The journey of my life
By Rodney Davis
I am sure many of you can relate to that part of my story. Let's see if anything else resonates with you. Where I am today is the result of choices I have made from I was a youngster. Some were deliberate and thought through others I realized on reflection
I want to share something, I hate to be prescriptive about how you might shape your life, but I think if I share some of the things that shaped my life, I might give you pause for thought.
I was born in Cockburn Pen, which is off Spanish Town Road and was one of four boys. I lived in Jamaica with my grandmother until my father died when I was only three at that time my family was living in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada. One week later, my grandmother died. As a result, I had no choice but to join the rest of the family in Canada.
My mother was 19. She had 4 boys. She was in a foreign country with not very many black people. And we had nothing—well almost nothing.
The earliest I can remember when I had to make a choice was when I was only 11. My mother was barely making enough to feed and clothe herself let alone 4 boys. We had gone through years of not enough to eat and nothing in the way of nice clothes.
I made my first conscious choice.
I was only 11, but I had to do something. I heard about an opportunity to carry golf bags at the local golf course on weekends. It was hard work, but it was work. I chose to go to the golf course at 4AM every Saturday and Sunday to get a good spot in line to get a bag to carry starting at 6:30 when golfers first teed off.
This leads me to my next memorable choice. I was 15 and about to be 16. I was surrounded by older people who did illegal things drug dealers, pimps (yes pimps), thieves, etc) and I knew them all for years. Just like in many communities in Jamaica today, I saw some young black men who had very visible signs of material wealth
I was aware of what they did and I would say I knew them well from around the way. I never really got involved in any of the stuff really, but they all respected me for how I handled myself and the opportunity to go that route was there if I wanted it.
In Canada, if you're convicted of a crime after the age of 16, it stays on your permanent record and seriously affects your ability to progress in life.
So it's decided, I'm going to do this school thing. Get an education. See where it goes. I was 17. I was now a cook in a kitchen (left dishwashing) and a turntable selector on weekends spinning music at clubs and parties (I couldn't leave bad boy life altogether). My grades are okay. I date the ladies. I do all right.
One day the phone rings, it's my ex-girlfriend. We broke up 6 months ago. Haven't spoken in 3 months. What does she want?
NEXT WEEK: A MATTER OF CHOICESâ¦
The author is president and CEO, Cable & Wireless Jamaica
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Last updated: February 28, 2007
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