Sunday, February 18, 2018

Crying for the Nation

"Weeping is but a cleansing of the soul"
Rev. Donovan Myers 

"Battles of kings, and of fools, And changes in ways he once knew, As pages of days fade away, He's lost in time...Cry for the nations."
Michael Schenker Group

I have a confession to make… many times I am up writing, thinking, meditating, crafting, drawing, studying… something happens. I become overwhelmed with thoughts on the state of things as they are and tears stream down my face. My heartaches for the world and sometimes it make me bitter because I think it is the Prime Ministers, members of parliament and councillors who should be crying in the night, weighted by the ills of this world and the injustice in which they have had a hand in. Crying because of their lack of imagination. Crying for their spinelessness in the face of world leaders. Crying because they can only cry when it’s PR time or when they are forced to resign or lose an election. Do you cry? Not for your own personal suffering, but out of empathy and sympathy for your fellow human being, DO YOU?

I remember a situation a few years back, there was  a power cut in Norwood. Norwood being Norwood, I was following my mind and jamming at the shop I was at, because I wasn’t feeling the energy to navigate the dark to my yard. It so happens a little girl, no more than eight years old passes heading up Top Road, then turns back, and comes to the shop. I assume she scans the crowd there and then says to me “Sir, can you follow me up the road, I am afraid something might happen to me if I walk home alone.” Now I wonder to myself “Why me?” Anyway I take false bravado and say “Of course, sure”. Anyway we set off up the road, it turns out the child is a chatterbox, but I am paying her very little mind as “mi eye a peel out the dark” in case of any possible trouble. It then dawns on me life is wretched, what is a child doing going to shop after 8 pm and why does she need an escort and all the evils that could befall her suddenly become my greatest concern, then I became moved and honored that she would sense absolutely no danger in me as a stranger, and ask me to walk her home.

In the dark of that night walking this child and stranger, I was moved to tears. Honestly, enuh! And I am glad it was dark so the child ‘wouldn’t see seh mi so big and fool fool.” Anyway, when we reach close enough, the child stops me and says “Sir, mi go haffi ask you fi stop here, caah if mi mother see me a walk wid big man or stranger she go kill me!” So I ask her if she is certain to which she says “Yes, and if you come no further she go see you.” So I comply and bid her goodnight and she said thanks. I lingered and watched her turn a corner, wait to hear anything funny, and made my way home. However on my way home it struck me again that her mother could really possibly think something negative of me walking a child home in the dark. It stung on a personal level, but rationality lets me know on some level a parent would and should be truly worried about such a scenario. And I had to wonder was the child wise, was she silly to have risked a stranger as escort? Should she have walked alone in the dark? Should she have waited indefinitely at a shop full of unfamiliar folk?

When I think of the Trinidadian pedophile who video himself with a 5 year old and I cry. I think of all the young girls and boys in Paradise before 20, I cry. I think of the elders and innocents that died in Paradise as collateral damage in the battles of boys, I cry. When I think of my community in decay and the councillor is my cousin, I cry. When I think of Africa and a continent being exploited, I cry. When I think of India with the most poor people in the world, I cry. When I think of the U.S.A. and that on average the police there kill one black male roughly every 28 hours, I cry. When I think of the Earth that my daughter will inherit, I cry. When I think of a people slaved for 500 years without pay, I cry. When  When I think of the regime of apartheid that Israel has wrought on Palestine, I cry. When I think of how long I have despised the way Israel operates in Palestine only to learn Yannick is a Hebrew name and Pessoa is a Spanish/Portuguese Jewish name, the irony makes me cry.

I see my nation wracked with sickness from its head to its feet and in need of healing. I won’t put the headlines in front of you at this time. You read the news and already know the great social, economic, moral and spiritual issues facing Jamaica. “How will we continue to live?” Will you be overwhelmed by social change and sin and give in what the majority feel is acceptable? Or will you continue to stand firm in your convictions and try to live by a logic or your spiritual belief?

The world is changing. Jamaica is not the same nation it once was. I can only present the case to you.

About the author: Yannick Nesta Pessoa B.A. is Jamaica’s first blogger, a Social/Community Activist and Law Student at Utech Western Jamaica. Follow on Twitter at @yahnyk. Reply to