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Sometimes when we Dominicans ask for guidance, we already have a sense of what we want to hear. At such times, receiving guidance can be difficult, because we don’t want to hear anything that appears to be in opposition to we wish for.

Take for example the up coming 2010 elections; it’s almost impossible these days to turn on your radio for you not hear some type of political talk show – it’ has become a constant battle of words between Labourites, UWPites and Freedom-rites.

If there was an award for the Caribbean island with most radio talks, Dominica would definitely be a top nominee. If is one thing we Dominicans are good at it’s talk, while our island economy is in shambles.

Therefore, one of the most important qualities we need to learn as nation, is to trust in divine guidance, which help us maintain an open mind, particularly with the up-and-coming 2010 general election. It helps to acknowledge what we want as individuals, and then to symbolically set it aside, making room for whatever wisdom comes through to us. Over time we will begin to recognize when we were able to hear correctly and when we were not.

It’s time we begin to trust in divine guidance, and likewise maintain an open mind on all the decisions we make for the sake of our country and its future.

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Is our island nation base only on talk and casting judgment on others? I have to ask this question because our society is slow turning into this huge talk show cesspool. Can you believe on our little island of Dominica there are over eight different talk shows? That’s a full dosage of judgment versus opinion all tied up into politics or personal gain everyday.

Most of us don’t understand that whenever we judge someone, or someone judges us, it is a negative emotional experience. For that reason, we should avoid being judgmental, but this can get a bit confusing – when we feel we have to suppress thoughts that could actually be offering us guidance.

It’s important that we learn to distinguish between our inner guidance, and having an opinion, from judgment. Otherwise we run the risk of not listening to our own perceptions and allow ourselves to form opinions solely on personal judgment. Listening to our intuition and forming opinions are both positive outcomes of our ability to interpret the information that comes our way.

When we make a judgment, on the other hand, we attempt to have a final say on whether someone or something is good or bad – bias or fair. Judgments close us down instead of opening us up – just look around our world today; opinions have a lighter quality and are amenable to change. Once a judgment has been made, there is no more conversation or consideration, whereas opinions invite further debate – which in turn will stimulate ideas and growth. Intuition guides us from moment to moment, but, unlike judgment, never makes it final.

In other words, it is only healthy we stay open to the information we receive and to allow ourselves to process that information before making a comment. As long as we stay open and true in our thinking, we can trust that we have not fallen victim to the trap of judgment.

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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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