Tag Archive: children


Friendships are important to our own growth and development. In our personal lives I am sure we can list all the friends we could not live without. It is the same in the blogging sphere I could not be inspired if it were not for some of the viewers who continue to share with this blog and I enjoy returning the favour to see what you are thinking and posting.

Growing up I always wanted to attend boarding school. To do so, I had to pass the Common Entrance Examination (National Test) which I did and I was able to attend the top boys’ school in Jamaica for high school – Munro College. There is a certain level of independence that you develop in such an environment. I am grateful for the many lessons I learnt because of that period in my life. My first semester back in 1998 I remember it vividly, it was horrible. Although I had always wanted to be there nothing could prepare me for it. I went from chasing the car when they were leaving in first form to being comfortable with them leaving me behind. By the end of the first year I was running them off the campus. Leave!

What made the experience unforgettable was that I had friends who I could count on. I was not the popular student but I was indeed a great friend. I can recall people would feel secure in sharing their deepest concerns with me. In the earlier years I became my class representative on the Students’ Council – which I enjoyed. Today, some of those friendships continue.

What I have found interesting about myself is that I find it hard to revisit the places in my life that have impacted me. I struggle to visit my high school and other places. It is not like I don’t want to be there or I am ungrateful in anyway; I love these places so much that I prefer to reminisce on all the memories than to walk up the long drive way and remember all the buildings I called home. I remember distinctly years ago returning for a graduation ceremony and because it is a traditional school everything was the same. The buildings had their antique look and the boards still creek.

I watched a movie a few days ago by the name of Hachiko: A Dog’s Story and it is one of the most tear dropping movie I have ever seen. I have watched movies with animals before but this dog deserves an award. The cinematography and the way the camera captures the dog’s emotions is very captivating and it makes the viewer connect with the movie on a level that makes this movie memorable.

It has become cliché to say a dog is man’s best friend – this movie proved more than that. I do not think we understand the relationship and influence we have on our pets. I pick up the cat I live with at home and hear her purr and wish animals could talk or we could interpret in some way what they are thinking because they have their own personalities that make them unique.

Hachiko: A Dog’s Story is a true story of a Japanese dog named Hachiko and his master, a professor. The movie is an American adaptation of a legendary Japanese tale.

The movie begins with the college professor heading home from school and sees this puppy on its own by the train station. Because it was so late he picked up the cute Japanese Akita and brought it home for the night with the intention of taking to the pound or to find its rightful owner. His wife Cate Wilson (Joan Allen) is not happy that he brought the dog home and later agreed that the dog will be there for the night. One night turns into weeks, months and years. Everyday the dog would follow Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) to the train station, walk home and then return to welcome him off the train. The movie sets you up for a huge disappointment because it chronicles for years where this would be the routine of the dog and the college professor.

So you’re expecting something and it happens!

Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) suffers a heart attack while at school and dies at hospital. Back at the train station Hachiko waits and waits and waits, no Parker Wilson. Hachiko repeats this routine for more than nine years until his own death. This dog’s unwavering loyalty to its master makes you emotional – might make you sob watching this movie.

I love drams, but this movie takes it to another level. I remember right after the movie I couldn’t do anything else but rush to my bed to lie down, my head was just giddy – not to say that will happen to you, but this movie will have an impact on you. Normally I returned to my blogging or to watch something else on television but not that night. The movie was directed by Lasse Hallstrom who has worked with animals before on other projects.

Each one of us expresses their loyalty in different ways. Certainly Hachiko’s expression of his loyalty and devotion to his lifelong friend can teach us all a lesson or two. I do not think I will forget this movie. It has made an indelible mark in my mind.

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Pain on the Streets

On a bus going home from class, passing a church I overheard a couple arguing on the streets in busy Kingston, the capital. As the bus accelerated I heard the guy who turned out to be in his early twenties blurted an expletive to the younger female who he was talking to. His angry tone rang sirens in my head and as I stepped off the bus I ran around the corner to see what was going down. To tell the truth the journalist in me was at its highest and I literally ran until I was there. I took out my blackberry to record the final moments of the argument but because of the darkness I couldn’t. I hope the next blackberry model will have an embedded light to record in the dark. When I reached an area near this couple they continued to argue while the girl started to cry.

I love relationships. I love the stability and balance it offers for people who decide to share their lives with others. There is a glow that shines on those who share a bond. A glow so beautiful and loving that it makes onlookers jealous. Whether it is your soul mate or your best friend, a relationship with someone can make a friend’s life fulfilling.

Relationships are like living things, they go through stages and their own challenges. My friends can admit (I hope) that they have never heard me arguing with people. Writing this now a moment in time flashes across my mind where I totally went bizarre on my friend who had hurt me so bad. That is one in a million times that I can go out on someone. I do not like arguments with anyone. If I see a crises coming on I literally ignore it. If that is not possible I just zone out, if I can’t step away from your presence. I know this in particular is true and it comes from my childhood experiences. My father would have disagreements and his way of expressing his dissatisfaction or grievance would be to argue and think that would be satisfying or solving the situation. From back then I have not liked arguing with people. I think they are better ways to solve issues that affect each other and that involves sitting down like adults and speaking through issues and seeking the best solutions.

Can you imagine having to discuss disagreements on the streets? It is the most vulgar thing I can imagine someone doing. It is crude and shoddy because you are bringing your most private moments to the public arena and I do not want to be subjected to listen or see you pollute the environment with your antics. If I am not availing myself to discuss what is pertinent to you it means I am not ready to do so. It does not in any way give you the right to step in front of me on the street to make your point be known. Not only will I ignore you but I might act like I don’t know you.

Tips to deal with people who you have a disagreement with:

  1. Before you have a fit. Ask yourself if this is something to be upset about?
  2. If it is big enough and you have reasons to justify it. Attempt to have dialogue with the person about the issue.
  3. Speaking with the other individual does not include shouting, expletives, and offensive remarks and so on. Speak in a relaxed tone and air your issues.
  4. If a meeting is not forthcoming, and you genuinely need to speak with this person it may be time to have others intervene (close pals, professionals) to help you if forgetting this person is not an option.

Relationships die and you will have challenges. There is no way a face off on the street is the way to go about doing it. Sorry! Friendships and relationships will never go perfectly fine. You are two separate individuals, with two priorities, two different outlook on life and the aim is to make that one. If I am sure about one thing you will have mountains to climb with that diversity. But it can work. Next time you have a disagreement, count to ten and talk it through.

Water Cooler Ed. 11

Welcome to the eleventh edition in the series of the Water Cooler – appears every Sunday on this blog. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion.

Here we go.

I think this is a great idea – endorsing a blog. This is a blog for all fashion lovers. enjoy http://londonlouie.blogspot.com/

Politics

I love education and support lifelong learning. Just after completing my undergraduate degree I am looking to pursue higher education. Not because it is an opportunity to take advantage of but I appreciate the benefits of education. Graduating in a recession is painful. Job opportunities are not forthcoming the way you would intend it to be and your bills just pile up. Education is so important that without so many people are left behind. They are left behind not because they want to be underdeveloped but because of so many other reasons.

 

Cost

It costs so much to get an education today. To think that governments support this type of structure is shocking when they are so corrupt in their own ways. Nations that begin to accept education as the way forward think differently and treat their people differently. Everyday I wish education was free. I have so many friends back home in rural (country) Jamaica that have the potential but because they can’t afford higher education, it holds them back. This causes some people to think ‘oh they want to be like that’ but they don’t. They genuinely cannot afford millions of dollars for the basic qualification for an entry level job in the field they would study in.

I cannot fathom to think what it is like to live in a country where education is free. I cannot fathom to think what it is like to be accepted to a school without paying those ridiculous fees!

To think all of this can be made right if the proper investments and structures are in place makes me flabbergasted. It is time education be made free. Give everyone the chance to rise.

Thanks Oprah for giving young, bright kids a chance in Africa.

Entertainment

Speaking of Oprah, she made a huge revelation on her show last week that she will be ending her contract to start her own venture – a network.

What Oprah has done in her lifetime is a tremendous accomplishment. She has been an inspiration to not only those of her race but to others all over the world. I read some articles online which questioned the hype around this announcement. Just remember it’s Oprah. She even endorsed Barack Obama. Some would argue a key endorsement for the women vote.

Oprah has been an agent for inspiration for many people. For what she has done is huge, great, big. She is larger than life. I must say I appreciate her work as a presenter and anyone who aspires to be in that industry or area of work would look to Oprah for inspiration. Give it to her. Doing that for 25 years is a tonne of work. It is a happy feeling leaving it when you are at the top. Let’s not forget she will not be going away in retirement now, she is just gearing up to make some more money and continue the legacy she has started.

Love & Relationship

Couples today have so much going on and finding the time to bond can be a hassle. The tip for this week is to find time to communicate. Try communicating just before going to bed or before getting out of bed.

Photo of the Week

You will never guess what this is? I will reveal it to the person who comments and gets it correct. This is my friend’s photo – actual image.

Welcome to the eighth edition in the series of the Water Cooler – appears every Sunday on this blog. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion.

Here we go.

Politics

What motivates you to vote for a political candidate?

Is his/her marriage really important to you?

Is marriage a prerequisite to serve at the highest level?

NO, if you ask me.

John Edwards and his familyHowever, it appears that politicians have to be married to even start a campaign. While divorces are on an all time high, it would seem we have forced politicians in a life that they don’t personally desire and that makes everything a lie.

Most times in political commentaries we focus on family life; to say political marriages makes the candidate more normal and thus has the capacity to vote on legislations that matters to you as a citizen. Married politicians are projected to be more caring and family oriented in campaigns. Although that may be true; when it isn’t going well our ‘expectations’ force them to live a lie to remain where we have forced them to be. Being married doesn’t say you have higher moral standing than those who aren’t.  What is says is that you have decided to walk life’s journey with this special person.

What say you?

Business

ModelIn a bid to stimulate the economy, the Jamaica Observer organized Fashion Night Out where fashion/retail outlets slashed their prices by large percentages up to 70% to generate high sales. Weeks ago, I had a haircut in the capital city, Kingston and at around 6pm after leaving the barber salon it was like a ghost town outside. I wondered to myself why the city was so quiet. I blamed the current economy and the recession. I should have considered that we have cultured our habits this way and this was the result. More recently, I had an acquaintance who moved to Jamaica from New York (the city that never sleeps) and after a week here he returned because the city was dead by sunset. It struck me then that we have a major problem. I appreciate the efforts what Fashion Night Out promoted and anticipate more FNOs. Over in Barbados, our neighbouring Caribbean island they have introduced legislation to have retailers open 24-7. Talk about competition and new ways of doing things. Retailers claimed the night a success which can only be good at the end of the ‘night.’

Entertainment

This is it – Review

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Michael Jackson

I watched the Michael Jackson documentary and thought it was stunning. The producers of the 50 minute documentary were able to capture the king of pop in his rehearsals before he passed away. I was impressed with the footage because it told the story we heard of Michael Jackson. Now we were able to relive the intimate moments of him without the screaming fans and blaring lights. We saw the perfectionist in action, directing the minute details of his to be last tour. There is a message within the documentary for every aspiring entertainer which must not be missed. Giving your best each time is of paramount importance and ensuring your delivery – the passion will be remembered by those who see it. That is what made MJ, what he was and so many artistes today. I sat and only imagined This is it with all the lights, screaming fans and Michael Jackson delivering his final set of shows stamping This is it into history; he never got the time.

Quote

2072865350015798315S500x500Q85“Readiness is all.” – William Shakespear

Welcome to the seventh edition in the series of the Water Cooler – appears every Sunday on this blog. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion.

Here we go.

Politics

Reggae music is very popular worldwide and whilst it is known for its Rastafarian culture, Jamaican reggae artistes are also known for their homophobic attacks in their music. Recently, Mark ‘Buju Banton’ Myrie – popular international reggae performer met with gay advocates in the United States of America (USA) to have dialogue on his violent lyrics targeted to the gay community. Back in Jamaica, because of its homophobic culture, Jamaicans were lamenting and began to hate Mark ‘Buju Banton’ Myrie because of his meeting with the gay community. Some claimed they would not be listening to his music, while others were just disappointed. Yesterday in the newspaper here Sunday, October 25, 2009 an article declared the church finally agrees with the reggae performers; they support reggae acts who express their negative opinions on the gay community. However, the international gay community should know these facts about the operations in Jamaica – by no means it is perfect. Jamaicans claim to be a Christian society; with this the country sees a high murder rate – third in the world. No Jamaican is safe these days, not even tourists who are caught in the cross fires sometimes. In the entertainment industry rising reggae talents wanting to make an impact locally sing songs that incite violence towards the gay community and songs that sexualize young children. By doing this they become instant celebrities being played on radio stations and television programmes. Politicians get in the act as well bashing gay people even in the House of Parliament and some may bash gays to get votes. You see, the Jamaican society is not as educated as others, they are ignorant and are caught up defending Christian values but on the other hand the outcry against other crimes are not expressed with such disdain. No one living in Jamaica is shocked a 5 year old is snatched, raped and killed. Killing people and depriving legal abiding citizens on their rights have become so routine that you wonder who is next; praying you are not.

For Jamaica to change, it will take a new generation, one that is educated and see the world like a global village – accepting diversity. I share with you a perfect example, Barbados. Barbados is a Caribbean nation, 99% literacy rate, first world status and they accept fully people from different orientations.

In the House of Parliament, they have raised the issue of Charter of Rights – someone told me it includes fundamental rights for all WoW- and nowhere in the document have politicians on both sides acknowledge that they will be discussing the issue as it relates to one’s sexual orientation. Instead they have both offered early statements signaling their stance on the issue which they have ignored in the bill. Last year the Prime Minister of Jamaica declared in a BBC interview that no gay cabinet member will ever serve the Jamaican people under his leadership, while the Leader of the Opposition statements justified the position of the government. Politicians in Jamaica do not care about the Jamaican people, they are a set of corrupt, inefficient group whose main aim is to divide so long as they remain in their positions. They could not care less about the thousands of people who are affected by this decision. Instead to secure their votes they ensure that Parliament does not debate gay issues and they pander to the ignorant masses to get votes. Historically Jamaican voters do not vote on issues. Voters in the USA vote on issues such as health care, economic stability, securing the border, Foreign Policy – Wars in Iraq etc. Nooooo! In Jamaica for a politician to win, you better fork out the cash to fill those mouths with chicken, curried goat and lots of beer if you can give cash, then you are the big man able to represent the Jamaican people. Corrupt politicians run for new posts all the time, it’s the norm!

So the only, well not the only solution but the most powerful solution is to hit the artistes where it hurts most and its in their pockets. Fight and keep them from performing in your cities – the ones who support for the mass killings of gay people.There are local artistes who are trending on a new path one that does not incite violence, only if more will follow and they have been but there are a few bad apples still.

There is no way in 2009 that we can condone people supporting those heinous actions.

Inspiration

After several months of unemployment my quests to search for a job was drained. I was disappointed in myself because I think that I am an astute hard worker who would be a great asset to any firm. Realizing the reality that my small network failed I became uninterested in the professional workforce exploring entrepreneurial opportunities that could come my way. Although they are still open I landed a job recently.

I observed days after starting to work that it will take a few days or weeks to get into a work routine. It took a while because I was home doing nothing for months. Going from unscheduled days to a minute by minute schedule, reporting to a superior I became flustered because I was not in the frame of mind to work.

After weeks in my new job I have recognized that I may not be enjoying this job. Keep in mind that I am not lazy or have a bad attitude on the job. It will take a toll on any employee who doesn’t have job security or even a scope for growth and improvement. I have been approached by other firms for new employment opportunities. Although nothing is in black and white yet, I am excited!

I can understand anyone who at this moment is unemployed. I have not celebrated my employment yet because personally I do not consider myself in a real job yet. I hope when the other opportunities materialize I can. For those who are unemployed, stay focused by applying, remain motivated and patient, things must change.

Mine took six months to, your time will come.

One advice, please keep your mind active. Read a book, read newspapers online or even read works in your particular field. Employers want you to be on top of things as you step through the door. I’m just saying!

Photo of the Week

A 70-foot female blue whale that officials believe was struck by a ship is seen washed ashore on the Northern California coast on Oct. 20 near Fort Bragg.

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Climate Change

This blog post is to celebrate Blog Action Day 2009 on October 15, 2009.

The planet is ours to take care of and each one has a personal responsibility to do whatever they can to make that change. Surely, we like to place the blame at the politician’s feet to make the policies and legislate and we ought to. However, in the catastrophe we can act in some way to make Earth a better place.

We are blessed with a wonderful world and it pains my heart to see how come industries treat the natural resources we have in the name of profitability. We all can agree climate change is on everyone’s mind because we see not only the changes presently but also ramifications of our bad habits.

We know some of the effects of climate change – change in temperatures, water supply, animals, wildlife etc.

I want to focus on the effect on transportation. I am on the roads almost every day of the week and the traffic is terrible. We are not car pooling, we have awful images in our minds of public transportation at the same time damaging the environment we should be caring for.

If one driver per household switched to taking public transportation for a daily commute of 10 miles each way, this would save 4,627 pounds of carbon dioxide per household per year – equivalent to an 8.1% reduction in the annual carbon footprint of a typical American household.

We can do that much if we begin to think about the Earth and not ourselves. Surely we want the convenience of driving comfortably to our locations but sometimes we can suffer a little bit to benefit a wider cause and that is to preserve the world we live in.

Years ago in university I received an assignment that included climate change. My team mate (Annette Brown; God bless her heart) and I decided to create a video to emphasize our main points. We used our own Jamaica Urban Transit Company (public transportation) brand to promote the use of public transportation as it relates to climate change. We did so and the class at that time found climate change rather scary. It is scary because all we have to do is give up a little.

Today, climate change should not scare us but urge us to be different world citizens. It may be an inconvenient to some of us but something will have to give for us to save ‘Mother Earth.’ If Earth could speak s/he would be crying, shouting at us to care better for our world, to preserve what we have and change our lifestyles to make future generations live in peace.

I uploaded the video we produced years ago to http://www.youtube.com I must say if I were to create that advertisement all over again it would have looked different and the quality of the pictures used would have been better. I must apologize to all who will view this video and comment on the images/quality. However, I want you to focus on the message that was created for the presentation and now it is presented to you on this Blog Action Day – Climate Change.

This was my first time creating a video with the Windows Movie Maker program now I have upgraded to the Adobe Premiere CS4. I will post that video in another post at another time. Stay tuned!

Source:

http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/PublicTransportationsRoleInRespondingToClimateChange.pdf

Welcome to the fourth edition in the series of the Water Cooler. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion.

A section below is titled Photography. This section will be interactive for all my visitors. Your images with your credits (linked to your blog) can appear on the next edition of the Water Cooler. If you have taken photos (artistic, unique, related to travel, scenery, landscapes etc) that people will find interesting to look at, share it with us every Sunday on the Water Cooler. Your images may be emailed to blog.corvedacosta@gmail.com Go ahead send in those images your photo could be featured here.

Here we go.

Others in the series: Water Cooler, Water Cooler Ed. 2, Water Cooler Ed. 3

Politics

This week a video uploaded to YouTube showing children singing a tribute to the American President Barack Obama was very contentious. The children who were of all races by my eyes sang two songs dedicated to Barack Obama – one done to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with anyone showing their love for their Prime Minister or President. However, this tribute that was done to commemorate Black History Month took a turn for the wrong; it was on the borderline of worshiping Obama. We cannot ignore that Obama has made his presidency all about him. He has taken a lot of time to create an image that is respected by millions. So respected he is that opposing Obama is seen to be racist. The position he has as the leader of the free world must be respected. I get the impression from Obama that he wants to be talked about and wants to be seen as the greatest of all – the saviour. He works so hard creating an impression that with this video you cannot forget the speech he made to the children in schools recently.

Below are words the students chant to Obama:

He said that we must take a stand

To make sure everyone gets a chance

Barack Hussein Obama

He said red, yellow, black or white

All are equal in His sight

Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm

Barack Hussein Obama

The lyrics in the video are not only shocking but to see underage children without the consent of their parents sing to Obama in this way makes you flabbergasted. This tribute or act of worship does not in anyway congratulate or give credit to the black people who fought for what we have today. It serves to worship; sing the praises and rhetoric that Obama spews on the networks daily. I am saddened that these children were misled by lunatics who are not appreciative of democracy and prefer personalities over substance. I would rather here the children sing of how much the country has grown to elect a black president than to sing “All are equal in His sight”. Do we realize these children are being indoctrinated? This is what we see of Hitler and North Korean leaders and it makes us cringe in our seats. So why doesn’t this make us wonder?

We have all been ‘Obamarized’. We have fallen in love with Obama where to oppose him is racist and to disagree with him makes you a supporter of the right. What those kids did in that video is wrong. Singing Obama’s ideologies to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic makes me disturbed, a little. It does. I am not sure the President would approve it but parents for the most part should be outraged especially if you support Obama and found the video okay. It is given that mainly republican parents are going to be annoyed by it and they should. Supporters of this video should imagine their child singing praises to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I think then you will understand how crazy and absurd it is of teachers to be directing such an activity.

Love and Relationship

Have you ever seen a couple together and wonder how cute they look together? Uhhhh. When we say they are perfect for each other is it because we love their interactions and chemistry or is it that we love how attractive they are together, how well they compliment each other?

Rihanna & Justin

Rihanna & Justin

Rihanna and Justin

Rihanna and Justin

It is something that I have noticed with myself. More so, because sometimes I am asked to find potential partners for people – my own circle of friends. I do not know if it should be called judging but we tend to have our own conclusions based on one look. It is true first impression lasts but do we need to step back and observe couples longer before making our own final predictions.

They say opposites attract. I am not sure how people respond, but what if you saw a couple out and you think they don’t match. Are we ending a couple’s relationship in our psyche before giving them the time to date – before finding our own conclusions?

Julie Henderson & Simmons

Julie Henderson & Simmons

Rihanna is making the news again and it is rumoured that she is secretly hooking up with beau Justin Timberlake.  These are some photos taken on a video shoot recently. What do you think, what makes two people right for each other – keeping in mind we are looking in from the outside? The jury is out on this one.

Inspiration of the week

Last week I had an encounter that I will always remember. I went on an interview for a job in my field. After the interview session I had the opportunity to have a discussion that really moved me. For this week the inspiration has to 2072865350015798315S500x500Q85deal with focusing on what others say. This is tricky because people will tell you things that will hurt you in the future. As an individual you have to discern between what is good for you and what is bad. Sometimes people tell us good things and because we have a mental block against taking corrections or suggestions we totally ignore what they have to say – for our own detriment. This week we are going to think on the positive suggestions we get. You may not think they are good for you but consider them, evaluate the ideas and see if they make your life better or worse.

Photography

We start this week with photography from Craig A. Bloomfield from Jamaica. Click here to view his blog.

Sunset in Negril Jamaica

Sunset in Negril Jamaica

Caribbean Sea

Caribbean Sea

Scene from Mikuzi - Portland, Jamaica

Scene from Mikuzi - Portland, Jamaica

For many people who have visited or have heard of Jamaica, some of their thoughts are positive while others are negative. Jamaica is a wonderful paradise when you get to appreciate all the interesting scenes and places the island has to offer. However, just like many other countries around the world, we all have our issues. The USA has to deal with a recession; Cubans have to face living in a communist state. Well, Jamaicans face a plethora of issues that our previous leaders and present ones have all failed to correct. Not only do we face a recession like most countries but we encounter high levels of criminality daily, corruption in the public sector including politicians, average literacy rate, low productivity, high unemployment, the acceptance of illegal activities, a dying media that is in need of high journalistic standards and the list goes on.

As you may know Africans from the West Cost of Africa were shipped against their will to the Caribbean region. History reminds us that the most rebellious of the tribes came to Jamaica. This is one theory that is used to interpret our high crime levels over the years which continues today. Although politicians played a major role in the distribution of guns early on they have either failed to correct our crime situation or cannot right the issue of crime.

Jamaica is recognized as a third world country and it would appear that everything we do reminds us that we are in fact a developing country. Journalists in Jamaica are trained by a local media school at the University of the West Indies (UWI) called Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications (CARIMAC). In a recent column in the Jamaica Gleaner Carolyn Cooper who heads the department of Literary and Cultural Studies at UWI recently stated that the University of the West Indies is the only ‘real, real’ university here in Jamaica. For those who may not understand what she alluded to, she means the University of the West Indies is the only local institution that should be regarded at a ‘university’ bearing in mind we have many.

With a high crime rate like ours the newscasts are filled with stories reporting criminal activities. Moreover television newscasts go beyond the call of duty to record and report the bloody images not only in print but those aired on television. In recent times there have been attempts to have news agencies in Jamaica become more vigilant in how they report stories surrounding the topic of crime and violence since children, families and adults are all exposed.

For the past week in Jamaica there is an interesting discussion on whether a newscast on television went overboard in showing graphic images of a Rastafarian man chopping a cab driver for $20.00 (Jamaican) equivalent to $0.23 cents (American) and $0.24 cent (Canadian). The incident is not only shown once but is repeated more than three times in the news item. Although the presenter warned viewers of the graphic images in the story they should have shown more responsibility, compassion and journalistic character.

With the levels of crime and violence in Jamaica, some Jamaicans would appreciate if newscasts ignore some of the heinous incidents that happen daily. Personally, I do not know how comforting or ideal this would be but journalists would not agree with that position. Journalists should report on what is important to the society. This is not the first time this news agency has shown graphic images of incidents not fit for airplay. They are creating a bad name for themselves while degrading journalistic standards. I do agree that these incidents do happen (a clip slips through the cracks) but when it becomes a trend, viewers will stop taking you seriously. The media in Jamaica does not only suffer from low standards of journalism but we are out of control in airing outrageous  lyrics on the airwaves. That is a whole other issue for another piece.

Jamaicans and Snitching

What is also startling in this story is how Jamaicans respond to violent incidents. In this video you can hear a woman shouting the man’s name “Bobby”. However, if you look carefully you will notice that people are not shocked or moved by what is taking place. No one rushes to call the police or 911, 811 or 119 here in Jamaica. They are going about their business as usual. Even moments after this incident takes place, eyewitnesses claimed they did not see anything. This is the reality Jamaicans live in. If they speak out about violent acts, they will be hunted down like hawks and killed for sharing information. It is not surprising that with a police station 15 feet away they were not aware of this incident till hours after. It is so sad living here.

Personal Note

I contemplated for long placing that horrific video on this blog. I thought about it and I am placing the video below. This video contains graphic images of a man chopping an innocent cab driver. After receiving multiple chop wounds the cab driver later drives his car to a nearby hospital where he was admitted in critical conditions. The driver is still alive today with the Rastafarian in police custody who was found with a bald head. This video grossed me out completely and has the ability to make you cringe in your seat. Just by looking at the screen shot below tells how graphic this gets.

Grip on that Self Esteem

What is self esteem? Self Esteem reflects a person’s overall evaluation of appraisal of his or her own worth.

This article was birthed out of a discussion I had with someone. They approached me with a question that I did not see coming. The person asked: “Am I attractive?” This question was never asked to seal the individual’s convictions of his/her level of attractiveness. Instead it was asked because I think this individual was insecure about it.

What was intriguing about this situation was that the individual who asked the question personally, I thought they were crazy. Because they are attractive, not even average – above it. The person has attractive skin tone, quality hair, great features, and a wonderful personality to go with all of that. If you are looking someone to settle down with they would be on your list because they lead a balanced life and is incredibly smart. One can imagine my shock. After the conversation ended I thought deeply that there is a bigger issue here. Many times we hear of young girls and boys being insecure, more so girls. Many times as well the media, internet, advertising and magazines are blamed for glamorizing images that are not Main Street.

People who find that they are insecure about anything; it typically becomes a major issue hindering emotional growth among other things.

Improving your self worth is no easy feat especially when you have reached certain levels. However, I believe with certain steps, tips, guidelines whatever a therapist may call it, they can be helped.

  1. Find things to love about yourself

This is critical because if we do not find something to love and adore within ourselves someone will point out one and it may not be all that good. As young people we are embedded in the latest gadgets, technology, and media that we forget the human side of our lives. We need to take time out from all those phones, televisions and internet to have personal time for ourselves. We may not see the importance but can we start looking in the mirror and loving what we see. Be in awe. The fact is, the celebrities who we think have a perfect life and who we look up to also find themselves being insecure about many things.

  1. Surround yourself with positive thinking people.

I think this one is mostly underestimated because we think sometimes we can combat negative people. Newsflash, most times we can’t! If you surround yourself with people who watch their calories to the tee, always pointing out other people’s faults, always degrading others, finding imperfections on their body etc. you might want to change your circle of friends. Surround yourself with people who appreciate and celebrate their lives, people who in a moment will encourage you than fight or tear you down.

  1. Challenge yourself

This will be a task. If you are like me, then you do not have a huge following of friends. J Nothing wrong with that, just treasure the ones you have today. I would tell you to challenge yourself. Test your abilities to find and appreciate things that you will begin to love about yourself. For example: if you hate your weight, get out there and do something about it. Do not try quick fixes; buying tighter fitting clothing to make you look smaller or liposuction. That will not work. Sign up for a gym or work out at home. Yes! Bring the gym home. You do not need a personal trainer. Be cost effective and find videos on Youtube that will challenge you to fight your weight.

  1. Celebrate you!

To overcome your insecurities you must begin to celebrate what have kept you down. I am sure you have seen those public service advertisements on television that have expressed people living under $1 a day, or something to that effect. We have homes to live in, access to the internet, clean air to breathe, food to eat and all these things. To be burdened down with our insecurities are not worth our time. Get out there and celebrate your uniqueness and change what you can change naturally. We have one life to live and living it sad, insecure and bewildered is not an option.

Love your life today and live your best life now! Go!

Growing up too slow or too fast!

My parents constantly reminds me of their childhood experiences reminiscing how wonderful, peaceful and meek it was. Many children played and some are still playing with dolls. There are many lessons however that can be learnt from playing with dolls. Technology has advanced tremendously. Dolls are not only soft baby-like toys they have taken on other roles. We have seen dolls talk, show emotions and respond to the children that use them. But are we ready for children to breastfeed these toys?

It is a sad day in our history when inventors can develop a doll that has the ability to respond to breastfeeding by small children. Nothing in the world can justify this kind of technology. The Spanish manufacturer Berjuan must pull this product from the market immediately and people especially parents must begin to stand up and make their voices heard. We cannot allow a profit making entity who does not care about the future of their own society misguide the rest of us. We must allow our children to enjoy their childhood. They are being robbed daily of their childhoods by what we allow them to watch on television, the music that is so widespread and degrading. We have robbed them of their innocence, abusing their bodies and now we want to teach them to act like adults. It is not right. I hope countries like globally will never accept this product in their markets. We blame so many other people and factors for how our children are behaving and when we see the real reason pointing back at us, we appear to be blind.

I do not have a problem with our children playing with dolls, I endorse it. I believe there are so many lessons that our young ones can learn by embracing a doll. They learn that they are not alone in this world and people need love and affection and they learn how to communicate; some even love teaching from playing with dolls. I do not believe young kids think of having sex when they play with dolls. They don’t. They think of being kind to others and ensuring the dolls are safe by protecting it.

What lessons do we really want our children to get? Do we want them to grow up fast and add to the myriad of problems the adults have caused? Can you imagine a young child breastfeeding a doll? That child’s psychology immediately changes and they begin to think and feel like they are adults. I do believe that these are some of the things we have forced on our kids and have caused us not able to really control them. I have worked with children on projects before and some feel they can speak and behave anyway in public disrespecting leaders and undermining those in charge. These kids who will play with ‘Bebe Gloton’ or ‘greedy baby’ will be affected in some way negatively. We have sexualised this world so much that young kids today are engaging more in sexual activities and we are divided on how to solve these problems which we created. We have forced them to act like adults in a child’s body and it confuses them so much.

There should be a ban on this product now. When will this cycle end? I can’t wait till a business develops a doll that will have sexual intercourse with the female doll. Would our eyes be opened then? Oh I hear the defence already….They need to know!