The way I see it, the more things that one can learn to do for him or herself, the better it will be for him or her.
For instance, if you are building your dream home and the main construction work is completed and you can do the painting for yourself, trust me, there is a feeling of pride when you look at your handiwork, which no amount of money can replace.
And speaking of money, you will save thousands of dollars in the process, because painting jobs are very costly.
I learnt the hard way and I actually got some practice while volunteering on a church project.
You see the beautiful thing about working on your church, is that it builds camaraderie, and certainly saves the church a lot of well needed funds.
The skilled and the unskilled workers show up and the skilled workers do all of the technical work and direct the unskilled ones (like myself), into the more mundane chores, like moving unwanted board and debris etc.
Well, one Sunday I was really excited when they trusted me to paint a portion of the wall. I was brave enough to accept the challenge.
When the job was completed, I looked on at it with a semblance of pride and one of the skilled workers even patted me on the shoulder and said: ‘Great job Morton. With some more practice, you will get even better.’
While I was soaking in my new achievement and starting to even have dreams of one day maybe having a career in painting, when I retired, another of the skilled workers passed by and all the man could find to say was: ‘Well Curtis, you ah carry all di paint home with you!’
At first I did not understand what he meant, until I noticed that he was looking closely at my shirt and my pant……..
They were a little messy yes—but that’s all he could have found to say? It certainly burst my bubble and I have only volunteered to paint on my own house since.
But that is not even the main thrust of this week’s rambling.
I went to a wedding recently. One of my beautiful nieces got married. As I walked through lawn area of the hotel, I happened to pass by a number of guests in animated conversation.
As I was about to pass, one of the guys called out to me and asked me if I could tie a tie.
I responded in the affirmative and he asked me if I could tie his tie for him.
I was a little taken aback because here was a group of individuals which consisted of at least six young males and none of them could tie a tie.
Why was I appalled?
Well, back in the day, when I attended the Charlestown Secondary School, we had to wear ties.
It was the school’s policy that the boys should wear ties and I think the girls wore a hat of sorts.
That tie wearing was almost a sacred rite and ‘MSK’ (the feared Mr. Kirton), saw to it that it was a ritual that was closely observed.
The seniors in the community also assisted in ensuring that the rule was closely followed as well.
Just to give you an example: One day, a group of us left the school’s compound and headed into Charlestown. Among them were: Trevor Chapman, Conrad YAMHEAD Bartlette and I believe Vernel Powell was there too.
YAMHEAD was the first to remove his tie and I eventually but reluctantly removed mine as well. Back of my head, I was hoping that none of the teachers would spot us.
Trevor was the last to remove his tie.
It was in a sense, a revolutionary moment. A moment of freedom. Freedom from the enslavement of the neck tie.
But that moment did not last long. Why?
All of a sudden as we started to pass the Grove Park main gate, Trevor started to put his tie back on. Of course YAMHEAD berated him but the fear that was showing on Trevor’s face, won through
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He said something then, which was not only shocking but truly instructive:
‘Fellas, put on you all ties because if my father see me walking with you all and you don’t have on your ties, he will forbid me to walk with you all again.’
We put back on our ties for Trevor’s sake.
A little later, as we greeted Trevor’s dad, he even mentioned something about these ‘nice little boys.’
Well I newa!
Now, I hope you are following that we could not remove and replace our ties if we could not tie them in the first place.
As a general rule of thumb, we boys all learnt to tie our own ties and took pride in that fact.
So I was truly appalled that a group of young men in 2019, could not tie a tie.
I had to actually tie the tie on my person, then give it enough loop to place it over the young man’s head and then allow him to tighten it to his comfort.
At another previous function, I remember seeing a wife tying the tie for her husband.
I have since vowed that I will have to make a you tube video to teach our young men to tie their own ties.
There are some basic things that WE MEN should take pride in doing for ourselves.
God made us to be leaders and we need to take our rightful place.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?