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Getting back to basics


Getting back to basics

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IN MY LAST contribution, which sought to encourage all Barbadians to help make Barbados an oasis of peace again, four steps to recover from the spiral we are in were tabled: (1) throttle back (slow down and reflect), (2) put in opposite controls (alter our current course), (3) straighten up and (4) full speed ahead on our new path.

According to Michael J. Fox, “acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it”.

If as a nation we can agree that there is a clear and present need to alter our course, then as far as I am concerned we have accepted that our current path is flawed. What are some of the things that we should reverse? What are some of the things that we have done that could have been done better?

For consideration I should like to submit that we have allowed ourselves and our values to be unduly influenced by foreign stimuli.

We have inadvertently dismantled the traditional Barbadian family; we have relegated our men and our fathers; we have moved away from being our neighbour’s keeper; we now teach our children that it’s okay to litter and to disrespect their elders; we make excuses for breaches of law; we no longer exercise our civic duty to protect our environment; and worse of all, we have shelved our courage to defend what we believe is right.

Going forward, I suggest that as we debate the urgent need for structural reform across all sectors, that as an interim measure we should move swiftly to allocate adequate amounts of space in our educational curricula for a core subject called civics. 

I am confident that many of us can relate to the invaluable benefits of having been exposed as children to volunteerism, nationalism, respect for ourselves and others, protecting our environment and being constantly encouraged to be innovative and industrious.

Let’s get back to basics.