Overcoming Racial Tensions in Kenya

(published in TheNigerian Observer, January 1, 2015)

IN 1958 racial tensions were running high in Kenya, a black African nation ruled by whites.

The powder-keg atmosphere was made even more explosive because Africans were split into 40 separate tribes; some, long-standing enemies. A state of emergency was in force, the legacy of the Mau Mau rebellion which began in the early 1950s and took more than 10,000 lives, most of them black Africans; thousands more went to detention camps. In Nairobi most native Africans were servants; few were seen.

In the classrooms of upper secondary schools there were no native Africans. But what the British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, would describe as "the winds of change" were already blowing fiercely in Africa. "We came to Kenya with our project, the first multi-racial school in East Africa, something for all the races and for all religions," recalled Father Joseph Gabiola, Opus Dei's first priest in the country. "We feared the authorities would say: 'What do you mean? This cannot be. Are you mad?'"

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15 Ways to Detect Nonsense

How do you avoid bad thinking? How do you detect nonsense? By nonsense we mean fallacious reasoning. Robert J. Gula's book Nonsense is a great place to start to begin to think critically and to spot fallacies in reasoning. (Review here.) It's a book that is thorough with an informal style with plenty of entertaining examples. If it's a fallacy, it's probably in this book. In the final note of the book, Gula distils the book into 15 principles. Here is that content: 15 Ways to Detect Nonsense:

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12 Common Causes and Proven Cures for Unhappiness

For the average person happiness is a choice, yet numerous people are unhappy. There are many reasons, but it all boils down to one simple principle: They choose something else over happiness. Because it often takes less effort to be unhappy.

For example, instead of seeking happiness, they…

  • Lazily follow the path of least resistance.
  • Refuse to accept change.
  • Aimlessly try to control the uncontrollable.
  • Etc. etc. etc.

Averting these poor choices and the negative attitudes that accompany them is the key. The list below will give you some ideas on how to do just that.

Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
- Abraham Lincoln

Read more: 12 Common Causes and Proven Cures for Unhappiness

Do I need to break up with Facebook?

I can’t believe she hasn’t responded to my wall-post yet. It’s been like three hours, and I know she’s been on Facebook. She must be ignoring me!

Trivial? How about familiar? As silly as it seems written down, this is one of the many emotions we face when we login to that seemingly harmless site that has started to creep in to every facet of our lives.

We feel alone.

You have 300 friends, ten of them liked your status last week, and those cute new photos posted of you made everyone look. But are you happy?

Read more: Do I need to break up with Facebook?

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