Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Home Editorial Guest Editorial - THE SHIFT - It’s time to change your mind!

Guest Editorial – THE SHIFT – It’s time to change your mind!

SELF-ADVOCACY

We begin this article by asking this question, to which we would like our readers to contemplate before proceeding. It may also be helpful to write your response and see how you feel about it later.

Why as a people, do we Grenadians lack the skill of self-advocacy to represent our desires, interests, disappointments and well-being? We complain to each other, throw words here and there about our discontentment with government, education, salaries, land use and other issues, yet never step up, step out and take ownership for changing the experience. Of course, elections come around and we duplicate our previous choices, expecting different results.

We understand that history hasn’t always played its pawns in our favour. After all, we know now that colonialism imposed ownership, power and religion on our people to extract resources and expand political and economic power. We were obliged to submit to aristocracy and bow to those with “better” economic and academic opportunities, while religion told us to keep quiet and just pray. But we’ve been independent for 47 years, so why are we still there? Maybe its time to step up and become the change you want to see? What inhibits your ability to cough up the lump in your throat and confront the issues that are confronting you? 

One can say that as a people, we have been robbed of Fedon’s courage, Marryshow’s determination, Gairy’s imagination and Bishop’s tenacity – all needed to create a thriving, prosperous civilization here? But who robbed us? Did a ‘ligaru’ (EVIL SPIRIT) enter in the night and suck the soul out of us? No! It’s probably we who gave it up! We most likely gave it up for promises not honoured. We gave up our souls for glistening droplets which vanished in the sun. As young people we were told “Know your place.” So we chose to be seen and not heard. Now we have become invisible and now we have also grown blind to a lot of things.

COVID-19 can be seen as a gift for which we all should be thankful! It has ripped the cataracts from our eyes, uncovered our pretenses and shoved our noses in our own stink (hope this terminology does not offend). What is seen by some as the dilapidation of this country revealed in the blunt undermining of our citizenship, the erosion of the dignity of working men and women, who, after vigorous labour still struggle to move their families forward out of poverty; the dragging feet of our elderly who still struggle under the burden of their own provision after building us a nation, should offend and insult all of us as a people to the point where we take a stand to stop falling for broken promises. Our refusal to engage front and center is mocked and pushes us into preoccupancy with survival. A skill that is now no match for the coronavirus pandemic economy. 

So what do you propose now? Do we take one final breath and succumb to the stomping of our hope into the grave of despondency? No! We have to shift before lethargy sets in and passivity, indifference, ignorance and self-absorbance echo our obituaries. Reject a new whiff of the old air, the old way, the old players disguising a new game. All of us deserve to hope, to thrive, to breathe again, so speak up! It’s simple biology, as long as you are speaking you are breathing. Speak up, so that our senior citizens could still dream dreams and our youth can still realize their visions. 

Begin right where you are by asking yourself the hard questions: What do I want my life to look like next year? If I could change one element of my life today, what would it be? What and who would I need to create immediate improvements to my family’s quality of life, health and future endeavours? What can I give to my community? What obstacles stand in the way of my progress? What opportunities are available that I can exploit? How do I contribute to the big picture development of my country? What is the legacy I want to leave behind? Take the first steps by seeking information, resources and support. 

We have a good land which keeps giving us bountiful harvests. We have a heritage of faith that has taken us through the toughest of times. We struggle and still share love, music and laughter.  We still feel good when our children are happy and healthy. We are Grenadians and we are brilliant and capable beyond belief.  It is time to think differently, speak expressly, do more and become the change you want to see. Now is the time for self-advocacy. You are a being, not a doing, so become!

We begin this article by asking this question, to which we would like our readers to contemplate before proceeding. It may also be helpful to write your response and see how you feel about it later.

Why as a people, do we Grenadians lack the skill of self-advocacy to represent our desires, interests, disappointments and well-being? We complain to each other, throw words here and there about our discontentment with government, education, salaries, land use and other issues, yet never step up, step out and take ownership for changing the experience. Of course, elections come around and we duplicate our previous choices, expecting different results.

We understand that history hasn’t always played its pawns in our favour. After all, we know now that colonialism imposed ownership, power and religion on our people to extract resources and expand political and economic power. We were obliged to submit to aristocracy and bow to those with “better” economic and academic opportunities, while religion told us to keep quiet and just pray. But we’ve been independent for 47 years, so why are we still there? Maybe its time to step up and become the change you want to see? What inhibits your ability to cough up the lump in your throat and confront the issues that are confronting you? 

One can say that as a people, we have been robbed of Fedon’s courage, Marryshow’s determination, Gairy’s imagination and Bishop’s tenacity – all needed to create a thriving, prosperous civilization here? But who robbed us? Did a ‘ligaru’ (EVIL SPIRIT) enter in the night and suck the soul out of us? No! It’s probably we who gave it up! We most likely gave it up for promises not honoured. We gave up our souls for glistening droplets which vanished in the sun. As young people we were told “Know your place.” So we chose to be seen and not heard. Now we have become invisible and now we have also grown blind to a lot of things.

COVID-19 can be seen as a gift for which we all should be thankful! It has ripped the cataracts from our eyes, uncovered our pretenses and shoved our noses in our own stink (hope this terminology does not offend). What is seen by some as the dilapidation of this country revealed in the blunt undermining of our citizenship, the erosion of the dignity of working men and women, who, after vigorous labour still struggle to move their families forward out of poverty; the dragging feet of our elderly who still struggle under the burden of their own provision after building us a nation, should offend and insult all of us as a people to the point where we take a stand to stop falling for broken promises. Our refusal to engage front and center is mocked and pushes us into preoccupancy with survival. A skill that is now no match for the coronavirus pandemic economy. 

So what do you propose now? Do we take one final breath and succumb to the stomping of our hope into the grave of despondency? No! We have to shift before lethargy sets in and passivity, indifference, ignorance and self-absorbance echo our obituaries. Reject a new whiff of the old air, the old way, the old players disguising a new game. All of us deserve to hope, to thrive, to breathe again, so speak up! It’s simple biology, as long as you are speaking you are breathing. Speak up, so that our senior citizens could still dream dreams and our youth can still realize their visions. 

Begin right where you are by asking yourself the hard questions: What do I want my life to look like next year? If I could change one element of my life today, what would it be? What and who would I need to create immediate improvements to my family’s quality of life, health and future endeavours? What can I give to my community? What obstacles stand in the way of my progress? What opportunities are available that I can exploit? How do I contribute to the big picture development of my country? What is the legacy I want to leave behind? Take the first steps by seeking information, resources and support. 

We have a good land which keeps giving us bountiful harvests. We have a heritage of faith that has taken us through the toughest of times. We struggle and still share love, music and laughter.  We still feel good when our children are happy and healthy. We are Grenadians and we are brilliant and capable beyond belief.  It is time to think differently, speak expressly, do more and become the change you want to see. Now is the time for self-advocacy. You are a being, not a doing, so become!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hard truths! Until these questions are approached and answered honestly…misery will continue. Unless your mindset changes your circumstance will remain the same.

  2. Seriously thinking and contemplating..What shall we advocate????. The spirit of Fedon, Gairy, Marryshow and Comrade Bishop have all being quench by an elusive force of unimaginable dependency and tribalism. What shall we advocate ?…..Only time will tell and will tell well…all is not lost maybe some.

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