Being Yourself

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Often, we are told to change who we are but we should not do that willy-nilly. We should be ourselves. We should only change ourselves if we want to change. Normally I speak about political issues but today is a different day. The world is a different world. Children are being brought up in societies where being different is more becoming the norm yet we still have a lot more of the same.

Be like us! The world says be like us. Do what we do. Join this or that profession. This or that other career path is not a ‘real’ profession. There are times, of course, in life when we must follow the rules and conform to certain standards but that does not mean you should lose who you are. 

The message I am leaving here is not one of be different or stand out from the crowd. I am saying do what you want to do. Be who you are. Even if you do not know yourself at all get on the road and be the best you can be in the moment until you find a better you. We are always finding our better selves. Our best selves are out there . Better said, our best selves are inside of us.

We are constantly honing our personalities by our choices. I think it would be better (this is just a thought so do what you want in the end) if we make choices in our best interest instead of adhering to choices made for us. Of course we do not always know what is best for us. That is why sometimes we must choose to listen to the advice and sometimes the commands of others. Thing is that choice is still your choice to make and no one else’s . 

This life is a curious life. It is a life like the game of cricket; full of glorious uncertainties. If life were straight-forward all of the time it would surely be too dull for many of us. There would be some of us who would love it that way. They have their slice of life on earth too where some things are as straight as they can be. For the rest of humanity, wherever you are, actually for all of humanity just enjoy whatever it is you are doing, be yourself and do you to the best of your ability.

HUSH|HUSH

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HUSH/HUSH is an interview series where we ask bold questions to marginalized individuals and get bold answers.

 

How would you describe yourself?

Soft spoken and motivated.

What caused you to start using drugs? When did you start?

I wanted to try it out. Age 16

Is there a difference between drug abuse and drug use?

Yes

What drugs did / do you use?

Marijuana

How did/ do you consume your drugs?

Smoking

How does it feel when you are high?

Normal

Depending on the drug is the psychedelic feeling different?

Yes

Tell us your story. What was your life like before drug use ? What’s your life like after drug use?

Before my life was normal. After I was aware of the distinction that drugs cause.

Have you ever engaged in sexual acts for drugs?

No

What’s the craziest thing you have ever done while high?

Laugh

When you look back on all your life to date do you regret ever using drugs? Why?

No

Have you ever engaged in crime?

No

Would you say you are well educated? Tell us why.

Yes, because in a year I will be graduating from UWI Cave Hill

Describe you family situation. Does your family know about your drug use?

Single parent household. Yes they do

Would you describe yourself as a responsible person?

Yes

What’s your life philosophy?

Once you ask God for health, strength and wisdom, nothing is impossible

Have you ever encouraged anyone to use drugs? If yes, how do you do this? If no, why not?

No I have not

Please tell us your greatest inspiration(s).

-Unanswered-

Have you ever had a life changing experience?

No

What’s your message to other drug users?

Don’t use drugs

 

 

Proud Cuba Highlights America’s Shame

RealTalk.BB - Cuba - America

The recent announcement by President Barack Obama of The United States of America (USA) that there will be a concerted effort to establish congenial relations between his country and “nemesis” Cuba is welcomed news but it simultaneously highlights the historical reality that the world has failed Democracy. We welcome this new push towards geo-political democracy after years of uni-polar totalitarianism brought about by the neo-liberal agenda still afoot. The Republic of Cuba deserves to be able to freely exercise its right to choose its own developmental path unencumbered by any other entity; especially those who lack the various capacities to understand the metamorphosis which took place during the Cuban Revolution.

The North American Federal Republic only has itself to blame for Cuba becoming the antithesis of everything that is “Amurka”. Lest we forget that Cuba, like Puerto Rico, at one  point, developed a protectorate relationship with the USA after the Spanish-American War. In relation to Cuba, as a protectorate, arguably there was even more starvation, physical oppression, economic exploitation, political manipulation and despotism during the Cuba-USA agreement than when Cuba was a Spanish colony. It was as though Cuba had merely changed ownership from one Mother Country to another. These are the conditions which led Cuba to a revolution with a national ethos underpinning it.

We must let history speak truth to power and leave the media-driven demented drivelling demagoguery for the sheep’s grazing. Contrary to popular misbelief, Cuba’s revolution was neither communist nor socialist in origin. It was a child of the political and economic enslavement which occurred under the USA-backed totalitarian regime of Fulgencio Batista who, acting as the metropole’s puppet, ensured that American interests were served by enabling the extraction of wealth using Cuban labour, the total monopoly of Cuban utilities by American companies, the theft of Cuban land from its people and the brutal slaughter of Anti-American activists and political dissenters. Are these not reasons for revolution? These things should make people question the reality in which they live.

Americans and Caribbeans often speak about Communist Cuba disparagingly but Communist Cuba is a result of the USA’s illegal embargo of Cuba. Without anywhere in this Hemisphere, including the rest of the Caribbean Region, to turn it was only logical for Cuba to seek refuge in the arms of another geo-political super-power; The Soviet Union which was communist. Castro, like Lenin did in his time, found communism to be a cement more binding  than national pride and used it to establish Cuba as a geo-political juggernaut fighting off the wrath of the leviathan that was and still is the USA. Summarily, this embargo which sought to cripple Cuba, forced what one may argue was an unintended consequence to occur.

Yes! The United States of America, to a large extent by parasitism and embargo, created the Cuba we see today.

Cuba and Haiti, despite what certain media may tell you, are shining Caribbean Pillars of excellence in terms of philosophical and ideological fortitude. The Cuban and Haitian Revolutions bring true meaning to the word Independence which Caribbean politicians and “leaders” bandy about like a sex toy to romance the masses and rape the mind.  The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) established the First country of the Modern world to implement universal adult suffrage. Yes, Haiti, before Britain which granted limited suffrage based on property right and sex, France on sex and the USA on property rights, sex and race, granted universal adult suffrage to all Haitians without restriction. For winning its right to self-determination Haiti by economic circumstance was coerced into paying France for its freedom and Cuba paid the USA by way of suffering for decades under an embargo which retarded its economic growth. Yet, in spite of these obstacles, these two countries exist today and are making strides in developing in their own image much to the chagrin of world geo-political powers.

Cuba like Haiti, is a world symbol of determination and humanity’s ability to persevere even in the worst of times. For The United States of America, Cuba is a staining  record of its immature geo-politics and perversion of Democracy. The USA’s record on global democracy stands so far as a “one-size fits all” approach which we must know by now is a childish view of the world. Let us pray that the world, including the USA, uses the remaining time humanity has in this temporal realm to create a truly inclusive world where we learn from and with each other in order to grow and improve ourselves. The normalization of relations between The United States of America and Cuba shows that the time is ripe, as it always was and will be, for  a conscious revolution toward universal peace.

The Ostensible Chronicles: From Freun To Barb

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The Ostensible Chronicles is a RealTalk.BB comedic series shedding light on social issues facing various societies. We hope you enjoy. Remember to rate, comment and share. Thank you!

Dear Barb,

I am not sorry for being silent this past year. When you took me back last year you knew what you were getting. I am a man of seemingly big but surely silent words. I inherited you from my brother-in-arms. He wanted you but I never did. I never expected to have to provide for you or comfort you. Last year, after dragging things out I gave you a choice. You could have left me. You could have chosen another man or woman for all I cared but you stayed. I barely uttered two words and it appears as though you thought that would mean I would speak forever. I am not a man who often speaks. Stop trying to change me!

I need peace and quiet to think. If the children are hungry, need lunch money or tuition fees need to be paid do not ask me. There are other people in the family to lean on you know so ask them. Right now the Cabinet is bare so stop looking for miracles to come. I want some time to myself. I cannot think with you always complaining about Chikungunya and Ebola. I have other things to do.

I was told communication is the key to success in any relationship so I’m trying something new. This letter is my way of talking. Be happy with what you are getting now. You won’t hear my voice until these five years are over but at least you have my words. Are you happy? I am not using any big words. I am just talking to you about us and what we need to do. Well, what you need to do. You need to work harder. You need to put your back into it. You used to be on top but now you are at the bottom and you have me doing all of the work. I didn’t expect this and I don’t think I want it. There are others who may want a turn though so call Chris or Don but leave me out of it. I just want to live out these final years in tranquility and rest at home. I want a divorce! I am tired of you but I am stuck with you for a little while longer.

I should call the Men’s Educational Support Association and complain! This emotional abuse is too much. You won’t even try to be productive but you expect me to make things happen. You expect me to create miracles but am not God and I am not a magician. I did the worst thing by opening my mouth last year and I am not doing it again man. I fear my silver tongue is too sweet. If I open up you will surely want to be with me again and I can’t handle you. You are too much. Too demanding. You need someone else. You need someone who can handle your high maintenance. I am not your man.

My love for you is not what you think. Before you I had few things but I was happy. Now I have more but I cannot even enjoy them. What is a man to do with a big house, lovely bed and an unhappy bride ? I am frustrated in every way possible. We cannot possible co-exist for too long. Consummation feels more like taxation. You want more things from our relationship but I unable to give you! Stop asking me for the impossible. It is time you learned about me. I am a man without a plan but guess what? I am honest.

PLEASE find someone else. Here’s a list. There is Chris, Don, Arthur, Ron and Amor. It doesn’t matter which way you swing. Just choose one. Wait! I forgot Dave. He may even take you back to Africa. Wouldn’t that be exciting ? Don’t you want to go far, far, far away from me and see your people. I would not mind. I am an understanding man. I understand you have needs that I cannot satisfy.  My back is broad. I can take a horn. You can start horning me now until we divorce. There is no need to be sad. This was always a weird relationship mixed with funny emotions that made us do weird things like get together in the first place. We know we won’t last. We should call it quits and go our separate ways.

Yours Ostensibly,

Fruen DiBroad

Dear Culturally Offensive Friend

Culture-Sensitivity

My Dear Culturally Offensive Friend
For those people who are studying overseas, at one point or another you have encountered people that have no cultural etiquette whatsoever. It may be out of sheer ignorance, condescension or just for kicks, either way, it always rubs you the wrong way no matter what. In this post I am going to list the culturally offensive, ignorant, altogether stupid things that have been said to me and my mental responses to them.  Read More…

My school is better than yours

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A little friendly competition is always healthy they say… and they are right. For the most part. What happens when competition is no longer just friendly? What happens when competition turns into an ugly fight to determine who is superior and who is inferior? Is it still healthy then? Read More…

Diversity Over Uniformity For A Better Education System

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There are brilliant students, average students and then those who cannot be rescued and eventually fall through the cracks; or at least that’s what our education system and examination results frequently lead us to believe. This hierarchy in academia seems to have always been the norm Read More…

Petty Party Politics

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A few days ago, I found myself reading a newspaper article on a recent political controversy on my island, Saint Lucia. In order to get my own perspective on the matter, I decided to venture in a domain that I had long since considered forbidden territory. Whilst I have seen many tagging, commenting and sharing the content of these pages, I have chosen to stay far away. My decision to stay away from these false prophets of political ‘truths’ was based on the fact Read More…