Letters & Opinion

We better ‘Take Warning’ or ‘Too Late Shall Be Our Cry!

Bell peppers under cultivation at Morne Fortune on a half acre farm of Fimbar Evans
Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

I MAY be wrong, but if I remember correctly, when I was growing up as a boy, I was always told that the cocoa we grew was of high quality, but while a few families used it, most of it was exported and then repurchased as chocolate.

I also know that almost every family drinks coffee, but it is usually bought off the supermarket shelf but seldom from the farms. The same applies for juices, canned fruit, tuna, sardines, meats and fish of all types, and especially hams — why not produced locally, I have always wondered, and why none of these products are manufactured here?

Is it because we have low standards, or we do not have the privilege or opportunity? I know we have the land capacity? I also know the climate is ideal and most nationals come from a village background, so why the emphasis on hotel jobs rather than agriculture and manufactured products?

Is it about a degrading perception of being a farmer, or is it about ensuring that the merchants continue to acquire wealth through the import trade without consideration for the price people are paying for goods?

Why do nationals of other countries find it fitting to work in firms that produce such goods and we instead export farm labor, instead of harvesting what we have?

Isn’t it time we come to our senses and start thinking home-grown first before imports?

Can’t we begin doing for us first, or as well? Must we sell all that we have from land to choice spots of significance, when is it going to be about us, our sports, our culture, our children, our disabled, our elderly, our country, as well as our customs? Should we always be consumers? Or servants only saying ‘Yes Sir’ or ‘Yes Madame’?

Is it worth having beaches? Do we care about our nationality or our people? Why do we buy, rather than produce?

How can we put the building of roads before health care, unless the reason is to impress visitors?

How come so many taxes are being paid in our working life, but when you get old you can’t find a retirement home? Should all people over-60 die because of lack of funds, to keep the coffers of the affluent people alive?

I find it hard to understand why growth is about equipment and technology and merchants, but not about people.

Who decides or determines what the people need or want? Who decides what jobs we should do? Who sets the rules that some can earn millions while most nationals scrunt?

I have so many more questions…

Why is the law and the Government working hand-in-hand to keep us enslaved? Is the deal to work for just about enough to eat and pay bills, buy the occasional luxury item, drink to stay merry, or smoke to get merrier, while the privilege class enrich themselves? I mean, some work very hard for their money, but those who throw it in the air while people die hungry are also doing it with the support of the system too.

We are supposed to have well-educated persons here, but none are challenging the system or fighting for change. It’s like everybody is living in denial that our rights are trampled upon, we lack justice for all, equal opportunity, growth through education — and yet we sit back say nothing and do nothing, but talk about what affects us and leave things just the same.

I grew-up knowing the old saying that ‘a stitch in time saves nine’, but it looks like since we don’t have seamstresses stitching anymore and it’s gone out-a-style, we behave too like the message has also gone out of style. But we have to take warning, because ‘too late’ shall be our cry; and the changes that we are afraid to make today will one day be our greatest regret.

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