Happy Independence, T&T
A year after attaining the half-century milestone, Trinidad and Tobago celebrates another anniversary today, when there will be widely varying views on the state of the nation.
Twelve months on, the People’s Partnership Government is two weeks away from another Cabinet reshuffle and four months past losing a frontline minister, which, depending on who you speak to, was the best or worst thing to happen to the ruling coalition.
So there are different perceptions of the status of Trinidad and Tobago on the 51st anniversary of its Independence--some good, some bad, and others proclaiming that we are one step away from unmitigated disaster.
The naysayers aside, and without delving too deep into national politics, there are actually some things worth cheering about on this special occasion.
For despite the slings and arrows cast in the recent Chaguanas West by-election campaign, when there were racial undertones raised by desperate speakers on both platforms, the majority of John and Jane Public of T&T go about their daily business without any hint of a racist thought.
And after 51 years, especially when we look around at the strife in other countries, we should be proud of our continued tolerance, although discipline and production may be sadly lacking in many quarters.
Yes, observing the law, or rather the lack of it amongst our citizens, is an increasing worry which has the older and wiser heads among us—having grown up under strict measures laid down by their parents, teachers and employers--fearing the worst.
That leads onto the Police Service, which is charged with upholding the law of the land and seeking out the lawbreakers, but which has been coming up short on both fronts.
In recent times, the Government and Opposition have been collaborating on ways to deal with rampant crime and we can only hope they will both put aside the posturing and semantics and co-operate for the benefit of the country, especially with the children in mind.
We all know we really need something positive to be brought to the table in the never-ending fight against crime.
Speaking of positives, over the last 12 months, outstanding citizens have filled our hearts with joy, athlete Jehue Gordon being the most prominent.
This determined young man cleared all the hurdles put in his path to win a gold medal at the 2013 World Track & Field Championships and is a brilliant example to every one of his compatriots who seek to overcome the various setbacks that life throws their way.
And there are other exemplars like George Bovell III, who continues to represent T&T with great honour and pride around the globe and is a positive role model and inspiration.
So it is not all doom and gloom, and while there are very serious matters to be dealt with, nobody ever achieved anything by dropping their hands and throwing in the towel.
With unity and commitment, we should continue to press on, all striving for a better Trinidad and Tobago.