“YOUR pride for your country should not come after your country becomes great; your country becomes great because of your pride in it” IdowuKoyenikan.
The end result of increases in productivity and enhanced competitiveness is a better standard of living for the average citizen. Put simply, productivity means making the best use of the available resources to achieve a better outcome.
Competitiveness on the other hand, focuses on developing optimal conditions in the country that promote economic well-being. These two concepts are closely linked as increases in productivity in a country will lead to a competitive economy.
To the average businessman, vendor, farmer or civil servant these terms may seem very abstract and may not be relatable to them. However, it is important that our citizens collectively understand productivity and competitiveness and their importance in ensuring that we build a stronger economy. That is, we must be cognizant of the fact that- productivity and competitiveness helps ensure that there are better social amenities, better roads, jobs, a better health care system and opportunities for our children to become skilled, trained and educated.
As such, it is vital that all walks of life unite and join in the quest of advancing Saint Lucia economically. This therefore calls for all segments of the population to get involved as everyone has an important role in creating a more competitive country. That is, it is the responsibility of our leaders to cause changes while the workers are the ones actively implementing these changes. The electorate is responsible for demanding accountability and change. Our youth is also responsible for embracing the importance of skills, training and education as they will be the future engineers of a competitive Saint Lucia. As such, we see this concept as being applicable to the entire citizenry.
In order to build a more competitive Saint Lucia, there must be a shift in mindset and culture to one of uniting to build a better Saint Lucia. Citizens must understand that they are not just employed to receive a salary but rather for the advancement of their country. Our actions therefore have a greater societal impact which will determine and affect the way we live, the opportunities available to us and more importantly the amount of money we have in our pockets. And so, a labourer who is constructing a school building should not see it as just carrying blocks to get paid on Friday. A conscious productive citizen will see this as constructing the right environment for his children and grandchildren to be comfortable when learning so that they can thrive and be champions of their own success.
Patriotism involves a desire to see one’s country thrive. Efforts to enhance Saint Lucia holistically must encompass citizens actively and collectively working and acting in our country’s best interest. This involves being a productive worker, keeping our surroundings clean, getting involved in community work etc. Patriotism promotes unity which is the key to success. It therefore encourages citizens to work diligently for the betterment of their homeland. Patriotism serves as a motivator as it drives people to work hard which leads to a successful nation. Apart from hard work, patriotism pulls people together when their country is faced with external threats such as natural disasters or other global crises.
There should be a continuous and concerted effort to awaken a patriotic conscience among Saint Lucians. This should be done through continuous reminders on social media, through television and radio programmes, students should be taught thoroughly about the value of patriotism, also our people can be informed about their social duties through newspapers, billboards, advertisements etc.
In conclusion, patriotism promotes a powerful, productive and competitive nation, as it continuously motivates us to work for the betterment of the country. This betterment can advance Saint Lucia to a more productive and competitive country. It is a positive step in making Saint Lucia more united, strong and a more unbeatable nation within the region. Therefore, to promote a more developed, united and competitive country, it should start with awakening a patriotic principle of our people.
Happy Independence Saint Lucia!