EDITORIAL: People of pride
Although the year opened on a stressful note with about 3 000 workers slated to lose their jobs amid financial problems at the national level, there are some recent events which should cause us to reflect on how far we have come as a country.
These events should further inspire us to pull our country around, but very importantly, they should also give the deviant minded among us some positive food for thought.
Take cricket. This past week we hosted the English cricket team in a series of T20 matches against the West Indies. That the West Indies won the series is important to our national and regional psyche.
Cricket is a big part of our Barbadian culture; but during February we also celebrated African Awareness Month here, and showed a growing consciousness of who and what we really are, and what goes into the creation of our cultural personhood as a people.
Cricket was not always an aspect of our culture, but we took the game, added our unique touch and made it our own. And then news reports told us last week, that our embracing black pride and celebrating the clothing aspects of our black African ethnic heritage provided a business boom for some garment stores and seamstresses in what is traditionally a slow business period.
Equally important was the declaration by one seamstress that she charged only $35 per outfit because she “feels for people”. This is culturally and ethnically appropriate that in this difficult economic time, she does not need to be reminded that we should be our brother’s keeper.
We saw thousands of our people peacefully enjoying watching the cricket with thousands of visitors from overseas and hardly a quarrel or other dispute breaking out and escalating to serious stage. All those of deviant mind should take note of this scene and try to enhance the peaceful atmosphere in our country by giving up violence and the use of weapons to settle disputes. Thousands who sit together peacefully to watch sports matches are a shining example of peaceful discipline to a score or more of troublemakers in our society.
We are a people of pride and industry and discipline and what we need to do now is to instil some of that pride and discipline in those drivers and conductors of the private public sector vehicles, who have been ordered to wear uniforms.
Whether it was growing our Parliament from something of a private conclave to a fully democratic institution, or quietly imbibing the rudiments of cricket and being champions at it, or asserting the African aspects of our culture even against opposition; we have survived and done well through discipline and pride in ourselves and industry in what we do.
The would-be deviants in our midst should take note: A society cannot be built on violence.