Economic hardship and mental disorder

Living conditions
Well, I honestly don’t know if there exist an equation or theory to prove the above statement right or wrong yet it is what seems to be the reality. Living in a populous city of Accra is hectic. Not only are the poor faced with the challenge of surviving in the city. Even the rich who drive to their various places in their comfortable vehicles have to encounter different levels of stress such as the hectic traffic, the humidity; increasing cost of products and services has made life in the city become unbearable.

The stress level that the average Ghanaian is faced with in the city is so much that it is no surprising news that one out of every five Ghanaian has a mental disorder. So what is the cause of this social problem that Ghanaians especially the working class in the urban areas are faced with? Why do we have so many retards on the streets of Accra lately? One thing is obvious, not all of them are of a natural cause.

The English Oxford Dictionary defines insanity as a state of deviation from the acceptable way of doing things in society. Insanity has no traceable history because it has been part of us since the beginning of civilization.
Growing up, I knew that insanity was something primitive, associated to the village. Children made fun of the madman on the street and people will just look on unconcern. Today, the mad people are all over the place in the city. So I want to look at why the issue has become very critical, why we have increasing number of mad people especially in our capital city of Accra.

The Rural Urban Migration Factor
Since the last decade, the capital city has seen an unprecedented rise in its population due to the number of people moving from other parts of the country seeking better living conditions through employment. This has as a result, increased the human resource available for the few job vacancies in the city. There is high unemployment, congestion, slums and increased crime rate all due to the populous nature of the city.

People are promised jobs and better living conditions in the capital city by friends and relatives only to be disappointed upon arrival in the city. Such people either are unable to locate these relatives or friends. They are forced to strive in the city to survive and fend for themselves. This difficult economic situation results in serious stress that eventually leads to mental disorder. So this is one critical reason why there are so many mentally retarded people on the streets of Accra today.
This serious issue is even worsened by the fact that our mental hospitals are in poor conditions. No available drugs, poor salaries and working conditions and other challenges that makes is impossible to admit more patients.

Poor parenting has brought about high juvenile delinquency in the city. Single parenting has become a common issue in the city. Young people who are victims of broken homes are today as a result of no control engaged in drug abuse and other criminal activities. Majority of these youth end up on the streets as mental retards after abusing drugs due to serious addiction. The situation keeps deteriorating and its time that it is addressed to maintain sanity on our streets in Accra.
I believe that every country needs it youth to develop so we can’t watch our young men and women go mad loitering about on our streets. The necessary actions must be taken now.


Immorality on radio

Lately this issue has been bothering my mind and feel this is the right time I must say something about it. The kind of information the media is feeding us today is nothing to write home about especially considering the fact that majority of the listening audience is the youth. There is so much profanity and immorality on our airwaves today and it looks like nothing is being done by the authorities to regulate or maintain some sanity on our airwaves. All the media stations are victims but my research shows that the radio stations are the biggest culprits.

The problem
These days all I here on radio is the glorification of sexuality and manhood on most of our local radio stations. You here presenters discussing sexual issues not for the health benefit of listeners but to make fun of it and please themselves. Airtime needed to discuss critical social, economic and developmental issues are wasted on such irrelevant issues. This motivates the young men into believing that expressing their sexual desires is a sign of manhood and not a matter of big responsibility. This I believe a one cause of high teenage pregnancy in communities where the radio has a strong influence on the lifestyle of the people. It is wrong and it is time some of these stations face the punishments due them.
This can all be attributed to the non- existence of a censorship mechanism to maintain sanity on radio. I wonder if there are any standards, supervision, regulation or evaluation of these radio programs. Radio shows, adverts, music and jingles are all polluted promoting sex, alcoholism and indecency. Some radio stations host programs to promote alcoholic drinks on Sunday afternoon after church, others play advert of condoms with the sound of ongoing sexual activity live on radio during the day time. This is unacceptable and these radio stations must be sanctioned because their actions cannot be an excuse or a compromise for moral order. Its unprofessional and a shame to our media industry.

My concerns
The problem has been developing like a cancer over the years. I don’t know who is in charge of the monitoring of these radio stations but however it is, it is definitely not doing his or her job and must be prompted of fired. Its time our radio station and as a matter of fact all media houses understand that as gate keepers of information to society they work professionally and responsibly to maintain sanity and morality in society through the dissemination of quality information.
It is time we learn from countries like china, Korea and Russia, how the media’s information dissemination processes is strictly monitored and controlled. Sometimes I wish we had such kind firm leadership system in this country so that people will learn to control what to say, publish or play on the airwaves.

Learning with music

Learning had always been a problem for me, especially being able to sit for long hours to study with full concentration. However, I have learnt to integrate my passion for music with my studies since I got out of high school. Learning with music lately has improved my concentration level in my learning.
So what exact kind of music can we learn with?
A good question, I have learnt that there some genres of music that actually improves mental performance. There different genres of music such as hip-hop, jazz, relaxation music, soul music, etc. I don’t know about your taste for music but for me I have always enjoyed cool music like jazz, soul and country. Listening to such music, I am able to reflect more subconsciously about myself and my surrounding. But directing this energy to into my learning became a big challenge.
Its either I was lost in sing alongs or I find myself completely dosed off in the music. But I read somewhere that learning with music, the lyrics must be unfamiliar. This way you are not distracted into singing along. Another important revelation was that music that has a more up tempo, “happy” rhythm also makes mental concentration very difficult. So these were some of the revelations that helped me I in reorganizing my passion for music and directing it towards achieving higher learning results.
My studies and concentration levels improved after learning to integrate my passion for music with my passion for sitting and learning. The music that I use in learning is mostly country, jazz and soul music (both gospel and contemporary) and I have my favorite selected playlist that help me in my learning process.
Leaning with the right music improves mental performance and concentration. So if you are a fun of music and thinking of how to blend it with studies I hope this little info will help.
My favorite playlists recently have been the following:
Dave Coz – Dance Album Mix (Jazz)
Yanni live concert (orchestra)
The Corrs (unplugged live acoustic performance)
All these music can be downloaded on YouTube. Enjoy music, enjoy learning.

Don’t learn books learn people

As living things we all crave for power and influence over others. In the animal kingdom for instance, the beast and strongest in the animal kingdom is the one who is able to capture the largest portion of territory and dominance. They go the extent of injuring and sometimes killing each other for power. A good example is the lion. Popularly called the ‘‘king of the jungle’’, the lion is feared by other animals in the jungle due to its resilience to fight and defend its territory.
The story however is different in the human world where law and order prevails. As humans, we crave for power and influence over men. We do all it takes to get the power we want. Unlike the animal kingdom, humans cannot bite or eat each other for power.
However, through dubious means like bribery, rigging, violence or corruption, we are able to get the power we want. Others use their cunning intelligence to win influence over others. So the question remains, why is it that in some companies subordinates turn to listen to the cleaner than listen to their boss. Why do some employees seem to have more influence and power than their boss in the working environment?
This is simple. The answer is, to exert or become powerful; you don’t need to be the most knowledgeable person to be the most revered. The secret is, in other to become powerful you must teach people not books. It takes people to promote or recommend people. It also takes people to condemn or criticize people. So now you must know that to become powerful it takes people to get you there not only you knowledge. So what must you do then to win the influence of men?
Well, the answers are all in one book that I will recommend for your reading. However, the most important way to influence people is learning how to maneuver or manipulate their emotions and thoughts. If you are good at this then you are 90% through. It didn’t take knowledge for people like Malcolm X to win and influence people. However whatever he said always affected the feelings, thoughts and emotions of others. Same as Prophet Elijah Mohammed, one of the most revered black civil rights activist. At a point in time, the black community saw him as a God and their true president. So how do such people become so powerful? Well the secret has just been revealed to you.
If you want to be powerful don’t learn books learn people by mastering the skill of manipulating and maneuvering their feelings and emotions in way that will be in your favour to attain the desired power you yearn for.
So what book do I recommend for you? The book, for me is the greatest book ever written on how to master the skill of winning power and influence. The title is “48 laws of power” and the author is Robert Green. The book highlights 48 principles one can use to win power and influence over people at any place. One of the laws that really got me thinking was that in life you should never reveal your true intention to men. Always learn to be in your calm and simple state. That way people take you for granted and irrelevant. They don’t consider you as a threat to plot any harm against you. Before they realize, you are at the top and there is little the can do about it.
So if you are the individual looking for power, well I hope this little secret will help shoot you up to that position you have always dreamed about. Learn people don’t learn books!!

Three things I learnt about JJ Rawlings

Leadership today
The name Rawlings is a household name to every Ghanaian. However, as to what the name actually implies is a different story all together. Not every Ghanaian liked JJ Rawlings for his stern leadership style especially his infamous killings and incarcerations of many Ghanaians.
But coming to think about it, I have realized despite all the negative sentiments about his personality Rawlings was no such bad leader as a former military head of state. Comparing his rule to the so called democracy we claim to have today, I see a wide margin especially with regards to the attitude of Ghanaians today.
I sometimes strongly reckon that looking at the current state of affairs; we still need a leader with the personality as that of JJ Rawlings. Don’t get me wrong here, I am not doing politic. My interest is in the charismatic leadership traits of this man and how we can transform our failing economy today with such a leader.
As a young man growing up in Ghana today, there are many unfolding political and social events in the country that has brought varying implications on my life so far. This is due to the kind of leadership, policy implementation tactics among others. Our leaders of today, as learned as they are exhibiting some unprofessional and unethical leadership traits that is driving this country into economic turmoil. These have resulted in corruption, apathy and the disregard for the law.
The sad aspect is that a typical attitude of us Ghanaians is our inability to speak against wrong doers. People are hesitant to point fingers at others who they clearly know are engaged in serious acts of corruption and mismanagement of the country’s resources.

We must understand that at this critical point in the county’s unpredictable economic situation a leader with a commanding personality to put people to order is all we need. This I believe strongly that the best person who fits the frame is a leader with the traits of former head of state and President JJ Rawlings. Four of his remarkable traits as a leader that I admire so much as a young man are what am about to share with you!
So what kind of person is he?
Born to a Ghanaian mother and Scottish father, Rawlings grew up in the colonial country called Gold Coast (presently Ghana). His formal educational background was not a strong one. However, his strong personality and hardwork ended him in the military in his early years, enrolling into the Ghana Air force Training School in the Western Region.
He rose through the ranks to become one of the most decorated and best jet fighter pilots the country the country has ever seen. One of his famous achievements was being able to fly a jet fighter under a bridge which has been an unbreakable record in the air force.
His ideologies and ambitious traits won him a lot of admiration and this was influential in the mobilization of comrades in the army who aided him in the organization of a coupe to overthrow the Akuffo General in 1979. It was a difficult feat to achieve especially because at that moment he was facing a death sentence in jail and it was these comrades who broke him out and to carry out the successful coupe in 1979.
He eventually become Ghana’s democratically elected president from 1992 to 2000 when he handed over power to the opposition party that won the election. All through his career he was revered and admired for his firm personality. These and other four special attributes of his personality are what I admire soo much as a young man. And this I gladly, will like to share with you.

Rawlings has always been a leader from his hay days in the military. Overthrowing a military government was not an easy feat to achieve at that time especially in his situation, being incarcerated and facing a death sentence. It took his leadership qualities to mobilize men to do such a suicidal job. Most of the top military officers in power took their inspiration from Rawlings who trained most of them. As a leader he also involved himself and always led by example with such unprecedented humility. A head of state who gladly cleaned choked gutters with men on the street.

People hardly talk about his achievements and passion to serve his country. Rawlings was a selfless leader who to me is only second to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He always put his interest second to that of the country. Rawlings never believed in using national resources to accumulate personal wealth. Such people he dealt with severely in his government. For instance, he overthrew Hilla Limann’s democratically elected government upon realizing it was not working in the interest of Ghanaians as planned.
Rawlings thought he could depend on these so called elite politicians to change the fortunes of country. They all failed and he had to take the necessary actions by eliminating them. This was very necessary at such defining moments in the history of Ghana’s political and economic growth.

Self Esteem
This is Rawlings’s most impressive trait that interests me. JJ is a brand on his own. He has always been who he is no matter what the opposition is. At a point in his government, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tried all possible means to influence him but to no avail. This won him the recognition of other African leaders like the former Libyan head of state Muammar Gaddafi. Rawlings never compromised with his principles and ideologies as a leader.
Even till today Rawlings defends his reasons for June 4th though many have criticized his killings. That is how a firm leader is, one who stands for his believes, standards and principles. During Rawlings’s time, there was some level of sanity, law and order in the country mainly because of the influence and power he exerted on the people of Ghana.
No matter what he does, there are some people who will never like him. However, I believe in other to develop as a nation it’s time we drop our prejudiced sentiments about past leaders which is politically motivated. It is time we start learning from the positive side of these honorable men and women. That way we can develop ourselves and hence develop as a nation.

A seed of greatness

Just like every seedling has a tree in it. You also have untapped greatness within you. A little exercise of knowing yourself and what your true passion is all you need. Just like watering a seed a seed to grow into a tree. You have to also grow or develop yourself by learning to pursue your passion with enthusiasm each day. Reading more about what are passionate about, offering voluntary service, learning from mentors are but a few of the exercises you must perform to make your dream a reality.

Well, as it is always said, change the routine to change the habit. Once you learn to make this, it becomes a part of you to do what you enjoy doing without feeling uncomfortable. Learn a new habit in just 21 days because that is all it takes to actually learn a new behavior.

We all have greatness within us however sometimes it is up to somebody to tell us how much talents and gift we are blessed with. After this, can we have the confidence to truly pursue our passion because somebody also believes in us. Like an old friend told me how much of a good speaker he sees me in the future, I was amazed that someone else could see something in me that I hadn’t realized myself and this gave me so much confidence to pursue my goals in life by truly following my ambition. I began to see myself as if I already was that great speaker as my friend described. Haha… funny as it sounds yet this was a great exercise that kept me focused and optimistic about the future I wanted for myself. It was a psychic way of communicating with nature as if to agree on one common objective of what I wanted for my life.

The response has been amazing as nature has created the circumstance for me to love what I do and want by way of meeting the right people, meeting the right experiences. This has inspired me to understand who I am and what I am capable of doing in life. And it has helped to also influence and inspire others who come in contact with me.

We all have the responsibility of seeing greatness in other people and what their potentials are. For all you know that’s all they need to hear to change their life and way of thinking. I urge you to honestly tell others how much greatness you see in them. Study shows that people who are able to identify their true potential and purpose in life by finding their passion before age twenty go on to become extremely successful self-made billionaires before fifty years in life. To name but a few: Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs, etc. are good examples of such people.


On the other side too, it takes an average person up to age 40 to know their true purpose in life. Hence, by the time they work diligently to pursue their passion, their age will far be gone and they will not be that young and active to enjoy their success. I don’t wish you to be part of this race, hence I will urge you to start today to work on what you have always believed and enjoyed doing since childhood. This is the only true purpose for which your life will make meaning and bring satisfaction to you. You will eventually realize that the happiest day in your life is the day you discovered why you were born.

Life begins to make sense and you eventually see the world differently see the world differently. So start today, change your life by changing your daily routine and make sure you help others do same. Start inspiring and not impressing others!!


In the Skype Studio: How social media transforms ideas and movements

TED Blog

Last week, Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Crimea, giving a controversial speech that posited Russia’s annexation of the peninsula as part of historical tradition. In March, when Crimea first voted to become a part of Russia, TED Fellow Ed Ou was there. He shared what he saw on the ground—Russian flags being hoisted over a military base—during a Skype conversation with Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, makers of the Oscar-nominated documentary The Square; Bahia Shehab, Egyptian street artist and TED Fellow; Anwar Dafa-Alla, the organizer of TEDxKhartoum; and Brian Ries, Mashable’s real-time news editor.

Above, watch this fascinating conversation in the lobby of TED2014, about how social media shifts the power dynamics of social movements, allowing individuals to tell their own stories above and beyond what the government and traditional media have to say.

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