Essays of Africa :: Editor's Letter
June 2016
   Essays of Africa

The Extra Mile Is Never Crowded...

There is power in silence. So often when we impart to others, we teach them to speak. While this can be effective, the other side of the coin is also needed. There comes a time when words alone are not enough. Th
ey need to be backed up by power in the form of deeds.

Well wishes will not provide jobs to the jobless of our nation. Focus groups and stirring the waters can be good for propaganda and sensationalism but, without action, we are wasting breath. In days like these, we need a people who will arise with the wisdom to know about ordinary and extraordinary.

What’s the fuss about extra?
Just a little extra effort is a huge narrative. It could mean a step up. It could mean an extra income. You could acquire a degree. You could educate a nation. You could transform lives and the economic landscape. It could mean adopting a healthier and fitter lifestyle. At the risk of sounding cliché, your attitude does determine your altitude.

We should let our way of thinking as young adults and adults be transformed by that little ‘extra’. Extra should push and elevate our culture of doing things. Extra means more! The more you practise something, the more you excel and execute it with comfort and speed. Extra can make us change and sustain our minds.

Dynamite power resides in extra...
Our youth of today justifies their belief grounded in entitlement because some are comfortable and don’t want to be pushed to do extra. An extra mile is a phenomenal way of thinking. The reality is that it is not in the chanting and raising of our voices and fists (spears), but in the persistent strive to go further, do more and be elevated by our relentless quest to be a better version than we were yesterday.

Yesterday’s solutions are simply falling short when it comes to tackling today’s problems. We need thought leaders who will apply their minds to where the masses have failed to reach. We – yes, you and me – can be the small burst of dynamite that can release unmatched power, when sparked by the principle of extra.

Extra means answering the phone at work, even if it is five minutes before closing time. Extra means being where you said you would be, even when no one is watching. Rather than just doing the task, extra means being faithful, uplifting and selfishly protecting trust, and being better and better at it.

Extra starts small. It is not demanded, but earned. It also means being cognisant of where you come from and striving to make a difference in our community. For me, it means changing women’s lives. What are we going to do about extra? My question for you as we journey through this issue together is, are you a hill seeker? Someone who is not afraid to be a change agent and tackle the challenges head-on?

Let’s keep moving forward. We wish all our fathers and sweethearts’ fathers a very Happy Father’s Day this month and hope they continue to do more than is required of them. We have no doubt that the men and women who embrace the ‘extra’ will become extraordinary!

Nawaal M


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