Peter Tosh's Crystal Ball is not the most uplifting song, but it's a true account of what the state of the world has been for decades, and I like it. With all this scheduled doom and gloom hovering on the horizon, what should we do? Should we stockpile, build a bunker, and wait for the apocalypse?
For some, this might be the ideal solution, but I don't see many West Indians getting excited about waiting amongst bottled water, canned goods, and dehydrated foods. West Indians are resilient, enthusiastic about life, and fun. We live in hope. This hope allows us to plan for the future, regardless of what the moment dictates, not hide in fear.
I'm not a fan of crystal balls, fortune telling or obeah men. I'm not even sure Rastafarians use crystal balls in practicing their religion. For me, this song is more a call to evaluation and personal enlightenment, rather than fortune telling and mystic opinions. It calls us to be mindful of where we're going and where we'll end up. It's almost the end of the year, so this is the perfect time to look deep into your soul, evaluate your life, formulate a plan, and think about all the great things that lie ahead. When all seems to be falling apart, it is possible to foster inner peace and joy.
Envision the future you.
Create a picture of where you would like to be a few years from now. Set long-term goals and start propelling your life in a more fulfilling direction. Foster an optimistic perspective of life; write a manifesto; see yourself in the future, and start acting accordingly.
Be balanced and consistent.
People panic and become fanatic when they are imbalanced. One thing I admire about the legendary reggae artists is that fans are never surprised by the lyrics. The content of every album is normally about three things: addressing deep-seated social, political and economic issues, offering hope, and legalizing weed. They were amazingly balanced and consistent, and the message was always clear and long-lasting. When we are balanced, we are able to make a greater impact and create positive change. Any change in our personal live will undoubtedly spill over into society, and positive change is always welcoming. We are more accepting of our reality, and have a clear vision of what is required of us. When we know what we are called to do, it's much easier to stick to the agenda and develop a routine that will place us closer to our goal.
Change your corner of the universe.
Volunteer and give more than you receive. Solve a social problem, or enlighten others by providing a service. There is a task assigned to you and only you. If you don't do it, it will never be done. Anne Frank said, How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world. Be inspired and start now.
Avoid hostile environments and aggressive people. Refuse to allow others to project their anxiety, fear, inability to control their environment, and general bad behavior onto you. Do not allow people to dump their ongoing issues, personal problems, and financial woes into your life. Make it clear, with love, that you're available for encouragement and support within reason.
Things might look dire, but God's plan for each of us is not dependent on the condition of the world. God's ability to provide, secure, protect and deliver is independent of our circumstances. Psalm 37:25 says, I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. In Jer. 32:27, God asked the same rhetorical question He asked in Gen. 18:14, Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? No worries, God is just good like that.
Editor-in-Chief's Note: EBONIE-MARCH'' JONES is a Freelance Contributor With MNI Alive