Battered and Loving It

I had a small bit of coincidence this evening, As I lay in bed and listened to my neighbors going to and from the standpipe where they get the small amount of water that the community uses to live daily, I spoke to a friend of mine online, who was explaining how today she was strangely affected by the people she passed, just realizing how hard life was for her, who was obviously living better than most typical Jamaicans and just being floored by the (repeat) realization of how hard life is for the typical Jamaican. She also pointed out something that I think is often under-appreciated. Most people who speak about the “typical Jamaican” have no clue what actual day to day life is like for the typical Jamaican. Here’s a rule of thumb; If you’re reading this, you’re not the “typical Jamaican”. The typical “5k a week paycheque floating a family Jamaican” is not online reading these words, s/he is in bed sleeping so they can get up at 5 to get ready and get to work after getting the kids up so the likkle work nuh get lost. She went on to point out that JA really is a conundrum, and many who are born into these situations really have no choice, not any sensible or realistic exit strategy. It was a sad truth…I didn’t bother to tell her about the standpipe, she seemed torn enough.

A few minutes later I checked Twitter, the home of the vocal minority, only to see a long string of tweets from various people denouncing the government’s poor management of our water resources leading to an announcement of alternating days of lock offs for Kingston…I didn’t bother to mention the standpipe. I did however, mention my battered ought a on Jamaica, this land that rough it’s people’s apathy and leader’s mismanagement makes itself SO VERY hard to love.

I don’t really have a point to this, I just felt like getting it out. Unlike many Jamaicans, I actually have the ability to leave here permanently, yet I stay and struggle, for some unspecified reason. I shouldn’t say unspecified, I have my reasons and my goals, but they seem so needlessly difficult to achieve at times that I wonder if staying and fighting for them are worth it. Why not just go? Some like to say “America isn’t a bed of roses either, it’s lots of hard work to live over there”, but I honestly can’t take respect responses like that, what are they implying, that living in JA isn’t hard work? It’s one of the usual vacous statements that make speaking about issues close to my heart difficult with the wrong persons.

Anyway, in the end, despite the struggles, I am still here, by choice, a choice I make every day…he’s hoping Its the right one and I can continue making it to my benefit.


– RR

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