I am amazed at how life unfolds each day.
Amidst the everyday struggles of life and work, the challenge to stay ‘on top of things’ is real! However like most things affecting mankind it starts in the mind and manifests in the spirit before taking root and becoming action. I provide this precursive statement to indicate that in order to be successful one needs a winning mindset.
From my experiences and observations to achieve this one must realize that their destiny is already preordained. Thus obstacles, subterfuge and roadblocks are just delays but do not mean a denial. With this ‘in mind’ we can rise above the fray and operate from a place of peace. We can have joy in the knowledge that we have control over how we react and what we do… no one else. Any other thought is self limiting.
Therefore when a deluge of events, people and things come our way on the daily, we have to calm our minds and take ourselves to the place of a higher and deeper understanding. Having control over our minds mean we have already won…KEEP WINNING!
Not often does one get the chance to leave ‘home’ and venture very far, far, faraway. When you do… a lot of things come into perspective. Some include your own mortality, your uniqueness, your tribal allegiance ( or sense thereof), your likes, dislikes, and tolerance level(s) to name a few.
For me I am currently partaking in an adventure of a life time. Its an item on my bucket list that arrived early. In this case after travelling for almost a day and arriving finally at the destination, I felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for personal safety and security in a time of global conflicts and uncertainties. I am cognizant that a lot could have happened between saying goodbye to loved ones and arriving half way across the world…so yeah am thankful.
The next thoughts were basically my mind processing this idea of ‘self,’ having being on the long journey and having experience of many persons of varied nationalities and ethnicities, I was made to think about ‘self’ and this understanding will help me to navigate with my fellow nationals and other global citizens. Once I have a good grasp on that I will survive…of this am certain.
I think this was especially poignant as I watched ‘others’, I love to observe people and it made me self aware even as I was critical of them or even as I admired them. Being human and being able to see the humanness in others is a complex meandering of emotions. Much is brought to bear to formulate your own reality, such as the fact that perhaps where you are from is sometimes not even represented on a map but still holds such significance. This then leads you to reflect on your significance and why you were afforded certain opportunities. The answer may be that its a part of your ‘destiny’ and ‘purpose’ as well it makes you appreciate your ‘place’ in this world.
But no matter what my friends enjoy the journey, take the ride and do not forget to smile…
The linked chart provides some useful data and perspective.
The week of January 14-20, 2017 is being utilized as a week of action to FIGHT INEQUALITY. Initiated by the Fight Inequality Alliance, its aimed at drawing attention and focus on inequality within the global economic realm and especially highlighting the far reaching effect of poverty and general impoverishment. This is purposely to coincide with the World Economic Forum occurring within the same period in Davos, Switzerland.
The reason for this global call to action is expressed below, as per the website – http://www.fightinequality.org:
Inequality has reached extreme and dangerous levels, and has put too much power into the hands of millionaires and powerful corporations. What’s worse, a growing number of hate-filled leaders are gaining power by pretending to stand up for the poorest. But they are not champions for ordinary people and have no intention of ending corporate greed, tax dodging, privatisation of services, and exploitation of workers, women and minorities. In fact, they are stirring division and discrimination that threatens to take us back to the horrors of the past.We know it’s possible to have a society where everyone matters, and nobody is rich or powerful enough to be immune from the rules. But powerful elites and corporations won’t change a system that works for them without pressure.
Evidence to this is given for example by OXFAMAmerica which highlights that just 8 men have as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population. Source:www.oxfamamerica.org/just8.
Image source: Sustainable Human
Consequently this leads to disparities in income (micro) and the disproportionate economies of scale (macro) which manifest into all types of inequalities and inequalities at all levels, namely social and spatial inequalities. The capitalist mindset stemming from modern day commerce and industry have through the centuries, post -Industrial Revolution era, contributed to the accumulation and amassing of familial wealth. The wealth have been so concentrated within these hands that it is a vain attempt at extricating same except through philanthropy and endowments.
The promise of wealth accumulation by those outside of these circles have had flickering success through the signing of social entrepreneurial spirits. New inventions and the technological age have opened new frontiers for innovation and thus creating new opportunities for virtual richest.
North-South debate (examining inequality on a geographic scale)
To dial back to an earlier point in the discussion though, the laissez-faire /captalist model is referenced as having contributed to the highly extractive approaches that have left many countries in the developing world reeling with the after-effects. The growth and development of many countries in the ‘North’ at the expense of countries in the ‘South’ is debated in many lecture theatres, college hallways and in social media. The main take home is that the wealth in the hands of the few have been also at the expense of so many with far-reaching geographic impact.
So in the inequality dialogue one must examine what the global recessions – in quick succession, harsh economic climates and banking crises and such have unearthed- serious and indepth analyses at the individual all the way through household and country levels. From a theoretical perspective it is not surprising that many of the economic paradigms of the last decades have been reviewed and are now being examined. Many of the problems of this world involving inequality for example cannot be resolved by economic means. This is as many researchers and policy analysts have determined that the economic approach have contributed to and have been the cause of much inequality. As we navigate a paradigm shift social engineers only seek to determine whether or not there are key salvageable and meritorious elements of economic models that can be utilized to assist with a re-engineering of our thinking. Inequality after all is a quantitative measure, in so much as it is able to be, used to explain the qualitative construct of the problem.
I have been grappling with the thought that sometimes- well meaning efforts can have inadvertently deleterious effects despite being impactful. This often happens when I am immersed in some gender related activity. I think on the ways in which many cultures still do not allow the girl child to achieve her fullest human potential. Some girls are primed only as brides and thus chattels of their male counterparts whether as a parent or later as a spouse. It is therefore important work to empower females who are so socialized or who have escaped these oppressive regimes they had been forceably subjected to.
However, observations made in the field, in other societies including mine, is that young males have, or had at some point previous, become themselves marginalized. In Jamaica girls are out performing their male counterparts in most of the indicators of human development. See below for the educational attainment indicator example in Jamaica.
Although the number of boys and girls in Jamaica is roughly equal, according to some recent statistics, 48,992 boys and 81,111 girls sat CSEC subjects, and the girls outperformed the boys in all arts subjects and all science subjects, except mathematics. More than twice the number of females (67 per cent) are enrolled in the University of the West Indies (UWI) than males (33 per cent), and 59 per cent of those enrolled in post-secondary non-tertiary education are women.
Its long been accepted that boys develop differently than girls. Strong family support is needed to nurture the children in such a re-socialization process so as to take these into consideration. Girls have a proclivity to learn at faster rates than most boys. The education system must, even through resource constraints, have specialized approaches to capture and retain boys as well as girls. Concurrently, there must be a demystified definition of the gender roles. Our boys AND girls must be equally socialized to realize their fullest potential within the context of modern societies. Traditional roles have to be retooled such that there are no restrictions contained in either.
Correlation between inequality and crime
Thus, it is ironic that the men are expected to be primary bread winners and providers in their traditional roles as ‘heads of households,’ within the current system that is failing them. In previous articles I have written about the high rate of male drop outs and the large percentage of unattached youths primarily concentrated by the males in the population. With the increasingly high national crime rate and the spate of murders in St. James, data can be found to provide evidence to the underlying cause and effect, not excluding the educational attainment. It is an imperative that we do not attempt to only mitigate against the attendant results but also strive to bring resolution to the innate nature of the problem.
We watch the news and documentaries and we wonder how can people be so murderous. We also wonder how people can be so callous as to scam the elderly out of their pension and life’s savings. It is time for us to get into the belly of the beast and slay the dragon from within. We need to start to understand, not empathize, but to dissect the mindset of deviants. As stated in a TEDWomen talk delivered by Jacqueline Novagratz in 2010 we should seek to understand how someone, ‘…[can] look at other beings, human beings, as lesser than [them]selves and in the extreme, to do terrible things.’ In an episode of the series Black Market on the Vice network, some young males (including boys as young as 12) who were involved in carjacking activities in Trenton, New Jersey, stated, ” its ‘us or them,’ when we are hungry.” This echoes the sentiments by many males who hang on the corner in many inner cities or impoverished neighborhoods here- as well some hardened criminals- and those relegated to a life of crime and illicit activities.
To help to make the connection and to solidify the call for attention to neutralizing gender gaps at the socio-economic levels, Novagratz makes the following point even as she was reflecting on a female parliamentarian who was imprisoned for war crimes.
And there is no group more vulnerable to those kinds of manipulations [see quotation above] than young men. I’ve heard it said that the most dangerous animal on the planet is the adolescent male. And so in a gathering where we’re focused on women, while it is so critical that we invest in our girls and we even the playing field and we find ways to honor them, we have to remember that the girls and the women are most isolated and violated and victimized and made invisible in those very societies where our men and our boys feel dis-empowered, unable to provide. And that, when they sit on those street corners and all they can think of in the future is no job, no education, no possibility, well then it’s easy to understand how the greatest source of status can come from a uniform and a gun.
I have been reading a lot of history and gaining background insight, context and knowledge to a lot of the meanings behind the holidays. There were some information I knew having studied European history from the renaissance to revolution. However there was quite a bit that was astoundingly new and quite enlightening. As we get into this I want to share this gem- Knowledge IS power. GET IT.
Many persons make new year’s resolutions at this time. The belief, I suppose, is that new year, new beginnings. I had undoubtably also subscribed to this in the past, however I have since been reformed. I now strongly operate from the understanding that life- from birth to the grave is a process…a continuous one. Therefore each blessed year is a continuation. To see this clearly, for each birthdate one does not cap off the past and start over. So too analogously the new year, each year, whether the gregorian calendar or otherwise, is a continuation…If you subscribe to this then you know its a matter of taking stock and realizing that it is never too late. Everyday the universe teaches us lesson and reveals new things to us. It unfolds such that people we thought we knew we make discoveries about them. We learn more about ourselves we get to understand just how much we are able to tolerate, who we must avoid, who are true and trustworthy, who really wants us to succeed and who is watching for our downfall.Thus we must be aware.
This is an imperative as you strive to become a better you. You must shed useless situations and people. Learn the lessons and keep it moving. The pressure within must be greater than without. Similarly, we must make choices. Choose to avoid people and situations that have no real value to your well being. You will know them, these things will drain your energy, totally defeating your efforts and attempts at growth. Summarily, each juncture is an opportunity to sober up, opening your eyes to all truths, the greatest of which is make your life count. Whilst doing this sustain yourselves spiritually, mentally and physically. Love thyself. If you do not care for yourself then you are no good to anyone. Do yourself the favour.
Happy Independence Day Haiti!
Our sister island Haiti celebrates 213 years as the first independent black country. When you read the history of the series of events resulting in this feat you will be amazed at the tenacity and courage inherent in the people of color.
However sadly, it perplexes a lot of us and often begs a common question, in relation to the current state of Haiti – why is Haiti so poor? Watch this video directed by Noland Walker.
To think that whole process endured for twelve years before the final result! Which brings me to a very important piece of wisdom.
KEEP PRESSING… your best is yet to come. All the very best to a better you!