Another Independence Day is upon us. For the first time, I will not be celebrating in any way, because I really do not see anything to celebrate. Our political spinmasters will tout a different story, though.
In the 45 years since our independence, we are actually worse off in more ways now than we were then. Blacks have a right to vote, but we have used that right to elect people who lacked the vision to lead responsibly and who have slowly and methodically destroyed the Bahamian way of life, while burdening this nation with crippling debt. We have foolishly frittered away opportunities to maximize the potential this country had. We have more educated Bahamians now than at any other point in our short independent history, but we see less common sense demonstrated than ever before. We have more lawyers, doctors, accountants, engineers, police etc. than at any other time in our history, but still our society is falling apart in every way. Violent crime is on the increase; Bahamians are dying from lifestyle-associated diseases in their 50s; there is a lack of work ethic among many; the obliteration of the traditional family is occurring, and the list goes on. People, to a large extent, have abandoned God and godly principles, but there is no shortage of churches and attendees. Students can twerk while in school and share those videos, but many can’t fill out an application form. The moral climate of this country is at an all-time low while religious fervor is at an all-time high.
The government condones a few ‘businessmen’ pillaging the gullible poor people over the hill, while shamelessly turning the screws on small and medium business trying to survive. Women have no problem having multiple children for different men and men shamelessly will not support those they have fathered! We have become comfortable with 70 percent of children being born in dysfunctional single-parent homes. Children growing up now are morally and culturally disconnected from things Bahamian. How many of them heard of Blind Blake or know any Eddie Minnis songs? They can whine in the streets half-naked and text while driving, but how many have skills that are valuable enough to pass onto their children?
I remember lambasting high school friends for leaving The Bahamas and not coming back because I viewed it as selfish. I stayed thinking it might make a difference! How can we build a better Bahamas if the brightest and sensible flee to pursue better lives for themselves while enriching another country, I wondered? Maybe I was the deluded one. But now I see clearly that this country exists for the financial and political benefit of a few, some of whom are not even Bahamians. There is no real concern for the average person by those in positions of authority. There is no love for this country by those who swear to uphold the law and serve its people. There is no desire to build a country with the personal and moral discipline needed to do so.
I now need my children to understand that you may love your country, but that does not mean it will love you back. I need them to understand that they must continue to show pride in who they are as individuals; to conduct themselves properly, fear God and learn to make good decisions, but do not make personal sacrifices for this country until the leaders of it are prepared to lead by example.
Celebrating independence shares similarities with a child who failed in school going to the prom as though they have accomplished something. It is foolish, empty and delusional!