Seeking Justice… from the heart.

In seeking justice in our times, where do you start? Read to learn more.

After we chanted and the ball dropped, we realized we stepped into a challenging year. At first, it was an invisible virus, battling our physical bodies, from the outside. The world rallied. When we thought we had the worst 2020 had to offer, we caught a glimpse of the invisible virus eating away at our souls – the worst of human nature manifest as racial injustice, police brutality, violence against women, and other inequitable brothers and sisters. Then we rallied again.

I’m thankful for the camera that prevented the reason for justice to be relegated to a matter of “he said, she said.” Or even, “Oops, he can’t even say because he’s dead.” I’m thankful for the awakening and the immense support for justice, for those who are listening, and learning and hearing, for those who are agitating, may your strength not waver. To the leaders and legislators publicly asserting their intent to step up to the plate, kudos!

We must remember that media coverage or an uprising does not solve problems. It is the positive actions of change from each one of us that will make a difference.

You don’t know where to start?

From your heart.

A long time ago, God gave us a recipe to civic responsibility, echoed through Prophet Micah, “seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with Your God.” My friend, that’s where it begins.

A quote which says, seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.

It’s no mean feat, carrying out justice, mercy, love, and humility in daily life. It has to be learned — that everyone is made in the image of God, that you are not better than the person next to you.

I worry that after the media drone is quietened and the sensation is drowned in the sea of forgetfulness, when the tears of lament dry up, will the resolve to change remain as strong as the challenges of human nature? Will we have enough grit to stand for truth in our circle of influence, or will we return to complacent slumber? Are we going to get it this time?

But then, I have hope because I believe that saviors like the judges of old will rise from among us — they will be unlikely heroes whose heart will seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly because they have been consumed by love, kissed by the Sun of righteousness and being healed by the light in His rays.

I hope you and I will be counted among them.

He has told you, O man, what is good; what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?
— Micah 6:8

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3 friends speak about personal growth — StoryVox Podcast

I asked three of my friends who I know are living intentionally to share how they build capacity in their lives, and how it changes them. I also asked them to share their top tip for effective capacity building. Listen Now.

Another episode of StoryVox is out

 Listen Now

Episode 3 of the second season of StoryVox is a follow up to the Capacity Building Episode that aired 4 weeks ago. I encourage you to listen if you have not.

I asked three of my friends who I know are living intentionally to share how they build capacity in their lives, and how it changes them. I also asked them to share their top tip for effective capacity building.

My friends

Anjola Coker is Houston Texas-based digital artist, poet, and Storyteller. In the less than 2 years we have known each other, I have been inspired by her creativity through poetry, art and film.

Toyin Ajilore introduces herself as a child of God, a warrior who sits at the intersection of education and entrepreneurship. She teaches young people to be leaders as a lecturer at the Department of Geology, University of Ibadan, and develops young entrepreneurs through ONE Foundation, formerly known as the Grassroots Business Hub, an entrepreneurship foundation that trains new business owners in Nigeria to take their business to the next level.

Samuel Osho is a multi-faceted genius who currently works as an engineer in Canada. He is skillful with words as an award-winning public speaker and writer and website designer.

How we recorded

It’s a social distancing world, so we couldn’t have them present at the studio, but we utilized WhatsApp, Skype and self-recording to make this happen and I’m so excited for you to listen and learn from this.

Jump in Now

Thank you for listening. I’d love you to share this podcast with friends. All episodes are edited to utilize as little data as possible, so tell them they can listen online or on their favorite podcast apps.

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Listen Links

Apple
Spotify
Google
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It’s available on most podcast platforms. Just type StoryVox Podcast.

If you love HeirWalk and StoryVox so far and want more, I invite you to join my mailing list.

It’s okay to panic… at first — StoryVox Podcast

This happened 16 years ago. But the details are as fresh as yesterday. I was in the second class of Junior Secondary School – what Americans would call 7th grade.

I was ready to represent my class as a lead speaker in a school debate with the 6th grade /JS1 class – our juniors. I cannot remember the topic but I do remember being excited and preparing so hard for it —I researched, gathered and practiced my points with my uncle at home until I felt as ready as anything. Set to beat ‘em all!

But on the D-day, standing before the large audience of students, teachers and the principal, as the lead speaker of my team, my confidence and enthusiasm disappeared instantly, because after the last syllable of my very impressive opening speech, my tongue locked itself.

I froze. Could not get the next word out. No. For several awkward moments, I struggled, my mind racing through the points, unable to voice them out. Everyone watched in anticipation, ostensibly praying that I would find my voice. My teammates must have been boiling furiously.

To be clear, I did not forget what I had to say. It was just that the words got stuck under my tongue. What you would call a stutter. Each second felt like a heavy weight on my chest.

Hmm… I wish I could tell you I recovered. I didn’t.

After a while, I couldn’t bear the audience’s piercing looks and wide mouths any longer. I walked off the stage, and wept sore at the back of the hall. With the lead speaker gone with all the major points, I learned my team lost the competition. Because of me. So it was a shameful loss because everyone expected us to beat the class junior to ours.

The shame was so unbearable that I did not return to school for the rest of the semester.

I vowed to myself —I would never speak in public again.

We all panic.
We all doubt ourselves.
We all have weaknesses.
And we all want to make an impact in our world.

Today on StoryVox, using one of the worst ordeals of my life, I’m sharing why it’s okay to panic. Why it’s okay to doubt yourself —at first.

And why it’s not okay to stop there.

Listen now on your favorite podcast platform.

“And because God gives us the opportunity to panic at first, we must then give God the opportunity to dispel the “I can’t” in our minds and show himself faithful.”

Listen Links

Apple
Spotify
Google
Buzzsprout
Download the .mp3

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It’s available on most podcast platform. Just type StoryVox Podcast.

Why you shouldn’t let ‘the ‘Rona’ — ahem, coronavirus — dominate your mind.

When the first case of Coronavirus occurred, no one expected it to redefine our 2020 experience. This time is so peculiar in the history of our world.

Massive layoffs, hundreds of thousands sick, and many dead, disruption of industry and economy, shortage of household and medical supplies, and individual financial constraints are a few select consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And it’s not over.

For some who are unable to work, this may be the longest time you’ve spent with your loved ones or the longest time you’ve spent with yourself even. Trust me, your children and pets can’t believe their good fortune of having some of you around all day.

Maybe it’s time to appreciate the incredible work school teachers are doing with your kids, and maybe it’s time to do a little of that, and help them understand and process what is happening in our world today.

And boy O’boy, have I read and seen all sorts in the last few weeks. From the city of Wuhan, the sprawling capital of Central China’s Hubei province, the ‘Rona traveled and with it, diverse perspectives.

Some feel that the apocalypse is upon us – down to the bunkers you go! Many other people smell a fish and there’s been a handful of conspiracy theories floating around cyberspace. Some think it’s bio-terrorism at it’s finest, designed to cripple the western economy. I mean all sorts.

You know what, whatever it is, we don’t have time for divisive perspectives. For whatever is unclear about this situation, there’s a lot more that is clear, and we’ll serve ourselves and the world better by focusing on that.

So what is clear?

This pandemic has proven once again the ability of unprecedented situations to bring out the best and the worst in us.

The ‘Rona has shown how clueless some of our countries’ governments are about leading us in safety, it has brought the worst in human nature by way of prize gougers, has shown how misinformation can torpedo the best of minds and has spun out of potential storytellers, an unsettling number of conspiracy theories.

But it’s not all doom and gloom

It has also given us the opportunity to watch the global cohort of heroes – individuals who by reason of their jobs, means, their good nature or a combination of many factors, are bravely helping the world heal, one good act after another. We have seen on display, what Fred Rogers meant when he said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Covid-19 has dealt us a heavy blow and disrupted daily life as we know it. The threat of death is palpable but we must not allow fear to paralyze us.

There is one thing that should be clear to anyone who believes: the faithfulness of God in a terrible situation, and the incredible divine gift of resilience of humans. The joy of the Lord your strength! I have read and seen and believe in our ability to rise out of the ashes of our dying night today into the breaking of a brand new hopeful day.

Our role in that resurrection starts with accepting that all of us need help. Lots of it. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each of us must realize that we have something valuable to bring to this world. That’s one thing that connects us.

Reel_rona

So think about one thing of value (and trust me, you do have at least one) that you can share with the hurting world around you.

And while you’re at it, ensure you stay safe and follow precautions that enable you to stay healthy. As you practice social distancing, pray for the healing of your world, for if you have forgotten, it’s your sacred duty, as well as to find ways to be a helper to those around you, for you may find that you are God’s hands and feet at your workplace, or neighborhood, bringing hope with every smile, every hot meal, cold drink, every sanitizing wipe or encouraging word you give.

Our leaders are waking up. They’re responding, and with the proliferation of more useful information and provision of relief resources, we are going to deal with this better, so don’t lose hope.

And for those who think the world is going to implode, I’d say, probably not!

Resist the urge to spread fear and falsehood on that little ticking time bomb you cradle around your palms. With as much effort if not less, you can find verified helpful information to share. And then you’ll join the league of heroes and helpers. CDC and the WHO are two examples of organizations that have done a fantastic job of providing useful information that can keep you healthy and others around you. Share that!

And to the believers again, C.S. Lewis says, “If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb (or Coronavirus), let that bomb (or virus) when it comes, find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs (or spreading falsehood and fear about the ‘Rona”).

Rona alone

Corona may break our bodies, but it need not dominate our minds.

Again I say, it’s not over. We will win this.

Through the thick or thin of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, whatever may come our way, let it meet us hopeful and helping.

Stay safe, friends.

P.S. If you have not listened to my latest podcast episode, you can find it here

What does Capacity Building Mean? – StoryVox Podcast

During my early childhood, my family lived on the topmost flat of a three story building. It had a good view of the street so my brother and I would sit in the front veranda and imagine great things. As we watched hundreds of cars pass by our street during rush hour, we would let our imaginations soar.

We would play a game of identifying and counting make and model types of the cars that passed by, imagining what kind of car we wanted when we grew up. Sometimes, we had one or two neighbors join the fun. I remember wanting at least three cars – one for my wife, an SUV for family outings on the weekend, a coupe for personal use.

We had dreams of building houses on the waterside or on a rich landscape, with stones and layered brick. I remember wanting one that had a study overlooking the front porch, multiple bedrooms and a studio among other beautiful things.

I even drew an architectural plan of t.boy world as I called my dream home, which I believe still lies in my old room in my parents’ house (well, if my stuff hasn’t been cleared).

For all the dreams we had, one question we did not think about in that moment, and understandably so, was how do we get there?

I’ve always been a dreamer.

My many adventures in life have shown my desire to make a positive impact around me. But in my few years of living, I have realized that the bridge between dreaming and doing is capacity building.

Capacity building is an intentional process of gathering resources, forming relationships, developing or strengthening skills and processes that empower you to deliver your mission effectively and adapt for sustainability in a fast-changing world.

If you’re familiar with the Bible, you’ll remember the illustration Jesus gave about a builder. No reasonable person will start building a house without figuring how to finish it. Capacity building is thinking and planning and building so you can actually live in that house.

So I recorded an episode (What does Capacity Building Mean?) on the StoryVox Podcast

It’s out now and you can listen to it here

In the episode, I shared a few insights on Capacity building and two simple ways to prepare you to build individual capacity from this day onward.

Coming up with this episode has been a slow and painful process, partly because a lot of what I spoke about is a work in progress for me. But then, the purpose of StoryVox is to share insights on the process and provide inspiration for your own journey.

So I’d really love to hear your thoughts on how you are building capacity.

First, listen to the episode.

You can Download the mp3 here

It’s also available wherever you listen to Podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio etc)