Respecting the continuum of life
Right now, Someone is fighting the fight so that you don’t have to. Danielle La Porte
We were having lunch; there were people from different African countries, then me, from the Trinidad and Tobago. We were talking about our different countries and asking a load of questions. The conversation shifted towards family and brothers and sisters. I said I did not grow up with brothers and sisters. They grew silent! Then they asked me if I ever heard about a village raising a child. I said yes! They asked me if that is a concept practised in my country. I paused for a bit. They told me. A child means until the person has left the Earth so if there is someone in the family with the smarts to go to University everyone in the family contributes to that child’s education, no questions asked. There is no problem of that child not going without or not having what it takes to finish their education and likewise if there is a sick person in the family, there are no questions asked, we just take care of the person.
One of them told me that they went to school in Barcelona, didn’t have a clue how the family did it but there was always some “brother or sister” in Spain helping them out with food, or a place to stay or money. It’s just what they did!
Do you do that in the Caribbean?
Well, I can only speak for what I know and in my family that is not the custom.
More silence, then someone asked, so what’s the family for then?
So what did I learn today?
What I know now is that how I live my life either honors or dishonors my ancestors. I also know it is not important for me to dissect, evaluate or judge their behaviors and dysfunctions. My job, our job, is to respect the continuum of life. We must embrace and embody with reverence the good and positive qualities that our ancestors demonstrated because it was this essence of their lives that pave the way for us. They have set the example for how to live in family and community. Just to remember that everything I do is a reflection on everyone in my line. We motivates us to be better for those watching and those coming behind.