I have returned home to my Trinidad, after being away almost 6 years. I returned home to be with my family, and because North America didn't feel like home, just one big shopping mall with many shiny objects to buy and keep me enslaved to work harder so I could con myself into buying more and more shiny toys.
I visited home annually and sometimes twice in one year; checking up on family and friends, going to the new hot spots and hitting a beach or two. And it always felt as if home was the place to be, that I would one day return home. So I decided to do so in 2008.
I am glad I left the hellish rat race, because as nice and clean and orderly the first world is, outside in their world you're just an immigrant.
But now that I'm back here for good, it's as if I see the place for what it really is – a country in turmoil. We're in utter conflict. Most don't really seem to notice, almost as if they're in a daze or something. 'Yeah prices going up, so what? It going up all over d world', 'yeah crime bad, but other countries have bad crime too, so where really safe?'
And as much as there is some truth to what people are saying, my real beef is - 'Who are we holding accountable here in Trinidad when things do go wrong?' For all this talk from our great visionary Prime Minister and his tout of 'Vision 2020', there's still so many things that are wrong and getting gradually worse here. So if things are decaying right now, right in front of us, how can we build a better Trinidad by 2020? Surely this is a joke.
One need only to step outside their neighbourhood to see dilapidated roads, sinking pavements, poor drainage, terrible waste management, poor handling of garbage disposal, a rising and threatening vagrancy problem, continuing inflation, a terrifyingly escalating crime rate, ongoing road rage that in most cases results in violence daily on our roadways, terminally-linked environmental hazards and the list goes on and on.
Our murder rate is almost double what it was this time last year, we are building 3 smelters which will surely kill our water table and most certainly annihilate the residents of La Brea, not to mention the air pollution that will follow, and the effect it will have on our beaches.
And if that wasn't crazy enough we are having a construction boom as if the entire Caribbean is moving to Trinidad. We are spinning way out of control.
I've realized that most people have become powerless to these thing and just accept it as given,and fair enough. If the powers that be at the top aren't doing one bloody thing about why should we care?
Because of the fact that we're making the place worse for our kids. And I don't have kids, but I shudder to think what kind of country they'll inherit.
If the government has no regard as to what they tell us, and if they continue to show utter contempt for the law and its citizens by assuming we're all stupid (one just has to look at what nonsense Hon. Karen Nunes did with the CLICO/CIB fiasco to see where government's honour really lies), then my next question is whose example are we to follow if we're rotten from the top down?
It's not about partisan lines or anything like that, but if anyone can tell me one good thing this current administration has done for 'sweet' TNT in the last 8 years, then please tell me because I can't find one thing. I have seen change in this land and it is only for the worst.
I have seen hope, in the hands of a few communities that are changing things in their own way and for the better, and in one activist group called 'Drummit 2 Summit' – a group protesting our staging of the 5th Summit of the Americas (which we all know was a farce and a waste of our money).
And after only being back 6 months, I'm glad to be back to fight this fight on the home-front, because now is the time when we have to be accountable to ourselves and hold our government officials accountable, because they are doing rubbish.
And by their poor example, we have the by-product of that - hooligans who are running wild doing what they want, driving how they want, saying what they want, stealing, raping, kidnapping and murdering. We can say this is not the government's fault, but if their lead is a poor one, then whom do we follow?
Our actions start off as thought, and thoughts are formed by our environment and personal experiences. And if our environment is corrupt, then we become twisted and perverse. This correlation should be clear to all, as none of us live in a bubble.
I do believe in the decency of human beings, and that most Trinbagonians are decent people, I meet good people everyday, but we cannot feel justice if our entire system is corrupt and those who know how to manipulate it do so very well. And this goes for the big crook as well as the petty criminal. It's all the same to me.
Maybe if we learnt how to take care of our fellow neighbour as we would ourselves and then pass this ideology of brotherhood and honest consideration to others, then maybe we can rebuild this nation, street by street and town by town. All it takes is one group or neighbourhood starting to do something positive and progressive for all concerned and great things will surely happen.
But now is the time for war, and our morality is at stake. And though we may be losing the battle, I do hope we – the decent, law-abiding patriots of Trinidad and Tobago win this war, because it is a noble fight, and we all have to do our part to do what's right.