Posted by: scsquared | August 1, 2014

Tears On My Pillow

Injustice for one is injustice for all.

My heart tears up at the thought of those forced to live in constant war zones; farm on barren land; not have access to potable water; live in constant fear.

The question is: What can I do about it? That isn’t the life I have, I don’t have the power to change it. I’m not a world leader, I don’t get to decide the allocation of resources to make a difference. Or do I?

The truth is, if I don’t stand up, who will? If I don’t make my voice heard, who will speak? If I speak, how much do I say? If I do something, what do I do?

Here are options available to us mere mortals when we are bothered, concerned, irritated, or empassioned by an issue we feel is beyond our reach:

  1. Donate to a cause. You may not be able to go to a war zone, or research AIDS, or dig wells; there are people who do this and they have given their lives to this. Help them with funding, no matter how great or small, you can help them.
  2. Raise awareness. Sometimes this means giving speeches, or choosing project topics on the issue. At other times, this means just raising the topic for discussion amongst friends. Use the platform you have to inspire others, to urge goodness, to educate.
  3. Apply your skill. We each have skills that are useful to world issues, some of us do PR, others do Financial Management, some build homes and others put on parties. Use the skills you have to help, be it through writing to people in power or throwing a fundraiser or calling and asking how you can volunteer your skills to help.
  4. Go. Yes, it is as simple as that. Go. Go to the area that screams out to your heart. Raise funds if you need to and go. Do you stand for Palestine or Israel – go volunteer in a refugee camp. Do you cry for hungry children in India – volunteer to feed them. There are thousands of ways to go. So, go.
  5. Focus locally. No matter what world issue you bring up, there is a local version happening in our back yards. Want to help people in war zones, or feed the starving, or bring water to communities, or help the diseased? You can do all of this where you are. There are areas in every land that people are suffering, even when it’s not on the news, it is the reality.

You can make a difference, no matter where you are, what you have or who you are. It is your choice, how you make a difference, and if you make a difference.

If you are in Jamaica, a good place to start looking is: Do Good Jamaica.
Want to go global? Try: RED, UNICEF, Salvation Army, or the Peace Corp

Posted by: scsquared | July 24, 2014

A Return To The Work

I find the more muted I feel the greater my desire to write, draw, paint, or sing. I am in the need of full expression in my daily life. I must “Live Out Loud” or I will die in silence.

There. I said it. I must have my own voice.

This will possibly be the least eloquent or stylish post I ever write, but write and publish it I must.

I am committing to posting. I am committing to taking a time out for my creative self. I am committing to pondering, philosophizing, and posting.

This is me. I must create.

Posted by: scsquared | March 13, 2014

Because: The Internet

Language is an ever revolving thing influenced by geography, culture, exposure and of course experience. In the age that we live, all these things have grown exponentially and of course, the evolution of langugae with it.

I hear myself saying things and laugh at how much my own expressions have been influenced by my media consumption. This is even more glaringly so when I say / type something that is not comprehended by someone else. So here I am, showing you some of the things that have influenced my language in 2013:

  1. Because… (Twitter)
    Somehow I started seeing it, then understood it wasn’t a mistake, then somehow it became a part of my vernacular. It’s almost an expression of apathy, if it had some more structure, but it doesn’t. Because Life.
  2. I love yo faces! (Phillip DeFranco)
    I am very much a member of “The Nation” which just happens to be global. When I first started watching PhillyD he was like sketch comedy meets news commentary in a completely off kilter way. In closing almost every time, he says “I love yo faces”. I started thinking but not saying. Then on day it got past my filter and has since been unrestrained.
  3. All the … (Twitter)
    I don’t even know when I first read this. It may have been twitter but it may also have been The Oatmeal. It sounds like this: All the feels. All the hurts. All the sads. All the Loves. All the Happys.
    Grammatically incorrect, yet, perfectly stated. An expression of high levels of whatever the subject matter.
  4. Gladiators
    So on Thursday nights we come crawling out of the woodwork. We pretend that Scandal is more than a TV show, we pretend that we too keep peoples images intact despite insurmountable odds and evidence. Honestly, this is one of those things you either know or don’t and if you don’t then ignore all social media on a Thursday. It is Gladiator Day.
  5. #ChinitaGoodaz (courtesy of The Voice and Dutty Berry)
    Well, this and almost every other TeamTessanne related hashtag became a real part of conversation for the latter part of the year. Including “Tess & The Tess-less” “TeamBadMindMichaelCuffe” “TeamBreadAndButta” etc… but not excluding any and everything Dutty Berry said on his weekly review of The Voice (PS. Wi still waitin on one for the final)
  6. Happy Happy Happy! (Duck Dynasty)
    I am a HUUUUUGE Duck Dynasty fan. No, seriously. I happened upon it one day and was immediately hooked. I love that they are not the usual reality TV squabblers and that they are unabashedly Christian. The Patriarch on the show is Phil, and “Happy Happy Happy” comes from him. He just states some plain simple things and says if you can do that, they you will be “Happy Happy Happy”
  7. I am Second
    This site of video testimonies is just awesome. Different people thell their journey to putting God first in their lives. They are from all walks of life and all sorts of stories. The first one I watched was Brian Welch from Korn, this was interesting more at the time because I was a fan. Now, the phrase has become a quiet mantra, I try to remember God is First and I am Second.
  8. #Insta… (instagram)
    Short for instant, it has become the apex of its own definitive root. We see our niece/nephew/child for the very first time and capture the moment “Insta-Love”. Yes.
  9. …type stuff (Phillip DeFranco)
    I find I say things like “Newsy Type Stuff” or “Sexy Type Stuff” or pretty much any thing that can seem similar or exactly
  10. “Pope” as a noun, adjective and verb.
    Phrases like “Get my Pope on”, “I need Pope”, “You’ve been Pope-ed”, “The Pope rise up in her” comes easy to all Gladiators. Seriously, just get the Shondaland Channel aka ABC and watch.

*** This was meant to be posted January 6th – OH WELL! Life. “Later-Post” ***

Posted by: scsquared | December 9, 2013

Mr. Mandela – My Hero

Yesterday, my sister asked why it bothered me so much that Nelson Mandela died. She saw it as a great man who had lived very long, who has been suffering from illness and is now free of that pain. My response: He was the only real hero in my lifetime.

When my parents were young and coming of age the world offered them many present heroes. They had Bustamante and Norman Manley as children, they marched with Michael Manley as young adults. They followed the likes of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. They cried when John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated. These were their “present-tense” heroes.

I had one. His name was Nelson Mandela. From a far away country that I had never visited, this man helped to shape my world view. He showed me as a child that injustice should not be tolerated, even if I had never met the victim of it. He was my real life hero, my example of fighting for freedom, my example of passionate pursuit. He embodied commitment to the cause and showed me that Justice and Vengeance are not the same thing.

Nelson Mandela

When I first understood who Mandela was, it was that he was fighting against apartheid in South Africa and had been imprisoned for it. My dad is always ready to discuss world affairs and politics with me, and what apartheid was was very much a part of it. I understood that in South Africa, black people were mistreated and abused by the government and Nelson Mandela was fighting against that. He was imprisoned for it and was going to die for it.

Nelson Mandela visits his former cell at Robben Island

As a family, we stood with Mandela and all oppressed South Africans by not buying gas from Shell stations, wrote music (click here ), and spoke out on the whole situation both privately and publicly. I knew¬†Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika as well as I knew Jamaica Land We Love, and sang it just as often. It seemed that my whole world stood with this cause. Yes, lots of things were happening in the 80’s that warranted attention, but Apartheid was a constant, and it was the injustice of it that as a people, we could not tolerate.

Then just before my birthday in 1990, Nelson Mandela was freed. I remember being so happy that Mandela was free again, the hero of the people was now walking free. I was happy for his family that got to see him again. His wife who fought on while he was imprisoned, and must have longed for her husband. I was happy for his children who must have been missing the safety of their fathers hugs. I was happy for the non-whites of South Africa who had their champion back.

I recall there were all sorts of activities celebrating his freedom (including this song). We felt a kinship with Mandela, as though he were living right here in Jamaica. This is the world I grew up in; Mandela was our brother, our comrade, our friend and our hero. We were one and the same.

Carlene (my step-mom) & Portia with Winnie Mandela

In 1991 Mandela came to Jamaica. We welcomed him home to the island he had never been to. There was a great concert at the National Stadium held in his honor and thankfully, because of my parents, I was able to be there and see him. In real life. He was right there. The country celebrated in the presence of the Mandelas the joy we felt when we first saw those photos of them walking through the streets just a year earlier.

The Mandelas in Jamaica

A few years later, my older sister spent her 21st birthday in South Africa watching him being sworn in as the first President of the Non-Apartheid South Africa. I wished I could have been there with her, but she was a missionary and I was still in high school. *Song here * The lesson was not lost on me none the less. Because of Passion he went from Prisoner to President.

It was with this win that Mandela’s actions taught me that Vengeance is not Justice. With the establishing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Mandela led government showed the world that there was a way to have justice served without a terrorist state of mind. It was the leader in him that cemented the revolutionary purpose fulfilled.

Mandela is one influence in my life that has helped to shape my world view, my sense of justice, my hope for humanity, and my passion for people. I am blessed to have lived in a time to have witnessed a man like Mandela.

Posted by: scsquared | June 12, 2013

How Did We Get Here?

I don’t know how this happened,
How did it happen so fast?
Without meaning to
Our pieces became entangled
Wrapped up in one another
In every moment getting tighter.

I didn’t mean for this to happen.
Especially not this way,
For you and I to be grafted
Onto each other’s
Minds and hearts like this
So deep, so fast, so much.

You heard my voice speak words,
Yet you listened to my heart,
And still you reached deeper until…
We hit a soul note
As we sat silently together
Barely breathing, never touching.

This is not allowed, it’s forbidden.
So now we both sit away,
Far from the comfort we once shared
Away from each other,
Feeling the stabbing pains
All alone, by ourselves, in silence.

I know you know I’m sorry.
I brought you all this pain,
Sorry for bringing confusion,
For making a fleeting thought
A real possibility
Sorry, because tonight,
My I love you’s won’t even count.

(c) SCSquared, April 16, 2013

Posted by: scsquared | May 5, 2013

Sabbaticals, Sabbaths and Sleep

I have, like many, worked myself to the end of my wits. I get caught up in the pursuit of perfection, only to realise that I’m really angling for approval and losing myself in the process. I have been known to work until 4 in the morning only to be back in office at 8, and to just keep going until my body shuts down with a flu of vengeance.

Why? Well, because we all need down time. Our body needs it to regenerate and re-energize, so that it does not shut down on us. Our minds need it to solve problems, to renew and reset itself so we can still function at optimal levels. Our spirit needs it to be refilled with joy and peace, to be happy, so that we can be balanced in our lives, and not be all over the place.

Read More…

Posted by: scsquared | February 19, 2013

ALMOST

Almost is such a pregnant word. It is filled with aborted potential or what could have or should have been. It suggests falling short of something, lacking enough, incomplete. Almost is to have the mark set just a little further than you are.

I have always found in music, almost is either a rally cry or in most cases the point of sorrow. So I’m sharing my 3 most played “Almost” songs with you:

Tamia – Almost

Though I have loved this song for ages, one day I truly understood it. How can you miss something you never had? How can you reminisce when there is no past? I now understand. He was and still is a great friend, but he was almost so much more. So now, when I hear this song, I think of the one we now refer to as “Le Bossniss”, hats off to him…

.

Brandy – Almost Doesn’t Count

Here is the reality of life… Almost really doesn’t count. You were almost great, you almost had a home run, you were almost honest… you know it’s true. She talks about a guy that’s half in half out, and she’s deciding to walk away. I have a friend that says this is the worst kind of person to love, because it only hurts and its selfish. His advice? Get like Joseph and RUN!

.

A Fine Frenzy – Almost Lover

The visuals in this song are so sensual it’s overpowering. It’s well written, well composed and shows strength in its somber tenderness. I absolutely love this song. I sing this song with my eyes closed, just staying inside the moment of the words.

.

So, what are the almost songs in your repertoire? Almost Let Go? Almost Paradise? Almost Blue? Almost Like Being In Love? Didn’t We Almost Have It All?

Posted by: scsquared | December 31, 2012

Journey to Awesome 2.0 – I DID IT!

I know. I have been going on about this physical shift in my life… Yes, where I’m moving more and eating better and doing this thing or that thing. You may be getting tired of it, but I just HAVE to share:

I, the one and only SCsquared, have participated in ALL the 5K’s in the Corporate Area* in 2012! I am SO EXCITED!

I know, it seems like not that big of a deal, but when I started, I wasn’t even sure if I had the discipline to do more than one much less all. I had to gather the usual suspects and pretty much con them into joining me in March. Then in April, we gathered a few more crazy people to wake up on a Sunday morning and join us. After that, some fell out and others joined… We did charity 5K’s, just for the sake of it 5K’s, not sure why we’re here 5K’s. We did them healthy, we did them tired, we did them sick, we did them for the kicks, the camaraderie, the joy and to beat ourselves. Read More…

Posted by: scsquared | December 21, 2012

Gift With Heart

I’ve always been consulted by friends, acquaintances, and family about gifts. What should I get her / him? is a question I hear not just at Christmas but throughout the year. Why? Well because I have a knack for making others know I truly care when I give them a gift, and not just when they know I never feel obligated to give.

This year, I have decided to put my annual Grinch aside to give you all a little peek in to my Magical World of Giving:

First up, THE RULES OF GIFTS. Read More…

Posted by: scsquared | November 22, 2012

The Education Situation

*This post has started & stopped many times, and is now being published as a smoosh of thoughts*

One night, one of the most popular shows on Jamaican television, Your Issues Live!, touched on an important topic: Tertiary Education. This is not a topic of low interest in this country, just as it is in any other country with tertiary education available within its borders. It is one that ignites passion on all ends of every version of debate on it, with only one point of common ground: Education is important. Read More…

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