How do you expect help? How do you provide help?

People sometimes complain about certain people not being Helpful towards others. You may have been an audience to such a complaint or not, I certainly have 😃.

What if ‘Help’ as an act is actually contextual? What if different people have a personal ‘Helping Signature’, and only find themselves aligned to helping in terms of how they are wired to.

Scenario 1:
Sam needs help with money for a visit to the dentist, he states his request to Rita. Rita doesn’t have the money, but doesn’t tell Sam she doesn’t have the money. However, she knows a dentist, Jamil. And requests a favour of Jamil on behalf of Sam. Jamil accepts, Sam gets a session and is grateful. Rita has just helped using her social currency.

Scenario 2:
Bassey is fond of monetizing help. When her friend is going through a bit of health issues, rather than help her friend do house chores, she sends her friend money to get a paid cleaning service. Bassey rendered help using money as a helping currency.

Scenario 3:
Lukman will readily pick you up from the airport. He will help you tear down your house when you want to change residence, and help you arrange your belongings at the new residence. He’s hands-on and helpful like that, but he’s not so readily involved with rendering help in the form of money! Here, direct rendering of services is the currency of help.

In other words, #Allow-the-beggar-to-have-a-choice 😃! If as a helper you are willing to be flexible with options, you could let the help seeker know about those options 🙂. And then let them pick the one that best benefits the situation they’re in. If you don’t do this, it doesn’t make you a bad person 🤓. Just that, if you are capable, then helping within the terms of the help seeker might be much more beneficial.

People are wired to help others the way they know how to. This means that when the need to help arises, their first instinct towards help is usually of a certain method. They may be capable of helping in other ways, but their helping signature pulls them towards the methods that resonates with themselves.

😃 This is one example that mildly reflects that humans are innately selfish. . . .because, except you don’t have the capacity at that material time, help that is truly beneficial to a ‘help seeker’ is the kind of help that is offered in the terms of the ‘help seeker’!

Quality

Stick to giving your best! To not compromise quality. Agreed, quality is subjective. A service or thing that is great to one person may be average to another. That’s why as an individual or an organisation, you must continue to improve your craft or your services. There is always a better way of doing things. I urge you to stick out your heart and learn something new about your craft/service. Top quality is the reason why clients will pay higher without giving off an embarrassing groan. Other times, quality delivery packs the punch. Great quality product or service does not necessarily have to be outrageously priced. However, when the meat of the matter as well as the delivery is top quality, it becomes easier to navigate prices upwards.

I had an employee who had his own business before joining mine. When I conducted a pre-employment assessment of his skills, I must say it wasnt very impressive. And according to him, his clients loved the quality of his work and he had a market. Unfortunately, according to him, the quantity of his work inputs did not translate to an agreeable financial outcome! When I enquired about his prices and correlated it with the quality he was used to offering (or quality his clients were used to getting), I came to a certain understanding, (even though beyond these, other factors maybe at play).

There may be a category of clients who are not necessarily concerned about quality. So when they come across quality, they simply want to pay same price as they paid when they came across average or not-so-average! And this can be discouraging for those business owners who are uncomfortable with offering average or sub-standard services/products. So how do you balance the need to churn out quality, with a percieved demand for average or not-so-average? 🙂 Tricky right? There is certainly a place for stratification in the market place, especially where products are concerned. But where services are concerned, Quality rules!

I urge You; yes You that business owner reading this, do not compromise quality. The recogition and demand for quality is on the rise. And your brand name and brand quality will be showcased.

If you think this post might help someone, kindly like and share 🙂.

Washing Infant Clothes, Detergent Powders and Liquids Soaps?

As infants get a bit older, say above 1 year old, many parents relax the care regarding what they use in washing their kids’ cloths. Some start to use powdered detergent, along with how they wash older children/adult cloths.

Generally, with the use of powdered detergent, I have observed instances where either specs of undissolved detergent remain on clothing after the wash (especially with the use of a washing machine), or the cloths give-off a strong detergent after-smell! If after a wash using powdered detergent you experience either or both of these scenarios, you may not be doing your washing right. It is likely that you are adding too much detergent than required per wash session. Multiple rinsing could remove the excess detergent powder, however some detergents have very strong perfumes that sometimes require much rinsing to reduce some of the smell.

 Suggested Solution

First of all, detergent residue would not happen if you use liquid detergents/soaps.  Second, if you do use powdered detergent, you can reduce the likelihood of having detergent residue by pre-dissolving the powdered detergent in warm or tepid water before using it. Third, white vinegar has been seen to effectively neutralize detergent, remove suds and prevents detergent left-over from lining washed cloths. The use of white vinegar also takes out any strong detergent smell from the cloths, without requiring you to depend on multiple rinsing.

Conclusion

Paying attention to the type of washing agent used for cleaning clothes worn by infants can prevent irritation to the infants’ skin. It can also prevent exposure to possible left-over detergent powders, which could be obnoxious to their nostrils. Beyond 1 year old, infants still require close and informed care.

  Instagram: @fabwashservices

Premonition© (2)

. . . As he approached the spot where he had pitched his net, he observed that the sticks which held the net erect where in disarray.

“Wow!” He exclaimed. “This must be a big catch”, he added as he paddled faster.

The area was shallow, so he got off the canoe and into the water in order to bring the net together and gather his catch. As he got into the stream, he grabbed the net. Then he felt a great wriggle! A large water creature was entangled in the net. He wasn’t sure what it was, but his first instincts told him to leave the water. As he struggled to swim away, his body hit an object. He touched it . . . felt it. It was scaly and hard.

“Damn! It’s a tail. It’s a crocodile!”

As he wrestled to get away, he felt a tight rough grip on his left thigh. He turned to free himself from the grip, and received another bite around his trunk. He screamed and struggled. At the back of his mind, he wondered “this river never has had crocs . . .” His thoughts were intruded with yet another bite to his left arm. He kicked, and punched with his right arm. But the water made his efforts a mere caress on the croc’s nose. He was quickly losing strength as he saw his own flesh coming apart in the jaws of the mature crocodile. He was going to scream again when the croc dragged him beneath the surface. He took a few gulps, resurfaced to breathe when he saw his head in the way of the croc’s widespread mouth!

            The last thing he smelt was the odour of his own blood in the stream he yet again had hoped to reap from.

                                                                                                            15.11.2004 1�1ӧ

Premonition© (1)

The path through the marsh always bore mist, especially in the mornings. Amidst the mist, the fisherman waded through the swaying trees. Though his footfalls on dead leaves and sticks should have produced crackles, the noise all around was so usual that the marsh was silent.

            As the fisherman approached the river, the boat creaked on its tether in rhythm with the slight breeze. Everything felt usual, but somehow an eerie feeling kept lingering. The illumination as a result of the slow break of dawn revealed large waves, as of those from a ripple. Yet he knew that the drift from the boat couldn’t produce such a large ripple effect.

“It couldn’t be anything”, he thought to himself as he flashed his torch.

Crabs did the beach dance on the river bank.

“By now the net would have caught me much fish to last me at least 3 days”, he thought as he climbed onto the canoe. With a few strokes of the paddle stick, he was far off the bank. Folks always said that the growth of bush claiming part of the river bank could harbour harmful creatures like snakes and other fish-eating animals. So as he approached the bend, he deliberately avoided the bushy outgrowth.

            The morning was noisy, particularly from bush fowls. They always came to drink from the river very early. But today, they seemed to be avoiding close contact with the water body. They all perched on the trees, watching with rapt attention. Their behaviour gave off some sort of apprehension. “What isn’t right about this morning?” He asked himself as he paddled slowly and noiselessly, while observing his surroundings . . .

. . . To be continued!

Understanding and Helping Your Youngsters Thrive as they Grow

As a teaser for the book, ‘Understanding and Helping Your Youngsters Thrive as they Grow’, Please find below the Introduction to the book:

“Gaining admission into the University of Calabar, Cross River State for a Bachelors degree program was a huge milestone for me. It meant that, besides going to further my education (which I was mighty excited about), there now was a legitimate reason to be outside my home for at least 7 to 9 hours without my parents freaking out! An experience I had craved for, for ages. Well, actually not necessarily being outside the house for that long. Just that, this new freedom meant that, for an entire 5 days of the week, I could have an earth full of variety of people I could meet, places I could see and possibilities I couldn’t even imagine. And believe me; I was entirely fired up for the experience. My excitement was boundless.
I started to attend classes, meeting many different people of my age in class and in the university in general. Later on, after my freshman year, on some of the days, the interval between one lecture and another could be stretched out for hours. And since I lived very far from school, going home was not an option. Often, hanging out was more like it. And there were many sane places where young people, (some much younger than me) could hang out and sometimes play games. And I used to wonder how some of those youngsters had access to such freedom, when they hadn’t even gained admission into the university! Well, that wonder is by the way. What actually caught my attention in a pronounced way was my observation of how unhappy many of those youngsters were. I discovered over time that those hangouts were some sort of escape. Those were places where many youngsters go to get some cheer-ups from the unhappiness eating them within. I initially didn’t witness anyone sharing any stories with one another, but there seemed to be an unleashing of happiness that normally left me wondering if this was like their only safe zone where they could be happy! Many things could have been reason for them being unhappy.
When I started going to some of those places frequently, I observed that different youngsters took different days to nurse their unhappiness. Sometimes they’d be depressed, not wanting to talk to anyone, just wanting to play until they liven up. I got friendly with one of the youngsters (Pat, not real name), a guy who was about a year younger than me. He had often had such depressed mood events too. I decided to ask him what the matter was. I half felt he might not want to share what often made him moody, but I was wrong. After his stories, I got the message that this youngster very much wanted someone to talk to. So, even though many of those youngsters found a hangout spot to catch some happiness, most of them didn’t really talk to one another about what made them unhappy. They mostly silently gave one another some succor, after which everyone goes home.
After my chat with Pat, I had several other chats with other young people whom I had observed to have been depressed one time or the other. I became conscious of my peers around me, even those I wasn’t familiar with. I learned from their perspective that parents are quite disconnected from their kids. And the gap of disconnect widens during adolescence. I heard many different stories which substantiated the fact that the evolving personalities of youngsters during adolescence create a firm stage where parents mostly fight their own youngsters instead of grooming them!
I was particularly bothered as well as interested because, I learned as early as then that my mind was busier than before. I realized that I didn’t just want to sit still. I wanted to be involved in something, I wanted to create or be part of people who are creative. But this was just me. For these fellow youngsters whose phase of heightened drive was being laced with experiences of turmoil and confusion in their homes, what would become of them? Who would remind parents that adolescence phases youngsters into a period of extra energy that could be better channeled, rather than being wasted being depressed! What about those youngsters who couldn’t leave their homes to get relief from being unhappy? How did they deal with their own situations? These concerns were the issues that set me on the path towards writing this book.
My intention is to create awareness of some of these issues and tickle the imagination of parents towards doing things a bit differently. So that, right from the onset, youngsters could be well-positioned for maximal growth and development.
The names used in this book are for illustrative purposes only. They are not real names. In most situations, I have used the pronoun ‘He’. This is for ease of communication. I, in no way mean to be insensitive to gender. I appreciate your kind understanding.”

Thank you.

The book is available at http://www.okadabooks.com and http://www.blurb.com

You’d want to own and read it!

Also, I’ve just opened a facebook page dedicated to this book. On facebook, search for @parentingyourchildright. You can purchase and read the book, then drop questions, contributions, scenarios/solutions here or on the facebook page.

Thank you for the support.

Fabian Igbaji

Lu and Jimmy Dog©

By the pond, not so long after the storm, the air was filled with mist; the sky was dull and gloomy. Deep in the clouds, the sun was unsure about whether to show up or take a day off.

            Standing by the pond, hands tucked deep in his pockets, Louis looked out at the stretch of cool water rippling from splash of inquisitive little fishes. Pondering upon where Jimmy could be, upon what could have happened to Jimmy. He sighed deeply, shaking the chill off his spine.

            Louis now walked with a sad hunch. His thoughts for the past four days had not wavered. “For sure Jimmy is hurt”, he thought. He stepped on a rock at the bank of the pond, and held unto a branch for support. “Could Jimmy have strayed and gotten missing?” “What will happen to his favourite layout, his cute plate, his collar and most especially will I be able to handle it if truly he’s missing?”

            He wondered at his voice, now heavy and shaky. Jimmy’s disappearance had started taking a toll on him. Somehow, he had a feeling that he might find Jimmy, maybe even soon. He stood there, many thoughts running through him. Then suddenly, he jerked out of his thoughts with a fright that almost plunged him in the pond. Behold, right before his eyes Jimmy crept out from under a decaying tree trunk. He immediately ran towards Jimmy, calling out – “Oh my doggie dog. I missed you. What happened? You didn’t even . . .” As he approached Jimmy, and expecting him to snuggle up to him, the dog leapt forward, exposing its canine set. Fast enough Louis docked and stood clear of the dog. Jimmy’s face took a grin, with a faint growl beneath its angry breathe. At that moment, Jimmy looked very much like a rabid dog. He probably had been bitten! “I have to get hold of him”, Lu thought. But how? His features softened as an idea dropped in his thoughts. He began to take off his cloths, leaving his shorts on. Jimmy became suspicious and edgy. Lu advanced towards Jimmy and made to touch him. Jimmy growled deeply and began chasing Lu. Lu stepped back on a rock by the pond as Jimmy threatened with a confident snarl. Lu made a move with his hand, and Jimmy dove at him. “Yikes!” Taken quite suddenly, Lu sprang for the pond, landing with a huge splash. Jimmy followed shortly, with a splash too. In the water, Jimmy got very irritated at the feel. He then calmed down and tried swimming away. Lu seeing Jimmy less agile, took him. He grabbed at Jimmy’s nape, with his other hand holding Jimmy’s bulk from underneath. Jimmy made frantic efforts to pull loose but Lu had a firm grip on him. Over powered, Jimmy started yelping. As Lu brought the dog out of the pond, he then saw a gaping wound on Jimmy side. A large chunk of fur and flesh had been beaten off Jimmy’s belly. Out of exertion, hunger and probably loss of blood, Jimmy slumped, breathing slowly. “He must have been attacked by a wolf”, Lu thought. Using his cloths, he wrapped Jimmy’s wound and took him home.

            The pond remained as quite as ever, except for the occasional splash of water on bank rocks, and the hush sounds from trees around. Birds returned to their play of tag. The breeze whispered there around the pond and continued whispering for miles and miles after.

                                                                                    December, 2000   

Ripples of an Assumed Loved©

Webs are sticky.

Love can be a web.

People assume to love someone

Sometimes, in order to be able to love another.

Love could get sticky.

Wrapping sometimes, too many people

to one person.

Many a time, the persons wrapped are oblivious of their stuck neighbours.

Each one revels with content

at the thought of being the lone one

attending and being attended to

by the ripples of an assumed love.

                                                                                                            03.04.2001

The Flesh About Me©

At times

I feel writing

is some form of weakness.

Nevertheless, here I am drooling.

And in baring myself out,

I lay at your mercy.

Yet, I try to . . .

. . . I mean . . . ,

Think of it . . .

Each time we lock in a stare,

You hold me in an air

of tingling suspense.

                                                            October, 2002