Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart

My first encounter with the novel Things Fall Apart written by Chinua Achebe was in 2005. I can undoubtedly say it is one of my favourite novels, both in how its written and how well it tells the tale of the “falling apart” of indigenous cultures through colonisation.

As I write this, we are in the middle of a global pandemic. I believe 2020 is a year that will be imprinted in our hearts for a very long time. Similar to the story of European’s arriving in Africa many centuries ago, unannounced, changing the course of African history and the falling apart of our indigenous ecosystems. I view COVID-19 also as “coloniser”, arriving in our generation, unannounced and contributing to the “falling apart” of what we know as normal and challenging everything we hold dear.

So, what does purpose have to do with all this? In my humble opinion, everything!

As a “purpose evangelist”, I would like to add that to survive and thrive despite the “coloniser” we have to build our lives on a meaningful foundation. How do we do that? Well the answer will differ for individuals, but I swear by these three things:

  1. The sun always rises (i.e. things eventually get better);
  2. Knowledge never goes out of fashion (i.e. read, live curious, draw from great thinkers);
  3. Enjoy every part of your life (my favourite :-)).

This month’s purpose thought is- Things fall apart, but your purpose doesn’t. One of life’s pleasure’s is to discover, accept and appreciate your contribution in an ever-changing world. In TD Jakes words, “Purpose will always outwrestle pain”.


Pen The Vision | Bongeka Mhlongo | 2020May

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No one is coming to save us!

No one is coming to save us!

The title of Stephanie Powell Watts book “No one is coming to save us” captured my attention. I believe it grabbed my attention because it made me understand that as a humanity, we thrive on the concept of having a ‘saviour’. Whether that saviour comes through a spiritual redemption or a political revolution or economic and technological advancement, in our humanity we often acknowledge our limitations and the idea of having a saviour, gives us hope. A sense of hope is one of the greatest miracles of life.

One of the lessons I continue to learn is that, people who allow their purpose to emerge and live meaningful lives, apply a common principle, i.e. they know that nobody owes them a purpose! As a “purpose evangelist”, I believe that most of the things we need to help us live meaningful lives are already locked up inside of us. Of course, we need some ingenuity, labour and divine guidance to bring them forth and we do that by choosing each day to ask of life, “what is my purpose?”. Receiving the answer is only the first step towards fulfilling your purpose. The answer to that question will have many iterations throughout our lives, because we are always evolving to different versions of ourselves, and that’s the magic of our humanity.

This month’s purpose thought is- no one is coming to save us! and to be more specific, no one is coming to save you because salvation has already come. Inside of you there is purpose and the lifelong calling of our humanity is to pay attention to our lives and be deliberate about becoming that which we already are.

Pen The Vision | Bongeka Mhlongo | 2020 April