Letters & Opinion

Why I Really Miss the Old Days

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

It is sometimes difficult to make comparisons because as time passes, so do values and what was and what is seem to have changed drastically. And yet, while one should have been a guide to the other, there seems to be no likeness.

I remember a time when we lived in harmony in most communities, especially in the outer districts, where one could have left their homes open and roam the whole island without fear of theft or injury to their family or loss of their personal assets. And I also remember when most families, especially on Sundays, would cook food at home and hope a stranger or visitor passed by to give them a share.

We cared for each other back then and we shared the little we had; we looked out for each other and we were never envious of each other or hated someone to the point of creating harm, far less murdering them, and most of all we lived in harmony with nature, a time when grandmothers mattered.

All that was available was priced at a reasonable cost, even land. But it seems we have reached an age and a stage when everybody has to look over their shoulder because of the mistrust in another.

Corporate St. Lucia has become less lenient and is giving people less or no time to pay, everybody demands pay on time and in advance as well as in full, no discounts, but only price-hikes for so-called improved services. And loans and business deals are all fixed with maximum interest in mind. Everything you buy is priced above reach. To obtain food, clothing, rental or preferential service is top dollar and that does not include house and land. No bartering, no service or help without pay, no lending or giving because the other has none, or less.

We can’t go to the communities to get medical help from our elders, no free advice, no counseling, no nothing without pay, not even an animal that use to be given freely is available any more, as all cats and dogs are for sale.

As for the Government, you are taxed and have to pay licenses for everything. The Courts are designed to suck you dry, and every contract is tied legally so if you falter you are taken to the Courts. The Law is upheld to ensure as soon as you have transgressed you are made an example of. Robbery, bribery, rip-offs, embezzlements and laundering are all traits of the day, murder is becoming a daily dose and everybody who is not categorised as the haves are condemned to become a victim.

To enjoy leisure comes at a cost, whether alcohol or dope or general entertainment, especially if it is imported, or has class etched to it like Jazz.  Material needs such as transportation, boats, bikes, or other are all available, but at top dollars. So basically, in this modern day and advanced times, living is costly, especially education.

We can’t go back, but adjustments can be done, with more sympathy or gestures of the heart or what we sometimes call the Christian way of life, all that can be applied.

We lack empathy, good will and love, we lack respect and we lack having a soul. We seek to be happy, we seek prosperity, we look for justice and equality, but we are whacking a dead horse.

The now generation leaves no room for culture or the family way, a lot of relationships are on rocky grounds, most fathers are missing in action, kids bring shame to their parents daily and there is no place to go for refuge, not even the Church.

Now, if this is the price for progress, then I must say I really miss the good old days.

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