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National Reconciliation in SVG – 1

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Reconciliation is a kind of Make-Over; a make-over that takes place on the deep inside, as well as on the outside surfaces.

In the make-over from hostility to love, reconciliation is the technique and also the result, in part. Our Calypsonian Becket sings it, ‘Love is the answer’ he proclaims.{{more}} In Afghanistan, SVG, London, as a problem solver, it is to be both the process and the product. Patches, too, calls for it and laments over our loss of will and our venality.

“Where have all the good people gone?” is his research question. And Paul, the New Testament writer, claims the first Ministry of Reconciliation and Make-over (2 Cor 5:17-18), “…everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the Ministry of Reconciliation…” The process from hostility to love calls for a ministry of reconciliation, a love process in the hands of the people. Patches calls them ‘good people’; Paul calls them ‘ambassadors for Christ”; I simply say like Becket: ‘Love People”.

FROM FRAGMENTATION

National political reconciliation. That is what this article will focus on. Other kinds of fragmentation afflict us seriously, but for now – politics. The road to national reconciliation and away from political fragmentation begins when the “separated” parties recognize (the disadvantage of) their divisiveness. To tell the truth, most of the time our political and national fragments enjoy and luxuriate in their partisan separateness. They do not know the difference between being ULP and being Vincentian. The same for NDP persons. They both, in different measures, feel secure and whole in their tribal splinters. Howard Thurman, a black American theologian, says of them that they cling to an “isolated security”. For them, the other party is an illegitimate, even a criminal group which the/their nation tribe does not need to respect. SVG is not far from Sudan, Rwanda and other genocidal formations, and political leaderships are powerless and disabled to halt this journey. They are the fragment makers, reproducing hate, hostility and national disintegration. Perhaps, in passing, we might suggest that the Republican Party in the United States is also on the road to Rwanda! I don’t think they are able to consider it as their destination, though.

3 R’s to Reconciliation

If it is a valid observation that for national reconciliation our political parties need to recognize the disadvantage of our divisiveness and fragments, and if our parties are so structured that they want to keep or to get power for their fragments, and if it is the duty and mission of our party leaderships to lead their fragments to become the nation’s government, then national reconciliation in SVG cannot be led or introduced by our political party leaderships. They will lead us only to splinters and bleeding.

In the face of such a probability being our real flesh and blood reality, we have to reverse the way we construct our nation’s destiny. It cannot be left to Ralph or Arnhim or Ivan or Matthew. Our nation’s and people’s reconciliation calls on us as Vincentians to repent, to re-imagine, and to reconnect.

Repent in this situation means to want, more than any other political item, the reconciliation and integration of our Vincentian community. It is not an easy ‘want’. Do we as Vincentians want one whole and wholesome Vincentian community more than we want our party to govern? To repent is to have a mental makeover from political cynicism or fanaticism or fatalism, and to raise our desire for and our faith in a new model Vincentian, and to become its prototype and evangelist. That is why for our national reconciliation, we need to combine ‘Repent’ with ‘Re-imagine’.

We have to make over, or release our imagination, so that we focus on and grasp the substance of how a united people’s SVG will operate and develop. Can we begin to envisage and envision a One People, One nation SVG? Not without contradictions and conflicts, but with no partisan political alienations. And so as to move beyond new creative imagination, we have to reconnect with each other in different ways and help love to gain more power & authority over us.

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