Archive | September, 2014

Society needs a RESTART BUTTON.

30 Sep

I was moved today by this article http://elitedaily.com/life/greatest-moments-clarity-life-realizing-things-didnt-work-youre-better/773523/ – and it’s true each of those points are present and screaming in my life right now, and they have been a slow but steady realization over the past 4 years.

However, the overarching idea that the article didn’t mention: the main reason why people feel that they need to be absolutely perfect, and have everything they want, when they want it without disappointment. It’s a combination of many things, a false notion of success, and thereby happiness, and this idea that disappointment is a lifetime failure. Society has a way of making people feel like shit, in the nicest and kindest way ever.

It’s as though, if you’re not driving an Audi, own three homes, or make six figures, you’re somehow not successful. Or if you’re not surrounded by a lot of people, you’re not popular or ‘liked.’ Or if you’re not with the love of your life, married with kids, you’re not important, worthy or valued (single people get crap all the time). Or lining up to own the new iWhatever, personally I could care less about how fashionable my phone is at the moment. My phone is hundreds of years old, and I’m really proud of it. Or the best part, that grieving has an expiry date, and that you should somehow, “move on already,” when people think it’s time. Society doesn’t allow people to grieve, to take time to heal emotionally. And that’s sad. Because if more people were afforded more time to heal, we may not have as many cases of long-term depression.

Our society has placed a ridiculous amount of pressure on people to achieve material things, and obtain the most outrageous and most unrealistic goals. And the craze that we’re in right now is a symptom of it. Our society says, ‘be an individual and do whatever you desire’ – but refuses to allow people to be individuals the way they want to define and achieve it, primarily allowing failure to be an important part of that journey. And no matter how much you try and create your own adventure, it seems as though those adventures are defined by other people. The only way to combat it is to ignore what society deems as important.

Example: The majority of the women exactly my age, my peers, actually aren’t getting married and having kids. They’re actually DOING things to build their career. One is producing an independent film in Hollywood and another is working for NATO in Europe. They are creating their happiness, prioritizing what they feel is important right now. And I completely LOVE that. Women have the right to create their own destiny, without the comments from “people.”

A side note: It’s those “people” who aren’t your friends.

And yes, you can measure success in terms of a dollar value, but others value success by how happy they are, how at peace they are, others by what they create or how they can positively affect others. There are a million and one ways to be happy, and frankly it’s nobody’s business how we arrive there.

In my opinion, it’s not important to be perfect, but it’s important to be well-balanced. Live the life you choose to lead by the measures and criteria that you can sustain and uphold. Fail, be proud and take the time and define your own success, happiness and destiny.

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Jamaica: Small Shifts, Small Planes

24 Sep

What more can I say about Jamaica…

I have just returned from a 6 week stay in Spanish Town, Jamaica (end of July to beginning of September). Not much has changed, and by the same token, a lot has gotten worse. It absolutely kills me to see my second home in the state that it’s in. Sad and angry. The same sentiment as last year… And when I speak to native Jamaicans, some don’t feel the same way I do, because they’re so used to the madness and insanity, they don’t know anything else – and they wouldn’t even know how to go about improving it. However, Ex-pats who have lived abroad who return home to retire, share my views and don’t know how it got to that state. Other Jamaicans, share my views – and just give up hope. Which is usually the case.

If the Jamaican Government, doesn’t make some significant policy changes, the problem will just continue to escalate and the suffering will continue. I think it’s past the point of fixing. Already it’s getting to the point where there is systematic legalized child sex-abuse, legalized violence against women, and the general violence is out of control. Their policies are absolutely ridiculous, with a lack of regard for humanitarian needs, a general misconstrued idea of priority (putting tablets ahead of food and education), and furthermore…a general lack of education among the people, to know what they’ve been conditioned to believe untruths. The propaganda the Government feeds them is out of this world. I often wonder if people are able to think for themselves…

And for myself trying to understand the situation, I can only comment on what I see. I do not live there full-time, so I cannot even attempt to make suggestions, based on flawed policies. So I find myself locked in a vicious cycle. Trying to help even on a local and personal level, becomes more and more difficult, because everyone still needs to adhere to a higher system that they’ve been dragged into. So when I suggest a different method, which might work in a modern and mechanized “Canadian” world, doesn’t work there, because the system does not work. Even when I suggest something as simple as, “read more,” it is a problem. The Jamaican system is broken. But it works broken. And trying to fix the broken wheel, will not make the entire ‘bike’ run any smoother, so to speak.

If you want to get a picture of how the country really is, go to Hellshire Beach and talk to Vernon, my Dreadlock friend. He will tell you everything you need to know, and then some. Talking to the people who are on the pulse is the best way to get a sense of the undercurrent of a country. Every story has a similar thread: inflation, no work, higher prices for education, fees for everything, long waits for everything, theft, violence, .. it’s the same story over, and over, and over again.

I always visit during their Independence Day, August 6th, and every year I just shake my head. What did they gain independence for? To be an impoverished, non-improving state? I don’t know what will become of Jamaica. All I can do is pray that a positive wave interjects soon, and at least attempts to shift the pendulum the other way.

I wanted to encourage a shift in thought on a small level, and have a greater effect on more people, but any change would need longer than 6weeks. I need to go for 6 months and see what I can achieve. And I just don’t have that time right now. I might have achieved a shift on a very small plane, and I’m really happy about that… but any large shift in the paradigm will have to come over a longer people of time I suspect. I’m still thinking on it…

Regardless of the political and/or my humanitarian efforts… I still had a blast. The sun, air, great food, great people… make enduring the chaos all worth it. It’s paradise, despite the insanity one has to live through. Of course if you’re on a resort(unlike me), it’s a much different vibe, but I like my set-up. It works for me. I would go just for the food!

And as always… onto the next trip! Punta Cana, you best get ready for Ms.Stef. 😉
shopping sky 4 Hellshire 3