Letters & Opinion

As a Nation, We’re Swimming Against the Tide!

Image of Batibou beach
Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

These days, it’s like there’s a sudden madness engulfing this country of ours. Behaviour as it relates to lifestyle has become strange and baffling. It’s like some people are deliberately shortening their lifespan, or, basically not caring about longevity.

I drive through the city of Castries on an early morning, and certain sidewalks are lined with early morning customers trying to get their first dose of rum for the day. Never mind the daily advice to ‘Drink Responsibly’; early-morning drinking seems to have become a new tonic for survival.

The same can be said about eating habits. There seems to be no more cooking at home: breakfast, lunch — and in some cases, even dinner — has become a fast-food affair.

People seem to enjoy spending all they have, because it has become the norm, to buy roadside foods rather than to prepare it for themselves.

But then, this behaviour goes beyond food and drink, as there is no time to comb one’s hair, the old-fashioned ‘plaits’ and homemade hairstyles is now out of the window; it’s now ‘braids’ of all types and colours, false hair replaces natural, everybody trying to go the way of the world — and in so doing denouncing what was cultural, natural, beautiful. And Black.

Our children no longer play outdoors, there’s no time to catch a sweat, or physically engage in exercise of one type or another. Now it is stay-at-home on your laptop, phone or tablet and play video games or gossip. Some strange habits have become our ways of life.

Yet we wonder why we have become so broke and never seem to have enough and we don’t realise that we spend all that we earn on buying all kinds of commodities and fashion-oriented gadgets. Now it’s all about the nice cars, big houses, fine clothing — and partying ‘til we drop.

We have to have all that is available; we need to stay looking trendy even though suffocated; ambitions become only that of real goal-seekers.

We want to be top-of-the-line so we can impress our peers. To always be noticed, we must stand out in a crowd and always be recognised as an achiever — all in the name of modern living.

But in doing all that, we also detach ourselves from reality and lose our spiritual values. We care only for self-gratification and don’t see ourselves as part of humanity.

We care not anymore about our Roots and Culture.

What a way to go!

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