Life Gets Better When You…Fill In The Blank

Song On Our Lips

Music permeates almost every aspect of Jamaican life. Whether we are happy, mourning, doing laundry or about to riot there is a song on our lips or moving our feet (and hips of course). Contemplating this week’s conversation, the song that came to mind was very popular in the 1970’s. Played most frequently at political rallies and by one of the two contending parties on the island, it promised “Better Must Come!”

Derrick Wilson was the artist who made it popular on the island and it was the rallying cry of the People’s National Party:

I’ve been trying a long, long time still I didn’t make it
Everything I try to do seems to go wrong
It seems I have done something wrong
But they’re trying to keep me down
Who God bless, no one curse
Thank God I’m not the worst
Better must come one day…”

Better Must Come One Day

betterThen, my understanding of this promise was that through hard work, changes in the world economic order, political struggle – the lot of women, people of nations such as the country of my birth and anyone struggling in any way anywhere in the world – better must come.

With that mindset, Jamaicans, myself included worked hard and prayed even harder for an improved life. Unfortunately, that vision has been illusive for many and not just on that island.

On a personal level, my thoughts were that by gaining the highest level and as much education that my brain could hold, I would have been happy. Better would come.

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See, happiness for very long was equated to a large house with a least a double-car garage, a sizable bank account, designer clothing, travel and all the bling that one can imagine. And of course, a successful marriage. Why would it not be a happy and successful one if we had all the trappings? Right?

Losing To Gaining Insight

Only after the:

  • marriage ended
  • house was bought and sold
  • 16-year relationship went up in smoke
  • cars were bought then sold or repossessed
  • migration, and
  • many faux designer or thrift store clothing

was the truth revealed. The proverbial better was always within.

What all the ‘loss’ – my own and that of others – taught me is that material possessions are not necessarily the standard of “better.” So much time is spent comparing our lot with that of others. We check our progress against the Jones’s. Β As nations, we consider one among us the greatest even though the deficit is in the trillions. One group of people disparages the other because of what they eat, who they love or to whom they pray.

betterLife Is Better When..

Since prancing to that song in my youth, I have had the privilege of speaking one-on-one with possibly a hundred plus persons on this subject. They were lying on hospital beds either recuperating, in palliative care or days away from making their transition. Others were in correctional facilities, doing time for crimes they had committed. Wherever we met, the conversation eventually came around to what they would have done differently in the time they had or if they got out of prison.

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Matching their thoughts to my experience of challenges and even outright struggles, here are the things that have made life better:

  • Minding your own business
  • Pursuing your passion, hopes and dreams with all your might
  • Knowing when to say “No”
  • Surrounding yourself with only those who inspire you to be the best human being
  • Letting go or walking away from things, situations and people who drag you down
  • Keeping wise counsel and knowing when to shut your mouth
  • Being courageous and wise
  • Speaking truth to power always, even when your knees are shaking
betterOver To You

Share with me how your life has become better in a non-material sense and what you did or who you grew into to make it so. Take part in the poll and leave a comment below.

Life Is Better When....

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As always, have a great rest of the week!


Claudette P. Esterine




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18 thoughts on “Life Gets Better When You…Fill In The Blank

  1. For me, life is better when you are grateful. Gratitude is one of the most important traits one could possess. It makes everything you have enough.
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  2. Life is better when you are at peace with yourself. Peace of mind is very important because it makes you think freely and not worry about anything.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Peace of mind is indeed important Peachy! Could not agree with you more. πŸ™‚

  3. I do love my material stuff like my purses and shoes but I don’t base my happiness on them. A hug from my kids is more pleasurable than a compliment on my new purse.

  4. Wendy Polisi

    life gets better if you are living happy with your family!

    1. Ms Claudette

      That is a main ingredient indeed Wendy! πŸ™‚

  5. Kelly Reci

    life is better if there is a world peace and racist people doesnt exist.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Kelly, most of us wish for that, however, there are those who don’t want to release their negativity.

  6. Life is better when you have your own house and you live with your family in peace , contented and happy. πŸ™‚

  7. Great message. Life is better when I’m focusing on my goal and when I appreciate the little moments of happiness more. I don’t stress over tiny things as much and I find myself much more relaxed and happy!


    1. Ms Claudette

      I love that Cameron! Keep it up and spread the love. πŸ™‚

  8. I loved this post and the inherent message of self care and seeking a greater understanding of the world around us. Recently I’ve been clearing away some toxic people from my life, and learning to set and defend more solid boundaries. It’s making a world of difference for me.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Well thank you for that Brandi! I find that as you clear the toxic people from your life, yes you might be alone but that will not be the case for ever! πŸ™‚

  9. I feel like life gets better when you make it better. I have been working through making my life better and focusing on me and cutting out all of the negative.

    1. Ms Claudette

      As much as we can, cutting out the negatives is the “better” thing that we can do. All the best Jessi! πŸ™‚

  10. Life is better when we’re in peace with ourselves and We enjoy little things!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Could not agree with you more! πŸ™‚

  11. I don’t base happiness on material possessions. I base it on the health and welfare of my family. I will say life is better when my kids find their paths and we are all at peace with the decisions we make in life.

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