The way I see it, all of us are prone at times to react really badly in certain situations but in reality our aim should always be, to be gentlemanly/ladylike and courteous and as respectful, as it is humanly possible at ALL times—even in the most extreme of circumstances.
One Pastor said and this can be used as rule of thumb: ‘Ask yourself what Jesus would have done, if he was placed in the same situation.’
Of course, the easiest ‘cop out,’ would be for me to say: ‘Am not Jesus,’ but we must forever remember that Jesus came as a sinless one, to teach us the way to live like him and the least we can do is TRY.
The inspiration for this week’s topic, came from my good friend Evroy Liburd, who also indicated that he is a big fan of ‘the way I see it.’
The annual Malcolm Guishard Basketball league was recently played in Church Ground. It was a very intense and exciting tournament. I covered it as a Sports Journalist.
At times, tempers flared and Evroy as a coach for one of the teams, would have had his hands full.
Well, sometime after one of the matches, Evroy came to me and told me that he had an apology for me. He explained that one of his players, in the heat of the moment, had apparently in frustration to a referee’s call, shouted: ‘Biased referee and bias camera man!’ He told me that the ‘bias camera man’ bit, was directed at me.
Well I newa!
I told him that I had not even heard the young man and so the apology was not needed. Young Liburd however insisted on apologizing on behalf of the player, indicating that he had already spoken to him about such an attitude.
Now imagine me—only recording the game and being referred to as ‘bias?’
It was sometime last week, I got home early enough and decided to burn some bush that had piled up in my yard, over a period of time. Now I have asked for the relevant legislation that applies to the lighting of fires on personal properties and even though I have never received such legislation, it is my understanding that every time you are planning to light a fire in your yard, you first need to get permission from the Fire Department.
Dear reader, were you aware of that?
Well, I have a nice little furnace in my backyard and I guess you can say that I have burnt a few fires, without permission.
Now, I have tried to reach out to my closest neighbour in terms of alerting her that I was planning to burn something and in the past I have received guidance on the issue from her, as to the most appropriate times.
To be honest, it never occurred to me to check with my other neighbour who is further away.
Well, on this particular day, as the fire got going, the other neighbour came down the road and called out to me in obvious anger.
From what I gathered, I was not ‘making any sense and ought to know better.’
I apologized for obviously offending him and told him that I would out the fire.
‘No, go ahead,’ he shouted. ‘Me going out anyway!’
Well I soon got the fire under control but my heart was heavy.
I eventually met my much younger neighbour yesterday and I stopped to speak to him. When I addressed him, you could see that he was still smarting from the previous conversation. He was ranging up like a ‘Shen-Shay fowl.’ (You younger readers may not understand what am speaking about).
I again offered an apology for offending him with the smoke from the fire and he shouted: “Is long time I wanted to CONFRONT you ‘e know, cause you always doing stupidniss. Imagine, big holiday and you does be burning fire in you yard. Sense alone aint tell you that everybody home on a holiday?’
He went on to tell me that his mother, who lives overseas and is a childhood friend of mine, had told him to talk to me, but he decided not to, because I should have more sense than that!
I told him that the use of the word CONFRONT could be substituted for COMMUNICATE WITH.
I explained to him that I had received permission from the other neighbour and I had honestly not thought it necessary to tell him and I again apologized.
‘Well bun you trash them ah morning time otherwise I will CON—-“
I finished for him, ‘COMMUNICATE WITH..’
For the first time he managed a forced smile and we parted company.
I am also reminded of another incident, when I had just bought my property and it was not yet fenced.
One day, as I was piling some coconut branches and other brush onto the stone wall, which separated my land from a piece belonging to a gentleman, who lived fairly close by, the man arrived in time to see me piling up the brush, which I intended to burn.
He shouted at me and told me to take my bush off his wall.
At first I started to respond, by saying that as a tradition, those stone walls were placed by our ancestors to separate two different pieces of property and so in my estimation, half of the wall was his and half was mine.
He persisted with his loud shouting and argument and I removed the boughs and the other stuff and soon after that, when I fenced my property, I placed the fencing poles well inside ‘his wall.’
Some weeks later, the man went missing. Has not been found to this day—and I did not have anything to do with it—and the stone wall is still there!
Well I newa!
During a discussion in my Sabbath school class, many years ago, I remember one brother making reference to the well-known text about ‘turning the other cheek’ and he in his ‘wisdom,’ stated: ‘Well God wants us to turn the other cheek but when ah done turn the other cheek, me going start to trow box!’
I guess he would have also been the one to count the 70 X 7 times recommended for us to forgive our brothers and sisters.
Do you know anyone close to you, who would literally make a note in their diary that on this date Curtis offended me and that is number one?
I don’t want to believe that!
God did not intend for us to count. He just wants us to learn to forgive, even our worst enemies, as freely as he grants us forgiveness.
Finally, I also remember hearing a dear old sister, say, in reference to another sister, who had apparently done her some form of misdeed: ‘When I go to heaven and I meet her up there, I am going to turn back!’
Well I newa!
Which heaven she thinks she is going to, with such an attitude?
So maybe we ought to stop CONFRONTING and start COMMUNICATING WITH each other.
Therein lies our problem.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?