Tag Archive: christianity


I have lived for 22 years (almost 23 years) and ashamedly I have not boarded an aircraft. 😦 You may comfort me by saying “I’m not alone.” I know I will one day because it has always been my dream to travel exotic locations and of course experience different cultures outside of 3rd world Jamaica. I know this year I will be flying. Stay tuned and you will know when it happens. Let’s say that it is one of the goals I want to achieve this year in 2010. I have many friends and family members who have travelled and their experiences of course make me want to fast forward my lifelong dream. As I am penning this post, my mom is freezing in New York. Lucky, right?

In recent times and from ever since there have been terror in the skies. Terrorism is not a far fetched threat these days but it is only a matter of time before the lunatics strike. The government has a duty to protect its people and they should take the blame if any accidents God forbid should occur. As Obama should be vacationing in Hawaii he is busy meeting to ensure what happened recently does not occur again.

With these threats in the skies, security measures must be increased. Passengers on airlines must not be annoyed with all the security checks but should encourage it to ensure their own safety is not compromised in the skies. Of course since we are going to blame the politicians and security agencies and airport authorities when things go wrong; it is also a political issue. How does the left deal with terrorists and how does the right? We get caught up in our own ideologies and miss the point that we should enforce a zero tolerance approach to groups who want to cause harm.

After the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon there were many books written about the heroes on the flights. I bought one called Let’s Roll by Tod Beamer’s wife and I must say I find that recording inspiring, uplifting and it challenges one to become a hero. It appears these acts of heroic strengths continue today. With the recent failed attack on Delta Airlines there were a few passengers who sprung into action to disarm the terrorist. However, I think about this each time – Would I have reacted in the same way those heroes responded?

Before I was held up by five young men with knives and guns I had a plan of action of how I would react if a gunman would attempt to rob me. When I was faced with the situation head on I failed miserably. I was so shocked and heart broken I gave in to the request of the robbers which was the safest thing to do. Luckily I escaped because other persons were near the incident.

The plans you make today on how you will respond in danger are great and could work. However, it takes a different mindset to activate your plan of action. If you feel like a victim you will never be the hero of the day. Whatever mentality those heroes are in, certainly it takes a powerful mind to get up and take down someone that could be detonated at any time.

I hope I do not encounter any of that craziness when I fly. I guess none of the 300 passengers expected their flight to have a terrorist aboard or the passengers aboard American Airline’s 331 flight that crashed in Jamaica after the plane overshot the runway or those on the 9/11 flights.

I hope all the terrorists take a day off when I fly. Wishful thinking!

We better be prepared the day we fly. It is one of the risks we have to deal with when flying in 2010 and beyond. Remember your actions could determine your fate and your neighbour’s fate.

Surely the bad guys will strike but we ought to support the agencies that are working hard to keep us safe in the skies. I will not allow misguided terrorists or others to cause to live in a box. I will achieve my goal one day this year and that is to fly to a destination and have fun. Who knows? It could be on business.

Below are some photos taken from the American Airline crash site in Kingston Jamaica. I thought I would share a few.

Impressive photo.

No lives were lost.

The debris on the shore looks horrible. Hope they will clean this up.

That is a main road to the right of the crash site. The plane raced across the road and landed where it is feet away from the Caribbean Sea.

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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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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.

Love’s Actions!

LoversGazeREX_468x304Love is a feeling you feel when you feel a feeling you feel you had never felt before. If that is love then you shouldn’t be feeling that feeling too often. For many of us, finding love is a dream, that aspiration to meet the one who connects and feels your inner emotions, your ultimate soul mate. Humans need affection, love and companionship which we all seek daily. If love never existed the world would be at war, and many of the unions and offspring would not be here today to continue humanity. Apart from love towards our neighbours, closest friends and families there is a special love we all reserve for the ones closest to our hearts. Finding the person to share private moments with can be a thrill for some, devastating for others and a journey that makes you look crazy.

In the book Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks the main character Theresa Osborne finds a bottle with a love letter in it. As a columnist she publishes the letter in the newspaper and finds out there are other letters out there written by the same gentleman. She admires the writer from reading the love letters and begins a journey to find the man who she thinks will be the perfect match for her.

I am sure you have seen couples together and they have that spark that says they are definitely in love. I am quite sure that many readers of this blog right now might even be in love. Love stories will always be told but there are times you hear of a wild experience of someone in love and make you ponder; is it real love?

So you did what?

For those seeking love it can be a whirlwind, it stirs everything up blinding your next move. Dating partners from your financial class/level will be critical sometimes. A love story is told some time ago where a top level bank executive asked this particular female on a date. They went to a very expensive restaurant in the city and they had a good time. Perfect! If you have to withdraw a huge amount of your savings or investment to get someone’s attention, to prove you care then they are not worth your time. Many times partners find themselves all in a moment. We are on a high to the point where we are no longer in control of our actions because this person may be the hottest on the market, maybe the one with the personality you’ve been looking for or whatever. I do believe in the notion of going all out for the one you love but never to the point where you suffer financially in the future.

So you’ve changed what?

We all know love makes us do some ridiculous things. However, we should always be in a position to distinguish between the feeling of love and infatuation. If loving the person you are chasing means changing your friends – the good ones, changing your outlook on life, being honest and persistent about your own personal goals then you might not be looking in the right place. When you’ve found love in a partner they should never influence you negatively. Many families are at the bitter end of this stick who confess most times that when members of the family get married or begin to date someone they change overnight into different people because of the huge influence their partners hold over them. I vehemently believe in listening to your partner and respecting those decisions but there comes a point when you should be able to think straight and see through things and make the best decision for your life.

So you’re not happy?

It might take you days, weeks, months to figure out that this person who you have been investing your time and effort in is not making you happy. There is no way someone should stay in a relationship when they are unhappy. This state not only affects you personally but it trickles over in your work, and your relationship with others. Life is too short to sit around and have someone in your personal space eat away at your happiness and you enjoying life. For some, this may take years for them to realize that things have not been developing into what they desired it to be. At this moment you need to sit down and figure out what was blinding you, what has changed and what you can do now to make this work.

Love do sometimes makes us do crazy things I tell you. There is someone out there for each person and the quest to find them can be a thrill, can be devastating, and it could last a lifetime. Find someone who shares similar interests, will love you, who is a lover of life and someone who compliments and will compromise. Live life happily ever after and feel the feeling you have never felt before.

Earlier this week, I wrote an article responding to an article that bashed a recent condom campaign in Jamaica. Today, my response was published in The Gleaner, a local Jamaican paper.

Have a read.

Jamaica Gleaner News – Embracing sex education – Letters – Wednesday | June 10, 2009

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F_317522_c6KHZ1f7HreolYV5FYUQNSGhVw1gLnThe recent campaign by the Ministry of Health in Jamaica with the tagline ‘Pinch, leave an inch, roll’ has come under fire from certain sectors of the society. Esther Tyson, principal of Ardenne High School in Kingston, Jamaica wrote an article in the Sunday Gleaner condemning the campaign calling for serious adjustments to the message. Her new tagline for the campaign would state ‘value self, value others; self-control and true love waits.’

We live in a society that is over sexualised with not only images but also heavily present in our music. The fact remains that our young people are having unprotected sex and the Ministry of Health recognizes this.  Any campaign that is geared towards educating and influencing the use of condoms with the youth must be embraced. The youth globally not only unique in Jamaica are faced with choices daily and most times the values we would ideally want our youth to accept are ignored upon. Societies today are not projecting the conservative values we are told of. Instead, young individuals are bombarded with the acceptable behaviours of promiscuity and unsafe sexual habits.

The Jamaican society has been characterized as a Christian one. However, one would think the church would be vocal on certain issues but on the contrast they are numb and quiet leaving a sector of society to be leaders teaching our children that unprotected sex is real love. Our youth today has taken that message as gospel preaching it to those who they come in contact with, developing a culture where we have accepted sexual activities among young individuals as a norm.

How do we now combat this problem? The advertising campaign suggested by Esther Tyson to promote value self cannot work. Young individuals are battling low self-esteems, no confidence within themselves and a society where they are searching for role models. Valuing Others? Jamaica is currently one of the murder capitals of the world. We have no respect for life or anyone’s life in this country. True love? If a research should be conducted I am positive the percentage would be high of children born out of wedlock. Therefore the campaign that Tyson suggests is nonsensical, and cannot work in this society. The fact is, the campaign suggested by Tyson would be looked down upon and revamped to change its message simply because it would not be current.

The Ministry of Health’s campaign was spot on. Recognizing that young people today are participating in activities like this, arming them with the correct information can only assist. The campaign teamed up with popular show Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall and it was a perfect match because the target audience were fans of the popular show.

It is a pity that Tyson reminds me of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin as a conservative believes that sex should be solely between married couples. However, Palin’s daughter Bristol Palin got pregnant at only 17 years of age. Sarah Palin as a republican politician has been preaching for all her political life of the sacredness of sex and marriage; when in her own household her daughter was ignoring this message. Esther Tyson serves as principal of Ardenne High School, a top school in Kingston, Jamaica. One would think she would have on the ground experience of what is happening to our youth today. However, Tyson still chants from her high seat that the campaign should be ‘value self, value others; self-control and true love waits.’ One thing is for sure, her students are chanting a different message of ‘Pinch, leave an inch, roll.’

It is time we accept the world we live in presently and start accepting the truth. We live in a society where sorry to say sexual promiscuity is a current trend which is very attractive to our young people. We need more innovative campaigns that will challenge stats quo and be different. After all we are in 2009 and not the 1960’s.

Corve DaCosta