Some may look at my life and want to judge it as unsuccessful; no house, no car, no children. The world is one twisted place. They measure the success of a man by the amount of wealth he is able to acquire. I was taught that man’s basic needs are food, clothing and shelter on the physical side of things, and love and belonging on the emotional side.
So you cannot run for elections despite your honest heart, if you do not have a car or money. I was chastised on a few occasions by a few Facebook commenters when I vowed to form a third force for the next election, on one count, persons promising not to pay attention to me because I hike rides on the road, and on another count when I announced that I would be contesting the last elections as an independent candidate for Anse La Raye/Canaries, a person who works at a bakery (with which I have no problem) said that she was waiting for the next time I come to the bakery and missing 10 cents. The person was indeed being spiteful in any case, as I can’t remember going to any bakery and missing money and even if I did, I would have no shame. I have never robbed any bakery yet. I am as real as they come, no put up, no pretence. If you follow my column you would recall that I wrote of a person who threatened to withhold her vote because of my stance on corporal punishment. Still love her anyways.
So the next election may come and I may still not have a car. Will I be rejected because of that? I may not be rich by the next elections either, so if rich people are what Saint Lucians want in office, then I do not stand a chance. Image is everything, I am told, so lie to yourself and others until they believe you. I can’t. I have often encouraged those who tread the road least travelled to continue to do so despite the odds. I have never been about expedience in my life and will never be. All I can be is true to me; if people reject that, then the problem is not with me.
But I bask in my accomplishments. Some may ask, what are those? Overall, it is peace. I am at peace with myself. Some people go through life and never find that joy and virtue. From very early in my life, I came to the resolve that I can take nothing I acquire in this world into the next, so I do not expend energy chasing these material things. I have also come to the point of not building attachments as these bring you unhappiness in life. Some chase after women, and if sex was indeed the original sin, many of us men are yet to overcome. I am not putting any children on this Earth that I cannot take care of. Some say that I have self-actualized. Maybe I have. What I desire is a better Saint Lucia. Is that too much to pursue?