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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


black love

We’re in love with stuff – with shopping, with owning, with collecting.

Our obsession with stuff has become unhealthy. When we have a void in our lives, we buy things. When we have problems, we buy things.This obsession with stuff leads to owning a lot, and yet this stuff doesn’t fill our lives with meaning.

It leads to deep debt, from buying so much, and financially we’re worse off than ever, because of this obsession with stuff.

We buy things when we’re depressed, we buy things for others to show how much we love them … and in this way, stuff has separated us from actually dealing with our emotions, blocked us from truly connecting with others.

Let’s replace that lust for stuff with a lust for life.

Here is an idea – Rediscover a passion for life. Get outside and feel nature, appreciate the beauty of the world around you.

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For many years the attitude in Dominica towards men “chastising” their women to where it is now seen as physical abuse, is an example of how perceptions change. For generations, a number of Dominican women, without seeing themselves as masochistic, often voiced their appreciation of a man who gave them some “licks or beatings”. They saw this as a sign that the man cared for them, and if not he would have been indifferent to the others.

Weird as it sounds, this type of thinking is not far removed from that where we commend chastisement (corporal punishment) of children as a necessary result of caring for them. While a woman is not a child, the idea that “love” was what prompted the beatings appealed not only to some men, but the women being beaten as well, perhaps in an attempt to rationalise the experience.

Nowadays, no such ideas are favoured and female magistrates have warned that they will be dealing harshly with men who beat women. I’m anticipating that if the shoe is on the other foot, where it is the woman who is found guilty of beating her man, will the court also not be amused. I’ve heard on many instances where men have reported abuse from women – and these cases were never investigated.

The law warns that matters “of a domestic nature are not going to be treated lightly by the courts,” and advised people about the need to be clear about ending relationships. It is the growing tendency of many relationships to have physical abuse as a feature that is causing concern. The idea of men beating up women and then kissing and making up or vise-versa is not encouraged these days, maybe because a growing number of such situations have been getting out of hand, sometimes with fatal results.

What is ironic about those who find themselves in a “chastising” mode is that it is always the weaker partner who usually is chastised. The stronger one, however wrong or “deserving of being chastised”, need have no such worry or fear.

On the other hand, some men wouldn’t dare lift their hands in anger towards certain women who they know will not take it lying down. There is a saying which goes “Money don’t climb prickle Trees” – men who beat women usually know the ones they can safely beat up without the women fighting back. They will not risk beating certain women since they know they will suffer physically as a result.

This is why when men beat up their women it is often said that they “take advantage of the women”, while in truth it is not the women these men “take advantage of” but the situation. However much men enjoy beating up women, they know that in certain situations it would be unwise to do so…Come on guys we’re are better than this – lets love and respect our queens.

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Too many times I’ve seen people choose friends for all the wrong reasons, when more importantly, they should be focusing their energy on people who make them feel good.

We all know the saying, “ that you can’t choose your family” – that’s so true. So, make sure you’re smart and choose friends who are worthy of you valuable time and attention. I know it sounds a bit harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you have ever made. In a society like today, where there are so many distractions, no one has the time and energy for that. If you don’t consciously choose which relationship to focus your time on, you’ll eventually spread yourself too thin and you’ll have less to give to those who deserve your friendship most.

Do not be fooled by glamour, a person’s behavior is much more important that their word or how they represent themselves. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you for the person you are. And it doesn’t matter at what stage these friends are in their lives, whether they’ve hold a PhD, or work as a public servant. The most important thing these people make you day brighter, simply by being in it.

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