Thursday, March 29, 2018


There have been two school shootings in America in the last few months. During the Florida shooting, a student who is now being hailed as one of the heroes of that fateful day, JROTC Peter Wang, helped other students escape and died doing so. Anthony Borges, 15, used his body to shield his classmates from the shooters bullets, and was shot five times in the back and legs in the process. He is still recuperating from surgeries.

These two scenarios are striking for me because they happened recently and the people involved are young people. What makes people go out of their way in this manner? What stimulates empathy that moves one to act in this manner?

I am deeply introspective. When things happen, I find myself thinking 'extra' about the whys. I admired deeply the fine sense of heroism of these young people. I kept asking if I could do that, if I could put the possibility of a future on this earth to ensure two, three, four other people got that chance.

Can you? Can you do this? Is it a special gift, a way people are raised, values imparted, examples shown ? 
Do you only have to save lives or avert disasters to bear the tag of a hero?

Yesterday, at Lekki 3rd roundabout, I saw a taxi driver wrestling to extinguish a fire that threatened to engulf his cab. Everyone swerved to the right and  left of him and sped along. I thought of my fire extinguisher in my boot and attempted to stop and hand it to him, until I saw some fellow cab drivers hurrying up to hand him theirs and put out the fire. Why did these people stop? Why did others drive along? 

Heroism nudgdings comes in bursts too, I guess. There are moments when I am filled with great indignation driving along the express and have physically confronted one questionable official who was chasing a young hawker down a busy expressway.  There are other moments when I put up my glass window, blast my music; unseeing, unhearing to injustices around me.

Can I be a true, consistent, hero? Can you be? 
Literature suggests that people carry out acts, big and small, of heroism daily. Certain characteristics including compassion, empathy, a strong sense of responsibility, justice and integrity are common in the making of heroes. 
The nature vs nurture question beckons too. Are heroes born or made?

Projects like the Heroic Imagination Project have made a fine art of training people to be everyday heroes. This San Francisco not- for-profit develops and implements research, education and corporate and public initiatives to inspire and encourage everyday heroism. One interesting mantra they have is that the opposite of a hero is not an evil person, but a bystander. 
This is very similar to the saying we know that;  the opposite of love is indifference. Not necessarily, hate!
I would talk more about this in coming posts, as I'm so fascinated about this issue. But for starters, I want to know what heroic acts you have performed in the past and also the things that keep you from being heroic. Is there a Nigerian factor somewhere? Is gender standing in the way? Social standing ?

Talk to me.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Baby Steps

How are you?
I haven't blogged in 7 years. Yes, it's been that long. I can't believe it, but the internet doesn't lie☺.
I want to start again.
I have missed writing and in my recent quest for things that make me happy, I remembered this.

The next thing, is what I'll write about. 8 years ago, I wrote short stories, newspaper articles and so on. This time around, I think I'll be less structured and just write about what my opinion is on any matter I find interesting.

Why should you read?
Well, you read before, that's one.☺
You also might learn a thing or two to help you in your life's journey. I have had quite a bit of stuff that has happened to me in the last 8 eight years. Amazing things and not so amazing things.  I met someone in church last Sunday who told me that Africans lose out on learning lessons from the lives of other Africans because we don't like sharing our lives. That rang true.  So I'm going to be more open cos , hey, who knows?

I'll blog tomorrow again. But , before I go, I'll say this. You are unique, diferent!  Yes! Cliche, right?
No! You know that feeling of emptiness you have when you wonder what your life should be about and why you're not 'making' it like other people? It's a deception. The very thing that makes you 'make' it is the  unique gift bag you received from the Creator when you were born. A gift bag much like a hamper contains an assortment of goods; and this can be likened to the blend of  personality, talents, idiosyncracies  that you are made up of. They hold the key to your destiny and the purpose you are to fulfill here on earth. The knowledge of this has been so liberating for me and I can't help but share this with you. 

You are different. You have something your siblings, parents, co workers,  friends need. It is not regular, not common, not random. It is unique to you. You probably already know this and are doing it, but do it more purposefully, cheerfully and liberally and watch yourself blossom. 

Tomorrow, then. ♥

Friday, December 23, 2011

Revival for Dummies - Dr. Ogunwale Abayomi

Hey!! Merry Christmas to you all! I hope you have been well. I have been on a blogging break for about 3 months; a break necessitated by a change of focus. It has been an interesting September- December and I'm glad to say I’ve learnt many important things. I would start a new blogging season again in January, but until then, I want to share with you something a dear friend of mine wrote on Facebook recently.

This is particularly important as we are starting a new year in 8 days and you know as the name implies, "new"... the plan is to make all things new. Read this and be made new even as the year become new.



Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Berry FeistyPen's birthday and that of her pen too!!

It’s my birthday today. I feel very grateful to God for his grace and mercy in the past year.
All the afflictions and disappointments the devil intended for evil, the Lord turned around for good and for his purpose.
Interestingly also, this is the period Feisty Pen was conceived, although the first set of blog posts were put up around October last year and I've gone on to write over 70 pieces. 
I look forward to a better year, increased creativity and more feistiness in my writing. Thank you to all who have encouraged through this writing journey; even complete strangers. I am grateful.
I’ll just like to add that life is richer when there’s a sense of purpose.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Juvenile muse - Potty training

Hi everyone, I've been away for a few weeks and I did miss you all. I missed writing here. So I wrote this. Read and tell me what you think. It is creative non fiction inspired by my potty training experience. Of course I am the trainer. Not the trainee. ;) 

18 months is a good time to want to be environmentally conscious. Americans tell me that I should try  not to clog up land fills with non biodegradable diapers. Potty train the little man and let the poop go down into the toilet, flushed down into a dark abyss inhabited by Excreta Anonymous.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Humor In My Bible; The Feisty Pen of God

Hello all,
I haven’t written in over 2 weeks. Please bear with me. There is a book I read and enjoy so much. It is the Bible. Apart from the fact that I draw the inspiration for my daily living from it, it excites me to see and know that God is the creator of humor and utilizes it to bring us closer to him. You know the Bible was written by men of God who wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, which is why it is called the word of God.
Just yesterday, I remembered that in Proverbs 19: 24 the Bible said, “the slothful (lazy man) buries his hand in his dish and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again”.
I read it and laughed hard. Do you realize the degree of laziness it will take someone to not be able to complete the task of feeding himself, short circuiting it at the return leg of bringing his hand back to mouth? Extreme laziness, I tell you. I decided then  to jump up and complete the tasks I have procrastinated so that I would not be like this man who cannot even lift his hand back to his mouth.
Another funny thing I saw, and because I’m a parent, it resonated with me.
In Prov 22: 15 it says, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.”
Notice the use of the word ‘bound’. If you studied Chemistry you would know that binding between elements occurs as a result of a chemical affinity, so Sodium (Na) binds with Chlorine(Cl) because Na has an extra electron in its outer shell and Cl needs one and so they bind. In short they are in love and they form NaCl (common salt)
So that would mean, that the heart of a child has an affinity for foolishness so the only thing to do is to break the bond (Doesn’t all this just sound funny) 
 So just maybe it’s saying that before you get to the point where you begin to bind and cast to rid your teenage or adult children of perceived demonic manipulation evident by their foolish ways, it’s best to apply the rod of correction early so that the demon (foolishness) will go far from them and keep applying the rod so that the demon stays at a safe distance, eh... J

Tell me if these Scriptures make you laugh or smile in the least, and do you as a matter of habit enjoy the feisty pen of God?  Watch this space for more of these.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

10 things Nollywood has taught me

Today, Nollywoodhastaughtme is trending worldwide on Twitter. It was No 4 thirty minutes ago. Here are 10 lessons that Nollywoodhastaughtme. Add yours in the comments and follow me on Twitter @chocberry.

1. Nollywoodhastaughtme that it is unfair to discriminate against the blind, if you can’t see there’s no reason why you can’t watch via the sound track.