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Read Letter

The Seven Laws of Umugudunga

My dear Jack,

Today, I want to share a short parable with you.

There is a place not on Google map. It is the kingdom of Umugudunga. The people of Umugudunga have a strange anatomical feature. Their feet are turned backwards. In effect, when they walk forward they are walking backward. And when they walk backward they are facing front! What a strange twist of fate!

Understandably, it conflicted the Umugudungans. They knew neither forward nor backward! Do they walk in the direction of their feet, or do they walk in the direction of their eyes?

As you can imagine, the Umugudungans were greatly divided. They could not agree on the definition of “forward” and “backward”. And they soon began labelling themselves “forward thinkers” and “backward thinkers”, especially the politicians.

They had a huge communication problem. In the army, a simple command of “Five steps forward!” created unimaginable confusion. And children were also conflicted. A parent famously commanded his child to move forward and the boy began to walk backward! When he scolded him harshly, his neighbours were divided as to whether it’s obedience, or insubordination! So divided was the kingdom over linguistic properties.

In order to resolve the orientation dilemma, the Umugudungans came up with a set of laws – The Seven Laws of Umugudunga. I want to share them with you. (They’re curiously instructive). Here are the seven laws:

a) What constitutes “forward” must be determined by vision, not the direction of the feet.

b) Exertion without vision must be deemed progress in the opposite direction.

c) Walking without vision is the equivalence of walking with one’s back.

d) If you walk without vision you will bump into the unseen and unforeseen.

e) Since the eyes are in the head, the head is greater than the feet.

f) The direction you face is the direction of your journey in life.

g) Direction determines final destination!

These are the Seven Laws of Umugudunga. I advice that you spend some time thinking about each. They will help you assess where you are, what you’re doing and whether you’re headed in the right direction.

I wish you the best, as always.

Your mentor, LA.


The Umugudungas lived happily ever after though some insist that the old days of no clarity were better.


©Leke Alder 2013

Tags : Destination, Vision, Direction

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