Letters & Opinion

Afterword (Do You See What I See?)

Image of Nahdjla Bailey
By Nahdjla Bailey

IT’S nice to know from the feedback I received that there are not a few souls who feel the same way that I do about what takes place daily in the city at the street junction under discussion. I was telling them that when I first noticed the non-functioning lights soon after the current administration had assumed office, I thought there would have been a hue and cry from drivers and the general public. But it never came, so I concluded that they’d heard the rumours (?) about the empty coffers and were being sympathetic.

I also speculated that LUCELEC may have cut the lights on account of huge arrears. Someone else suggested it might have been due to a case of wholesale vandalism at that section.

However, after this had gone on for about three months or more, I kind of thought there might be something even more significant taking place and, with my decided Singapore bias, I theorised that it must be a greatly inspired tactic, serving a strategy of patience, tolerance and compromise-inducing behaviour, all in pursuit of an overall (very ambitious!) goal of fashioning a new and renewed Saint Lucian people: the stuff of policy, no less! And, incredibly, it appeared to be working – and still is, I might add!

Folks have reported that this exercise in forced patience, tolerance and compromise is being internalized and has begun to yield increasing instances of spontaneous, random acts of thoughtfulness, kindness and helpfulness at other intersections. Long may it continue, I say, because to tell the truth, one actually gets to one’s destination in an appreciably shorter space of time. In other words, the give-and-take wordless communication of the spirit is flourishing, notwithstanding, I am told, the inevitable, but rare presence of one or two capital jerks.

Furthermore, I can’t wait to see the acknowledged transfer value of these newly-acquired virtues at play in all directions and contexts and at all levels throughout the society. That’s usually how these things play out, for like Mrs. Reece’s laugh, “they germinate, they spread, from small beginnings, things of easy girth, to formidable redundancies of mirth” (Martin Armstrong). Oh, happy day!

Meanwhile, I like Geoffrey Devaux’s suggestion that this now-famous intersection of Jeremie St/JC Highway/Peynier Street be named “Courtesy Corner”, he being one of those who, like me, has for a long time now, appreciated the importance of what endures there each and every day. I think signage in really big letters is a terrific idea and could act as a reminder to anyone wanting to step out of line. I would happily pay for the erection of that sign or ask Mr. Devaux to go halves with me, for thereby hangs a positive tale.

I would encourage teachers to take the young ones to see what transpires at that intersection and use it as an object lesson for teaching desirable virtues. A living lesson. Now, if only the City Council could decide who is responsible for erecting signs in the city… But that, folks, is another story, and one which I’d rather obliterate from memory!

Long live Courtesy Corner!

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