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Kirubai Brian
Let's Talk Learning, unlearning, relearning bkirubai@jujamaica.com

I love volunteering but where I draw the line is when somebody volunteers my capabilities on my behalf. Were it not for my fear of the “lake of fire” as described in the Holy book, I would have disregarded setting foot on that farm to help. Forever is such a long time anyway.

After a hard day’s work, fatigue creeping in and a self acclaimed title of “Young Farmer” well earned, I call it a day and head home. On my way home I meet this old man herding his goats home. The goats unlike me look nowhere near fatigued. In fact they jump up and about taking a bite off a leaf here and there, unknowing of human tribulations and fears involving lakes of fire.

So as the old man is about to get into his homestead, one goat decides to go rogue and hops off in a different direction. The old man in an act of sudden anger and frustration, picks up a stone and lunges it towards the rogue creature. Meanwhile, sensing its shortcomings, the goat decides to amend its ways too little to late. It turns to meet the stone right on its temple and collapses on the spot. Realizing the gravity of his actions, the owner rushes to the goat and picks it up with the hope that the damage is not too big. In a world of perfect timing, he would have been able to save his goat but sadly such a world rarely exists and so in a rush moment, he killed his goat.

Having witnessed it all, the old man looks at me remorsefully wishing he could take it all back or at least shift the blame to me if he could but I guess he settled for blaming the goat for going rogue. Don’t we all love blaming someone for our problems, “My ex boyfriend used to hold me back.”” The government does not offer us jobs.”” My teacher doesn’t like me.” In a world where blaming someone is easier than owning up, we mostly tend to forget that just like the old man, we more often than not are the ones with the stone in hand and eventually cast it to kill our own goats.

I remember the days when the teacher would come to class and ask us what we would like to be in future. Oh how the class would be full of doctors, engineers and pilots but somewhere along the line we decided to settle for less and guess who is to blame? Each one of us has in one way or another killed that ambition, that dream where we wanted the best for ourselves. I myself wanted to become a famous Hollywood actor but after being told acting will not get me anywhere, I gave up. I remember blaming my country for not paving the way for future award winning actors like me to get into the spotlight. Truth is I didn’t want it bad enough to go all out for it and that will forever be my goat killed and just like me, I’m sure there is a goat you too have killed be it a career path, a relationship with a friend or one with a lover. We’re murderers pleading “not guilty” because we get to play judge, jury and executioner in our lives.

It’s time to kill the victim mentality and start owning up for your own mistakes. If you were the toxic one in the relationship improve on your toxic traits, if you love that gift of yours, work for it don’t let anything steer you away. It may not yield immediate result but you’ll be on the right track towards becoming a better you. Stop living on autopilot and take control of your life because no one else will. If you already cast the stone, own up and learn to never act out of emotions. If you are yet to cast the stone, find other means to get the goat home safe. Fair warning though, it is easier said than done.

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