A Nevispages weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr
The way I see it- we really ought to be OUR BROTHER’S KEEPER.
I am also convinced that just as MONEY, at one time in our history, did not mean much, that there will come a time when all of our money and other worldly possessions, will not mean a thing to us.
I heard my grandmother and my parents speak of the days when the village people literally looked out for each other. One neighbour was reaping yams. Another was reaping sweet potatoes. Yet another was killing a goat and guess what these wonderful folks did?
Instead of trying to see who could make the most money from the individual product, they had a system of EXCHANGE or BARTER in place. So, each neighbour got yams, potatoes and some goat meat to go home and cook for their respective families and no money was passed.
Well I newa!
Nowadays, the general attitude is to see who can make the most money from whatever product they can sell.
I still maintain some of the good old teachings from my parental upbringing. For instance, my wife and I have an established norm that not everything that grows in the yard, is to be sold. She for one gives away quite a lot of stuff from her vegetable garden and there is an unwritten law at our home, that we do not sell breadfruit.
WE GIVE AWAY BREADFRUIT WHEN WE HAVE.
So, on this particular day, this gentleman who was well known as CHARLIE passed by and begged me for a breadfruit. I more than willingly allowed him to go and pick a breadfruit from the tree. I later collected the stick from him and went back inside my yard.
For whatever reason, I paused on my porch and watched him standing by the roadside. The late Joseph Browne of blessed memory, passed by in his bus and shouted: ‘Charlie, gie me da breadfruit dey!’
Charlie responded: ‘Five dollars!’ I watched Joseph give him the five dollars and drive off. I went inside.
Shortly thereafter, I heard Charlie calling me. When I went out to him, he told me this sad story about somebody was in need of the breadfruit, so he gave it away and would love to get another. I had to tell him point blank, that I knew of his dishonesty and that he did not qualify for another breadfruit!
So where am I heading with this?
I am sure that we have all heard that our brothers and sisters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are currently in distress, as their volcano which has been inactive since the last time it blew in 1979, just blew its top, over the weekend. The ash plumes have travelled for miles on end and even Barbados was in darkness over the weekend.
Imagine, houses, cars, vegetation, all covered with ash. You can’t even eat the things in your garden now. Yes, use your imagination:
Picture having to leave EVERYTHING. You have been told to evacuate the area. It is MANDATORY.
You cannot walk with the 72 inch flat screen TV; the upstairs and downstairs refrigerator (as Willy Natta described); the VOLVO in the garage; all of the technological gadgets that you are so proud of and the gigantic posturepedic. Now, you have limited time to get out and there are only a few essentials you can take with you.
What will you choose to pack into your small suitcase?
And so, at short notice, you are forced to leave your world of comfort and venture into an unknown space. You are now placed into temporary shelters, with the huge possibility of another covid -19 communal outbreak.
I have a good friend there, named SPANKY. Spanky is one funny fellow. I normally look forward to his WhatsApp messages, because he always sends something funny to make me smile. I mean it was Spanky who once told me that there were these two really bad dogs that got into a fight. The fight was so deadly, that when it was over, only the two tails were left! Now all am hearing from Spanky are sad stories. The last message I got from him is: “Ashfall looks like stormy weather for miles, but it is simply ash falling.’
Seriously, think about it and recognize that our dear brothers and sisters are in a dilemma – a real crisis.
So, what do we do?
Yes, I know you would have said: ‘Pray for them.’ nYes, that too! Yes, that for starters, but the God to whom we are praying, also placed us here to assist our fellow men. So, quite apart from the fervent prayers, we now have to dig deep and seek to assist our brothers and sisters in a real way.
Be it, by sending food, clothing and basic essentials, or sending actual cash, or by providing a place for them to stay, if they have to totally evacuate. Now, we have been blessed, in a real way. God has truly protected us, much more than we really deserve.
We of course had the CHRISTENA DISASTER in 1970 and HURRICANE HUGO in 1989, but outside of that, we have not really suffered a serious crisis.
Even during this dreaded corona scourge, God has been particularly kind to us. Our case numbers certainly do not reflect our general carelessness and indifference. Guess what! We do not know when our time of real crisis will come. So, now is the time for us to reach out and help.
The bible even speaks about it. There will come a day when all of our money and possessions won’t mean a single thing to us and by the way, remember that when we die, we cannot walk with a single thing eh!
Matthew 6:19 and 20:
‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.’
So, I beseech you dear reader, when the call is made, let us do what we can for our brothers and sisters.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?