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AWRIGHT DEN!: Why I marched

COREY WORRELL, [email protected]

AWRIGHT DEN!: Why I marched

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IT IS INDEED REMARKABLE the effect love and fear have on an individual. Love will often motivate us to action whereas inaction is the product of fear.

As strong an emotion fear is, love is much stronger and I believe it is the most powerful emotion in all creation. Anything you fear will control you and the only two things that can overcome fear is love and a will to survive.

Last Saturday, about 9 000 people participated in the March Of Disgust that was facilitated by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party.

The days leading up to the march were filled with much discussion about the event itself, who would participate, the downgrades and the mind-boggling comments from Democratic Labour Party general secretary George Pilgrim.

Very few people, whether on the bus, in the streets, at the dinner table, in the office or on social media, were singing the praises of our Government and its management of the country and the economy.

Everywhere you go there is enough evidence to show that Barbadians and people living here are fed up with the current administration, angry that party is being chosen over country, appalled at the level of arrogance and insensitivity of some of our leaders, and deeply hurt at what Barbados has become.

Despite the growing frustration many Barbadians have, one would have thought that thousands more Barbadians would have supported the march. Many reasons exist as to why they didn’t, but there is one reason that has been a chorus among civil servants for years – fear of victimisation.

Last week I heard and also saw on social media, people stating their desire to support the march but were fearful they would be victimised as a result. Let’s not be in denial, this fear is very prominent among civil servants and, as a result, it “cripples” them from acting despite a desire to say or do something. The only thing that can overcome such fear is love and a will to survive.

I am a civil servant once again and I attended the march for many reasons, three of which were: (1) I love my country and I am not happy with how it is being governed and I have a right to communicate that. (2) I love my children and want to leave a prosperous and developing country as an inheritance for them. (3) To show support to those who have been casualties of failed policies, bad decisions and inactions of our Government.

Some might be wondering if I wasn’t fearful I might be victimised as a result of marching, especially given I just re-entered the public service 23 days ago. Actually, I was cautioned not to attend the march since I was “unemployed” for the past three years and six months, had just got a job and might be victimised as a result of speaking out and marching. Although I appreciated the concern, their suggestion would have resulted in me submitting to fear and would be tantamount to an employee being bullied by his/her boss.

I have taught at three Government schools and have worked with young people for over 18 years. I have seen my share of bullies and it is through fear that they dominate, intimidate and control others. Two effective ways to deal with bullies is to stand up to them or have them removed. Bullying through fear of victimisation is not only a problem for those in the civil service, but also those in the private sector, the church and other organisations. It is a national problem.

Barbados belongs to me and it belongs to you. In essence Barbados belongs to all of us and we have a collective responsibility to protect it from anything or anyone that poses a threat to its growth, development, stability, prosperity, value, quality of life for its people, and its name and image.

I ask that you search your hearts, clear your mind, open your eyes and honestly assess our home Barbados. If you are either dissatisfied, hurt, fed up, angry or disappointed with what you see, then you have a responsibility to yourself, your children and all Barbadians to speak up and speak out. Silence and inaction never changes anything; actually, it supports the problem.

I leave you with the following: “Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17 – ESV). “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men [and women] do nothing” (Edmund Burke).

• Corey Worrell, a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, is director of C2J Foundation Inc., a project-based NGO focusing on social development. Email: [email protected]