40th anniversary of a nation, pt. 2
FR. SEBASTIAN CAMPBELL
Published: May 02, 2013
“Nothing is happening – the government them ain’t doing nothing.” That’s the cry I am hearing as it relates to the 40th anniversary of our Bahamas.
And listen, you might be right and you might be wrong, it depends on how you perceive it. Put all that aside, stop casting blame and let’s move forward.
Here is a suggestion, let’s have a paradigm shift. I was also in that choir singing the same chorus. I have now joined a praise and worship group that sings, “It soon be done. The Lord will make a way. Let it begin with me.”
So what’s new? Governments are known for procrastination. Maybe, only because of traditional, endless, red tape tangling them that is not of their own making; just victims from which no government seems to be freed. I know the government wants things to happen. They of its composition are as anxious as we all are. Let’s break the chains of the mental enslavement and allow the party to begin. Let us the people, begin to take the lead. This is our independence. Let’s make something happen.
What can we do? Let’s claim independence as our own. This we things. Let us start with draping our own property in the national colors. Every home, service station, church, office building, empty lot, dry goods and grocery store front. You get the idea?
These belong to us, not the government, right? There can be competitions within given communities. Map out your area of control. Can there be prizes for the best kept/draped yard, etc.?
Many brains are there in the local community, pull a handful of persons together in your locale, brain storm, make something happen locally.
Yes, competitions should have been well in place now at the level of our schools. Poetry, essay competitions ,etc., are proven ways to indoctrinate young minds. This is positive indoctrination.
The Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) is welcomed to jump start some enthusiasm here in and among our schools. Please, don’t wait on the ministry, even like you did with the Teacher of The Year (TOY) honors program. Don’t let this election year fever paralyze you. Try do two things at one time. Decorate Bethel Avenue. Show your leadership. BUT, you are ideally placed to infiltrate the schools, stir up excitement.
Our unions, please dress up your properties in the national colors. You are to be leaders in this vanguard. Here is a wonderful opportunity to strike a blow outside of the traditional ring of rabble-rousing. Pool your resources and cause competitions to happen among you and on the national level. Call for T-shirt days even now.
Our financial institutions, banks, co-operatives, insurance companies, etc., you cannot get off scot-free. We are not feeling you. What about your decorating, T-shirt days, sponsoring competitions, honoring of heroes in your institutions? Surely there is something we should feel so as to know that you are on board.
The Christian Council has gone back into its slumber. Do you know what a powerful impact you would have if only you would rally all the churches to take the lead, now, in these celebrations? Dress up our churches. This will be most contagious, seeing that the church is the largest constituency in the country.
Create a celebration at this level, but don’t have a church service as the be all and end all of your ideas. There can be big powerful concerts on every island. Sunday schools must be summoned to action, this is the level we always miss in things we do nationally.
Our children, the bridge to the future, must be given some elevation and stop believing our churches are only made up of a handful of old retirees.
There ought to be as many independence committees as there are constituencies of people. The national secretariat should be the overall coordinator to allow integration and to ease clashes. Tragic, this challenge was not given by the political forces at the kick-off of the celebrations when the co-chairs were announced. But again, why do we have to wait for a political directorate? From this mental enslavement, good Lord deliver us. As we celebrate 40 years, maybe a national paradigm shift ought to be our chief objective. Ask not what your country can do for you, rather ask what you can do for your country, said J.F.K.
The national secretariat is warming up now. An explosion will take place. The most explosive of all events will be within the 40-day countdown that begins on May 31. Until then, remember, independence belongs to we the people.
Let us get on with grassroot celebrations; or as the more refined would say, celebrations at the grassroot level. But, whatever it is, let us celebrate now, right where we are planted.
• Fr. Sebastian Campbell is rector at St. Gregory’s Anglican Church.