Thy Neighbour (Ms Good Deeds #2)

This is a follow-up to Ms Good Deeds…..

The other morning as I was traipsing down the hallway out to the busstop minding my business (without my blinders on) when I saw a Caucasian gent waving frantically from outside- for some attention obviously. I stopped, and then turned to see what he wanted. Upon opening the door to speak to him, he produced his drivers license as ‘proof’ that he lived in the building. He said he had locked himself out and needed to get back up to his quarters. My mind immediately went into protect mode, although I had only a minute to make the decision about whether to believe him and then let him in. I thought about this many things during that minute.

i. Is he a stalker trying to get to a fearful female in the building?

ii.What if he is a serial-killer or worst yet a terrorist?

iii. How could he have left his key and the doors cant be closed without a key?

iv. An ID can have the address and you don’t reside in the building- that’s normal right?? you could have moved since you got the ID….and after all where I am from most people don’t have their correct address on their D.L anyway.

v. Why show me proof before I even say a word or ask for proof? 

Skepticism and suspicion aside, I let him in. But my inner turmoil began in earnest. I was so conflicted that I was literally shaking as I entered the bus. “Do you know you may be endangering unsuspecting people?  What about your own personal effects? Cameras are surely there to see who enter and exit right? Will you end up in prison for just doing something kind or plain stupid? I cant begin to tell you how disturbed I was. I had to start berating myself for being so paranoid. I couldn’t believe it. Is that how your environment affects your judgement? Or is it because I watch too many episodes on Investigation Discovery (ID)? All in all,  everything seemed okay the evening as I came back in, and then and only then did I relax. I however started thinking about the perils of not ‘knowing thy neighbour’. Yes, it is certainly in line with the program on ID of that same name.

I was at a certain location the other day and a friend fell ill- just normal feel bad it seems with a little vertigo. It woke me up to two facts- first, I have no idea how to deal with those crises, and secondly that fear of litigation immobilizes us and removes our humanity. So I thought rubbing alcohol……, because that’s what my mother would do….none anywhere. I saw a doctor’s office and rushed in to ask for some or anything that could help.  I was told there was none and nothing……Long and short story, she eventually got to a doctor herself and felt better.  But did I believe the employee at the doctor’s office? Nooooooo……but I can’t say I blame her. Risk of and fear of litigation is a real thing- do not expose yourself unnecessarily. It just led me to think how these laws that we create can mess with God’s law- especially the one about loving your neighbour.

I have a few faces I am familiar with…..from the bus stop. Familiar only, as we don’t acknowledge each other as we arrive or as we wait….this is weird for me although I conform. I am ashamed of myself to say this, but it is true. There is this one female (teenager) who on more than one occasion, begs bus fare. The first two times she asked I said no, I really didn’t have any change. The third time I gave her a dollar………..the fourth time I confronted her. I got a ‘cock and bull’ story which may or may not be true- I really haven’t sorted out what poverty or desperation look like here, but being a cynic, “me don’t believe her”. I think there is something else going on here, but me cant prove it so me don’t seh nothing more. Anyway, since that confrontation I haven’t really seen her at the bus stop again, but I see her on the bus at times. The thing is I have been approached by others too with bus fare requests- I guess that’s why the City has a ‘Donate a Ride’ system. Maybe I should contribute to that………after all my neighbour doesn’t always live in my building or next door.

 

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Contemporary vs Traditional

There are some things I believe and others I don’t.

I don’t believe I have to get married in a white dress or wearing Jimmy Choo (thankfully I can’t afford the latter). Quite frankly, I would love to know if I can wear a sari to my wedding with sandals, but my husband to be-  Of course I need him in his suit. I love men in suits 😁😁. Well there are no rules….. right!!!

I don’t believe I should solicit a male. That’s the man’s role, and furthermore I don’t believe men manage the dynamics well when a woman initiates. Of course, I do not buy into the notion (however much statistics abound) that men are few and far between, I choose not to. There are lies, damm lies and then statistics!!! Right !!!! Maybe all of this is to my detriment but let’s see.

I have many great male friends, I believe men make great friends for females. Thus,  I believe ohh sorry I know, that the men in our lives have to be trained- be it husbands, sons, fathers, brothers…..however, word of caution from a man himself. Don’t draw the noose too tight, give him some room to roam and kick up some dust!!!!

I believe that church dress is different from every other dress. So for me, my mode of dress for church is about honouring my creator with my best dress. I cast no stones at others who do not feel likewise, that’s a pledge I made to myself. It matters not if I am the church pariah, to my own self I will be true.

I don’t think I would mind much being a housewife. Of course, we always want what we don’t have and I say that as an educated woman who has always worked.  I too have some writers bias here, as I have never been a housewife and I don’t like housewifely chores. That said, one of my favourite movies, Kramer Vs Kramer showed me just how invaluable a role the housewife plays, ingratitude aside. I am not sure if the movie is the reason I am enamored with this idea.

I recently heard too, former USA VP Joe Biden echo similar sentiments, when he said  “everything works, if the marriage is working”, and the marriage works in my head (of course I am not married) if each person knows their role, sign up for this role and then plays that particular role.  Of course, it follows that I do believe too that a woman has specific roles in the house and in the family, whether you are a working woman or not- again I must declare, I AM NOT MARRIED. I simply subscribe to biblical principles, and maybe psycho- analyze too much.  But that aside, I grew up in a household in which I saw, in no uncertain terms, how a female ‘spoils’ a man. The latter of course is an extreme.

I hate to read my books on devices. I am a hard cover, paperback, page-flipping type of girl, so it really pains me that I have to use the Kindle. Now I am traditional not inflexible. Of course,  I have to consider the cost of books, space and storage, as well as their bulkiness especially when you travel. It pains me at times but such is the nature of the beast, me prefer my ‘natural showers’ too but me have to do otherwise.

I recently received a message from twitter asking me if I know how to tweet..🤣🤣🤣, oh I don’t believe in living my life through social media either. Now don’t get me wrong I have nothing against social media, as I would be a fool to do so. I have also derived many benefits from using it in the limited way I do. I don’t even want to think what my life would have been like without that privilege, so yes I am grateful for having this new tool for communicating. However, I also recognize the pitfalls. The thing is like a vacuum that sucks in humans- it can become a drug of choice. So I have resolved to use correct spelling, correct grammar and whole sentences when I use it (even when me a write patois). No sir, I am not into using letters to represent words (except lol, Gm and Smh) cut me some slack here, and I don’t see how we can communicate using abbreviations. I know I am old-fashioned when as I still prefer to talk rather than text……sometimes at least.

By the way, do you think it is a coincidence that I live at ‘ The Traditions’ 😏😏😏😏😏. I don’t believe in those either.

Antidotes

I read somewhere today, not sure where, as we have so many sources from which  information come at us these days. I get overwhelmed. I had an uncle who a mentally unstable guy once described as someone who reads everything, even what is written in the dirt. So you know reading runs in the family..but that’s a whole different ball game.

I read somewhere today that letting go of anger, bitterness and resentment or in other words practicing forgiveness, being contented and humble, and practice some kindness no doubt can actually help with the prevention of cancer. Incidentally, today at church the sermon was about laughter, the gift of laughter and the fact that laughter is good medicine, of course when used in beneficial ways. So I got to thinking, do we have the remedies to a lot of our problems right at our finger tips, evenly shared amongst all of us, freely given and cheap as dust.

Think about it……

Forgiveness- the giver always feel better than the recipient. Try it if you don’t believe me.

Love – for God and your Neighbour- God is love and love covers a multitude of sins

Feed your enemies- heap burning coals on their heads

Turn the other cheek- self- explanatory

Do only what you want done to you- you will understand this one when you need a favour.

Do not judge or condemn- two, all three sides to a story

Be quick to listen and slow to speak- we have two ears and one mouth for a reason!!

Do not avenge yourselves- revenge is sweet but God’s venegenace is sweeter

Drink water- eight glasses a day they say and most of us have access to clean water in abundance…..

Sleep, Laughter and Gratitude.

Ellen G. White’s NEW START prescription (God’s 8 rules for health) sums it perfectly. N- Nutrition, E-exercise W- water, S- sunshine, T- temperance, A- air, R- Rest and T- trust in God.

 

 

Words 

Words are powerful they have effect, words are oaths they are a bond.

The Bible describes them as being active, alive and sharper than a double-edged sword…….It also equates the tongue to a fire …….destroying marriages, starting and prolonging wars, decimating nations and kingdoms, …….

Whoever said words are wind? They can calm an anxious mind and encourage a faint soul, they stop you dead in your tracks and remove fingers off the trigger. Words are like a touch, a hug, a smile and a wave, they reach the heart and you are not the same. Control your words- truth with grace, anything else and you fuel the flame. Season your words with salt says Paul, be gracious………there is no correction fluid for words spewed forth.

We have more courage behind the screen and keyboard, but be kind and brave don’t use anonymity destructively. We text, we post, we tweet, we share, but be careful now, you can still defame. Face to face, verbal and true, those are still the best means and ways. Silence speaks too, anger- we must lean to restrain. Listening we know cannot be over-explained.

Don’t take it from me……take it from Jesus. Matthew 15 v 11 and v 17-20.

When I look into your 👀 

I can’t help it, they pull me in.

Pearly and beady, brown black penetrating eyes.

They tell me you are sincere and that you care.

Nothing much has changed, it’s all the same. Even though many years have passed, and much tears came.

I need to tell you, things work themselves out so bury those fears,

But I can’t, you have to do this your way.

 

You will cry, laugh, gain and lose friends, hurt and heal, gain and lose weight. And all the negative stories you are told, don’t believe them save yourself some time.

You wont change much as the years pass, and you will create some fond memories too…..

You don’t speak much now, but that will change. And there will come a day, when that’s all you will have.

You don’t need to people please, let love be based on who you are. Don’t give too much attention, only the weak requires that anyway.

The longest ride will not be what you think……..but hop off and on and it will be okay.

Listen, learn to be silent, pay attention, taste and observe……. life is much more introspective than we think.

No one makes it alone you will have to learn that differently, as an only child.

You don’t control much, that’s just how it is…..learn to decipher and not to belly-ache.

So I will end with this prayer for you.

I hope you can live with your decisions and that they don’t hurt others too much, I pray you accept the choices of others with grace. Do things the right way and never take the path of least resistance. You are secondary in another’s story and so are they in yours. Learn to hear and obey God’s voice and never forget how easily the oppressed can become the oppressor. So never let anger, arrogance, fear or pride dictate.

 

New Year Resolutions

I have never been one to make them, and even when I started to, it was ‘falla fasheen’. Then after a week I either didn’t remember what I had resolved or didn’t think it so important anymore. Either way they ended up in the trash can of my life.

But this year, I want it to be different. Maybe because I finally see a need to have a few and may be too because me want two pot head fi knock seh 2016 is behind me. Suffice to say, I am grateful I survived 2016.

1. I want to hear the words at Matthew 25 v 34-40, so I have decided that I cannot continue to live without some real purpose. I need to do way more to fix that aspect of my life.  But I know myself, I will have to make a commitment and have someone hold me accountable. If not, I will rationalize away the very good reason I had to do it in the first place.

2. Two things happened on the cusp of 2017, that had me thinking and overthinking. A 60 year old pastor was jailed for rape  and carnal abuse and a cousin of mine decided to take matters in his own hands after a break-up. For me both events lead me right back to source, and to quote a friend “it’s wisdom to do what God commands in the first place”. But you see we tend to take the path of least resistance because it’s so difficult to say no, or to ask for forgiveness, or to confront someone, or to speak the truth, exercise self control and not avenge yourself. It’s a constant every day struggle, but it gets easier with practice. One thing I will say and it’s this, whoever you are…….. your worst fear never usually materializes…..stare fear down and you will see how quickly it dissipates.

3. A good friend and relative of mine has made this her 2017 mantra, ‘loving yourself is a rebellious act, in a world that profits from your self-doubt’. This statement is full of merit and is worthy of more than consideration, as we cannot love others without loving self. But then I thought, how do we do this without sliding off the slope of narcissism and selfishness? We live in a selfie culture, remember. I choose to flesh it out this way. If we really meditate on God’s love for us, it will only humble us. First, we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ ‘we are created in his own image’ ‘our bodies are his temple’. Then, God sent his Son to his death for us- we who by no stretch of the imagination, deserve that. Only love could do that. I have long learnt that we need to know who is for us……. God is for us that is for sure. Start with loving God, and then follow up with a photo shoot !!💕💕💕💕💕

4. Laughter, I need to have more big belly laughs. Laughs that bring tears, laughs for which you can hardly repeat the words and not laugh, you laugh just by thinking about it, and then everyone around wonders what’s so funny. Laughs that can make you wet your pants, laughs that are infectious, and you can’t help but share it with everyone. Jokes, events, happenings, etc that will make even the cynic laugh, I want more of those in 2017!!!