Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Incredible Crocodile

It has been described as the King of the Nile but it can also be found in Asia, Australia, North and South America and the Middle East. Even the bible acknowledges this huge reptile, calling it Leviathan. In Job 41:2, God asks Job: Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? In this post we shall attempt to draw some lessons from the characteristics of the crocodile.

The first thing that you will probably notice about the crocodile, and a major distinguishing factor between it and its cousin the alligator is the fourth tooth of the lower jaw which it bares even when it’s jaws are shut. Another distinction is that the crocodile has a long slender snout.

The crocodile is a reptile, cold blooded. It also has a tough scaly skin. You probably may have heard of tales of hunters who has to shoot at the crocodile somewhere between its head and body, the spot where its skin is tender in order to hurt it. This kind of reminds me how as humans we all have weak spots. Unfortunately, some of us have an endless fold of sensitive skin. We are quick to take offence and we see the slightest jokes as an insult. A good advice would be to grow thick skin and learn to ignore. As a popular journal once said, ‘if it is a passing comment, let it pass’.

We have strong reasons to develop a thick skin at this point in man’s history. Have you noticed how more and more people are less kind? How many people would always resort to trading insults when you cross their path? Developing a thick skin will surely prevent you from getting unnecessarily worried or losing sleep over their actions. You will accept it as a sign of the times but would not be drawn to rolling in the mire with them. Interestingly, crocodile skin tough is sensitive to the world around it including temperatures and rate of acidity of water. We should also note volatile conditions and avoid them. This might involve physically walking away from a situation that can likely degenerate into a fight.

Would you walk away from a twitfight?

Note that if the crocodile chooses to attack, you may never be able to outrun it. However, like his relative the snake, the crocodile does not go out of its way to look for a fight.

The crocodile is no pretender. It bares its teeth …always. The crocodile clearly tells you: keep off, I bite. How many of us can be that honest about who we are? I often hear of ladies in relationships who hide all the bad stuff until they ‘hook’ the guy, and then they show their true colours. If you are so proud of whom you are, why hide it?

Sadly, many of us are not crocodile-like. We are pretenders, hypocritical. We will condemn something only when it suits us and turn a blind eye when we or a close friend will stand to benefit. I have often asked friends: if you or a close friend had an opportunity to benefit from corruption in Nigeria, would you be so critical of Nigeria?

Crocodiles are very territorial, but when there is a drought they give up this attribute for the survival of all. Crocodiles know there is a time for everything. Do you?

There is a time to fight and a time to be friends. Election time is always a time to ‘fight’. We route for candidates and campaign for the person we believe will make the best ruler. But after the elections? When someone emerges as winner do we keep fighting? Or do we move on to the next phase of working either as the supporters or the opposition to make things work out for the best. Do you know what time it is?

The biggest crocodile fact I learnt while researching for this post is that crocodiles never stop growing. They grow very fast when they are young but their growth slows down when they are older, but they never stop growing. Does this not remind you of the saying, there’s never an end to learning?

How many times have you heard someone say that when they learn something new? Yet, how many people make it a point of duty to learn something new every day. We have the internet, everything we could ever need to learn is stored here and then some. Yet, you find people come here to ask the basest questions that a few minutes on Google would answer. Yes, it sounds rude to tell people to go ask Google, but perhaps people shouldn’t wait to be asked, they should take the initiative to do research.

The truth is, when you ask a question, you will be told exactly what you need to know, but when you do research you will find out much more than you were looking for. For example, a few days ago, someone tweeted about client briefs and said they are called briefs because they should be brief. I was tempted to contradict her immediately. I knew there were briefs that were quite lengthy. But instead of doing that I decided to use Google. From Google, I learnt there are different types of briefs, I had been thinking of a creative brief while she was talking about a client’s brief: there’s never an end to learning.

Be a croc, learn something new today.

#lessonsfromanimals continues next week.

I am anabagail on Twitter.

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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Lessons From Animals


The Amazing Dolphin

You may have heard some really cool stories about the dolphin. The dolphin is believed to be intelligent, friendly and very acrobatic. However, not all dolphins are ‘nice’. I doubt if you met the dolphin known as the killer whale in any waters, you will hang around to say hi!

In this post, we will swim with the dolphin and learn about some of its amazing characteristics. Characteristics we could convert to vital lessons to make our stay on this planet worthwhile not only for ourselves but also for people we meet daily.




Dolphins have their ear openings as slits behind their eyes. They have both a unique sense of hearing and excellent vision both in and out of water. Now as any scientist would tell you, the dolphin needs specially adapted lenses and cornea to accomplish this feat because when light passes from air to water, it changes speed.

Let’s pause for a moment and look at this. It does seem that the dolphin, by virtue of the position of its eyes and ears, takes the expression ‘listen with your eyes’ to new levels. The dolphin can adapt its lens and cornea to see things more clearly dependent on whether they are in or out of water. Now ask yourself: have I been able to adapt my eye of understanding to see things more clearly? Or do I take everything literally and jump to conclusions. While it is not advisable to over think issues, we would be saving ourselves a lot of trouble if we adapt our eyes to new territories when we enter them. For example, if you find yourself in a new work environment, will you adapt your vision to align with that of the organisation you are now with or will you choose to maintain your old vision? The latter will certainly be a recipe for disaster.

Speaking of recipes, any ideas what a dolphin eats? Well we shall not be dwelling on the dolphins cuisine, rather we shall be talking about what it does with food after swallowing it. A dolphin has two stomachs, one for storing food and the other for digesting it. The fore-stomach often contains stones that help grind the food ready for it to be digested.

Stop! Let’s chew on this and savour its taste. What can you stomach? Can you develop two stomachs like the dolphin, one for analysing issues and the other for digesting it? When someone makes a comment that you find distasteful, can you send it to your fore-stomach for grinding and removal of worthless materials so that you will only be left with the essentials for final digestion? What if after crushing and churning the information you still find it insulting? Will you regurgitate it instead of sending it to the waste where it belongs? If you spend your time responding to every insult, either perceived or real, then you will have recurring constipation which might lead you to constantly fouling the air around you. Not cool.

Dolphins have also been known to form bonds that may last a lifetime. They support sick and dying pod members and dolphins believe that it belongs to the entire community to train a calf.

May we therefore learn from the dolphin to support people in their causes. When you see a project that requires you volunteer your time or money to help others, do you convince yourself that there is nothing you can give? If your child misbehaves in public and another adult scolds them, do you take offence? If you find a friend willing to stick with you come what may, do you take them for granted?

Remember the dolphin.

I am anabagail on Twitter. Join me again next week as we learn from another animal.


Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Lessons From Animals


The Lover in My Dream

Staring off into space in wonder
One minute passes and then another
As I ponder
My thoughts I chew up as fodder
How can two hearts that beat
With so much love be never allowed to meet?

The day we met each other
A virtual meet like none other
We discover
You and I were meant to be together
How can we remain so tied
To things that force our love far apart to reside.

Destined not to sit together
Fate laughs deep throated at our trauma
We deliver
Our sacrifice Cupid turns down with no bother
How can we overcome this pain
We feel when we choose to treat each other with such disdain?

Each night I sit up in my bed
Hoping your heart to me will be led
The feelings for the other you’ll shed
Someday you and I in church will wed.

I cry. My eyes brim over with tears
Hoping the tears will wash off my fears
Fears that you’ll never call me your dear
That the other you’ll always prefer

Are you destined to remain the lover in my dream?

Expectations postponed makes the heart sick – Proverbs 13:12


Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Poetry