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11.12.2010 Feature Article


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Apologies to my readers who have been following my writings and have patiently waited for this article with feverish anticipation and anguish. I would like to believe that you have had enough time to mentally journey through to your own predicted end. Any form of conjecture about how this interesting story ends is anyone's guess and as such perfectly within the frame of events.

Before proceeding to distil some words of wisdom (in Part 3) to my four targeted audience mentioned in Part 1 of this interesting story, I must inform my readers that I had a brief hiatus from working on the Parts 2 and 3 of this account to write, “The Ultimate Leak”, “Free Press or Foolishness” and three tranches of “Gambling – Addiction or Choice”. I am sure some of you have had the chance to read these articles. Feedback is always appreciated.

In my previous article (Part 1), I mentioned that by the third day of the course we had hit it off. The evening of that day, which was a Wednesday could not end more quickly for the next day's lectures to begin. At home, I could not wait for day to break. There was added motivation to go back in the morning to further fortify this new found affection.

On Thursday morning, my new found friend who I have nicknamed as Noon-Fantasy happen to come to class just after I had walked in. We just could not stop chatting before the lectures began. The break sessions including lunch afforded us vital opportunities to further cement this blossoming 'dalliance'.

After class, we were off to this glitzy and grandiosely fashioned restaurant for dinner. Fortunately or unfortunately, 'the wife' was feuding and was neither bothered where I was nor what was happening to me. It was my chance to stay outdoors without worry. I knew the 'madam' would not ring or text in this 'overdrive' mood she was in.

Like I said earlier, I was more than willing like a possessed fetish priest, to say and do all the right things for Noon-Fantasy. I had made a smashing impression the day before and I could not afford to put a foot wrong.

So we found ourselves in this ambience that can be best described as oozing an inimitable romantic appeal. The candles in this dimmed-up restaurant seemed to burn for a lifetime. The courtesy displayed and warmth afforded by the waitresses seemed to be part of the bill we would have to pay at the end. Money, off course was no barrier on an occasion like this. These waitresses went about their work with such panache that could only merit admiration. It was reminiscent of an accomplished and well extolled orchestra's bravura. They must have felt the magnetism of the emotions that was emanating from us and sought to only play their part in ensuring a noteworthy climax.

Being sat opposite this all-alluring, 'well-crafted' and 'endowed' beauty, this dinner seemed to be fit for a king and queen of all classes. Noon-Fantasy radiated so much oomph I could not help but feast my eyes on her incessantly. I had truly been enamoured by the prepossessing image of my inamorata. The dim lightening also contributed to my seeing of fictional images that even if I saw during broad daylight would not justify or be worthy of any criticism. I bet a million men would have either seen the same images or even more. It was like a fairytale that existed in time, now being played in real life. I could not believe my 'chance'. It was a scene best reserved for movies and I occasionally wondered whether I was either in the cinema or day-dreaming. The candid reality though, was that the feeling was too good to be true. It was a romantic dinner for two people who seemed to have been fashioned for each other and fate had only orchestrated a chance meeting.

We had some interesting exchanges and the next few days were very exciting. I am glad to report that the magnitude of the vows that I had taken before God and all the witnesses was too grave for me to cross the line. I left her without doing anything untoward. The first text from her that evening was that: "You are a gentleman."

In keeping with my pledge in Part 1 that I am motivated to write this article based on what I did when I had a wakeup call, I now focus on this all-important segment. I do pray that the ideas enunciated prove a didactic. Having had this wakeup call, I had to adopt a lateral and rational thought process to my life and the way forward. Up until this period I had championed ROOT MENTALITY as against BRANCH MENTALITY in my circles.

This situation called for me to 'drink' and religiously apply my own 'potion' to my 'ailments'. There is nothing like coming face to face with an issue that you know the best answer to and still finding yourself in an ambivalent position. A situation that requires you to make some hard decisions that you would rather avoid. Such decisions are complicated by the fact that, what your head believes is right is contrary to what your heart longs for or vice versa. It then feels like your life is split into two warring factions and an armistice could not come faster enough to avoid a pyrrhic victory from occurring as a prognosis.


I now focus the discussion on root mentality as against branch mentality and how it relates to the discourse. To avoid this article from becoming too lengthy, I would be as brief as possible. For those who would like to understand the subject better, you may return after completing this article, to click on this link ( This article only gives a brief summary with a more detailed analysis on my blog.

My wakeup call was a real eye opener to alert me of a drift in my life. At that point, remaining undecided was not an option. I would have gladly taken that option if it was on the cards. I had two strategies to solve or ameliorate this situation; apply either branch mentality or root mentality.
I define branch mentality as encompassing a decision-making process, and on a broader scale, a pattern of life that focuses on ephemeral gains and solutions. Root mentality on the other hand is more concerned with taking a long-term view to issues and life in general.

BRANCH MENTALITY (BM) usually deals with symptoms and what can be readily seen, such as the branches of a tree. It is usually an easier option on the surface but more costly in the long term. Such a mentality would require patching up over and over again as a particular situation may keep recurring. This approach also adopts a short-term view to actions and appears to be usually the least expensive in the short-term but becomes more expensive over the long-term. BM involves less mental strain and may lead to thinking through options in a haphazard manner and making decisions on the spur of the moment. It borders on parochialism and thus focuses on a section or a part of the picture whilst ignoring the bigger picture.

Another key characteristic of branch mentality is that it borders on escapism and hardly takes note of reality. The downside of this type of mentality is that you may appear to have a quick fix now but you can expect to deal with the issue for a lifetime.

I had the choice to either continue basking in the ephemeral buzz from this new friendship and use it as a crutch to limp through other issues or wake up to the realisation that my marriage required more work and that it would not sort itself out. I knew I needed to apply root mentality to this situation.

ROOT MENTALITY (RM), in contrast, to Branch Mentality deals with the causes – what cannot be readily seen, like the roots of a tree. It uses the symptoms to discern that there are causes and further investigates the causes behind the symptoms. It is a more difficult option in the short term but gets easier with time. This approach is synonymous with the saying, “a stitch in time saves nine” and as the Good Book states, “catch the little foxes that ruin the vine”. Yes, catch the little foxes now before they become giants that would be hard to kill. This approach therefore adopts a long-term view to issues whiles keeping an eye on tomorrow, with the knowledge that yesterday's actions will splash like waves of the shores of tomorrow for a season. It maintains that you reap what you sow and today's actions are usually rewarded tomorrow.

Root Mentality involves more mental strain but it is more beneficial and rewarding than branch mentality. It involves thinking through your options in a logical manner whilst abhorring rush decision making. It looks at the bigger/whole picture and usually guarantees a much longer lasting solution. In essence, what RM advocates is that you deal with the 'roots' and that failure to do so would cause the 'plant' to sprout again at the 'scent of water'.

So here was I, faced with an interesting choice between two opposing worlds. Would I choose to continue being the well respected family man that I was or be found to have gone astray? I had to weigh the potential gains against the losses. I went on a mental journey through all the possible options and arrived at a conclusion that I am very proud of. It was not an easy decision considering what I had to walk away from. In any case, I would make that same decision over and over again as that was the most sensible option arrived at through the application of root mentality. I have detailed this on my blog and I am glad to announce that I am enjoying the rewards now.

I am sure someone reading this story is at a quandary between sticking to that wife or husband you have come far with, or you may be thinking about going for a new person. If someone says that the ephemeral boost to ego and self-esteem that new friendships bring does not feel good then they are lying. Have you ever met someone new and wondered where they had been hiding all this while and why you did not meet them before you met your spouse?

The grass usually seems greener on the other side and it sure does feel greener at times but it is not always green and you may be actually going from frying pan to fire. You can read more words of wisdom in my book as I tell my full story and recount where I am now; my regrets and my pride. I also present a sound argument that ephemeral pleasures and lusts must be viewed through the spectacles of their lifelong consequences.

If you are reading this, then by all means learn something as it may stand you well either today or tomorrow. I shall return in Part 3 with some real words of wisdom for my targeted audience.

Dr. Frank Robert Silverson is the author of articles like Gambling- Addiction or Choice (Parts 1-4), Contemplations of an extra-marital affair; a didactic (Parts 1-3), The Ultimate Leak, and Free Press or Foolishness. He is currently working on Pornography – The Silent Killer (Parts 1&2), Churches – Commerce or Compassion (Parts 1&2), and Politicians - Machiavellians or Messiahs (Parts 1&2) soon to be published.

Email: [email protected]

Frank Robert Silverson
Frank Robert Silverson, © 2010

The author has 29 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: FrankRobertSilverson

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