Dr. Fraser- Point of View
July 19, 2019
Back to reality

Carnival is over so we have to take off our masks and face the stark reality. I said begin, because some people are still in the carnival mode. On Friday last I witnessed what appeared to have been a street jump-up coming down Sion Hill.Wasn’t it possible to have had that fit into the extended period allowed for carnival? I was also struck by the headline of a story in I WITNESS NEWS that read “Carnival bar affecting Heritage Square taxis”. I did not follow up the story and am not sure why the bar was still in place a week after carnival. For some people it is time to look forward to the next bacchanal which will be Nine Mornings, August 1 and the Independence anniversary providing space for those with the propensity for more ‘carnival’, not appreciating the significance of those two holidays  Most however will have to face the realities that come with life in SVG.

The post-carnival priority is putting things in place for their children’s education, getting them books and uniforms. This is the time when persons provide booklists to you seeking assistance, but this is becoming increasingly difficult since most persons are faced with the grim realities of life in our country, the bleak economic situation, and the fear that as they look ahead there appears to be no silver lining or indeed any lining at all.  This is going to become even more complicated when the results of CAPE and CXC arrive and the issue of finding jobs for their children becomes real. Many parents would have made significant sacrifices, hoping that their children would graduate and be able to assist the family. But the reality is that many are going to have to continue to depend on their parents.

Do we simply sit back and hope? Are we completely powerless? Is it enough to just hope that government will provide from their ever- shrinking basket? Do we hope to be among the fortunate ones and are we prepared to do what that might involve? Or do we get satisfaction from joining the long lines waiting at Money Gram or Western Union? This year is the 40th anniversary of our Independence. What have we achieved? What are we going to celebrate? To what extent have we been equipped to be active participants in our own development rather than wait on government handouts? Who are we? What is our purpose in life? We have serious work ahead of us, but where and how do we start? In societies like ours, government’s hand is overreaching. It is an octopus overpowering us with its limbs. Civil society meanwhile is dead. The private sector is on life support. The Press, the fourth estate, so-called, is limping ahead, unsure of its role. The system gives us power once every five years, but we seem not to be conscious about this enormous power. We continue to surrender our soul to cheap political promises and gimmicks.  We fall for small short- term gifts and think little of the long term. Many  of us exist because we have relatives abroad who work hard to supply our needs. We take this for granted, but if President Trump has his way, they will feel increasingly uncomfortable and be hamstrung in meeting what they consider their obligation. His answer will be to tell them to go back where they came from.

Really what can we do? Are we satisfied with the way and direction in which things are going?  What is needed is a change in our mindset. We have to begin to make demands on government. We have to become advocates of change and to challenge the political directorate. In any event life goes on, for better or for worse!