You may access Part I here: “Why We Won’t Come Home (Part I of IV)”
You may access Part II here:”Why We Won’t Come Home (Part II of IV)”
You may access Part II here:”Why We Won’t Come Home (Part III of IV)”
Why We Won’t Come Home (Part IV of IV)
Let’s bring it home now and talk about specific problems. We need to fix the problem with our ports. There is too much corruption and greediness and lack of organization. There is too much reliability on it as a source of funding for the government. Transparent distribution of taxes on different services would be welcomed above what seems to be a car payment in disguise. We need to fix the problem with our crime. Maybe if our police force was a bit more diverse and people were employed from different islands, we wouldn’t have to worry about so much corruption in the force and we could start seeing safer streets. Maybe then we can get a handle on the drug problem and have less children addicted to so many drugs. So many of my childhood friends need rehab now, and it is sad. Maybe when our politicians realize that people from other islands can take their jobs away (yes, how about we make that possible) they will start implementing plans that benefit the people and not them. Maybe then we can start driving on more roads and stop driving on what seems to be the surface of Mars. Maybe then we can have more attractive communities that will give the international investors somewhere to live other than one corner of the island because that’s probably the only area that hasn’t been transformed into a ghetto as yet. With more qualified people returning back home, we’ll have reliable services in all areas. Running water, electricity, and internet becomes an expectation and not a wish. With more Software Engineers returning home, I can pay all my bills online. My medical claims can be processed a lot quicker because there exists an API (Google it) that allows for electronic data interchange between medical providers and insurance companies. Maybe then, since we would have a diverse and large enough workforce, we can establish credit scores amongst the islands – A win –win situation for both the business and the consumer creating a better standard of living. Maybe we don’t have to be stuck in the same state we were when we mistakenly got independence from the Queen (God bless her sweet heart). Maybe it’s actually not too late for the Caribbean to be a place of desire and not just entertainment. An island cannot survive on entertainment alone. Is it just about waking up every day waiting and planning for that one source of passing entertainment called Carnival and then returning to a stagnant life? That’s called Hollywood, and I can order that kind of entertainment on Netflix. Let’s have some sort of pride, and build a country and not some low budget film.
Nethaneel Masarick Edwards, Son of the Soil
You know how to find me.
Love it!! So true and sad at the same time. I anxiously await that day of change.
I found this post when a friend linked to it from her Facebook page. She hails from St. Lucia, I hail from St. Maarten. You mention that you chose Antigua as that’s where you were born and that the blog series is in fact applicable to all OECS members. Let me tell you…all we’d have to do is substitute “St. Maarten” for “Antigua,” and truthfully, this series could apply to all our islands, British, Dutch or French. The factors you explored here are what led me to leave my island (after graduating from my university in Miami) for the wintry wonderland that is The Netherlands. These posts spoke to me on a deeper level though. The more we start to speak like this and highlight these issues, the brighter the future starts to look. Good work, and especially this right here:
‘An island cannot survive on entertainment alone. Is it just about waking up every day waiting and planning for that one source of passing entertainment called Carnival and then returning to a stagnant life? That’s called Hollywood, and I can order that kind of entertainment on Netflix. Let’s have some sort of pride, and build a country and not some low budget film.’
Yes. A thousand times, yes.
Thank you for your response Melissa, it is appreciated. You hit the nail on the head “The more we start to speak like this and highlight these issues, the brighter the future starts to look”. That’s all I want to do. Garner more and more discussion among the people on this. Only then will those in power take any form of notice. It’s not guaranteed they will do anything about it, but at least we can try to increase the probability with small gestures such as this.
I agree with you wholeheartedly. We claim that we are an independent nation, but the truth is, that we have a very dependent and debilitating mentality. We are satisfied with sitting back and waiting for things to happen, and then, when things don’t happen, we look for someone to blame…everyone except ourselves. Many times I’ve asked myself, why is it that persons spend their whole life in the same job without any upward mobility. Is it that the opportunities aren’t there or is it an innate stagnate mentality within the individual? I do believe that there is a lack of jobs within the country? But, do we try to create opportunities for ourselves?
It is time for people to realize that the government is not the country. We as a people need to take more responsibility in the governance of the island. I’ve always said that the government may create the policies, but it’s up to the people to enact them. Why should we mindlessly move in the direction that we are tossed. Once again, it’s that dependent mentality. All this boils down to the fact that we need to change the way people think before we will see any true progress in our islands. (Have a lot more to say, but I need to get back to work.)
While you’ve made some very good points and brought forth some equally very good suggestions, i believe that change would be an almost impossible task unless the Caribbean islands as a collective decide to unite and put forth changes. As in the US no one state can survive on its own ( Sorry fellow Texans, but its true). So until the Caribbeancan truely unite ( no more islandism….cso terminology) there can never be any real change. United States of the Caribbean perhaps?
Terrific thought and expression mi brethren. Looking forward to more.
Thanks bro. “Looking forward to more”. For me to write like that, I have to get upset at these people for something else – It’s like writing calypso. But you hit the nail on the head with “no more islandism”. The small minded mentality is what creates a small minded economy. I’m wondering how long before they realize that.