The way I see it, INDEPENDENCE in any aspect of life is significant.
I remember the days when I was growing up, when parents would tell (especially boys who were ‘playing man’), to take up their ‘Georgie bundle’ and leave.
Normally and I would dare say, 99% of the times, the potential rebel would take heed, cause they simply had no other place to take their ‘Georgie bundle.’
For you younger readers, ‘Georgie bundle,’ refers to all of your belongings-clothes etc. By the way, if you wanted to continue playing man and you decided to leave, make sure you can’t move with anything that belongs to your parents, mind!
I remember hearing of this story which played out in a particular village within our beloved federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, which will not be named, for the purposes of this class.
This guy was well into his twenties and already establishing relationships and was being encouraged by his mother to go and get his own house.
He worked as a messenger and got something around $1,000.00 a month as a salary. Instead of making positive plans to acquire his home by saving and probably getting a loan, this guy went out and bought a car and ended up paying $800.00 per month on the loan.
When asked by a friend, how he expected to survive on $200.00, his quick response was: ‘My mother will cook for me and provide my basic necessities.’
Well I newa!
He definitely did not have any ambition!
A former boss of mine and very good friend, also told me of his experience when he left us at CSS and moved on to the USA.
During his early years of college and university, he lived by one of his older sisters and she took great care of him. One day he graduated and after a short while, he landed a fairly good job.
The historic moment arrived when he was going to get his first pay check. You can imagine, he could hardly wait. He was finally going to get his own money. No more limited stipends from his sister.
He was going to be his own man!
He collected his first salary and as he was heading home to show off to his sister, he suddenly decided to stop at a clothing store.
He had always been an impressive dresser and he decided to buy some clothes to impress his sister that he could now buy his own stuff and look out for himself.
As he shopped, the bill started to get a little bit off the radar and he soon realized that he was virtually broke. He however found joy in the fact that he had bought some clothes and certainly his sister would be impressed.
When he got home, he made a huge show of getting his sister’s attention and tossing the clothes dramatically on a chair in the living room so she could have a close up view.
To his dismay, his sister served to sober him up with the ominous words: ‘So now you done spend all you money pon clothes, wha you gonna eat?’
And so, St. Kitts and Nevis became INDEPENDENT on 19th September 1983 and it certainly was a joyous and historic occasion.
However, 33 years on, how have our attitudes improved?
I am still very concerned that too many people don’t stand when the national anthem is played.
Say what you want the United States of America, but most times when their national anthem is played, look at the prompt response of the people at the given function—standing at attention and some with a hand across the heart!
Some of our people actually sit down; others who may be standing, continue their conversation and just have this ‘don’t care attitude.
I believe we generally lack a true sense of PATRIOTISM and NATIONAL PRIDE.
After 33 years, there are still some of our citizens who callously dump garbage from their moving vehicles onto our roads. There are still some truckers who dump household and other Refuse on unoccupied lands across the two islands, instead of taking them to the certified Sanitary landfills.
There is still an unfathomed level of passionate hatred for some of our brothers and sisters and crime has spiralled out of control.
Prior to Independence, I remember someone jokingly telling a visitor to our shores, in response to a specific question: ‘Oh, we do not have any serious crimes on the island. Our most serious crime right now, is DIVORCE.
I wonder if he can truthfully say that now, 33 years later.
So, going forward, even as we thank God for 33 progressive years. We recognize the fact that there is still plenty room for improvement and so in order to make a difference, we have to start with the man or woman in the mirror—ME.
What can I personally do to improve myself positively and in effect help my country to progress?
That is where we need to start.
If I can make a difference and you can make a difference. Then WE all will make a difference and ST. Kitts-Nevis will certainly be a place where all would want to live.
However, I humbly submit, that it will only start after we make that positive connection with God and allow him to have his way in our lives.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?