A lot like Kevin Garnett

In the NBA 2007-2008 Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, two great players joined Paul Pierce’s Boston Celtics to form a team which would capture their first championship since 1986 and seventeenth championship in their franchise history. This team had some significant features as well; having the defensive player of the year Kevin Garnett, Danny Ainge as the executive of the year who formed this team, improving last season by 42 wins to become the best single turn around in NBA history and finishing 66-12 during the season.

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The story and the stats don’t lie about this team and it’s individuals.
This was a great team.

Many people believe that Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce could have spearheaded the Boston Celtics to win at least 2 more championships, but they were robbed by the opportunities due to injuries to key players. One to Kevin Garnett in the 2008-2009 season. And another to Kendrick Perkins in the 2009-2010 in game 6 of the NBA finals which some say allowed the L.A Lakers to win.

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They could have become known as a great dynasty in the NBA, but instead are known as a great team in the NBA.

I remember watching the 2010 NBA finals interview with Kevin Garnett about the potential of winning another championship. Kevin talked about that winning this championship would be more important than winning his first.
The reporter asked why.
Kevin replied because the other Boston greats, legends and winning teams have won more than one championship, they won multiple championships.
So when it came to meeting the greats, legends and winning teams in the next life, he didn’t want to look small with only one championship title amongst them, and he wouldn’t have the awkward conversation around how come you only had one championship title? How come you didn’t win more? What happened?

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Someone the other day asked me what my greatest fear was?

Sometimes questions like this stun you.
But this story, this interview with Kevin Garnett came to my mind because this is what my greatest fear is similar too.

My greatest fear is that when I get to the next life to met Jesus, my heroes, the great disciples of my faith, my significant mentors; and we look back on my life story. I don’t want to have the awkward conversations about how come I didn’t do more?
How come I didn’t do more to preach the Gospel?
How come I didn’t do more to create the Kingdom here on earth?
How come I didn’t do more to become the true version of myself?
How come I didn’t do more to experience life in it’s fullness?
How come I didn’t do more to follow Jesus?

Or possibly even the conversation around what happened?
You and your generation dropped the ball following Jesus.
That I could have done more in my power, actions, words and choices to do these things.

If I am honest with myself, maybe because I don’t want look small amongst the other disciples.

This is my greatest fear.

I guess this drives me to do what I am doing now.

But I wonder if people are aware of their greatest fear?
Or if their greatest fear is driving them to what they are doing now?

W

More than a hairdresser.

My mother is a hairdresser.
Growing up, I would watch people coming in and out of our garage getting haircuts or to get their hair done.

My mums specialty was the perm and most of the time it was for old ladies.

I remember one time a man brought his elderly mother to get a perm.
This woman looked old, weary and worn out.
She sat on the chair and my mum proceeded on with the perm.
And when my mum finished the perm,
This old, weary, worn out, elderly woman looked like a brand new woman with so much life.
I could barely recognised her.

There was something magical about this.

When the lady left, I remember asking my mum what happened.
She told me that sometimes a haircut does more than changing someone’s physical appearance, it can change the way someone feels internally about themselves; and that is what is most important.

That day I learnt that there we are both physical beings and internal beings.
That day I learnt that it is important how we feel about ourselves internally.
That day I learnt that sometimes my mum haircuts bring magic or another word healing.

That’s one example my mum has awaken my awareness in myself and something profound or magical in this world.

And that’s my mum always creating awareness in myself and my world, something I have always appreciated or learnt appreciate in the end.

Thanks and Happy birthday Mum.

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W

Something that rhymes with truck..

A leader and I went to visit our young people’s homes to drop off our programme calendars for the upcoming term at youth club. During this school holiday period, some homes were empty and some homes had extended family round; who were pretty stoked to meet us.

There was one family we visited and I could feel my blood boiling because there was a mobile truck shop parked up outside their home.

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A mobile truck shop is basically a truck that goes around low socio-economic neighbourhoods to sell goods and items on credit. The catch is that, the low $10 weekly repayments are attractive, but misleading as there is dishonestly and lack of clarity around interest rates and fees that force people paying significant more on goods and items or most times trap people into debt.

I do understand why families do choose to use mobile truck shops.
I mean if you don’t have a vehicle and a young family, this is convenient.
It is easier to have the mobile truck shop turn up instead of spending money public transport with all your whole family.
It saves energy to manage a young family as well as shopping with a young family.
The trip back home requires effort to manage your young family and having to carry your shopping home.
I can picture why people choose to use mobile truck shops.

So as we turned up to this young person’s house and saw a mobile truck shop parked outside; I could feel my blood boil.

And when I realised that the family were in the mobile truck shop, the rage within me was building up. I had to compose myself as I met his mother and the young person within the mobile truck shop.

As I saw the truck driver, I imagined head-butting him in the face and kicking him.
I held myself as calm as I could because I am reminded that I follow a non-violent God and my experiences have taught me that violence doesn’t solve anything.

I walked away from this home visit almost exploding with anger.
I was actually proud of myself for holding and controlling this anger

Upon reflection, I think I was more angry at myself.
I wasn’t angry at the mobile truck shops exploiting people for money and trapping people into debt.
I was angry at myself because I had no alternative convenient better kingdom way or mobile truck shop to offer this family that doesn’t exploit them or trap them into debt.

I was so angry at myself because I had nothing alternative to offer this family.
And times like these I wanna say something that rhymes with truck..

W

Divided by Pokemon

I’ve been hearing many conversations about the new game Pokemon Go. What I have gathered from these conversations is that Pokemon go has caused a division; you either love Pokemon Go or you hate Pokemon Go, you are for Pokemon Go or against Pokemon Go. There is almost no in between.

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As a 90s kid I was glued to watching the Pokemon cartoons and being captivated to catching Pokemon. Eventually I brought Pokemon red and started catching my own Pokemon like the TV show. Now with Pokemon go you can catch Pokemon in a new hyper virtual reality type thing, where you walk around in real life to find and catch Pokemon with your phone. It’s the new buzz.

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Even the church is on this buzz adding Pokemon go into their sermons, joining alongside the craze and welcoming Pokemon trainers into their facilities; which I think is a great idea.

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One time when I was about 9, I have memory where I was playing Pokemon on my gameboy while on the bus and another kid asked me if I was playing Pokemon. I nodded and he watched me play for a while. The longer he watched the closer he creeped to get a better view. I remember feeling uncomfortable with someone all in my face and wanted him to leave; so I yelled “have you never seen a gameboy before and is your family so poor that can’t afford one?” And the boy shrunk and shriveled away.

This memory has stuck with me because of so many reasons but one thing I realised is that Pokemon has caused another type of division.
Rich and poor.

I mean you have to buy a gameboy, then pay extra for the Pokemon game, and the extra running costs for batteries to actually play a gameboy. So to actually play Pokemon with a gameboy in the 90s you gotta have a bit of coin behind you.

I have the privilege of meeting young people and people from all walks of life and different ends of nearly every spectrum.

What I have realised is that Pokemon Go has caused the same division; rich and poor. I have seen only young people and adults who have a bit of coin playing Pokemon Go.

I mean the app is free but to play you gotta have a decent phone. To catch Pokemon you gotta pay for data. To be the best you gotta spend a bit of coin on accessories.

So there are those who can afford to play Pokemon go and those who can’t.

I’m not saying that Pokemon is the root cause for people getting rich or becoming poor. From my observation, Pokemon has just revealed who is rich and poor.
The rich play Pokemon and the poor miss out.

My argument isn’t whether this is fair or not.

But I wonder if anyone else has noticed the divide.

W

Dirty dishes

There are chores I hate doing and there are chores I don’t mind doing.
Dishes is one of those chores I don’t mind doing.

I actually love doing dishes and this is nothing to do with my family protocols growing up. And the reason I don’t mind doing dishes is because I hate when dirty dishes just pile up on the bench. The messy look, the gross build up of grease and grime, the nasty and filthy smell of rotting leftovers, and the overwhelming feeling that there are so many stacked up dishes to do be done.

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This is probably why I do dishes straight away and keep short accounts with the dishes; so they don’t get to this point.

Another things I keep short accounts with is my relationships.
Whenever issues, conflicts and concerns occur; I sort them, I rinse them, I scrub them, I clean them and I dry them – I begin a process to resolve the issue, conflict and concern.

Without keeping short accounts with relationships, they become like dirty dishes sitting there, stacking up high and piling in fast; where grime, grease and filth begins to build getting pretty gross, messy and nasty. And the feeling to resolve built up issues, conflicts and concerns; starts to gets overwhelming and you begin to ask how did all this happen?

This is probably why I resolve issues, conflicts and concerns and keep short accounts with my relationships; so they don’t get to that point.

I find that having short accounts with people starts with checking in with each other, asking questions like:
Hey how did you feel about what happened?
What do you think needs to be addressed from this situation?
What is something helpful from what happened that we can take away?

But also for others to have short accounts with me; I need them to confront me about things I have done.

When I have short accounts with loved ones, I feel a sense of relief. A sense of relief where my relationships begin to have no record of wrong – just experiences we have learnt to understand, be aware and built trust in each other.

Maybe when we start to have short accounts with all people around us, we could experience this sense of relief too.

Just like the feeling when you finish doing the dishes.

W

Rustout

I wanna introduce you, to the new silent killer that is stalking people.
It comes from an old German saying, “He who rests, rusts.”
The disease goes by the name of ‘rustout’.

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Rustout is the slow death that follows when we stop making the choices that keep life alive, meaningful and with purpose.
It’s the feeling of numbness wondering, “what if?”;
That comes afterwards from always taking the safe way, never accepting new challenges, continually surrendering to the day-to-day grind.
Rustout means you are no longer growing, but at best, are simply maintaining.
It also implies that we have traded the sensation of life for the security of a paycheck; where as a worker you waste time away, unmotivated and uninspired, sitting at your desk.

Often in my circles I hear people talk about burnout often;
In a way that brings fear or becomes an excuse to do not try anything.
I have found rustout way more deadly and scarier then burnout.
Sure, burnout can wipe out your body after a blaze of glory;
But rustout can grind down and eat away your soul and your spirit; day after day.

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Rustout is the opposite of burnout.
Burnout is over doing.
Rustout is under being.

I don’t think either burnout or rustout are great things I want to experience.
But if someone asked to me to choose to experience either burnout or rustout;
I would rather burnout than rustout.

W

 

No recipe for change.

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It was my mum who taught me how to bake – growing up at home we nearly always had baking in the cupboard, thanks to her. In the same way that mum and I use a recipe to make a cake or cookies, I used to think that a recipe of sorts was required to help people grow.

I assumed the role of Baker and thought, if I just followed the right recipe I could help someone grow. I thought, if I just had the right ingredients, change would happen in someone’s life.

If I encouraged them at every opportunity;
Affirmed the good I saw in them;
Shared with them helpful books and resources;
Became a good friend or role model;
Pushed back on and challenged their ideas, gently;
Spent enough time together;
Opened up the depths of myself to them;
Then they would change, grow, mature, fly.

But I’ve learned that the problem with assuming the role of Baker means I assume responsibility of the growth of another.
Assuming the role of Baker means I believe I have control over someone else’s growth – progress is attributed to my good efforts and setbacks mean I must’ve done something wrong.
In actual fact, the only person’s growth I’m responsible for is my own.

These ingredients are good and worthwhile things to do, but they don’t guarantee growth in the life of another. I can do a lot for and with other people, but at the end of the day, the growth of an individual is in their own hands.

I now believe that a person changes when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.
I am learning to see potential as potential, not as a promise.
I am reminded to consider the amount of time I spend with others, for the sake of being an influence of change, knowing that without a doubt becoming like those we hang out with works both ways.
I need to accept what I can do and leave what I can’t.

I might even go as far to say, I don’t even believe that God changes people.
I believe people who are willing chose to respond to God, who brings change.
And that is the key ingredient to change; themselves.

E.