of a chapter
his book Let Him Go, Bishop TD Jakes speaks about the many
chapters in life. He discusses the move from childhood to
teenager to adulthood and describes each as a stage preparing
us for the next step.
Jakes declares that many of us are afraid to move on in
life because we feel so comfortable about the stage we are
at. The future is unpredictable while things in the present
are going so well for us we become content.
However, just like the natural evolution of man from a baby
to a senior, we all have to accept that we have to move
on at some point in time.
A 40-year-old man can never be as agile as when he was 17
and so, whether we choose to accept it or not, moving on
In November 2005, I opened a new chapter in my life, a chapter
which saw me as chairman of the PNM National Youth League.
Today I close that chapter.
I have decided to move on and so have relinquished my responsibilities
as chairman of the league, allowing someone else to take
over the mantle of responsibility.
This was achieved via the democratic process, which this
country holds in high esteem, over the last weekend, when
I decided to step down and allow three bright young individuals
to vie for the position.
Today, a new face has taken over the reigns of leadership
of the youth league and whereas the PNMs democratic
position allows for one person to hold one position at a
time, there will be no question as to who the leader is.
The last ten months are indeed memorable for me, especially
as a columnist.
In December of 2005, I wrote my first column, indicating
my intention to address issues of national and international
importance through the eyes of youth. Week after week, with
the help of my comrade Wesley George, the voice of youth
Many of these columns were embraced by you the reader and
some were not. Some of you attempted to thwart the efforts
and misconstrue the opinions set out in this column, allowing
blind political leanings to dictate and cloud rational judgment.
Then there were those of you who offered words of encouragement
and objectively identified some of the flaws.
Finally, there were those who complimented the efforts that
this column sought to achieve.
All of these responses were openly embraced and together
they helped to keep the commentaries as balanced as possible
and helped the columnist to fully embrace the differences
of opinion which we share in this diverse land and of ours.
Many of the commentaries which you received were as a result
of the occurrences of that period.
One of the earlier columns asked citizens to embrace the
Christmas spirit throughout the year since it is only at
this occasion that we become our brothers keeper.
Later on, I identified how the behaviour of our young people
today was directly linked to the attitudes portrayed by
the elders in society, a fact which must never be ignored.
The power of the consumer was highlighted in March and with
the ever increasing cost of living, we the consumers need
to understand how powerful we are. We dont have to
sit back and wait for the Government to bring inflation
under control. Instead, we, by our purchasing power, can
dictate the price and the quality of goods we receive.
A plea was made in August for young black men in particular
to free your minds. That call is again reverberated.
Young people, we need to stand up and be counted and start
taking charge of our lives.
And of course the political situation did not escape mention
as the civil rights circus saw a civil rights
movement headed by UNC politicians who withdrew T&T
from being a member of the American Convention on Human
Another political issue which was dealt with was the accusations
by the Opposition (at the time there was only one) of ethnic
cleansing by the the Government because of its attempts
to remove Chief Justice Satnarine Sharma, whose character
came into question.
Ironically, Justice Sharma was a PNM nominee for the position
while Dr Linda Baboolal and Barendra Sinanan were the PNMs
nominees and currently sit as Senate President and Speaker
of the House of Representatives, respectively.
Despite having decided not to continue as chairman of such
a prestigious organisation, my services to the league and
the party have not ended. I continue to sit as a member
of the new executive of the league, where I continue to
work on ensuring that the voice of youth is not just heard
but is responded to.
My responsibility as a member of the Tunapuna constituency
as well as the many other committees, political as well
as non-political, has not been overshadowed and my commitment
To all who helped shaped this column in the past few months,
I say thank you. May God continue to richly bless you.
Deon Jeffers is outgoing chairman of the PNM National