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A FRIEND RECENTLY questioned the absence of my contributions in the newspapers. After some introspection, I conceded that I was feeling somewhat disenchanted of late.
Like many Barbadians, I also struggle to make ends meet, even though my financial and social circumstances are nowhere as desperate as others at the moment.
In my reflection, I started to consider the root causes for feeling this way. Is it the increasing strain on my pocket or the unsettling aura of our new social reality?
I remember growing up without many of the luxuries my children now have. I remember having to do homework under the street light and eating bakes and drinking linseed, barley or bush tea Monday to Friday.
What I do not remember is the sinking feeling of bewilderment or disillusionment. There was always a sense of hope and possibility in my community and in my home, no matter how desperate our circumstances were. As children, we dared to dream. We were encouraged to aspire and to innovate.
With all the technology, structural improvements and social infrastructures, are our children dreaming as we once did? Or are they feeling just as lost and disillusioned as the adults?
Perhaps it’s a combination of several variables. Maybe the increasing cost of living, higher taxes, anaemic economic growth, untapped productivity, antiquated systems, worldly threats and increasing violence are taking a toll on our psyche.
Suffice it to say, Barbados is not where we all would want it to be right now.
I know the awesome power of nurturing, reassuring and uplifting words. Words spoken by great leaders that build bridges, build national consensus and inspire transformation.
History has shown us that when the chips are down, or when people are subsumed by uncertainty, words of enlightenment (not empty rhetoric) can nurture the collective consciousness of a people, and help them overcome the challenges before them.
Words that give purpose, direction and scope. Words that are backed by immediate action. Words that are measured and uplifting. Words that lay out the path to progress.
I humbly appeal to all of our leaders and to those aspiring to be leaders. Speak to us with words that inspire all Barbadians. Speak to us with words that will build our confidence and help us gaze towards the horizon with hope.
Speak to us with words that unite us; words of action and a clear purpose.
– SEAN ST CLAIR FIELDS