Politics, Fear And Women: Our Week

Youthful Politics

Growing up in a politically fervent time in Kingston, Jamaica, you would not be blamed if you were to describe me as a young activist. As early as my 9th birthday, I was holding my own and passionately so, in the debates about politics: Cuba’s place in the world, the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) actions on my island home, communism and free education for all to name a few.

By my 18th birthday, my level of activism stepped up to official membership in the youth arm of one of Jamaica’s political parties. For many years before that, lunchtime would find me under a tree at my all-girls high school debating the validity and rational for one of the many initiatives my Party Leader had taken to move the island out of economic dependence. With clenched fists and youthful eyes, I boarded an aircraft in 1981 and left the island, for the first time, on a seven-year journey to the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (U.S.S.R.).

Politics Shaped My Womanhood

Little did I know then that it would also be the years that would change me to the core, map a difference course for my life as a woman, wife, mother and friend.

This past week, without the presence of Contributors to this blog – all who were occupied with personal challenges, work and taking care of their businesses – much of what I learned arising out of that pivotal period came to bear in my posts.

1980’s in Kiev, U.S.S.R.

Almost a couple of decades since that fateful plane ride to Eastern Europe, another plane flew me away from the land of my birth. Now a citizen of Canada for 13+ years and as I wrote in the third most visited and read post of this week past, “Women, Please Vote!”

I did not exercise my franchise in the last [Canadian] federal elections. My adolescent years in Jamaica were very much focussed on women and voting, politics in general and international affairs. However, my life a few years ago was in somewhat of a topsy turvy and quite frankly, and ashamedly so, voting was the last thing on my agenda. I had friends who would watch elections closely, with some even placing bets on https://guesser.com, but it was not my cup of tea. Those who know me will tell you that regret is not a word that comes easily to my lips – it will not now. I do not regret my decision not to go to the polls in 2011 but it is something that, moving forward, will never happen again.

Canadian Politics This Week

The incoming Prime Minister of Canada (Source: ifpress.com)

Watching Justin Trudeau lead his party to victory on Monday, October 19, my thoughts went back to the many debates I participated in about his father and Canada’s relationship with Jamaica at a rocky time in our political history. Being the connector of dots that I am, my thoughts also went to the topic of the second most visited post of this Roundup: “Fear: A Swap Tactic To Overcome It.” Much of my experience of fear and the way that I dealt with it hark back to my childhood and observing how my mother and adults around me dealt with their problems.

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Read that article and see the tool that I created as a result of my later training and experience in spiritual counselling, behavioural therapy and chaplaincy. It has helped me tremendously over the years in balancing my life, facing my challenges and letting go of what no longer served me.

Top Post Of The Week

letting go
Don’t push it…

A huge part of what I have had to release was my die-hard beliefs around politics, how relationships “should” work and living according to society’s standards. Well into my 40’s, one of my greatest lessons was on what I discussed in the most read post of this week: “Pushing: 3 Reasons To And Not To.” Politics and my activism for so long was a major push area in my life. It was one where most of my pushing against negativity would largely result in more reasons to fight.

While I am not discounting the need in politics to take a stance for the best interest, what serves the highest good for all, as I wrote in that post, whether in politics or personal life, it is important to understand,

“…The subtle difference between pushing/staying focussed on a goal or wish that was born of my soul and pushing against the “No’s” that Life was telling me. The difference is forcing and allowing. You might be doing what it took me so long to get – trying to force happiness, force well-being, force yourself to be who you are not simply because the neighbours are. Until you understand that pushing and forcing will largely and often only result in more pushing and forcing – you will be as I was – unhappy and dissatisfied with your life.”

Women, Choices And Politics

So many are the times that I have commented that Canadian politics is lackluster at best or simply boring. This observation was largely against the background of the unfortunate cutthroat nature of Jamaican politics and the high drama of US campaigns. Things changed this time around in Canada and over the 78 days of the campaign here, my interest piqued as I watched the machinations of all the parties involved.

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The future…

The Prime Minister elect, Justin Trudeau, was not my first choice. In the end, it was with my granddaughter’s future very much in mind not to mention my concern for women and how our interests were being discussed, that I voted. My vote was cast strategically, as were many Canadians’. It was considered to the last-minute decision and made after setting aside the fears that one party would have had us vote in its favour to prevent.

Politics affects us all but as I have grown, Life has tempered my youthful outbursts, quieted many of my fears and taught me how to stop pushing against negativity but simply let go of what does not promote peace, prosperity and love for all. That was what this week fully demonstrated for me in very practical terms. That is what I hope you will come to, if you are not already there, that politics is as much women’s concern and that we can bring to it our knowledge and experience of fearless living. To borrow from Trudeau, who this week said that his election was significant of what “positive politics” can do.

Moving Forward

We can only hope that he will continue along this path and not give into the pressure of any one group of interests over what is best for all – women, men, seniors and children and nature.

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Claudette P. Esterine


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40 thoughts on “Politics, Fear And Women: Our Week

  1. I love to see outspoken women! I hate when women feel like they have to be “nice” to everyone. If something is wrong, or needs to be changed; we have to speak up and speak out!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Amen! I have learned over the temper and anger but I still speak my truth and every woman should feel free to do that! Thanks for your endorsement of that! 🙂

  2. I believe politics will always be important because of the impact it has on the up and coming generations! Thank you for sharing your journey and views!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you for visiting and for sharing your thoughts on this very important topic for us all! 🙂

  3. I don’t like politics, but it is my obligation to vote.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, many do not but as you said, we have an obligation to vote – even just to voice our displeasure. Have a great Sunday! 🙂

  4. I am a new registered voter but am not going to vote. I watch news but I hate politics.

    1. Ms Claudette

      And that is your choice to make. Hating politics is one thing, however, politics affects our lives in just about every way imaginable. Just a thought. Have a great rest of the day. 🙂

  5. I used to exercise my right to vote, however, I lost all belief in politics and this whole business of governance. Corruption and lies are such a big turn off for me.

    1. Ms Claudette

      It is a turnoff for many, not to mention the corruption. Believing in politics and politicians is not necessary though to cast your vote. But, that is your choice 🙂 Have a great rest of the day! 🙂

  6. kleebanks

    I had wondered how things turned out in the voting. I’m totally turned off by the political climate in the US.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I can appreciate your sentiments. I too got turned off of politics all over the world! LOL However, it is our lives and so we have to tune in at some point and to some degree. Thanks for visiting again! 🙂

  7. In our country, everybody should be vote in every politics, in this post you’re sounds amazing woman.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, every one who is eligible to vote ought to do so. Thank you for your compliment, comment and visiting. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

  8. Politics affect us all is some ways even if we do not want to admit it. Choose the leaders we place in power. The concerns are often overlooked and working in a service position such as nurses does not help. I am not involved in politic but I am aware of what is going on. More so than ever women need to have active voice in politics.
    Although women are allow to vote here in the United states a lot do not exercise their right to vote due to fear.
    The more a women becomes knowledgeable about politics she is often seen as an activist.
    Activism is not for the faint of heart and often times women are perceive as uninviting. I am also concern when it affects Children & families.
    The one time I was able to vote Obama became the President.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are absolutely right in everything that you say! I hope you will again vote in the next US elections! Thanks for visiting and commenting. 🙂

  9. Angie@chasingmyhalo

    What a powerful life story you have, and what an intelligent kid you were! Your new prime minister is very interesting, And his captured the attention of many 🙂 I hope the nation continues to move forward in a positive direction.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you on all counts! Your hope is the same one that most Canadians have. We were battle weary of the negativity and fear-mongering of the outgoing Prime Minister. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

  10. victoria

    This is the first time that i am voting and i think this is the way to keep updated in our country and what will happen to the next genre

    1. Ms Claudette

      It indeed is! Congratulations to you on your upcoming “virgin” vote! 🙂

  11. I am not involved in politics but keep following the news 😉 I still want to know whats going on with our country

    1. Ms Claudette

      I hear you…that was the same with me. 🙂

  12. Looks like you Canadians are going to learn a hard lesson like we Americans are with obama.

    1. Ms Claudette

      We had that lesson already with the outgoing Prime Minister and it was not to sell our integrity and identity as a nation! Thank you for your visit. 🙂

  13. It’s awesome that you have a history of being active in politics from such a young age. I used to just pick a side and vote but I’m trying to do more careful research now.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Lol! Some might agree that that would still be the best way to go! 🙂

  14. danavento

    Voting is the way and for women, it is a must, we need to exercise our right! I think you and I think a lot alike

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am proud to stand by you, wise one, in our thoughts! 🙂

  15. I am glad to hear that woman can vote. I think it’s important that women are able to make a stand for what they believe in.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I could not agree with you more! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  16. I’m from Canada and exercised my right to vote for the first time this year (I should have done it sooner) but I’m proud that I finally did! 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yippee!!! It is never too late! Have a great weekend my fellow Canadian! 🙂

  17. Elizabeth O.

    I’m glad women have the right to vote now. And even if the candidate we were routing for didn’t win, it feels good to have exercised that right.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Precisely! Couldn’t agree with you more. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  18. I think it is important that everybody be involved in politics no matter what their beliefs. Political issues affect us all.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Indeed they do! Thanks for your visit and comment! 🙂

  19. It sounds like you are a strong women. I think it is great that you know your politics. I want my daughter to be strong and knowledgeable. I agree politics affect all of us and we should keep up with what is going on.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am not as involved or attentive to politics as I once was but I do keep fairly up to date, particularly where it affects women and children. Thank you for your compliment and thank you for stopping by! I too hope that your daughter will be all that you wish and more. 🙂

  20. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I know nothing about politics and I am fine with that. I could care less.

    1. Ms Claudette

      If that works for you – all the more power! 🙂

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