Full Disclosure
July 13, 2007
Cowards die many times before their deaths

Excerpt from Feature address delivered on Friday, June 29, 2007 at Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Community College 2007

Graduation Address
Part II
Continued from last week

Sad to say, but many of our youth are hardly keeping abreast of the current policies and trends involving matters touching and concerning their nation’s development. Simply put, many of our young people are avoiding keeping abreast with the news.{{more}}

I charge you, that it is only if you keep yourself informed that you can comment intelligently on your nation’s decisions. You must not fail to be critical of yourself or of the negativity around you. Your positive contribution is valued as a prized commodity, since it is only by your comments that errors can be corrected, and progress and growth stimulated.

In your push ahead, you must not allow a minority of misguided troublemakers who are yet to understand what it means to cherish the finer things of life, and the vital importance of education, to drag you into the dark pits of backwardness. Yet we must in love, show them the way that leads to light. In recent times I have had my own experiences with troublemakers. However, I am constantly reassured when I hear the words of our National Anthem, that, “what e’re the future brings our faith will see us through.”

In all your doings you must remain humble, kind hearted, honest and obedient. Until we disassociate ourselves from those who conspire against good, we would have failed the test. There is however power in the collective. The Historians among us will speak of the collective power used to bring about what we consider today to be emancipation. It is that spirit of La Vallass, which energized Toussaint L’ Overture in Haiti, and Nelson Mandela in South Africa and our very own Joseph Chatoyer to fight for freedom. We must tap into such inner sources of strength and resilience.

The greater the challenges, the harder we must work, the greater the challenges the more we must also read and think. The greater the challenges the more we must remember that we possess the requisite talent, though hidden in some instances, the brain power, and most of the resources to get the job done. What we beseech of you is your commitment. We must not foster a poverty of ambition. In all your doings do not forget that you have an obligation to help those who are less fortunate than you. We must also help others to rise as we also rise. As a graduate of one of the most prestigious colleges in the Caribbean region, you owe a duty of care to teach your fellow villagers and your neighbors who were not afforded the opportunity, which you have so readily embraced. Be an example to others.

I will rest here finally though, and by way of admonition, it is my daily prayer that the good Lord in heaven will help me to work harder tomorrow than I will work today, because I know that the challenges which I will face tomorrow are greater than those of both today and yesterday. I also know that my energies put to the test shall not be in vain. Before today ends you are invited to take a moment’s effort to reassess your usefulness and purpose. You are ordained to do great things, and you must ensure that through your actions you aspire to achieve such levels of greatness.

My friends, my hope and pledge for all of you, is that as you leave here today, you will decide to keep true these principles which I have selected to share with you, and to make them a part of your daily living.

Those of us who in any way intend to become actively involved with charting the destiny of our people we must feel both chastened and challenged by the verdict of one of the greatest writers in the English language of all times, Sir William Shakespeare, who in “Julius Caesar” noted:

“Cowards die many times before their deaths, The valiant never taste of death but once.”

This is not the time to be a coward.

I take this opportunity therefore, to welcome you to this our life long journey to perpetual success. Thank you again for having me address you, and may God richly bless you.

Mr. Chairman, I thank you and may God also Bless you.