Today I have decided to write a different kind of story, from my personal experience which is a popular discussion topic with my peers. This is my interpretation.
According to Gary Chapman “Positive affirming relationships bring great pleasure while poor relationships bring great pain. The greatest happiness is found in great relationships while the greatest pain is found in bad relationships”. I’m sure you have wondered at some point in your life, what are the most important aspects of a relationship, be it your professional or personal relationships?
So I have decided to share my views on what I refer to as the “three C essential” namely; consistency, communication and commitment. The list can be extensive but I will share briefly the three that I have had to constantly discuss with my colleagues and why I believe they are important.
As defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary; to be consistent is to always behave in a similar, especially positive manner. Of note; positive is highlighted because as strange as it may seem there is consistent negative behavior. There must be harmony of conduct if you want be taken seriously. In your business, you cannot, today offer me a product of the highest quality and tomorrow you give me a knockoff item. I will then be inclined to look elsewhere. Consistency builds loyalty and trust and its absence therefore cause us to lose good relationships be it personal or professional.
In your personal life do not be a flip flop and a vessel of unfortunate excuses after your disappearing act when you decide to re- emerge. People will try to justify their inconsistencies; “they were going through a difficult period” etc. if you are going through tough times, or whatever the reason you may need some alone time if there is no communication, it’s fair to assume you are dead. This leads to my second ‘C’
I have used communication and conversation interchangeably because conversation is important in communication. Oscar Wilde believes the bond of all companionship, be it a marriage, friendship or any relationship is conversation. You may ask, why wasn’t this the first principle mentioned, but I believe communication will not take place when there is no consistency. It is through communication that information is exchanged between individuals and they get an understanding of the current environment. Therefore a bond must be developed so others feel comfortable and willing to communicate with you. So it can be said that the absence of communication leads to conflicts and misunderstanding and a breakdown in any relationship. And according to Paul J. Meyer, “communication is the human connection – is the key to personal and career success”. My hope, is that our ultimate goal is to have success both in our personal and professional relationships.
Often when I mention the third ‘C’ I’m greeted with an expression of skepticism, why is this so? Some may ask if I expect commitment overnight. The answer is “no I don’t” however commitment here also refers to your intentions. Psychology today refers to evoking a strong sense of intention and focus, typically accompanied by a statement of purpose or a plan of action. If early in a relationship intent is not clear then you are wasting time, you must have an idea of what you desire. This principle applies to your relationships, if you are just looking to have a good time then don’t mess with someone who is looking for commitment. So commitment must be explicitly stated and demonstrated. In concluding if you are offering a product or service you must be committed to offering quality and value for money consistently which will ensure profitability.
Thank you for reading. You may share your views as well some other ‘C’ that could be added to the list.
Jamaica; a country rich with ‘cultural sayings’ or proverbs as we call them, are the “wise words” of our parents and grandparents which constantly echoed in our ears. They were our guiding tools especially for the mischievous or hyperactive child. I, being both mischievous and hyperactive was to get a full understanding of what they meant, when dem say “weh sweet nanny goat run dem belly”. Now I was a “tom boy”, so they called the girls who engaged in the activities as the boys; I rode bicycles, climbed trees and even played football. I was not outdone by the boys, in fact if they can do it so could I. It was this determination that almost left me incapacitated while playing football with my brother. That day I fell and chopped out my ‘knee cup’, I didn’t feel any pain from the trauma neither was there any bleeding. I however knew something was wrong when my brother began to bawl and point to my knee. Immediately my body escaped the shock it was in and I was brought to the reality of a deep gash and exposed tissue in my knee. Everybody was frantic and running up and down, I on the other hand remained calm until I was at the hospital theater to get suturing then the entire hospital community had to come restrain me as I bawled for my mother, but that wasn’t my only encounter at the Theater. So today I have a huge scar across the perimeter of my knee, I didn’t learn my lesson though I went back to climbing trees and ripped out the stitches, but that’s another story.
In my rural community of Victoria Linstead, a quiet St. Catherine community, well at that time it was, we knew what it meant for the village to raise the child. When you are old enough, you would be left to care for your younger siblings and the neighbors would give a look out. Of course, we were not left to idle but to do our chores while our parents went to work or run errands. But make sure when your parents return the chores are finished and you are in the yard. I may have finished my chores early that day or was just being mischievous, so I stayed on the inside playing, but that was not allowed in our humble home. We kept our homes spic and span and took joy in shining the concrete floor with a “coconut brush” or old “felt hat” until we could see a reflection of our faces. You could not wear your shoes on the inside to smear the floor especially if we just waxed and shined. It didn’t matter if you were a visitor “lef you shoes a di doorway”. If you really wanted to make a woman angry, just step on the floor weh she just clean. We enjoyed doing chores, because it saved us from getting a spanking and we acquired skills which I later learnt to appreciate as an adult, the fulfillment of being able to accomplish a task following it through to completion. This value we surely didn’t understand at a tender age, you were either obedient or you got a spanking. Back then, sparing the rod was spoiling the child so you could not escape a proper spanking. If you grew up in a christian home you were raised with the Belt and the Bible.
Now my Dad had a favorite leather belt and when he sat in his chair and said “bring the belt” you knew what was going to happen next. No need to run, your parents at no time forget you were to get a spanking, as you were reminded “remember you must get a beating from the other day”. At times there might be a delay in handing out the punishment because they were tired, but you were going to get that beating and you may get two in one depending on your behavior. Mom left most of the beating to Dad as the head of the house; “wait till you father come”. Now sometimes to save yourself from a proper spanking, when you get the first lick you start hollering like you going die “yes daddy, I won’t do it again, waie, waie”. Maybe he would feel sorry for you and probably just give you a few licks on your rear end. I surely lost count of the licks I got that day, but it still resonates with me. The truth be told however as soon as the beating cool off, you back in business.
We went outside to play with other neighborhood children during the days and at evening time, you got a bath, eat your dinner and then do some reading, either bible study or some other activity to occupy your time until you fell asleep. We didn’t go to bed late, watching television until late was forbidden. Some homes did not have a television, we didn’t even know what it was like to see our favorite programmes in color because TV was black and white and the only television station at the time, Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation, JBC would sign off at midnight.
Traditionally, our Jamaican women had plenty Crockery, it certainly told the type of woman you were, you must have nice Crockery in your house. Now if you like to showoff, when you had visitors you served them in your finest ware. So, every home had a Breakfront or Cabinet full of Crockery which you never had use for but the more you had, the bigger your status or so it appeared. When you’re getting married, you could end up with multiple well decorated boxes of chinaware, it was often a gift of choice, since you just starting life. My mother had a lot of crockery, they were dear to her because she got them as her wedding presents. She had some fine wares with special designs, I doubt those are around today, at that time Craftsmen took pride in their work. She however didn’t have storage space for all that crockery. It must have been a brilliant idea when the old Refrigerator broke down, she resorted to storing the extra Crockery in the old Fridge instead of boxes. I doubt I could have foreseen the danger of my actions or calculated the penalty thereof; I was just a child having fun.
I believe it was a Saturday if my memory serves me correctly, Mother was not home, she may have gone to the Market as it was our big market day. It was the perfect opportunity to do as I please, ramp and misbehave. The devil really did find work for idle hands that day because idleness later caused me such regret. “Weh sweet Nanny Goat run dem belly” and did my belly run that day?
While playing around in the house I had a “super” idea about a swing, it did not dawn on me that I could go outside go swing on a tree… or go look for a “Swingsong” somewhere else except in my mother’s house. I wish I had a more detailed version of the series of events leading up to when I held onto the door of the Refrigerator it swung wide open with me in tow, all the joy of the adrenalin rush was short lived, my entire life flashed before me and so did all my mother’s fine crockery come crashing…
every last one;
When Mother got home, she wanted to know what I was doing? Even though it was obvious “say mi swing on pon the fridge door, it turned over and mash up all her crockery”. From what I remember she maintained her composure but that proverbial “wait until you father come home” hit me like a catapult. I wandered off to a quiet corner to contemplate my fate until Daddy came home. I was not seen or heard for the rest of the evening. I spent the time trying to put myself in the mood for the beating. When Daddy came home and settled, he got the full story from my Mommy. He had his dinner and sat down for a while then called me “yes daddy”. I sauntered to the living room as quiet as a lamb, no questions asked, I knew what I had done. Daddy had his leather belt in hand and there it all started… he rained an avalanche of hallelujah licks on my backside. I was exorcised by the belt and was to depart from all my impish ways. Time stood still, the heaven opened before me “Jesus saves” my backside washed and made pure; it was the first in my life I was getting such a beating, one I will never forget. But I was left with a lesson for life to never carry out such a foolish act again. It was on that that day I really learnt “weh sweet nanny goat, always run dem belly”. I didn’t get anymore beating like that again and soon I turn big girl and decide say “me nah take no more beating”. But… do children ever think about the consequences of their actions?