We, as Barbadians, need to take a long, hard, honest look at our beloved country and ask ourselves if we are satisfied with where we are after 50 years of Independence.
This long, hard, honest look demand that we do so with all the objectivity that we can muster through lenses/ eyes that are not coloured by DLP, BLP or and other political designation or loyalty.
To request that the average citizen place partisan political identification on the backburner while giving serious thought to the true state of Barbados in terms of the quality of life and wellbeing of each and every man, woman and child is the least we can do at this critical juncture of our country’s history.
It goes without saying that for good or ill, we must make the best of the circumstances which confront us day in and day out, irrespective of our colour, class, religious belief, or political affiliation. Perhaps it would be quite helpful if the existing political rhetoric gave way to meaningful reality so that the unvarnished truth about the real state of Barbados’ socio-economic position could be more readily understood and articulated.
I am convinced that there exists in this country a significant number of persons who, left to themselves, could not care less about political affiliation and loyalties once they were allowed to evaluate for themselves and without the brainwashing and propaganda with which they are constantly bombarded.
It must be admitted that there are present in our midst those whose stock and trade are the manipulation of the poor, dispossessed, disadvantaged, marginalized and poverty stricken masses whose socio-economic position place them at the mercy of others who wield power, privilege, considerable influence and authority in an environment which is becoming more threatening and less enabling for the vulnerable in our midst.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that a growing level of passive anger is permeating the society and Barbadians may very well be closer to the proverbial “tipping point” than we are willing to admit. It seems to me that a general malaise is lingering beneath what seemingly is this well ordered society we often boast about and only time will tell if it can be contained or when it will fall apart.
A highly respected sage hailing from the “Independent Republic of St Philip” told us in song that “the country sick, the country ain’t well” and unless we accept this and seek to do what is necessary to return it to good, robust social and economic health, the sickness could easily become chronic and exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to cure.
My humble plea is that the people of this “God fearing” country be given the chance to breathe again since the socio – political atmosphere is becoming increasingly stifling with each emerging national crisis and with the dissipation of what lingering hope there is. Citizens, including the strangers within our gate, have formed the perception that no meaningful action by way of relief is being seen or felt by the longsuffering citizenry of this proud nation.
My call on this blessed day is for all men, women and youth of good will to give our beloved country a reasonable chance of regeneration. Let this New Year usher in the motivation, commitment and determination — all prerequisites to the creation of the enabling environment sufficient for this critical national task.
We must not fail Barbados by our inaction in this its greatest hour of need.
(George S Griffith is a social development advocate/consultant)