I am especially looking forward to starting a new job as a union organiser with one of the largest trade unions in UK. I missed being a full time trade unionist and I am so looking forward to working with union activists and organising workers again!
I started working for the labour movement in my early twenties and with the responsibility of fighting for workers’ rights came many opportunities to see the world from different angles. The views can be very depressing especially when it comes to class stratification, oppression, exploitation of labour, crass capitalism and its uneven division of wealth built on the backs of the long-suffering majority who toil every day to earn a living wage but never get to enjoy the wealth created by their labour. However, sometimes the view can be very exhilarating, especially when the voiceless find their voices through union organising, and against all odds, conquer to achieve great successes, fuelled by strength in unity and propelled by hope in a better tomorrow, while demanding for a better today. The last few years of my 30s were pretty challenging, mostly due to having to start afresh in a new, unfamiliar environment as a single parent with a teenage son who was about to enrol in college. I did not plan to be an immigrant in UK or anywhere else, but sometimes, even though we have our life already neatly planned, circumstances beyond our control could force us to depart from our schedule.
Leaving behind a comfortable life and job security to start afresh in a strange land was not an easy decision to make. For immigrants, job search and actually getting a decent job that commensurate with ones’ qualifications is certainly not made easier by the constant side servings of racism or its full-frontal version which immigrants, especially black immigrants, are slapped with daily.
It breaks my heart to read the hostile words UK politicians use to describe immigrants, especially pertaining to the Syrian immigrants arriving on the borders of UK from Calais. David Cameron and his ilk must understand that immigrants are not “swarm of people” invading borders. Immigrants are not pests or insects. If only we all could see immigrants as human beings and not just as statistics.
We all want a better life. For some a better life could mean fleeing from the jaws of death, escaping starvation in war torn countries, seeking freedom to live free from discrimination because of gender, sexual or religious identities. For many, it is a matter of life and death, and certainly not a case of looking to enjoy welfare benefits as right-wing politicians, uninformed voters and die-hard racists love to believe. Show kindness to an immigrant today, they need it, and it is the humane thing to do.
Life is a twin fountain of pains and pleasures, whatever life throws at you, shake it off with a dose of heartfelt laughter. Never hesitate to wash the pains away with your tears. As i wrote in my poem-
Tears, Tears, Tears
Wash away my fears
Cleanse my heart
For a fresh start…
Let the tears wash away the pains but remember, nothing invigorates like good old heartfelt laughter. Get your daily shot and stay as positive as you possibly can. Most importantly, never be too busy to have fun. Treasure every day because you are never getting it back.
Special thanks to my religious friends who refrained from sending me religious greetings or prayers, the respect is much appreciated. Three years after writing the blog post “Respect my Atheism; do not send me birthday greetings in the name of your skydaddy!, now, I hardly get any religious greetings or prayers on my birthdays. Believe me; this makes me happy because it means they respect me enough not to force their religious beliefs down my throat especially on a day i would rather eat cake than be forced to think about how a talking snake tricked my allegedly white mother, Eve, into eating a forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden!
His Holy Noodleness, Flying Spaghetti Monster, has been very kind to me lately, which is why i will continue to sing its praises. Just a day into my 40s, I already love it.
They say life begins at 40; maybe it is true. 40 years of experiences and weathering the storms could prepare one for another 40 years of not letting life get on top of one. You live life and not let life live you. I guess that is the kind of things I get to say at 40!
As this year starts winding down, here is wishing you wonderful experiences and do make every day count in the nicest way possible!
Now, it is time to dance and shake my booty!
Saying ay-oh, gotta let go
I wanna celebrate and live my life,
Saying ay-oh, baby let’s go
‘Cause we gon rock this club,
We gon’ go all night,
We gon’ light it up,
Like it’s dynamite
‘Cause I told you once,
Now I told you twice,
We gon’ light it up,
Like it’s dynamite”
Music- Taio Cruz – Dynamite