smoking and Trapped.

OH GOD, WHY?

oh-god-why

As I read the book of Genesis recently, I ended up with so many questions.

I spent a while querying – in the manner that philosophers, agnostics or atheists do.

“When God knew that man would fall (since He is omniscient), why did He create Adam?”
“When God knew that man would displease Him, why did He start the human race, and now He plans to throw some of them in eternal burning.”
“Why did He go that route?”
“Is that a way of love, after all?”

Then this answer came to my heart (in July 2020) as I questioned:
“When you query God from afar, you may not understand Him. But draw close and learn who He is and how He operates. He does not make robots; even the angels are free moral agents and serve the Lord on their own volition. Satan chose to misuse his free-will and planned a coup against the Lord. That plot back-fired.

In the same way, the Lord has given man an ability to choose and holds him responsible for what he does with his free-will. Never forget that: The Lord does not make robots who operate on a pre-written code. All his hosts and the human race are given the choice to submit to Him or not. But, he will hold everyone accountable for what they do with their power to choose.”

There are so many questions in life; although we try to answer some of them, we are still left with many unanswered questions. Nonetheless, we know that His thoughts towards us are thoughts of good and He will give us a future and a hope.

Best,

LEKE

Excellence: So Good They Can’t Ignore You

It gladdens my heart to share this post I received from a friend.

Excellence is never an accident. It is the result of high intention; sincere effort; intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities; strive to do ordinary things extraordinary well. You are what you repeatedly do; excellence is not an act, but a habit! Always strive to do better. It takes time, if it could be done quickly, most people would do it!

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential; these are some of the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence; outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission. The quality of your life is in direct proportion to your commitment of excellence, regardless of your chosen field of endeavour.

Hear me, it will hurt, it will take time, it will require dedication, it will require willpower, it requires sacrifice; you will need to push your body to its maximum. It is not going to be easy, but I promise you, when you reach your goal, it’s going to be worth it! Friends, Persevere! Progress takes time; those who make it look easy have worked hard over time! Be so good they can’t ignore you!

Listen, life is short, fragile and does not wait for anyone. There will never be a perfect time to pursue your dreams!

Have a fulfilled day!

Best,
LEKE

 

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR JESUS?

In this generation, we have a huge problem with an entitlement mentality (just like I posted here recently). Many young people want to receive, but hardly ask what they can do to make things better.

In the same light, many people do not enjoy prayer anymore because, for them, it is a time to remind the Lord of what he is yet to give to them. Their prayer lives have become a time to nag at the Lord. Imagine how marriage would be if every time you had a conversation with your spouse, and all they had to say was let you know your shortcomings. Well, very soon, they would avoid each other until the marriage crashed, due to lack of communication. I think we ought to also think a lot about what we can do beyond the usual to make the Lord pleased, and proud of us. Pastor E.A. Adeboye’s experience, as he told it in Open Heavens Daily Devotional (June 12, 2020) sheds some light on this.

“While the government of Nigeria was planning for the 1977 Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC), it occurred to me that, since it was going to be a public holiday, I could gather students to study the Bible, pray and dance for Jesus instead. I got the necessary information and approvals, they wrote letters to the schools. However, I did not have money to post the letters, not to mention feeding and accommodating the students, as I had promised. A friend had offered his savings of N4,000 but we still needed more, so I had to sell my car. That programme which started small is now known all over the world as the RCCG Congress. I was not even the General Overseer then, just a Christian who wanted to lift Jesus’ name above all else.
In 1998, a politician claimed he could gather two million people in a place. I thought: “If he can gather two million people for himself, we can gather four million people for God.” So Lekki ’98 held and by God’s grace, over six million people attended, causing a great revival in Nigeria.
At another time, a popular brand announced a goal of having at least one consumer in every family of the world. I was challenged; I believed we could do that for God too. There could be at least one member of the RCCG in every family of the world. Today, the RCCG is over 197 countries of the world. As Christians, we must match and outwit every secular dream. No more timidity! Do everything to ensure that God’s name is praised above all others. If you make a move, God will do the rest. Do more for God always.”

In conclusion, the present level of Christianity is due to the blood and sweat of passionate men and women like us. They made lots of personal sacrifice as a result of their brokenness and death to self. I ask myself, “What have you done for Jesus?”

What can I do for You, my Lord?
I want You to know my heart is Yours.
It’s not a question of what You can do for me;
What can I do for You, my Lord?
(Lyrics from “Look what you’ve done for me,” by Tree 63.)

Best,
LEKE

Friends and Time

This is piece is culled from Letting Go, an article whose author I am yet to determine. It underscores the place of understanding friendship and their seasons in our lives.  Happy reading!

‘There is a time for everything, and everything on earth has its special season.’
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NCV

Friendships are very important in our lives. Friends help us through the tough times, and celebrate with us in the high points. But sometimes our friendships are just for a season. We need to ask for God’s wisdom to know which relationships we need to let go of, and which we need to fight for.

When people drift away from us, we can either try and fight for the friendship, or we can let them go. People leave us because they’re not joined to us. And if they’re not joined to us, we shouldn’t try to make them stay. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people; it just means that their part in our story is over (or that our part in their story is over).

We need to try and understand when a relationship is over, and graciously let people go, knowing that whatever relationships God means us to have, He’ll provide. Clinging to a relationship when its season has ended will only lead to heartbreak. After Lot left him, Abraham entered a new level of God’s blessing. When Orpah left Naomi and went back home to Moab, Ruth stayed with her, and both Naomi and Ruth were blessed by God.

While the end of a friendship or relationship can be upsetting, God can bring new things into our lives and help us to have relationships with new people who can help us along the journey God’s taking us on. We should also consider that continuing the relationship once that season has ended could be holding the other person back from their own journey with God. If we’re holding on to people who don’t belong in our lives, let’s ask God to help us let them go.
What Now? Think of any friendships in your life that are starting to fade. Take some time to ask God whether you should let them go or invest in them again.

Photo credit: http://www.ox.ac.uk

People don’t owe you anything but respect.

Chinedu Ihekwoaba wrote this piece, worthy of learning from.

People don’t owe you anything but respect.

I am tired of some people acting like they deserve this or that from you. Many of them will even go about shaming you in public for not helping them. Helping someone is a choice. Honestly, I have been guilty of that in the past.

I used to have this sense of entitlement. It made me bitter towards the people I presumed would help me.

Later on, I realized that everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Because he smiles and never complains doesn’t mean he doesn’t go through pains.

He just learns to rock and roll with the flow. We all can do exceedingly great for ourselves when we learn to mind our own business and work hard.

God rewards the work of our hands. Save yourself the stress of hating on a person working hard and carrying his burden.

Help yourself by carrying your own burden. Everyone is going through a lot already, don’t try to add yours to them. It is not their business to help you. It is your business to help yourself.

G-Heart: A Poem

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Life is not unidirectional
Life is not a straight line
Life is not a bed of roses

Sometimes it’s sweet
Sometimes it’s sour
Sometimes it satisfies
Sometimes it sucks

But whatever life presents to you
You could choose gratefulness
You could choose grudginess

Choose joy and you will be lighter
Choose anger and you will be darker
Choose joy and your sight will be clearer
Choose anger and your sight will be dimmer
Choose joy and your character will grow
Choose anger and your character will shrink
Choose joy and you will be inspiring
Choose anger and you will be pitiful

Which G fills  your heart?
Grate-full or Grudge-full?

Inspired by the true life story of a man whom I know. After he arrived home from a trip, he was informed that his only car had been stolen during his absence. His surprising reply was, “Thank God!” When prodded further, “Why will you thank God about a disappointment?” He said,”I thank God we have something that people desire enough to steal. I thank God that it is not us who are going about stealing from others.” It was from Him that I learned, “If you have lost anything, be thankful that you haven’t lost everything.”

So, dear friend, what have you lost? What pains have you experienced in recent times? Choose to remain thankful and in the end, God will be glorified. He will turn everything around in your favor.

The Effect of Pornography on Children & Teenagers

An incident, back in June 2014, left me shaken.

I was leaving a private secondary school in Lagos after a visit. I walked past three female students, adolescents, maybe 15 or 16, all three of them standing and discussing. I figured they were SSS3 students who were concluding their WASSCE exams and were about to leave school. It was sometime around noon.

I overheard one of them, unaware I was within earshot, say, “Let’s go and watch porn.” When they turned and saw the shock on my face, they were embarrassed.

I’m certain watching porn has become a pastime of many minors. Also, pornography among the youth has crossed the boundary of being a male-related problem.

Childhood is a critical stage of life. During this period, it is necessary that kids maintain a certain level of innocence. A skewed exposure to sexuality at this time can alter the course of a child’s life. Children have a surplus reserve of energy, time and imagination. Pornography could serve as a hurtful distraction should it become their focus. It could lead them into sexual habits, addictions and passions that hamper growth and development in vital areas of life: mental, social, and spiritual.

I am tempted to explore how early sexual abuse and/or exposure has affected children, but I will remain focused on the porn addiction epidemic and its impact on minors.

According to the Nigerian law, a minor is anyone who has not attained the age of 18 years. Two key attitudes of minors make them susceptible to derailing due to porn: curiosity and poor judgment. Curiosity is a gift that’s intense in children and adolescents, and pushes them to learn their environment. Sexuality is a fascinating subject; it is able to draw the attention of first-timers to explore further.

Minors are known to be inept when it comes to making informed judgment. Wisdom and knowledge in humans increases with learning, either through instruction or experience. Since children are lacking in experience about life in general, they depend mostly on instruction to make wise decisions. Hence, they are likely to make wrong sexual choices where effective instruction is lacking. Poor judgment will make a child tow the path of curiosity, regardless of its risk.

Therefore, children and adolescents need to be protected from the unsafe exposure to sexuality and pornography. It is our responsibility to provide a safe space for them to develop physically, psychologically and socially. This should be seen as our own way to give back to a world that shielded us while we were growing up. Even if it didn’t provide the security we deserved, we can nip the evil cycle in the bud.

My experience at that secondary school made me value the work I was doing at the time with teenagers. It also underscored the necessity for stakeholders – parents, educators and leaders – to act quickly in order to prevent porn (from the internet and other sources) from perverting minors who use modern technology. The insidious evil called pornography must be stopped. Quoting Taryn Hodgson in Porndemic, “It is not a question of if you and your children will be exposed to pornography, but when.

We want to hear from you. What are your thoughts? How has porn affected children that you know? Did porn affect you as a child? What effects did it have on you as a minor? How can we protect our children from the negativity of this sexualized world? Your comments will be appreciated.

 

This article was originally published at BellaNaija.

Combating the Pornography Addiction Epidemic

There is an epidemic that nobody is talking about (in Nigeria, at least). Several epidemics have set off a flurry of activities from both the WHO and liberal donors. During the Ebola outbreak that occurred in West and Central Africa, the international community swiftly contributed more than US$459 million to the WHO Ebola Response Fund.

True, the epidemic in focus is yet to take 11,000 lives like Ebola did during that period; neither has it manifested the same destructive potential as drug addiction in Nigeria. It does not even have the same fanciful description and obviously dangerous capacity as “bluetoothing” in South Africa. Yet, this epidemic is real and we are either denying its existence or downplaying its effect on our generation.

Apart from pathological outbreaks, atmospheric concerns have also set off a burst of political activities. The outcomes of climate change, due to the atmospheric pollution by greenhouse gases, have prompted nations to invest billions of dollars in green energy. This is clearly due to our concern about the impacts of climate change on future generations. Oddly, we are unconcerned about the emotional and spiritual climate that these “future generations” will live in.

We appear to be focused on physical and economic prosperity to the detriment of emotional, mental and spiritual prosperity. The well-being of the present generation is fast-declining due to pornography and its offshoots. This attitude is probably because the symptoms are mostly emotional and psychological. The pornography addiction epidemic is real. Some people invest lots of time in the semantics. They say that there is nothing like pornography addiction. They prefer to call it a compulsive pornography consumption disorder.

Whatever your preferred moniker is is fine. I will stick to Porndemic.

The statistics on this subject speak for themselves. 47% of Christians say that they have a problem with pornography in their home. 72% of males visit pornography websites, as do 28% of females. Also, the porn industry is larger than the combined revenue of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple, Netflix, and Earthlink. In addition, more than 64% of South African children have seen porn images online (South Africa Film and Publications Board). Bringing this home to Nigeria, we rank very high on Google search ranking for porn and gay porn. Our percentage search for the subject relative to other terms sometimes ranks higher than the popularity of the search in America. So, just like Subomi Plumtre noted, Nigerians are obsessed with sex. We just pretend not to be.

It is common knowledge that sexual lust is a congenital weakness that we ought to keep under check. Habits like porn-use feed the “beast of lust” with “hard drugs,” making self-control very difficult or practically impossible. Internet porn fuels the modern man or woman’s sex addiction. This may be the reason some have labeled the internet the crack cocaine of sex addiction.

This uncontrolled sex drive is causing a surge in violent sex crimes. Rape is one category of reported crime that is on the increase in Nigeria. The FBI reports that porn is found at 80% of the scenes of violent sex crimes or in the homes of perpetrators. Similarly, US states with the highest rates of readership of porn magazines have the highest rates of rape. Hence, the high level of sex addiction
and sex crimes we record today are closely linked to pornography.

Times have changed. Society has evolved. However, the direction of change and evolution calls for concern. In the past, it was the norm for guys to chase girls just for fun or to satisfy their lust. Those who were too timid to do so aspired for the day they would be courageous enough to ask girls out.

In contrast, today, we have a category of males and females who do not bother about relationships with partners because they have found alternative fantasies and satisfaction in porn. And as we have learned from the statistics on the porn epidemic, while the early business model of the industry targeted men as the main clients. The industry today has a sizeable number of females who use their products too.

Likewise, the odds of a divorce are at an all-time high of 50%, with infidelity contributing significantly to this. What’s more, our ivory towers that were once the exclusive factory of brilliant minds are now breeding sites of intellectual drug addicts and sex addicts as well.

With all that has been said, it is obvious that an enormous challenge has come to us. We need to engage in constructive dialogue to solve this problem. Ingenious techniques to address this product of globalization need to be proffered. As Africans, we were raised in a culture that forbade the discussion of private issues like this in the public domain. Unfortunately, this loud silence is killing many. We must act very quickly and decisively in order to protect ourselves and our children. Everyone needs to get involved. An attitude of indifference to this matter may boomerang, because someone very close to you may be addicted already without your knowledge.

Collective, concerted efforts are required to first create a solid movement and then a revolution against all that is corroding our humanity.

 

This article was originally published at BellaNaija.

February 2020 Joy

breakthrough

These days, my greatest joy is derived from helping people to be successful and become what God wants them to be. So, you can imagine my delight, last month, when a mentee told me of success after a period of challenges, despair and self-doubt.

Some of my Whatsapp messages to the person during that phase are shared below.

You must have a CAN DO spirit.
This is an agenda that God is in support of.
Only a positive and strong spirit can get you what God promised.
Obstacles are normal. But only the strong in spirit can possess their possession.
Fight through to your victory.
God’s wisdom is in you, fight your way through.
You must have a CAN DO spirit.
Think outside the box, take unusual moves;
BE BOLD.
Think, think and take action.
Think and be BOLD!
Be creative and do the UNUSUAL
Creativity and solutions flow to the mind of the thankful.
Your solution is right in front of you, [and you will only see it] if you remove the cloud of worry.
Don’t sit there conforming to the traditional rules and expect a different result.
Think outside the box, act outside the box!

And guess, what! The person indeed broke through! I was so happy and give glory to God!

Dear reader, don’t accept any limitation in your life. It takes a fight of faith to see God’s prophecies fulfilled.

This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare. 1 Tim. 1:18

Have a beautiful new month!

Best,
LEKE

 

Image credit: beyondphilosophy.com

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