Tag Archive | generosity

Echoes of Sacraments, Iftar, This and That

In recent weeks echoes around my neighbourhood have been on the calm and reflective sided.

From my children receiving their Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation, to The Ramadan season, it’s been a time of spiritual inflections. It has been a time of expressions of love, kindness, and generosity that cuts across boundaries of faith or ethnicity. I see people of all works of life come together in ways that make my heart full and appreciative of humanity.

Interestingly, my personal life hasn’t gotten any slower though the tempo around the region is slower and the blazing heat is intense.

 

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The Wise One…

Nature wore her splendour in golden tones and everywhere looked so pretty even though our thoughts were heavy at the moment and our demeanours were sombre.

It was Ms. Maisie’s funeral and I simply knew within me that things would never be the same again because no one could be like Ms. Maisie our Sunday school teacher.

Every citizen in our little township had felt the warmth of her neighbourly love and almost everyone turned up to pay their last respects. She taught us more than the beautiful stories of the Bible in this little prefabricated structure  built by the joint effort of the community and for a few minutes, my senses conjured up the delicious whiff of her melt-in-the-mouth butter cookies that she always had in a tin and shared generously.

My eyes drifted out to stare at the yellowing leaves of the Dogwood she had planted years ago and I saw a beautiful, brown Owl perched on the wire fence looking back at me. I’d never seen an Owl in my life and wondered if there was a reason behind this. I knew everyone said that an Owl is the wise one and Ms. Maisie was certainly a wise lady.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

InLinkz 

Thank you, Phylor, for the photo and Priceless Joy for hosting this charming platform where we unleash our stories:-)


out-of-the-silent-breath 2

 

All the spares…

The Daily post photo challenge is ‘spare’ and a number of spare thoughts and photos come to my mind.

Spare change

Spare Change!

I went shopping at an old souk recently and the amiable shopkeeper of a gift store had a huge frame filled with currency from different parts of the World that he had been to over his 78 years of living.

While admiring his spare changes, I noticed the space with a missing currency and asked him about it, and surprisingly he knew the money that had been in there.

He said it was rare currency ‘Pa’anga’ from the less travelled country of Republic of Tonga, which is a Polynesian kingdom situated in the middle of the pacific.

He had no idea how the money disappeared from his framed collection and that set off all sorts of vibrant imaginative juices in my mind.

I must visit him again, ‘cos I have some conspiracy theories 🙂

  • My second spare is the kind fella I caught sometime last week feeding the birdies. He obviously had lot’s of spare food for them and the birds flocked gladly.

Spare food

Feeding the flock.

My last spare is about interesting art.Beautiful art can be made from all sorts of stuff, even rubbish. This creative piece below is made out of spare tyres and was part of an art exhibition.

The creative mind is a wonderful thing 🙂

Spare tyre

Spare tyre art

P.S. You can join our Summer blog party taking place right now. It’s fun and you get to meet fantastic folks. Looking forward to seeing you 🙂


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

The Feast…

Beggar

With hungry eyes and gnarled knuckles,

He begged!

Please could you spare me something?

But they hurried along!

No one cared to look,

They were in a rush and too busy!

ζ

In abject poverty and clad in rags,

She groveled!

Hunger had punctured holes in her innards,

She cried out for help!

But no one cared to hear.

They were too ashamed to cast her a glance!

ζ

Flea bitten worn blankets,

Torn cartons for bed,

Under the stormy weather,

It’s bitterly cold!

ζ

Looking in at the warm and shiny windows,

Where laughter and food overflowed,

Into plates, leftovers to the trash,

Thrown away to go to waste!

ζ

He scurries over,

Digging for leftovers,

And a feast did he find.

With tears in his eyes,

As he gobbles grungy droppings,

That were several days over!

ζ

He is thankful for the offerings,

Shared with his stray companions,

A lame dog that no one wanted again,

And a one-eyed cat,

His companions at the garbage table!

ζ

Sir? Could you spare me a piece of bread? Please?

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Please don’t throw away food, someone out there is dying from hunger.

”If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”- Mother Theresa

”No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank

”A heart that gives, gathers.” – Tao Te Ching

DAY 3

Jennifer at INK and QUILL has invited me to participate in 5 day photo story challenge.

Challenge Guidelines:

Post a picture each day, for five consecutive days. Attach a story to your image.

*can be fiction / non-fiction
*poem / short paragraph
*each day nominates another blogger

I invite Kay Morris, my fabulous blogger friend  , to join the photo story challenge. I look forward to reading from you if you choose to participate. Enjoy 🙂

Harvesting Generosity…personal

Kindness

In these season of glad tidings, may we find it in the generosity of our hearts to extend our kindness to others who least expect it from us.

A lot of times, we may have far more than we really need to eat and drink, while so many people are suffering and hungry.

If we share the little that we have with someone who doesn’t have, it might even be better than we think.

It may not be our duty to give to these people, but we should also remember that no one wants to be in a beggaring position and that an act of kindness no matter how small, is never a wasted effort.

I will crave your indulgence in sharing a personal story. I hesitate, because in my frame of mind, good deeds done towards others are between me, the recipient and God.

These gestures are not things that I wish to publicize, but I just want to share one of the times when I have reaped unprecedented fruits which I believe were the result of kindness.

Several years ago in Lagos, I had a catering outfit which had started out small just to test the waters.

I pursued and got contracts to service some corporate bodies with hot meals, finger foods etc, and I would always join my staff to attend to these customers, sharing a word, smiles and general chit-chat.

At the end of each day that we worked, left over food was shared to those who could not afford to buy these meals. Many of them were total strangers on the streets who were destitute.

This went on consistently for a while and though one or two people thought that it was being wasteful (because they felt that we could still serve some of the leftover the following day) but I never saw it that way and as a matter of principle, we shared everything to the last spoon.

I recall that on one of the days, a poor man came up to my vehicle to thank us for all the food that he had been receiving and he was almost in tears.

I was a bit embarrassed to see a grown man scrounging for food and I told him that it was not a problem and that so long as I was catering in the vicinity, we would give him something to eat.

Anyway to cut a long story short, we continued giving as much as we could.

Not too long after, my small scale business exploded.

It became inundated with so much demand that we could hardly keep up and I had to turn down some jobs at the onset of the deluge.

I had contracts crawling out of the woodwork’s and falling all over my company, that the only way to go was to expand fast in other to manage the demand.

I quickly employed more hands, bought a second delivery bus, and within the space of four months thereafter, I saw myself entertaining the idea of building my own structure which had not been in my plan because the rented space that I was using got too small.

Nothing had prepared me for such breakthrough.

In a quick wave, I had realized sufficient capital to build and equip a modern medium-scaled bakery and a kitchen.

This project ran into millions of Naira (Nigerian currency) without a single loan from anybody, but gains realized from the overflow of business that rained on me.

Some might call it coincidence and hard work, but I called it divine intervention. I called it spiritual uplifting. I called it OPEN HEAVENS!

Whatever part of the World you might be in; from London to Tokyo, US to Zimbabwe, Japan to Ottawa, Venezuela to Nigeria, Cambodia to Paris, Russia to the moon, these principles remain the same!

I am not advising that your giving should be tied with expecting something in return, but that the law of nature works that way.

Gratitude makes what we have enough and more, while generosity opens up the store house of harvest for us.

The wise words of the Bible says that, ”when you open your hands to give, you equally open your hands to receive.”

”We must give in other to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest” – Orison Swett Marden.

”Generosity consists not of the sum given, but the manner in which it is bestowed” –  Mahatma Gandhi

”We can do no great things, only small things with great love” –  Mother Theresa

Thank you izzyasabee for your invitation to participate in the 3 quote challenge.

I would like to invite these 3 lovely bloggers to participate in the 3 quote challenge.

Edwina Episodes

Folake

Sonnie blogs

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Keep it Moving Forward…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pay It Forward.”

pay-it-forward2

Splendid prompt! Splendid timing!

I like this prompt because paying it forward just happened to me today, out of the blues. Whilst going through posts on my reader, a little note popped up and I saw this comment:

Congratulations to JACQUELINE who is the Giveaway Friday winner!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

With the most comments on alocovivavoce.com, Jacqueline has emerged the winner of Giveaway Friday for the month of September 2015. Congratulations Jacqueline!

As a special prize, Jacqueline gets one of the following:

A 2000 (two thousand) naira recharge card of any network of your choice.

Or

A promotion of anything of your choice on alocovivavoce.com. Whether a product, service, idea or writeup, just let me know whatever you choose to promote and I would be at your service.

So once again, congratulations Jacqueline for being the top commenter for September 2015.

Sincerely speaking, I was quite surprised. I thought it was spam. Then I saw the name of the blog that it came from, so I gingerly clicked on it, reminding myself that April fools day had come and gone.

Anyways, I decided to play along and Viola! It is real. Now that certainly put a very big smile on my face 🙂

My initial thought was to ask her to promote my blog, but a little voice whispered to me: “you have received some pleasure and delight from this warm gesture, so why not put a smile on the face of another unsuspecting person” and I decided to go with the voice, so I responded to A Loco Viva Voce:

Goodness gracious me! This is a very pleasant and warming surprise. Not expected in the least and that is what makes it extremely lovely and appreciated.

My dear lady, thank you from the depth of me. This is such a heartwarming gesture. How I wish I could claim the recharge card, but since I am not in Nigeria it’s okay.

Better still, I can pay it forward and bless someone else over there with the recharge card.

Please let me know what you think and once again, thank you. God Bless

She came back with the response that it’s fine to send the gift of the recharge card forward to another recipient 🙂

So there you have it! Easily done and all in a days job 🙂

act of kindness

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

It’s a TEA PARTY and you are invited too!..

Tea party invitation

It’s a Tea and a Hat Affair!
It’s a Charity Event!

It’s a Family Event!
A chance to connect, to have fun and to SUPPORT a worthy cause; all rolled in one!

The illustrious Texas Multicultural Women (a Non-Governmental Organization) TMW are hosting their Annual Charity Tea & Hat Affair, on 26th September 2015, from 10:00a.m – 2:00p.m in Houston, Texas.

It’s a chance to glam it up like The Ascots’ and The Tudors’.

A chance to bask in God’s presence and in the warmth of others.

Fundraising from this charity event provides Scholarship for Non-Traditional Students as well as Aid to Families transitioning into the Houston Area.

Please, let’s not keep all our blessings to ourselves let’s share with others.

Will you be in Houston, Texas on the 26th of September? Just come on over!

Do you have someone in Houston you wish to surprise and bless?

This is an opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face!

Be blessed and have a good weekend.

”We rise by LIFTING OTHERS” – Robert Ingersoll