Letters & Opinion

Independence? Or living in dependence…

Happy Independence!
Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

As we get ready to celebrate another independence anniversary, I wonder if that word still has any merit as it relates to the St. Lucia context.

After 40 years of obtaining that title, do we even contemplate its meaning, or do we ever exercise our right to make own decisions without being prompted by what the rest of the world is doing or thinking?

Granted that in some political circles certain leaders and politicians, due to the powers vested in them, do exercise those powers to make decisions independently and without consultation or discussions with other stakeholders or concerned citizens. But when it comes to making critical decisions on matters of national interest, they seem clueless and helpless to come up with sound answers that will impact our nation.

I refer to such decisions as it relates to education: Why are our children carrying such heavy school bags on their backs like donkeys, when the total content of their text books can become digitized and thus minimised into one electronic unit and lighten that burden, as well as reduce the cost of yearly book-buying by parents?

Why the non-acceptance here (still) that marijuana is the modern agricultural product that can and will change some of our financial woes?

Why does housing have to cost an arm and a leg bordering on millions?

How come we have to depend on foreign investors to create meaningful employment for us? Are we not independent enough to create our own projects and industries?

Why do we not use our own consultants and graduates to create our tomorrow through our own eyes and culture? That, to me, is the true meaning of independence — believing in ourselves, investing in our future building by us and for us, showing the government that there are thinkers amongst us and we have the capacity to shape our destiny?

This pseudo concept that we are handicapped or unable to think for ourselves or need politicians to dictate our future is garbage — a misguided thought, a wrong that must be made right.

Whether we realize or accept it or not, the uncomfortable truth is that we as a nation have reached the stage of no return, because there are progressive minds that exist in our midst just being marginalized because of political stupidity and biased values.

Here’s hoping that in 2019 we rise to the occasion and realize that we are already an independent nation and we just cannot continue to depend on others to make us independent.

Awah! We must shift from living in dependence to establishing our independence. We are still 40 years behind in this department.

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