At this point in time, Barbados is a failing society and the Caribbean, for the most part, is in the same sling.
Long before the 2008 economic recession we were failing. The failure about which I speak is not economic but philosophical. The poverty, ignorance, xenophobia, schizophrenia and unwillingness to change that we experience today are products of a cataclysm of thought. Long before we can earnestly discuss building cultural industries, talent based markets or rebuilding the education system, we must establish our purpose here on this earth and in the universe.
Most of us get up in the morning, speak with our loved ones for less than an hour, go to work or school, come home, speak for a little time and then go to bed to begin the same cycle the next day. What kind of life is that? We are living robotic lives, going out to get an education or “make” money yet we have no purpose for doing this. We need to take a pause and think! Why are we so concerned with earning money and building an economy? There must be some goal or ideal we wish to achieve, although, how we wish to achieve it is fully debatable but should lead to a consensus about that goal we wish to reach.
It is senseless, living a life where we work hard and cannot enjoy our families because we are too involved in our labour. Wouldn’t it be better to have a fully participatory society where we have meaningful conversations about our futures? Neighbours not knowing each other. Sisters and brother squabbling over land. Men killing women and women “horning” (cheating on) men to create strife. These things need to stop!
Today we face challenges not problems. We are challenged to open our mouths and speak out against injustices and wrong we see around us. Waste not the time in your hands. Put it to good use. Get out there and talk real! You can make a difference in so many ways.
Christmas Day of all days, in the early morning trek to Church, I saw a lady on the opposite side of the road standing at the bus stop. The rain was pelting. White rain it was yes and as she stood swallowed by Heaven’s tears cars passed her; not even slowing down to avoid splashing her. They splashed her dressed in her best attire. Yes, on Christmas Day ! Before I am accused of talking but not doing I made my way to my destination and turned around and asked if she would like a ride. She only asked to be carried to a bus stop with shelter but I carried her to her Church.
This lady, a nurse; a healer of our nation, was ill-treated by her fellow people, presumably Christians since this country’s people claim Christianity to be their creed. For all we know she probably has taken care of us when we were sick or even a family member when an emergency arose and this is how we treat her? However, it should not take knowing someone’s occupation to treat him or her with respect.
It is amazing how the people of this country purport to be mainly of some religious persuasion yet they do the most unloving things. Actually, it is not so amazing. The Church is the people and The Church is for sinners. Hand and glove really. Can you really expect them to refrain from showing a proclivity towards sin? Probably not, but it must be noted that good and evil, being the same in spectrum, are only divided by degree. The higher the degree the more good you do. Why is good placed over evil instead of under it? It is easier to sin by silence than to fight the good fight. It was easier to splash the lady on the road than slow down or give her a ride.
“ To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. “ – Ella Wheeler Cox
Every time you complain about how your society is so individualistic, how people are fake, the “disgusting” men who eye you down or the cost of living: remember you are to blame! When you see wrong and do nothing about it you bring it back to yourself in some way. There is no sympathy for you if you prefer to let another person fight your battles; bleeding his and your blood while you sit at home, cheering if your champion wins and laughing if he loses. Remember, it was silence that facilitated the Crucifixion of Jesus The Christ. However, it was action that brought about the defeat of France and freed Haiti.
You, the person who prefers to cower at home instead of rising to the challenge, may be call by some as a waste of space or even a wasted zygote but you are most certainly not! Not everyone will rise to the challenge but for those who do: your cowardice shall fuel them to move forward. For those who want to rise just rise. Stand! Be counted. Those who want to hide? Well, keep hiding. We’ll just throw you in the fire with the rest of the fuel.