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Opinions of Thursday, 5 February 2015

Journaliste: Kojo Yankson

Sundials in the shade


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We are in the second month of 2015, the Year of DIY: Do it Yourself. Last month, our DIY focus was on Entrepreneurship. We learnt how to be financially free, and shared some practical tools for the attainment of sustainable success in the field of personal enterprise. Next week is DIY Week for February, and we will be sharing the week's Focus with you tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the year rolls on. How are you getting on? Are you renewing those resolutions on a daily basis? Are you doing a little something towards your goal every day? Or have your dreams not yet left the quicksand of the drawing board? Have you found it a little difficult to stop thinking and start acting? Don't feel bad about it, my friends. I know the feeling.

We have spent all these years waiting for a big break to come our way. We have sat, waiting for the stars to align in the right manner, for all our ducks to fall in a row, for all the resources we need to become available so we can just grab them and start acting on our plans.

And now here is this Morning Man person, telling you to get up and start doing things when the time hasn't yet come, when the opportunity hasn't arisen, when nobody has give you the chance or the tools to start work.

My friends, I want to help. I want to give you that thing you have been waiting to receive, so you can start acting, I want to line up all your ducks in a row. So let me tell you a story.

A man once went for a walk in the wild, in search of inspiration. He came across a leash of foxes (yes kids, the collective noun for foxes is leash. You can also say "a lead of foxes", or "a skulk of foxes"). Anyway, the foxes were running here and there, catching rodents and other little animals for food. All of them except one.

A little fox stood all alone, watching the others hunt. Careful not to break his cover, the man moved a little closer, and noticed immediately what the problem was. This fox was crippled. One of his hind legs was twisted and mangled beyond use.

The man immediately felt sorry for the little creature. He wondered how a fox with a lame leg could possibly ever hunt for food. "The poor thing must be so hungry", he thought.

Suddenly, a lion came along. There was a large piece of meat in its jaws, the remnants of some antelope he must have hunted earlier. The lion stopped to eat some more, but he soon had his fill and wandered off, leaving a large chunk of the meat behind. The crippled fox limped over and calmly helped himself to the lion's leftovers.

The man smiled to himself. "Of course!", he thought, "God finds a way to feed all creatures! Thank you for sending me this fox to inspire me", and with that, he headed home, nodding and smiling at his new epiphany.

As soon as he got to his home, he took off his clothes and lay down in bed, waiting for God to feed him. He lay there for a whole day, and then two. Three days passed, and no matter how hungry he got, the man did not move. He knew help was on the way.

He got weaker and weaker, but he still did not budge. He knew his doorbell would ring any second. Just before he passed out, an angel appeared to him and asked, "Massa, what do you think you're doing?"

With all the strength he could muster, the dying man explained what he had seen in the wild to the angel, concluding with: "God sent me that crippled fox to show me what I must do".

The angel shook his head sadly. "Bogga, you have deviated. God gave you skills and talents in abundance, so that you could create your own opportunities and make your own resources in such large quantities that others who lack talent, may even benefit from your productivity.

You have taken all that talent and potential and lay here with it dying slowly? My dear man, God didn't send you a crippled fox to show you what to do. He sent you a lion!"

My people, I understand. Revolutions are daunting, but they are the only way to effect a change in your circumstances. And this revolution has to come from you.

If you just keep lying there, nobody will ever ring your doorbell. You were given those talents for a reason, and the harsh truth you may not have realised is that by wasting your talent, you offend your maker. Pope John Paul II said, "…talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent".

Friends, you have already been given everything you will ever need to succeed. You may be waiting for all your ducks to line up in a row before you start pursuing your dreams, but the truth is, God already lined up your ducks at birth when he gave you skills, strength and talent.

I end with a simple verse written by Benjamin Franklin. "Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?"

My name is Kojo Yankson, and I am a lion, not a crippled fox.

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