Odonga Otto’s 45 Life Lessons from His 45 Years’ Experience on Earth
Compiled By Markson Omagor
Odonga Otto was until 2021, a maverick opposition Member of Parliament representing Aruu County. Last week, he celebrated his 45th Birthday abroad where he is currently pursuing a PHD. From his University, he shared what he calls his 45 lessons learned from his 45 years on earth.
- The problem of man is human not animals. The unfinished battle of the heavens was sent to earth. God become man and so the evil. The earlier you know the man is evil the better.
- Believe in God and not in religion. Read the bible, Koran, Toast and Buddhist doctrines etc. Do not be prejudiced to think that people believing in other religions will go to hell. Religion is a vessel to a destination.
- Beware that your pastor or a priest is human like you.
- Try to say, “Thank you,” “Sorry,” and “Please” at least ten times each a day you will not believe the effect it will have on your life.
- Do not hate, just write off some people hatred consumes you. Such people do not deserve your time they are a “bee in your bonnet”-English saying. Some problems are too problematic to be worth the time, not even merely listening to them, it will stress you.
- Move on with life, you may not have had a good childhood but do not accept to be defined by them, do not be a permanent victim of your childhood. Stay away from sympathy.
- Everything that has a beginning has an end, the end may not be at sight but as mother bed bug told baby bed bug when hot water was being poured on the bed “be patient no matter how long hot water will cool.” Accept the way at times life takes you.
8- The world is not fair, and it will not be fair even if you are serious with life the sun will still burn your head-courtesy James Otto.
9- Plan for worst case scenarios in a crisis -if a situation is bad expect it to get worse before it normalizes.
10- Always know that there are people with bigger problems than you.
11- How you arrive at a destination is more important -keep the process away from people who do not have to know.
12- Do not talk about birds you want to hunt for a meal the next day at the fireplace they will migrate that very night to the next village- Courtesy Acholi Proverb
13- Just know some people with always hate you, they are genetically predisposed to hate. You are to moon they always will target to get the stars.
14- It is good to be afraid of something or someone but be careful and true to yourself not to become paranoid.
15- Have a defined circle of friends as you grow older and be reluctant and careful to create new friends.
16- Have a lot of background information before dealing with anyone. Just like doctors need laboratory results and bank needs clients’ credit information, so do you need information about new people you want to engage. Google them prior to the engagement, ask people. Be careful with people you cannot find any information about.
17- Get the courage to write your Will, don’t leave the children in the rain.
18- Do not marry another wife or have more children, if you add another child after 20 years of child rearing you would be 65 years Old. That age is not friendly with the life expectancy figures in your region.
19- Try not to fall in love again, in case you do, do not have a love affair with a person younger than your first born.
20- Try not to adapt to new ways that alter your foundational values that have brought you this far.
21- Do not change your tribe for whatever reason, in any case they can never be changed it is living in denial.
22- Be yourself and not a picture of yourself, stop pretending and being busy looking busy. You are the only one who knows yourself. Never run away from your history.
23-Life is in small monies not big monies. Accepting it is enough, if you can pay fees, feed your family, buy food, and transport yourself around, do not be greedy.
24- Do not start a new business that you do not understand, or you cannot supervise closely.
25- What you have not done from 23 years is very unlikely you will do it better at 45years
26- Have a hobby, and a place where people can find you even when your phone is off.
27- Change your looks and dress code for once and see it may change the way people look at you as well.
28- Walk in the rain bare footed and laugh, it may be the only wonderful thing you have done to yourself since childhood. At times sit back and do nothing, keep quiet and show your importance by your absence and loud silence.
29- Play football on the village pitch bare footed with children in the village school where you started.
30- Be careful with illiterates they think they are wiser than you and they think you owe them. That is why many farmers have failed. It’s ok to have fools around for they did not acquire the education you had but try to avoid nincompoops.
31- Make it simple and not simpler the latter is a teacher’s job and one who wants you to make it simpler is not your kind.
32- Go to hospital for a comprehensive medical check-up- something may not be right. You are not growing younger anymore.
33- On a free day go to a charity, hospital or childcare home and give all you have to them, not because you expect anything in return but because it is right to do it. You will not believe the results
34- Read something new daily even for 10 minutes it is the only brain exercise. Mental exercises explain why Professors live for long. Do not just “gym” your muscles gym your brain as well. Pulling your tongue out daily while brushing is good exercise for the brain.
35- Control your sexual self and sexual organs and remember it is said the most useful sex organ in the body is the brain. Too much of anything is always dangerous; too much or too less of sex for men causes prostate cancer.
36- Keep away from negative people and nay Sayers they will influence your hormonal balance.
37- Have a close friend, one that you completely open to, this should preferably be of the opposite sex. Since your body functions differently that may be a positive effect on your intuition.
38- Smile and laugh to yourself at a mirror. Be around laughy I have two that make me laugh a lot. I always look for them once in a while, one made me laugh until I had jaw pain.
39- Once in while digitally detoxicate yourself you’re your phone or TV least for a day. Take a digital detox tourism.
40- Once in a while do the home chores. It helps you to respect and appreciate the people who do it on a daily basis.
41- Avoid risky sexual behaviors, no known cure for HIV/AIDS has been found. As you grow old the disease gains an upper hand. If you are already sick, sorry! Avoid reinfecting others, or you are getting new strains of the virus.
42- At times keep children out of your woes, I had handcuffs for over 1500 kms but did not tell them. Careful what you do or show to children, they will never forget. My oldest memories from when I was about 3 years still run in my mind.
43- Clear your desk of old junk books and emails, burn old books and letters, do not leave that job to your children when you are indisposed.
44- If it is not working start afresh it is never late, life starts at 50 years goes the adage.
45- Have one or two people you admire and want to be like. Be careful that admiration should get you to jealousy but rather envy. I want to rub shoulders with PLO Lumumba and Bishop Maponga. What about you?
The article is written in the context of African society some of the philosophies my not make sense in a European context.
I Take responsibly for the errors.
This are my experiences, see what lessons you can draw from it
The Author is currently pursuing
Political Philosophy at a European University