Art for Deep Reflection (1) – Handshake of Caution

Picture by Titi Horsfall

I walked passed this statue in London and was struck by the sheer sense of caution it evoked. Caution as to who one should reach out to, give a handshake or bring into a close circle. Then there was this stark realisation that both individuals were mirroring each other. The other person is also treading with caution. Once bitten, twice shy! This would serve for character profiling in a nice, warm toe-curling story.

There is an African adage that says ‘it is people that make people get spoilt.’ People have learnt that distrust is a safety net to put in place until proven wrong or the negative perception is dispelled. Who would make the first move of opening up his or her arms for an embrace and not feel violated or threatened if another comes to share a space. Who would not read negative meanings to every innocent action another has taken. Who would be outright in taking down his or her mask and feel comfortable in their vulnerability. Notice, that as long as their hands are stretched out in that handshake of caution, fear is imminent! Their heads are not raised up. They cannot look around them and live in the moment.

So many potential friendships were not let to grow because of past hurts and prejudices. Relationships built on love, were never enough because the baggage of the past always haunted and unforgiveness was a stronger vice than contemplated.

Staring at this statue, I was confounded with our modern realities of building relationships with caution. The cycle can go on endlessly. Let’s make deliberate effort to do something nice for someone every day or whenever we have the opportunity to; a warm greeting, a nod of acknowledgement and then, that handshake of common solidarity.

 

Titi Horsfall

Decisions

Before you take that decision, think again and think through. Put it through a test. Would it fit into your value system and your dreams?

We all make decisions on a daily basis. Mine for instance usually falls within the field of family, work and my writing.

A few years ago, I took a decision that was life-altering, for the sake of family and its wellness. I was on a constant go until all was certain. Years after, I re-evaluated and realised that in taking that decision, I had changed. That audacity to push through brought with it courage and a changed persona.

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CODE OF CONDUCT

A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the social norms, religious rules and responsibilities of, and or proper practices for, an individual (Wikipedia).

The first code of conduct issued to mankind, was to Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden.

I have always been fascinated with Adam and Eve’s story, particularly how they made their decision in abiding by the set rule.

What rule where they tasked with? See Genesis 2.

And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

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TRUE SELF-EXPRESSION

At the onset of my literary journey, was a burning desire to express my thoughts and self. Wasn’t much of a talker, but found great ease in writing. I turned to poetry.

I read a lot of old English poems. By old, I mean 18th/19th century writers. I loved John Keats and Lord Byron. I fell in love with Jane Austen’s works; witty, clever banter and lovely exchanges amongst the characters. I read Shakespeare and adored the archaic English with its heady dose of figurative language. In the background, I was reading psalms and singing hymns in our local church. For the latter, I was amazed at the poetic ensemble!

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Why We Need More Women Leaders Pt. 2

I join women the world over, to celebrate the International Women’s Day. Keying into the pledge for parity, I pledge to help women and girls achieve their ambitions #IWD2016.

In Part 1 of this topic, I explored the myth regarding women’s roles. Now, it is time to face our reality.

Profile and Reputation

Selecting one to run for either the exalted office of the president of a country, or the position of an office clerk, requires background check. When applying for a job, assessors want to know where that person has worked or been, and the backlog of experiences. Some visa applications require evidence of past travel, financial history, employment status, family records etc. Exam records are reviewed in selecting candidates for academic admission. With appropriate records, opportunities surface for attention. The apples become quite low hanging.

With the required profile in place, any woman can aspire for greater things.

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WORLD BOOK DAY 2016

Thursday, 3rd March 2016, is World Book Day.

“World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.” (www.worldbookday.com)

In the course of the first week in March, several activities have been lined up by schools, libraries, and organizations to encourage reading. On the 5th of March, Terra Kulture, Lagos is organizing a Book Reading.  I would meet with the Association of Nigerian Authors (Lagos State Chapter) for the reading of my novels; Influence of a King and From an Orphan to a Queen: Esther.

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The Best Valentine’s Day Gift

9TH FEBRUARY 2016 BY TITI HORSFALL

The Best Valentine’s Day Gift

No matter the array of gifts, there is nothing more fraught with pain, than the uncertainty about how the other person feels. Worse still, is the torment of unrequited love or a commitment that is not mutual. Despite how few your words of love may be, they are all you need to profess your feelings, reassure, keep the channels of communication open, and commit as if undertaking a vow. If true love propels you to buy a mansion in Beverly Hills or Banana Island, all well and good!

While the appropriateness of any gift is based on myriad of determinants, one gift tops the list, as the very best Valentine’s Day gift, by a wide margin.

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Why We Need More Women Leaders Pt. 1

The myth about women’s roles

We have grown up with stories such as Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty- all portraying the beautiful, helpless girl who is rescued from an uncertain future by a dashing, fearless and very handsome prince. He sweeps her off her feet, they fall heads over heels in love, and they live together happily ever after.

I love a good, sensible love story, but would we not be stretching it too far, if in reality, we expect all females to be clueless as to how to build their future? Should we admire the female who cannot see past the flutter of her eyelashes and then, brandish the opposite a feminist? Why should parents dedicate themselves to having their daughters educated, and in expectation, should expect NOTHING?

Elizabeth Gilbert stated, “I was not rescued by a prince; I was the administrator of my own rescue”. The animated movie Brave appears to be an attempt to deviate from the image of the fairytale stereotypical female.

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Buoyed by Grace

Guess you know that feeling of foreboding, as you embark on a journey when only a few days earlier, a major accident had occurred?

When a commercial airline crashed in Nigeria killing most on board, two days later I boarded a commercial flight. At the slightest turbulence, practically everyone on board started praying. The man by my side stared at me in unquantifiable wonder- I seemed calm, and relaxed.
I nodded at him with a smile, and turned my gaze to the headrest before my eyes. If only he knew. I had asked God to literarily assign angels to the key points of that plane!

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