...building Confidence.

In a recent article written by Sunity Maharaj, "Noise as strategy, outrage as defence." I seized upon the line quoted below because it describes the situation that has been causing me some distress,
"But we deny ourselves the chance to learn when we allow opportunity to be drowned out by the noise of manipulation and the sound of panicked outrage born out of valid fear but of dubious fact."
The author could also have written, "born not out of valid fear but of dubious fact," or "born out of valid fear of dubious fact." They all would have worked for me. Many of us cannot ascertain whether our fears are justified because the "facts" available to us are dubious and many of us are validly afraid because we know that the facts are "dubious." Consider the quality of the responses from the managers of this country on the most recent assault on a journalist, a media house AND press freedom.

Some time ago in reply to a reader's comment, I said:
"To be completely honest with you, I often find myself silenced by a lack of information. And this is precisely the commodity that will be made most scarce in situations where uncertainty is the preferred climate."
Why would anyone prefer a climate of uncertainty? Well, the saving grace and the danger of uncertainty is that it can stall our ability to judge situations. The problem is that it is not only the innocent who can benefit from the pause, the guilty can also use it to escape swift assessment, conviction and punishment.

I don't know how you feel but I am especially susceptible to a deficit of information. I am like a fish out of water without the facts. I am rendered halting and at the mercy of my very paranoid gut and this paranoid gut has been clenching.

I choose to accentuate the positive not because I am blind to certain aspects of reality but because I see the good so clearly and I really do believe that things can fall into place with time and a genuine determination to improve. But in my worst moments, alone as I am, and without the opiates of hot rotis and beastly cold Apple J's, I sometimes find myself imagining that a web is being woven that appears in the early stages to be silken, innocent, bumbling child's play, but which, when the time is right, will glisten and whine and slice like razor wire when pulled tightly around the hapless guppies. This is the nightmarish space into which many citizens can be pushed and unfortunately this state invites manipulation by forces which may not have this country's best interests at heart.

But this is what happens when people are disrespected, excluded and are left to fill in the blanks. If a government is considerate and honest, or at the very least cunning, it does everything in its power to credibly close those information gaps, to minimise uncertainty, to build confidence and trust.

I see uncertainty as just one of the many tools of repression. The repression to which I refer is that which routs and enervates the spirit, that stifles honest questions and the analysis that should follow honest answers, that reduces questioning minds to grunting, sweaty bodies allowed no other outlet than to stay in their corners and wine down low - a hellish spectacle brilliantly employed by 3CANAL in their song "Salt."

No matter how I have turned this around in my head, I cannot accept our state of uncertainty. I cannot accept managers who conveniently do not know what is going on or who remain silent about how they are taking care of the country's business. Minister Fuad Khan did give me hope recently with the manner in which he first responded to the ambulance fiasco and then went on to get to the bottom of what had occurred while reporting back to the public. Am I just easily impressed or is it because these displays of servant-leadership and honesty are all too rare? I cannot at this point provide a catalog of all the many instances since May 2010, where we have been left in shocked disbelief to conjugate our perennial state of ignorance:

I don't know,
you don't know,
he/she/it doesn't know,
we don't know,
they don't know.

With religion we are taught that we should not question God's plan. God's ways, after all, are not our ways. I had never expected after reaching adulthood, that the same surrender would be due to any man. What happens in the mind of the adult Trinbagonian who is denied this right? And is it even a right in our country? Are we that kind of democracy yet?

"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!