Respect Mon!

I’ve become quite the fan of trying to bring certain elements of a vacation back to our ordinary but chaotic life. One of those, as cliché as it sounds is “positive energy”. Now keep in  mind I’m no crazy guru and I’m the last one to tell someone that they just need to breathe deeply, cross their legs and chant…but I’m told that it works for some. I’m thinking more of the framework of just accepting how life comes at us, which seems to be in every direction. When I take a step back and look around at the people who surround us, I see signs of discourage. The world is a crazy place, no doubt, but i try my best to keep level-headed as does my family. I just don’t seem to have the tolerance that I once had for negativity. This didn’t happen overnight by any stretch but one that came to us through a few trips to Jamaica. Now I could throw out the typical, ya Mon! and say we just chilled out the entire time and that the Jamaican people are a laid back bunch who don’t do anything but indulge, but as we found out, we were the indulgers. Taking the kids to Jamaica was fun, but the Mrs and I decided to show the kids, young by the way, what Jamaica was really like. Hiring a driver to take us onto the side streets and show us his Jamaica was eye opening. Obviously, me being lighter than a whiter shade of pale, I was not confused with the locals. There is a sense of disconnect with the country, but at the same time you feel the pride from the Jamaicans. They are at peace to an extent with their tourist identities and they sometimes feed into it. But as Carlton, our driver, told us, not all is well. It is a daily fight to make money, to support the family and to live. On the resorts we were hounded. In the streets we were strangers and obviously in their element, which is exactly what we wanted our kids to see. Having a muted view of this island is not healthy in my viewpoint, I wanted my kids to see, feel and by being in the local crowd, be Jamaica, even if only for a day or so. Now the driving, that was interesting and I’m glad someone else was doing it, although not too well and seeing your kid dig intently into the grips on the door was funny yet sobering. But the experience left us with an impression of ease when it was all over. The Jamaicans seem to grasp how bad things are, how bad they can be, but most of all they have a picture in their heads of how things should be, and that was enough to leave me with a small little gift to take home. You must seek the positive in your life. What is good, what can be better, and most of all what do you have? Dignity, pride, respect. A trifecta of good that was brought back to the mainland. Not to mention a new found love for Reggae music. When all else fails, some Michael Rose or Jah Cure can ease the worries away…even if you’re landlocked. Take pride in life and keep on smiling!


  1. stacie

    you have such a wonderful way with words

  2. Nancy

    Jamaica is my calm, my yogi. Though there are mansions, the true Jamaica comes from the vendors on their worn out surfboards, the music in the hills on the week-ends and the love of life everyday – that’s what makes us return yearly if not more!


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