Letters & Opinion

Calypsos Sounding The Right Notes, But Have We Learned To Listen Well Enough?

I listened to quite a number of calypsos this season and there seems to be one common theme: a number of songs seem to suggest disappointment or dissatisfaction as it relates to our development or management of our policies — and by extension the government.

You often think that what is heard or what is planned on behalf of the people is not what is needed by the people. So, basically, the direction the country is taking is now a major concern by most citizens.

I have often said in previous articles that we must stop building castles in the sky and seek to deal with the reality of our actual needs. What good is it to have modern sea and air ports, fine roads and high-rise condos and hotels, with our health and education in shambles?

Who are we building for and who are we trying to impress? Surely, not everyone is impressed, because the majority will not enjoy or endure to reap or profit from the benefits of this new tomorrow.

We plan, dream, institute, remodel and reconstruct, but we forget most people along the wayside and it is always the few who profit and benefit the most, despite the whole nation supporting the government taking charge of our development.

Our chances are slim: it’s either one or the other, but until you get it right and incorporate all of us, discontentment will grow.

We must remember that our citizenry incorporates various sectors, as well as different classifications of people. Not everyone is modernized or electronic in their thinking, some are even untrainable, some are daft, some are considered lazy, some disappointed, even disenchanted because of previous reflection and the nothingness attached to their lives.

And the biggest problem is quite a few have lost hope.

We have become hopeless in fighting crime. It is hopeless to think that the cost of goods and services will get cheaper, the salary of a few goes up in inches, while the cost of living goes up by a mile – and never the twain shall meet, unless you indulge in extraordinary habits and illegal business.

If you don’t water or nurture the plant, how will it grow? If it by chance grew regardless, should it not be trimmed or kept in check or even protected? Many have transgressed, many have fallen between the cracks, some have gone astray, but regardless we are still one people and the problems of state affects all of us.

True development seeks to be inclusive. We cannot neglect the poor, the old or the so-called ‘degenerates’. The young need support, but there are many more grieving because of various depression and injustice.

Some cannot speak for themselves, some cannot afford to care for themselves, some are helpless because of circumstances — and some desperately need help, guidance and support.

One death is too many, but we seem to be in a hurry to depart this life. Life is shortened by bad health, bad lifestyle practices and bad men and women who take life as they please.

We really need to do more to do what is necessary to bridge the yawning gaps that are dividing our society into one of those that can soon explode just because we seem to refuse to learn from other people’s bad experiences.

We are not yet standing on the edge of the precipice, but the strong winds are certainly blowing us forward in that wrong direction where stepping ahead can be disastrous, if not fatal.

Just listen to the calypsos again — and get the message, whether it is during or after carnival!

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