There Is A Victory To Be Won And It Should Have Been Ours

Emancipate Ourselves From Mental Slavery

An online reader of the Trindad and Tobago Guardian left this comment and I have to respectfully disagree. Bigdaddy said in his comment:
"No matter how consistent the PM is while she introduces strategy to combat crime, some malcontents stay awake all night waiting for the guardian to publish the latest topic at twelve midnight, with no sleep in their eyes, the detractors and malcontents are ready to pounce in a vain attempt to find fault and critique before observing, analyzing and then commenting. Naysayers have been around for years, but these doubters and critics were all too silent when the PNM administration a major contributor to the lawlessness the country and its citizen find itself in today."
While it is true that I have lost some sleep over certain events in T&T, I suspect that you already know that persons expressing different opinions in a respectful manner, should not be summarily dismissed as detractors, malcontents and naysayers. Doubters and critics, certainly, but doubters and critics are not intrinsically bad, and unless we can disprove the validity of the reasons for their alarm, it would be better to do one or more of the following:

-respectfully listen to and note their remarks and walk away agreeing to disagree,
-respectfully listen to and note their remarks and then engage in further discussion,
-respectfully listen to and note their remarks and acknowledge, if only to ourselves, that they have given us something to think about,
-respectfully listen to and note their remarks and understand that sometimes (unfortunately) only time will reveal whose opinions were right or wrong.

I was among those who strongly disagreed with all aspects of this CoP hiring process. I strongly disapproved of the results. I was also very alarmed by how both were jubilantly celebrated as victories by the government. And yet, and yet...I continued to read all remarks. I continued to question my own reasons for disapproval.

I haven't changed my mind and I would think it an equally unwise decision if a Canadian city were to employ a non-national to lead its Police Force. Although I have seen comments which specifically scoff at the protests coming from Trinbagonians of the diaspora, do consider that these citizens abroad may be functioning as your scouts, the ones best qualified to assure you, after having stood toe to toe and lived side by side with professionals and ordinary people all over the world, that our compatriots back home are NO less intelligent, NO more corrupt and NO less qualified to do the work of the nation. I am not saying that a foreign CoP will fail. I am saying that given the same support and resources that this foreign CoP will be given by a committed government, a national would have done the job as well, if not better.

The pride, satisfaction and increased confidence resulting from personal accomplishment of tasks, both great and small, is shared by humans and even animals. I am not likening us, as a nation, to children, but my mind keeps returning to the scene of the young child, expressing sometimes inconsolable anger and frustration after being told or prevented by others from attempting a task for which he or she has been judged incapable of attempting or completing successfully. I have seen this scene time and time again with young children and I have heard younger adults sharply remind their guardians that they are no longer children and can stand on their own two feet.

The victory would have been OURS and that fact, Mr. Moonilal, and not the hiring of a foreigner would have warranted your speaking about "an historic day for the country in terms of the fight against crime."

Regarding this statement by Bigdaddy:
"but these doubters and critics were all too silent when the PNM administration a major contributor to the lawlessness the country and its citizen find itself in today."
Arrogance is deaf and silencing. Consider that many of those who were mute before May 24, 2010, must have understood by observation, or after having themselves been silenced, that speaking out would have been a waste of time under the previous administration. People finding their voices now is a sign of their hope that this government will not dismiss their concerns. Has it not proclaimed that it will listen to the people?

People finding their voices now could also be a sign of the heightened alertness of the "once bitten, twice shy." They are determined not to ignore ANY warning signs, no matter how inconspicuous. They want all leanings towards "corrupt business as usual" to be nipped in the bud.

In Quebec, for example, the official motto of the province is, "Je me souviens." It means, "I remember" and it signifies to all, that Québécois remember their past and the lessons that it taught them. Many Trinbagonians are in this mode now as they critically appraise the actions and attitude of this new government. We remember what went before. We remember the promises that were made and broken. We want this government to remember also.

We are all guilty from time to time of wanting to and even attempting to suppress views which are different and which cause us great irritation. If we are fortunate, experience will teach us that even the wisest persons still stand in need of enlightenment and sometimes this enlightenment comes from the least likely of sources. I would consider it a sad loss if any of the voices attempting respectful discussion were to be dismissed or censored. Among them may be our canaries in the mine shaft, and Bigdaddy, if the canaries go silent, crapaud smoke we pipe!
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!