Letters & Opinion

The Race Is Not For The Swift

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Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Independent Eye by Kensley Peter Charlemange

OFTEN, people ask me if I am going up for the next general elections, only to discourage me from doing so.

“You are going to hurt yourself,” they say.

I then have to wonder if it is genuine concern or comedy and that the joke is on me.

Certainly, the questioner here has given me no chance of winning, as if failure is the only possibility.

“But why are you giving me one option here?” I retorted.

Others ask rhetorically, but I still offer an answer.

“So you went up for elections some time ago, didn’t you?” “And you lost?”

Like, duh? “I did and I am not ashamed to confess,” is my quick comeback. “It is better to have tried and failed than not have tried at all.”

I get heckled by some on the streets: “You run the elections and you only get six votes,” (obviously a little more informed than others) and “You only get one vote. You vote for yourself?”

I have been called all kind of things in my political pursuits. There are many who call me mad. There are those who tell me that running as an independent is political suicide. What I do not get a lot of is, “Kensley, why do you do this?” No one is ready to sit down and have a conversation, and even the more intellectual among us dismiss my attempt as a mere joke.

“Elections take money,” some rightly advise.

It does not have to, and some people ask me to be real.

I am wary about taking money from people to fund my election. If you win, at the end of the day, you may feel that you owe them something. In fact, I dare say some may come claiming. I am not saying that I will not accept money from others, but you have to be so circumspect. I do not want to fund my campaign alone. I will feel that I do not owe anyone anything.

Here is an ideological shift in thinking: rather than looking for handouts when politicians come around and when they win, they feel that they owe you nothing and they look for “creative” ways to full back their pockets when they are in office. Look for those you can fund and have a legitimate reason to demand. I am not saying to support any Joe Blow who comes along. Put on your discernment cap.

Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

When Another Peter tells me, “Kensley, when do you think you shall experience a feeling of total futility for your work, articles, opinions and your failed life?” You may want to go hang yourself.

Instead, I choose to focus on Another One who comments, “I enjoyed your article. I was not aware of your writing nor was I interested in reading articles on this site before but after reading the humility with which you addressed a perceived error, I was impressed. There is a quality in you that not many today possess or display. I just might return to this site more often to read more of your work and see what other thinking St. Lucians have to offer.”

This week, I received the most encouraging of remarks on Facebook Messenger from a young lady in the South. She wrote, “Mr. Charlemagne, I admire your bravery in advocating change in our small nation. You are inspiring…and your followers take notice. Thank you for making your contribution in elevating the quantum leap of consciousness. One love.”

I do not know what inspired her to message me this, but thanks.

Here is another unsolicited message that I got this week, “That quotation [above] is for you to remember as you keep on standing up for what you believe in. Throughout history, it is the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most that has made it possible for evil to triumph. H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie.”

I will press on. Anse La Raye/Canaries, here I come!

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