The Way I See It

Nevispages weekly feature by Curtis Morton

The way I see it, every story really has at least two sides – sometimes three.  Actually, some experts say that there is MY side; YOUR side and the TRUTH.

The problem is that when we hear one person’s side first and especially if they sound really convincing, we sometimes tend to take that particular side as GOSPEL.

I remember a classic incident that I heard about:

There was a Cricket match at the ET Willet Park and you know in Nevis, there are some established dignitaries, depending on the function.  So, this particular gentleman, who would have represented Nevis a long time ago, would have been told that he could pass in for free, because of his years of service to Nevis Cricket.

Well, unfortunately, they apparently did not give the gatekeeper that memo and there was a time in Nevis when only tough-looking and really tough people were asked to man gates.  Well, this lady who was on duty on that day, can be really nice when she wants to be and on any given day, she also can be really MEAN.  Well, she told the man quite bluntly that his name was not on the list.

The man, however, because he knew that he was due special treatment, decided to bore through anyway.  Well, our good lady did not take this breach of her authority kindly at all and she proceeded to swing her big, fat, right hand at the gentleman.  The story goes that she gave him a solid blow to the face and smashed up his glasses in the process.

She then made sure that she got to the Charlestown Police Station first, with tears in her eyes explaining to the officers that the man had assaulted her.

Well I newa!

Well, when the case got to court, the Magistrate at the time, after hearing her story, told the gentleman that he was not believable, especially as the super actress was recounting her ‘ordeal’ with more tears in her eyes.  The man was apparently charged for assaulting the woman.

So, why am I reminiscing in this way?

I had a conversation with a lady from Barbados, just two days ago and she told me something that has caused me to think that there is another side to the story pertaining to persons studying overseas.  Having studied overseas myself, I of course looked at it from a student’s perspective.

In my experience, my first place to rent was less than ideal. The bathroom facilities were inferior.  The food was limited and repetitious and the monthly rent was demanded sometimes even before the month was concluded.  When I moved to a more pleasant environment, thanks to the late Carlyse Hobson, I was greeted with a load of rules.

There were a lot of DON’TS and yes, I can understand that the owner wanted his property to be well taken care of, but trust me, some of them were not encouraging.

So, you would think that the owners appear to be merciless and obnoxious in some instances, but the lady to whom I spoke, she is the owner of an apartment and would have rented to many persons, even Nevisians, who have studied at the Cave Hill Campus.

Here is her side of the story:

Some of the boarders, absolutely do not take care of the apartment.  Some of them do not clean well. Others destroy dishes, chairs, equipment and so on.  Some never have the monthly rent ready and always had excuses as to why they could not pay on time and so on.

When you listen to her side of the story, then you could start to empathize with the owners as well.

Her last experience was with some folks (not from Nevis, thankfully), who rented the property and managed to give excuses to not pay rent, for about five months and when she got fed up and decided to take action, they bolted and she has never heard from them since.  They left the house, according to her, as if a tsunami had passed through.  Stove, refrigerator and other equipment, she eventually had to give away to the Salvation Army.  The entire apartment cost her a pretty penny to be refurbished.

Since then, she has vowed not to take anyone into her apartment, unless they are from Barbados.  Mind you, she was not hurt like that by Nevisians, but Nevisians will have to suffer because of some other people’s madness.

So, I guess there are at least two sides to any story and when we are the listeners, we have to be able to decipher the truth and not to be drawn in HOOK, LINE and SINKER, by persons who are very good at misrepresenting the truth.

As a matter of fact, a former boss of mine once told me that there are some people who will ‘never let the truth get in the way of a good story.’

In the final analysis, though, we should be aware that only Jesus is TRUTH and our words and stories must be guided by his principles.

We should also be aware that we will, in the final analysis, give an account for every single word that we ever uttered and it is in our best interest that they are truthful.

That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?

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