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Are Vincentians ungrateful?

Are Vincentians ungrateful?

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Before I begin expressing my views, please note that this piece was NOT written in support of any political party, nor was it written to discourage one.

To be ungrateful is to be thankless or show no gratitude. It is important to define this word, as I often see it being used to stifle opinions. The idea that someone is ungrateful if they criticize the Government, the law or a political figure is absolutely ludicrous. Believe it or not, it is quite possible to be appreciative, while maintaining objectivity. In my opinion, this is a major problem facing our country and our decision making; we are unable to be objective.

Being objective means not being influenced by personal feelings, or opinions when considering and representing facts. It seems that, as a people, we have lost this ability. Do you support a political figure because of their moral stance and qualifications or your own personal feelings? Do you vote based on merit and actions of a politician, or do you blindly support a political party?

These are important questions. Too many times we stifle each other because we conflate constructive criticism with ungrateful behaviour. Let me even go further and say that you are not required to be grateful. When you vote someone into a position of power as your representative, it is their job to work in the country’s best interest. These people do not work for free, and your many thanks does not feed or fuel them. So, why is my gratefulness a requirement for someone to be a great leader?

Nothing is free. The roads we drive on and the schools were all built with our tax dollars. Every citizen has a right to how our country is run, and that right is exercised when we vote. Let me repeat, I do not care which political party you support or why. I am simply reminding you of your right to an opinion in your country’s governance.

Believe it or not, you can love your country and criticize its shortcomings; these things are not mutually exclusive. How do we expect to improve as a nation when objectivity is equated to ‘fighting down’? For example, if I critique the education system, it does not mean I am not thankful for my education. It means I have seen faults and believe there is room for improvement.

Currently, the entire generation of millennials has only experienced one political party governance. Those who are currently in their early thirties would have been too young to understand politics. Thus, I feel that lends us to bias when it comes to comparing both dominating parties, as we have not experienced both. Therefore, whenever I look at the political landscape, I analyse each politician individually and not just the party in its entirety.

If we learn to be critical and not emotional, we would be able to work together and improve our country. We must learn to analyse a situation and find its faults and weaknesses. Next time someone speaks out against a leader, before you call them “ungrateful,” try to listen and understand their words. Nothing will change if we all stick our heads in the sand and refuse to listen to each other.

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