Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Over at Alien in the Caribbean, Jessie has emerged from hibernation to comment on the current state of Trinidad & Tobago, point out parallels in St. Lucia, where she's been living for the last three years, & ask the question many of us are preoccupied with right now: what next?

I know I am living in the "third world" but until a few years ago, that was never even an issue. Although our islands were never big contenders on the world's economic landscape, I certainly never felt like a "third world" citizen and there was always a feeling of hope. Our ability to cope, innovate, commune, rally our spirits compensated for much inconvenience and social problems. We held this spirit that things could get better and we would live to see it get better. My generation especially felt like the one with the ideas, energy, will and power to make it happen.

Could it be that we are actually running out of that juice that nourished us in the face of challenges? As I struggle not to once again fall into the pit of living from paycheck to paycheck like I did in Trinidad, even while I work harder than I ever did professionally and all the while coping with the very palpable human misery all around me, I feel one overwhelming feeling....... FATIGUE. Not of body but of spirit. I understand so completely the way Trinis are right now, "to themselves" reserved, withdrawn and holding fast to personal strength. There is none to share anymore. Those of us who give, give, give, give, give and give some more of our positive energy, ideas, creative expression know what I am talking about. And yet, still I keep thinking maybe just maybe there is a very good reason for all of this. We've had it GOOD the past twenty years or so and what have we REALLY accomplished for our country with all of our BIG ideas, creative endeavors and philosophical thinking and talking over wine at our dinner parties?...

The truth is that revolution requires a massive dose of desperation to ignite it. Many of us have always been the fire proof buffer of reason and status quo maintenance. We would think of protesting, of starting a revolt but then we'd chicken out because we have "responsibilities" and a "reputation". To be honest, few of us have felt it like we do now and there is a dangerous excitement about it. Let's not become afraid again. Let us embrace our rage and perhaps we can find in it the fuel we need to fire our activism against our corrupt and inept governments and disempowered societies.

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