Trust – Who do you trust?
Trust is such an important concept that it’s a foundational pillar to our very existence. What do I mean by that? Well, without trust, what do we have? There’s a saying saying ‘as sure as the sun will rise’, or ‘as sure as day turns into night and night turns into day’. We base our wisest sayings on comparisons to things we know won’t change to express our confidence in something. It seals the deal – or an idea, or whatever else we’re trying to communicate to emphasise what we believe right or will happen.
This morning was like every other. My usual routine after just waking up is to make a hot drink, which is tea these days, it used to be coffee until recently. Then I’ll roll a cigarette, go outside with a cuppa. Light a cigarette and ponder. Enjoy nature, its beauty while reflecting on more profound thoughts. Sometimes even laugh at my jokes.
My life experience has taught me, as well as my personality needless to say, that I need time and space alone to contemplate. I’m not unique in this fundamental desire to have space to think in peace. So much so, that when my order is disturbed, I get instantly irritated and annoyed. It interrupts my flow state and sets me on an angle that I have to consciously find ways to return to my flow, or simply calm myself down from the interruption.
Once I’m in this state, I can write, think clearly, plan and so much more. It forms the basis of what I do next, how I live my life, and the decisions I make, so that’s why it’s so essential for me. I can find myself in this state in the middle of the night frequently – but need to develop the habit of either writing it down on paper or putting notes on my phone. The downside of using my phone is obvious – distraction. The challenging part of writing on paper is the need for light and waking my wife as a result.
The story goes like this – I was born in Uganda during Idi Amin’s reign, back in ’73. Somehow I ended up being orphaned, and I’m still trying to find out the story behind it. I went to live with my adoptive parents towards the end of 1975, or sometime in ’76. Growing up with my adoringly beautiful parents, the memories of pre-adoption were, still are in fact blank – there’s a blackness in my mind that can’t figure out. If we were to have a conversation, I couldn’t recall it in a standard way. Like tell you what you said and then what I said, etc.. I will remember having a conversation and maybe a take away from the conversation. Beyond that is blackness.
What was interesting though, I could never understand these nightmares. One of them was of stampedes, people fleeing the scene because of military attacks. It was utter chaos; I was a baby sitting on the ground outside, next to a hedge, feeling safe, looking out at the chaos. People running, screaming, gunfire, and then a point came where it seemed like I was going to be run over by the group of people heading towards me. Suddenly I’d wake up screaming and shouting. There were other ones, but that’s the one that resonates deepest.
At the age of 16, I finally found the courage to ask my parents the big question. Having spent a year debating with myself whether I was adopted or not. Who I was. Not looking like your parents, friends asking if I was adopted until this point had never phased me. As far as I was concerned, I was the biological child of my adoptive parents who came out a little different. My father was English; my mother was Kenyan, my older sister is visibly mixed race. You can see on my logo that I don’t appear to be of mixed race.
Asking my mum first, she said no. It didn’t resonate with me. Then my dad came home from work. I asked him within minutes of his arrival because I couldn’t keep it in any longer. Without hesitation, he said yes. It instantly resonated with me and because it was true, the whole foundation that I’d stood on all my life (to my knowledge), disappeared right then and there. It was as if the earth beneath me had opened up. I was falling infinitely with nothing to save me. It was dreamlike.
My dad and I went for a walk around the block and talked. I don’t remember the details, only that he didn’t know the story behind who I was. I’d decided there must have been a reason for my parents abandoning me, so I wasn’t going to pursue that avenue. That’s how I quickly resolved this life-shattering moment.
Earlier on that day, I walked my older sister to the bus stop, after I’d asked my mum so we could talk. I’d asked her the same question after my mum said no and she told me it was the hardest thing she had to do, keeping that secret from me all my life. She knew that one day she would be the one to have to tell me. She shared her memories of when I first arrived. We’ve always had this connection that I don’t understand. Still, when she recalls her memories, she has this power to start lifting the blackness I mentioned previously from my mind. It’s so precious to me that I can’t thank her enough. Nothing in this world could ever repay that gift she has. While we were talking about being adopted, the nightmares suddenly made sense.
Since then, my aunt told me something else that no one has ever told me, nor have I been able to corroborate, yet it resonates with me. It’s this. My biological and adoptive fathers were friends at Makerere university around ’63. Fast-forwarding to when Idi Amin was in the seat of power in Uganda. My biological dad was a low-level government official. He wrote to his friend Dougal, telling him that he was in fear of his life, asking if he could look after me. Unknowingly, my aunt had never known either about my nightmares, unquestionably not the details. I’ve never shared this level of detail beyond saying “I had a nightmare. There was a stampede”. Plus, this information came from my dad.
I did wonder why he never told me. Firstly I think, it was perhaps a step too far in their mind (my parents) given the fact that my whole world had just shattered. But then shortly before he passed, we had a brief but incredibly powerful conversation which again resonates with me to this day. He asked me if I could come and help plant some potatoes. I said yes after my guard shift. Working for one of those companies where you do 12hr shifts, 4days immediately followed by 3nights, then several rest days, for a pittance in London. I couldn’t just appear at will or even after work. It was exhausting for me.
During and since the last conversation I had with him, I knew there was more behind it. To this day, I believe he was first going to tell me how sick he was. Next, reveal what he’d reluctantly held secret all my life touching what he knew. Ultimately, to look after my mother.
If it was my dad’s decision alone to decide what I should and shouldn’t have known, I’m confident it would’ve happened sooner. Discovering at 16 years old that they were not my biological parents was devastating. Perhaps I wouldn’t be in the position I am today, not knowing who I was, nor where I came from. If I did, there would be much fewer questions in my mind or even completely different ones.
I don’t blame my mum either. I understand why she felt the need to keep things from me. She used to lecture my sister and me about the sacrifices that they made for us as parents – and sometimes even cry – I never understood what she meant. Now I do. Having five of my children now, I really can’t compare my life, but do have a lot of empathy. She loved us with everything she had. Our parents continue to live through us. Memories keep them alive, and we hand them down to our children.
Back when my parents were dating, then subsequently married in the mid to late 1960s and even through the ’70s, being a couple who was black and white wasn’t easy. The Mau Mau rebellion was still in the forefront of public perception. They would be insulted – which hurt my mum most because she understood the language and the culture intimately, despite wholeheartedly supporting Kenyan independence. Her own life story is worthy of a book all by itself if you want to know and learn about strength, character, suffering, disadvantage, demons, family, injustice and overcoming all the odds – look no further than Miriam Blackburn. One of the granddaughters of Nabongo Mumia. Unsung heroine if ever I knew one. Not the entitled victims of today. Forget the wealthy millionaires, billionaires and people sitting in the high places. You’ll learn more of the same regular milk and soup stuff from them. This and that happened to me, and then I became a millionaire and for some billionaires. Without discrediting anyone’s story, it’s watered down rubbish I can’t stand, designed for public consumption and lining pockets. No meat on the bone. Things like; how to grow a social media following and all the other marketing bullshit and hype to lure you into parting with your money. Her story was raw, painful and real, yet she overcame.
I was supposed to write about the government, scientists, industries and all manner of questions regarding trust. The limitless number of coincidences that keep repeating and point you towards the trust issue, but it turned into a personal story – surrounding faith – who do you trust?
The point of it all was to take a step away from marketing techniques, pointing you towards click here for this and click there for that and just be me. I can’t understand how en masse, we have faith in the media, government, scientists, business leaders, or anyone who we think is an expert or in authority. Unlike my parents, they don’t have our interests at heart as their first and foremost goal. If they did, would there be so much inequality in pay (male/female/racial), conditions, access to basic human requirements like water, food, shelter, clothing? Would there be an event after event that further concentrates significant power and wealth into the hands of the few? At a time when the whole world has virtually come to a stand-still. Do you see a single authority figure with the power, influence and wealth taking this opportunity to change the world for the good of humankind? Do you see the wealthy emptying their storehouses? If I could speculate – there reports about 75% of the wealth of the world is concentrated into 5% of people.. and I’m making those figures up, because I think they’re conservative.
If Miriam was in the 5%, you can bet your life she’d be fixing and rebalancing the world. I see the most exceptional opportunity for the ‘masses’ to take back power from the likes of Dominic (shit stain) Cummings and the rest of the elitist vultures. Thieves like the Highway Rat. Doing the same old dirty deals behind closed doors for the benefit of their boys and girls clubs. Notwithstanding, where are the Pope and the likes of him? The Vatican bank? Are the vaults full of secrets? Allegedly, the Pope is god’s mouthpiece here on earth. Seems like (if it were true), god doesn’t know how to fix this or what to do. He’s certainly not using his power and influence over Kings, Queens, Heads of State and all the other big hitters in this world. So my question remains. Trust – who do you trust?
Can we talk about the recent legislation that’s passed unopposed? Who’s covered that in any detail coherently? Is anyone being held to account? If there’s any sanity left in your mind, you’d be floored. It’s devastating how much power they’ve inked themselves unchecked – the authorities that we ‘trust’. It’s not just the ruling party in question; it’s all of Parliament, the House of Commons, Lords and everyone involved in the creation writing and voting and passing of legislature. Where was her Majesty The Queen in all of this? Giving ascent undoubtedly. I mean it beggars belief that anyone in their right mind can talk about esteeming the government. To pitch these new “laws” as is if it was for our benefit is total, utter madness. It was another major event to grab even more power. It’s always the same strategy. Yet we still trust those who wield power over our lives.
Humanity has been subjected to the manipulation of circumstance, power, history, wealth, knowledge, thoughts for aeons. Has it got any better? Quite the opposite – they’ve got better at controlling us. Will they ease the reigns on us? Most definitely not. But get this, whatever solution comes from this unprecedented crises will be positioned for your benefit, not theirs, while they bend you over and… well you know the rest so that they get exactly what they want. They are the powers we put our faith in – who do you trust?
The point of this opinion piece is this. My parents made difficult decisions, which had severe consequences. They were made with significant personal pressures to consider. But they did it together and with one intent in mind. To protect me. That cannot be extended to a single entity, aka a governing authority. #takeyourpowerback The powers that do not have our best interests at heart. They never have, and they never will.
We are more than capable of organising ourselves and running all aspects of society for our mutual benefit than the elitist lunatics of whom their highest representative is in the form of Dominic Cummings.