Sunday, October 24, 2010

Less 105

They weren’t 105 pigs. Neither were they 105 dogs.

One hundred and five living breathing human beings have been killed, thus far this year in Belize. That’s more than most high schools graduating classes. That’s 105 families affected, 105 empty beds at night, 105 smiles that we’ll never see again.

The tears in my eyes are no match to the weeping of my heart. My very soul bleeds. I can drop to my knees and scream my frustrations to God; I can blame every politician under the moon; I can call every radio show and talk until my voice is lost… but none of these actions will constitute change in our tiny damaged beloved Belize.

How badly I wish we could truly restore Belize. How badly I wish there was a fast solution.

But, it took a generation to get us to this point, and it’s going to take at least one generation for us to fix it.

We, the ordinary citizens need to recognize that we instigate change – back to the Belize of our memories. We need to live truly lawful lives. In small things, like traffic laws and littering. If we take personal responsibility for our own actions, if we obey each and every law, then we’ve made a beginning. Every level of our society does what they want, when they want to do it. Is it any wonder that we’ve degraded to this extent? There is no respect until tragedy occurs.

I don’t mean to sound class-ist, but this kind of personal responsibility must trickle from the more educated echelons of society down. We need to learn and live by example. Also, we need societal checks in place that ensure that every child is in school, every belly is fed, and every individual in Belize lives with HUMAN DIGNITY. Once each Belizeans has his or her basic needs met, we’ve made a beginning.

Because sometimes I think we’ve lost our respect for human life. To kill Raylene Dyer where they slaughter pigs, chop off her head, and throw her remains in the river. Her murderers don’t fear God. And if they don’t fear God, surely they have no fear for the Belizean Judicial System!

It’s the murder of the children that hurt me most of all, one as she slept in her own bed at night. Who did these children hurt or threaten? We can’t afford to lose another child. We can’t afford another murder.

I challenge each of you to be personal responsible. I know there is hope for Belize. Societal support of Tarrel Sutherland and baby Daniel Estell shows me that there are still traces of the old Belize left, under the dried blood and guns.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

[ insert name here ]'s Belize

How do you feel about Belize?

Please, tell me. I want to know.

I used to feel that Belize was a land of untapped potential. A viable diamond-in-the-rough, just needing a caring hand to shine it to lustrous brilliance! I felt as though we were just a few baby steps away from success. Sustainable success. We just needed a stringent visionary (mayhaps an economist) to lead us and tap into the deep well of our natural and human resources.

... Now I don't feel the same.

I don't know how; I don't know when, but we took ten steps backward... haven't we? Do you feel the same? Perhaps it's just me... the last bright vestiges of youthful optimism are fading from me. Also, living away has certainly broadened my thinking. I'm just another common jaded ol' cynic.

Yet... if I had my optimism again, I'd say... "To progress, we need a home-grown solution. We need a solution that comes from those aged 20 to 35."

NOTE: *{I can't comment on crime, because that problem is just too overwhelming.}

I would begin with immigration, if I were part of this imaginary committee. No more accepting immigrants who have nothing to contribute to our economy and growth. I feel many immigrants drain Belizean resources without returning not one tangible benefit. At the same time, as new immigration laws were being implemented, I'd set a plan in motion that aims to retain the young educated masses. {Basically, decrease migration} Too many university-educated Belizeans aren't sure if they want to return to Belize after obtaining their degree, because they don't see a place for themselves in Belize. They are so wrong... we need them more than ever!

Then, I'd establish some sort of manufacturing enterprise. We need to offer the globalized market something they can't find anywhere else for cheaper. Some agro-product, I'm sure, holds the key to our future prosperity.

Next, I would implement and enforce very strict environmental laws and policies. Our ecosystems are among one of the most unique features of Belize. And I, for one, am DAMN tired of seeing politicians sign away cayes, swamps, lagoons, and rights without a sweet clue of the ramifications of their actions. No more, sir!

After that, I would focus on converting all our sources of energy into renewable sources. This would be the hardest, and most expensive step. But in the long run, it would be the most beneficial. I'd have us create so much energy, we would have a surplus to sell.

I applaud the 20-year plan that GOB is creating now, headed by Dr. Carla Barnett. But, I ask you, are the right people spearheading this process? Let's be real. In twenty to thirty years, all the present major players in the current political platform will be retired or dead. Sir Barry Bowen's demises shows us how fragile life is -- even a life full of familial and economic success.

The future is in the youth. It's past time for us to man up and take the reigns.

So, I'll leave you as I began. How do you feel about Belize? Tell me; I want to know.