We have our nation to reclaim
As we celebrate our nation's Independence, the refrain of a calypso sung 25 years ago echoes in my mind: "25 years have gone….how yuh feel?" A quarter of a century has passed since then and I ask myself, "50 years have gone….how yuh feel?"
Well, I feel betrayed by the six of one and half a dozen of the other politicians, who engage in the same behaviour they cried down when it came from their predecessors. The political landscape is now a battle for the "Who Could Have the Most Media Briefings" Award, while the cries of their constituents go unheeded.
I feel ashamed that despite the billions of dollars that pass through sweet T&T, we still battle with basic issues such as having efficient garbage collection, proper drainage, paved roads (we have a pitch lake!), reliable water supply and effective disaster preparedness to name a few.
I feel baffled that it is easier to access housing by going to the media than by following due process, which can take up to 45 years.
I feel fearful for our future, as we facilitate citizens who rely on the Government for everything while giving nothing and thriving on the labour of others. We are also breeding a generation of impertinent, spiritually deficient, "no corporal punishment" children, who are devoid of national pride and unaware of songs like "God Bless Our Nation", "A Nation's Dawning", who cannot recite the National Pledge or say who wrote our National Anthem – and we wonder where the bandits come from!
I feel sad that a country that is so profoundly blessed has still to conquer the underlying divisiveness that impedes the achievement of the very progress that we so boldly proclaim!
Shining through this negativity, however, are beacons who embody what we aspire to be. Those who put their shoulders to the wheel and reclaim for good, bit by bit, those parts of our country that have slipped away – hard work, good values, being your brother's keeper.
I still feel hopeful that, as we prepare to embark on the journey of another 50 years, we will each reflect, re-focus and re-commit to contributing to the collective effort of building our nation.
I close with the strains of a calypso by Stalin: " Our country facing its darkest hour…but we could make it if we try. Just a little harder!!"
Happy 50th Independence my sweet T&T!