Life Lessons

Your mind is a powerful weapon

Do not take this for granted. Whatever you choose to believe about yourself, about your circumstances and about others will determine your behaviour, shape your approach to life and ultimately influence your destiny. Two people can be faced with a similar conundrum and how they respond to the situation will determine if they sink or swim. Before you tackle life’s challenges, you first have to tackle what’s in your head. You can’t expect to be happy if your mind is programmed to see the negative in everything. You cannot be incredible if you are content being average. You cannot expect to fly when you’re convinced you’ll fall and you will never be fulfilled if you believe that what you have is never enough. In fact, your mind is so powerful that it can work as a staying power when physically your body is at the brink of giving up. That’s how people manage to shed weight – they push pass muscle fatigue and considerable discomfort using purely mental staying power. In fact, that’s how people all around the world survive in often inhospitable conditions – they hone their psyche to see hope in the very bare minimum that life affords them. It is your mind that will either make or break you – not life’s problems.

 

A man that expects you to give up your dreams and ambitions is not a man you should be with.

 First of all, any sensible man will realise that a woman that has her own is an asset to both him as an individual and to the relationship. This woman will not only be able to stimulate him mentally but can also ride the tide of hardship and tough times when life decides to throw the routine curveball at an otherwise picturesque life. Therefore, the man who believes that your pursuit of certain goals and dreams is robbing him of your complete and utter attention is not only a short-sighted idiot but also a train-wreck waiting to happen. The irony of it all is that for many women who have sacrificed such a crucial part of their future for their partner, they not only turn around regretting it but the man also has a tendency to resent them for suddenly becoming a burden. Always have your own.

 

Do not be distracted by naysayers and dream-slayers

Yeah, these are the people we affectionately call ‘haters’. While you see the light at the end of the tunnel, they see the darkness and obscurity that shroud the path. Where you possess vision, they lack imagination. Where you look to be a pioneer, they look to reinvent the wheel and these haters spend a considerable amount of time and energy suppressing whatever you offer in the way of uniqueness and change. Don’t be distracted by them and don’t be deceived by them. You represent what they could’ve been and the lost dreams they could’ve realized. Do not allow their misery to make you a fellow companion. Push pass the doubts, focus on your goals and when you get knocked down, get back up even stronger. Prove them wrong and your instincts right because believe it or not, your success will prove what they already grudgingly knew – nothing is impossible.

 

Watch what he does, not what he says

Now this is in no way portraying all men to be manipulative and self-serving individuals but the ones that are can be very selfish beings. They will tell you exactly what you want to hear, play on your weaknesses and emotionally strike at your Achilles heel to get what they want. A woman has to be able to see her man with a very discerning eye – the type of discernment that questions if your man truly professes to love you, why is it taking him years to marry you? If he wants to have kids, why does he immediately recommend abortion when you suspect you’re pregnant? If you are as important to him as he says, why is he hiding you from his friends and family? If you are his girlfriend, why does he only seem to find time for you at nights? Word is wind. His actions speak the truth.

 

What you accept determines how you are treated

This applies to all spectrum of life – at home, in the workplace, in the streets, in relationships etc. We judge and size each other up all the time. The way we speak, how we conduct ourselves, what we see as offensive or treat as comical all determine how people behave towards us. If you are not getting the respect that you seek, it’s because you’re not behaving like you deserve it. That doesn’t stop insults from flowing or people attempting to belittle and abuse you but it does determine what you tolerate. All of this is essentially rooted in your sense of self and what you perceive to be your self-worth. People who know what they’re about don’t settle for less and no amount of brow-beating will ever change that.

 

Love

This is a battle that you will never win. If you are too hard and unyielding then you prevent love from penetrating the innermost and particularly vulnerable parts of your soul. This deprives you of a very unique and beautiful experience in life. However, it just as quickly proves to be a double-edged sword because when it grows sour yet runs so deep, it tends to do the most damage. You cannot win because it was never meant to be a game that you beat. It is an emotion that is as flawed as the people who show it so it will never be perfect, consistent or even enough sometimes but a little goes a far way. Unfortunately, nowadays people are under the misguided notion that they deserve to be on the receiving end of love while giving little to nothing in return. You have others that even go as far as to say that some are not even deserving of affection. However, we’ve seen what ‘lack of love’ looks like – it’s the broken families, the mass murders, human trafficking, animal cruelty, mentally scarred children, misguided youths, depressed adults etc. that multiply and dominate today’s world. Love can heal and it can hurt but with no love at all, life becomes no better than death.



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Dear Woman, I’m Not Your Enemy

 

Dear woman I’m not your enemy

And deep down you know that it’s true

Dear woman I’m not your enemy

The only enemy you’re fighting is you

 

Don’t hang on to your man for dear life

When I come into full view

Don’t snarl at me in spite

For something I didn’t even do

 

You seem to believe I am a threat

Just by my sheer existence

And you think your death grip on your man

Will ensure he keeps his distance

But dear woman if you weren’t so consumed

By the figments of your imagination

You’d realise that your dignity

Isn’t even worth an altercation

 

You’d realise that a committed man

Doesn’t require any restraint

And that you playing Sherlock Holmes

Will not keep him a Saint

You’d realise that if you have to resort

To watching his every move

You’re wasting valuable years playing detective

When you could’ve already found a better dude.

 

Dear woman I’m not your enemy

So don’t get angry when you see a sistah dressed up

Don’t start getting loud, outrageous and rude

Or constantly walk pass me to flaunt your stuff

 

We were blessed by God with a gift

More powerful than our good looks

It’s more than what’s between our legs

Or our ability to get into a man’s good books

 

We hold the seeds of great nations

And can determine a better tomorrow

By the children we rear with these hands

And how we encourage through sweat and sorrow

 

Whether it be a leader or the house help

We have the power to assert our presence

To create a tidal wave of change

And leave indelible marks in our absence

 

So I’m not your enemy dear woman

We need not fight each other for attention

I’d rather celebrate what makes us uniquely beautiful

Our grace, our style, our moves, our complexion

 

Dear woman I’m not your enemy

And deep down you know that it’s true

Your fight with me is pointless

‘Cause you’re fighting the very reflection of you



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Black Lives Matter: If Only All Black People Agreed

 

I’m going to be honest, as a race we lost our way long before the ‘white supremacists’, ‘European bigots’, ‘red necks’ and ‘racist clans’ launched concerted and random attacks against us, our families and our children. Given the recent spate of police violence towards Black people in America, everyone is up in arms and insisting that the police, government, established institutions etc. should start recognising Blacks as fellow human beings. Though noble, this message is misdirected. It’s not OTHERS that should start recognising our worth, it is WE who need to start recognising that our lives matter. You think this is irrelevant? Let me highlight some problems that we have but take for granted:

  1. Lack of Unity

No Unity - 101

It is hard to penetrate the ranks of a unified stronghold the same way that a united group is far more difficult to subjugate than a single individual. Unfortunately, we have nurtured divisions among us from as far back as the time of our ancestors. Not only has this given the Western world a jump start in progress and development (all on the backs of our sweat and tears) but our own division has also set us back. This is despite the fact that we have proven time and again that we have the potential to not only prosper but thrive. Take the slave trade for example. For many years, our history lessons in the Caribbean was littered with horrific stories, gruelling pictures and harrowing accounts of how Africans were viciously torn away from their families, forcefully captured, inhumanly transported across the treacherous Atlantic and thereafter doomed to a life of torture, abuse, squalor and ultimately, death. However, there was very little account (or room for analysis) of how much Africans themselves contributed to this whole affair. The Europeans didn’t just arrive in Africa with the fore-knowledge of how to negotiate the continent’s difficult terrain and neither did they automatically know which pockets of communities were weakest therefore easiest to target. Their cultural and local language awareness was pretty much non-existent and like the Caribbean, it’s hard to believe that they could have survived the harsher environments of the continent without help. So there is no doubt that Africans were accomplices in this lucrative Trans-Atlantic Slave trade.

African Chiefs Urged to Apologise for the Slave Trade http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/18/africans-apologise-slave-trade

Argument Against Africans’ Contribution to the Slave Trade http://www.asante.net/articles/44/afrocentricity/

Historical Eye Witness Account of Africans’ help in the Slave Trade http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/slavetrade.htm

Even if that can be forgiven, what is unforgivable is the fact that even when we have a hand in our own demise, we always manage to benefit the least because we are often short-sighted. The African slave traders thought short term when they traded their fellow brothers and sisters for European wares and currency. Their paltry profit stands in stark contrast to the huge benefits that the Europeans gained from what pretty much propelled their economies to be the superpowers and first world countries that they are today (How Slavery Helped Build A World Economy  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/01/0131_030203_jubilee2.html). This problem of ‘selling out’, ‘selfishness’ and ‘self-preservation’ has been the hallmark of our race. Look at the following examples which mainly highlights Jamaica as a case in point:

Tourism industries in the Caribbean benefiting foreign companies most http://www.sivglobal.org/?read=185

Jamaica’s IMF and World Bank debt affects its people’s social welfare http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2013/apr/16/jamaica-decades-debt-damaging-future

Two-sides of the argument for Britain’s repatriation of Nigerian, Somaliland, Jamaican etc. criminals back to their home country while sweetening the deal with so-called ‘monetary aid’

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/30/uk-to-repatriate-hundreds-of-jamaican-prisoners

https://www.facebook.com/thebellablair/videos/427499800789602/

Multinational companies and the harms they cause to local economies (including that of Black majority countries) http://www.laborrights.org/in-the-news/14-worst-corporate-evildoers

Outside of personal gains and successes, we fail to progress on a larger scale because we fail to see the bigger picture. Therefore, if Black lives mattered, then at the very least, our leaders, representatives and compatriots should act as such.

  1. We Don’t Even Consider Ourselves Beautiful

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I recently wrote the article ‘I’m Not Beautiful But I’m Worth It’ (https://technotecky.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/im-not-beautiful-but-im-worth-it/) because from a very early stage I was fed a preconceived notion that beauty involved having long soft hair, fair skin, a slender body and pretty-coloured eyes. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it was the parents, grandparents and potential boyfriends and husbands in my society that fuelled this nonsense and embraced it as an ‘ideal’. Had I not acquired true self-awareness in time, I would have probably resorted to bleaching my skin (See video about this growing problem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y-a87ClNW0). I would have also continued to break my hair through harsh processing and unhealthy hairstyles and would have even approached my adulthood with a sense of being unworthy of the same respect and attention as my fair-skinned counterparts. You say Black lives matter? Then why are Black parents and grandparents reinforcing the stereotype that being ‘light-skinned’ and ‘white’ is synonymous to beauty and worth? Why do the Black men in our lives choose to remind us that we are a ‘downgrade’ when it comes to mate selection while the light-skinned woman is crème-de-la-crème? Why do Black women turn up their noses at a sista that chooses to rock her natural beauty yet are happy to fund a multi-billion dollar industry (which we don’t even own by the way) through routine purchases of fake hair, weaves and extensions? Why do we even need fake hair and makeup to feel beautiful? You cannot parade around the streets showing yourself to be an avid advocate of the campaign ‘Black Lives Matter’ when your kids have no true sense of self-worth, when you fear embracing your own natural uniqueness and beauty, when you happily speak ill of another Black individual on account of the shade of their skin or physical features and when you don’t even value yourself enough to wait for someone who is worth your time and will treat your right. You can’t demand that people see you or your fellowman as valuable when you don’t even believe that yourself.

  1. Culture of Baby Fathers and Single Mothers

single-mom-families

Black men have gained notoriety when it comes to cheating and being unfaithful. In fact, this habit is so prominent that many stupidly wear the label of ‘cheater’ and ‘womaniser’ as a badge of honour. Now Black women are partly to blame for this habit because they have either tacitly accepted that all men will cheat or they have happily embraced the role of the ‘side chick’. That is another issue altogether that I know will make for a lively debate. However, my focus is on our Black men. Again, we say Black lives matter? Then why is it easy for these men to walk away from the off-springs that they have fathered? How do they expect their children to fare in this cruel and cold world? Who do they expect to raise them? If you can’t even value your child that holds the seeds of tomorrow and carries your legacy within their very DNA, how can you expect others to suddenly see them as valuable? Abandoning your child is akin to casting your pearls to swine yet in the face of police brutality and discrimination, you wish to fly the banner of justice and human rights? What is human about leaving your child with an uncertain future when they didn’t ask to be born? How is it justified to wantonly flit from bed to bed, spreading your seed without any careful consideration as to the kind of individual your resultant offspring will become? If the system is built to stifle Black progress and inhibit Black success, how is adding a string of ‘fatherless’ children a way of alleviating the problem? People will insist that the police is against us, the State is craftily conniving to blight our future, the economy is built to inhibit our success and it is all a conspiracy against the Black race. I will say this, if this is all true then we are doing a brilliant job of adding to our own demise. If it isn’t, we have done an even more superb job of being our own worst enemy. Our race is resilient, feisty and resourceful. If we have been unable to relinquish the chains of poverty and discrimination, it’s simply because we continue to custom make and build these very chains that we happily yoke ourselves with.

BLACK LIVES WILL START TO MATTER WHEN WE START TO LIVE LIKE IT DOES.



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Blogs Directory

2014 – 2015: The Movies You Should Have Watched

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I have always been a fan of movies, for as long as I can remember, and once I became an adult I started to properly indulge in my most favourite hobby. With a cinema membership card in one hand and ‘all the movies you can watch’ privilege in another, I managed to come across the following fantastic films:

The Imitation Game

The name, Beneditch Cumberbatch, became almost synonymous with the hit series, Sherlock Holmes, which I never truly managed to become an avid fan of. That is not a reflection on the quality and entertainment value of the series itself but just simply because my spare time was occupied with watching other series like American Horror Story, True Blood, Being Mary Jane, Banshee, Empire etc. However, when I saw the trailer for the movie, Imitation Game, I wanted to see why there was such a big fuss about this actor. This movie was fantastic and I give special credit to Beneditch Cumberbatch and actress, Keira Knightley, who managed to transform their script into this riveting and compelling film. On the surface, the movie appears to be centred around the seemingly impossible task of breaking a highly complex and intuitive German code called Enigma. True to its name, this code was a mystery and managed to frustrate and confuse even the most brilliant minds, except one. What is compelling about the film is that the process of breaking the code serves only as a backdrop to the real focus of the movie which is the protagonist’s own personal secret – a secret he manages to cleverly (and even theatrically) hide. The blatant arrogance, lack of tact and awkwardness that Beneditch Cumberbatch masterfully portrays in the film added to the movie’s charm and pull. This is truly a film to see.

Magic Mike XXL

Now this film is the truth! I watched the first film, Magic Mike, and found it to be cute but I was immediately fascinated by Channing Tatum. Therefore, when Magic Mike XXL was released I didn’t even think twice about watching it. Now the start of the film was very modest and I was actually very disappointed by it. The reason was because the protagonist was no longer a stripper but was rather working as an entrepreneur in his own furniture business and pretty much living life like any ordinary individual. Curiously, his love interest from the previous film was also nowhere to be found. However, the latter half of the film compensated for the lacklustre start. The film started to become interesting once the protagonist’s previous male stripper colleagues decided to pay him a visit on their way to the infamous Stripper Dance Convention. A bit of the old Mike comes back to life in the scene where he is working in his garage and the song ‘Pony’ comes on the radio. This man was whining, grinding and rhythmically gyrating on that worktable that he had me in the cinema secretly saying ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Thank you Lord’. However, THAT was just a tip of the ice berg. The scene with Jada Pinkett and the actual Stripper Convention was undoubtedly the highlight of the movie. Channing Tatum really outdid himself and had me (and all the other ladies in the cinema) melting in our seats. I actually felt sorry for the men that tagged along. Even if they attempted to do the same once they got back home, I can tell you that Channing Tatum’s moves would be a hard act to follow. Joe Manganiello, the actor that plays the role of a wolf in True Blood, is also another one to look out for. He did his role justice near the end of the movie. For me, this film has gone down in the annals of movie history as the baddest male stripper movie to date. Go ahead, see for yourself. I dear you to prove me wrong!

Crimson Peak [2015]

This movie was masterfully enacted and skilfully directed, incorporating all the elements you would find across different genres – horror, suspense, thriller, drama and romance. However, the strength of the film lies in its shock factor. In essence, a girl’s mother warns her, in a ghastly ghost silhouette, that she should stay away from Crimson Peak. Once the girl is mature, the very man that she falls in love with so happens to live in Crimson Peak (which is discovered long after the fact). However, along the way there is the shock of how the father for this woman is murdered, the shock factor surrounding the terrible condition of her lover’s (eventually husband’s) house, the shock behind the reasons why there are strange and blood-chilling ghosts that come out at nights but (even more so) the shock of the horrid secret between the husband and his sister who, from the very beginning, does a brilliant job of embracing the role of a cold and icy bitch. The abhorrent secrets and heinous acts were so mind-blowing that even long after the film, I was still rehashing the fictional events in my mind. This movie was not only gripping, it was also jaw-dropping. You have to see it for yourself to believe it. (Side note: Tom Hiddleston is absolutely gorgeous).

American Sniper

Bradley Cooper stars in this Clint Eastwood film which is not only a potential tear-jerker but also based on a true story. The tone of the movie is set by a conversation that the protagonist remembers as a child where his father spoke about sheep, wolves and shepherd dogs. The sheep was an analogy for people who were followers. Wolves referred to those people whose sole purpose was to wreak havoc and destruction while shepherd dogs were seen as protectors of the weak. The protagonist, in his role as an American sniper, inadvertently exhibits the traits of a ‘shepherd dog’ by providing protection to his troops from roof tops. This film was fantastic because it made you examine issues such as child soldiers and the disease, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), which soldiers often suffer after fighting wars. Bradley Cooper played a very convincing role in this movie and did well to pay tribute to the memory of the soldier, Chris Kyle, who is classed as America’s most lethal sniper in US military history.

Legend [2015]

First of all, let me make it clear that Tom Hardy is a work of art. This man was so sleek, handsome and fierce in this film that he had me melting in my seat. Now about the movie – this film was so crazy that it was superb. Tom Hardy had the unenviable role of playing himself twice in this film in his portrayal of the true story behind the Kray twins. These twins were the closest London ever got to having a mafia and they controlled both a lucrative business and formidable criminal network. Now the sheer fact that Tom Hardy was able to maintain the individuality and uniqueness of both characters was not only undoubtedly difficult but highly impressive. This is evident throughout the film but especially during the fight scene between the twins. The film had you cracking up with stitches the same way it had you in shock and amazement. As flawed, morally bankrupt and rough as the twins were, you couldn’t help but feel saddened by their ultimate fate in the end. I absolutely enjoyed this film and I’m pretty sure you would too.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

I have watched Mocking Jay and I have watched the first Maze Runner and I must say that I prefer the latter. The first movie, Maze Runner, was absolutely brilliant. It was action packed, full of suspense and did well to capture all the raw human emotions that naturally arise from being held in captivity while fighting for survival. Maze Runner – The Scorch Trials, was no different. At the start I was lulled into a false sense of security that the protagonist and his friends had finally escaped this tyrannical woman that was experimenting on survivors to find a drug for a deadly disease called ‘the flare’. It soon became evident that the protagonist was right in the lion’s den but he discovers this just in time to make a narrow escape with his friends. On the outside, however, they face a whole host of other dangers such as zombies, mercenaries, cataclysmic weather and even death at the hands of the very rebellion they are seeking to join. The film also has its fair share of betrayal, death and sacrifice all thrown into the plot. It is a really good watch. Most importantly, there is a very strong possibility that there will be a third part to this movie. Therefore, don’t delay. Start catching up on the first two!

Fast and the Furious 7

If you thought that the preview showed pretty much all the good stuff in this movie, think again. I didn’t realise how intense this film was until I saw the imprints of my fingernails in the handles of my seat once I loosened my grip at the end of the film. This movie is worth its weight in gold. The film’s visual effects was flawless, the storyline – clear, the jokes – corny but cute and the emotions – real. The line up of actors was also impressive with the likes of The Rock (Dwayne Johnson), Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris (Chris Bridges), Jason Statham and Vin Diesel. The fight scenes and the escapade in Dubai are both thrilling and mind-blowing. The ending is also extremely touching and the film director managed to do a wonderful job of completing the movie despite the death of Paul Walker. The film’s moving conclusion combined with the absolutely brilliant soundtrack ‘See You Again’ formed the perfect tribute to Paul Walker’s memory. Believe me when I say, this movie will not disappoint.



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I’m Not Beautiful But I’m Worth It

If by ‘beauty’ people imagine a woman with long lustrous hair, blue eyes, fair skin, a generous bosom, petite waistline, perfectly sculpted ass, beautifully toned legs and immaculate toes then, my dear friend, by those standards, I am nowhere close. I will not look to categorise the level of attractiveness that I possess because that would be an effort in futility nor will I use the pitiful line that ‘Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’. Hell, I am the beholder and you know what? I am freaking fabulous.

My hair is not long and lustrous but I understand the curl pattern, bounce and nature of it to the point that I can expertly smooth it, wrap it, braid it or let it loose in all its natural kinky glory. My eyes are not blue. In fact, the hint of brown in it is so light that it’s almost unnoticeable but talk to me long enough and you’ll see that my eyes are as animated as my movements, flashing with passion and shining with youthful vibrancy. I am not fair-skinned – I’m black. Every inch of me cloaked in this dark mahogany-tinted silky skin that is both unblemished and soft. It’s so smooth and pliable that I have neither wrinkle nor cellulite.

My bosom is not generous but it isn’t small either. It’s just right for my frame – perky, rounded and just enough to be a welcome handful for my partner. My waistline stands squarely on top of my hips, both of which are beautifully proportioned and attractively set. My ass may not be big but it can bounce sexily and rhythmically to any beat that I command it to march to and my legs and toes may not have the privilege of seeing the inside of a spa once a week but they can kick the life out of an SOB who tries to disrespect this temple.

So how am I able to describe such simple physical characteristics with such loving, confident and proud statements? That’s because I know that whether or not I’m deemed ‘beautiful’ by anybody’s standards, I am certainly worth it.

 

You want to talk about beautiful? Beautiful is a woman that can hold a deep and meaningful conversation with you, not informed by baseless opinions, but by experience and knowledge that speaks to a life that has been truly lived. Beautiful is a woman that can get her elbows dirty when the occasion calls for it, the same woman that when she chooses to be sexy, she’s not only a show-stopper, she is a trendsetter. Beautiful is a woman that is not afraid to say ‘No’ and be alone if it means not becoming the bed warmer of a man that is not fit to father her offspring. Beautiful is a woman that can do a lot with little – make a gourmet meal from meagre earnings; make dated clothes still look good; clean, cook, work, discipline and comfort with just two hands and make her man feel like a king even though he may live as a pauper. Beautiful is a woman that knows her words can be as powerful as her silence. Beautiful is a woman that is happy with her flaws, otherwise, she would be the perfect woman for every man!

Beautiful is who we are. It is a personal truth, not a societal standard. You are worth it and THAT is why you are beautiful.



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Ten things that men and mobile phones have in common

1) They are living proof that big things come in small packages 😉

2) They are absolutely useless when they run out of energy

3) Most insist that they are a necessity…..we women know that they are simply an option 😉

4) They come with a permanent extra appendage which is key to their performance

5) The body parts that matter most to them are your hands and your mouth

6) They are pretty much useless until someone puts them to use

7) At some point we have to consider taking out some form of insurance on them

8] They eventually get to a stage where it is easier disposing of them than fixing them

9) You can always be certain that there are better, more effective models on the market

10) Some are just worth keeping – used or new, young or old, functional or not 🙂

 

 

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