What Is Wrong With Being Selfish?

Part of my problem with the world today is society’s uncanny attitude to stigmatize things.

It’s 2019, the internet seems to be working all right making us connected to a truckload of information and yet we are not as open minded as one would think.

Cultural, social and religious reasons are why some of us find it difficult to change our view on concepts.

Today however, I want to challenge you to reconsider your thoughts on a type of behavior that has long been been viewed as bad.

The dictionary will add other spices to the meaning but society largely views selfishness as thinking only about ones self.

But what is wrong with that?

What is wrong with being selfish?

Largely, selfishness has been viewed in the negative light as behavior not in the best interests of society. Ironically, all around us, including governments and churches, we see many instances where people and organizations have acted selfishly to the detriment of others.

I however believe that this is the popular side of the coin for selfishness. The side that goes about being selfish to the detriment of others. What is on the other side of the coin of selfishness?

How many of us are living lives that have been planned, dictated or orchestrated by others? Living a lifestyle just to please someone other than yourself.

How many students have been forced to pursue a course they were not interested in but was what their parents wanted?

How many have married the wrong person not out of love but out of society or family’s STRONG recommendation?

How many are pursuing a career path to please others and not themselves?

At the core you are not happy and continue living this lifestyle which plunges you deeper into sadness and sometimes depression.

What good are you to anyone if you are not yourself?

Often times we think about everyone except ourselves and are not honest enough to address the problems that exist in order to live better.

I am not advocating for people to be selfish without considering the consequences. I am challenging all of us to examine our hearts to find whether we have overestimated our capacity to love.

Maybe there are some things we have to come to face with. Some realities we have to address in order to be that person who can genuinely think of other people.

We all would love to be helped by people and loved ones who GENUINELY wanted to help. There are many people who are doing things for other reasons not in any way good.

It reflects in our daily life. We see it in customer service and other aspects of our lives which end making a difference between us having a good day or a bad day.

We see it in the attitudes of people and it is present in today’s world because we hear the word “stress” a lot.

Take a minute today to search yourself and honestly consider focusing on bettering yourself.

This may involve saying “no”.

It may involve resting.

It may involve prayer.

Whatever path you choose do it to become a better person. For you are no good to anyone if you are broken.

Be real with yourself and consider being selfish today.

Keep it ONE HONDRED!

Diplomatic Immunity

Diplomatic immunity in lay man’s term is an individual’s “you can’t touch me” card. It is sometimes used in conjunction with M.C Hammer’s “You Can’t Touch This” hit single to make situations the more irritating.

People with diplomatic immunity are usually foreigners. They are in a land other than theirs and are not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution because they are diplomats.

You may have seen the term floating around the news or in tv shows and sometimes wonder why it even exists. I am no lawyer to explain the reasoning behind diplomatic immunity but I know it is important, just sometimes abused.

Yesterday at church, the preacher touched on God’s assurance of protection. In my spirit what resonated in me was diplomatic immunity.

Are you aware that Christians have access to diplomatic immunity?

If you view it as we are foreigners here on earth, then as ambassadors for Christ, we have diplomatic immunity.

Psalm 91 amongst other bible verses speaks about the protection God’s children/ambassadors have access to.

To access this protection Psalm 91:14-16 states this:

““If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says GOD, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!””

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:14-16‬ ‭MSG‬‬

These are amazing words of assurance. Way better than what a Government can provide. We all have the opportunity to take hold of this assurance for we are all God’s children.

However, only those who hold on to him or take Christ as their Lord and personal savior have access to this. It’s similar to how only the family of diplomats have diplomatic immunity. You have to join the family to enjoy the benefits.

This is not to say that God doesn’t love those who are not Christian. Rather, it’s Him stretching His hand out to help all enjoy the protection he offers.

Some Christians may question whether this actually works. I humbly ask that we all look into our faith and ask whether we truly believe that God is in our lives.

Have you really let go of your burdens?

Is Jesus your Lord and personal savior?

These are simple yet heavy questions that draw the line between being a Christian and being a person of the world.

All I am asking is for us to reflect on our relationship with God and be sure that His is with us. For many claim to be Christians and yet don’t act like Christ.

And while that’s a tough act to follow and we all fall short, we do not seem to trust God and His ability to change our ways.

We live in a world where no one is safe. One could be struck with illness, cancer a tumor or die suddenly. An accident could occur and no human or insurance company can assure you of prevention.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to ensure you have God’s assurance that He has you and your family’s best interests?

Read Psalm 91 to get a full grasp of what God is offering. I prefer reading it in the Message version. Try and read it as often as you can to strengthen your faith in the Lord.

As long as you are holding onto God and believe this scripture I believe you will live a blessed life.

Keep it One Hondred!

Be Optimistic Like The Red Devils

I am a proud die hard Manchester United fan. By die hard I don’t mean I watch every game, enter arguments or get THAT emotional when things go bad for the team. After all I am not getting paid like the players but I will support the team in good times and bad times. I guess you could call it a marraige.

I decided to become a Manchester United fan in 1999. It was a couple of days before the UEFA finals that year and there was a lot of talk in school about whether Manchester United would beat Bayern Munich.

People were taking sides and at that time I didn’t have a clue of what was going on or the history that the two teams had built for themselves.

I am not really a soccer person but it felt wrong to not be bothered about this game and the ticket to participate in the discussions, arguments or pride talks was to choose a side.

Manchester, I believe by the UEFA finals had already won the Premier League and the FA Cup and were in route to obtain the UEFA cup making it a treble. I on the other hand had no clue about this and did not utilize this as a reason to choose Manchester.

I only leaned in the direction of Bayern Munich for patriotic reasons or so I thought. Samuel Kuffour, was a Ghanaian defender on the Bayern Munich squad so my thoughts initially were in favor of Bayern.

I did not make a decision till the day of the match. My younger brother was a Manchester fan and I guess on the day I decided to trust in the colour red and trust in my brothers tastes. We had sibling rivalry like any other normal family and I didn’t think soccer would have been a good reason for us to fight. So I went with Manchester.

Bayern were the first to score that day and I remember asking myself in thought whether I had made the right decision. But I stuck to my red colour.

In the closing minutes of the match I did think of announcing my divorce from Manchester. After all, this was my first match as a fan. I felt the rules would permit me to leave as a fan and move to Bayern as long as the match is not over……..but I stuck with Manchester.

In extra time miracles occurred. In quick succession, two substitutes that came in before extra time delivered the saving goals that saw Manchester win the treble and saw me become a fan for life. Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were the substitute players who saved the day to the shock of the Bayern players and fans who believed they had won.

Fast forward almost 20 years later, Manchester find themselves in similar waters in the UEFA cup. Honestly, I didn’t watch the match between Manchester and PSG but followed the highlights. I wasn’t surprised by the performance of the club. Such optimism hasn’t been felt in Manchester for a while but when the manger leading the team on is no other than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, an individual who has seen the team persevere time and time and again and has a spirit of hope, anything is possible.

I won’t bore you by breaking down how Manchester we’re victorious that night but rather shift the tone of the conversation a bit.

Part of the reason why I am a Manchester United fan is because on and off the pitch the team has a never say die attitude that has seen it become the most valuable soccer team.

This is a team that almost went bankrupt; had a fair share of financial problems; had its stadium bombed during the world war and lost an entire football squad in a plane crash amongst other disappointments. That coupled with their battles on the field which sometimes prove difficult make them a team that gels with my spirit of optimism.

If you are going to be optimistic then you have to have unshifting faith. Had I at the last moment moved as a fan to Bayern Munich, I would not be able to revel in the joy celebrated in victory minutes later.

Sometimes we have fought or struggled towards a goal always believing that things will change; only to give up at the very minute that things were about to change for good.

The question is how do you know when that change is coming? My answer is you don’t. However, the benefits of hanging on to what you believe outweigh giving up. (If you’re fighting for a good thing)

Things may be bad for you and yes, it may seem as if you are destined for failure. Nevertheless, you have to believe in yourself and keep fighting on.

This is always easier in my opinion if you have Jesus with you. He always knows how to provide the right word or send a person your way to encourage you.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of Life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

So don’t give up. It’s easy to think that the successful are successful because they’ve always had it all but that’s not the case. Everyone started from somewhere including great Manchester United.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

You too can accomplish the mission deemed impossible. As long as your intentions are pure and you are right with the Lord. It’s just cooler when you are a Manchester fan and more importantly believe in Jesus.

Keep it ONE HONDRED!

One Love

One of the reasons why poetry is so powerful is because it’s multi dimensional. People often limit it to books or performance but there is more to poetry than just words.

I have begun to explore the different dimensions of poetry with social media and art.

Yesterday being Ghana’s Independence Day, I decided to try sharing my poetry differently. So playing with graphic design applications I posted my poem “One Love” on my Instagram feed.

27 individual posts made up the poem. Majority of the posts have an individual message but play a role in the big picture which can only truly be embraced by viewing my profile page.

The poem though short touches on Ghana and her desire to unite its people under the banner of love. The piece touches on how the concept of love is interpreted to mean different things and asks questions as to whether we are truly seeking love as a nation and people.

Over the month of March and more, (depending on how long it will take) I plan on using my blog to break down the poem and discuss the elements within. I will touch on why I used certain images and why I used certain lines to further expand the details in the poem and show people how powerful poetry is.

A screenshot of one of the 27 posts of the poem “One Love” on Instagram

I urge you to search me up on Instagram @hondredpercent to view the poem and share your thoughts. This is quite the experiment I am embarking on so I am unsure as to what will result from this and what both audience and I will learn from this process. I however look forward to it.

Keep it ONE HONDRED!

Here is the poem:

One Love

Ghana raised Wanlov but we don’t have one love

Our independence made us free to allow one love

We fell in love with democracy and not one love

Corruption came along with that and that’s one love

to the one bud that got the power

To him that’s one love

Selfishness is his curse and that breeds love

But not the kind we need to make it as he does

In Ghana the real question is how do we love?

Cos we love to talk a lot and that breeds doves

of hope and conflict. The parties know it. Yes we love

a back and forth but that’s our fault cos we lack enough

as it is already to stay as we are

I am tired of this already but that’s not enough

Cos maybe its only me and that’s not one love

Maybe you are tired too and maybe that’s two love or true love but time will tell if we are really all for one love

Just Because It’s A Race Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Catch My Breath

Introduction – My Crazy Thirties

Ever since I turned 30 I feel I have moved from walking on the streets of life with my chalewote (Ghanaian term for flip flops) and moved onto life’s treadmill of which I keep falling off.

I am a husband, father, employee, boss, rapper, poet, entrepreneur and pastor trying to balance or should I say juggle the many hats I wear while keeping my head shiny and my beard looking as neat as possible.

These roles are pretty new to me and though I have been rapping and performing poetry for a while, it has become quite the challenge alongside my other duties and passions. Writing is harder and memorizing and practicing performance difficult because between work and telling a boy to stop crying, the comas do not pause long enough for rehearsals let alone a haiku.

One minute I am jogging on the treadmill and next I am running towards pain instead of getting off the bloody machine. Why? Because I am keeping up appearances. Making an attempt or doing what everyone is doing because………

That’s the new normal!

Well, I AM TIRED!

Enough Is Enough

I am not the son of krypton and neither a super hero in the Marvel universe. Even they are met with situations that cause them to reconsider how they approach their fight.

Paul and Hondred Percent are the same and that often puts me in situations where I am doing things like others and not how Paul should be doing things. We are each different and go about things differently. We tend to forget that sometimes and feel that’s a one size fits all solution to things.

Keeping Up With Social Media

To be more specific, as an artist I have struggled in maintaining a social media presence. I am glad I uninstalled Snapchat because I couldn’t get my head around it’s purpose other than taking cute silly pics with my kids.

My audience hangs out on social media, thus in making a difference, it is a platform I can’t ignore.

That being said. Keeping up with social media is a rat race and there is a tendency to do stuff because the world is doing it or because it will bring about interaction such as likes, follows and comments. There is also a sort of sacrifice you give in the form of selfies, posts, videos etc to show you are relevant.

I tried to do this some years back by trying to write a blog post everyday. It was a good challenge and brought out the writer in me but got me forcing creativity and its natural flow.

I made several plans and executed but never got that post to stick on the wall.

Sometime last year my son destroyed my phone and forced a creative hibernation on my life which was much needed.

Catching My Breath

With a smart phone out of my life I was forced to take a breather.

I had been pushing and looking hard for a way to maintain a social media presence that I never considered the alternative of rest.

“What is rest going to do? What we need is to try something new”. This was my thought process and boy was I wrong.

The treadmill put me on this path of “don’t quit, get up and try again”, and frustrated the poetry in my life. I was not happy and stress was building as my pillow each night I slept. Not only because of my social media presence but other things of which I refused to get off the treadmill about.

I did not want to stop running. The world is running so I too must run without asking why? Or pausing to understand the why?

I believe I am not alone in this running on the treadmill saga of a problem. Because we enter the gym of life with the treadmill already turned on we forget that it has an off switch, that we can slow it down or get off and that seems like weird choices because the whole gym of life has others just running on treadmills in their nice outfits with earphones going faster but to where and for what, it’s not really clear.

I don’t know why the world is running but my running is not helping me reach my cause so I am stopping to catch my breath.

Alright Stop! Collaborate & Listen

Stopping didn’t mean I had quit. It just meant I was figuring out the best way of continuing. Sometimes this could take months and years. In this space I let God reveal what my truth is and how I can exist without faking it.

In the great words of Vanilla Ice in the hit song “Ice Ice Baby”, you have to stop, get in tune with your self, environment and God and listen to what all are telling you.

We’re 90% Done – Conclusion

It’s not easy and I am still figuring out this journey of life. I am however running on my own terms and want to make a difference to those around me. I want to share my struggles and successes with the world and help them in becoming the best person they can be.

I believe this is possible only with Jesus. You may agree or disagree and that’s okay. I believe that if you are truly seeking truth you will meet Him.

Don’t be caught up in the race the world is running. It’s okay to stop and catch your breath. Don’t worry if others keep running. The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Pause and reflect on the journey ahead. Ask for help and let truth help in finding the best way to continue running.

Keep it ONE HONDRED!

Why Me? – My Birthday Prayer

Dear Lord,
I am humbled by your gift of life.
Years into my life on Earth I realize I need you more than ever.
I am unworthy of your help and mercy yet you shower me with grace and blessings which always lead to the question, “why me?”
If I ever doubted your love today you have shown that I am special.
A thank you is not enough.
All I can do in my helpless state is to depend on you and praise your Name.
You love me not because of what I have done but because I am your creation.
Thank you Father for this wonderful gift of life.
I am truly humbled.
Amen

Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message – Word N Sound Performance

I performed two poems at Word N Sound in Johannesburg on Saturday, September 1st 2018.
The first poem, “Bitch, Nigga, Shit”, I put out the week after I performed. The second one, “Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message” I released on Founders Day.
Remembering Kwame Nkrumah and this poem I believe go hand in hand. Here it is for you to watch and share

Poet Rapper GIF Video Out!

Last year I made this video as a creative option to express my art. It took a lot of time screen capturing the GIF’s in Quicktime followed by editing in iMovie. The end result is, however, a beautiful video that I can use as a backdrop whilst performing or as a stand-alone video to enjoy.
I have been investing time, creativity and other resources towards video. You should be expecting more videos from me in the near future so if you have not subscribed to my blog or YouTube channel, now is the time to do so.
Keep it One Hondred!

Bitch Nigga Shit Word N SOund Performance

What do you get when you toss a Ghanaian Poet Rapper with aladdin pants, black shirt and bow tie into a circle of books on a stage in Johannesburg, Market Theatre Labs with rows of itching ears, smoke or fog (I can’t tell the difference), lights and an amazing background?
Well you are about to find out.
I have to say this is to date my favourite performance caught on video due to the angle and effects caught on camera. The look is legendary and gives the respect that the art form of poetry deserves.
Big ups to the Word N Sound team for creating such an amazing ambience. Enjoy and share the video and remember to keep it One Hondred!

Hondred Percent at Word N Sound #PoetryLeague 2018

For those who do not know I spent five years in South Africa pursuing degrees. On that journey I acquired a love for spoken word poetry of which I was eager to pursue seriously once I got back to Ghana.
It’s been over five years since I left South Africa. Through work I was fortunate to return and extended my stay to explore performance opportunities in Johannesburg.
A friend blessed mewith the opportunity to perform on one of the biggest poetry platforms in the country, Word n Sound poetry league.

I have learnt a lot over the years regarding performance. From delivery, eye contact, improv etc every opportunity to be on stage is a lesson. The applause that comes with a good performance is humbling and interaction with members of the audience who were touched by my words always encourages me to do what I love doing.

I was happy to connect with the organizers and learn from them also. The more you perform the more you understand the statement “no man is an island”. I need all the help I can get to be successful as an artist. Networking is so important.

The poetry I experienced during the show was beautiful. We have some work to do in Ghana to get to the level of what is happening in South Africa and Kenya.

I performed two poems of my album WTF? “BNS” and “Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message” and it was magical. The crowd reaction was awesome and humbling. Even after the show I got compliments and love from both poets and members of the audience. It’s always inspiring to get such feedback. It serves as a testament to your work.
I have had a beautiful time in South Africa and will be heading to Kenya for another performance. I look forward to more blessings, experience and connections to aid in my success as an artist.
Keep it One Hondred!