Let’s put things into perspective
There are times when Barbadians could use a little perspective to help them count their blessings and realize how good they have it on this little rock we call home.
We are currently living in one of those times.
Last week, the harrowing picture of the body of a toddler boy lying lifeless on a Turkish beach unleashed an equal measure of shock, grief and anger.
It was the wake-up call the world needed to take action on the horrific refugee crisis that has been unfolding in Syria for five years but embarrassingly ignored.
Alan Kurdi, 3, and his five-year-old brother, Ghalib, died along with their mother, Rehenna, and eight other refugees when their boat overturned en route to the Greek island of Kos.
They represent a smidgen of the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees stuck at borders, train stations and on the high seas trying to flee to safety.
More than three million people have fled Syria’s borders to escape the bloody civil war that has engulfed that country since 2012.
The United Nations estimates that the daily flow of men, women and children has become one of the largest forced migrations since World War Two.
Looking on from our part of the world, it’s a horror.
It’s unimaginable being forced to leave your homeland, and even watching family and friends die as they struggle to find a better life.
But we don’t even have to look as far as Syria.
One glance at our Caribbean sister Dominica, left to pick up the pieces after being battered by the torrential rains of Tropical Storm Erika is more than enough for us to stop grumbling.
More than a dozen have died, another 35 are missing and according to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica has been set back another 20 years. Barbados has been spared major destruction from any natural disaster over the years. What do we have to complain about?
In no way do we suggest that life in Barbados is a utopia.
We have our fair share of ills– like the sickening rise in child abuse cases, which must be stopped.
Neither are we comfortable with senseless violence – like the murder of Malanese Eversley, whose body was discovered in a field at Jordan, St. George last Thursday.
We anxiously hope that justice will be swift and sure.
Yet when we pause and reflect, we are still blessed.
We are still free and hardly can anyone uproot us from our home.
Today our children returned to their classrooms with equal opportunity to learn and pursue their dreams.
For the most part we have warm beds, food in our cupboards, and more to share, access to medical care and justice and freedom to worship.
Yet we often fail to make the best of the opportunities afforded us.
Perhaps it may take misfortune to make us see things in proper proportion. Yet we need not have to suffer to be more appreciative of what we have.
When you live in a country like ours that’s considered among the best, it’s easy to get complacent and forget just how good we’ve got it compared to some of our global neighbours.
Let’s always remember to give thanks.