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Sunday, March 26, 2023

It takes impeccable devotion to be successful in life

By Ardain IsmaCSMS Magazine Staff WriterI grew up in a land where taking risk, great risk, was a daily routine. Whether it was squeezing between passengers in the middle of an overcrowded bus, or getting on a boat to escape poverty in the hope of reaching the Promise Land—even if the Promise Land is more than a thousand miles away—no one seemed to be dreaded by the imminent danger that always loomed ahead. Up until I was eleven, I lived in a small dusty, coastal town on Haiti’s northern shorelines. Unlike most Haiti’s small, dusty towns with their usually depressing aura, this one was a booming town, comparable only to the old dusty booming towns from the wild Wild West.                Located on a strategic position, across the straight of Tortuga Island, the town was an ideal sanctuary, a passage point, a Haitian Silk Road transplanted from Central Asia to be used as a bridge to riches. No wonder the French Buccaneers, more than 600 years ago, used it as staging area in their fight against other sea pirates, and later fell in love with it to the point they called itSaint Louis Du Nord after the name of the French king.            In modern time, Saint Louis has never changed. It is still a frontier town to some who came from other places of Haiti to settle there. To others, it is a gateway to North Caribbean on their way to either the Tucks and Caicos Islands or the Bahamas or even Florida.                 Success always comes at a price. While thousands died in those perilous trips, others have succeeded after overcoming shark infested waters on rickety vessels to reach foreign soil. Thanks to them, we can now enjoy delicious Haitian cuisine in Miami, fancy Haitian arts and the sweet Konpa music—the Caribbean best—throughout North America.            But in Saint Louis, not everyone had always been willing to make risky trips to riches. Lots of people did it the conventional way. They used whatever means at their disposal to create a decent life for themselves. They went to school to later become important citizens. They have become great farmers, artisans, shopkeepers etc…Despite the gigantic odds they had to face, living in a country where there is no social safety net for deprived citizens and where the government is run by kleptomanias, they managed to reach destination. How did they beat the odds? They only had one recipe: an unbroken devotion.Their story is the mirror reflection of countless of other stories of those who have beaten the odds to achieve success. Behind every success story, there are countless of mishaps, for the road to success has many obstacles. There are times the future looks bleak, and one is forced to retreat to his past, his wisdom and his social virtues to create a spot of his own.            I used to accompany my wife in her social work visits in poor neighborhoods around town. It was always painstaking to see first hand the deplorable conditions so many of our fellow citizens were and are still living. The hungry faces of little children abandoned by their parents and reduced to live in foster homes, single mothers left to survive on government subsidies, the dilapidating housing projects, the drive-by-shootings and other violent crimes, the raw exploitation, the prostitution, all this renders the road from misery to poverty all the more remote. “I feel like I’m navigating down a dead-end road. I wake up every day questioning the reasons for my existence,” a young single mother confirmed to my wife in one her visits on a rainy Saturday morning. Her eyes turned moist and red as she sat across a wooden table covered by a flowery tablecloth while spoon-feeding her three-month-old boy.            “Where is the baby father?” my wife asked, throwing a suppressed grin.            “I don’t know. We brook up since I was three months pregnant. But I’m not worried about him. I already know he’s not coming back, and I’m a at peace with the fact if there’s gonna be a positive change in my life, it’s gonna be ME and only me to make it happen,” she replied with a timid smile and a tempered hopelessness.            But her story did not stop there. With counseling, guided therapy and a genuine devotion to live behind her shaky existence, the young woman was able to go back to school and graduate. She is now Operation Manager at a social agency in Northern Broward County, Florida and a social activist committed to helping other single and battered women in her section of town.            Many of us have deep-seated goals that seem impossible to realize because of a lack of vision and a fired-up determination. We become rotted in our uncomfortable “comfort zone.” Our feeling of worthless makes us envious at others’ success. If that is happening to you, maybe it is time to go back to drawing board. There is always light at the end of adversity.Poverty is a circumstance; it is not a disease. And, certainly, it is not who you are. Inside every one of us, there is sleeping genius. Do not let the unacceptable complacency keep you from waking it up to help you finish the gut-wrenching novel that you started two years ago. Do not let procrastination hold you hostage in a cage of slack-offish prisoners like you. Go back to college, for knowledge is power. Those who know always lead. It is time to start the business venture that you have been planning for some time. Do not let fear pin you down. Only those who have never taken any risk can claim to have never made any mistake. Be positive. Be strong. Be relentless. Be undeterred. Stay the course until devotion prevails.                              NoteDr. Ardain Isma is the chief editor of CSMS Magazine. He is also a novelist and a Social Studies professor at Nova Southeastern University, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida.His latest novel A Mother Lost can be purchased any where. Also see Haiti plunges into chaosand Russia and China in a strategic alliance to counter NATO’s global ambitionsand Cheating on the New Year’s resolutions already?and also Writing love can shake soul

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