Born in Misery’s Place

I’ve seen Guyana in a way that I’d rather not have seen her until I was a little more older, a little more mature. I’ve seen miserably blank faces, miserably frustrated souls who gave up on life long before they even learnt of trying. Sadly, even I was once tempted to give up on life and condemn myself to just going through the motion of living.

But what’s the point of living if we can’t grow a little, feel a little, help a little and perhaps begin to understand a little bit, just what it is we mean to this whole, wide universe? What’s the point of just going through a motion if the windows to our souls remain closed forever? Really, I’d like to hear someone’s take on this.

Recently, I made an unplanned visit to Misery’s Place. My adopted sister’s cousin had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy, to a bundle of innocence. I held him, I just couldn’t resist, and I looked down at his tiny pink face ,into those still partially shuttered windows of his soul and I wondered if he’d really ever see.

I looked around the faded, hot interior of Misery’s Place and I wondered if any of us really understand what it means to see. Seeing isn’t just about absorbing the sights of misery and beauty; seeing isn’t just being able to navigate around potholes; it isn’t just having that biological sense. It’s something so much more.

Today, someone questioned whether I knew the meaning of truth. Do any of us? I’d like to think that I understand honesty well but as for truth and what it is or isn’t I really can’t answer that for anyone because I’m not so sure even I have been able to overcome that blindness of which I speak.

I assume that the earth is the only planet in our solar system with life. I assume that the sun is the centre of our solar system as well. These are things that I accept as truth. But then again, a few hundred years ago men and woman not much different from myself really believed that the earth was the centre of our universe. So then, is truth that thing in which we have faith? It really isn’t so easy to determine.

Like my adopted sister’s nephew, I too was born in Misery’s Place and like every one of us I have a choice to overcome the blindness that inflicts us all. While we may all hope to change those blank miserable looks into looks of hope and determination, it isn’t so easy.

The decision to see is an individual and internal one. We can’t help people make those choices but perhaps, just perhaps, we can let them know that being born in Misery’s Place does not mean that we must forever keep misery’s company.

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