Tag Archives: zerotohero

Barren

“Beware the Barrenness of a busy Life”- Socrates

For some reason I keep remembering Socrates’ teachings and his many quotes. It dawned upon me that I need to refresh my memory with his work and some of his most renown philosophical thoughts.

I keep recalling Socrates’ preoccupation with the thought of how much we fill our lives with so many things that make our life seems busy and purposeful. He raises the questions of how meaningful our life really is. And to assess the meaningfulness of our lives, he suggested that we remove all the tasks, chores, work and so on from our life and once nothing is left we will be able to arrive at a conclusion.

The last few days have been a period of soul searching. I am seeing where I am at now and based on my current situations I am evaluating my life to see my likes, dislikes, make certain adjustments and trying to find the time to adhere to certain personal changes.

But working two jobs and having little to no time for myself, have proven that a busy life will keep you away from focusing on what I will term the “more important things.”

A busy life can really bear a barren life.

If I were to remove my jobs from my daily activities, I would certainly find that there are so many other important things that I do need to address on a personal level. And without having nothing to do I would probably come to the conclusion that so far I am not living a meaningful life.

Socrates also says that “not life, but a good life, is to be chiefly valued.”

It is clear that not mainly existing because we wake up and are alive is deemed valuable, purposeful or meaningful.

There are other things that we need to employ as a part of our lives to make it meaningful and valued.

It may be the act of kindness, sacrifice, love, appreciation, accomplishments and so on that we employ in adding meaning and purpose to our life.

It can be a simple act of submersion or daily bath, like Henry David Thoreau at Walden pond, that brings tranquility, aspiration and make us feel renewed and revived.

I have since pledge that I need to start finding things to be a part of my life that will help me to live and lead a purpose filled good life that is chiefly valued.

And you all should find the time to do the same.

Sacrifice

There is so much we do to make things better for ourselves, our loved ones and even strangers.

These little things are our sacrifices.

The need to restrict ourselves from certain material and abstract gain is more often a challenge than a happy stroll in the park.

Sacrifices do not happen effortlessly but oftentimes require strategic planning and discipline. While the former can easily be written down in stages for us to follow to achieve our goal, the latter requires strict self restriction- that most of us do find difficult to maintain.

The thing about understanding sacrifices that I find amusing is that it works similar to situations that require empathy.

Most times the people we make sacrifices on behalf of are not empathetic because they are on the receiving end of the relationship. They do not take the time to put themselves in our position to be fully appreciative of the things the giver/ doer does.

Only a few would ever understand or try to take the time to understand, how you had to be their for them, do a task for them or give them something at your inconvenience.

I recently encountered a situation where I felt like my sacrifices are/were not appreciated. But after deciphering the situation and the words that were said, I came to understand that not everyone will truly and fully understand the things givers have to do and endure in order to make a favor come through for them, to get that dream gift they desire, to pay that tuition or to be there emotionally- because the truth is sometimes people’s problems can be draining to the listening ear.

And I do know that most of us like to say that one should do/give without any expectation.

But who really does want to know that the things they do, give or the sacrifices they had to make is not appreciated?

So to the ones who have the luxury of just calling whether to an Earthly or Heavenly entity and their callings are answered, please remember to not only say thanks in the moment but try to be grateful to the extent by which you can easily understand the sacrifices that were made so you could get what you wanted.

Take the time to let others who help you know that their help is really appreciated.

And more importantly, learn to be empathetic towards those who have to make sacrifices on your behalf.

Unsupportive Female Force

A few weeks ago I was in a lovely and powerful zoom discussion with the members of the Prayer Ladies Supper Club in which we spoke of why women are not supportive of each other.

The discussion yielded a lot of personal experiences detailing women’s interaction with other women in the work place, in service industries and even women with whom they are friends.

Some of the findings revealed:

  • that women are not welcoming to each other
  • women will show support to friends but not to those they do not know
  • there is a competitive nature amongst women
  • some women do not want to share their tricks and trade
  • some women do not believe there is enough to share in regards to wealth and power so they cling on to their power in order to stay ahead
  • first time interaction with women sometimes always include negative attitude and reluctance to help.

All these findings were meted with a nod from all if not most of us in the meeting as we could relate or had encountered similar experiences.

However, I wanted to see if there has been any research on why women are not always supportive of each other. Because although we shared our experiences, I could not quite find a specific underlying reason for our selfishness as women.

I really wanted to know why we are so reluctant to share information with our friends and acquaintances. Why is it so hard to tell a friend some data that may improve their health, wealth, physical appearance, businesses and so on.

Upon doing some research, I found an article written by Dr.Shawn Andrews that gave some very important points. In his article, he, like my concerns about the selfishness of women, highlighted that there was not one main answer when topics involving gender interactions were being discussed or researched.

He, however, noted that there was a “power dead-even rule” amongst women- one of the reasons that would explain why women are not always supportive of each other.

The “power dead-even rule” stipulates that interaction with women on a power structure basis must be equal at all times to that of the other women. The disruption of the power heirarchy, which happens when one woman may have been promoted or has increased her wealth, leads to exclusion, gossips and denigration.

Another important point that Dr. Andrews spoke of was the appropriation of the masculine emotional intelligence by those women who were in charge- the powerful and wealthy women. He described this situation as “The Queen Bee Syndrome,” where powerful women adapted emotional traits that are more associated with males in an attempt to assert their dominance over those women they are in charge of. In other words, women bosses and powerful women are oftentimes aloof in an attempt to stay dominant in a man’s domain.

All these points are pivotal in helping us understand the power structuce, selfishness and unwillingness to share that prevail amongst women. But I can never understand fully why people choose to be extremely selfish.

Despite the positions we hold, try to keep and the level of power and wealth we try to maintain, it will cost nothing to help a friend by sharing and be kind.

Disentangled

On so many forefronts of my life, I find myself being disengaged, detached and disentangled.

The truth is the unaddressed traumas of life will always linger and subconsciously work to change the ways you view people, the way you operate and may very much influence the next stage(s) of your life.

Sometimes I am so sad, another time I am nonchalant and other times I just want to be left alone by everyone and everything.

How have I recognized that I have changed?

  • For a while I have no interest to talk on the phone or even in person with friends, acquaintances or even strangers.
  • I have outgrown certain themes and topics that usually excite or interest me.
  • I communicate very minimally with others- I hardly keep in touch.
  • I make priorities in regards to what I do or can do for others.
  • I am an avid practiitoner of “once bitten, twice shy.”
  • Lastly, I have learned to say no and put myself first at all times.

I do acknowledge that not all my newly acquired behaviors are healthy or helpful. But recognizing my evolvement is one step towards consciously knowing and accepting that I have grown in some form of way.

There is so much trauma that is still left unravelled and unaddressed. And my anxiety sets in when the world seems as though it is about to cave in.

I, however, know that at some point I have to stop to address all these hurt, pain, disappointments, injustice and heartbreak.

But I will leave all of those for another day.

Triggers

Off the top of my head, triggers can be anything ranging from a person(s), behavior or objects that causes a reaction that affects our mental being.

One of the important tenets of understanding our mental fragility is to recognize our triggers. If we know our triggers, or even know a few of our triggers, we may be able to know what to avoid. Knowing our triggers is also crucial in helping us know why we are in a distressful state. Most importantly, triggers will help us to know what mechanisms we need to employ in order to start feeling better.

So what happens when I am triggered?

As someone who is ever so helpful, I am oftentimes overwhelmed when too many people are looking to me for help. The pressure of thinking everyone is relying on me elicits emotions of distress and anxiety.

To be honest not all the time I am able to know that I am triggered or what exactly causes me to be in a certain mental state.

However, at times I feel myself wanting to be in isolation, my sleeping pattern is disrupted, and I prefer to lie in bed all day without interacting with anyone.

The increase of such patterns always let me know that something is resting on my mental psyche. And the best part is, I do let myself wallow in my depression and anxiety.

Sometimes we all need a break and personal space.

People and life can be overwhelming.

But as I grow and learn more about myself, I realize that I have adopted certain actions or refrain from certain actions and relationships that will cause me to feel depressed.


Certainly, life is unpredictable and uncontrollable so I am not always able to take control of the circumstances that I experience.


But here are a few things that I have done to help me when I am triggered or to prevent me from being triggered:

  • I refrain from being in constant contact with people who always seem to need from me.
  • I refrain from having relationships that are parasitic.
  • I refrain from being amongst people who always have negative things to say and who want to convince me that the worse things are good for me.
  • I do not associate myself with those who will whisper all the bad and negative things others have said about me.
  • When I am triggered, I try to change my chain of thoughts (not to happy thoughts) but to understand what I am going through and see what I can do to start feeling better.
  • I also take the time to feel the pain, hurt, sadness and anger before trying to work on feeling positive emotions.

Despite what we are facing and going through, I know some days are better than some.

And the truth is we all have days of feeling low.

Sometimes we prefer not to feel our pain, hurt and are scared to embrace our diminished mental state, but we should all remember that we are all human. And while we can aspire and work towards perfection, no one is perfect and nobody’s life is perfect.

So do not beat yourself up too much when you are going through a low time. Always remember there is hope and while our current distress may seems like forever evrything in this life is temporary.

Racism- The Uncomfortable Conversation

There are certain topics and experiences that we hold dear to our hearts. As a consequence, we get so uncomfortable when we need to sit and have a fluent conversation with others.

Some wise person did say the truth causes offense. And this is merely because the hard truth can make us feel so uncomfortable.

With everything that has been happening in the world, it has brought up racist led conversations- discussions about white vs black, how blacks think whites think and how blacks think of whites.

The reality is racial conversations are sensitive and oftentimes personal. We will take a side based on our interaction with blacks and whites and also the way we are treated as black people.

This is definitely one of those topics where there is a plethora of views that may differ from your friends’, your family’s, and strangers’.


A few days ago I was having a conversation about race with a friend and the way each of us think clearly did not coincide.

We spoke not of the social injustices or the protests but of how we think white people are. She was on the premise that white people all deep down have a shade- they do not really view us as equals. On the other hand, I was saying that I refused to think that because I just cannot bring myself to imagine that white people all deep down think that blacks are unequal or inferior to them.

We, however, both agreed that we have really close friends that are white.

And in that very moment I said that is the sole reason I cannot think all whites have a “shade” in regards to their views of black people. I even went as far as saying I refuse to think in that light because if that were true I would be deeply heartbroken.


I will reiterate that this is really an uncomfortable topic.

Even in writing this piece, I am somewhat concern about how my opinion will be interpreted or if it may seem offensive to someone. Racism is just one of those themes that may spark a backlash (check out Twitter, the Coons and people being cancelled) when you least expect it.


But to get back on track, firstly, I decided to address the awkwardness associated with racist led conversations because I want to know the views of others. With that said please feel free to leave a comment so I can know what your thoughts are.

Secondly, I address this issue because I want to let others know of an important message about not letting what you been through harden your heart.

Thirdly, I take such a stance because I do not want anyone to garner a generalized idea about me based entirely on the facts that I am black, I am a woman, I am an immigrant or I am Jamaican.


One of my personality traits is that I am always willing to give others the benefit of the doubt. In my world, anyone with whom I interact is innocent until proven guilty.

Whether you are black or white, immigrant or citizen through birth, I believe that I should have negative connotations of you only if you have hurt, discrimate or harm me and others.

In other words, I refuse to just hate someone or think they are “shady” only because of their color, heritage, customs and beliefs.

But again that is my take on life, racism and people on a whole.

I cannot bring myself to think that all whites are the same for the same reasons I do not want anyone to think of me being the same as all women, all black women, all blacks, all Caribbean immigrants and so on.

Furthermore, if I think someone has a shade or has treated me badly, I cannot bring myself to be in a position where I will smile and nod as if evrything is fine and dandy (one hypocritical American custom that I hate).

If you are mad at me state it. If you refuse to state it suck it up and let us carry on.

But do not be mad, say horrible things, treat me unjustly and then smile to my face as if we are good.

Because the moment I have established your position in regards to me I cannot engage in a relationship with you or I cannot let my often complimented beautiful smile greets you.

My facial expression will be enough to let you know I want nothing to do with you.

And I know this may sound like a rant, but it should be interpreted as a plea.

Despite of all the horrific injustices, blatant racism and the prevalence of ethnocentrism and nationalism, we should honor people (regardless of color and background) for being people.

Do not be quick to judge someone or gather stereotypical opinions solely because of physical appearance or their heritage.

Also, we have to make the hard decision of not letting the horrendous experiences we have encountered in life change us for the worse.

We have to find strength in knowing that despite all the unpleasantries, we will go through and grow through them and emerge as better versions of ourselves.

Forgiveness

In one of our weekly zoom meetings, I was reminded that forgiveness is really for one’s self and not for the other person.

This statement has resonated with me.

At first glance, the phrase seems to echo the opposite as we always stress how much those who have wronged us need to be forgiven. However, upon further elaboration it was highlighted that forgiveness lifts a burden that persons would normally bear when they hold on to the hurt and pain others have caused them.

As I sit and write, I feel at peace because I am truly align to only those who bring happiness, tranquility and good will to my life. I have mastered the heart of accepting forgiveness as a part of my personal traits through practicing self-expression, acceptance and knowing that from time to time there will be people who will disappoint me.

At times, I have given so much to those (not my family-sadly) around me that I am always so hung up on the pain, hurt and disappointments. I have helped not with the intention of being given the same treatment but like any other human sometimes I am deeply affected by the unreliability of those who I have helped- especially when it comes to my turn.

A few years ago, I encountered a disappointment from someone who I believed I am always there for no matter how inconvenient their needs were to me. And in that very moment, I was filled with anger and bitterness because I felt as if when I really needed that person to be there they blatantly refused to.

And in a lengthy conversation, in which I deliberated about the unfairness of the world and the selfish nature of people, with my younger sibling, I came to the conclusion that I should not be fuming but instead I should feel disappointed- it is a better form of human self-expression.

But how do you handle disappointments?

The most profound human action to disappointments is that when we are left in the cold we should begin to treat others callously. We develop mistrust in others and grow to see the bad in everyone.

However, after my long conversation I decided that I did not want to be like that because when I am in that mode, I am filled with so much anger and rage. I felt hurt and all that pain was channeled into a heavy burden that made me feel sorrowful and cold towards the world.

This is the exact feeling I have (and you will have) when I have not forgiven people.

In essence, forgiveness is really for you and not for those who have caused you pain.

At some point we have to accept that it is easier to take people for who they are, understand that from time to time those who we hold dearest to us may disappoint us and finally forgive and move on.

No one wants to be enraged 24/7 or to be walking around with a heavy burden because he/she is filled with hatred and bitterness from the pain someone else has caused.

Going forward, let this be the day that you mend the fences that are possible and you get closure to those that are irreparable. I will never say forgive and forget as the human mind does not work like that- unless you have Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

So take the time to wallow in your pain, disappointments and injustice and then when you have had enough forgive so that you can rise like the Phoenix.

Black People Causes Havoc in the Streets

About a week ago, I published a post entitled Our Poor Black Men in which I speak of the unjust and cruel way some of our black men are treated by whites and society. All the things I spoke of were mere facts and events that have occurred in our great nation.

A few days later, George Floyd was murdered in the streets of Minnesota as three police men kneeled on him and one stood by doing nothing. I woke up to #GeorgeFloyd trending on Twitter and the moment I hit that play button to watch the video my body shivered.

Minnesota is burning to the ground in response to the killing of George Floyd, who repeatedly stated that he was unable to breathe but was not rendered aid by any of the four officers who were suppose to serve and protect. There has been nationwide protests over the barbaric act committed by those four police men and we have also organized a July7 boycott.


The truth is black people and our black men have always encountered injustice. Everyday we live in this society as black people, and have not witness and experience these brutal acts we are able to coexist and have a peace of mind.

However the moment we start to think we are safe and we no longer have issues such as prejudice, racism and unfairness parading on the frontline, videos showing the death of black men like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and so many others surface and we are once again placed in a dilemma.

In response to these atrocities, black people march, we come up with hashtags such as blacklivesmatter and sayhername, we organize boycotts, we engage in nationwide protests, we kneel to show that we are taking a stand against inequality, police brutality and racism and we loot and cause havoc in the streets.

Our response to these vicious, vile and inhumane acts done to our black men, and even to our black women- Breonna Taylor, is a mixture of peace and war.


As a consequence of George Floyd’s death, we are once again on the streets, in our homes and on social media riled up with anger, sadness and disappointment.

Personally, I am at a complete loss. My heart is heavy. I am angry. And my spirit is once again broken.

I can know longer bear to see everything that is happening in this very moment:

  • I cannot bear to see blacks in the streets burning buildings, attacking people and looting because I know that we have turned to that because we are overwhelmed, frustrated and angry about all the wrongs that have been done and are being done to us without getting the justice we deserve,

  • I cannot bear to see those who come up with responses, such as alllivesmatter and bluelivesmatter, to our hashtags of sayhername or blacklivesmatter because they are making it into something that defeats the fact that we are trying to bring notice to the racism and injustice that continue to linger in the veins of this very nation,

  • I cannot bear to see that as a nation people’s hate and treatment of us, black people, is motivated by race and their belief in us being inferior to them,

  • I cannot bear to see those (regardless of color) saying that when we hit the streets with fires, looting and war we will not bring back those black men and women who we have lost to police brutality and white supremacists because the fact is even when we protest peacefully they still have something to say, and as Leonardo Jacobs point out to Charlie Kirk:

This tweet and response show that even our nation responds with acts of violence against those who have persecuted us. More importantly, it exposes the hypocritical system of our nation as it relates to violence being acceptable only on certain terms.

With everything that is happening, my heart truly aches. I am dumbfounded and angry about the way some whites treat us because in this day and age they still carry around the superior/inferior complex and still think of us as property and things and not as human beings.

It is about time we get rid of the remnants of slavery that continue to form the underlying principles for which our fellow citizens and agents of society treat us as black men and black women.

I wish that by walking peacefully to protest and even in rage to loot and destruct we would by now be able to enact, see and live in real change.

It is definitely been a long time coming.

We deserve to be treated equally as any other race. We are humans and we deserve the same respect that other races receive.

The journey to change, equality and the relinquishment of racism seems to be forever ongoing but we will continue to riot (peacefully or otherwise) in the streets until we have received the respect and equality we deserve.

Alien in the Streets

Migration can be traced as far back to historical events such as conquests and colonization, and slavery and indentureship. Today many people continue to immigrate to other countries in a quest for better life, better education, better medical care and even so that they can escape persecutions from their own country.

We pack our bags and leave to start a journey on our own or to reunite with our families. Some people did not even get the chance to leave peacefully.

Regardless of the reasons for leaving, we find ourselves in new realms where we learn new customs and try to adjust.


When I first came to America as an exchange student, I was in awe of how beautiful and accessible everything is. I was, however, amused that people treated persons in a prejudicial way because you looked and sounded different from them.

That was my first cultural shock!

Years later when I migrated permanently, I found out through observation that depending on the state in which you live and the area within the state, you may be further exposed to different prejudicial treatments.

For example, in a diversed area as New York City, you tend to feel accepted and you are hardly ever treated in an unjust way. People are definitely rude but it seem to be more by nature and not because of the color of your skin or your accent. On the contrary, as you move farther away from the city you find that there are strains of prejudice and even racism. You may live in a nice neighborhood tucked away from the crowd and bustling city life, but then you find that not everyone is welcoming or let you feel accepted because, I assume, you have just invaded their neighborhood.

I then came to conclude that the habitation of Caribbean people, Asians, Indians and so on, in close proximity in certain neighborhoods, occur because immigrants get to feel at home and experience a sense of belonging.

The fact is when you live in neighborhoods with people who are similar to you in color, beliefs and social and geographical backgrounds there tend to be more comfort and sense of community.


As immigrants we have been physically alienated from our own country.

We face scrutiny from those who have claimed true stakes on our new home by the nature of their birth.

At times I try to tell myself that in a work setting nothing said and done to me is personal. But 7 out of 10 times it is completely hard to ignore the way I am treated because I look and sound different from those who were born here.

Despite the atrocities that are meted out to us, we take our new country as our home. We work hard to feel accepted, to utilize all the opportunities that are available and to rise above the prejudicial ways that we encounter.

We make sacrifices so that we can have a better life for ourselves and our children and so that we can achieve things that may have not been attainable in the country of our birth.

But even when we do what the Romans do, there sometimes seem to be a level of unacceptance that leave us being aliens in these streets.

Everything is gone to Dust

Love is intense, beautiful, intriguing, passionate, companionship, happiness. I could go on but it would be never-ending because we all know that love is infinite.

Because of all these wonderful things sometimes love makes it hard to move on. It makes it hard for us to break up so we hold on.

There is so much uncertainty in life and when it comes to our relationships, some of us are even more unaware of what may happen. So instead we detach ourselves emotionally, sexually and mentally before actually departing physically.

We are scared of the hurt and pain that we may have to endure after a loving chapter has ended. We are scared because we are uncertain what will follow. We are afraid to live in regret so we choose the known over the unknown.

The reality is break ups can be hard.

Breaking up takes a toll because when we are in love our feelings are intensified.

That is why when we crash we burn!

We all know that love does entail some form of suffering but I am sure we all know when we have suffered enough.

Should we save ourselves from the immense grief and sorrow that follows a break up by continuing to wobble in unhappiness and uncertainty?

I think we at least owe it to ourselves to walk away when things have turned into dust;

And when it is quite clear that consistent happiness is no long possible.

It is so crazy that although we know we can start over, we are terrified of what will follow when a chapter in our life is ended…