Not forgetting about you

“I learned… that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic, striving, but it comes to us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.”
— Brenda Ueland

Stress, fear, negativity, too much to do and doing things for others at the expense of our own needs — these all stifle our innate creativity. Relaxation, fun, meditation, and going after our dreams all get the creative juices flowing.

The above description fits most persons these days, especially those within the diaspora community I have crossed paths with that have yet to learn to take good care of themselves both physically and mentally.  That’s all they have truly.

On the whole most Africans in the diaspora in stressful situations strive to ensure that they save all they can, working sometimes 24/7 in all conditions, most, hostile simply because of the colour of their skin; just so they can amass set amounts to pay off debts back in their home countries, put kids to school, put in to business or build houses in the hope of having homes for when they return.  Dreams which turn out to be nothing more than pure hell on earth psychologically.

Without repeating the echoes of so many African diaspora before that have lamented on this, the very persons within their families they entrust such funds to are often the ones that betrayal them and will deny it if and when confronted to the point of even murder.  The relatives will blame each other or the government or just about anyone else, but themselves. It is pure and simple. You are forgotten to exist as a real person but are seen as a source of supply, much like the water from streams which not many bother to stop and question it’s source.  You just are. When you raise this issue you will most often be told candidly that you should have been wiser.

So I say to fellow persons: be kind to yourself, do not forget about you. Do not loose yourself in sacrificing all of you to appease or please everyone. This is an infinite task. Others will all be just fine with or without you when all is said and done. It is the way it always has been since time immemorial.

Question is: Can you be comfortable with yourself? Be creative – you will be pleasantly surprised.

 

Shades of corruption

Night-time travel

Rain has been on the lips of virtually anything or anyone moving here in the UK over the past recent weeks.  Ironically it has come on a backdrop where a hosepipe ban had just been reinstated for the low water levels in some eastern parts of the British Isles.  Even while the ban was being read out over local news channels, the rains appeared to be mocking the forecasters. My one and only concern as always is how much sunshine are we going to have for this summer period.  By looks of it, recession hasn’t been limited to the financial world alone.  However it is not only recession crippling the Eurozone, nor the never-ending rain causing Britain to become incontinent that captured my interest last week. It was something I’d overheard taking place on a public transport system.

In the haze of dripping rain over the window panes of the bus carrying a mix of night passengers with varying takes on life, the bus driver appeared to exercise something that is slowly diminishing these days. He must have spotted two young ladies running to catch his bus as it prepared to pull away from the stop and decided to stop and wait for them to board.  Perhaps it was because the bus driver was moved because of their gender and the time of night  or maybe his patience levels had not yet been tested on customer care – I really don’t know.  The two passengers proceeded to offer to pay their fare with a £10 note between them.  Now, there is a flat fare throughout the bus network of £1.30 with a pre-pay Oyster card and £2.20 if you are paying by cash. I am pretty sure that these two ladies knew this but seemed unhappy to part with their money towards the cost of their travel – more so when the driver told them he didn’t have any change and they’d be short-changed by 10p until such a time when he got some change. 

The carry-on of passengers boarding the bus without the correct fare or pre-paid tickets did not stop with these two ladies – it seemed to be norm.  Still the bus driver kept repeating the well worn statement “I am not supposed to issue you with tickets – you should get a pre-paid ticket before boarding the bus. But I will accept the exact fare if you have it as I don’t have any change.”  I started to think this ought to be a slogan for Transport for London on their publicity campaigns in varying languages if not signs.

We got to our last destination for the bus and all made to get off the bus.  The two ladies walked down to the bus driver’s cabin and asked him why he had made them pay for their travel.  The driver told them because transport is not free unless a person is carrying the appropriate identification that exempts them.  This reasoning didn’t quite seem to connect with the two ladies, so they pressed on asking him why he felt it necessary to collect money which didn’t go in to his personal pocket but instead went to his company bosses.  Furthermore, they reasoned, he was of “their kind” – meaning he was a black African like they were and as such, this should be reason enough for the driver not to charge them anything but allow them free travel.  Why should he have any affinity towards this company’s collections of travel fares? I left the conversation at the point where the bus driver appeared to have concluded that this was a no-goner of a discussion eating in to his short break before resuming his next run.  To the two ladies – the fact that they were black Africans and the bus driver was also a black African, this alone should entail them to cheat the system in solidarity.