Thank You for Being Late

Living in Jamaica can be one of the hardest things for a person who is always on time. Why you may ask? Because, in Jamaica, oftentimes, it is fashionable to be late. Whether a wedding, church service, concert, etc, if the announcement says 7:00pm, the underlying understanding is that it actually begins at 7:30pm, heading to 8:00pm.
For a long time, this mentality really annoyed me as I like being punctual. If I say I will be there at 8, I mean I will be there at 8. The only case where this may differ is if something unexpected happens and even then I will give the persons I am meeting with an headsup.

A few weeks ago, I happened to get a lift to a meeting with the Sales Director of my company. While in the vehicle, we sparked up a discussion about the book he is currently reading. Interestingly enough it was called Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman. The name intrigued me and before I knew it, I found myself urging him to let me hear an excerpt from the book.

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A Contemplation Upon Ants – Move With Purpose

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It is often strange, the things you can be inspired by. I had the opportunity to observe some ants the other day and they, God bless their little hearts, reminded me of the importance of living and moving with purpose.
It was a windy, sunny, spring Saturday morning in Jamaica yet while many humans remained in bed, these ants were busy at work. I can only imagine what I would have seemed like to them. Perhaps a giant who had the power to crush them without a care but yet still they moved with purpose.

Their nest was to the east, the wind blew in the opposite direction. Ant after ant moved in every direction in their search for food. Then, despite the strong wind, they struggled home. When the wind became too much, they band together and made it home. They even employed this method when the load found was too heavy for one. They never slowed their pace.

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Let your eagle SOAR!

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About a year ago someone hugged me tightly and said, “You know what you remind me of? An eagle! Girl, go forth and whatever you do, spread your wings and soar!” At the time I didn’t think much of it but as I sit back and do some introspection, I can truly say that God has been demonstrating to me how to unfurl and use my wings.

One thing I have learned is that God allows every incident in your life to happen to teach/prepare you. A few years ago I had a bad case of stage fright whenever I spoke in public. I also felt that my ability to write had been nullified. I was left empty. But this is something you need to know. Sometimes, when God intends to bless you, He slowly empties you. He begins to remove any impediments to your blessing. Only then will He begin to fill you up.

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Get Up Again

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So I’ve been playing Farm Heroes Saga (farm version of Candy Crush) for a few months now. A month ago I reached a level where I had to get three stars in order to get three new animals. The first couple of times I played the level I couldn’t even complete it! Frankly, I was annoyed because I had friends who had passed the level quite easily but I kept failing. Finally, after about 20 tries over a two week period I managed to finish the level with one star.

Many people would have given up. At one point I felt disgusted enough and decided to stop playing. A few days later, I resolved to not be a quitter and attempted the level again. On the fifth try, I completed it with two stars. At this point, I was practically jumping for joy.

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I am a Jamaican but…

I have many friends across the world and I always look forward to meeting new ones. One of the things that really bugs me is that when I tell foreigners that I’m Jamaican, they immediately stereotype me. The sad but funny thing about this is that the stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Stereotyping me or any other Jamaican for that matter is like saying that a girl is fat because she eats a lot. After all, we have skinny people who eats way too much but never seem to put on an ounce.

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So here goes, I’m Jamaican but…

  1. I can’t dance to save my life: There ain’t no shame in this game. I lack co-ordination when it comes to dancing. Growing up, my younger sister was the dancer while I was the “bookworm”. The few times I have had to perform, I either got my family rolling with laughter or the wall and I got in tune as I rocked to the beat of the music. I don’t go beyond rocking! So when someone ask me to dance because of my “Jamaican-ness”, I do nothing but laugh because my Jamaican-ness did not ensure my dancing capabilities.

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Lift them cheeks. Show some teeth

Today I want to talk about one of my most favorite things to do in the whole world… If you said or thought  “SMILING” then you are most definitely correct! Whether a full or half smile, I just can’t seem to help myself! I just love to smile and you know what? This inability to stop this ability comes with the most amazing benefits.

  1. Smiling makes you more approachable People generally avoid strangers but if they need help, they are more likely to approach a person who looks nice and approachable. Studies have found that people are more willing to engage socially with others who are smiling. A smile is an inviting facial expression that tells people you are willing to talk and interact with them.
  1. Smiling improves your mood I’ve had cases where I started my day badly and even though I don’t feel like it, I put on a smile. You would be amazed at how many persons will respond to a smile and “good morning”. Within the 20 minutes it takes me to get to work, I begin to feel a lot better and my smile becomes totally genuine! This is because endorphins (endorphins are the same chemicals you get from working out or running, resulting in what is known as a runner’s high) released lift your mood.

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