Each of us is finite. The question is and has always been, whether we have ever come to that realisation.
The follow-up to that realisation ought to be, what have I done with my life thus far? Have I been a positive influence in the lives of the people around me with whom I interact daily? What have I achieved in the accumulation of material goods? What have I achieved spiritually? In short, what have I achieved? What is my legacy? How will people think of me, after I have gone?
For some people, the answer to such self-searching questions have never been adequate. That is why there are thousands of suicides occurring in various parts of the world every day. The question, “what am I living for?” Recurs every day to people, especially to people who have achieved the age of 50 years (way past the half-way mark of the biblical three-score and 10 years) and have never realised even a part of their childhood dreams. The rest of their lives would seem to be a downhill run to anonymity and eventual death.
Many people face and ask the question – What happens to me after death? Dear reader, this question has exercised the minds of thousands of people for thousands of years and regardless of your religious persuasion, will continue to do so as long as man occupies this planet.
When I was a teenager, there was a song made popular by the Maytals in Jamaica. The song asked the question “What am I living for ? If not for you? Baby! Baby! Nobody else, nobody else will do!”
That question should exercise the minds of everyone who reads this edition of Dis and Dat. Have you ever set any goals that you have desired to achieve in this life? If you have never set any goals, what would a shortened or a modified version mean to you, if you are advanced in age? What have your spiritual goals been?
Eternal life has been the Golden Fleece that man has sought for thousands of years and whether we realise it or not, the climate, food and lifestyle in Antigua & Barbuda has pushed the average age to somewhere in the late eighties. How many people can truly sing and believe the popular song, “Somewhere over the Rainbow?”
During the 1970’s King Short Shirt sang a hit “Don’t promise me, gimme um right away.” Short Shirt lived in St John’s City West and he used that calypso to enhance his popularity.
Gaston Browne lives in City West and represents City West in Parliament and I am sure that he is acquainted with the caiso. What Gaston Browne does not know, is that Lester Bird is fully aware of Short Shirt’s masterpiece.
The question that arises is this: with elections being two years away, how is Gaston going to realise or rationalise his Emeritus Proposal? He ought to realise that Lester has been rehearsing “the fall-down business” for a long time.
Can anyone recall Manley’s funeral? I was accused of “manufacturing” the photograph with Lester flat on his back on the ground. Fergie Derrick was totally embarrassed by the photograph; after all, our country was being represented internationally by Comrade Lester.
What Fergie refused to do was to reprint the photograph and point out Sam Aymer looking on in horror as his chief lay on his back on the ground – cold, cold, cold. None of us should be so insensitive as to gloat over any physical misfortune that befalls any one of us, during our representation of our beloved country, either at home or abroad.
The question is – should Lester Bird quit while he is still able to stand-up? Is his personal motto of “Fortes Fortuna Juvat” or “Fortune favours the brave” leading him into a position based on deep-seated delusion?
Lester ought not to have forgotten Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar that contains the immortal lines : “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, if taken at the flood, leads on to fortune…Neglected all our life is bound in shallows and in miseries.”
Has Lester’s tide in his affairs already passed? Should he abandon his motto of “Fortes Fortuna Juvat,” or should he join the Salvation Army and lead the Sunday night march up Market Street from the Bridge to the Citadel on Long Street singing, “ Stand up, Stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the Cross”?
Or should he join the Singing Meeting Brigade and address the Comrades that “sub silentum” means “hush or shut-up”? As an alternate item in the Wings Over Jordan concert, he can be scheduled to sing the Frank Sinatra hit, “And now the end is near, and so I take the final curtain!”