Signs, everywhere, signs

Published 3:23 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Riding in Northern Chesterfield County, with the top down on my yellow Volkswagen Beetle, I suddenly spotted the sign that I had asked for from the universe earlier that morning. My mouth literally dropped, as my eyes saw fell upon a bold, blue van, with bright yellow letters that read, “Signs!”

Wow! It was an aha moment. I always pray for guidance on what to write so that it is “Positively Inspired.” I am now heeding to that sign as I pen this article.

In 1970, “Five Man Electric Band,” a rock and roll group, wrote a hit protest song called “Signs.”  The lyrics talked about how we are bombarded with different types of signs daily, which tell us how to lead our lives. Signs display indicators and warnings.

They advertise products or services. Buy this, be this, do this or you will pay the price for not obeying, especially highway signs.

There are signs that spring is on its way: blooming yellow daffodils, or birds chirping in the tree by your window. Then there are vital signs, which are used by health professionals as indicators of your physical condition: heart rate, temperature, BP. Other signs like “no smoking” in the women’s/men’s’ restrooms, or no trespassing is displayed in colors, like red or orange.

Some of the signs in the past were hateful, racist and shaming: “Colored Only” or “White Only.”  Presently, in Harrison, Ark., there are a number of negative, racist billboard signs that supposedly were put up by the KKK to oppress the black community in that town. Different types of signs continuously play a vital role in influencing on how we choose to live.

There are 127 signs on my route from Saxe to Chase City. I decided to see which ones were inspirable and applicable to my life. I have chosen three that if I follow, it will lead me to having a serene and peaceful day.

First, “Stay in Your Lane”: Mind my own business, do not give advice on how anyone is to live their life nor participate in gossip that puts down another human being. Some will justify or rationalize what they are saying by stating, “I am telling you for your own good” or they use guilt and shame as an attempt to control you and the conversation.

Second, “STOP”: Listen from your heart to what the other person is saying and allow them to speak. Often, we do not hear what the person is saying because we either interrupt them or we have to have the last word.

Third, “Detour/Road Under Construction”: Oftentimes, life does not go the way we planned, so we try another direction. I tell myself, life is an adventure and a process. I am not perfect, and I show myself love and compassion and keep on keeping on. I choose to let go and trust in God.

We need signs to show us the way because on our own, we tend to lose our way. Whether we are driving our car, or swimming in the ocean of life, heeding the inner and outer warnings can determine the quality of our lives. So, the next time you see a sign, listen to what it is conveying to you.

Maybe at a deeper level, it is good advice on a problem that you are facing or an issue that you desire to resolve. Who knows! You just might be “Positively Inspired” by signs.

Yemaja Jubilee is a Charlotte County native and a poet, author, playwright and inspirational speaker. She is also the co-founding artistic director of Cultural Libations & co-producer of “Black Wall Street-The Money, The Music & The People.” She can be contacted at