Sat | Jan 28, 2023

Book Review: From lyrics to life messages

Published:Sunday | May 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Bunny Wailer

Title: My Life I Make

Revisited, Spiritual Reflections on Reggae Lyrics

Written by: Lauris Faith

Reviewed by: Alfred Sangster

This little book is an update of an earlier publication. The book, handy for pocket or purse, is full of wise advice and carefully crafted elaborations taken from the songs of many of the artistes who have made reggae music a worldwide phenomenon.

The book is a collection of 65 thought-provoking inspirational pieces, each inspired by a line from reggae lyrics. They are based on the philosophy that each of us is responsible for the choices we make in life. The items are periodically interspersed with small and delightful prints of Jamaican scenes by artist Paul Blackwood.

There were a number of important principles that guided the author and which are evident in the writing.

It is unwise to worry over things that we have no way of changing. It is important to recognise the things that can help to make us better people

We take our chances in life and have to live with the results of the decisions that we take. Life owes us nothing. It's up to us to make the best we can with whatever gifts or trials life puts in our path. We need to be grateful for whatever we have.

A few examples illustrate how the author develops the ideas in the book. Each one has an initial highlighted line followed by commentary (selected) and ending with an action thought.

"I want to disturb my neighbour." Bad card, Bob Marley

The decision to disturb one's neighbour is not usually viewed as a positive act, especially from the neighbour's point of view. We could also think of a disturbance as a wake-up call to view our lives and those of our neighbours from a different perspective. If you can disturb your neighbour into thinking like you in positive terms then that's giving a whole new meaning to the word disturb.

"Cause since I've seen the light ..." Quit Trying, Bunny Wailer

With light comes hope that its brightness will illuminate all the dark crevasses of our life and drive away the dark forces that threaten our hopes for the future. Do you think you would appreciate the benefits of light as much, if there were no darkness? Shine light on your darkness.

"So, the harder the battle, you see, the sweeter the victory." You Can Get it if You Really Want, Jimmy Cliff

Given the choice, most of us would prefer a life free from discord. Whether we like it or not, no one can go through life without some sort of confrontation or difference of opinion. You need to believe in some power higher than yourself and be prepared to be a soldier in any army that defends the basic rule of a good life: treat others in the way you would like to be treated. With this kind of commitment, you would be helping to make the world a better place.

This little book will make a good gift for friends and loved ones and will brighten special occasions. It will no doubt be an inspiration to those who take the advice to heart.