Letters & Opinion

We must change our mindset, or woe be unto us all!

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

The purpose of revolution is to effect change and in most cases one has to fight to achieve such glory, but we have too much violence already, to add that factor to our predicament.

There is a saying that there are several ways to skin a cat, so basically what I am saying is that we must effect change to the existing system so that the needed change can come about but remembering at all times it has to be done without causing any destruction.

There are policies that we have inherited, there are also policies created for suppressive purposes and there are many redundant laws and thinking that exist today, that need to be looked into or amended.

As time evolves, so much of our thinking needs change. We must learn to adopt and adapt. We must assess what works for us as a people, and what works against us. The days when we laboured to satisfy the needs of the Motherland, or compromise in the interest of foreign investment and their selective needs has to be reexamined.

From a governmental perspective, many deals have been done, some detrimental and some questionable, such as the amount of land we leased (or gave away) in the South at a dollar per acre.

For instance, we have handed over most of our beachfront and choice lands to the highest bidders, we continue to offer concessions to all fly-by-night investors, while we curtail opportunity for our locals. Foreign entities set the price for our labour and most goods and services are priced based on using a foreign yardstick. Now we are caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea, because we settled for being the service providers and left the control of our general needs to our masters.

We suppress home-made industry and creativity to give priority to imported trade and services and now we are caught in a situation of no return, because all that we have, all that we own is controlled by foreign interests.

From our education to our employment opportunities, all are dictated or controlled by the international community. Despite our independence as a country, we decide nothing and must toe the line as it relates to what is expected of us.

We do not make the rules or decide the dos and the don’ts. We are programmed to conform, we choose to submit, we accept all the rules handed down and not even a minimum wage we can agree upon. We pay on demand, we cannot amend or deviate from the norm; in fact, we are governed by a handed-down philosophy.

Whosoever pays the piper calls the tunes and independent thinking is nothing but a fallacy a figment of our imagination. The price of goods and services, as well as payment for labour, are all intertwined in our submission and our colonial legacies.

There are many things that need changing in the interest of national growth, and the development of our people, but we dare not take the lead, nor dictate the conditions of our services. We give the State dominion over us and they in turn keep us suppressed in the interest of foreign trade and investment that usually profit a minority or selective grouping.

We know that one of our greatest need is employment and education, but such wants and needs are dependent on our adopted masters. Even our so called local enterprises follow the lead of our colonial masters. We are all shackled in the brain and any form of rebellion or discontentment will lead to your detriment, or you being marginalized, or identified as a trouble maker, deemed to be rebellious — and this means you need to be made an example of, or reprimanded, and if necessary, jailed for taking such a stance.

Some rules need to be changed. For example, to meet the present cost of living, wages have to also improve at all levels, if not we will continue to wallow in our sorrows and we will always be in want, always in need of more, and not being able to meet life’s demands.

So, who will fight our cause, who will stand up on our behalf and who cares enough to see and feel or know our pain. The brain drain should be an indication that many can’t cope with survival as it is presently dished out.

The sad reality is, if we do not rebel then there is not going to be change; and without change we are caught in this predicament indefinitely.

Going forward means to create a different mindset as it relates to our people or country’s development, but to do nothing to effect change means woe be onto us all!

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