The long path to freedom
The phrase “the path best taken” does not present itself in the same way to every individual as they pass through life. Yes, our life experiences are so very different, yet even though it’s a very short statement, its intent is to highlight and amplify great expectations for the rejuvenation of the inner soul for one to carry on.
For the individual standing at the very beginning, the pathway through life will lead in every direction that there is conceivable. It will not be until one is in view of the end of life that they would be able to look back and reassess their contributions, successes or failures, and then pass from life knowing that they at least tried their best.
It is a true saying that the road to Hell — or is it Heaven? — is paved with good intentions. Mr Editor, I as an individual can speak only for myself and those experiences of which I had taken part in during my lifetime.
I would have to admit that I have done things I now recognise I should not have done. Today, I just sit back and say to myself what in hell’s name was I thinking — to me, it was that bad.
The social environment from which I had emerged has had a great effect on my life and has dictated in many ways just what I must do in order to defend myself against the flak, not just coming at me from within my own community, but also the challenges coming from the other side of the social divide.
Yes, those who had the upper hand and control of authority in Bermuda placed many deliberate barriers of deprivation in our way to prevent us from making any real progress, which forced us to be creative. Yet, at the same time, those with authority had set the candy trap to entice those among us that they could use to help them oppress us even more.
Despite those many handicaps placed before us to stunt our progress, we still must realise that we have the brain we were born with to think and to use as a life raft in those stormy and turbulent authoritarian waters created by the system to get by.
Mr Editor, I have learnt from those very same aggressors who used their authority to hold us down, as well as putting up a fight to get over my own aggressive feelings and emotions that were psychologically planted within us by an inferior education system, followed by a criminal justice system that expected me to fail and act out in a way that would give them the satisfaction and justified opportunity to suppress me further.
Thus it was in my best interest to do my best to follow a path that would lead me in a direction in which the light of day would shine down and expose the inequities of life that lay hidden before me along the way.
Mr Editor, I know just what it is like not to have someone to tell you they love you, or are concerned, as a close friend that you could express your troubles to; I know just what it feels like to be trapped in an empty void, feeling as if there were nowhere else to go; I know what it is like to go hungry in the land of plenty we call Bermuda and be forced to do the unimaginable if I did not want to starve to death; I know what it is like to be beaten, battered and abused by people who showed no sympathy of me, their only objective being to establish brutal fear within me.
I know, Mr Editor, just what it feels like to feel so depressed as if I was down in a deep hole from where it seemed that I could not escape, yet the only way it seemed that I could get any relief from such misery was to commit suicide.
Mr Editor, let me put to you like this: I am not looking forward to entering anyone’s heaven in the sky to seek out personal glory. It is on this earth that I was born that I shall take a stand and fight to establish true justice and freedom for our many generations yet unborn. Only after then shall I find peace in my eternal rest.
E. McNEIL STOVELL
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