Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ma weni nsɔ nea wo wɔ - Be content with what you have

This morning on my way to work, I was feeling quite happy listening to some India Arie when I had a moment. One of those moments when you feel the universe is trying to send you a message because too many things come together to give you a jolt. I was listening to "There's hope", and reflecting on the following lyrics...

Back when I had a little
I thought that I needed a lot
A little was over rated,
but a lot was a little too complicated
You see-Zero didn't satisfy me
A million didn't make me happy
That's when I learned a lesson
That it's all about your perception
Hey-are you a pauper or a superstar
So you act, so you feel, so you are
It ain't about the size of your car
It's about the size of the faith in your heart

Off in the back country of Brazil
A met a young brother that made me feel
That I could accomplish anything.
You see just like me he wanted to sing
He had no windows and no doors
He lived a simple life and was extremely poor
On top of all of that he had no eye sight,
but that didn't keep him from seein' the light
He said, what's it like in the USA,
and all I did was complain
He said-livin' here is paradise
He taught me paradise is in your mind

As I am bopping my head to this song, one of the street sellers approaches my car. He's selling gum, mints, and other candy and i'm thinking...gosh, how much does he make in a day, and how can i be discontent with my lot when I pass by people like this everyday? Just then, I see the inscription on his square wooden container in which the candies sit. It reads "little market" on one edge and "ma weni nsɔ nea wo wɔ" (tr: be content with what you have) on another edge. The encounter has inspired me to count my blessings.

Today, I'm thankful

1. For my fiance, and my family and the opportunity to love them.
2. That I have a job I like.
3. For my funky hair, and all that it represents.
4. For good health and laughter, and madness.
5. For books, and laptops, and my ipod and eyesight and even kindle even though I don't have one yet.
6. For sunshine, and beauty in unlikely places.
7. For friends who buy me books, take me to french restaurants and to see independent movies.
8. For friends who gossip with me, and make me laugh, and remind me how flawed we all are.
9. For friends who inspire me to be more than I am, and those who show through their actions that it's possible to change the world.
10. For friends who teach me that it's not enough to be smart or rich or even famous and that you have to be good person too and that maybe in the end, that's what matters because people will forget your brilliant speech, and your wit, but they'll never forget how you made them feel.
11. For music, inspirational people and peace.
12. For the opportunity to meet so many good, good men before I got cynical.
13. For the courage to pursue dreams and the support of friends when I doubt myself.

Most of all I'm thankful for life and the freedom to live it. What about you? What are you most thankful for today?


  1. Im thankful that there are people like you who ask the question. Sometimes its too easy to keep complaining about what we havent got.

    I am thankful to Praye and for Mzbel for showing me that a white man can dance :)

    Peace man


  2. huh...been rocking India Arie today too!...lol...was mostly listening to "I am not my Hair", "Heart of the Matter", "Purify Me", "I see God In you"...but I have too much to be thankful for.
    ~I am Thankful that I understand the true meaning of Easter and it is like a rush anytime Easter is here!
    ~I am thankful for family, for laughter, for friends, for nature
    ~For music(I lost my voice one time and I had a really miserable day not being able to sing in my car!
    ~I am so thankful for so much... especially for kind hearted people who are patient enough to teach me things without complaining!
    ~I am thankful for the gift of life itself.Each day is like an opportunity to start afresh!
    You know I could go on!

  3. I think you need to have a tag for this on Facebook, Esi!;-)

    Seriously, am glad that God used YOU as a tool to remind me also to be thankful for today!

    I think I might just reciprocate this post on my trials and tribs blog.

    Good to see you're back; I seriously missed your energy! (I'm just a tad jealous of your fiance: I think you'd make fantastic marriage material;-)) )

  4. I'm thankful for GOD being there, anytime I call on HIM. I realised I had more than enough and I don't have any right to complain about anything because someone would gladly jump at what I complain about. We all need GOD, he gives us a reason to be thankful.

  5. yeah, another thing, Esi: you might want to add http://www.ghanablogging.com in your "blogs to watch" so that those of us you have left behind in the list (hint, hint!!!) will be covered by that group, which you actually are a part of...

  6. I am grategul for moments like these when someone like you reminds me (not something that I am proud of, because I should be able to remind myself) of all the things I take for granted.

    Hope I'm not coming of as snubbish.

  7. Well, on this day in particular (Good Friday), I woke up thinking "Jesus died for me on this day." Philosophically, at least. TOTALLY thankful for that.

    I'm thankful for my family. Thankful for the love I receive and the love I give. Thankful that I'm not in a bad relationship (I'm in no relationship at all LOL).

    Thankful to have food in my stomach, although right now I have wayyy too much in there. lol DEFINITELY thankful that I'm about to graduate!!

    And last (but not least), I'm thankful that I have some semblance of sanity and health.

    Ps. I didn't know you got engaged! Congrats!!

  8. I am thankful to Jehovah for my Life, my family and my friends whom I absolutely love and cherish and who have help me to love my self because I am loved! God bless you Maame Esi! Cheers. [Peace Esi Setordzie]

  9. Hey Esi!!

    Thanks for taking us back to the basics...Thank God for my life, faith, family, friends and even enemies (who make me want to do even better!)!!!.

    It's funny how I was reading this article last night about this genius/scientist, Stephen Hawking, who has had ALS (a fatal motor neuron disease, which killed my aunt a few years ago...)and is paralyzed for almost 40 years or so but has accomplished so much in his life and is thankful. The article taught me to just concentrate all my hard work and energy on TODAY and leave the rest to God!!

  10. I'm still pondering this truth you've so elegantly put in words.

    Unless you'd rather be dead, your life alone is enough to be thankful for, the beauty of nature that's for free... it's just sometimes one needs to be reminded. Thanks

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