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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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Editor’s note:This is a guest post from Danielle Edwards – a Literature and History student and an aspiring Journalist.

Perhaps I was one of the most dumbfounded listeners to this week’s Q95 morning radio show on which an unmistakably heartbroken and despairing brother Amos lamented what seemed to be the most shocking revelation of his life!

According to the pastor’s tale, one of the most vocal and prominent pastors in our Dominican society turned out to be ‘the other man’- and the reason for his unsuccessful marriage. In an even more despicable twist, ‘the other man’ had been counseling brother Amos and his wife during marriage. In an age where so many young people are reluctant to get married and our world is populated by so many ‘baby daddys’, I am forced to wonder at the true morality of ‘the other man’! Some of us will remember having heard this ‘other man’ recently in his campaign for the so-called blasphemous musical artist ‘Movado’ to be banned from entering the country, simply to entertain several fans.

While I do sympathize with the anguished Amos, I certainly feel he has overstepped certain boundaries in his quest to ‘expose’ the hypocrisy of the religious community. Of course the entire nation should hear a first-hand account of the proliferation of corruption and scandal by the self-proclaimed self-righteous evangelical leaders who pounce on every opportunity to condemn contemporary music, cultural activities and the Catholic community that always seems to be in the wrong.

However, It was ethically wrong for the grieving brother to talk of his marriage in a manner of gossip, speaking of how he used to do all the household chores and his wife would come home and ‘put up her feet’; or of how he and his spouse would be uninvolved for up to six months. No one wants to go into a marriage which, like many, stands a chance of failing, and later discover that such trivial private matters are made public news.

The brother should have known better; the radio host was simply doing his job by probing- that’s what he is paid to do. And the male cheerleaders who called to encourage his attack of his wife’s flaws were probably suffering from ‘gopwel’ too.

In any case the story has ended on a bitter note, but I do hope that this will certainly put a stop to the evangelical community’s outrageous behaviour. There are so many religious figures in our society who have had immoral sexual relations with young women, broken up churches because they parade as the ‘more saintly leaders’ and brainwash many of our under-employed and uneducated citizens in rural communities. Many of them are like leeches who feed on the people’s ignorance and blind faith. In a nation where we’ve been so disillusioned by politicians, it is not hard to understand why ordinary people have turned to these ‘Men of God’. So why do they abuse it?

I am not condemning Amos, the scandalous wife or ‘the other man’. But I certainly hope that this revelation will put a stop to the ridiculous and petty issues frequently raised by the evangelical churches in our mainstream media- such as preventing different musical artists from performing or putting a 6-o-clock curfew on Carnival Tuesday activities (or even banning Carnival for that matter!). I know many Evangelical churchgoers who are wonderful Christians, but it always seems to be the most ‘self-righteous’ ones which are quick to condemn the ordinary people who ‘indulge in worldly pleasures’.

Hopefully Dominicans will begin to have more faith in God and less faith in pastors. And hopefully some of these pastors will begin to ‘cast …the beam out of [their] own eye;’ so they can ‘see clearly to cast …the mote out of [their brothers’ eyes].

And so we may one day see a less bitter final chapter of ‘The Pastors’ Tale’, one yet to be written, but with a happy ending.

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My good friend Garth will soon be walking down the aisle, and over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to observe all his preparations – trips to the tailor, talking with different caterers, etc. What I’ve also observed the amount to spending he has done already – and the wedding is still over a month away. He says nothing, but I believe he never anticipated that a wedding could cost so much money and it’s beginning to stress him out.

Soon Liuda and I will be going down the marriage road, but unlike my friend Garth – we’re aware that happiness and hopefulness of any wedding can also be stricken with the jitterness from bridal budget. Too many times I’ve seen here in Dominica, brides and grooms create elaborate plans that don’t truly reflect the real cost of wedding and that the end causes stress.

Here are five tips I believe anyone who is getting married on a limited budget to avoid getting bridal budget jitters – whether the wedding in two day, two weeks or two months away.

Balance your bridal budget. If you already have a budget in place, go back and start cutting out expenses to give yourself a 25 percent cushion for unexpected costs. This will eliminate the stress that comes with aiming too high with your budget. You will also erase future stress in you knowing that you have planned for unexpected costs. Also you can get friend or family members whose great at finance (and married) to help.

Let Others Help With wedding Expenses. If you don’t have the money you thought you would have for your wedding, delegate one of those items on your budget to a friend or family member. Brides are always being asked, “What do you want for a wedding gift?” But remember: Don’t assign an item on your budget list (flowers, cake, etc.) unless you are asked first. Please don’t ask your friends to help with finances for you wedding – thats just not good manners – wait to be asked.

What are your real budget goals? Is your budget designed to impress friends, family members and co-workers? This is your wedding, and an over-stressed bride can ruin a happy occasion – erase those peer pressure expenses and focus on being relaxed to look your best, without the worry lines and sleep deprivation that comes with bridal budget jitters.

Simplify. Having too much on your planning plate can increase the stress levels of any bride and groom. Reception buffets are less expensive and stressful than formal sit-down luncheons or dinners. Just keep it simple, and watch those bridal jitters disappear.

Finally, stay on track. Now that you’re in smart budget mode for your wedding, every time you revisit your bridal budget is a new opportunity to find a fast way to eliminate an unnecessary financial expense. If you can manage to do this, you won’t start this new chapter in your life suffering from bridal budget stress. Relax. Enjoy your marry life. 🙂 Celebrate.

Photo by:kamele.com – A Maui Wedding Hawaiian Style.

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