The Intelek Domino Effect Associates (IDEAs) project - #1

Intelek Int'l By Intelek Int'l, 15th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2b--ryzu/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

First article in a series on the Intelek Domino Effect Associates (IDEAs) project, which celebrates the extraordinary, even "miracle making" power of friendship.

(First published on Allvoices.com on March 21, 2011)

What is "ordinary"?

Introduction


My life has been characterized by an extraordinary mix of pedestrian, extremely perilous and breathtakingly providential – one might even say miraculous - incidences and coincidences. Certainly, I can say without any fear of contradiction that I have led a spectacularly charmed yet simultaneously challenged existence.

And it seems that this has been the case from the very outset of my life – the minute I emerged from my mother’s womb.

My mother says that I almost did not survive my birth. She says this is because neither she, the midwife, doctor and/or whoever else was present when my brother Wayne and I were born, knew that I was coming.

They did not know that on that fateful day in November 1964, my mother would be delivering twins.

Imagine that! Oh, the perils of prehistoric medical technology! Well, at least in Barbados, in those days, the medical community seems not to have had the benefit of ultra sound machines.

Apparently, the staff at the island’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) only became aware of my existence – stuck somewhere along my mother’s birth canal, presumably – when they were wheeling mummy back to the ward she was staying in. At least, I think that’s how she tells the story.

So right from the start, I was in the thick of tests and triumphs: two new lives for the price of one, so to speak (and how proud my dear, now departed dad must have been), but one of those lives, mine, hanging by a string, as it were, precariously.

And what a string! No, not the umbilical cord: it was my “posturing” that caused my fate to be hanging in the balance just then.

Yes. Not only was I unexpected, I was argumentative from the beginning. You might say I came out standing on principle. Well, that’s a bit of an embellishment. The fact is, I was born foot foremost – a breeched baby, standing forth, as it were.

And so my birth predicted the strongly opinionated propensity and strident sense of independence that has characterized and continues to typify much of my existence.

I celebrate, these traits, to some extent, in my first collection of poems “Standing”, published in 1994. (Incidentally, that title was inspired by true events, which I recount here: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/7087979-an-open-letter-to-reverend-holmes-williams-part-1.)

Of course, the presence of my brother Wayne was another key, substantive as well as symbolic indicator of the trajectory of my life.

Indeed, you might say that Wayne was – and is – my counterbalance.

Our relationship certainly has taught me profound truths about interdependence – which is essentially what the principle of the “domino effect” is about.

And then there is the fact that I was born malnourished. I attribute my insatiable hunger for life and learning to that misfortune.

So all my life virtually, I have been navigating or negotiating crises and opportunities.

Now, you might say that this is the nature of life – a feature of every living thing’s experience. You might say, “So what’s the big deal, Junior Campbell? What makes your experience exceptional?”

So glad you asked.

The big deal is my discovery of perennial truths and principles that have served humanity extraordinarily well, all throughout history.

It is the capacity I have developed, through trial and error, fortuitous advantage (one might even say divine favour) and fierce adversity to believe in the achievement of that which seems impossible; to see (and in turn be) that better self which can be the common lot of all humanity.

The capacity for each of us to live our best lives, irrespective of what our social, physical, financial or other circumstances may be.

And this is why after learning that I had somehow developed a life-threatening cardiac condition in 2009, I could say to Norwich’s Future Radio announcer Tim MacWilliam and former business associate, Anne Francis (formerly of Bizfizz) in Norwich, that I would not let this cardiac condition intimidate me.

In an email to them I wrote “I'm keen to talk about this rather scary condition because I view it as just another challenge. I think I can safely say - without any sense of personal aggrandizement or exaggeration - that my life is a tribute to the triumph of the human spirit over some of the most extraordinary challenges imaginable!”

Indeed, even after one doctor told me that my heart’s rhythm was not only erratic, but that the bloody thing (my words, not his) seemed to stop beating occasionally, I was able, eventually – after a period of panic - to find the profound personal composure that now prepares me for whatever lays ahead of me.

I still occasionally have moments of doubt, moments of fear, panic or uncertainty. It is not easy living with the prospect of my heart pumping a clot into the arteries that take blood to my brain (and thus causing me to have a stroke) or otherwise failing me.

Just a few nights ago, as I was driving home from a shift with Domino’s Pizza, a sharp pain in my chest caused me to change course and start beating a trail to the local accident and emergency department of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

After some deliberation with my soul I decided not to go – partly because I was fatigued and thought the best thing I could do for myself was get some sleep.

I had already “wasted” almost an entire day at that A and E about a year before, when a similar chest pain panicked me.

At that time, the doctors said it was probably just a case of indigestion. So this time I told myself that is all it might be.

However, the sharpness of the pain was worrying and I went to bed that night mindful that I was taking my life into my own hands, and praying that my sleep would go as planned – that is, be temporary.

As the existence of this article attests, my faith that I would awake to see my wife and children the next day was vindicated.

Yet it seems to be the nature of faith – at least in my experience – to require fresh proof of its effectiveness perpetually. Like a muscle of the mind, faith seems to need a perpetual “work-out”, if it is to avoid atrophy.

I sometimes chide myself for doubting or panicking at all, after all the miracles I have seen. One miracle, in which I had a hand, so to speak, is particularly pertinent here and I will share that before this introduction to my “Intelek domino effect” blog is complete.

First though a bit about my stint with Domino’s as I owe some credit for this blog to the challenge that working for that company persistently puts before me: the challenge of believing in myself; the challenge of seeing crises – like being in a job which is not the most financially or psychologically rewarding – as opportunities.

Put differently, nothing can demoralize a person like working for a minimum wage!

Of course, the suffering of persons who feel that they are underpaid or underemployed pales in comparison to the recently publicized physical plight of 49-year-old Mwanahamisi Mruke, the victim in Britain’s historic first modern slavery conviction.

However, I think it would be reckless to dismiss the similarities – dare I say possible equivalence – between the emotional or psychosocial suffering of such persons and Ms Mruke.

In other words, the right to dignified working conditions can be violated just as easily by an employer who acts legally, I think, as one who acts illegally.

I’ll return to Ms Mruke’s story at some point, eventually. I am particularly looking forward to treating the racial and gender relation issues it raises forensically.

For now though, back to that miracle I mentioned above.

It concerns someone I know personally who has apparently been healed of full-blown AIDS.

Knowledge of the miraculous healing that he has experienced strengthens my own capacity to believe that my heart condition can also be healed.

That individual – whose true identity will have to remain anonymous, for now – had actually been released from Barbados’ QEH after insisting that he be allowed to die at home. He was that far gone. No one - including himself - expected him to live.

When I visited Steven’s (not his real name) home, he was little more than a skeleton. I can never forget the spectre, as I entered his house, of seeing the gravely depleted, shrunken frame of that once active, athletic, well nourished farmer rise slowly above the back of the couch he was lying on.

It was surreal. His eyes were sunken in their sockets and, if I remember correctly, there was a pale, pink-white hue to this black man’s forehead, as his skull pressed against the thin tissue of skin he had so far managed to retain.

You would not believe it if you saw him today, I expect. I last saw him in 2007, when I visited the island. He was fit as a fiddle - and characteristically feisty!

Steven’s story (which I hope to have published next year) is one of the most powerful manifestations of what one might call authentic “friendship selling” there could ever be.

This is what the “Intelek domino effect” is about and I look forward to sharing bits of that story here with readers in the days weeks and months ahead.

(For article #2 in this series, and the story of Steven's amazing miracle, follow this link: http://www.wikinut.com/calling-out-richard-dawkins%3a-the-intelek-domino-effect-associates-ideas-project-%232/62pgkbob/b3892l5c/

Tags

Ideas Project, Intelek Domino Effect Associates, Intelek International, Junior Campbell

Meet the author

author avatar Intelek Int'l
"I think therefore I jam"
I'm a holistic communication and education specialist, trading as Intelek International (www.intelek.net).
I write about spirituality, science, philosophy, politics, love.

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