My most important belief is that so long as you try, and keep going, and be a good person, and put a lot of energy into the universe, good things will come back to you. What you put into the universe you get back.
My mother always says, essentially, what you want, you’ll get, if you work hard towards it. So I do that a lot if I need something. So for a moment, I was broke and homeless, but now I’m just broke so it’s like…I’m getting somewhere [with a broad smile].
I kept writing in my diary, “get somewhere to live, get somewhere to live”. I kept writing it in my diary and then eventually I got it. Then I was like, “get a bike, get a bike, get a bike”. And now I need a thousand pounds and I’m just like “get a thousand pounds” and I feel like at some point it’ll come. So it’s like, you put something out in the universe, and you work for it, and it comes.
I have plans. Bigger plans for my life and how I want to change the world and I just think: that’s how I’ll do it. I may be broke. I may be homeless. But so long as I don’t die, it’ll come. That’s how I got into this university – not that they’ve done anything for me since I got here.
My mum never really pushed any sort of belief on me but she’ll say things in passing. And she’d say it as if it as the way it was. So she always has this idea of staying positive. And she says I’m really negative all the time but…sometimes when you are broke and homeless, what else can you be? So I go through phases where I’m like “oh my gosh my life is falling apart”, and others where it’s like, “it’s gunna be fine!” So my mum’ll say things like, “don’t say things that are devastating because if you put it into the universe, you’ve essentially caused it.”
I guess this has deep roots in a cultural sense, but I don’t know. Like we don’t really talk about it. So witchcraft for example. A lot of my family are Jamaican. And I know there’s a lot of witchcraft in Jamaica. And I’ve never really seen about it or heard about it but I figure there are elements of it in people’s attitudes. Or Islam. A lot of my family are Muslim and they pray when something happens. And I guess that’s like asking an entity for something. Putting it out to that entity and hoping it comes true. So I guess those traditions might linger. I think if you family or your culture have lived through something for such a long time, then even if they shake it off…well how can they shake it off completely? It’ll still be in the foundations of your being.
I guess if there is a philosophy I live by, I’m a firm believer in, well I made this up – it’s on my twitter bio – but it’s “Rob this Europe”. It means basically, “take what you can from this continent that doesn’t really care about you”. Nothing in the system is built for me. Nothing’s for me. So when you can, take what you can. A lot of the things built in the UK are built of the economic power of my people. It’s wealth that’s been generated from the labour of my people. So in a sense it’s like, “take what you can; it’s already yours”. So I have this philosophy of, “work as hard as you can, take what you can and redistribute wealth to other people like me”. So I’m not just working for me; I’m working for everyone.
A lot of revolutionaries have had the same idea. So the Black Panthers didn’t just fight for themselves; they fought for the liberation of all people around the world. They were against Vietnam; they were against the invasion of Korea. They fought for everybody.
If there were something that contradicted what I believe, I guess it’s that I can be quite rude to people. A lot of the kids around me are very wealthy and they have no clue what it’s like to live off like €10 a week. And I get so angry. And I’m like, “you live such a good life, you have so much wealth, you can’t even share it. You don’t even think about sharing it”. I feel like people look down on me a little bit, as if to say, “you have nothing”. Now, of course, it’s not obvious because I’m dressed clean, I have new-looking clothes. But they know I’m not eating as well as they are. But I don’t want to be angry. I don’t want to be rude. Because what you put into the universe, you get back.