THERE is nothing wrong in having a new vision, or trying to duplicate some world trend development. But one must always remember that smallness or simplicity is not always a bad thing.
I recall the small things that made me appreciate the quaint little island I came from.
I also recall visiting Sweden and watching people fishing at the water front and I could never understand why the fish caught was always thrown back into the sea, until I was told that the water was polluted due to development and while fishing was a sport, the fish was contaminated. Reflecting on my homeland, though, this was never the case.
I saw large lakes in Canada, but nobody bathing, because it was either too cold or unclean — and reflected on the many river baths that were enjoyed in my homeland in what we called the community swimming pool. I have memories of buying mangoes at a London market place and paying Four Pounds Sterling for three mangoes (back then when a Pound was five EC dollars) and I shook my head, because I could have got four dozen mangoes at home for the same price back then. But I still had to buy it because I was not home but had the home taste in my mouth.
The size of the airport on return never seemed to matter whether it was at George Charles or the runway in the south. I remember the frequent smiles and friendship that existed at home, the final drink at funerals, the gatherings at bars and social function, the nice women who danced at carnival time, the fun at a cricket match — in fact, despite the economy and size of our country and all the things that it represented, all the simplicity, even without having a job or money, there was always an overall joy to belong.
We had great respect for The Law and the Lawmakers, we trusted our governments to do things on our behalf, we hiked our way on the road to get from one point to another, we walked to and from school, we had no problem in going to church, we respected our elders and loved our neighbors, and we looked out for each other. But all of that can disappear with development.
Now, with the new St. Lucia, all these values and cultures are changing. It’s all about the money, the cost of survival, the class distinction, the divide-and-rule system, dog-eat-dog way of living and killing anybody who steps on your toe… If I had a choice, I would rather be in the St Lucia of the past, rather than the modern version of ourselves.
It may not be wise to live in the past, but the present and the future with all those projected new development plans is what I worry about. I am not sure if it will help with real growth that we can feel and is not just figures in a budget. Is it going to make life in this country any better?
So, my Christmas message to all is don’t throw away yesterday for today, as we just may be giving ourselves false hope and going down the wrong path.
Be careful with the proposed future. Do not believe all that you hear, especially from our leaders. In my opinion, they naturally have their own political agendas and we will become the victims of bad planning by any of them and the land that was great to live in and to be inherited by us since independence will vanish and be owned-and-controlled by foreigners and the selected few.
We need to blend, have a little of this and a little of that, but not too much of anything. But to discard, continue to breakdown and see things through only one prospective, we the people need to be careful with planners of the future.