Full Disclosure
January 25, 2008
Our cause as youth

It is one thing to plan for your personal development, and in so doing set goals for the advancement of one’s self. It is, however, a wholly different form of appreciation which directs the mind to begin to think collectively and unselfishly, in a bid to fashion the development of our youth as a collective. It is clearly in this regard that issues of youth leadership are given birth.{{more}}

I am always thrilled to travel the parameters of my country, and visit and speak to various youth organizations of different types. The reasons for youth grouping will vary to embrace expressions based on intentions which are artistic; some grounded in music and drama; some in general youth development; specific sporting activities and other issues touching and concerning youth progression. In every youth organization, the objectives may differ qualitatively. However, there is always a commonality which is a natural derivative of the subject matter, and in this sense I make reference to the youthful energy, vigor and the level of potential waiting to be unlocked in each group.

Our youth are organized in a quantitative sense, which ensures that many of our youth groups are at least functional. However, what is our cause? Is there a cause? What are we fighting for? Is there anything there to be fought for? Are we the generation that would not have to consolidate our efforts for a better Saint Vincent and the Grenadines? Is the work complete?

In recent times, I have had the opportunity to draw real life comparatives between the youth in metropolitan countries and our youth product at home. The result is that we indeed have to ensure that a properly planned, structured and executed system is put in place so that we can bring an awareness which clearly explains that we are better informed by our local circumstances. What would be the consequences if a Vincentian fifteen year old is to emulate the many aspects of misconduct of an American child of the same age? Our causes are dissimilar, the circumstances are grossly unrelated, and the realities are unconnected for the most part. Attempting to live a so called American Dream within a Vincentian context is simply unworkable.

What is our cause as youth? In 1760, the general cause in some societies was an embodiment of the Industrial Revolution. The teachings of Adam Smith played a central role in the times which were to follow. The year 1789 meant a great deal for the French, a Revolution ensued which was to cement the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity. The consequential philosophical ideals derived from this Revolution were to engross all who were to fight for what we today know as democracy.

However, on a more West Indian note, during the period from 1800-1834 the cause for emancipation was primary. We rallied thereafter in a concerted manner during the Black Power era to express a fundamental cause from within. Further, the balance sheet shows that in 1979 State Independence was an achievement to be counted as a fixed asset within the context of national development. Since independence, what has been our cause? “The quest to build a modern, many-sided competitive, post-colonial economy, which is at once national and regional”, as expressed by our Honorable Prime Minister, is profound. What role will you be willing to play in the process? How are our youth going to strategically locate themselves to advance this national cause?

I hope that as youth we are not stating falsely to ourselves that we have achieved it all. We have not. In fact, we are far from completion. The cause evolves. It is a constantly changing synthesis of ideas, thoughts, dreams and aspirations, so we must continuously change with the changing times.

All our youth have a part to play in the process if our nation is to move forward. We must be the generation that ensures that political partisanship does not hinder the advancement of our people. We have a nation to build. To my mind, the more hands we have on deck working in a cohesive sense would ensure that the job is made easier.

It is without question that the faces in the building process will change, but the cause will remain. The political ideology used to foster this advancement will evolve. However, the need to strengthen and fuse our efforts will never die. We have talented youth in our country, both at home and in the diaspora. I recall reading an article in a newspaper recently, wherein I was the subject of unjustified criticism, in the sense that I was untruthfully labeled as being the offspring of the “rich”. Those who know otherwise will find solace in the defense that the offspring of two small scale banana farmers with zero inheritance can never be categorized in any other way than as a progeny of the working class. The issue here is not about class, it is about misinformation.

The intention today should not be to divide ourselves into classes. It should be about ensuring that we have a clear picture of our cause, and a properly articulated method of achieving our target. We have a nation to build. The divisions practiced daily on our nation’s radio stations by some are surely intended to multiply our chances at failing. Our youth must not follow this sought of unprincipled fashion which appears to be flourishing under the guise of free speech. In many instances it is a preaching of free ignorance. Instead, we must properly research our work and take to the airwaves guarded with our information to defend our cause. In other words, we must stand for what is right. The radio and printed press now constitute a part of our communicative culture used to address the many issues which we now face.

A handful of our radio personalities and writers are engaged in debates on issues about which they are the least aware. The resultant implication of this is that we are flooded with guesswork guised as set principles. This is bad for our people. As an attorney, I will never venture to authoritatively speak on issues of the motor mechanic. Some radio personalities need to be honest to themselves. You must ensure that callers can verify the credibility of their statements. My little sisters and brothers are listening. Free ignorance is worse than the absence of speech. Let us do better as we work towards achieving our goals. We can do all things through God who strengtheneth us. As we focus on our goals during the course of this year let us all be true to our conscience.