Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Looking back before running ahead

I usually take the time to look back on my life on my birthday. Since the birth of our nation is forthcoming, I think I'll take a little time to look at our country. Only in knowing the past can we fully and successfully take advantage of future opportunities.

I feel that we're at a crossroads. The documentary by Kemp, no matter how much I disagree with it, is a wake up call. Crispin Jefferies said it, and I'm agreeing with him {I can't believe I share an opinion with this man.} In this world ruled by the G7, where relations are governed by the rich for the advantage of the rich, we cannot live by the conventional rules of the so called first world countries.

We have to define our own Belizean reality. You know the days we used to yell, "Belize for Belizeans?" We need to relive those times. My knowledge of the past, however, is limited by time. Because I'm an Independence Baby... born Nineteen-Eighty-something, I've flourished under the shade of the mahogany tree...somewhat. Like those of my era, in my words, thoughts, and deeds, I've come to define what it is to be Belizean. I follow American fashion, I have a cell phone on my hip, and I eat rice 'n' beans with gusto every Sunday at noon.

There is so much of the history of Belize that isn't transcribed. I miss the blank spaces. They say you can't miss what you don't know... I have to contradict this long standing opinion. I've read and re-read 13 Chapters from cover to cover and I'm left wholly unsatisfied. There are stories whispered on screen covered verandas as neighbors pass to buy Boledo in the moonlight. There are so many things only the dying old people remember, stories and memories that are dying with hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. I find it ironic that in a country where we so praise ourselves on our cultural richness and diversity, we're becoming quickly diluted in the "bling, bling" mentality of North America. The British were supposed to have left on September 21, 1981. So I ask you, why are our minds still shackled? Why are we yet to be freed? We're no longer slaves, yet we work hard to spend every dollar on 21st century skin and credit for our pre-paid phones.

We're composed of contradictions, we Belizeans. "This tranquil haven of democracy" our anthem cries out. Have you seen this haven recently? Between the bullet ridden bodies, skeletons in sugar cane fields, grenades launched in from of the hospital, and gun shots during Carnival? My homeland by the Sea.... I feel you slipping through my fingers, and all I can do is cry, because I wonder if we'll ever return to the days of open windows at night instead of sliding down a slippery slope into urban terrorism. Are we so in-confident in being Belizean that we must create an alternate ego? We have to be ourselves... or we'll lose everything.

Bottom line, the way to thrive, nationally {as well as personally} is by living within our means. Things may not move at the pace that we all wish, but brick by brick, we'll build our own success. On our own terms.


Unsilent said...

Nice post...

what i find to be a struggle is that were are a growing and capitalist nation and with the growth comes all the good and bad stuff. the chasm of those who have and those who don't keeps getting bigger and with that will most certainly come crime and greed.

there are still some parts of belize that have what you describe. these towns and villages are tucked away and hidden from the glaring lights of the city where much of the focus seems to be.

i too miss the time of not having to worry if i locked my doors at night. its with a heavy heart that i see things gradually fade away but as you said, if we as a society want that, then only we can get that back.

The Voice said...

Often on this blog, those who leave comments ask about tangible actions we can take. If there is one thing Belizeans are good at, it is talking. But when it comes time to take action, we're the meekest people on Earth.

I encourage all readers to take little actions in their own lives... if each of us improve ourselves in little ways {not being wasteful, reporting crime, not littering, doing some community service} society will dramatically improve.

That's my birthday wish for Belize.

Trazidex said...

You actually read 13 chapters? Braver than me!
Hats off to you, and can you provide us with some cliff notes?

unpatriotic patriot said...

In reference to the voice's comment on tangible actions: I think some of us are so consumed with the chaos in our own personal lives, it can feel really strenuous to battle something bigger than ourselves. That's one post I'd like to see on this blog: the mental health of belizeans in these difficult times.