January 9

“AM I MY BROTHER’S GUARDIAN?”

AS I WALKED DOWN MY LOCAL LIBRARY, SITUATED IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, at the bottom precipice, my eyes caught the headline “Dementia will affect more than 150million people worldwide by 2050. Like a bee, I was drawn to the pages. Out of curiosity, I felt like absquatulating through the doors to tell average Joe on the street like an evangelist… but drawn back to my reading as if my life was dependent on words …an estimated 57million people living with dementia, an incurable neurodegenerative condition that, in its worst phases, leaves them dependent on 24-hour care. A new study published in Lancet Public Health adds weight to predictions that the number is going to explode. Its projection that the number will treble to 152.8m by 2050, with women disproportionately affected by the condition, is in line with the past seven years or more. Like one of my favorite writers and language enthusiast Geraldine Wood, I attempted to rewrite the sentences in my head and wondered if this was fiction or fact.  Like a Wellness Evangelist, I sent the screenshot of the future dementia world map to family and friends and also tweeted on Twitter and LinkedIn without getting caught in the abyss. Like science fiction comments started streaming back across the globe that seems to have sharpened my cerebral oblongata and bounced me into new territory of consciousness.  My two children distracted me from my brief moment of mindfulness with their curiosity “AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?” this is an existential question, I hesitated, and with their heightened consciousness, they quickly figure out my ignorance of not knowing.  I thought, “Let me first take the plank out of my one eye, and then I will see clearly to remove the speck from my brother’s eye.  They both disappeared into thin air. 

ON 31ST DECEMBER, THE THEMATIC MATERIAL “Dementia and its social burden on the global community” kept distracting me from my end-of- the-year reflection.  I struggled to find the right words as am writing my first blog for 2023, then remembered, “Shakespeare had a writing vocabulary of 25,000 words twice as large as of other writers of his time, five times larger than the average person reading vocabulary”.  The weak sunray stream through the shutter of the basement shone onto my face, I wondered what Shakespeare would say about dementia if he were to be alive.  I took a break from my writing and pile of fiction books scattered over the wooden floor. I meandered throughout the house and observed my wife engrossed in the book “The light we carry” by Michelle Obama.  I thought to myself characters are the key ingredients to most successful stories. If I can create engaging characters that audiences will follow anywhere, maybe I can write my first book! My two children were busy in their rooms writing out their New Year resolution and dancing with a beautiful choreography I can only dream of (My previous life in NHS has not helped with my posture).  I tip-toed, put on my winter jacket, and walked down the neighborhood; maybe I can get inspiration or at least improve my working memory. I recalled a conversation with a preventative psychiatrist friend who suggested we need to diversify our cognitive experiences including adding movement exercises to prevent neurodegenerative diseases.  Sciences and religions are like languages full of traditions but we need to have the courage to question these traditions to learn new things, this courage got me into trouble with the “power that be”. Out of curiosity, my children like most children like asking questions. They asked do we need to attend dance school to learn how to dance if wanted to do a little stealing.  I wasn’t too sure and not pious like Pope on this occasion, I responded with dancing and creativity- there wasn’t much difference, at least among family and friends!

AS I GENTLY WALKED THROUGH THE WAYSIDE, I observed the road ahead, a steep, treacherous mountain road, I began to think about my new resolution. It occurred to me that there would always be stress. I asked myself how I manage my stress and do I need to read more, of course, it’s not the cornucopia of books but the quality, I dialogued with myself. Maybe my mindfulness practice would help then I waved and smiled at my neighbors and their dogs, we sounded and looked different and from different generations but it would seem to me that we were cut from the same cloth. The thought once again pooped into my head “AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?” “Let me first take the plank out of my own eye, and then I will see clearly to remove the speck from my brother’s eye.  

AS MOST PEOPLE IN MY COMMUNITY, I will be thinking hard about my New Year resolution and removing the plank out of my own eye then I will be able to be my brother’s keeper.  I will be focusing on my new habits, self-care, well-being, and most importantly being the best version of myself. Like most people, I will be fighting for the most important priorities in the New Year and hopefully, we can all remain sharp, age gracefully, and be a better and more resilient community!

Mieux vaut prevenir que guerir

Je vous souhaite une tres bonne jour!

Blog edited by Annabelle 


Tags

dementia, new habits, new year resolution, prevention


About the Author

Niran (Larinde) Ojomo is a Trusted Advisor, COACH, Speaker and Trainer certified with the Maxwell Leadership Team. He is the founder of Forward-Thinking Generation Next, a forward-thinking organization that challenges individuals and organizations to re-invent themselves, anticipate and adapt to the future and be culturally relevant in an increasingly complex globalized world.

Niran Ojomo

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  1. I love the part that says "I will be focusing on my new habits, self-care, well-being, and most importantly being the best version of myself". Alot of possibilities lies ahead of us, if we pay attention to how we can improve ourselves and not just focusing on others.

    Thanks Dr. Niran for the message.

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