A couple of years ago I met a young man in Accra central who said he was studying psychology at the University of Ghana and at the time we met he was on his way for lectures. He asked about my profession and I told him but I saw that he was wearing a sad face – not very sad but at least he certainly wasn’t happy about something in himself. I was then on my way to see a friend at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and while we walked together, we spoke about the state of affairs and living conditions in the country. You could easily tell his nationality by his accent. He was African-American. Perhaps he is here on an exchange programme or something. I listened to him patiently as he spoke about his uncompromising family, inquisitive uncle and violent neighbourhood. He ended by asking me a question and this was it:
‘If I ever met God do you know what I will ask him?
…No. I replied (trying to smile).
Seriously looking me in the face and unaffected by my smile, He went on.
‘I will asked him why he made me African’
I turned the question a few times in my head and let out laughter. The only thing I remember saying was
…why? You will get used to the system. Don’t worry.
Later we exchanged business cards and parted ways and it’s been two years since this encounter but sometimes the question slips back into my consciousness and I ponder over it. This is a young African-American coming back home with a sad face; the home of his father’s father – the sanctuary of his soul. At least he should have given his ancestors an embrace, but I can understand his frustrations. We Africans are ever ready to embrace our long-lost brothers in the Diaspora. It is good that brothers meet after 400 years of separation. However what I have to say as regards this encounter with the young man is that whether you are African, European, American or Chinese, it is not what happens outside of you that makes you unhappy but what happens inside. The universe knows no race or nationality or creed.
This therefore is my guideline to spiritual or emotional truth. You may if you wish agree or disagree but it’s working for me.
- The totality of the universe is the manifestation of God. The trees, the birds, the skies, the rivers and the rocks – they all bring us messages from God. Therefore God is synonymous with the universe – which gave us our life.
- Man’s kingdom is always characterized by hierarchy, the universe has no hierarchy and everything in it is connected.
- Religion is man’s ideas about God but God remains God.
- Where there is no truth, there is no God.
- Our duty to God is our duty to humanity. Though we can’t see the totality of the universe, she sees our thoughts and actions.
- The God of the universe works for everyone equally.
- If any ‘Prophet’ tells you to cultivate faith that moves mountains, ask him to try to move the mountains first. Faith must be consistent with reason.
- God’s purpose for your life is to realize universal truths and be free from forces of control. This is what brings peace of mind.
- The distance between material success and internal happiness (peace of mind) is about a thousand miles.
- Man looks at your outward appearance but God looks at your heart.
- All the work to be done in honour of God is not in the church but on the streets.
- Happiness will embrace you only if you can get rid of all forms of negative tendencies. Greed especially can blind you.
- A good tree survives irrespective of where it was planted.