Thursday, 30 April 2015


 So it happened again, I was a member of a commercial bus again ( I think it is about time I bought myself a car) and for some strange but familiar reason, the conductor had overlooked me and was busily counting the moments take. Whenever he turned to look towards where I was seated, I knew he wanted to ask me for my fare because I felt probably he had realized that his take was lacking. Each time he did, he smiled at me and I was so tense that all I could do was respond with a thumbs up because I knew if I smiled back at him, it was going to look so awkward that he would instantly know that I had not paid my fare. While he innocently smiled, my mind had turned into a battlefield. Many forces were battling for supremacy as if it was some sort of competition. I did not know whether to listen to the voice of morality, goodwill and doing what is right because that part of my mind was of the view that "God is watching you. This might be a test. Do you have a good conscience?". Immediately, I began to go over the few memory verses in my head to help me justify the claim and I got a thousand and one of them. The other party was of a view which I tried so hard not to listen to but it made sense to me and "they" were of the view that "God knows you are in economic crisis and wants to give you some respite, have you not realized that these things only happen when you do not have enough to spend?. It is a divine gift from God to you". When I heard this other submission, I thought to myself "This can be a blessing in disguise because God cannot physically come down to pay the fare, he works through people and I cannot forget that he also works in mysterious ways". The battle went on and on but one party had to win the debate. As much as I tried to deal with the fact that  all the cases presented held enough basis for implementation, only one seemed right. It is the will to choose the "right" one was where the problem was. This is what I call the battlefield of the mind.
There have been countless times involving certain circumstances and situations where we as humans had to endure such a battle in our minds. I know I am not the only one who has experienced this "tug of war". Some of these circumstances and situations are easy to deal with. Others take time and goodwill to overcome. Sometimes we find excuses for the choices we make. We sometimes relegate morality and conscience and act on logic, pleasure, eye service, that thing inside that does not want to make others feel bad and emotions. These little forces of "good and evil", "right and wrong" if you will or "light and darkness" for others is all a state of mind. It normally tells a person's character after the choice is made. I have a friend, Alfred, I like women but Alfred loves every woman. It so happened that he visited me at home one time around that time of the month (when I am at my lowest). I managed to rally some spare change from my sister's purse so we could at least get some rice at a local eatery. We took a stroll to the eatery upon our arrival, I knew instantly that I had made a mistake by giving him the money to buy the food because we met two of his female friends there who were already eating. This guy run over to these ladies, run to the counter and bought two bottles of soft drinks for the ladies. I could not find enough strength to weep because I knew that morning I was going to go hungry. With the change he had left, he ordered just rice and stew and we took it back home. I believe that the battle in his mind was an enormous one. I do not really blame him. I dealt with him severely on our way back. Honestly, I was scolding him but I would have done same if I were to be in his shoes. Sometimes the battle takes over our sense of reasoning so much so that we only realize the repercussion of our actions  after the deed has long been done. We all go through many situations that lead us in many directions but the repercussion  our actions produce normally goes a long way in letting people in on our state of mind, conscience and character. The battle is real. More often than not, we console ourselves with the popular saying that "the spirit is willing but the body is weak" whenever we make a bad choice. There is probably no excuse for wrongdoing therefore anything that mares your sense of reasoning and conscience should be considered a no-no but we are only humans. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a "world war III" R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT). More at

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Life must be filled up, and the man who is not capable of intellectual pleasures must content himself with such as his senses can afford.
- Samuel Johnson

"I was with her but I really wanted to leave. She was getting in the mood but I wanted to do everything possible to avoid another encounter. I had to play my cards well because if I made any wrong move, I would blow my cover and the chance of being free from her clutches. It was like she knew how to be overly annoying only on my special days. I began to wonder if she had some supernatural powers to know the times I did not want to be bothered. I wished that I could just vanish into thin air then again, I wished the "vanishing act" upon her but upon second thought, I was not going to have anyone keeping me company if she vanished. I was missing in on the action,emotions and passion. I just wanted to leave because the football match had started fifteen minutes ago"- what goes through the mind of a guy whose girlfriend visits on the wrong day and time. Ladies, you cannot fault us because football or soccer is another thing that gives us uncontrollable passion. If a guy who is an ardent football fan can stay home with you and watch you play zuma on a big match day, please marry him because he is the right one. The passion guys derive from football has no historical roots, it is an ingrained tendency. Even baby boys know what to do with any round football-looking object. Some guys are so passionate about what we have come to know as the "Beautiful game". I knew a guy who would be seated in front of the TV set close to 3 hours before his favourite team played. We used to tease him by saying that he loved his team more than he did God. Way back in university, the stench from armpits, mouths, worn out jerseys and even the heat which was capable of boiling potatoes could not stop us from enjoying the game. The vulgarity, bragging rights, shambolic statistics, lies and unnecessary debates involved even made the beautiful game even more "beautifuller" and intense. We see the footballers like gladiators because at one point in time, they are together fighting in solidarity for one nation and at another point, even brothers had to face off against each other for honour and there is no telling the harm they can do to each other just to come out as the "champion" over the other after ninety minutes and possibly another thirty more minutes depending on the gravity. In the end, they put their differences aside and go back to being brothers. There has even been a time that blood brothers had to play for different countries. I can beat my chest and say that no telenovela in the world can give you so much passion, suspense and thrill all at once. Your heart starts pounding at unusual rates right from the get go through to the final whistle and I can assure you that the adrenaline involved is amazing. The suspense is even heightened when you have placed a bet on your team and they are just one-nil up and have also been shown a red card. You might even forget your school ID number. In such situations and the only thing you can do is to pray but even if you lost, you would be glad that at least you enjoyed a thrilling game. Many guys have a funny belief that watching a football game was far better than having a girlfriend. I always laughed when I heard this but I gave it deep thought some time back and I tend to partially agree with them. Picture this, twenty-two men chasing one round object, they fight each other tooth and nail but in the end, they hug each other and even exchange jerseys and sometimes you get a transfer to the other team. Now let me ask this, can even three boys chase one girl? The result would be disastrous. I rest my case. Secondly they argued that football could bring even quarrelling brothers together and I am a living testimony to such a feat. I have these twin friends who are more like brothers to me; Rudolph and Raphael. The former had cheated the latter in some money deal so there was sort of heavy tension among them. This was when Ghana was playing the USA in South Africa 2010. When Asamoah Gyan scored that injury time screamer, they shocked the entire room when they danced together in formation, hugging each other in the process and had quickly forgotten the bad blood that existed. I do not know of any show yet that can bring two girls who are at loggerheads together. Sometimes we daydream of living the fabulous lifestyle of these footballers where we work for at most three hours in a week and earn millions of dollars unlike doing our current jobs the whole week and earning a decent wage. Ladies, know this now, when your man wants to watch football with his buddies, please serve them popcorn or something and please do not get in the way. We love you but football loves us more. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a "diehard" R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT) More at

Monday, 27 April 2015


 Fridays in Ghana are famous for a number of things including adorning African wear (always first on the list),  preparing for the weekend, making romantic get-away reservations, exeats, general cleaning, trips to the village, Friday night partying and what is more important, preparing to perform the  transitional rites for the dead and in effect, preparing the dead for burial. Funeral rites or the final rites of passage are observed differently based on factors like religious affiliation and ethnicity. Sufi Rumi has a very popular quote which can relate to death and final funeral rites that "the light is the same but the lamps differ". In the same vein, death is one irrespective of the "exit procedure" but the funeral rites vary. Sometimes I am in a constant battle with myself whether to consider death as the end to life in totality or the beginning of life in a world unknown to the living. This battle is a whole different controversy all together. It would be highly dependent on one's creed and since I would not want to be the catalyst for a religious conflict, I would leave that debate for another day.
I happened to be a passenger in a commercial bus when we passed by a morgue. There were a lot of people clad in red and black in front of the mortuary. I believe they were waiting on the "landlord" of the mortuary to release their dead body for the rites to commence. If you have ever come across the quote of Isaac Asimov that "Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome", what I am about to share will not be a surprise. It is quite amazing the spectacle that is performed when the living visit the mortuary. Sometimes I believe their actions even scare death "herself". In my case, there were people scattered in front of the morgue with men on motorbikes engaging in stunts only fit for daredevils. Anyway, it is their funeral if you asked me. I once saw a Yiddish Proverb which read "It's astonishing how important a man becomes when he dies". If you have ever attended a funeral in Ghana, you would know what I mean. The pageantry involved is awe-inspiring. Anyway, thinking of death, which is a rather unusual subject, I was looking at it from a different perspective. A perspective far from the loss of life and weeping or wailing. I was looking at it from the point of view of our attributes and qualities that we have "killed" or have died in our lives for reasons best known to us alone. With the passage of time, things like morality, productive habits and what have you, have all died or in the process of being taken to the gallows. Some things that we used to do that gained great recommendation from others have all died due to one reason or the other. Some of these attributes that we so cherished died as a result of hasty generalization, that is, the fact that since one person treated you in an unfair way, you end up concluding that anyone who possesses the same qualities as your "villain" would probably treat you the same way ( you get that a lot from women). Time has passed and made our conscience dead to certain things that would have been given a severe drubbing in time past. Death sounds really spooky when spoken about openly so please forgive me. Sometimes we worry too much over things that have died and need not be resurrected. It is high time we accepted the death of certain things  and situations in our lives and move on to make better the things we still have living with us. Fact is, it is sometimes no use crying or worrying about what you once had and lost. Sometimes it is good to accept the fact that your yesterday is dead and gone and you along with it. Whatever you did, had, lost, did not do,reacted to too quickly is dead and gone. Give yourself a break and stop killing yourself over it. Just like the death of a human, we all wail over the loss but with time, we learn to leave without that person regardless of the relation we had. Same thing applies to the things that die in our lives and just like Marcus Aurelius put it "Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh". Sometimes when something dies in your life, it is meant to die and stay dead because sometimes it is only after its death would you find "life". Bury it and move along. Let us therefore stop reliving certain dead moments, feelings and opportunities and make the best of the chances that are "living". That being said, if you used to engage in an activity that benefited you and others greatly, try and "resurrect" such deeds because you may not know who you are motivating. Going forward, always bear in mind that "Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names".  My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a "dead" R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT) More at

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


We all keep our toothbrushes in one container in our bathroom at home. My little sister uses the same brush brand as mine but with a different colour (obviously). She had to change her brush because she had used it past three months. Accidentally, she bought the same brand and the same colour as mine. I really scolded her for that blunder because I expected her to know better. On Monday morning, I was lying in bed when she came into the room to pick something. She said something to me but I was so sleepy that I think all I did was nod my head in response to whatever she said. When I was finally well-rested, I woke up and entered the bathroom to take my bath. I stretched out my hand and reached for my brush. I brushed my teeth properly (properly is underlined) and took my shower. I went about the house doing what was expected of me. Later that day when my sister returned from school, I asked her what she came into the room early on to tell me. She said she was informing me that she kept my brush on the cabinet in the bathroom and that the one in the container was hers. Only God knows what was going through my mind but the truth is that my countenance fell the second she ended her statement. It meant that both of us used the same toothbrush that morning. Even though the taste in my mouth had changed, the deed had already been done. As I laid in bed that night, I began to think about what happened and I realized that the mind is an amazing part of the body. I came to the conclusion that the power of the mind is one thing we seem to be underestimating. Everything we do, are or wish to be lies in the power of the mind and our perceptions of these things. My mind had been trained to accept that the toothbrush which I had come to the bathroom everyday to use was mine and using it felt comfortable because I knew it belonged to me. This perception was a part of me and formed part of my everyday routine. Same thing applies to all aspects of life. When we resolve to accept things and situations, they either have a positive or negative effect in our lives. Most of our problems are surmountable, we are only using the power of our minds to declare these things as impossible. How we perceive situations gives our minds feedback and our minds responds per the perception. This means that if for instance you perceive mathematics to be difficult, your mind responds to that perception and the feedback normally would be " I can never understand mathematics" because your mind goes on lockdown when you see or hear about mathematics (except when it has to do with calculating money). The inverse of this is very true. When you perceive something to be achievable, your mind picks up the feedback and feeds you with enough positive energy to see the deed through. If I had not enquired about what happened in the morning, my mind would accept that nothing wrong happened and everything will be normal. In the same vein, if I decided not to write about using my sister's  toothbrush, none of you reading this piece would have known. I could have told it differently and your minds would have no choice but to buy it. That is the power of the mind. It reacts to what we feed it with. ( I believe some of us are disgusted by the mere fact that you can use another person's toothbrush, that is the power of the mind. Some of us are pretending to be disgusted, also the power of the mind. Even some of us see nothing wrong with using another person's brush.). All these scenarios can be attributed to our perception and the power of our minds. Our problems, inadequacies,shortcomings and "disabilities" (not physical) are defined by our perceptions and how we have resolved to think about them. Let us try as much as possible to feed our minds with positive perceptions which would in turn reciprocate positive mental actions that would yield positive and beautiful success. The mind is a powerful tool therefore it gets me thinking whether you are better of or worse of if you knew certain things, this is a different debate altogether. This is because when you come to know something, your approach towards it changes.  In the interim, let us put our minds to achieving great feats because as is often said, "You are what you think!". I almost forgot to tell you that my sister did not also use the toothbrush in the container. She rather used her old one that morning. Therefore, I used a new brush all along. So you see, it is all about perception. I got you. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a "mind game" RAT (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT). More at

Monday, 20 April 2015


Within the week that just passed, I was at work when a friend who was holding a book  walked up to me to discuss some work-related development. Before she left, I asked to see the book she was holding. Honestly I have forgotten the title of the book but I know it was a book on marriage because there was a quote behind the book which was so catchy that it got me thinking of something. The quote read "Before you plan your wedding, plan your marriage". When I saw it I was like "wow, I have never thought of this". I wondered if marriages that failed in the past would have worked out if the couples involved were privy to certain things before they tied the knot. Our generation is very lucky to have books and information on all subjects scattered everywhere. Our only problem is that we are sometimes not curious enough to find this information. Thinking of marriage, I began to realize that people, especially women had many bizarre reasons for entering into marriage. Just this past Saturday I was at a friend's wedding. As I sat waiting for the bride to be walked down the aisle by a proud father, the quote from the book I saw earlier run through my head and I started to ponder over it. First of all I focused my attention on the other young unmarried women who were at the wedding. I wondered what a lady's priority will be in a marriage considering her lifestyle as a single woman. I was wondering what was going through their minds when they dress beautifully to weddings especially the unattached ladies. Do ladies have an ideal age for marriage? I have always wondered if they felt insecure or that if they felt their time was running out whenever they attended a friend's ( someone who is the same age as them) wedding. What is more worrying was the fact that I wondered what went through the mind of a sister who saw her younger sibling get married before her. I was therefore scanning the faces of some of the young ladies in the room when it was time to kiss the bride and all, I could sense some of them showing mixed feelings. I may not be far from wrong but I think some of the expressions on their faces read " I am prettier than her so why am I still unmarried?" If you have ever attended the wedding of your girlfriend's friend with her, expect to hear things like "when are you coming to see my parents?", " I am not getting any younger, when are we taking our friendship to the next level?"on your way back home. Ladies, most guys are afraid of commitment and you would probably scare them if you constantly ask these questions. When you talk of weddings, the first thing you normally think of is the bride and in effect, the woman. Most people are of the view that one of the happiest days of any woman's life is her wedding day. I know most women have some of the world's wildest fantasies when it comes to getting married and planning their weddings. Some of their colour combinations when I hear them, they sound like chemical equations to me. An example is turquoise green. What colour is that? Green is green. That is just on the lighter side. Most women are more involved in day dreaming about their spectacular weddings and focus little on the marriage itself. I am not saying men are not at fault. My attention is on the women. Women are really amazing species and I believe that the world would have been a bitter place without them. My friends were having a discussion on what mattered most to them in marriage. Some were of the view that cooking mattered most, others were of the view that shelter was more important. When a woman gets married, she relegates a lot of things to the background. She takes on a number of jobs and adds them to her already tight schedule and it takes a lot of planning to pull this stunt off. People who normally think that marriage is a full time job either want to change jobs or put in their resignation letters (divorce) when marital situations overwhelm them. I think if we think of marriage as a commitment to a lifestyle, we will be aware that, just like a lifestyle, there will be times when things are good or bad but we still will not "abandon ship" due to those hardships. Let us therefore plan our marriages first before we plan our weddings because the wedding can take care of itself but the marriage cannot. Let us all consider this that marriage, like life, is a journey - not a destination - and that its treasures are found not just at the end but all along the way. Before we enter into marriage especially women, we must ponder over this that "Marriage is that relation between man and woman in which the independence is equal, the dependence mutual, and the obligation reciprocal.  (Louis K. Anspacher)
Let us therefore strive to make our first marriages our only marriages by planning properly. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a "married" R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT). More at

Friday, 17 April 2015


Outward judgment often fails, inward judgment, never- Theodore Parker

We all make certain mistakes in life. Some of these mistakes have short term effects. Others can cause a lasting scar. Some mistakes are deemed short term pleasures but if care is not taken, these short term pleasures can result in long term bondage and regret. There are times that we "jump the gun" and run into conclusions that if we had allowed a little bit more time, we would not have drawn such conclusions. Sometimes some of our decisions are judgemental and funny to say the least and one can only wonder after the deed is done as to why we passed such judgment. This brings to mind the act of passing judgement. Have you ever been judged wrongly per your attitude, state of mind, ability or even disability, idea or creed? Have you ever judged anyone wrongly? ( that is more like it). The funny thing about passing judgment is that when you realize that you "misfired" per your earlier decision, it becomes extremely difficult to come to terms with yourself to accept the truth or new developments once they are revealed or you reach the stage of enlightenment. Growing up as children, there were many misconceptions that flooded our days. We were made to believe and as it were "unbelieve" certain things that happened around us by virtue of our geographical location, cultural practices and belief systems, skin colour, religious affiliations, social and even our parents' political affiliations. We therefore sadly formed varying opinions about issues in life, friends, family members, some groups in society and even we got more superstitious while at it. Some of our opinions when heard are really quite amazing and till you listened to people's opinions on certain subjects, you would never believe people held such thoughts and have passed certain judgements about life and some of life's situations. I have a friend who hates Roman Catholics and the Catholic church with so much passion. Her reason is that she was told that they killed Jesus Christ. This judgement is as a result of the opinions she formed since her childhood and no matter the countless Easter movies she has seen, she still holds dear to this "assertion". I have tried time without number to "brainwash" her but it seems to be yielding less results. Honestly, when I heard of Nima (a suburb of Accra), I passed the judgment that per the news we always heard about them, it was a chaotic suburb filled with no more than just hooligans who could even do harm in broad daylight. Little did I know that my best friend was going to live and grow up in Nima. The first time I had to visit him, I went with my laptop and anyone I told that I was going to Nima was sceptical about the whole thing. I held my laptop so firmly to my chest (even though it was in a backpack). As I walked down the street to his house, all that greeted me were lovely faces, aroma from the Waakye sellers' stew and of course the Burkina ( a beverage made with millet and milk) vendors. I was so ashamed that I had passed such judgment on such a place based on hearsay. The words of Napoleon Hill even made me realize my bias that "No accurate thinker will judge another person by that which the other person's enemies say about him".
 There is no telling how many times I have frequented Gabriel's house and there has not been a single occasion for an altercation as I was made to believe. We are all to some extent guilty of passing judgment quickly and some of us have been victims of this unfortunate plight (having judgement passed on us). It has cost us securing jobs, friends, opportunities and what have you. Passing judgments has had dire effects in history. Many wars have been fought due to passing judgment and we are all well aware of the repercussions of those wars. The way forward is that we live and let live. We must not be too quick to judge or be the first to "christen" what is right and what is not till we have had first hand experience. We must learn to be tolerant. We should learn to see beyond the walls of people's "disabilities" and allow them to at least have their "day in court" before we bang our gavel of judgment.
Let us all endeavour to have a bit of Edmund Husserl's "epoche" by bracketing our own opinions and viewing issues and even people without any form of preconceived bias. Therefore, I would conclude by borrowing the words of Seneca (Seneca the Elder) that "Before you judge, investigate" Let us all ponder over this the next time we are making any form of judgment  that if even God does not plan to judge a man till the end of his days, why should you and I? My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a "no bias" R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT). More at

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


A friend of mine was discussing an issue with me. He wanted to know if I could do a piece on Africa. He suggested that we look into the assertion whether Africa was a cursed continent or not. From the moment he mentioned it to me, I started to think of the African situation and their implications. Our issues are many if you asked me. I began to wonder if we were been sabotaged or we were our own saboteurs. I realized that we were neck-deep in certain issues so our actions or inactions would as it were, contribute very little to cause a change. On our own front, I realized that we do ourselves more harm than "external" harm done us. I have always looked at the setting up of witch camps with disgust. Who determines who a witch is? Are we not aware that the main purpose of establishing institutions is to fill them up with people? Come to think of it, which institution does not get filled? Have we considered the fact that the mere fact of having these institutions encourages people to find "occupants" for them?We must abolish this institution and start thinking of productive ways of taking care of our elderly people. How many homes of the aged can we boast of? We limit ourselves so much that it has become routine. We encourage the youth to start up businesses or make a life for themselves yet when we get into the world of work, our "bosses" want to sleep with us before we can get employed. If you are a male, either you know someone who in turn knows you ( I hear whom you know alone does not cut it anymore) before you get employed. Even when you got chosen for the job, it was either you were being over exploited and being underpaid or you were threatened and made to live in fear for the security of your job. Whatever happened to qualification, intelligence, talent and being "the best man for the job"? When you go through our daily newspapers, the vacancy section asks for so many years of working experience as a requirement for employment. Who do we expect to employ those of us at the entry level so we can also garner that level of experience? It all starts from somewhere. We tie ourselves down so much as leaders by cutting deals that jeopardize the citizenry and the chance of making themselves better.  My heart goes out to our soon-to-be graduates. It is a dogfight out here but be strong and do not let your zeal to serve God and country wane. We limit our talents, strengths and abilities with requirements in the public sector. Why is height a requirement to entering the military? Our problem here is that we focus only on the battlefield and forget about the other strategic sectors. We easily forget that sometimes 'the pen is mightier than the sword". We have all that we need yet we live in want. Parents have burdened their children with the role of responsibility. Whenever I go around the Accra mall area, I see these "tuareg" (North African-looking people) parents encouraging their children to beg for alms while they (the parents) sit down and drink some coffee-like beverage. Have we lost direction? Tribalism, favouritism, nepotism and corruption have come to replace qualification and doing the right thing. We laugh over everything and we easily forget. Sometimes I wonder if our leaders ever ponder over these things. I wonder if they feel the urgency to make their countries better or if they are being used as stooges by other people. I am not writing to determine right or wrong, I just plead for us to be given the chance to show what we can do. I saw a bank advertisement on a billboard which read,  "They call it Africa but we call it home.  Let us do deep soul-searching and see if we truly treat Africa like home. If we realize that we are not living up to the hype, let us roll up our sleeves and get to work. To some of us, this might be the only place we may know.
Let me leave it for you to decide. Do you think Africa is a cursed continent? My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT)"question".  More at

Monday, 13 April 2015


I was going through a particular situation some time back. I could not come to terms with myself to find out why I had to go through such an ordeal. The situation had been on my mind for months. It so happened that I had to go to work. I boarded a bus at the lorry station and sat comfortably at the back of the bus by the left window (my favourite spot). When we got to a bus stop halfway through my journey, a young man boarded my bus. I was lost in thought but by some divine inspiration, I was forced to read the inscription on his T-shirt. It read "3 C's in life: Choices, Chances, Changes.
You must make a choice to make a chance or your life will never change". It was like a solution had been handed to me from a "random" guy. I learnt one thing, sometimes solutions come from places that we least expect. My main focus was on the inscription. I began to ponder over it and turned it over and over in my mind's eye. I drew the conclusion that any situation that you want to get rid of must go through the gates of these 3 C's. These three words are strongly related but let us look at them first in isolation.
Whenever you are faced with a challenge or situation, you have to make a choice. You must choose between "wowing" the situation or allowing the situation to "wow" you. You must make a choice to resolve to come out of that situation or remain miserable by doing nothing about it. It is a vital part of the problem-solving equation. Choices are personal decisions that no one can make for you. The best anyone can do is make recommendations but the final decision lies with you. Choices determine whether you want to be ordinary or extraordinary. The choice you make when faced with a situation goes a long way in determining how the rest of your life would pan out. Sometimes it requires drastic measures. Sometimes you would need to make radical choices. One thing I noticed about choices is that you sometimes have to lose something dear in order to win something amazing. You will never know what you are missing until you resolve to make a choice to let go of something that makes you an average person to hope for something that makes you a better person. Your choice is your "make or break" moment so let it count.
Chances are, if you make a choice to get rid of a situation, life provides you with myriad ways or opportunities to become better. Therefore, the choices you make determines the chances you get. In effect, good choices merit good chances. Chances are simultaneous with opportunities. It is only when a choice is made is when a chance is realized. There are no two ways about it. You will never know the chances you may be missing until you resolve to "make a choice to make a chance". Going forward, let our choices replicate amazing chances that would take us out of any form of misery we may be facing.
Do you know of anyone who changed his or her life for the better without doing anything?  Do you know anyone who become a better person by repeating the same mistake? The answers to both questions is NO!. If your life would ever change for the better, you must first choose to allow it and compliment it by welcoming opportunities that breed positive change. Change is a process, it is sometimes slow but the results are highly beneficial. Change is strongly linked with our way of thinking because "A negative mind would never give you a positive life". The next time you think of change, look at it from the dimensions of greatness. Change is the final piece of the puzzle and it is what we all endeavour to achieve. When next we are faced with any situation, let us consider these 3 C's and try to apply them. If you find yourself stuck in a dilemma always bear in mind that difficult choices provide amazing chances which in turn bring about phenomenal experiences of change. Let us endeavour to make these 3 C's as practical as possible because they can be applied to all aspects of life
You will never know if you never tried to make a choice to make a chance that would give you the change you desperately need. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a "Tripartite R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT) More at    OR

Friday, 10 April 2015


Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream; a dream he died with. Though we were made aware of that dream, it could not materialize in his time. His dream, when heard then, was considered the "joke of the century". His dream when heard now, is considered an achievement; an achievement not handed down on a silver platter but had to be fought for to be achieved. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had a vision. A vision which is still in progress. A vision he probably had to die for. A vision which he alone believed in and even dared to believe that his countrymen would also believe in that same vision that the Blackman would be capable of managing his own affairs. This vision may be realized if we reduce our dependency on foreign aid. It was not to be. His vision died in exile with him. Nelson Mandela had a goal; a goal he had to suffer in prison to reach. A goal that would mean freedom but at the cost of bondage. A goal to fight against oppression in one's own country. A goal that would see the servant become the leader. A goal for independence. We may not know this but,, there has always been a difference between a dream, a vision and a goal. A dream is a cherished desire; ambition or aspiration. It is not enough to just have a dream. Dreams are good but having a dream without working towards its actualization makes the dream a white elephant. The dream just becomes a fantasy if steps are not taken to see the dream materialize. The difference between dreamers and achievers is action. A dream is normally something or an achievement that others would probably laugh at when they hear about it. It takes courage and determination to realise a dream. Biblical Joseph is a typical example of a dreamer who achieved his dreams. There is no telling all that he had to endure to see the dream become a reality. If he had waited, or given up because of setbacks on the way to achieving his dreams, he would not have been where he got to. We all have dreams, some may seem herculean, even funny but with determination, our dreams will be realized. Kwame Nkrumah had a vision. His idea was to ensure that there would one day be a united Africa. When we depended on each other without external sources of "help". A vision is a higher version of a dream. It is a well thought out plan. It is possible to be a visionary but if the purpose or the people for whom you have that vision are not ready to share in the vision with you, it would be close to impossible achieving that vision. No matter what you have achieved previously, if someone does not share in your vision, you would be considered too knowing if you go down the road of having to see the vision realized single-handedly . This fact notwithstanding, it will be better to have a well thought out vision than just a dream. A goal, just like the one Mandela had is the state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that when achieved, terminates behavior intended to achieve it. Goals can be saddled with setbacks; setbacks that can cause one to breakdown and give up like Mandela's number of years spent behind bars. The difference between a dream, vision and goal is that a goal is embedded with a higher purpose and desire for achievement. It is an ideal which the one must endeavour to see through. All in all, it would be worthless to have a dream, vision or a goal if one does not employ positive thinking and positive action. Let us persevere in the face of setbacks and sometimes our own shortcomings and inadequacies to see to it that we strive to achieve our dreams,visions and achievements so come the end of our lives' journeys, we can look back and consider our dreams, visions and goals as monumental achievements. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a "dream" R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT)
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Wednesday, 8 April 2015


I was sitting in a commercial bus on my way to work. I was already late and to make matters worse, I was stuck in traffic. I was silently saying a prayer in my head and wishing that the traffic lights would just disappear along with all the cars except mine. That was just wishful thinking. My bus was rooted to the spot and had not moved for a very long time, I felt it was rather unusual. I therefore decided to find out what was causing this unusual hold-up. To my utter dismay and disappointment, I saw a convention of cars scattered all over. At first I thought there had been an accident along the road. My prayer was somehow getting a reply because my driver saw an opportunity to expertly meander his way through the chaos. He did it like a rockstar. We were all eager to find out if there was any casualty. When we got to the centre of attraction; the place where the traffic had originated, we discovered that no one was involved in an accident, rather, it was the traffic lights that were faulty and this had caused the "artificial traffic". When we finally got to the spot, I was saddened yet glad that at least I could continue my journey to work. To my surprise, I saw a police patrol car also stuck in the frenzy. Even more chilling was the fact that all the occupants of the patrol car were deeply engaged in a hearty chat so much so that they cared less about what was going on. At that very moment I was even more sad as I heard one passenger in my bus say "oh Africa". It was like he had added insult to injury to my already bruised heart. I was disturbed yet happy because I had an idea; a thought that I could pen down so we can ponder over. As my driver swerved the scene and we were in the clear, I thought to myself that as humans as we are, we normally treat life like a rat race. We want to outdo each other. We want to outsmart each other. Sometimes our selfish tendencies makes us greedy because we want the "prize" all to ourselves. We tend to forget that we are not the only ones with that intention. We all think we can outsmart each other so in the bid of attaining our selfish goals, we rather pool our selfish interests together and we get stuck. We all want to cut corners to finish the race of life. I created an analogy in my head. The road stood for whatever resource we have at our disposal; the police patrol car stood for the authorities; my bus and the other vehicles represented the masses and the faulty traffic light, yes you guessed it, it stands for the law. Now let's do the math. We are all surviving on our resources which are already insufficient yet we all must get a bite come what may so per our position, we the masses strive to get as close as possible to the resources which we normally only get "crumbs" The authorities find themselves in the same situation but they seem to care less, you know why? It is simple, whether we the masses suffer or not, they will still get their " huge cut of the national cake" and when we the masses think we are at the same level with the authorities, they "show" us who wields the power by just turning on their "sirens" and then surprisingly, we the masses fall over each other to pave way for them to pass through without stress. Oh the traffic light, I almost forgot about it because I cannot seem to remember the last time our laws actually worked. We therefore have created our own set of laws and go by them.
Everything will work for our good if we all do our bit. First of, we must fix the traffic lights because it is the major cause of stagnation and underdevelopment. Moving on, we must use our numbers as the people to get the police officers to alight from their patrol cars and take control of our situation where there are no "traffic lights" and we the masses must tow the line of vigilance to ensure that each party carries out its duty. It is only when that is done well will we all get a stress-free bite of the national cake and we can come back for more without having to wait in line for too long. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is an analogical R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT).
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Tuesday, 7 April 2015


Yesterday I came face to face with one of my fears. There is no telling how miserable I was having to confront my fear. I was trembling with enormous fear and was wishing that it was already tomorrow. I, in my weakness wanted to appear brave in front of my sisters. In my mind, this torture was never-ending because each second was like an hour in my eyes. I could feel the coarseness in my throat because the fear had dried up any form of lubrication from my throat. For a moment, thoughts were flooding through my mind. Even in my fears, Ayittey Powers came to mind. It was a case of "meeting my meeter". It felt like I was even at Napoleon Bonaparte's "waterloo" because the end to my self-styled confidence was imminent.Dear friends never force anyone to muster courage in the face of adversity the end results can be sometimes destructive. Ayittey Powers is therefore not to blame for his "Judgement Day" heavy drubbing, fear does that to people. Now to my situation, I was kneeling down in my mother's little backyard hencoop plotting how I was going to lay my hands on one chicken which was going to be used as our evening meal. I dread live chicken but I love chicken dishes. I always had people doing the dirty work for me. Yesterday of all days, all my "chicken assassins" had  left home for a party. My simple duty was to "arrest" the chicken and have my sisters do the rest. I am sure the chicken even sensed my cowardice and could smell the stench of my fear. I decided to go in for the kill and started stretching out my arms towards the chicken with "fear and trembling"....
 There always comes a moment in one's life when we have to confront our fears. Those moments sometimes hit us unaware when we are normally unprepared. Many people have their definitions for fear. These definitions are positive and negative. Believe you me, when that awkward moment arrives, these definitions mean next to nothing. Fears are our weak spots, things we probably haven't given a try or better still, something we failed at the first attempt. It limits us, belittles us and sometimes comes with a feeling of inferiority. Fear stops us from breaking new grounds. It is the second cousin to pessimism. I was not telling you this for you to laugh, I was telling you this to let you do a headcount of your fears and start planning on ways of breaking their hold on you. If you believe that FEAR equals False Evidence Appearing Real, then muster some courage and face them. There are times when other people fight our battles with fear on our behalf. We should ask ourselves what our reaction would be in a typical "worst case scenario"; when all these people are not around just like in my case. We all have something that gives us "the chills" no matter how strong or brave you are, there is something that takes away all your confidence. If we are made to believe that the mighty elephant is afraid of the mouse in our cartoons then it means greatness does not mean flawlessness. We cannot hide from our fears or run away from them forever. We can face our fears. It is not a one-time premium. It is sometimes a gradual process but it is worth it if you give it a try. The adrenaline rush involved is sometimes off the charts. Fear is good. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a "fearful" R.A.T ( RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT).

Monday, 6 April 2015


When I was enrolled in school as a toddler, I was really excited at having to leave home to engage in  spontaneous activities with my friends at school everyday. Those days, you had the chance to care less because the major burden of responsibility lay on your parents and nursery or kindergarten teacher. There was nothing so refreshing like having no worries or responsibilities then. My only worry then was how to explain to my mother why my uniform got dirtier than it did the previous day. Those days were really fun-filled. Moving up the ladder and into elementary school, classwork got hard and  homework got even harder and I started to miss my kindergarten days. I always wondered if I was going to ever get through the higher classes because even at my level, classwork got harder and harder with each term that passed. Surprisingly, I managed to get through the higher classes and I did it in grand style because I more often than not aced every classwork, test, or end of term examination. Today, I was reflecting on how I got so good at school work even though the thought of it in my junior years got me scared. In my reflections, I came to the realization that no matter what happens or even how we see our situations, when the time comes for us to face them, we would surely get a way around them. I also realized that sometimes worrying is overrated. I used to imagine how difficult the work in class six was going to be when I was in class three. I always wondered if my seniors really understood what was being taught them in class. I have grown to know that, whenever you look ahead and realize that there is a problem,when you get to that level (and you eventually will), come what may, the experiences you have had in your past give you an edge and make you pretty prepared to face your new challenge. This therefore reiterates the fact that you do not always need something new to deal with situations but sometimes you only need a reference from the past to do the work. Sometimes our fears,weakness and frustration make us even better prepared than our strengths and talents. I have always known that maths was, is and might never be my thing. I have always been afraid of maths. As I pondered over the thought of what failure in maths could do to my academic career, I had to sit up and come to terms with the fact that I was not going to make it stop me from reaching my goal. My grades in maths were not the best but the fear of failing actually got me to get at least enough grades to see me through my school years. Moral: Fear and frustration are not in themselves walls, they can be made invisible just by putting your mind to it. Again no matter how good you think you are, problems do not care. As I said earlier, most of the greatest inventions in life were as a result of problems. Sometimes we worry about issues too much. Just like how I worried about my school days, we sometimes have to let things be and allow things to take their natural course. Our relationships, careers, businesses and future aspirations would take better turns if we sometimes allowed things to take natural turns and unravel themselves. A friend of mine always says "No jump jump before the band". I am sure she meant there was no need to sometimes rush things and I tend to agree. I have come to realize that sometimes we do not need to rush even apologising for our mistakes. Sometimes rushing into apology tends to make matters worse. It is one thing I have learnt as a young man.
I know my problem with maths, so accepting it is not too difficult but I am fully aware that there are some things that are difficult to accept. I therefore tend to find solace in these words that, "Do not stress the "should-haves" because  if they could have, they would have". This is just to say that if sometimes you miss a chance, it was probably for your own good. It also suggests that if whatever problem or situation you faced could have stopped you, it would have done that without asking for your permission. Sometimes you just need to let go and hope that things will turn out right. Even if things do not turn out the way you expect, find comfort in the fact that you gave it your best shot and that you had the courage to let go and move on. Life's floodgates are bursting with many opportunities. Take a leap of faith and have confidence in the fact that everything will be okay. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is an old school R.A.T  (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT)
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Friday, 3 April 2015


This morning I had the chance  to listen to Cece Winans' hit Easter song "It wasn't easy" again. I started to reflect on the daunting task that Jesus had to be burdened with to save Christians. It was a daring sacrifice, a sacrifice which only the Son of God could endure. I started to also ponder on the meaning of genuine love; the kind of love that has no strings attached, the kind of love that is given out freely, unflinching love even until the very moment of death. I know lots of people will agree with me as I borrow the words from the Bible that "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). It is one thing to die a peaceful death but an entirely different deal to go through pain, humiliation and on top of it all, exit life so disgracefully. I am yet to witness a sacrifice as was exhibited by Christ in these earthly days of ours. Jesus' sacrifice is second to none in my opinion. It is common knowledge that his death has given us passage to the throne room of God and Grace; abundant grace. Grace has given us the ticket to do wrong and come back to ask for forgiveness and expect to be forgiven because grace has given as the opportunity to somewhat hold God to ransom.
Now, my main reason for talking about Easter is that, I was reflecting on the fact that we have so many things to be grateful for. I also realized that we tend to be unappreciative towards some of the good people and good things that happen to us in life. Sometimes people go through challenges on our behalf be it family commitments, relationships and by virtue of one reason or the other for us to be happy. We sometimes forget to appreciate these things and people because we seem to take the sacrifices of these people for granted. What is even worrying is the fact that these people would not hesitate to put their hands in fire for us again whenever the opportunity calls for it, yet, we are the least perturbed. These people are hurt over and over again by our actions yet we do not get a change of heart to do the things that please the people who make sacrifices for us. "We are so often caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey, especially the goodness of the people we meet on the way. Appreciation is a wonderful feeling, do not overlook it". (Anonymous). There has been several times that I did not show appreciation for a favour or good done me by many people. Just like the way God's grace abounds for us, the human form of this "grace" too is abundant and that is why we do not sometimes show appreciation. I am sure if grace was limited, the story would not be the same. People just want to be appreciated. It is human nature. William James' quote attests to this when he said, "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated".
I encourage us to use this Easter holiday to show appreciation for all the things we have and to be grateful for all the things we have been through so far. We should remember all the people who had to endure an inconvenience no matter how little it was to see us smile. We should also endeavour to sacrifice something for someone to make them happy. Maybe by so doing, we would come to appreciate every little thing that will be done for us by others. Appreciation is a key factor to a happy life. This is captured in the words of Dan Wakefield, "Appreciation of life itself, becoming suddenly aware of the miracle of being alive, on this planet, can turn what we call ordinary life into a miracle. We come awake to such a realization when we recognize our connection to a spiritual dimension". Let us learn to be appreciative of every thing that comes our way. We should even be thankful for the opportunities that we missed. It was due to that missed chance that we are where we are today. It is only through being thankful and showing appreciation that we can encourage people to do more for us because the more we appreciate people and things, the more good things come our way. I would therefore conclude with the words of G. K. Chesterton that
"The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them". Let us be appreciative. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is an Easter R.A.T ( RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT). More at