THE FUTURE OF MY PAST : BEYOND AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY – AN AMAZING BOOK WRITTEN BY DR UDOM UDOH –
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In the book in your hand, the author chronicles experiences and challenges he faced during his extraordinary life journey.
Difficult as his early life was, he reminds us that our past experiences, no matter how ugly they were, are our best teacher and the brainchild of whatever we are today.
Therefore, we should endeavor to understand why certain things happened to us in the past and make use of our past experiences to design the future we want for ourselves and others. This is the kernel of this autobiography and underscores its title—The Future of my Past. Our past is behind us, but no less significant.
Understanding our past helps us to create a better future for ourselves. We should learn from the past but focus on the future because that’s where we are going to spend the rest of our lives.
The author admonishes those who think strings of university degrees, materialism, and socio-economic power, are what life is all about. Drawing from his past experiences, he discusses what he considers the true meaning of life and his credo for the future—People First. He plans to intentionally focus on other people’s welfare, rather than on himself, to lift them out of the valley of nothingness with whatever resources at his disposal. He sees this as the greatest act of humanity. The author encourages us to contribute whatever we can, wherever we are, to improve the lives of other people. That is, he concludes, what makes people significant, and the true meaning of life.
ABOUT THE AMAZING AUTHOR – DR UDOM ELIJAH UDOM
Udoh Elijah Udom was socialized early to view education as the passport to success. Therefore, he grew up with a ravenous appetite for knowledge. Unfortunately, his education was put on hold when his father passed away even before he completed his primary education. With the money earned from menial jobs, and support from his mother, he completed his primary education and moved on to study privately for ordinary and advanced level General Certificate of Education (GCE). Success in GCE opened doors for further studies in institutions of higher learning.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in social science/psychology from The University of Wisconsin (USA); Juris Doctorate degree from The University of Iowa (USA); Master of Law degree from The University of Leicester (UK), and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Government/Public Administration from The University of Texas at Austin (USA)—mission accomplished. While in graduate schools, he served as Faculty Assistant to different faculty members. This was when he developed an interest in academics, but his interest in academics was overtaken by an attractive job offer with the World Health Organization (WHO) regional office for Africa (AFRO) in Brazzaville, Congo.
He began a long career with WHO that lasted for two decades (1984 – 2004); first with AFRO in various legal and administrative capacities for thirteen years (1984 – 1997). This job took him to many African countries, South of the Sahara. He loved working in the African region of WHO, except when he was assigned to war-torn countries. Traveling to different African countries exposed him to different African cultures, particularly languages. In 1997, he was transferred to WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, where he served as the Head of Administrative Services till his retirement in July 2004.
Retirement, in the true meaning of that word, was not in Dr. Udom’s lexicon. He retired from WHO but was not tired. In 2005, he accepted an Adjunct Faculty position with Strayer University in Washington, DC, USA.
This appointment paved the way for him to satisfy his passion for teaching, writing, and research. At Strayer University, he taught undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in law and public administration. His passion for teaching earned him recognition among students, his peers, and university leadership. In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious Donald R. Stoddard Faculty Award of Excellence. In 2009, he was promoted Academic Dean of Strayer University campus in Nashville, Tennessee. This was a unique position in the continuum of his career in academics, particularly as the facilitating link among faculty members, staff, students, and University leadership.
As an Academic Dean, he decided on courses to be offered each quarter, coordinated students’ admission processes, recruited faculty and staff of the academic department, and carried out regular faculty evaluation. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Washington Adventist University, Takoma Park, Washington DC.
Dr. Udom is an author of three books: (i) Adminisprudence: A Behavioural Approach to Managing Ourselves and Others (1998), (ii) Restless Citizens: The Hidden Burdens of Living and Working for the United Nations (2010), and (iii) What Makes Students Tick: Unlocking the Passion for Learning (2014), and peer-reviewed articles. He continues to sharpen his knowledge by reading, writing, and a blogger for his online journals: http://www.ourroot.net. He is involved in church activities, ethnic and professional associations promoting human welfare and dignity. As a grandfather, he often travels to visit his grandchildren scattered across the globe. No wonder he says retirement is a job of many colors.
He is a man who “never sleeps.” He is always thinking or doing something to improve himself. What’s next after this autobiography has been published? Stay tuned.