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. 

23 Years and Still Counting

Looking at the years I’ve gone through; the achievements, experiences and lessons I’ve learnt I’ll say that I’m doing a good job. I’m coming from days when you’d put me before a group of people at church to recite something and I’d just start crying.

I’ve always been shy and I doubt that will go away but I’ve learnt how to work around it.

What I love about myself is the ability to learn; I’ve always wanted to understand what was happening around me.  Though it may lead me down the wrong path, even if I messed up, I have learned from it.

I’ve learnt that I’m a perfectionist; so I get flustered when things don’t work as they should, I’m impatient and stubborn. Though they may be negatives they help me to be more expressive in things that I dislike and getting the results I need.

I believe in being fair, I spoil those I care about, LOVE music and dancing, love the concept of travelling and my sanity is VERY important to me.

Lord grant me the serenity 

 to accept the things I cannot change

the courage to change the things I can

and the wisdom to now the difference

These are the things I’ve learnt, though they are what we constantly hear. They do make a difference when you have actually achieved them. In this Twenty Third year of my life:

  1. Nothing in this life is yours; whatever you want you have to work to maintain and keep it in your life.
  2.   It’s OK if you don’t know everything.
  3.  It’s OK to make a mistake.
  4.  Fuck Boys will always exist and though they are assholes, you need to now whether you want to continue to face the treatment or move on.
  5. We all need someone to lean on *queues the dance* however for you to find that special person you need to know and understand yourself.
  6. There will be moments when you have to be the bigger persons because that other person REFUSES to be.
  7. At times you have to create opportunities, as nothing will happen if you wait for them.
  8. Keep the relationship going with your family.
  9. Be honest with yourself, it saves you so much time, when you can accept your flaws, inabilities and insecurities than learning the hard way.
  10. LOVE yourself.
  11. Not everyone is for you, though they smile with you they may be against you.

I’m happy that regardless of what I have been through, I’m happy of what I’ve become. I’m NOT perfect, but I’d wouldn’t want it any other way.

My name is Jermaine Roberta Hope Peart and I am a UWI graduate, Respect Jamaica Youth Ambassador, Vice President of the Royal Optimist of Kingston (ROCK), who is quirky, caring and a passionate young woman who just wants to make my society and the world on a whole a better place for my generation and generations to come.