Tag Archives: thoughts

Heights by Great Men…

As National Heroes Day approaches in Jamaica, the theme for this year’s celebrations “A Great Heritage…A Great Legacy” got me thinking. Not many of us Jamaicans really know why we celebrate our National Heroes each year. Not many Jamaicans can relate to the struggle of the times the heroes lived in and can appreciate the feat they accomplished in their own ways.

Earlier this year I had the privilege of hiking to the Blue Mountain peak in Jamaica. This was my second time hiking to the top but my first time hiking it in daylight. Climbing 7,402 ft to the peak is no easy feet but this time I had been exercising leading up to the that hike date so that the task would not be insurmountable.

Among the clouds at the Blue Mountain peak, Jamaica.

It took several hours to get to the peak and on more occasions than one I felt like the peak could not be reached and I would never stop hiking. In those moments I thought of my National Heroes, two in particular and what it must have been like for them to have done something similar to this. Nanny of theMaroons and Paul Bogle hiked and walked for miles and days but that is not something often spoken about.

Nanny of the Maroons is known as the Warrior Queen who outsmarted British soldiers and fought to maintain her people’s freedom. Paul Bogle is known as the peasant farmer who after not getting an audience with the then Governor, Edward Eyre, started a rebellion that led to more favourable conditions for Jamaicans of that time.

Yes, they both did what we said they did but on this particular day in May of 2017 I put myself in both their shoes. Paul Bogle saw the injustices being met out to his fellow brothers and sisters and wanted to do something to help especially since (albeit marginally) he was in a position to help. Imagine the food shortage and drought that was being faced. I imagined walking in the hot sun (and oh, how the sun can be hot) 45 miles (a little over 72 km) from Stony Gut to Spanish Town. I imagined being thirsty and hungry and not having enough food to fully satisfy me. I imagined sweating and starting to smell a bit. I imagined how the stone would be jabbing and hurting the soles of my feet with each step I took. I only imagined that last part thinking Paul’s shoe was his ‘Sunday best’ and that he wouldn’t walk the soles out on such a long journey. He definitely did not have hiking boots or sneakers like I did. I want you to feel that and then imagine how it would feel to arrive in Spanish Town after all that walking, only to be told that the Governor has no time for you, you peasant. Listen to me. How Bogle kept his cool to not start a rebellion right there and then is worthy of commendation.

I imagined hiking through the dangerous terrain of the Blue Mountains, no trail to follow, with babies, children, elderly people and those who were sick or injured. I imagined being the one that everyone looked to for guidance and assurance that “its not too far now” when it would take weeks to get to our destination. I imagine having to carry a child in my arms as I climbed. I imagined having to lift a person up who couldn’t maneuver the terrain well. I imagined hearing the constant complaints of tiredness, thirst and hunger. I imagined hearing the cries of the babies who were just frustrated with the constant movement. I imagined having to stop or slow the pace to facilitate someone who had fallen and badly injured themselves on the path I led them. I imagined it raining and my only shelter being the leaves of trees. How did she not give up? How did Nanny not throw in the towel and say it was all too much for her to deal with? I can only guess that after all that she endured with the Maroons as they moved cross-country gave her even more determination for it to not all be for naught.

At the top, the feeling of it all being worth it; the feeling of it now coming to an end, welled up in my chest. I took a moment and looked around and saluted Nanny and Paul Bogle for digging past the voice that says we can’t do it or that it is too much for us to handle. I saluted them because:

  1. I can now relate to what it was like to have done one thing they did in their lives and appreciate it was not easy and no small feat.
  2. They embodied spirits living in us today, justifying our strength as a people – as a Black race.
  3. It doesn’t have to be National Heroes Day for me to pay respects to my heroes.

What our Heroes did was to ACT. They acted get the change they wanted to see instead of just talking about it. That is why they are our Heroes.

If you are Jamaican having trouble relating to our National Heroes or understanding why they are recognised as heroes, try walking in their shoes. Take some time to do something they did and strip away the luxuries we enjoy today.

 

Which Hero do you most relate to and why? tell me in the comments below.

Onward!
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Almost Over is Not the End

Its July (‘Finally!’ I can hear some people say) and more than half of 2017 is in the bag.

I took a moment and looked at the things I had hoped to accomplish by this time and some of them I have yet to and others seem that they will not be accomplished. A part of me feels, or I should say felt, a little disappointed that after trying my hand at setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals I may not achieve  them all.

Just this morning, my advice to a friend was that she needed to examine a particular situation as if she was not directly involved in it, to give it a fair judgement. That’s what I needed to do (take your own advice nuh sista!). As it turns out, being rue to self, I had set AMBITIOUS goals (I apparently changed the meaning of A in SMART Goals). The goals I had set for the time-frame I had set them for were quite ambitious in that any once could have told me that they were either too heavy or just too much for me to take on alone especially in the time I had set out to do so.

I am not disappointed in setting goals beyond what I can readily attain. I am, however, disappointed in the fact that somethings will have to be rescheduled. I believe they are all of equal importance and choosing which to delay is hard. It is a good thing I find solace in knowing that my journey is not the same as the next person’s I can’t compare my life to theirs. My life has to be compared with itself over a period of time. Without a doubt I can see growth and progress. So while half the year is behind me I am not behind in meeting goals and REALISTIC goals and targets

If you are reading this and you too have realised that some goals o targets for this year will not be met, don’t begin to beat yourself up about it. Step out of the situation and think about how you can shuffle it to move forward. Remember there is no blueprint for this thing. We are all trying to figure it out too.

There is no wrong or right way to pace your life.

What are some of your goals or targets for this year?

Back To Life, Back To Me.

As I write this, I am sitting around my dining table in my apartment (if it falls under that category of housing) and thinking. Thinking a lot while I munch on food. Things have changed. I have changed. I read two old posts of mine and thought ‘Where is that girl?’. My voice and creativity have changed and are not as pure as they were. I don’t mind change but I do mind when it takes up too much of the space that is reserved for purity and hope. I want to see blogging as extremely fun and satisfying again.

It is not that I have lost that. I started writing not for myself anymore and that is when I started to change. I was writing on demand for anyone that wanted. I was writing for someone to like it. I started writing because it was my escape and it kept me calm. It just so happened that people liked my recorded thoughts. It can still happen that way (even though I missed out on making many hilarious posts because of that change).

Since I have decided that it’s back to posting my thoughts, here is what I am mulling over:

How do you keep calm when everyone around you seems to be moving faster on their escalators than you are on yours?

  • Truth is, it is hard. It’s a constant reminder that their destination is not yours.
  • I have remind myself that their circumstance or situation is not the same as mine. I have to reassure myself of those things to keep calm and focused on the goal.
  • It could also be that they are more prepared for their reward than I am. I can definitely think of one goal that I want but don’t want while I’m not prepared to receive it.
  • It could also be that they aren’t on their way to goal they had set or to any goal at all. They good very well just be going.

Blinders need to be put on for 2017 because I don’t want anyone’s seeming ‘busyness’ make me lose sight of what I am working towards.

Alright.

Nap time then back to work. (I have my fingers crossed that the second half of that statement works out).

BTW, have you heard Letoya Luckett’s Back 2 Life song? You should listen and watch the video.

I recently placed myself in a very high stress situation.
My head hurt, my brain would not maneuver the obstacle and I was frustrated. I became irritated and was just dishing out attitude. I even began to take feedback and general comments to a whole new level of personal.

I cried. Then I stopped and questioned my actions. This was not like me. I don’t do these things. Says who? Everyone has come to know me as a the strong-willed person that isn’t easily derailed and doesn’t show much emotion. No one ever stopped to consider why….
The thing is, I am a normal human being too. I get my feelings hurt too, I cry sometimes, I get nervous, I feel intimidated, I sometimes feel like I can’t do certain things and that I’m not good enough. This is just not the first ting you will know about me because its not what I want to be the only thing that comes to people’s minds when they think of me. I make an effort to be strong, to not cry, to tell myself that I can do it, that I am worth something because it doesn’t come naturally. I did not wake up like that!

Everyday I interact with someone, I challenge myself. I challenge myself to let them see an individual that I hope can somehow be projected back unto me. I hope they see the person I want to be, the person I try to be each day without casting judgement when a more human side shows.

I try not to over think things. I try not to cry when my feelings are hurt (or not to let them see me cry, at. least). I try things that I think are hard and not for me. Why? Because its a process of self discovery. I don’t think you stay they same forever and as such, I want to keep learning what I can and cannot do. I try not to let my fear cripple me. The fear is there, I’m just trying. I never want to look back and say ‘I didn’t try’. When I say something is intimidating its because that’s my opinion and I am entitled to one, as are you. It in no way means I have given up.

I recently placed myself in a very high stress situation.
My head hurt, my brain would not maneuver the obstacle and I was frustrated. I became irritated and was just dishing out attitude. I even began to take feedback and general comments to a whole new level of personal. But then I remembered I’m doing this for me. For myself. Not for the next person and their comments (negative or not). I’m doing this because I want to better myself. I tell myself that I can do it and its always nice to have someone in your corner believing in you too (thank you for telling me that I can do anything).

So why do I challenge myself? I challenge myself for me. To reinvent and discover myself. I challenge myself to become the person I want to be.

Mourn for Jamaica

While texting a friend recently I said something to him after realizing how he responds to the paradox created by our next-to-dead economy. He said I should share my view on the text so I am obeying an order, I guess.

Jamaica is in a deplorable state right now. I fear that if we continue on this path unobstructed, we will end up like Haiti. Not saying Haiti is a horrible place but, be reasonable. Unemployment levels are beyond high. The value of the currency is about to reach the pits of hell. The cost of living and inflation make life even more unbearable. All of this may not seem to be anything to the one that is well protected but imagine having a job then losing it; the value of your savings shrinking to microscopic levels rendering them useless to sustain life till you get back on your feet; sliding a class or two lower than you were before (imagine the lower class people); relative that worked overseas and sent remittances home, now seem like they aren’t doing enough. You just cannot get by.

This state causes more of everything you are seeing now: More children on the streets selling to help provide for the family instead of being a child and staying in school; More hot girls sitting in taxis with only their fares in their purses; More Escalade drivers sipping on bag juice. It also leads to a rise in all the murders, robberies, acts of praedial larceny, violence against women and children etc. What you don’t readily see are the rising number of cases of depression which eventually lead to suicides or an increase in street people.

My friend seemingly gets sad every time he sees such things and ‘feels bad’ for the individuals so I texted him saying: “…Don’t let everything you see make you mourn for Jamaica. Just try not to be the reason someone mourns for Jamaica.”

I said it with the intention to get him from throwing on a sad face whenever he sees such thing because that would be very often but thinking about it, it’s also because I want good for him. I don’t want him to be broke with just enough money to get by. I don’t want him to be driving a car and sipping on bag juice (although they are quite refreshing). I don’t want his future daughter on the streets selling sweets or snacks because his ability to be a providing parent was taken from him. I most definitely don’t want him to be a headline for prime time news and give me a heart failure over grave news.

Things are bad and I think I’ve said it before that they are going to get worse before they get better.  It’s up to us as family and friends to keep each other happy and in check so that we all can be around to enjoy it when it does get better.

Peace & Love…

 

 

 

 

 

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