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AWRIGHT DEN: Call a spade

Corey Worrell

AWRIGHT DEN: Call a spade

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Living on an island has the ability to limit you, especially if there isn’t a great desire to understand and experience something beyond what is common to you. While I was growing up, I heard many of my friends speak about their many travels to Miami or New York. Unfortunately, my parents couldn’t afford to pay for us all to travel, so most of my adolescent life I visited America in my dreams.
As I progressed through my young adult years, my desire to travel grew tremendously until it had become my greatest desire and definitely still is. In 2005, I was given the opportunity to see the international world. I travelled many miles to Vaasa, Finland, to attend the first youth conference of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce. I think I was there for ten days and I can confess that those ten days changed my life. I want to take this time to thank my mentor June Fowler for that opportunity.
Being in the company of globally-minded people who saw life somewhat different to me was initially a challenge, but I quickly adapted and appreciated the beauty of a new perspective. There were many things I learnt while there but today I want to share just one with you.
I wasn’t generally a confrontational person and I never liked the thought of knowing that I hurt someone’s feelings. Finland taught me that one’s love for an individual should supersede one’s discomfort in hurting their feelings, especially when you have their best interest at heart.
Since returning to Barbados, I tried to adopt this new approach. Sometimes I was successful, sometimes I wasn’t, but over the years I have become better at calling a spade a spade. It requires a level of boldness that is only attained through repetitive action that is fuelled by love and care.
We as a people have often turned a blind eye to the irresponsible and unwise decisions of our friends and colleagues. We are quick to point out their mistakes and bad decisions to others, rather than to tell them. We allow them to bask in their folly and ignorance because we fear offending them in telling them the truth. We watch day after day and week after week and say nothing, until that friend, family member or colleague hits rock bottom and is riddled with shame, hurt and resentment. What’s amazing is that we feel a sense of shame and hurt too and at this point is when we decide to tell the person we always felt the decisions they were making were bad ones.
We feel uncomfortable with Sue starting a relationship with Dwayne; we know deacon Dre shouldn’t be sleeping over by his girlfriend; we see Sasha hanging out with some girls at school who are known to be very slack and promiscuous; we see Bobby stealing some items from the storeroom at work; we don’t feel that Astra should marry Barry; we know Robert continues to ride an uninsured motorbike and Sheena’s car isn’t road-taxed; we see Kadeem preparing to cheat on a test; we know Randy sells drugs and gambles; we see Shelly liming and partying and not studying; we profess to be Christian and see our children having various partners sleeping in our homes; we know Paul beats his wife; we know Mandy is cheating on her husband; we disagree with Bill posting all his business on Facebook and we know the minister isn’t doing the best job, yet we say nothing because we fear offending them.
The Bible states that he who knows the right and refuses to do it, for he it is sin. If our motive is love and care for each other, we have a responsibility to share when we believe they are making unwise decisions.
Yes, you may get offended but if I claim to love you, I have to be straight up with you. You may hate me now, but I will never give you the opportunity to say, “You ain’t tell me nuttin’.”
We have no idea the amount of pain, shame and resentment we may have saved others if we only called a spade a spade.
• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.