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Fri Aug 8, 2014

Editor: As we face many issues in today’s world, I’d like to encourage those persons with an audience to use their voice effectively to create a positive impact. Will Smith says “If you’re not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.”{{more}}

Contemplate on the following questions:

1. Are we aware of the issues which affect us as a country?

2. Are we aware of the struggles which those around us face on a daily basis?

3. Are we concerned about the positive development of our country?

I’ve put together my thoughts on the following:

Crime and Violence

As issues such as crime and violence continue to escalate, I ask myself, where are the voices of our leaders, our Christian Council, our Youth Council, our nation’s talent and all concerned citizens? I do not, however, mean voices that only say or ask “this issue needs addressing or when will it end?” I mean voices that are willing to share their views on the issue, voices that will seek to unite with many others to make one cry, one plea, one unified stance.

To tackle this issue, we must carefully analyse it, realize what causes a person to engage in crime and violence and the best suited ways to address the issue. Where do we begin?

Unemployment

The high rate of unemployment is a serious issue among our people, especially our youths. Those who have completed college in various fields are sending job applications to numerous business places, but receiving no response. I ask the question, what are we doing? As many cry and complain about this issue, they are deemed lazy or not looking for or trying to obtain what is available. This may be true for a percentage, but what about those who are trying their best?

Political division

Are you red, yellow, green or are you Vincentian? The division among our people has soared to a level which deteriorates the progress needed to take us forward. Every person has the right to support whichever side they desire, but to turn this freedom of choice into an obsession, fuelled by a tunnel minded perception of the perfect political party, undermines this. When as a people, we are at the stage where hatred, anger, disgust, violence, whether physical or verbal, is dished out at the persons supporting the side we oppose, then we definitely have a problem. What are we doing to curb this? Are we not realizing the consequences if it is continually ignited by the silence of those at the head and those affiliated with them?

Inability to address the issues Our inability to address these issues can be perceived as an issue itself. It is made even worse when persons refuse to let their voices be heard, even when they themselves see or are affected as families, as a community and as a country. Persons most times refuse to express their opinions in a public forum, but will do so in a private setting. What good will your silence do to tackle the issues which affect us daily? While we remain quiet, families are not only struggling, but are mourning the loss of their loved ones. The struggle is real!! While many may love the idea of remaining silent and/or praying for a change, the great philosopher Mahatma Gandhi urges us to “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

Young People Must Take Charge

If, as young people, we were to tap into our full potential and talent, we will be amazed at the positive changes we can bring about in our community and within the country. As youths we need to act rather than react, we need to awaken from our slumber, for ignoring an issue or being unconcerned about it will not benefit us personally. You may not be directly affected by an issue now, but what happens if nothing is done and the issues which affect us escalate and affect you? What then? Why sit and look around waiting for someone to stand up, step up and speak up? Why not become a leader?

As young people we must take charge, we must accept the responsibility of taking our country forward. We must be willing to think critically, we must be willing to think ‘outside the box’, we must be willing to think positively. There are others already taking this stance, however, we must unite in numbers. No more can we sit silently or unconcerned. It is commonly said that the youths are the future of tomorrow, but ask yourself this: “If I do nothing today, what kind of future will I have tomorrow?” Will you be able to live the life you envision? Will you be able to live as happy as you want to?

You may think that no one will listen. You may say you’re afraid or shy, but if you do not speak, then no one will listen; if you remain afraid, then you will forever live in fear. If we remain silent, shy and afraid, what kind of future is in store for us? What kind of future can we possibly have if we’re afraid to speak, afraid to do what’s right, afraid to contribute to our country, afraid to pave the way for a better tomorrow? What sort of future do you want? That future depends on what you do today!

Dillon Ollivierre

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