Our Readers' Opinions
January 18, 2008
Humans – are they still our most vital resource?


Editor: With another homicide during the 2007 holiday season, the 2002 murder that occurred on Christmas day, prevalence of gang violence in schools and the 36 recorded homicides in SVG for 2007, I am again forced to ask the question: What do our youth have to offer? Can we still say with pride that there is still an abundance of human resource in SVG?{{more}} Time will tell. This is not a criticism, but rather an observation of what is happening.

I am proud to be West Indian, and even prouder to be Vincentian.

In the diaspora as elsewhere, we are seen as being dignified, hardworking, ambitious, intelligent and humble people. All of those we are. The words of CLR James in describing West Indians are also applicable to us Vincentians when he states (paraphrase) that we “Have a high propensity towards high civility.”

Week after week, as I predictably read of murders, robberies and shootings, and being in Kingstown in December 2006 when one of our women was callously decapitated, I can hardly help but wonder whether we have lost it. Where has love gone? Where has our community spiritedness gone, and when did we cease to be our brothers’ keepers? I am not that old, and I was well into my teenage years when we had 5 or so murders a year – and even that was considered high.

We have no oil or gold. The larger and wealthier countries are better able to deal with human resource problems (albeit short term) by importing talent or incentivizing individuals around particular goals. Can we?

Let us make improvement part of our 2008 resolutions. Each one of us should challenge ourselves to do better and to think outside of the box. Starting with parents, we ought to do a better job.

Our teachers, sports, cultural and civic organizations have dominant roles. The police, commendable though, need new strategies and our support. Our church leaders need to get out of their comfort zones and bring gang members together, if need be – in short, all of us ought to work together and do better.

May God bless SVG so we can still be the “Land of the Blessed.

Dr. Brian Charles, Esq.
Vincy in New York