Monday, January 22, 2018

We the people spoke loud and clear


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I read somewhere, something to the effect that, "We have not begun to live if we have not found that one thing for which we are willing to die."

Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, thank you.

For having the courage and the strength of conviction to stand up, to speak out, to act and to prevail for what you believe in, even in the face of personal peril!

Your (Highway Re-Route Movement) stance on the construction of the Debe to Mon Desir portion of the Hochoy Highway has heralded an awakening of a new consciousness in this nation's psyche, whether we choose to admit it or not, and it has demonstrated to us that our voice as a people—collectively or individually, can be as resonant and as impacting as any.

Some were recorded as saying that you do not live in the Debe to Mon Desir area and therefore did not qualify to speak, let alone stand in opposition to the issue. All the more reason why you came over as being credible, at least to me, on the matter—you were not in the least motivated by any direct personal interest but rather, by a bigger picture—the impact on the environment a larger concern and one that is gaining in prominence and occupying attention at global roundtable dialogue sessions.

To those detractors, I say ponder on this for a moment. If someone… anyone had protested, either by blazing inferno or silent hunger strike when indiscriminate, perhaps illegal, denuding of the Northern Range as well as uncontrolled, impractical land development were being perpetrated, many who occupy the hillsides, foothills and plains would today perhaps not be perennially faced with the effects of unprecedented flooding and other preventable human-induced disasters which are then so hastily ascribed to "Mother Nature."

Blame somebody, I guess… anybody… just don't accept responsibility!

I feel privileged to live in a time and in a nation in which we have the freedom to register our approval or disapproval, content or discontent, satisfaction or disenchantment regarding matters which we believe are important to us as citizens.

We often witness the citizenry exercising that right through the ballot, through public marches, through industrial action and other such activities. In the recent past that right has also been seized through the mounting of fiery protests which, in effect, serve to make other innocent citizens the de facto target of inconvenience when they become marooned on the wrong side of the bonfire and their destinations.

Alarmingly too, depending on which community the fires of discontent are ignited in, there could even be the likelihood of threat against the personal safety of those caught in the middle. It is unfortunate that anyone should have to resign themselves to the notion that it is his only recourse perhaps because of uncaring leaders or insensitive and unyielding employers. Nevertheless, the right to object is an integral pillar of any democracy.

In this our 50th year as an independent nation, it is fitting that something such as your initiative and resolve should be manifested. It is indeed a signal to us all that we are coming of age. The world took note, then...those in our midst…

Dr Kublalsingh, I am grateful for the fire that was ignited within your simple frame blazed into the international arena and thawed the local consciousness. Long live democracy!

I pray, Dr Kublalsingh, for your continued improved health and well-being. God Bless you and your family and God bless our nation!

Debra J Johnson

via e-mail