Christmas Time: The search for Happiness 

It’s Christmas Time !!!

A time for togetherness and remembering the birth of Jesus Christ for those who are spiritual persons. 
This morning, most of us have that one or few relatives that can cook and would have had the ham ready and cakes baked with the presents under the tree. 

I’m currently in bed and happy that I don’t have work for two days because we’re observing Christmas and Boxing day Monday and Tuesday respectively. 

With all this excitement and Digicel not giving us anything free because they know we’ll use it hard on Christmas day. We have to consider another aspect of the festivities. The homeless and those living in private and state run homes. 

Recently, I have been thinking about the homeless and how some of these people find their way on the streets. Some look more decent than some and you can tell that they’re new to the area. I remember seeing this elderly lady at the Transport Centre in Half Way Tree, who asked if I could help her fill her prescription. When I heard her plight, I recommended using what was left of the card to buy what she needed and return another time. She stated that my suggestion wouldn’t work. I left and told her that I wasn’t able to offer my assistance. Weeks passed and in passing the same centre I saw the woman again.

Another instance was Friday, where a man who they said had cancerous tissues damage one of his nostrils leaving a hole in his face was begging money on Ruthven road. I wanted to stop and give him money -it’s Christmas. However the other side of me said not to as he may ‘tek set’ if he should see you again (it soun a way- mi kno).

Then there are the children who live in state run homes. They are excited to see new faces and are content with you interacting with them; real interactions like playing games, reading to them, letting them play with your phone or just sitting with them and returning on other occasions. I’ll never forget the last visit my Optimist Club (Royal Optimist Club of Kingston) made to Glenhope Nursery and one child fell asleep on a volunteers lap….

For those who have had the opportunity to visit on a regular basis to any home. They will agree that all these individuals want is attention. If this is the response from them in the homes imagine that of our own families that we hardly talk to?

 Every time I see them on the streets and in these homes, I always wonder what their story is. For those on the street; what happened for them to be in this situation?  Were things that bad where their families gave up in them? Did they live a good life?  Are they at a stage in their life where they don’t want to return to the “normal” life? 

Then there are those who have to sell to make their Christmas and even the New Year better. I respect their hustle and try to support when I can. What saddens me is when everyone including children have to sell to make a profit. To them it may be the norm but I can’t recall doing it as a child. Though they set up shop anywhere to catch the eye of interested shoppers, causing a nuisance to law enforcement officer and your walking space. We should support them in their efforts.

How many of us can say that we’ve made a shopping list that included items for those living on the streets and in homes? Did you stop to give money to the Salvation Army before entering a store? Are you more concerned about what you’ll get for Christmas than the current state of your relationships? Did you consider purchasing  less presents than multiple items per giftee this year to create an ease for your pocket? How many of you contacted your loved ones and friends today to wish them a Merry Christmas?
On the other hand I’ve always asked myself, when am I giving too much?
These are the things that we should reflect on during the Christmas holidays. This season is about giving, which means we should not limit ourselves to just our families. However, extend a helping hand to those whose families have disassociated themselves from them, those whose families have died,  those who don’t know their families. Those who wish they were in our shoes. 

This Christmas season, never forget to be appreciative and truly thankful for what you have and the thought of the things you will receive. Life is too short to mulling over the little things and harboring thoughts of malice and condoning petty behaviour. 

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The Jamaican Spirit

Imagine standing in Half Way Tree waiting for the 100m finals to start, because Usain is in the race and you’re hoping that Gatlin doh win. Even though you don’t know him- you jus’ cyah stan’ di bwoy. The lights change from green to red with cars still in line. Pedestrians look intently on the big screen while the athletes get settled in their blocks and wait for the gun to go off.

Gun cocked and the athletes are out of their blocks, you watch with bated breath as you see Usain off to a slow start and Gatlin look good, then out of nowhere….the Legend increases his speed and just like that- he wins the race!!!

Gold for Usain…Gold for Jamaica.

Being blessed to live in that very moment, Jamaicans celebrated all over the world with persons they know and don’t know. At that moment nothing else mattered, only that Jamaica has something to be happy about.

This, like many other moments are what I will call the Jamaican Spirit.

Like many other countries we get together and celebrate our nation’s victory in an international event, wherever we get the opportunity to see. However, the Jamaican spirit is unique.

Earlier this year Wray and Nephew launched their Our Spirit campaign, one which I publicly lauded them for as it truly embodies who we are in this land of wood and water. Despite the many setbacks we are facing; our spirit provides us with a level of cohesion that makes us use that One Love Bob Marley sang about.

 

 

On August 6, we celebrated 54 years of Independence and the question I asked myself was, What makes me Jamaican? I was unable to answer for a few minutes and then I remembered bits of our culture.

It’s that unique behaviour that makes us who we are and Usain Bolt I believe is an great representation of who we are as Jamaicans on the track.

  1. There will be instances in which we’ll mess up, but when it’s time to work you can count on us.
  2. RESPECT us and we’ll RESPECT you.
  3. We know how to make a situation work for us.
  4. We enjoy the opportunity to showcase our Jamaicaness (word of the day).

There are many more things that we can think of which makes us who we are. At the end of the day, though small in stature we have made an indelible mark in the world. The generations to come, once led in the right way can continue to make this country be the place to live, work and raise families.

 

 

Mothers Day

On May 8, 2016, we celebrated the life and efforts of all  Mothers. Those that are alive, who have passed, biological and non-biological. I can imagine many of us shuffled to get the presents on time and got hints from our mothers on what they wanted and where they wanted to be.

I can recall many instances in which I’ve watched mothers conduct their duties and just stare in awe at how they did things effortlessly. They mess up at times, but watching how they fixed it is a God given gift to me.

Recently, there was a discussion about whether fathers should be celebrated on Mothers Day and this created two positions. One side agreed that they should be included; under the premise that they are single fathers taking on the responsibility of both parents. The others opposed because there is already a day for them, let us wait until that day, Fathers Day to recognize them.

Earlier this year, I was at my cousin’s baby shower and what stood out to me, was that they all spoke about one thing – Instinct. Most agreed that every pregnancy is different and the development between you and your child will also be. Your instinct will be your guide as to whether you’re doing the right or wrong thing, as you will know your child. What works and what doesn’t. However there’s nothing wrong with taking advice from others.

M

Hearing this, had me thinking about other things such as good mothers versus bad mothers. The one word that everyone can agree comes to mind when they think of mothers is nurture– mothers are nurturing. For instance in the book of Sybil where Sybil’s mother who was schizophrenic, inserted things into Sybil’s vagina causing her to be barren later in life. Many persons would think that Sybil’s mother was an evil woman.

Another instance is a mother who gives up her daughter to a man as a means of getting money, a mother who encourages her son to be involved in criminal activities as it promotes a better way of life and ignoring a child when they tell you that they are being abused by your partner. Being negative to the child when they make a mistake and  having your children sell on the street. Are all examples in which mothers would be considered bad.

Some of these instances from the onset we can see as wrong, however we must understand that it is at times the surroundings that mothers are in that promote these behaviors. If it is considered the norm in one area, it would be very hard to convince them that it is something that needs to change.

It is not easy being a mother and until we are in the situation we will never understand what it means to make decisions such as those. I find it amazing that on Mothers Day we place such emphasis on these hardworking women. That’s the thing- women over the years have been witnesses and victims to MANY circumstances. Throughout the years, I believe we as women have learnt to adapt to certain situations and when faced with peril we get an inkling of what to do to make the situation better even when balancing a job, marriage and extra curricular activities added to being a mother.

Mo

I believe that women are born with an inner lioness in them, an innate supply of strength that prepares them for situations that they may face in life. Even if they are scared, it does not show,  as they are able to mask it so that they can stand their ground and make a point. At that moment nothing else matters.

HAITIAN

I remember when there was a robbery at my family’s jerk centre and my brother and his friend was there. Our house is right next to it so my mom and I were inside. The first shot was fired because my brother ran off and the second shot was for him. At that moment, my mother ran out of the house, asking what was wrong not knowing that she actually talking to the gunman, because all she could think of was that her son was out there- it was his birthday.

Persons may say that the emphasis  we place on our mothers is too much, that it’s just a day and what’s the big fuss about. After the day we go back to our old ways. I recommend that we not limit these acts of kindness to just Mothers Day, but do it everyday.

Before you disobey your mother leading to your ‘I told you so moment’. Take a look at your mother’s activities on a daily basis. The time she rises in the morning to get you ready for your day to when you leave her to go to bed. This woman can never be repaid and her love is inevitable, undying and unchanging. Sometimes she may say things like “no go out tonight because mi dream”… at times it’s best to listen to her and just do. She may explain or may not after her instructions. However trust her  and believe that what is being said further enhances your safety.

 

Mother

 

 

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.