The beauty of becoming a social worker. By Lukonge Achilees

On my first day in my first class in what has become an arduous, three-year journey to become a social worker, our teacher told us that we would spend the entire period walking around the college asking people one question: What do social workers do?

The response was overwhelming. About 50% said “take babies away,” 25% of people said “help families in difficulty,” about 10% said something around the lines of “Help make a better world” and the final 15% said something degrading and insulting about social workers.

So what do we do? All of the above.

We aren’t liked. There is a huge stigma that comes along with the title of “social worker.” Yes, sometimes our jobs require that we remove children from their families. We help families and individuals who are experiencing difficulties. We advocate in our communities to make a better, safer place to live. And sometimes we mess up, royally.

But why am I writing this? Why is it so important that people understand what social workers do? Let’s break this down. Social work is broadly defined by Dictionary.com as:

Organized work directed toward the betterment of social conditions in the community, as by seeking to improve the condition of the poor, to promote the welfare of children, etc.

Whoa. Is that all? Social workers are found everywhere. Hospitals, elderly homes, schools, the army, private corporations, social service institutions, community centers, rehabilitation facilities, religious centers, community organizations… We work with children, the elderly, the physically disabled, refugees, families, soldiers, people with mental illness, convicts, and the homeless. There is hardly a person alive who has never dealt with a social worker in some context.

I asked some of my colleagues to come up with a quote describing either social work, or what social work means to them. The results were heartwarming:

“It gives me a reason to get up in the morning.”

“I need to help people like social workers have helped me.”

“I really just couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

But one description of social work seriously astounded me:

A social worker is like a cheerleader, but sometimes they’ve also got to be a coach or a trainer… and it’s also kind of like being a doctor trying to fix people’s problems but then there are also moments like in nursing when you just have to be with someone while they go through it all… and sometimes you might feel like a lawyer or a negotiator or sometimes a secretary or a teacher or historian… and sometimes a politician and sometimes a detective. 

That’s the heart of a social worker.

This description touches me so much because it is so true. I have been called for legal advice, I have had to do homework and tutor students who come to see me, and I have gone to wait for eight hours in an emergency room with a client just to ensure that they feel supported and safe while going to see a doctor.

And yet, we are displayed as the scum of the professional orders; the ones that other professionals use because we get the work done and don’t complain if we need to get our hands dirty. We do the work that others won’t: advocating for the poor and unfortunate, intervening with and perhaps dividing a family, supporting workers on strike.

So how do we do it? This is why social workers are hated so often; we don’t have a right or wrong way of doing anything. Sure, we have general theories and guidelines that we use and apply in our work, but each organization will have different guidelines. We don’t have a defined model like the “medical model” or the “psychiatric model;” instead, we work with our hearts, our heads, and with different theories. We have many diverse models that we use all at once, and in many different ways. But having so many theories leads to many different forms of practice, which then leads to many mistakes.

How can we guarantee similar services when no two services that are needed are the same? Well, we can’t. No matter how similar two people’s separate stories may seem, the service and help that they need won’t be the same. Lately, social work has been under particular stress to become more than just a professional order. There has been pressure to define social work, and give us specific roles. There is also pressure to start applying specific types of intervention; but how can one type of intervention be enough for somebody who has so many roles within one society?

We are not psychologists. We do not fit in to the “social sciences” mold, because social work is not a science, it is an art. Social work is a passion.

Just like any athlete or artist has a passion for what they create, social workers do too. An artist feels what is needed to complete a piece, and while social work will often use facts and theories as a basis for what a client needs, we will most often try to get a feeling of what the client’s priorities are. We work using everything that we are. Just like artists and athletes, we will work ourselves to the bone trying to help our clients.

However, as much as we enjoy and feel compassion for these people, this often leads to burn outs. We are human as well, after all. How is it that the profession that is most likely to help people avoid burn outs, is also the profession that is most likely to experience them? Most social workers have caseloads that are way above the limit that they are supposed to have. Most perform side projects for their agencies, or take on another worker’s caseload that is on a leave of absence. We never stop, and rarely tell ourselves when we have had enough. This is why I am writing this article. This is why I feel there is a need for clarity on what a social worker can help you with. We aren’t miracle workers; we will work with you for months and it may seem like we did nothing for you, but for us it was months of devoting time to you so you can become more like the person you want to be. Yet more often than not, we are the ones who are in need of help and yet have nowhere to receive it.

Who helps the helpers? 

Advertisements

Black Saints, 3rd June Every year. Uganda Martyrs Day for all christian believers

How Uganda Martyrs met their death

By Lukonge Achilees

On June 3rd of every year, Uganda commemorates Martyrs’ Day at Namugongo Shrine.

for more information about Uganda martyrs watch videos by visiting this page. https://www.facebook.com/muteesa1royaluniversity/

Every June 03, the world remembers the Uganda Martyrs who were executed between 31 January 1885 and 27 January 1887 by Kabaka Mwanga II for their faith in Jesus Christ. They included 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic.

History

uganda martyrs church kabong ditrict

The arrival of the Christian missionaries, Anglican and Catholic, set the stage for new developments, and marked a turning point in the religious life of the people of Buganda; as well as the political structure of the kingdom and the region at large. The history of Buganda from this point on took a different turn. A social revolution that was to transform all aspects of people’s lives had set in, and the events that followed, unpredictable as they were, added to the discomfort the new changes had brought about. The untimely death of Mutesa I in 1884 just a few years after the arrival of the missionaries, left the kingdom in the hands of Mwanga II, a youth whose ruling style fell far short of the charisma and political astuteness his late father had demonstrated in dealing with the foreigners.

Mutesa had the astuteness and maturity of dealing with conflicting forces that struggled to influence his court. The Arabs (the Moslems), the Catholics (the French or Bafaransa as they were locally called) or the Protestants (the English or Bangereza) operated, of course not without constraint, with some minimal success during his reign. He let his subjects of all ranks to join any creed of their choice. The Arabs also having seen the Christian missionaries’ efforts to convert the local people also diligently started to teach Islam. There was a competitive struggle among the preachers of the new creeds each attempting to assert more influence and recognition among the most influential officials in the inner circle of the king’s court. The king himself never committed to any single creed. The Moslems denounced him for his refusal to be circumcised, and he could not be baptized in the Christian denominations because he did not want to give up polygamy. He died still a traditionalist.

The Christian religion was received with much excitement by the converts but it came with its own requirements. It denounced all the native religious behavior and practices as heathen and satanic. Therefore joining it meant a commitment to break away from the old life style, make and adopt new alliances, and adjust to new moral and religious standards, adherence and allegiance. The new flock of believers ( abasomi, or readers, as they were called) therefore, were seemingly regarded as ‘rebels’ who had transferred their loyalty to new religious systems thus abandoning the old tribal traditions.

Although Mwanga had shown some love for the missionaries as a young prince, his attitude changed when he became king. The once lively and enthusiastic prince in support of the missionaries turned into an intolerant and vicious persecutor of Christians and all foreigners. He felt, with good cause, that the powers and authority his predecessors had enjoyed were dwindling, and had disintegrated under the influence of the missionaries and their converts. The converts had diverted their loyalty to some other authority and their allegiance at all costs could no longer be counted on. For Mwanga, the ultimate humiliation was the insolence he received from the pages when they ( the least subservient of servants) resisted his homosexual advances. According to old tradition the king was the center of power and authority, and he could dispense with any life as he felt, hence the old saying Namunswa alya kunswaze (the queen ant feeds on her subjects). Although homosexuality is abhorred among the Baganda, it was unheard of for mere pages to reject the wishes of a king. (It is alleged that Mwanga learnt or acquired homosexual behavior from the Arabs). Given those conflicting values Mwanga was determined to rid his kingdom of the new teaching and its followers.

It was hardly a year after Mwanga’s assumption of the throne that he ordered the execution of Yusufu (Joseph) Rugarama, Makko (Mark) Kakumba, and Nuwa (Noah) Serwanga the first three Christian martyrs, who were killed at Busega Natete on January 31, 1885. In October of 1885 the Anglican Bishop James Hannington recently dispatched to head the Eastern Equatorial Africa, headquartered in Buganda, was murdered in Busoga on his way to Buganda. Mwanga had ordered his death. Hannington’s crime was to attempt to come to Buganda through Busoga, a shorter route than that employed by earlier visitors who took the route from south of lake Victoria. Buganda’s kings regarded Busoga as a backdoor to Buganda and thought that any one coming through the backdoor must have evil intentions towards the kingdom.

every 3rd June People from all over the world join

Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe, a senior advisor to the king and a Catholic convert, condemned Mwanga for ordering Hannington’s death without giving him (Hannington) a chance to defend himself as was customary. Mwanga was annoyed that Mukasa would question his actions, and he had him arrested and killed. On Nov. 15 1885; Mukasa became the first Catholic martyr, when he was beheaded at Nakivubo. Between December of 1885 and May of 1886 many more converts were wantonly murdered. Mwanga precipitated a showdown in May by ordering the converts to choose between their new faith, and complete obedience to his orders. Those unwilling to renounce their new faith would be subject to death. Courageously, the neophytes chose their faith. The execution of twenty six Christians at Namugongo on June 3, 1886; was the climax of the campaign against the converts. The last person killed in this crusade, was Jean-Marie Muzeeyi, who was beheaded at Mengo on Jan 27, 1887. The complete list of the known martyrs is given below. The list of forty five known Catholic and Protestant martyrs includes only those who could be formally accounted for, many more murders went unreported and without a record.

Here is the list indicating when, where and how they were killed.

alt=''

In his efforts to curb the Christian influence and try to regain the traditional and customary powers and authorities over his subjects, Mwanga was adding more chaos to an already chaotic situation. In the north Kabarega (the king of Bunyoro Kitara a traditional arch enemy of Buganda) was raging, fighting off the pending invasion from the Khedive of Egypt and for sure he never lost his intentions towards Buganda. Further south it was reported that the Germans were annexing territories in the regions of the present Tanzania, and Mwanga was caught in a threatening position. His suspicion of the missionaries was therefore real. Buganda also was experiencing internal strife, the Moslems were plotting to overthrow him and replace him with a Moslem prince. The political upheavals combined with religious instability constrained the country’s moral stamina. The kingdom was thrown into turmoil; Moslems fighting Christians, traditionalists plotting against all creeds, untimely alliances concocted to survive against a common foe and later unceremoniously discarded. The kingdom broke into civil strife during which Mwanga was briefly deposed, although he was able to regain his throne later.

Rather than deter the growth of Christianity, the martyrdom of these early believers seems to have sparked its growth instead. As has been observed in many other instances, the blood of the martyrs proved to be the seed of faith. Christianity (in its various flavours) is now the dominant faith in Buganda and Uganda as a whole. The 22 known Catholic martyrs were declared “Blessed” by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. This is one of the key steps in the catholic tradition that eventually leads to canonization. The 22 Catholic martyrs were indeed canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 18, 1964; during the Vatican II conference. Thus these martyrs were now recognised by the universal church as being worthy of being honored as Saints. This was a first for modern Africa and a source of pride throughout the continent.

To honor these modern saints, Paul VI became the first reigning pope to visit sub-saharan Africa when he visited Uganda in July 1969; a visit which included a pilgrimage to the site of the martyrdom at Namugongo. He also dedicated a site for the building of a shrine church in honor of the martyrs, at the spot where Charles Lwanga was killed. The shrine church itself (shown above), was dedicated in 1975 and it was subsequently named a basilica church, a high honor in Catholicism. Archbishop Robert Runcie of Canterbury, and head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, also came on pilgrimage in January 1984. Pope John Paul II in turn honored the martyrs with his own pilgrimage in February 1993. Every year, June 3rd, when most of the martyrs were killed, is marked as a national holiday in Uganda. It is also marked worldwide on the church calender as a day to honor the Uganda Martyrs. Following is a portrait of the 22 canonized Catholic martyrs.

uganda martyrs Basilica


That’s the End of the Murrum road, turn left to Tarmac one.

Its 3:56 in the morning. I have been awake since two, because I am tired of sleeping. I am tired of being in deep sleep of my own life, while suns rise and set each day, and the hours of my life quietly drone on as I sit around waiting and praying that the way will reveal itself. I am waiting to accumulate evidence to support my haphazard belief that I am actually capable of being happy. Some divine switch that will go off one day, letting me know that all my hours of waiting and patience have paid off because I took the smart and responsible path, and sacrificed a lifetime of immediate happiness for long-term comfort.

I am tired of that passive bullshit.

I am tired of being in my own life; I am tired of smart and responsible.

Today I will do everything I am told I shouldn’t; I will quit a full-time job with benefits. I will quit a job with a promising and lucrative future. I will quit a job that others have convinced me is worth it. I will quit this job because when I look at the lives that the others lead, I feel suffocated. And all I see is darkness.

I do not want the life that the others lead. So why am I making the effort to mimic and mirror their path? Why do I stay and allow myself to feel small, worthless, disrespected, and hopeless? Why am I wasting another minute pursuing a dream with a ceiling? A dream imposed on me by parents, standards, society, peers and my father Richard Mutawe. Why am I continue to let many opportunities come my way to fade, because of strong desire to work, serve, and stay with people who don’t value our work? A self-imposed dreams because I am too afraid that I am not worthy or bigger and better.

I cannot be small anymore, I cannot play small, I cannot remain in such situation because someone else using my soft heart to treat me like a bullshit. I cannot be hated by my brothers and sisters, to remain alone in the world as if I am orphan. I can feel the exterior of myself-imposed shell cracking at every major joint in my body. I can feel the physical cage of my soul begging to fall apart,  I can hear voices from Parents Nakayemba Rose and Kaggwa Deogracious, Brothers and sisters Matovu Tony, Mutawe Julius, and Doreen, calling me to find new hope. This transformation may look like destruction, because of years I spent here at PTMOF, long lasting friends I got. It may look and feel like a breakdown, because I am quitting without any plan where to go. A train catapulting too fast down rusty tracks with lighter fluid pooling to either side, daring me to grab a match.

Taunting me, saying

“Who do you think you are? To think the rules don’t apply to you?”

 Anxiety, Fear, Shame.

Feeling like I am ready to crash and burn. I am ready to rise… God always is with me since I was born; I have been moving with him throughout primary at Kibale Primary, to secondary. St Mary’s s.s, Kabale ss, to University (MRU).

I am ready to be awake.

I will not sit on the sidelines of my life anymore, waiting to check boxes on my resume that should equate to meaning, longing, purpose, and self-love, (My transcript must be respected). Like I will reach the end of a maze and discover a golden box of worth that I will cling to for dear life because the prize was won after navigating through sacrifice and walls.

 I am blowing up the maze; I am climbing over the walls. I am not wasting another moment asleep at the wheel because it’s the safe thing to do.

I am tired of waiting to figure out who I am ready I am. There is no time to wait and to waste. I cannot be passive or docile. I am not comfortable with small; I am not going to wait for my savings to accumulate and my credit card bills to be paid before I begin to lay the groundwork of the life I actually want. I will love the foundation and I am ready to serve it outside, I will love people working at the foundation who treated me like a baby, I will miss everyone who loved me, treated me well, Alice you has been too good to me, my career mother, my mentor, my everything. You deserve my respect. Mariam, you has been good to me, loved me with all your heart, your soul, you has been my advisor, my counselor indeed, I will love you till the dawn of the light. Winnie, you have been inspiration to everyone, what a soul mate young mother!  Loving, bright, beautiful angel, born with smart cognition, you will be remembered. Salma, what a God’s treasure, what a bright future ahead! I treasure you like no one else, keep the candle burning, let light shine and bright to your family and the community you will serve. Director Salome, thank you for your

Believe in yourselve, dream more, change your story.-Lukonge Achilees

Lukonge achilees with kids

My friend, I know you might have had a picture of how you wanted your life to be, but some uncontrollable tragedy swept it away. We all have a certain picture of how we want our lives to be, and sometimes it gets ripped from our grip and smashed to pieces. Our dreams can get crushed in an instant, in the most horrible ways, with irreversible results.

In counseling, this is called intrapsychic grief: the pain of losing what could have been and will never come to pass. It’s just as painful as any physical loss, and like any kind of grief, will remain overhead like a dark cloud for a long, long time.

We might be living in a life right now that doesn’t feel like it’s ours, you and I. we might be in a different place than we had hoped for. Today could be different than you had imagined and planned a year ago. Your heart will pull for another chance, another door, and another world.

We wake up in a daze, wondering how things changed so fast. We wait, hoping it will go back to the way it was.

The three hardest words to live with are often: in the meantime. Yet in the meantime is the whole thing.

If you are waiting for your “real life” to start, after graduation or when you’re married or when you get to big city, you will stay in a holding pattern. The time will pass anyway. The tide doesn’t wait.

So I hope you will consider starting in the meantime.

When dream dies, it dies. We can mourn. We pound our chest. We can bleed. And at some point, we must let go and not linger. You can open your hands to another dream. I hope you don’t try to revive something that’s dead.

You can get over what’s over because you are not over yet.

When the 10 count is over: you can count to 11.

What comes next will not be what you had envisioned. It might be better or be worse. I hope you will keep dreaming anyway. I hope you will consider God can do a new thing.

You are free to pursue something new.

This is how you can change your story

I am trying to change my story. I am trying to change my narrative. I am trying to trying to change the voices in my head.

I am trying to tell the world another story about myself. I am trying to make it a story of hope, faith, and success rather than a story of struggle, despair and failure.

I am trying not paint myself as a victim anymore. I am done blaming my parents, my school, my friends, my community or my culture for all my setbacks. I am working with what I have got. I am finally figuring out the right paths for me. I am finally driving in the right direction. I am finally learning that it doesn’t have to be a sad story with no destination. I am finally learning that I can still change the ending. I can still make it a happy one.

I am trying not to associate my age with everything. Why I am not married, why I don’t have kids, why I am not rich or why I haven’t traveled to all the countries I wanted to visit. I am changing my hopeless questions to one simple answer: faith. I am changing my story from being hopeless to being faithful.

 I no longer think everything in my life was delayed, everything thing was right on time, everything came exactly when it should have arrived – not sooner or later because now I have the wisdom to appreciate them, the strength to endure the obstacles on the way, the stamina to fight harder for what I believe in and the gratitude to be thankful for the whole journey.

I am changing my story from loneliness and darkness to self-love and light. I am changing the tone of negative self talk, of feeling inadequate, of being afraid of missing out, of being too attached to the minor things in life, of being too concerned about what people think to simply letting go of perfection, of deadlines of expiration dates and expectations.

I am human, I am still finding myself, I am still trying to understand life. I am still trying to define what happiness is, I am still trying to understand what kind of love I am looking for and I am tired of feeling sorry for myself just because I don’t have all the answers.

I am done trying to make story all about answers, I just want to enjoy reading it, I just want to enjoy living it. I just want to try to make it a good one. Even if it means having more questions than answers, even if it means not getting everything I want.

I am not going to change the essence of the story; I am changing everything around it. I am changing the way I write it. I am changing my voice, my tone and my speech.

I am taking my pain and heartbreak and turning them into something beautiful. I am editing my story, sometimes we forget that it’s still a draft, not the final manuscript and we can always go back and change it. It’s not over yet.

My Friends, Social workers, one important thing missing into your life “Kindness”-Lukonge Achilees

Lukonge Achilees with A young Mother. from sadness to coziest smile.

In the scheme of things, our lives are a millisecond in history compared to whats happened and what’s to come. As consequence, a majority of us strive to make a mark with little thought to the consequences that come with it. Our days are made up of the main prerogative of looking and analyzing our own success or likeability. Un fortunately, the times when thinking of others comes into play, is either out of benefit towards ourselves or how it comes across to the people we surround ourselves with.

Often times we forget the suffering that other’s outside our lives carry before our own. We forget that our love and understanding can be expansive. We take the kindness that we receive from others for granted and distribute little of our own. We forget to ask questions like: How have others taught me to choose kindness? How am I bringing kindness into my own life, so that I can bring it to others? You’re the start of kind. The people you surround yourself with, how you treat yourself, and the actions that you choose are what it means choose kind. Choosing kindness is more than donating money or calling a long distance friend. It is a daily practice that you choose to bring yourself and the people around you. It is a practice we often forget. To choose kindness we are extending compassion and understanding to our own and others sorrows. We are saying to others and ourselves: I hear you and I am here for you. Which I know sounds a lot like marital counseling advice, but sometimes you need to set aside your pride to accomplish a larger picture. In the end, we are choosing to allow others to speak out and suffer less; this is also the start to learning how to love.

Kindness is often something that I forget to extend to myself. It’s easy to lack understanding when we are looking at our flaws. It’s even easier to lack compassion for ourselves. Often we have the feeling of mediocrity, lack of self worth, and hatred for the things we cannot change. How do you choose kind for yourself? Do you acknowledge these flaws? Do you I hear you and I am here for you to yourself? By pushing aside your own self –hatred and by dismissing the acknowledgement of compassion for yourself you are turning away from kindness. Happiness cannot exist without the acknowledgement of suffering.

Once you can choose kindness for yourself you are able to bring it to others. You are able to extend the same amount of compassion and understanding that you would to yourself. When others treat you with hatred or bring their burdens to you, you should extend your kindness to them. Love is as expansive as you allow it to be. It’s easy to forget that others carry the same burdens that we do. By simply choosing to listen, we are choosing kindness, because we are extending our compassion and understanding to someone other than our self. In part we are starting to create an environment in which people look at you in appositive light and ar able to reflect our actions upon them and the people they love.

You can practice choosing kindness by simply being there for others.  You can make someone’s day easier by doing something for him or her. You can smile and display love in the capacity of offer joy. You have the ability to choose to offer kindness everyday through active listening and the kindness you extend yourself. But more than often we forget, we get frustrated at our own suffering, and we miss the opportunities we have to practice understanding. So while mindful of how we treat others and how we treat others and how treat ourselves, remember to choose kindness.

Can you recall a time somebody was kind to you? Now change the scenario and think of a time you were kind to another person? Call to mind their reaction and how you responded.

Move into your heart and notice the feelings there. If you read no further than this point, you know that kindness affects the user and experience-leaving a lasting impression.

In this fast pace world, kindness and compassion takes a back seat to selfies, self-interest and expendable human interactions.

Every person is waiting is waiting to be discovered or become rich, believing that holds the key to their happiness. Yet when they attain success, they long for their former life having underestimated the trappings of the fame and celebrity.

I enjoy this quote by Professor David W. Orr:

“The plain fact is that the planet doesn’t need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it”

Kindness is fundamental to human existence. We are thrust into the world as newborns and enriched with the kindness of our parents’ nurturing for the following years.

Humans are the only mammals with a prolonged gestation period. Other creatures rely on support for a brief time before becoming self-reliant. We are powerless at birth and depend on our caregivers to provide for our needs.

Therefore, kindness is sewn into the framework of our DNA. We are literally wired for kindness. Each individual has opinions on how to improve world, though no one wants to practice kindness.

Do no harm

World peace will not arise from overthrowing dictatorial powers or ending conflicts between nations. It will happen when humanity raises its consciousness beyond that of fear and hatred.

I have often repeated that peace is only a thought away. Its motives emerge through kind thoughts towards oneself and others.

“Unconditional love flows through specific channels of respect, integrity, purpose, meaning, value, response-ability, forgiveness, kindness, and compassion of our new, naturally ethical lives,” says author and psychotherapist Loch Kelly in Shift into Freedom: The science and practice of open-hearted awareness.

Kindness is not something that demands hard work. It originates from the simple act of doing no harm to others.

It involves judging less; however compelled you might be to do so.  The ego is quick to judge because it is victimized and hurt, so it retaliates in revenge.

Kindness, however, bites its tongue. It does not seek to be right but rather to preserve peace of mind. You gain little by giving someone a piece of your mind, other than inciting and separation. It was the Lebanese-born poet khalil Gibran who wrote:

“I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see” –Mark Twain

It might be clear to you that fighting force with force is not the way towards peace. But you might ask, does that mean allowing others to treat me unfairly?

No, not by any means, though you needn’t retaliate with overwhelming force. I am not implying you become a doormat; however I urge you to accept the lessons contained within the experience. Are you letting others treat you unfairly on some level? Or unconsciously giving them permission to do so?

“no matter how anyone responds to your kindness, just by repeating out loud the words you didn’t hear often enough or never heard at all, you guarantee yourself to be the one who exists each scene of life more healed, aligned and expanded than the moment before,” affirms author matt Kahn in whatever Arise, Love That that: “A Love Revolution that begins with you.

Benefits of kindness.

Kindness has many benefits including increased happiness and a healthy heart. It slows down the aging process and improves relationships and connections, which indirectly boosts your health.

People believe kindness is particular to those of religious faith because of their moral vows. Kindness does not require you to be of religious faith or even spiritual. Demonstrations of kindness are observed in man’s best friend, the dog. Cats show kindness and are treasured for their emotional connection.

Kindness broadens your life’s frame of reference and is a symbol of respect to value the receiver.

It influences the giver more than the receiver and has correlations with enhanced mental, emotional and physical well being.

People believe kindness signifies weakness and being taken advantage of. Its important to delineate between kindness and being a door mat to others. You can be kind and assertive when others attempt to profit from your kindness.

Author Matt Kahn states:

“When human interactions become a way of practicing self-acceptance by treating others with more patience, kindness, and respect, a constant need to be heard shifts into listening as an act of love”

You should in no way undermine your self-worth at the expense of others, but simply practice kindness while upholding your integrity.

Be kind anyway

It’s no surprise wicked acts have a greater impression on us than acts of kindness. We are alerted to fear more than goodness.

Psychologists believe we are wired to detect that which threatens our survival and happiness. We give attention to acts of cruelty in the news because it is perceived as threat to our survival.

In these times of disingenuous social media interactions, unkindness abounds as people hide behind screens.

This does not make it appropriate to abuse others. There is a person on the other side of the screen with feelings we must take into account.

An important lesson in kindness involves asking yourself:

How would I handle being the recipient of this? If it doesn’t fell good avoid the behavior.

“Hurt is hurt, and every time we honor our own struggles of others by responding with empathy and compassion, the healing that results affects all of us,” avows author and social researcher Brene Brown in Rising Strong.

I wish to leave you with a passage from mother Teresa’s poem titled Anyway, in which she states: “People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.”

Incorporate the smallest acts of kindness into your everyday life and notice the ripple effects.

The butterfly effect in Chaos Theory asserts that a tiny event in one region of the globe can have a substantial effect somewhere else.

Armed with this knowledge, it is the Dalai Lama who reminds us that if you can’t be kind, avoid harming others.

Be unstoppable, dream a new one if the first failed to yield.- Lukonge Achilees

Your life story doesn’t just say what happened, it says why it was important, what it means for the person you are, for who you will become, and for what happens next.

When a chapter ends, another begins and is in our own hands the possibility to write a new and more beautiful story.

Therefore, it’s up to us to focus all our energies not in trying to change our past but to focus all our energy in creating our present moment. The situation doesn’t determine your response. YOU determine your response. Take a moment to pause and remember who you truly are. Take time to reflect on the things that have real and lasting meaning in your life and you wouldn’t guess but…….

DEVELOP THEM

Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that things will never go back to how they used to be, and that this ending Is really a new beginning.

Why actually matters is that you leave the past where it belongs so you can make the best of the life that is still available to be lived. This ending you have experienced is not THE END; it’s just your life beginning again in a new way. It’s a point in your story where one chapter transitions int the next.

YOU get to choose to live in your present and use it as a canvas to create the life that will bring you happiness and joy. No matter how loud those voices call for you. You don’t have to change the scene. Make a difference in your life first and… Keep going. Be hungry for change. Break down those hard-hitting barriers in your life. Push through the hurt you don’t look back. Get out and stay out. Above all, this is not going to be easy but is achievable and beyond worth it.

I believe that everything happens for a reason and every experience that I encounter makes me stronger and challenges are just part of my everyday life. They make me stronger and without them, it becomes somewhat meaningless because I have nothing to compare the good times to. Facing them is a way for me to push myself and see what I am capable of.

Slowly I began realizing the stories I told myself where a key to unlocking my ability to control my internal narrative and how I arrange the plot points of my life into a narrative can shape who I am, — this is a fundamental part of being human.

And from here, in telling the story of how you became who you are, and of who your way to becoming, the story its self becomes a part of who you are.

One thing I always try to remember is that each sunset is to have a new sunrise, so, what story are you telling today?

Your life is what you make of it, so make it a good one

There are certain moments in life that defines you. During those moments, every action and reaction defines how you are going to progress from the point you are currently at.

When things get tough, you seem to have two choices – let your moments define you or get out there and define your moments. For the longest time, I always choose the first one.

I always choose to let everything define me- the events of life, the moments of life, and the tough parts of life. I played victim, simply because that’s how I would always let the big part of life be my story… when in fact, I had the opportunity to make my story WHATEVER I wanted. Nothing defines me, unless I allow it to.

We all have our own story to tell about our own lives. Hearing someone tell their story is quite incredible, very rarely will you hear someone tell their story- a story drenched in truth, seen through their eyes and told through their words. However sometimes, hearing someone tell his or her story can be incredibly heartbreaking. Especially if that person has written their story off as a sad story, full of negativity and no hope in sight.

A simple conversation with a girl friend recently changed my view on how my story could be told. I was down on my luck at the time, I felt like a certain situation had taken control of my life and I began to feel like my story was “sad” and that’s when she hit me with her knowledge.

“There is nothing sad about it” was a quote was one she had come across years ago.

She then explained why she sent it onto me “it’s a thing where I went from self-pity and hating myself to still struggling, sometimes even daily, but fighting against any though of any part of my story being sad. Are there sad parts, yes? Does that make my life sad, no?”

 Things happening in life make m want to fall back into those old patterns of thinking that my story. But it’s not. I have to actively choose to define my moments, to be UNSTOPPABLE, to be a force of nature, to not let the tough part of life defines my actions. Sometimes you simply have to take a step back and evaluate the things that are putting you in that mindset.

Do you take the victim route because you are hurting? Do you take it because you don’t know any other way? Do you take that route because it’s easier for you to play victim instead of dealing with things? That was my thought process for a long time. I would play victim, I would allow myself to revel in hurl, and I would allow myself to throw pity parties. I am not saying that I am perfect and that I don’t want  to think that way, but the one thing I know is that type of behavior will not get me anywhere in life.

People seem to want to take the easy way put when it comes to their emotions, but expect other people to do the hard work and face their emotions, fears and frustrations in mature manner.

Don’t be like that.

Don’t be a victim

Don’t be a vindictive person.

Don’t be contradictory with your standards for human emotions. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature.  Stand strong in your beliefs. Stand strong in your actions. Define your life, don’t let it define you.

And always remember, parts of your story may be sad and life might be in a tough spot – but in the grand scheme of things..There is NOTHING sad about it. Your story is unique, your story is you and ultimately your story is what you make it.

Lesson I learnt from Bobi Wine, Arnold Schwarzenegger, & Peter Dinklage is You only achieve and succeed when you learn to fully commit- this is to all my fellow social scientists, and everyone around the world.

Arch gallery

It doesn’t take much to accomplish “decent” results. Entering into the top 25% of your field actually isn’t that hard. Most people are content with “good enough,” and don’t try hard to improve what already works. With a few small tweaks, you can actually make enormous progress.

But most people never get any better than that. Few people ever get past this “good-enough” mindset. Good enough, is, well, good enough. No need to put in any more effort. “If it aint broke, don’t try to fix it” right?

In short, most people settle for good instead of working to achieve greatness. Jim Collins Wrote in his book, Good to great:

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for good life.”

Most people will only ever have a “good” life because they are not willing to commit to putting in the effort for a great one.

That’s fine, not everybody needs to work tirelessly for greatness. But if you want big results… truly incredible results that will make you marvel at your life, you must move past this mindset.

No more “dabbling”

No more screwing around.

You must choose to.

This is the only way to get the results you truly, deeply want.

“If you are interested, you come up with stories, excuses, reasons, and circumstances about why you can’t or why you won’t. If you’re committed, those go out the window. You just do whatever it takes.”- John Assaraf.

The only way to become a leading man is to treat yourself like one

When Arnold Schwarzenegger was just beginning his acting career, he received many offers for lesser roles like Crude villains like Nazi officers, evil henchmen with no lines, and the like. All everyone saw was a foreigner with a thick accent and big muscles.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

His agent begged him to take the roles. He refused.

Years after becoming the most famous leading man in Hollywood, he wrote: “The only way you become a leading man is to treat yourself like a leading man, and work your ass off.”

The same case here, Robert Kyagulanyi aka “Bobi Wine” Ugandan Afro-Pop star who in 2017 transitioned from being only a mere musician into elective politics, Bobi’s stagnant life from a young shabby looking young boy to a dreadlocked singer, Parliamentarian and he is committed to stand for Presidency yet he was most known to use drugs and smoke, living in slums of Kamwokya, with gangs of hooligans he self proclaimed Ghetto-President, Surviving only on “Kikomando” (Chapati/Loti with Beans) Day in Day Out.

Briefly about Wine for those who don’t know him

Wine rising hand In his slogan sign People Power Our Power

He was born in Mpigi District central Uganda, but came of age in Kamwokya, one of the poorest suburbs of Kampala the capital, where he launched his music career in early 2000s after he graduated from Uganda’s oldest university, Makerere University with a degree in Music, dance and Drama. He came to be famously known as “Ghetto President” for persistently speaking out about the struggles of the lower classes and the urban poor in Uganda.

His lyrical genius and courage to drop songs that hit directly at government failures and excesses made him spectacularly popular among Ugandan youth. He insisted that Ugandans had many questions but few answers from the corrupt dictatorial leaders

His outspokenness and growing popularity made him target of government censorship, particularly after current President Museveni who has been in power since 34 years 1986. In 2016, Wine rejected president’s offer to join fellow musicians whom were paid by the government to compose a song praising President’s efforts and to campaign for him.

In 2017, Wine seized the opportunity to contest in Parliamentary election in Kyaddondo East, a constituency on the outskirts of Kampala, he won the seat in a landslide victory despite Government’s all. After he was sworn in as an MP, Wine didn’t stop, he then embarked to raise ghetto life flags high in Parliament, at the height of debates on the constitutional amendment that would later remove the age limit for the president, allowing current aged president Museven to run for yet another re-election, wine released “Freedom” “Peace” “Stand up and we go” “we will be crowned” “Kyalenga” and many strong hits to the government.

Together with the oppositions parties, he led “Togikwatako” (Do not touch) movement which protested the changing of the last clause in the constitution that stood in the way of 74-year-old President holding into power for life. During one of the parliamentary debates, the army stormed parliament and several MPs we assaulted. Wine continued to put pressure on the govern by rallying young people to protest against new social media tax, mobile money tax, and laying out strong firing words and statements to government.

So the more clear you are on your goals, the easier it is to say no to irrelevance.

Before Peter Dinklage Joined the case of the globally popular show Game of Thrones, he refused to play leprechauns or elves, the only parts he was offered for someone his height. He held out and treated himself like a leading man.


Peter Dinklage

If you want to be a leading man or woman, you have to treat yourself like one. Otherwise, no one will take you seriously.

If you do not predetermine what you will (and will not) do, you will always end up taking good not great opportunities.

I remember during college or university times, our class comprised of all different categories of people with different characters and personality. Watching most of things from the distant, because it was my character, my personality, my nature born cool soft heartedly,  I am introvert by nature. Watching extrovert students in many fields, many positions, like in politics, clubs, football, and many other areas of their dreams, where their potentials and abilities lied.

 Marion Akatusaasira, Kirabo Joan and Kizito Abdu were good in leadership, (Politics) we trusted them to be our coordinators, for three years, they didn’t stop there, they were even elected on Guild Cabinet in the reign of Engeneer Lumu Jessy, Guild present. 2015-2016.

 Kasibante Gilbert, Okot Ben, Elipu Bruno, Matovu Stephen and Ssembatya Deo, were good in Sports and many other friends, who were very popular. I wasn’t in any of those positions, even though I was talented in some like; Football because it is in my blood, more than any other game and politics. I would have participated in one of the above, but Why Not?!

 Because I discovered myself, I knew myself from beginning that my dream was to be a writer, my dream was to be a therapist, to be an educator and lastly to be a traveler (Geography was my best done at higher level before joining Social science at University).

I spent most of the time in library, reading books of all categories, chatting with few friends I was close too.. Like Waliggo Kenneth and Luswata Shafik , and my roommates Ibrah Lukwago, Jacky Nabulonge,  and John Bosco. Consulting Lectures like Mukiibi Andrew Adrian, and Lwanga Edward to develop my research capabilities, interacting with professions, Doctors, Writers, Authors, and Therapist.

Therefore if you do not predetermined what you will (and will not) do. You will always end up taking good not great opportunities.

When I finished my Studies I moved to Kampala to teach, heal, and manage young mothers in one of the top organization helping mothers and vulnerable youth called Pelletier Teenage mothers foundation (PTMOF) I told myself I was going to use all my spare time to create my ideal life, running my own business as a writer.

When the wrong opportunities came knocking, it wasn’t hard to say no. in fact, it was a no brainer. It didn’t matter how much I was being offered to be teen mother’s trainer, counselor, therapist, administrator, and field officer… these things weren’t going to help me reach my goal, so the answer was obvious.

I wanted to become a top-tier writer, so that’s how I treated myself. That’s how I saw myself. After a year of treating myself like this, I did a thing which even my bosses didn’t aware of;  the fact is I used the little time I got to pen down at least 5+ pages every day, By the end to 2018, the book titled “Make Me Understand Family, Parenting and Health” https://www.spreesy.com/archileeslukonge/2 Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07J1PB2ZG Was already written, and published on Amazon.

It is very hard to say no to an opportunity if you don’t know where you’re going.

But its extremely easy to say no if you know what you want.

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster”-Stephen Covey

If you want the lifestyle of a leading man or woman, you need to treat yourself like that and (work your ass off) – look at Bobi wine

Otherwise, you will constantly be unsure and uncertain in your decision-making, often making choices that pull you farther and farther from your goal.

The higher the standards you set for yourself, the more likely you will finally land the leading role.

“We are kept from our goal not by a clear path to a lesser goal.”-Robert Brault

Why it’s so hard to commit? but even harder not to

“We all must suffer one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”-Jim Rohn

It’s hard to commit. Really hard. But the alternative…never committing is even worse.

It’s exhausting to stew in mediocrity. Constantly wrestling with mental anguish, uncertainty, and apathy will drain the energy from anyone.

It takes monumental effort to get up out of the bed every day, knowing your day is going to suck.

You are spending energy anyway; why not spend your energy on upgrading and improving?

Why not focus your thoughts and efforts on making a better life?

I was so broke, we grew up in poor family, and my father was addicted to alcohol for almost 3 decades! Alcohol became part of his daily routine, internal organs like Lungs, Liver, Heart, Kidney was at risk, and last year he severely fell sick repeatedly nearly to death he was rushed to Kampala for specialized treatment.

 We grew up knowing that, he was bewitched to drink alcohol, bewitched to keep him and his family in Poverty, but what happened after diagnosed by a doctor, shocked us and those knew him. Doctor told him to quit Alcohol otherwise he will die early, it was impossible to believe that a person who relied on alcohol for thirty years, can one day stop drinking alcohol. It was a miracle from God!

 I being broke, I hated every part of my life, but one day I knew it was time to get serious. So I stopped fooling around and decided I would do whatever it took to kick away my feelings, my perception. Committing was really hard. But now that I have had several years sobriety, I can look back and see how insanely harder it was to stay in such life.

I woke up everyday hating myself. I couldn’t even look at my eyes in the mirror for more than a couple seconds without turning away in shame seeing my friends better well off, looking at others families living in better life. I was always thinking ahead about how to get this fixed. I couldn’t relate with people, because internally I was totally empty. That was my life everyday living in state of loneliness, doubt, sadness, mourning and whatever you can call.

Committing was hard, yes.

But years of poverty, and never being willing to do whatever it took were infinitely harder.

It may seem unthinkable now to commit to whatever you aspire to do. But know this; your future self would probably look at your life right now and remember just how much harder it was back then.

Why most people will never avoid mediocrity?

Real, substantial change only comes in two ways:

Either you raise your standards high enough to inspire change, or……

Your pain becomes bad enough that you are forced to change out necessity.

The reason most people will never avoid mediocrity is because they never experience either option.

Most people never raise their standards to substantially high levels; on the other hand, these people work just hard enough to avoid experiencing real pain; the pain that would inspire change.

This is why I am so glad I have hard to struggle: I am glad I had a speech impediment that got me bullied as a kid though out higher levels. I am glad that I had to go to therapy and counseling for my father issues, young mothers and many people I changed their lives. In a weird yet powerful way, I am glad I languished as a mediocre writer for nearly 2 years before finally getting it somehow right. I have come to understand my struggle is what gives me fuel to become extra ordinary.

Mark Manson Wrote in The subtle Art of not giving a f*ck:

“The extent of the struggle determines the extent of the growth”

So be glad that the pain is bad enough for you

Because for many people, the pain is never bad enough to inspire change. The pain Is never bad enough to make them raise their standards.

In conclusion

“People are always asking me about the secrets  and tricks I used to get results. Sorry if this disappoints you: there are no secrets. There are no tricks. It’s simple. Ask yourself where your now, and where you want to be instead”- Tim Grover, personal trainer of Michael Jordan- (abensero mumumanyi)

If you want big; truly big results; you’re going to have to commit.

No more screwing around. No more half-assing or half-measures. Otherwise, you will never avoid mediocrity.

1 year ago, I positioned myself toward my goal to be good writer, but I bet there is improvement, reviews, and comments about my publications are inspiring, it’s too early to say that I am an awful writer, your there to judge, whether I am fooling myself there Is still a long way to go, or close to the big names of most known Authors. 5 years ago I was broke, but rich at heart, I was depressed, and hopeless.

I decided to commit. After university, (MRU) I was Lucky to start working in top organizations without months of volunteering (from fresh graduate to start earning is the difficult transition in the life of the graduate)But God was on my side, I was enrolled in three major positions (Administrator, secretary, and field officer) at Pelletier Teenage Mothers Foundation (PTMOF) .  How did I manage to effectively and efficiently balance all pressurizing positions and working on my first book?

Being committed, to chase my dreams…. only that, You can, too; if  you’re willing to fully commit

Lukonge Achilees