Oct 10, 2017


Betrayal of any kind leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, your heart and your spirit. It's sting last long and it's venom colors how you see the world, how you view others and how you trust. The moment you come into knowing, it is the worst feeling, you are hurt deeply, worst it causes you to question your own choices and judgment. These feelings can undermine your belief in yourself and erode your confidence if you let it.

What you must understand about the person(s) that betray you is, that is how they function, their thoughts and actions are a function of their "normal." It goes like this: 

Their calculated choice to not tell the truth about something they saw/witnessed and heard is about their self-preservation. They do not care about helping you or standing up for truth for the sake of truth by doing what is right. They care about protecting their self and garnering any opportunity to fly under the radar and be precieve as something other than they are in order come out the Victor. You are not a factor in that reasoning.

You cannot reason with the unreasonable that is another's ethos and philosophy because excuses and unreasonableness is how they govern their lives. There is nothing you can say or do to get them to be accountable for using you as a stepping stone for what they deem an opportunity for betterment.

All is not lost when you have been betrayed. Once you get over the shock and the hurt there is a sweet after taste laced in the lessons of that experience. You may question the merit of my philosophical way of seeing betrayal however if you really think about it you will see my point. After all, if Judas could betray Jesus Christ the Almighty who are you a mere human? I say use it to make you stronger and wiser. 

Here are some of the benefits: 
  • You are less burdened because you no longer in the company of some who is untrustworthy.
  • You learn not to invest in others that are not invested in you.
  • You learn to truly understand your worth and your value.
  • You become smarter about choosing whom you align yourself with.
  • You are now better equipped at SEEing and hearing what is left unsaid.
  • You learn to sharpen your discernment.

Oct 5, 2017

Sep 15, 2017


One of the most challenging things using public transit is balancing compassion for others with personal safety. I have often encountered many people suffering with mental health issues and it can be at times very scary. I don't judge it. I have learnt though to keep my countinance calm and pay attention when I hear the self-talk happening. I have observed that sometimes it is benign and there's no real cause for concerns. I have however experience situations where there were absolute cause for great concerns due to the escalating self-talk in volume, agitation and physical random body movements. In these circumstance there is a real threat which of violence either physical or verbal.

ATTACK ON THE BUS - One of my experiences
I jumped on the wrong bus one evening on my way home from work. There are two buses that park in this same spot, one of them is the one I need to get home. It was raining heavily this particular evening. I was tired and in bad need of a washroom. I sat sat down and waited for the bus to depart. A older robust causcasian woman came n with a shopping cart talking to herself. I am familiar with her by virtue of travelling on the same bus sometimes or waiting at the same stop and know that she suffers from mental illness (for the most part she is relatively harmless -sort of). It did not register at the time that I was on the wrong bus. The driver arrived and soon we were on the road. The woman continued talking to herself, no one paid her any mind for the most part though you could see some people shift uncomfortably. She continued.

As bus traveled the woman became louder and louder. She began to shout racial slurs. "Fucking nigger go back to Jamaica! The nazis had it right, fucking pieces of shit, monkey!" Everyone shifted uncomfortably. I am alert and watchful though to see me I am the picture of calm. She got even louder. She sat on a three-seater, on the left side of her sat an Afro-Caribbean woman. There middle seat was empty. I sat on a two-seater facing front on the right side of the Afro-Caribbean woman. She was glued to her cellphone playing a game. What happened next was something to behold.

I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. I stopped reading my book and closed my tablet as I realized the lady was escalating dramatically. As I paused, I put my tablet in my bag and prayed that she would deescalate and simply go back to her somewhat quiet self-talk. As quickly as the silent prayer was finished I saw her turn and launched with hands outstretched to the Afro-Caribbean woman sitting to the left of her the word nigger on her lips. I shouted stop! I stood an pulled the Afro-Caribbean woman out of her reach. She jumped and pulled her hands back and proceeded to verbally attack me calling me nigger and every derogatory racial slur she could come up with. At this point she is standing. The Afro-Caribbean woman I rescued sat in shock she was so focused on her game she didn't realized she was almost attacked until I pulled her out of harm's way. Frightened she kept saying, "but I didn't do anything, I didn't do anything." Everything seemed frozen in that moment, some passengers were standing, some sitting others coming up from the back.

The bus driver stopped the bus and asked the raging woman to leave but she was to intent on me, angry spittle was coming out in her raging tirade. I said to her, "stop it, you are being offensive." It got worst and the nigger bombs came flying out her mouth.

I stood up as she advance on me. While all this was happening the driver an elderly causcasian man is asking her to leave the bus. She turns to him finally hearing and ask with incredulousness, you asking me to leave?" He said, "yes, leave now, get off my bus." She turned back to me enraged, made a sound in the back of her throat like she gathering to spit. I heard every black person on the bus take a deep breath. I saw from my peripheral vision and in front of me everyone of us moved back slightly as if to brace ourselves. I looked at her dead in the eye, my right hand up in a stop motion and said, "you wouldn't dare." I held her stare my eyes mutinous and she swallowed her spit. The driver having had enough of her got out of his seat and shouted, "get off my bus now!" She left.

This experience is not my first. It is by far the most harrowing. It is a complex situation. On one hand you know this person is not well mentally and you have compassion and empathy for them. On the other hand your safety is at risk from this very person. Luckily the driver was very good at intervening and helping greatly.

In the end, even with all that happened I found myself feeling sad at the whole situation and that she had to be booted from the bus in the rain.

Such experiences seem to be occurring more frequently. Just yesterday I had to comfort a terrified woman who was being verbally abused by another person with mental health issues.

I stood close to the front on the streetcar afterwork on the way to the subway. When I boarded I passed a young South Asian man standing close to the front door. He was shaking and talking to himself periodically. At the next stop as I move down a little a gentleman offered me his seat. I said thank you and declined as it was just 3 more stops to the subway. The south Asian gentleman by the front door took the vacated seat, next to him sat a Chinese lady in her mid to late 30s. She sat spine straight eyes forward. The young man said something to her. She hesitated slightly then answered. The man kept talking drawing closer. I can see her get visibly uncomfortable. She said quietly, "I sorry, I don't speak very much English, I don't understand." He looked at her and aggressively said, "you think am stupid, you bitch!" Her face frozen shock. She swallowed. She opened her mouth, closed it. Her forehead wrinkled in stress as her throat worked furiously. She looked left, right almost lost while the man kept up his unslaughter of "bitch". I put my hand on both hers clasps tightly and squeezed gently shaking my head in the negative asking her to remain quiet. The woman sitting next to her did the same. She looked at both of us. Took a deep breath in relief. She kept her eyes on my after that. We reached the subway and people started leaving. She was afraid to move. The gentleman got up took a look at her and said, "bitch" she flinched and lean towards me and held the other woman's hand. We waited with her until the man left the streetcar.

Outside the streetcar still so frightened she ask both the woman and I, &are you going east? The other woman answered, "no I am going west." I answered, "yes I am going east." She looked at me with emploring eyes and asked, "can I travel with you?"  "Sure," I said. She kept saying,  "thank you, thank you, I am so scared. Thank you for your help." I explained that the gentleman really didn't mean her any harm and that he is living with mental illness. She looked at me like I sprang 3 heads. I smile because I understand the feeling all to well.

Sep 2, 2017


Last night I was on the train coming back from hanging out with a friend after work. I had bag filled with mouth watering delights; Roscas (2) - Portuguese bread-like pastry bread with coconut and cinnamon and a dozen Bolinhos de Bacalhau or Salt Cod Fitters or as I delightfully discovered (when I tasted it) we Trini's call accra.  Ha! I was so tickled. My friend thinking she was introducing me to something new only to discovered its a tasty morsel I grew up eating. People we are not as different as we think - ha! same food different name. Anyway where was I before i went off on a food tangent....oh yeah. I was on my way home on the train when an elderly couple came in.

The couple sat opposite me on a two-seater. I could tell they have been together a long time by the way they moved with a synchronicity that bespoke years of being together. The had a body language that didn't require words. He would look at her and she would just answer with a nod or a hand jester. As I observed I saw he retrieved his iPod and selected a song. He then took the earphones and inserted one side in his ear and extended the other to her. She took it and placed it in her ear then the both shared a smile and sat back. I thought. It must be love if you don't mind sharing ear wax, not to mention  bacteria, fungus and infections.

This is where my eldest daughter would say, ewe, Mom! I know some of you reading this would say,. jeez she took a perfectly romantic story and killed it. Well I say, I am as much a romanticist as the next person I just am not so romantic that I am willing to share ear wax, fungus, bacteria and possible infections that's all.

Keeping it 100%
Stay blessed.

Aug 22, 2017


Never underestimate the simple act of kindness.

Last Thursday I picked up 4 Vim bathroom cleaner on sale for $2.99. I had mentioned the sale to one of my colleagues who ask me to pick one up for her. So I did. I took it home as I bought it when I left the office. When I arrived home I left one right by the door so I wouldn't forget. Monday as I prepared for work I did not remember about the bathroom cleaner. As I rushed upstairs to put on my shoes, there it was sitting right next to it. I immediately put it in a bag and took it with me.

It sat next to me on the train along with my hand bag. I arrived at my stop and exited the train. I heard someone say, "Miss" as I rested my handbag across my body. I turned just in time to see a young African-Canadian women stretch her and out the closing door and rest something on the subway platform. I looked and to my surprise and delight it was the Vim bathroom cleaner. I had completely forgotten it on the seat in the train and the quick thinking young woman was gracious enough to not only to call my attention but to be forward thinking enough to rest it quickly on the subway platform.

I was so grateful for her inginuity, it kept a smile on my face the whole day. With her help I was able to keep my promise! Such a simple act of kindness had a wonderful impact on me.

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