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An independence needed from within


Our region shares a common past of colonisation, a common history of the enslavement of its people, as well as their emancipation.

Today, we also share a common achievement for the most part in the accomplishment of national sovereignty in the form of our political independence. From that chronology, it appears that it is safe to assume that emancipation rightly precedes independence, and for the protagonists of a Caribbean Single Market and Economy, the lessons to be learnt from national independence must be counted as a prized commodity preceding regional interdependence.{{more}} However, as it pertains to our development as a people we have repeatedly looked solely at the outside boundaries and not at the aspects of changes that should occur from within. Within the boundaries reside a people and a very important question must be asked of us, have we as a people been able to translate the intended gains of political independence into the advancement of our society? Or is independence restricted only to the already achieved break in dependency from Britain?

We have been able to manage our own affairs as a nation with some degree of success since our independence, which is proof that we are not locked in the past. However, we have a mighty long way to go, hence our efforts must not be relaxed. It is interesting to note however, that besides the externalities which arise as a consequence of the conduct of the more developed nations, for the most part we are our greatest enemy.

We become our greatest enemy when we limit our dream as a people and refrain from acting circumspectly. Far too many of our people lack the entrepreneurial drive desirable if we are to sustain growth of any considerable degree. For far too long we have settled to be a good worker and no more.

This generation, I beg, cannot afford to entertain lethargy as an alternative to thrift and industry. It pains my heart when I see a young person age 18-20 years who would have benefited from so many advancements in today’s society which our fore parents were not privileged, and still settle for far so less. For those who can afford, owning your own small business allows you the opportunity to have greater control of your future, and at the very same time render a service to your people, so you must not be afraid to venture with prudence.

It is very apparent when one analyses the current trend, that our people in general need a greater sense of self-determination. It is this concept of self-determination, which forms the foundation for the development of the much broader concept of the “consciousness of self help”.

This consciousness will have zero tolerance for anyone who wants to use the airwaves to promulgate, in some instances, unfounded babble. In St Vincent and the Grenadines it is becoming apparent that the fundamental right of freedom of speech enshrined in our Constitution is being wrongly used to disseminate misinformation. The tragedy of the plot is that the disseminators knowingly distort information. If this is not curtailed with a great sense of urgency we will be fostering the academic impoverishment of generations to come. Hence a greater duty needs to be placed on persons who disseminate information to our people to ensure that their information is properly verified.

If we are to move forward as a people we must not allow the chronic dissenting voices who are intent on waywardness to retard development.

The voice of the people must be heard clearly, this is where the need for local government finds a place, in a bid to collate a rich knowledge base of ideas to advance our society.

It is only when we would have grouped our resources and constructively decide to devote our strength to nation building can we really speak of an independence from within which will be used to bolster our political independence and sovereignty.