THE EARTHWORM [AN ANALOGY]

ArctiostrotusvancouverensisTHE EARTHWORM – [AN ANALOGY]

The earthworm is a crawling creature belonging to a group of animals called annelids [with segmented bodies] and lives in the soil. It is of immense help to farmers as it enriches the soil for more food production. It has no eyes and uses its head to find its way. City dwellers may not be too familiar with it because of its abode.

VACATION

I had gone on a two week visit to my uncle at a village called Asuboi- Wawase No 1 in the Eastern region of Ghana on vacation from school.

One afternoon as I lay relaxing on an improvised mat under a mango tree behind my uncle’s cottage, I made an observation about an earthworm.

I did not know where it was coming from. I just saw it crawling forward and soon it reached a part of the ground which was sharply elevated and consequently created an obstacle for its forward movement.

Since it could not climb the elevated ground it began to find a hole to enter the earth. The process of finding a hole to enter was what intrigued me. Being blind, it did not see any hole so tried to push itself through a small opening. It could not enter and so retracted, found another opening and tried to enter but did not go far and retracted again.

On the third attempt almost half of its body length entered the hole, and surprisingly it lay still for a short while and began retracting backwards. I told myself as I watched curiously that it might have reached a hostile house where it was refused entry.

The worm tried again and again before it finally found a hole which would allow it to enter the earth, and finally disappeared.

I watched keenly this small, insignificant event for about thirty minutes, not knowing I will one day use it to illustrate a point in my own life.

REAL LIFE EVENT

It is a little over a year ago when I bought my first smartphone. Before then I had secured an email address for myself but wasn’t using it much to send or receive mails.

EMAIL MESSAGES

I have forgotten exactly how my email address was discovered by some people on the internet. These people started sending me emails, urging me to join some online business to create wealth for myself. The messages came in almost everyday and I read every one of them as they came in. As if they knew I was not computer-literate they would try to give me some tutorials about the internet and its related businesses and how to get myself involved.

Their lessons were very educative and messages very enticing; no wonder they displayed skills in internet marketing. But if I decided to follow one, at the tail end of it was a demand to part with some dollars for registration or subscription. That’s marketing of course and there were some benefits waiting.

I still have these regular emails coming in as covering mails with links to click to get the detail information the emails carried.

BLOGGING

These emails invariably gave me information about blogging and everything associated with it. To help alleviate any ‘’internet-phobia’’ I might have, they told me I needed not be an internet guru before I could start blogging. There were simple steps to follow to succeed.

Well, I was well read by my internet friends. I am not computer literate of course and do not even know about all the features on a computer to be able to manipulate it the way I like.

BLOGGING SITE

Just a little over three months ago I found myself a web hosting company and went through the process of acquiring a personal blogging site.

I had already read much about niches and domain names and webhosting and all those initial stuff.

In May, 2015 I wrote to introduce my site www.ugrowingolder.com and have so far had about eight posts. As a newbie I was quite satisfied with my performance.

I blog about issues involved in growing from one stage of life to the next; lifestyle, behavior, desires and expectations, things to start doing and those to stop doing as you grow from one stage to the next, from age 13 to 99, grouped into six stages.

On the 22nd June, 2015, I republished my introductory post for latter visitors to know what to expect at the site.

ADVERTS

One internet professor had ‘’ lectured’’ me about placing adverts on blogging sites to earn some income. It was one source of his many incomes and recommended it to me. I decided to take a step forward to have adverts placed on my site so I could get some minimal income or even if it is big.

APPLICATION

I applied online to one of those giants on the internet offering that service and waited for a response.

After waiting for a week, which was the time they said they would get back to me, I got a negative response, disapproving my application.

After reading the mail that conveyed the information to me, disappointment and depression are small words to describe my feeling, I can’t get the exact word now to describe how deeply hurt I was. It was like having failed an exam that my life depended on to survive in this world.

THE RESPONSE

For the benefit of those like me and other aspiring bloggers I reproduce below the exact response I received for us to learn some few very important things.

‘’We‘re unable to approve your application at this time because your site does not comply with our program policies or adhere to our Quality guidelines. It’s our goal to provide our advertisers sites that offer rich and meaningful content, receive organic traffic, and allow us to serve well-targeted ads to users. We believe that currently your site does not fulfill this criteria.

Here are some recommendations to help you improve the user experience on your site and comply with our criteria.

  • It’s important for sites displaying ads to offer significant value to the user. As a publisher, you must provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.
  • Don’t place ads on auto-generated pages or pages with little to no original content.
  • Your site should also provide a good user experience through clear navigation and organization. Users should be able to easily click through your pages and find the information they’re seeking.

 

So, with the above, all what I had written before were balderdash.

I was writing school text- book chapters and would have continued like that if I had not applied to have ads placed on my site and taught the right thing to do. There are standards to reach and laid down criteria to be complied with in this blogging business, I have now learnt.

FISHING

The thing to realize is that you don’t just wake up and go fishing because people are fishing.

You can’t stand anywhere on a river bank to throw in a hook and expect to catch fish. You have to know which areas in the river fishes like to hide and when they come out. You have to know how to tie the string to the hook, and even the kind of hook to use and other relevant information before you go fishing. It is a lesson.

I have bounced back from my near depression. I have realized that there is much more to learn. Hitherto I knew I was doing something, but I was doing nothing at all.

I don’t have links on my site. In fact some disappointments are blessings in disguise so I know very soon I shall have an enviable website.

Now after this disapproval came lots of emails from my email friends guiding me to better blogging tips. It looked as if copies of my response were sent to them to advise or guide me. It surprised me the way I was getting mails all over. But these were mere coincidences which I welcomed very much because they came in at the right time and some of their tips were very relevant to what I needed to learn.

I don’t know much and must admit my computer-illiteracy which I am not willing to let keep me at the back position.

My internet friends are mostly software engineers who have created their own websites and have developed other softwares that could perform multiple functions in the money-making business, but I guess they don’t know that I don’t know much like they do.

SCHOOL TEXT-BOOK CHAPTER POSTS

I still have on my computer two of the school text-book chapter posts which were waiting to be published. But after being prompted about the need to have richer and more meaningful content that will offer significant value to users, I have retracted them. I’ll just have to send them to the ‘recycle bin’ and start all over again with a new approach.

STILL LEARNING

To be honest I did not know how to manage a blog.

I did not know I had to moderate comments, allow or disallow comments, or do certain things on the dashboard. All I knew was to type and publish my posts. It was so because who was behind me to direct me to some of the technicalities?

I turned to my web host in times of difficulty for certain directions but I realized it wasn’t their duty to offer me computer education. That is done at the Junior High school level.

I am still learning, seriously learning to catch up.

WEB-RELATED BUSINESS

Before I come to conclusion, one thing still bothers my mind which I have to say. I may be right, I may be wrong.

I find that rich and meaningful content is mostly about the web and internet-related businesses like giving tips for writing better blogs, tips for making money online, tips for getting more traffic to your site and all those kind of stuff which, to some, look more attractive.

If I am not far from right then I am afraid I have no business blogging. But I won’t go away. I shall stay to continue to share whatever knowledge I have outside internet business with my blog’s visitors. There are a lot more out there like relationship issues, unemployment issues, moral issues and the like. My blog shall take care of that. Money from adverts can wait meanwhile.

All of us can’t be Professors, some will be mechanics, etc.

CONCLUSION [THE ANALOGY]

The earthworm I mentioned earlier lives in the soil. It appeared on the soil’s surface briefly and wanted to get back but it wasn’t easy at all. It had to hit obstacles several times before it finally found its way back into the soil.

This is exactly how it had been with me [and many others].

Look at what I have passed through with no specific directions so I hit a stone. Sometimes it pays to be adventurous. The earthworm will have a story to tell its family back in the soil how difficult it was getting back to them. It will be an experience those in the soil don’t have.

I know with perseverance and determination my objective of leaving the back position to be among the most desired bloggers shall soon come to pass.

I shall surely find my way back.

Take a cue too.

 

 

 

 

12 THINGS TO STOP DOING AT 60

Hi, folks belonging to the elderly Groups 5 & 6, you are my target group this week, especially those in their late 50’s. In case you are new on this blog please go back a few steps to find and read the post titled SPECIFIC AGE GROUPS THAT I SHALL BLOG ABOUT. Then you will know your group; age group, not blood group.

Some of you may already have stopped doing negative things or never practiced them at all which is quite commendable, others too are still addicted and need to be reminded to stop doing them.

I welcome all of you, young and old people, old visitors, new visitors.

Today’s post has been written out of an incident I witnessed recently at a public gathering.

I wonder how some people, with all their knowledge and maturity, still behave the way teenagers will do.

It was at a funeral in a town in the Eastern region of Ghana. The dead person was not a member of any religious group or society and so there was no sermon at the funeral. The Master of Ceremonies [MC] asked the mourners if any among them touched by the Holy Spirit, could share the word of God with all.

After about ten seconds one young man stood up and shouted ‘’praise the Lord’’ and got an overwhelming response ‘’hallelujah’’. He then prayed and began to preach about repentance from evil. In the course of preaching he mentioned things the Lord abhors including drunkenness.

An elderly man who seemed to be in his mid-50’s started to attack the preacher verbally with filthy words for preaching against drunkenness, asking the preacher how the funeral should be celebrated, if not with drinks.

This disrupted the preaching which had the attention of most of the mourners, and two people, including myself went to drive the elderly man, whom we found to be drunk, away.

Acts of lack of self-control and other negative acts among elderly people who should set better examples for the youth to follow have given me cause to write this post.

ADVICE

I must ask again here, as I did rhetorically in my introductory post that, at what age does a man or woman no more need guidance or advice in life?

Normally advices about good behavior are given to teenagers and younger children who are growing up, so what advice do you give to a 55 or so year- old man or woman? Well, let me say this could simply be a call back to self- awareness.

NEGATIVE ATTITUDES

We as human beings carry along with us as we grow older, certain imperfections and negative attitudes that we find difficult to shed off. Imperfections are abnormalities or deformities or shortcomings in character embodied with our nature and can’t be shed off easily but negative attitudes are acquired here on this earth and can be shed off and so needs to be shed off.

At a ripe age of 60 years, all negative attitudes and bad habits that control you, money spending habits that always leave you perpetually in debt, things that ruin your health, e.g. drinking, smoking and eating the wrong kinds of food, all other bad things you could not stop doing, I can’t mention all here, must all certainly be stopped or shed away to be able to live a healthier and stress-free life.

CHANGE

At 60 years you have reached the zenith of your life from where the gradient on your life graph begins a downward descent. This downward descent signifies a complete change in your lifestyle and you have to take note and live with extra care than in the preceding years of your life.

RETIREMENT

In my country the normal age for retirement is 60 years. In other countries it extends to 65. What retirement signifies is that you are old. That’s all. If you worked in any reputable institution your retirement letter might read something like this: ‘’ THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICES. YOU ARE OLD NOW. TAKE THIS PACK AND GO HOME. WISH YOU ALL THE BEST.’’ Sometimes you wished you had stayed a few more years but home you must go to begin a new life of rest.

NEW LIFE

In this new life you are not going to live in exactly the same way you used to live. Your own physical body may not permit you to live in exactly the same way. There are going to be physical changes to your body slowly and subtly; you may not have the same beautiful look, the same strength, the same smartness, not even the same mental alertness.

NEGATIVE THINGS

Now, let us look at some of the things you have to stop doing, at least by the time you reach 60 years. They are mostly negative things which you must let go. [This is not an exhaustive list but just some of the things which have come to mind to mention]

  1. Bitter Feelings

Are you somebody who can’t easily forgive others? Do you still harbor ill-feelings against perceived enemies and want to take revenge one day? Shed those bitter feelings and feel free. Revenge is for the Lord. Bitter feelings produce certain bad hormones which work against your good health.

  1. Cheating

If you have been cheating on your spouse all along and nobody has told you to stop, now is the time to stop by yourself. You can’t continue doing this till death do you part. If you don’t stop now when are you going to stop?

Now I don’t know what the world is coming up to. Now that adultery has been legalized in certain countries, one is free to fall in love with another’s spouse and this makes nonsense of my remarks. I wonder if I’ll make sense in this context but I believe the wise ones shall know how to tread cautiously.

Cheating also refers to taking more than your necessary or allotted share of something with another person or group. It is another form of injustice visited upon the poor by the rich, upon the powerless by the powerful, upon the younger by the older, upon employees by the employer and upon the weak by the strong. You must stop cheating.

  1. Corruption

You have been a dishonest and fraudulent person because you are in a position of authority. You must be wise enough at 60 to realize that it is a crime to be corrupt and need to purge yourself of it to gain the favor of God the rest of your life.

I don’t like to write much about corruption because it is an action which irritates and provokes me.

 

  1. Impatience

 

If you have a character of NOT having patience, sorry, this time you’ll have to learn to exercise patience at most times. It is a necessary attribute to have at this age because may be you don’t know, being impatient contributes a lot to raising your blood pressure.

  1. Staying out

 

Whilst staying out of home can be for a good purpose, most people stay out for negative practices such as binge drinking, gambling and some immoral acts which end up draining their pockets.

You must start staying at home if your staying out is not for a good cause. You may stay out together with your spouse. His/her presence may prevent you from frivolous spending.

  1. Eating out

Many people will not agree with me that eating outside the home is a bad thing, but remember, I am writing about a specific age group and have reasons.

At 60 your health and immune system may not be very robust as it used to be. Remember the gradient on your life graph is descending. If you are a sickler or even not, it is very important to pay attention to the kind of food you eat outside the home. The way you prepare your simple dish at home may not be the same way it is prepared at the restaurant or that nearby food joint. Be cautious about foods containing fat, sugar, salt and your coffee intake. Diabetics have to take extra caution.

You need to make changes in your dietary program to conform to changes in your physiological system. Consult a Dietician for directions, if necessary.

  1. Sex

It is wise as you grow older to reduce the frequency of sexual intercourse because too much sex [for men] saps too much energy. Much has been said about the good side of sex for both men and women and that is not a reason to lose self -control over it. At 60 you might have already done what Napoleon could not do, and so it will be prudent at this stage to exercise self-control and apply it to your sex life.

In certain communities in my country where men practice polygamy, I have observed that the men die earlier than their wives, and this I have attributed to too much overtime work on the part of the men. So, a word to the wise……………….

  1. Lies

 

This is a bit controversial issue but I shall draw the line to make clear when to and when not to lie.

As a matter of fact telling some lies can save you from certain dangerous situations or from disgrace and shame, but such instances rarely occur. When they occur and you find that telling a lie can save a situation, why not go ahead?

The kind of lies not worth telling is the one you tell to gain undeserved advantage over your neighbor. That’s really bad.

Telling lies is the preserve of smaller children who try to outwit elderly people with their smaller brain. Sometimes they win and sometimes too they are caught.

At this age it will not befit you to tell a lie to support an evil cause, to gain undeserved advantage or to hide a secret. Let the truth in God prevail through you at all times. Truth and honesty are virtues that go with your age at this time.

  1. Heartless talk

It will seem ridiculous to hear an elderly man [or woman] speaking ‘rubbish’ when it is expected that words of wisdom should come from his mouth in whatever circumstances he may be in.

Words which provoke negative emotions should not come out from an elderly person’s mouth. You may be a leader in your family, community or workplace and so exemplary character including good talk is what is expected of you at all times.

Your conversation is your advertisement about yourself. Every time you talk you let people look into what is on your mind. Give a good account of yourself.

  1. Stressful work

According to medical Doctors, stress leads to hypertension. Stressful work is any work that causes mental, physical or emotional strain. Examples are too much thinking, overworking or anxiety. That is why at 60 you are told to go home and rest.

But then more people work for themselves and do not know what retirement is. There are a lot more people whose business shall collapse when they literally retire. Other people’s business is what is known as ‘from hand to mouth’, that’s for survival only, no savings for retirement. They can’t afford to stay off work for a day or there shall be fasting in the house.

Sometimes the demands of life make one inevitably to go through stress but at the end of it is danger.

Living a stress-free life prolongs life and it is a life you must try to live. Healthy living includes emotional wellness and adequate rest.

  1. Sadduccious life

Sadduccious life is life without Christ [or a religion]. The word is my own coinage from the name ‘’Sadduccees’’ which was a Jewish group which did not believe in life after death and opposed Jesus.

If you are 60 years and have not Christ or any religion you have wasted all your precious life wandering in a wilderness without finding shelter. You have no hope, no salvation, nothing to boast about. You are like chaff blown about by the wind during threshing.

On what basis do you offer advice to the youth of your generation?

Your years are far spent, but knowing and accepting Christ as your savior may not be too late.

  1. Marriage

This is an all-female issue and so the men need to relax but read for self -information.

If you become a widow, you can re-marry at a later time. But if you are unable to re-marry before you turn 60, consider it to be over for you in marriage. There is a reason for this.

If there is anyone who doesn’t understand this let her contact me and I’ll explain this issue in detail.

Till then, adieu!

Published by: Ebenezer Awuah

Email: [email protected]

WhatsApp: 233-243-074-011

HOW TO LAND A JOB AFTER LEAVING HIGH SCHOOL

For Group 3 [13-19 year-olds]

Have you completed High school and could not continue to the University due to low grades or due to financial problems or don’t have anybody to look after you?

Are you a school drop-out?

Do you see an end to your ambition for a higher education?

Do you have no option than to search for a job?

If your answer to any of the above questions is in the affirmative, how can you survive in an environment where being educated is the key to progress and prosperity?

How can you lead a comfortable life without being at least a first degree holder? These days successful life depends on higher education, okay?

Ha ha ha, hey! don’t be led astray. That is not 100% true. Listen to me.

There are lots of young people with degrees out there finding life difficult due to unemployment or inadequate pay packet, so where is the prosperity? They are waiting hopelessly for somebody to offer them a job and they are cursing their stars for being in such a hopeless situation. They are not being innovative.

Do not worry if you have no option than to search for a job. After all man must work to survive, isn’t it?  Yes you must work.

But just after High school you probably have no skills, and your High school certificate is not strong enough to secure you a job in a reputable company. But the Lord is good and provides job avenues for all, not only the highly educated.

JOB OPTIONS

There are a thousand and one jobs one can do without attaining a University degree, and so gird up your loins to lay the foundation for your future, right now.

I am writing this post with High school graduates as my target audience, but unemployed University graduates may take a cue from it.

There are two options to finding a job:

[i] working for an individual or company for weekly/monthly wages,and

[ii] working on your own, i.e. being self- employed.

The normal choice for school leavers is to get employed by someone and get paid since there is no money or sufficient skills to start an own business. But now getting even temporary jobs are difficult to come by especially in my part of the world [West Africa].

More school leavers are ‘produced’ annually without any corresponding increase in job opportunities. Consequently the number of unemployed youth keeps rising steadily.

To escape from this vicious spiral let us do some brainstorming to find some ways out.

Think of the area where you stay. Is it a commercial or residential area or a combination of both? Let us look at the residential area first. What sort of people live there? From the types of houses they live in and the type of cars they drive you must be able to classify them. What sort of services would they need, and which of these services can you provide for a small fee? Be cautious around such areas because of mistaken identity. Also because some of these people may have wild dogs, may have their fence walls electrified and have their gates always securely under lock. In spite of all that they may need some kind of service you can provide.

SERVICES

Think of services like car washing,

lawn mowing,

laundry services,

house cleaning services,

care for elderly people or babies

teaching kids at home,

painting walls,

running errands, etc, etc.

If you live in a commercial environment, it is quite easier to get something to do. You can engage yourself in shoe mending and polishing,

hair cutting,

bicycle repairs

rubbish collection,

sale of small items that require not much capital.

Some services require a little start- up capital, others require nothing at all.

PORTRAIT

If you had the ability to draw portraits of people well in school you have a talent. Try it again; it could be the beginning of a new life for you as an artist. Draw one portrait of yourself that people will appreciate and hang it on a wall where people will see, with your contact details. You may be surprised at the number of people that may approach you for orders.

MOBILE PHONES

Mobile phones also provide avenues for doing business on the internet. You can make money with your smartphone. The internet offers unlimited business opportunities online.

Young people like to associate with social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc to make friends. Make use of these social platforms to set up a business page to sell information about new products and services by neighbors, acquaintances and friends in business.

You can also take pictures of products and write a review about them and send  to others, so you have to get more business contacts.

Some of the above stated approaches may not sound appealing to school leavers who are over-ambitious and want the short cut to get rich quick, but some of these little jobs can open doors to a brighter life. You may not believe how some wealthy men began life. It was not all rosy from the beginning.

These days you cannot get a white-collar job to put on a flying tie to impress friends and others. Those who offer such jobs are stuck in economic growth, especially in my part of the world.

LEARNING A SKILL

Learning a skill is a sure fire way of starting your own business in a few years’ time. A skillful job requires a couple or so years in training to be able to master the job well.

Here, some available options to consider

 

are:

electronics technician,

computer technician,

air condition and refrigeration mechanic,

electrician,

auto mechanic,

motorcycle repair,

masonry and carpentry,

art and photography,

interior decoration,

catering services,

movie acting,

mobile phone repair,etc, etc.

APPRENTICESHIP

The period of apprenticeship may differ for each profession but at the end of it all you will be equipped with a skill nobody can take away from you, not even your master who taught you, and you will soon be your own boss.

The only qualification you need to start learning a skill is HUMILITY.

INTEREST AND DEDICATION

Acquiring a skill needs interest[passion] and dedication. You must have a passion for the profession you are going to understudy. Lack of interest will soon get you bored and you may leave your apprenticeship half way to finishing.

Dedication is equally important to keep you focused on your objective. Dedication is commitment to what you are learning. It means no turning back. Without the above you may not achieve your objective.

APPEAL

I am going to launch an appeal soon to successful and rich entrepreneurs to request if they can set up and contribute to a fund which shall lend start up capital to High school graduates from impoverished communities who could not further their education due to some genuine reasons, and are eager to do some business to improve their standard of living.

I pray some of them will even read this to get the idea before I approach them.

By agreeing with me they will be helping immensely to reduce worldwide unemployment among young people and make life worthy of living it.

Don’t you agree with me? If you do then……………….

Pray with me.

Adieu!

NEXT WEEK

Something for Group 6 [60-69 year olds]