Wednesday 27th December, 2006

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My 2007 wish list

I was never one to engage in flights of fantasy, among which would be making resolutions every time a new year comes around.

One of the main reasons is that I do not have the necessary discipline to stick to self-imposed restrictions like... Well, you know what I mean.

Cut out this, stop drinking this, stop smoking, stop this and that. I also have never planned anything in my life, except on the two occasions I got married. You must of course do certain things like fixing the date, posting the banns and all that that entails.

But to say I have sat down and charted a course I would like my life to take, uh huh. Never. Not me.

I knew what I wanted out of life but, I repeat, I never produced a road map. But thank God—and sheer hard work and determination—I have achieved almost all of what I wanted in life.

Keep in mind that the only thing guaranteed in this life is death and, as I always say, anything acquired between birth and when we have made that transition is lagniappe.

Except you have to work very hard to get those things.

Of course I do see the value in planning...having a vision (please, not 2020), and I will never encourage others, especially young people, to take my vi-ke-vie course.

It has worked for me and does not necessarily guarantee the same for others.

Long after I realised that planning was not my thing, I read somewhere that there is the plus-side to this in that a non-planner like myself is never disappointed when things do not come to fruition.

You are not subjected to the resultant stress, depression and associated negatives. And it is truly heart-rending when so many people tell me how upset they are when things did not work out as they had planned.

While genuinely sympathising with them and offering advice and consolation, a voice inside of me is saying say thank God I did not plan so I won’t have to go through that emotionally distressing situation.

All of that said, I feel constrained to differ slightly from my position on New Year’s resolutions and instead say what I would hope for in 2007.

Of course on the top of my wish list is that once and for all Martin Joseph and his team would put an appreciable dent in the abominable crime situation in our beloved land.

That he would stop using meaningless statistics about how less people were murdered in 2006 compared to the previous year.

Tell that to any one of the grieving families who lost a relative to the senseless murders ravaging the land, with no indication that we are turning around this sordid chapter in our nation’s history.

Last Tuesday morning I was buying breakfast in a cafe in St Joseph when I remarked about the 12-year-old boy arrested for fatally stabbing another youth two years older.

One of the customers, a WASA employee, responded nonchalantly:

“So what? That is small t’ing...”

“What!?” I said astonished at his causal stance.

“Don’t you read the Bible? De Bible say all of that going to happen…small t’ing man.”

I did not even bother to tell him that I have been hearing about that end-time scenario ever since I knew myself and that I did not think that the good Lord, Jah Jah, Krishna, Buddha, Allah, and who have you planned it that way.

My second wish is that we stop accepting these homicides and other violent crimes as a matter of course. It is just another death. No big thing. I cannot accept that. I hope that in 2007 we would all get up as one people and not only say enough is enough, but let the authorities (read the Government) know we are not prepared to live under the ever-present threat of the gunman.

But to achieve this collective attitudinal revolution, my third wish is that we stop saying, “Ah is a PNM until ah dead,” “I is a UNC until ah dead, “I is a COP until ah dead.”

We must let the politicians know that they are our servants and not the other way around.

Let them known that arrogance borne out of an overflowing Treasury, which got filled not because of sound economic planning, would not be tolerated.

That they cannot simply dismiss critics of their decisions and policies as being “foolish,” “stupid” or “unprofessional.” We were not such when they came begging for our votes.

Why do some of us allow them to play their divisive political and racial games on our minds? With this mindset it is easy for them to manipulate the people like lost sheep for their own political survival.

I think we would be on the road to building a true civil society when we can rise above partisan politics and artificial racial barriers and put the nation first.

That to me is not an impossible task but don’t expect that lead role from our self-opinionated political leaders, whose only reason for existence is to gain and hold on to “power,” at any cost. Most of them at least.

Am I asking too much?

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