COLUMN – My mauby year 2014
It is here people! I can’t believe it, but I had better; because it is here –– 2015 posing in its new suit! We always have the same thing to say when the time goes by; that we can’t believe it has travelled so quickly. But the truth is it always comes around in the same length of time every year.
And a leap year is no major exception, because that too ends on December 31.
As I look back on the past year, I have to say it was one many would love to forget. Job losses would be at the fore in the minds of many, along with the spate of murders. Some of us had a horrible year, but, at the same time, others could not have asked for a better year.
I have adopted taking the bitter with the sweet and calling it mauby. That is my way of handling some things around me. I had some good times last year, but as it got closer to the end when I thought it would have been great, it all went askew. I asked myself if I should label the year a bad one, or just call it mauby, and mauby won.
So my year was a mauby one –– a mix of bitter and sweet.
I often think of the school leavers and the university graduates. They are faced with the tough task of becoming another statistic in the unemployment figures. Thinking of all those who will have their Masters’, PhDs, and those with a wash of CXC passes and no outlet with the wealth of education achieved, it is indeed sad.
I often hear talk of starting your own business; but do you know how challenging it is to do such straight out of college or university? Don’t get me wrong, because I am about that; but it will take capital and time. Not many are fortunate enough to keep studying until they are placed in a job, or have financially sound parents who can assist after paying their tuition, or can raise the money needed to start a business.
What we have here now is a whole group of educated graduates with no outlet to practise what they studied. We see new lawyers yearly who now have to get attached to some firm or the other. They now have to gain experience, because no one will hire a “green” lawyer.
I surely wouldn’t be risking it; but the only way they can have the experience is to get the chance to work a few cases through attachment to a firm or practising office. I am no expert in this, but my thought process tells me that is how it works.
I have seen many ads for experienced persons to work in many different fields, but are we providing enough opportunities for persons to gain experience? I know if it was a matter for me, I would be taking on persons to do internships and training them to my standards, so I have no need to be looking around for staff later, then to train them.
This is easier said than done for sure, but those who can afford to should try it. Barbados has so much talent here in every aspect: musicians, singers, dancers, chefs, doctors, lawyers, engineers, designers –– and the list goes on. The sad thing is we have little or no places for these talents.
I often hear people saying that we lose our best to the big countries, but there is no way we can keep our best because there is no assistance for them. Canada is one place that does a lot for their own, and I have been witness to that in many different ways. There is no need to mention the great United States because everyone knows how that is. The differences between them and us are huge and the list would be never-ending. The main thing is always opportunity. This is very limited, if any, here.
We look at Trevor Eastmond, Mac Fingall, Alff, and the late Fudd Straker as a group of guys who talk a lot of “foolishness” to make you laugh. In North America and Britain these guys, if residing there, would be known as millionaire comedians or funny guys. They would be working year-round and making us all proud.
Rihanna is our biggest export so far. Sugar can’t touch that lady; but, as many have said, there is no direct gain for the country. We could not have done anything besides being critical of her when she stepped out of line in our view. We don’t do anything for entertainment here besides call on the acts when we want to do a fund-raiser which means no payment for the talent.
One gentleman told me once to come get some exposure at his bar by singing a few songs one night. I told him my fee, and he thought it was ludicrous since all I had to do was sing a few songs. I then told him to do it himself since it was “just singing”. As for the exposure, I reminded him this was a digital age.
All I long to see happen here in Barbados is the creation of more opportunities for the talents we have moulded. Respect the ones who ply their trades daily, and once we can do such, there will be no need to cry when our athletes and artisans, scholars and other talented individuals go out and make the bigger territories a better place through their skills.
Here’s to a better Barbados in 2015!