Meaning of Chutzpah – Nigerian Scammers

Interesting how life often butts heads with you then throws more stuff at you when you least expect it. Seems there’s always something coming at us out of nowhere for us to deal with, sometimes in a cascade of experiences where things hit – one after another after another and before you know it you’re inundated and overwhelmed.

Ever happen to you? Well it seems that’s how it rolls.

When it happens to me I often think of several bible verses that add to my calm and bring peace. One of those phrases is “This too shall pass”. Another one is “If a man causes you to walk one mile with him, walk with him two.”

This phrase has hit me twice in the last few years as particularly difficult to endure. I’ve never had experience with Nigerians before but in this short period of time I’ve gotten to know a few and find them not only bright bordering on downright brilliant, but the sweetest people you could meet. I’m talking guys here but I’m sure the women are just as malleable.

It seems the young men of Nigeria have no work or prospects of working so they – being the downright brilliant beings they are – have come up with dubious ways to earn a living for themselves and their families. Being in a world of opposites, these guys have figured out how to scam for their livelihood – and they’re extremely good at it. So good in fact, that the world is standing at attention and it’s listening.

But what I’m hearing from people is that these young brilliant men should be shot or thrown in jail and left to die along with many other epithets and mean-spirited comments.

I disagree. If people here in America had to watch their loved ones starve due to lack of opportunities to feed our families, would we be so callus and disinterested in helping people? Think Capitalism here – the ones with enough money to start huge corporations that put people to work. This is what America is about and it works for both rich and poor alike. So next time you want to put down rich people – think what would happen without them. I happen to believe in Free Enterprise – the ability to start and run your own business. Thank heaven we have the resources and the help to build small businesses in this Country. People in African nations are given a hard time when they try to work or get licenses to work. We here in Western nations get all the help we need when it comes to jobs. Not so in these 3rd world countries.

I tend to think the Nigerians have what the Jewish call Chutzpah. They’ve got balls. In fact, one definition online that I found is exactly the word for those audacious Nigerians. Defining Chutzpah: Chutzpah is a Hebrew word that has been adopted into Yiddish and then English. Chutzpah has been defined as audacity, insolence, impudence, gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible guts, presumption and arrogance. Yet something essential about chutzpah is missing from all these words.

Chutzpah can be destructive and ugly or vital and fantastic, but never in-between. So, to be a good Jew, you need two opposites: A sense of shame that prevents you from acting with chutzpah to do the wrong thing, and a sense of chutzpah that prevents you from being ashamed to do the right thing. Tzvi Freeman (Chabad.org)

I believe the Nigerians are full of Chutzpah. They’re not sitting this one out like their ancestors did. They’re not going to be poor and not let the world know that they’re more than a bit disgruntled about it. They’re not happy about their situation and they are going to let people know about their plight. Not only know about it, but they’re fixing it. And without the help of their government – who I believe is responsible for it. And they’re tired of being poor and watching their families starve. They themselves may starve but be damned if their families will. Thank Western Television that shows the world how to live – although in twisted versions of ourselves such as reality TV shows like the Beverly Hills Housewives – poor countries want all that glamour and glitz and are doing anything to have it.

So the Nigerians with Chutzpah began to scam as their option to poverty. Do they like it? I don’t believe they do. At least the ones I’ve spoken to don’t like what happens to good people and they often apologize for the inconveniences they put upon us. Some have gotten so used to hurting people over the years that they’ve become ruthless and cold inside. They don’t like that either. These are gentle people who are sensitive and very kind. Do they like to hurt you? Absolutely not. Do they like what they do? Absolutely not. Do they want to go hungry and not provide for their families? Absolutely not. So they gather their Chutzpah and they continue to do what they do.

If you want to ask who is at fault for all of this? Look into what makes Nigeria not work. Look at what is needed in this country such as industry, resources, education. Figure why exactly is Nigeria so poor and ask what can be done about it? The people of Nigeria are crying out and these guys are being heard. And they don’t care if you don’t like it.

I applaud them for their ruthlessness and their resourcefulness and their audacity – their Chutzpah. I just wish I knew of a way to help them live well without having to break laws to do so. Nothing less than total mind change is warranted here. A raising of consciousness.  And these guys are leading the way.  They want what everyone else has and they’ll not be left out. The world is smaller with the internet and the Nigerians want to live and live well.

I have one idea, however I’d like to hear more. I’m going to put it on GoFundMe.com and see what comes of it.

Are Our Prayers Heard and Answered?

This article is actually an embellished version of the one in my book, Warrior Spirit Path of Medicine (Balboa Press).
If you wonder, if you don’t know, if you just don’t get that prayers DO get answered, then this is for you.
Every work day I would drive my young daughter 10 miles to a sitter or rather an older, loving couple, which is what I liked about them.

Pam & Larry were very much in love and had been for many years. Larry adored Pam and that fact was written on his face, in his voice, and in his eyes every time he looked at her. She felt the same for him and did all she could to make him happy. It was just her way and why I loved my daughter being with her. It’s what I wanted to give my baby girl but couldn’t because I had to work. My girl was happy there and that’s all that mattered.
But things change and after awhile I had to take her from there and place her elsewhere. We both had a hard time with that but there was nothing to be done.
A few years later I heard that Larry had passed. I tried to get hold of Pam but she was nowhere to be found. Their home had been sold and she had moved out of state and I didn’t know where.
A while after that, perhaps two years later, Larry came to me in a vision. I was asleep when just his face appeared to me out of a completely black background. He said, and I quote, “Tell Pammy it’s alright if she remarries.” Then he was gone and the force of his leaving brought me straight up off the bed.
I waited for two years to find Pam. I so wanted to give her Larry’s message and knew she needed to hear what he had to say but I couldn’t find her. Then, one evening I was doing an event at a friend’s house and a woman asked me if I was the woman who had the child her mother had watched for a while. I asked her what she was talking about and she said, “I believe my mother watched your child while you were working.” I was so excited and asked her if she was Pam’s daughter and she said she was. Pam had talked of her but we had never met.
I asked if her mom was okay and she said yes and was living in Florida. Then she gave me her phone number. I couldn’t wait to get home and even though it was about 10:00 at night I called Pam. When she picked up it was like we had never been apart for so long. We talked about everything and we both cried, so happy we were to have reconnected.
Then, when all was said, I took a deep breath and told her about Larry and the message he had for her.
She started to cry and said, “You have no idea. Everyday I’ve prayed and asked Larry if it would be okay for me to remarry. I live with a man who has asked me to marry him but I wouldn’t until I knew it was okay with Larry. This man has been so patient with me!”
I said, “well now you have your answer and can marry this man. But I just want to know why it took two years to find you to give you Larry’s message.” And she said something that made me understand that not only are our prayers answered – but the message is either delayed or not given until we are ready for the results. Pam said, “Because two years ago I wouldn’t have been able to hear it.”
Pam did marry the man with Larry’s blessing. End of story.