Without Prejudice Mervelee Myers And Fight4justice Must Be The Change Starting In The Mother Country

The mirror- Your Reflection

I have always heard the sayings ‘everyone is unique’, or another popular one is ‘being unique is what makes you, you’. What does this really mean? I write this paper today in honor of Mervelee “Ratty” Nembhard. The title is “The mirror -Your Reflection” – when you look in the mirror, what do you see? It is your reflection, and you will have your own interpretation of your own “reflection”.

I met Mervelee a few years ago after having heard so much about her. As usual I had no expectations. My situation was complex, as I would have heard the many horror stories of the “in law” and saw the movie “Monster in Law”, and I was dating her son. The lady I met was the total opposite of the of the images portrayed and she was indeed a unique individual. She was beaming and very elated, anxious, and so welcoming. She was arriving in Jamaica to see her mom and attend her last son’s wedding. To enhance the package, she was meeting her four-year-old grandson for the first time. The days passed and it was a good trip from my perspective. I am urged to say through my lens because again I refer to the mirror ,my mirror. When I look at the photographs, what do I see? I see fun, and happy memories but then, that’s just me.

Mervelee is a very kind individual, with a very strong personality. She has her own unique ways of handling situations and is often misunderstood. This is because we live in a society that has established norms which dictates boundaries of accepted behaviours. Unfortunately, if you do not fall in these norms, you may be exposed to acts of discrimination. This is attributed to the fact that persons do not wish to accept the differences of individuals, but instead expect the behaviours displayed by everyone to be replicas of established protocols. It is imperative that I ask at this point- who dictates the way one should act and why? Who says your way of behaving is the right way? Is your way the only way? Well Ratty will be the first to tell you that her way may not be the accepted nor expected way, but that’s her way and that’s fine. It may or may not bring her the desired results, and sometimes may even come with consequences which may have to be handled through different mediums, but it is her mirror for her to see her reflection. There are always different approaches, and some may be more acceptable than others, but who are we to dictate if the action is right or wrong? Sometimes the best approach is to help the individual to look in the mirror and see the reflection from different perspectives.

Mervelee Nembhard is a storyteller. With her many stories and experiences, she is quite adept of sharing valuable information with whomever may share her interests. Her love for family, friends, children and her work with children with special educational needs, combined with her being identified as being “different” has made her an advocate for justice. This shows her character traits of being bold and brave as she “tackles the world” to defend her loved ones and the vulnerable. Sometimes I wish she would relax and enjoy life as it comes, but this again is my wish and not hers. Her life is viewed through her lens, and she needs to satisfy her personal desires to achieve personal satisfaction. Who dares to dictate, what an individual should or should not do? Instead let’s use the mirror to guide our approach- let’s look at life from different angles. Let’s see the pictures in different frames and try to understand the concept. Maybe then we can shift the focus from what’s being done wrong or right -to how can we do things differently, so everyone is happy? Everyone’s happiness will have different requirements and will also be achieved at different times, but through it all let us always be respectful of each other (privacy, feelings, individual preferences) and base our actions in the foundation of love.

Always use the mirror and see your reflection. The way you see you in the mirror may be different from the way others see you in the same mirror. This means we think and feel differently about the same thing. It may be presented in the same manner, at the same time, in the same place but we will use our personal lens which may give us different views. It’s ok to not understand the conclusions or actions of others but what’s not ok is to be disappointed in others because they did not share your perspective. I will applaud Ratty for the efforts she has made in identifying that she is responsible for her wellbeing, and the steps she has taken to improve herself. Her ability to identify her weaknesses is outstanding and she continues to work on herself, and is making great progress. She is not afraid to share her weaknesses and speak openly about her vulnerabilities, which when looked at through the lens of others may not be readily accepted nor supported. She continues to strive to achieve her goals despite many obstacles and through her lens -limited support.

Today I write for Mervelee Ratty Nembhard, because she continues to contribute to others for the greater good. I have personally benefitted from her kindness as when corporate entities would not support a dream, my little contribution to society through my PhD studies, “Ratty” was there to sponsor my first-year’s tuition which in her mirror was an investment in her grandkids. I use this medium to express my appreciation and to confirm my commitment to delivering on making a difference and helping others to look through their lens and see the world from different angles.

The mirror will always give you a reflection, what really do you see? Do you see you, or do you see me? Can you identify the differences between you and me? Always remember everyone is unique. Sometimes it’s easier not to try to understand the other person but rather to start accepting their differences and respecting their unique qualities. Being different does not mean I am wrong, and you are right, it simply means you are YOU and I am ME. Mervelee Nembhard you will always be “Ratty”, embrace you.


Written by Naheel Brown Legister



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