I have the heart and stomach of a King… says!

Queen Elizabeth (Elizabeth I of England) said that “I have the heart and stomach of a King.” I surmise this as having the heart and stomach of a warrior personally. She made this speech or statement in August 1588 as there were questions being raised that her gender will restrict her from being the commander of the armed forces as the Spanish Armada was assembling in the North Sea ready to invade England.

The character of this speech implies that we must show ‘chiefest’ strength in the face of resistance. We must be defiant when confronted with battles in any of its ramifications. It illustrates that while acknowledging our weaknesses, it is our strength and guts that must reign supreme in the face of battles.

Image result for spanish armada

It echoes the soundbite from the great Nelson Mandela which he uttered at the Supreme Court of South Africa in April 1964, stating that “It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”. The ideal this astute man was referring to was the total freedom of the African people – a struggle for the right to live on their own God-given land. Here was a political prisoner pleading for his life against an unfair and unjust apartheid state, however he was ready to be condemned to death for his noble principles for advocating for all races in South Africa to live freely and equally.

Image result for nelson mandela

How I wish the leaders in this African region and beyond can borrow a leaf of wisdom from our beloved Madiba when he says that “during my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Image result for nelson mandela

My summation is that life can be a battlefield to varying degrees depending on the battle that one is confronted with, it could be political, social, economical or even internal battles. We must be like the spartan warriors of the past that were ready to fight to the last drop in the face of opposition.

Here are some of the great soundbites uttered by leaders of a long-gone era in the face of political and social resistance –

  1. John F Kennedy (Cold War – “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country).
  2. Jawaharlal Nehru (Indian Independence – “a tryst with destiny).
  3. Abraham Lincoln (Gettysburgh – Civil War – “Government of the people, by the people, for the people).
  4. Martin Luther King (Civil Rights – “I have a dream”).Related image
  5. Winston Churchill (WWII – “their finest hour”, “we will fight them on the beaches”).Image result for william wilberforce
  6. William Wilberforce stood at the House of Commons in May 1789 and said “let us put an end at once to this inhuman traffic.” This was said in the presence of many MPs who were merchants exploiting Africa through the transatlantic slave trade. Of course, and as expected the establishment did not yield to this abolitionist request until three days before his death in 1833 when the Emancipation Bill was passed.
  7. Image result for william wilberforce

Happy Reading!

 

Advertisements

Tips for men: A good woman, a better man.

Hmmm I hear you say… I’ve been looking to bring this notion into the public light. Why would I utter such a bold statement?

I happened to work in an industry where the ratio of women to men is 10:1 (lucky dude I hear you say). I am fortunate, in the sense that it has helped me in a number of ways to understand women and issues that concerns women in society at large. Let me make my assertions below –

Women talk or should I say women can talk! In my office, my ear is constantly ringing about delicious topics such as how well the date went with John over the weekend, fake eyelashes, glutes expansion, brazilian hair or which make-up brand is better suited to different shades and texture of skin types. In fact, I have a product in mind to launch to serve this growing market.

Image result for mac makeup uk

How has it made me a better man? It has in the sense that on occasion where I have been invited to contribute to their discussions, I have to do it from an empathetic standpoint. I cannot be too macho about it or too dismissive, if for example it is an emotional topic such as a relationship that has gone sour or other emotive subjects.

It has allowed me to be respectful towards women (1) because I value their strength and assertiveness (maybe I have a twinkle for a woman with power perhaps) (2) some are go-getters (some have moved from small towns or other restrictive countries and they are now thriving in the big city with a prosperous career which in turn challenges us men to want to continue to flourish as well and to attain more).

How has this knowledge translated or transplanted into my own relationship? Simply, I have learnt to just ‘shut up’. Truly, I have learnt to listen and to be more understanding; and a realisation that men don’t always have the answers. To get the best out of a relationship (and working with women is to work collaboratively), you need to mull over the details and figures, sometimes it can lead to ‘analysis paralysis’ but it is well intended as we must avert risks at all costs.

It has helped me to be a well-rounded individual thus allowing me to broaden my horizons and learn about other topics. For example, I recently encouraged all women in my circle of influence to vote in the UK elections, as I made a point that women were not allowed to vote in the UK until 1918 (1920 in the US, and African-Americans not until 1965).

To conclude, I will state that my masculinity has not been diminished with the rise of feminism rather it has been enhanced by it, as it has allowed me to value my own strength and my own vision. Society will be better served if we sometimes look at issues from a woman’s viewpoint.

I am a father to two boys and I am raising them on this personal motto: To respect a lady is to respect yourself.

Do you have a contrary view? All feedbacks, share, comments are welcome.