Most of us don’t have the luxury of running away or hiding from our obstacles because WE have something very specific we’re trying to do. No one is coming to save us! The obstacles won’t un-obstacle themselves. And if want to go where we say we want to go - to accomplish our goals - there is only one way, and that’s to meet our obstacles and challenges with resilience.
Resilience is having the ability to bounce back when things don't go as planned. ''It is the trait of resiliency above all others, that makes you a winner'' - Denis Waitley.
Resilience is the strength and speed of our response to adversity. It’s a skillset we develop over the course of our lives, and there are concrete steps we can take to build resilience long before we face any kind of difficulty. When I think of the word resilience I often reflect on the enduring spirit of the Windrush Generation and our history of overcoming adversity.
Growing up, one of the things that struck me was the way these pioneers were able to build strong communities, work together and take themselves on against the odds. They had so little resources but managed to accomplish great things. We all heard the stories about the infamous “No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs” notices in terms of housing. The true grit of the Windrush generation shone through that.
They bought houses and then rented rooms to each other to remove the barriers they faced. Our elders were turned away from churches – so what did they do? Church was at the centre of their communities in the Caribbean, and they started prayer meetings in the living rooms of their homes, then moved into school halls and community centres.
It is clear that the story of the Windrush generation's resilience must be shared, appreciated, celebrated, taught and used as a tool of empowerment for all. They have illustrated the creativity, understanding, strength, and courage of a people who have not only been able to endure, but have strived and created success under extremely difficult conditions.
We need to share their stories to inspire the next generation: that they become aware of our history and the significant contribution of our elders, who were such leaders and pioneers.
A NEW set of poems that celebrates Caribbean poetry will appear on London Underground from July.
The collection focuses on a range of themes, including the complex realities of life in the Caribbean and in Britain as well as the dream of living in a new world of hope and prosperity.
One of the poems is I Am Becoming a Mother by Jamaica’s current poet laureate, Lorna Goodison, who was born in Kingston in 1947 and splits her time between Jamaica and Canada. The work of other recognised poets, including James Berry, Andrew Salkey, Jean Binta Breeze, Kwame Dawes and Grace Nichols are also featured.
Staynton Brown, director of diversity and inclusion at TfL, said: “These poems are a fantastic way of celebrating a variety of Caribbean voices and experiences. I hope customers will enjoy them as they travel across our network and take advantage of the opportunity to reflect on the valuable contribution those from the West Indies have had on London’s culture and economy.”
The poems are appearing across the tube network as London celebrates the 70th anniversary of Windrush this year, which commemorates the pioneering generation that started to come to Britain from the Caribbean from 22 June 1948 on the Empire Windrush ship.
The history of London Transport, Transport for London’s (TfL) predecessor, is intertwined with many of those who consider themselves to be part of the Windrush Generation. The shortage of housing after the Second World War meant that more than 200 migrants were housed for around four weeks in the Clapham South Subterranean shelter, a labyrinth of deep-level passages, below Clapham South tube station.
London Transport employed people from the Caribbean from 1956 onwards to fill staff shortages, opening a recruitment office in Barbados in 1956 and subsequent offices in Jamaica and Trinidad in 1966. Many of these people worked for London Transport for a number of years, playing a vital role in keeping London moving.
Judith Chernaik, writer, editor and founder of Poems on the Underground, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating a wide range of distinguished Caribbean poets, with their special understanding of sharply contrasting worlds of experience. These are poems which speak directly to the heart, and we know Londoners will be touched and inspired by reading them on the tube.”
Poems on the Underground, founded in 1986, aims to bring poetry to a mass audience. It aims to help make journeys more stimulating by showcasing a diverse range of poetry, including classical, contemporary and international poets in tube train carriages across London. The poems are selected by Chernaik and poets Imtiaz Dharker and George Szirtes.
The programme has inspired similar displays on public transport in cities worldwide, from New York and Paris to Moscow and Shanghai. The initiative is supported by Transport for London, Arts Council England and the British Council.
Source : The Voice, 22/06/2018
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