Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 22nd 2017 Contents Dear Janelle,
My relatives think I am the most ungrate-
ful person on the face of this earth because
my granny left me a house and I want to
sell it. What they don't know is that she
sexually abused me from the age of seven
until the day she died. I am twenty-one
years old now and she died when I was 18
so you could just imagine how long I have
had to go through this.
I never said anything because she was
highly respected in our village and church
and apart from that boys are not really abused
by ladies so I didn't want to look stupid. My
granny insisted that I attend church and
made sure that I had the best but the flip
side of that is that she would force me to
perform acts on her that I try daily to per-
manently erase from my memory. Although
we had four bedrooms she made me sleep
in her bed and my family thought that we
were just close. How it is that no one in my
family realised that was not normal? I never
told anyone about this and I don't think I
could because my family is not the type to
believe me anyway.
I cannot live in that house because the
memories haunt me but obviously, my fam-
ily just think I am young and dumb or prob-
ably hungry for money.
Even people in the village have been tell-
ing me that my grandmother would roll in
her grave if she knew that I wanted to sell
what she worked hard to build.
I cannot tell my family but I cannot live
there either. What should I do? I am between
a rock and a hard place.
Thank you for being brave enough to share
your story. Contrary to what you might
believe boys are to a large extent victims of
sexual abuse at the hands of females. I hope
your letter inspires someone in a similar
situation to seek help.
Even though you are not ready to share
this information with your relatives I strong-
ly believe that it would be in your best inter-
est to seek to counsel. I can sense the pain
and anger in your words. Go to a profes-
sional who can help you start the healing
process since verbalising feelings can have a
therapeutic effect on the brain.
Instead of selling the property and caus-
ing a rift in your family perhaps you can
rent the building to be utilised as a place
where abused children can find solace. Either
as a place where they can live or an activ-
ities centre where they can receive counsel-
ling and interact in a safe environment. That
way you can use your devastating past to
assist someone else as well as appease your
relatives at the same time.
Additionally, you can use the money that
you receive from the rental to educate your-
self or even travel.
Whatever decision you make you have to
do what seems right for you. I wish you all
Editor's note: To share your personal
issues with Janelle write to her at
tobagotoday.co.tt February 22 - 2017
...MY GRANNY: MY LOVER
Zuckerberg's goal: Remake a world Facebook helped create
NEW YORK---Mark Zuckerberg helped create the mod-
ern world by connecting nearly a quarter of its citizens
to Facebook and giving them a platform to share, well,
everything - baby pictures and Pepe memes, social updates
and abusive bullying, helpful how-to videos and live-
Now he wants to remake it, too, in a way that counters
isolationism, promotes global connections and addresses
social ills - while also cementing Facebook's central role
as a builder of online "community" for its nearly 2 billion
The Facebook founder laid out his thoughts on Thursday
in a sweeping 5,800-word manifesto that hews closer to
utopian social guide than business plan. Are we, he asked
in the document, "building the world we all want?"
In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Zuck-
erberg stressed that he wasn't motivated by the recent U.S.
election or any other particular event. Rather, he said, it's
the growing sentiment in many parts of the world that
"connecting the world" - the founding idea behind Facebook
- is no longer a good thing.
"Across the world there are people left behind by glo-
balization, and movements for withdrawing from global
connection," Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook in a Har-
vard dorm room in 2004, wrote on Thursday. So it falls to
his company to "develop the social infrastructure to give
people the power to build a global community that works
for all of us."
CONNECTING IN FACEBOOK'S INTEREST
Zuckerberg, 32, told the AP that he still strongly believes
that more connectedness is the right direction for the world.
But, he added, it's "not enough if it's good for some peo-
ple but it's doesn't work for other people. We really have
to bring everyone along."
It's hardly a surprise that Zuckerberg wants to find ways
to bring more people together, especially on Facebook. After
all, getting more people to come together on the social
network more frequently would give Facebook more oppor-
tunities to sell the ads that generate most of its revenue,
which totaled $27 billion last year. And bringing in more
money probably would boost Facebook's stock price to
make Zuckerberg - already worth an estimated $56 billion
- even richer.
And while the idea of unifying the world is laudable,
some critics - backed by various studies - contend that
Facebook makes some people feel lonelier and more iso-
lated as they scroll through the mostly ebullient posts and
photos shared on the social network. Facebook's famous
"like" button also makes it easy to engage in a form of
"one-click" communication that can displace meaningful
Facebook also has been lambasted as a polarizing force
by circulating posts espousing similar viewpoints and
interests among like-minded people, creating an "echo
chamber" that can harden opinions and widen political and
Today, most of Facebook's 1.86 billion members - about
85 percent - live outside of the U.S. and Canada. The Menlo
Park, California-based company has offices everywhere
from Amsterdam to Jakarta, Indonesia, to Tel Aviv, Israel.
(It is banned in China, the world's most populous country,
though some people get around the ban.) Naturally, Zuck-
erberg takes a global view of Facebook and sees potential
that goes beyond borders, cities and nations.
Equally naturally, he sees the social network stepping up
as more traditional cultural ties fray. People already use
Facebook to connect with strangers who have the same
rare disease, to post political diatribes, to share news links
(and sometimes fake news links ). Facebook has also pushed
its users to register to vote, to donate to causes, to mark
themselves safe after natural disasters, and to "go live ."
For many, it's become a utility. Some 1.23 billion people
use it daily.
"Our next focus will be developing the social infrastruc-
ture for community - for supporting us, for keeping us
safe, for informing us, for civic engagement, and for inclu-
sion of all," he wrote.
Zuckerberg has gotten Facebook to this position of glob-
al dominance - one that Myspace and Twitter, for instance,
never even approached - partly thanks to his audacious,
long-term view of the company and its place in the world.
Last fall, Zuckerberg and his wife, the doctor Priscilla
Chan, unveiled the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a long-term
effort aimed at eradicating all disease by the end of this
century. Then, as now, Zuckerberg preferred to look far
down the road to the potential of scientific and techno-
logical innovations that have not been perfected, or even
That includes artificial intelligence, which in this case
means software that's capable of "thinking" enough like
humans to start making the sorts of judgments that Face-
book sometimes bobbles. Last September, for instance, the
service briefly barred the famous Vietnam War-era photo-
graph dubbed "Napalm Girl" because it featured a nude
child, and only reversed its decision after users - including
the prime minister of Norway - protested.
AI systems could also comb through the vast amount of
material users post on Facebook to detect everything from bul-
lying to the early signs of suicidal thinking to extremist recruit-
ing. AI, Zuckerberg wrote, could "understand more quickly and
accurately what is happening across our community."
Speaking to the AP, Zuckerberg said he understands that
we might not "solve all the issues that we want" in the
"One of my favorite quotes is this Bill Gates quote, that
'people overestimate what they can get done in two years
and underestimate what they can get done in 10 years.'
And that's an important mindset that I hope more people
take today," he said. (AP)
Not actual photo of person
mentioned in the story.
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