The Beaten’s Perspective

Many of us have had the touch of the leather belt on our skins because of the trouble we gave when we were younger. Some with a different level of trouble got the shoes, broom, fan belt, metre stick and even the wire. At the end of the day, we all turned out pretty good, we can can laugh at the moments in which we got it, what we tried to do to avoid it and what our parents did to get us to stay put an ‘tek lick’.

One of the effects is when we see younger siblings or relatives acting up, we the third party are offended at the responses and actions they let out. As we have always been told don’t spare the rod and spoil the child (the phrase was actually coined by Samuel Butler in 1664 in one of his poems).

Unfortunately, there are those who with those beatings got bruised, and abused in the process. This should not be the case as the repercussions of such acts do not help with nurturing the child to be better individuals. Many persons would argue that corporal punishment is not the way to go and that it should be ruled out of the nurturing process. Yes, you can always talk to your child and tell them that what they are doing or did was wrong and expect that from the negotiations things will change. Granted this does not include children who may have a mental dysfunction and would not understand at the moment the change you are trying to instill. This is for the children who are quite normal but are just rude.

So…. what do you do is when you reprimand your child or relative, and he/she still doesn’t get it?

Believe me, that first slap you give the child will have them shocked as they never expected it. Let’s be real, we do test our parents to know their limit. However there is a certain way to achieve this; if successful, each parent knows their child and knows the effect of some acts. “Just save the yeye” as many Jamaican parents would say.

As an older sibling and former beaten child, I believe these steps below can help to better nurture your kids in the way you want. In the end creating positive results than negative ones.

Step 1- Educate them

It’s always good before they act up to let them know where you stand on certain things. For example, if you are going to be on the road and know your budget cannot include KFC or Burger King. Tell them. Let there be that initial understanding that you will not be able to fulfill their needs at all times.

Step 2- Warn them

When that child begins to act up, warn them. Remind them that you are not able to buy the food and that you can get something else. If they continue then you let them know what will happen if they don’t stop. If the complaints still have not ceased, then you warn again.

Step 3- Administer the Punishment 

If they still continue this is it… you go in and just do it, don’t say I’m going to slap you now. Just do it.

Step 4- Debrief

After the act, this is the time, you sit with your child and let them know that what happened was because the act they did was bad. We are all human and at times we mess up. However, create that distinction between good and bad behaviour and also when beatings can be expected. This can then lessen the likelihood of you having to raise your hand.

Each child is different and once you share the same space with them,  you will then know how to treat each child accordingly. The steps mentioned above may not work all the time. However it should not allow for your frustrations to come through and you beat the child to a pulp.


Bob Marley: The Lyrical Advocate

Many of us while living our lives feel strongly about particular issues and raise awareness, whether it be through the arts, forums or the media. Unfortunately, in our plight to let these issues be known, we at times become violent and cloud the idea we envisioned. The results of this shows that, people already know, didn’t know or did not know how to start and in the end feel encouraged to support the cause. Throughout this venture to raise awareness about the issue, we learn that not all persons will agree with our reasoning.

Robert Nesta Marley who was inspired by Rastafari, stood for social change and with his words stirred the pockets of a deeper consciousness with lyrics such as

Open your eyes and look within: Are you satisfied (with the life you’re living)?  -Exodus

How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?- Redemption Song

Words such as these made ‘The Gong’ held in high esteem today. Even years after, his legacy lives on; whether it be through his music, his quotes, his images and let’s not forget his children who are taking the name to higher levels.

The One Love Peace concert, was one such event that made people reconsider their actions due to the political unrest that took place between the two parties People’s National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in the seventies. During the concert he called the then Prime Minister Michael Manley; leader of the PNP and Opposition leader Edward Seaga for the JLP to the stage for them to shake hands. Later that year he was presented with the United Nations Peace Medal of the Third World. It was there in his speech that he said

“Them gonna follow the example we set. When we come together the whole world gonna look and seh ‘It can be done.”

Jamaica has been fortunate to have other lyrical advocates such as Buju Banton, Peter Tosh and I’ll even add Vybz Kartel. For the latter, he mentioned during his interview in 2011 on the popular Jamaican show  On Stage that “the people have the power”…. now if he was able to notice that and use it to his advantage, why shouldn’t we for all the right reasons?

“If you believe you can make a difference, not just in politics, in public service, in advocacy around all these important issues, then you have to be prepared to accept that you are not going to get 100 percent approval”- Hilary Clinton

Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, Bree Newsome, Bram Fischer, Michael J Fox and Nelson Mandela are all people that decided to make a change in their society because they were not comfortable with the situations present at the time. These people were not perfect, but they received help from others who also shared these views to create the change they wanted to see.

We all have the charge to make things better for ourselves and for those in our society. Don’t feel intimidated by the work that is out there, with confidence, optimism and and open mind you can achieve what you want. Express yourself in whatever way you can, Bob Marley did it through song and it reached millions.

Even if it is a tweet; DO IT. You’ll be surprised at who is paying attention.







When is it My Hair?


Last year in October, I celebrated my one year loc anniversary. I thought that I had escaped the questions about me locing my hair and didn’t think that with the progress, that this is the time that they would come. Most times I have my hair pinned up.

The questions that I got the most were Why you loc it? Another said you have nice hair, one coworker said to me after asking why I loc’d it that he doesn’t like when smart people make stupid decisions…… he caught himself after realizing that he had put his foot in his mouth.

I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations, no (hey)
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and considering locs and it’s history in Jamaica with the Rastafarian faith, me deciding to wear that style automatically changes people’s perception of me; some good and others not so good.  Now I’m getting the rasta, empress, princess and daughter more because it’s evident that I wear locs.

Admittedly, I was against wearing it and I thought that having locs meant that you were not clean- come on some rastas whether by religion or lifestyle make it bad fi some. However, one day after seeing friends and persons in my circle make the decision and take care of their hair and the results they saw after. Such results made me believe that it could happen to me as well.

I just wanted to loc because I don’t like combing my hair, I later learnt that in order to get the Kamilah Mcdonald, Sanneta Myrie or even Damion ‘Junior Gong’ Marley locs, your hair has to be healthy, you need PATIENCE and most of the time you are the one taking care of your hair.

I’m learning also that I should accept my hair for what it is, regardless of what society dictates.  Currently it is fuzzy and considering the environment that I’m working in, I have to find ways to reduce the level of fuzziness ( this topic is for another time).

Good hair means curls and waves (no)
Bad hair means you look like a slave (no)
At the turn of the century
It’s time for us to redefine who we be
You can shave it off like a South African beauty
Or get in on lock like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight like Oprah Winfrey
If it’s not what’s on your head, it’s what’s underneath, and say

What annoys me, is the comment about my hair type which is considered to be ‘good hair’, which makes me think that people have the perception that only people with bad hair should loc their hair, which is not true. Mi sure know say, when I need to do my hair, no one offers to  give me money to do it, so why do you think I’m going to trim for you? What is funny is that some of these people that we emulate and admire for their ‘good hair’ don’t even take care of it.

I’d say, go for people who regardless of their hair type aim for healthy hair. Nuttin not hurt me more when me see women have een the good good weave and dem ‘baby hair’ a beg fi likkle moisture or the kids hair need it too. Good hair only comes when you take care of it; ever since I’ve loc’d my hair my loctician has not told me about thinning locs, breakage or  that no progress has been made.

I commend all those naturlistas and relaxed babes out there who do take care of their hair, regardless of their hair type.

Lyrics from: