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Our re-imagined future

25-10 page 24“I believe the Caribbean is a special

place, and that Barbados occupies a unique

geography, which requires our people to

become more self-aware than we are at

the moment.

“There has always been a tension between

our history as a nation, as a people and

the promise of our future. Some, like V.S.

Naipaul, say the Caribbean inhabits areas of

darkness. Some, like Derek Walcott, believe

we are people on whom the light falls. “I

often feel as if this tension is more visible,

more evident, in Barbadians than in many

other Caribbean people.

“There is a certain self-loathing about the

Barbadian psyche that continues to intrigue

me (but this conclusion might just be due to

my proximity to Barbados. Maybe there are

different degrees of self-loathing in different

Caribbean countries). Yet, Barbadians are

a deeply conflicted people and, whether

one chooses to believe it or not, a deeply

divided people.

“But in our re-imagined future, we are

better at resolving our internal conflict. We

understand and have come to terms with

the fact that we are neither black nor white,

neither European nor African/Asian/Semitic/

other. We are a hybrid culture, a hybrid

people, and all of our parts, all of our pieces,

have value. We don’t have to dishonour one

part to honour another.

“Our hybrid nature is our greatest

strength. It brings structure, discipline, form

and function, but it also gifts to us levels of

inventiveness, abilities to innovate, to create

and re-create as we go that represent very

powerful mechanisms for transformation.

“Together, all our parts give us the voice

and the right to speak to the world. Indeed,

I believe, by virtue of our mixed heritage,

culture, ancestry, our unique experience

and position, that we have the capacity to

take creativity to new dimensions in finding

solutions to many of the developmental

challenges that plague our planet.

“In our re-imagined future, we as

Barbadians take our rightful place in the

world as the living embodiment of the hopes

of those who came before us . . . as shrewd,

self-aware, articulate, progressive, educated,

liberated (meaning free), affluent, empowered,

compassionate sons and daughters of a wider

Caribbean region.

“In our re-imagined future, this generation,

the Children of Independence, complete

or perhaps rewrite and then complete the

narrative of Barbadian Independence in a

regional context that was aborted with the

end of the Federation of the West Indies.

We enable the formation, finally, of a more

perfect Caribbean union (to borrow from our

American brothers and sisters) that becomes

a model for the world.”

In my mind our re-imagined future is one

where we stop murmuring among ourselves

about the things that are going wrong and

begin to do something about them. Where

we have political parties that don’t oppose

each other for the sake of opposing and

where the Members of Parliament are honest

enough to support a no confidence motion

if they have no confidence, rather than

try to protect their positions. In fact our

re-imagined future is one in which this archaic

system of governance is totally reformed and

is therefore more relevant for the times that

we are living in.

Our re-imagined future is one in which

we come out of our denial and take the

“Buckley’s cough medicine” that we need

to stop the decline of our dollar and of our

economy. It may taste awful but it works and

may prevent us from having to take much

worse medicine later.

Our re-imagined future is one in which we

have a public sector that is a manageable size

for our country and internal processes which

are not outdated and irrelevant, but which

use the technology that is available today and

save thousands of trees.

Our re-imagined future is one in which

Barbadians no longer have an entitlement

mentality and expect the Government to

continue to fund us from the cradle to

the grave. Some of my friends from other

Caribbean countries recently told me how

amazed they were when they came to

Barbados and saw the level of subsidization

that the Government provided in terms of

education, health care and bus fares.

Let us face it; we can no longer milk a cow

that has gone dry. Our re-imagined future

is one in which we all have our own cows

flowing with milk.

(Donna Every is the business advisor

and managing director of Arise

Consulting Inc. She has written

five books and is currently working

on her latest novel The Price of and

One Response to Our re-imagined future

  1. Rhoda Green November 24, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    I read the article on “Price Of Freedom” today. I live in Charleston, SC and I’m Barbados’ Honorary Consul to South Carolina. I recently founded the Barbados and the Carolinas Legacy Foundation to more efficiently engage persons interested in the Barbados Carolina connection. I’d appreciate and welcome a response to this email, at your convenience. Thanks for your consideration.

    Rhoda Green


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