I intend to make this story today short, direct and to the point. I know it may offend some, and those that find it offensive then you are who I want to get through to.
Let me say here that I am one who believes in equal opportunity for all whether black, white, yellow or purple. I am not one of those who go on about nationality either, especially when you are from the region, but I am one who loves this little island where I have been born and raised.
Even though there are a few flaws that will have me pulling my hair out or cause me to bite my upper lip at times to avoid saying something to someone in customer service or some obnoxious road user or irate customer, I still love this place and don’t intend to trade it for anywhere else.
What gets me very annoyed is when I hear people who chose to migrate here for one reason or another without having a gun to their head and then speak of Barbados as though it is the worst ever. I having done a whole lot of travelling and know for a fact that this magical isle here is nowhere near the worst of anything. True it has its faults but none near enough that we can be termed as backward.
We can boast of having a level of growth that is greater than some bigger territories around the world. From computerisation to architectural development we have transformed the face of this rock. Some of the best culinary artist can be found here and wherever they travel they receive rave reviews. Whatever they learned they did here taught by teachers from here. I see nothing backward about that.
I can understand getting annoyed about something, but when you label the entire island based on a bad experience that stick out like a sore thumb, I take offence. All Barbadians are not snobs, or thieves, or criminals for that matter. A select few happen to exist among us and with rehabilitation it is possible that they will desist from their bad ways. This is nothing alien to the world as we know it.
What really rubbed me the wrong way is when some legal and/or illegal immigrants take offence at our speech. I seldom hear anyone try to denounce the Jamaican accent. Furthermore they try to imitate it in every way possible. Jamaicans don’t try to change their identity for the world, but the world seems to expect us here to change for them.
Maybe we are to blame for that because we adapt very easily for the sake of pleasing others; that’s just how we are as a people. Pleasing others is our way of life I guess.
What I really want to get at is quite simple and I don’t want to keep giving examples of the ways people hate on us as a country. Hearing the words “wunna Bajans” gets me very angry at times. The way I see it, if you are so annoyed living here, why then are you still here?
I will never stay in a country that makes me sick or annoys me daily. I know I can go around the country side and someone is ready or willing to give me a meal to cook or cook a meal and offer me. There is some sort of food to eat even if we are so broke at times that we can’t even pay attention.
This island is still able to display its old but wonderful ways at times. Some of us have lived in North America and the UK and had to endure some of all sorts of things — racism, hunger, and eviction to name a few, but foolish pride make you stick it out. For me, that would be my signal to head back to my homeland.
If I find the adopted place unbearable I am out. Trying to make us look like the reason for your unhappiness is not going to make things better. I know as a Barbadian if I get annoyed I can return to my home and not be unhappy. Many others can’t do such because they migrated due to their unhappiness in their homeland.
Again I know we have our faults but they are not alien to other places, but our wonders and magical sides well outweigh the negative. If you find us too hard to live amongst, Grantley Adams is more than welcome to facilitate your departure. Don’t waste time fretting about a thing that you surely can’t change.
I will not go to your home land to live and be constantly critical of you as a people or your country for what it is. I’ve been given opportunities to reside in many territories but turned them down. I felt I wouldn’t be comfortable there so I stayed here. The money was never enough to make me suffer for it.
Happiness is a huge part of my well being so I will fight it out here. We have a wonderful elective process here that is the envy of many. We have our political differences but we won’t kill each other for our differences in opinion. Barbados is magic indeed, so again to those who can’t handle this island for what it is, take my advice and leave.
You are not trying to better it, so complaining about it surely won’t be of any help either. Ask yourself why you came here in the first place, and see if your birth place is any better. I guess not, or you wouldn’t be here.