Saturday, March 9, 2013

Life is One Big Road with Lots of Signs!

From birth we are all face with choices, lots of choices and part of being alive is to know when to make the right choice and what constitute the right choice. Do I go to a party tonight or stay home and study? Do I work late or meet friends for drinks? Do I buy a new car or pay down my mortgage? Do I get with person A or stay with person B even though person A is a good looking certified lunatic. As Kenny Rogers said… You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run… life is all about decisions.

Growing up I was faced with lots of choices and I made some good choices and I made some bad choices. Even though most of my bad choices brought fun and enjoyment to my life they were bad choices none the less and some brought nothing but pain and misery. While in school we have all been faced with the choice of staying home, burn the midnight oil and study for our exams or hang out with friends. I am only happy that the bad choices I have made when I was young did not out weigh the good ones and although life could have been better if I had made more good choices. I am happy that the bad ones did not make life unbearable, unmanageable and downright miserable. At the end of the day whatever decisions I made in my life was my choice, it was my responsibility and as such my cross to bear. I cannot and will not blame anyone for the decisions I made or where I am in life.

At a very early age I came to the conclusion that I will never regret a choice I have made, good or bad. Each and every fork in the road of life is a learning process which prepares one to make a better decision when one encounters the next fork in the road. I have also tried to live my life base on a five year plan and continue to ask myself… where do I see myself in five years and how do I plan to get there and what do I want to achieve out of life? Life is a balancing act, a system of pros and cons and it is left up to the individual to balance the many aspects of life's needs versus wants. One must understand the choice we make today will determine the type of life we live tomorrow and people who do not understand this always find themselves in the tomorrow crying about… “I would have, should have and could have”.

There are people in this world that make choices based solely on the instant gratification of the moment and nothing more, they live from one excitement to the other, from one moment to the next without careful examination of each choice. The decision making process does not discriminate, it is not deterred by colour, class or wealth although the decisions we face can be slightly different, the fact is, the act of making a choice exist with all of us.

Recently there have been a number of reports regarding electricity theft in Jamaica as the Jamaica Public Service launched a massive anti-theft drive. It was reported that in one community of about 2400 people only 3 people had legal connection to JPS and everyone else was getting electricity for free, well free for them as JPS just allocate what they should have paid to its paying customers, everyone end up paying on their behalf. Off course this started the normal argument between the defenders of the supposedly poor and down trodden and the hard working Jamaicans who are sick and tired of supplementing their life style. One person pointed out that this community had almost nightly Dancehall events and various merriment activities and most houses had the latest in electronic devices coupled with the latest mobile hand held devices and these are the people who scream and bawl poverty. I am not saying there are not people who are truly suffering and need our help, what I am saying is that we do need to take care and identify those people who make their living, existing at the expense of others, those bloodsucker types.

JPS worker removing illegal connections

This takes me back to choices, Jamaica throughout history provides free education and health care to our population, almost everyone got the chance to attend school but not everyone showed up. I have been to school with kids who almost never show up or when they do they are late because they were out enjoying themselves the night before. These are kids who showed little or no interest in getting an education, never attending classes while other bust their chops, trying to get to school on time, enduring hardship at home but staying up late at night studying instead of going to dance or parties because they understand the importance of a good education.

Why should the tax payers finance this?
Jamaica in need of Moral Guidance
I have seen poor kids who came to school with no lunch money and members of the class would chip in to make sure they got something to eat, they would come to school in raggedy school uniforms but they studied hard and made something of themselves, I still see some of them to this day, I am still in contact with some and we often talk about the old days. I remember various teachers and principals would dip into their own pockets on a daily basis to feed these kids because they saw something in them, that ambition, that fire and determination to make something of themselves, they were from the Ghetto but not off the Ghetto, it did not define them. I know bright kids with parents who don’t care if they attend school but they make the decision to never miss a class, others with parents who cares but the child is not interested and those with parents who cares but cannot provide for them. I have seen many of these parents cast off pride and throw themselves at the mercy of the school or church, begging please, please help my child because I want him or her to be somebody, something, declaring that, yes I made mistakes but my child should not have to pay for my bad choice in life and I know of one instance where a child left the school they were attending because it did not ensure a proper education or survival,walked from school to school asking and begging to be admitted, to be giving a chance.

I have been to school with kids who when given the decision between going to Biology class or jump over the back fence to roam the Plazas or hangout in Half-Way-Tree Park, smoking weed or trying to pick up girls they never choose Biology class or any class. The importance of an education was not important to them but they were taking up a place in school that could have gone to a child who wanted very much the opportunity to get a proper education. I have seen high school girls who had relationships with grown men as they skip classes, leave school to meet these men, some of whom were married with kids, driving around in the front of their cars, simply because of instant short term gratification, only to see these girls later in life, living a life of poverty, some got pregnant at a very young age and end up having kids for several different men and not a father in sight to help support them or their children. Part of growing up is making both good and bad choices but it is important that the bad choices you made should not overshadow the benefits from the good choices you made in life.

In Jamaica we have a certain type of people who make a living screaming Poverty, Hard Life and Suffering, these people do not believe that the Laws, Rules and Regulation should apply to them because they believe that people like them should exist outside of Laws, Rules and Regulation because to them such Laws, Rules and Regulation only increase their suffering by cutting into their merriment time. We are so poor that we should be allowed to live any which way we want, we will do nothing to improve our condition or join mainstream society but we fully expect the rest of society to finance our existence, our life of merriment, this is when scream poverty, pays.

On the other hand one could also say that we have a type of people who are so rich and influential that they also believe the Laws, Rules and Regulation of the land should not apply to them, they should live anyway they want and at the expense of the rest of society as they refuse to spend their fortunes on the required taxes and duties but I will deal with those people at another time. You Ungrateful Wretch!

University Of Technology
Everyone makes bad decisions in their younger life but one should try to make the correct adjustments later in life and it is OK to turn to society and declared that although I have made some bad choices in my life, I have learned the error of my ways and would like your help, to get back on the right path and at which point society should do everything in its powers to lend them a helping hand. A lot of older Jamaicans are going back to school to do just that, when normally a 40+ or 50+ year old should be thinking of retirement they are in schools at nights with various study groups trying to complete their education and improve their situation. Society must help the hard working and ambitious poor those people trying their very best to correct past mistakes and create a better future for themselves and family.

I Refuse to finance your Let Off Culture!!
However a lot of the people screaming Poverty, Hard-life and Suffering have no intention of correcting their ways but still want society to finance their existence and these are the people we need to identify, first we need to see if we can talk sense into their heads but if that fails then we need to marginalize these people from society because “society cannot help those, who do not want to help themselves” and should not finance their existence as a result and we should make sure they follow the Laws, Rules and Regulation of the land because only we the people can change our lot in life because the building of a nation requires all hands on deck.

The Let Off Culture Must End!

I remember watching this program called “who do you think you are” where they try to trace peoples history. On this one particular show the person found out that he came from a long line of wealthy people. Money was passed from generation to generation until in about 1898 to 1901 when all the family fortune was inherited by the sole heir, this one man. The problem was this sole heir was a drinker, a gambler and womanizer and not much into business, so much so that a couple decades after he inherited the family wealth, it was all gone, done, nothing left. Every generation after that had to work for a living and was regarded as working class, what separates them from unimaginable wealth was this one individual who was not very good at making the right decisions…


  1. Just finished reading this and all I have to say is WOW. You have read my mind on a lot of points you're making, only it sounds better coming from someone who is born and raised in Jamaica and has experienced what you're talking about.

    I've always wondered what's the difference between two Jamaicans born into the same community and economic level - one goes on to higher education and career and one stays held back in the poor-me mentality. I guess the difference is their way of thinking and exactly what you just said.....their decision making skills.

    EXCELLENT blog post. Much respect.

  2. Thank You Jamaica My Way (, I am very happy you enjoyed reading it. It is a subject matter that gets me thinking all the time, especially in these difficult economic times. It gets even worst when you know the persons and must listen to them blame everybody but themselves for the position they are in, it is always everybody else fault, when I know the fault is 100% theirs because of the decisions they made and the life they lived...