The prevailing mindset of our people about leadership is due, in large measure, to the fact that their view of leadership (paternalistic, messianic, mosaic) is the only one to which they have been exposed and obviously for deceptive and selfish reasons.
Many of our people are still waiting for a modern-day Moses, Messiah and father from up in the clouds to come and rescue them. This is not to suggest that we must not “look unto the hills from whence cometh our help”.
Neither is it a call for us to forget the God who rescued and led our forefathers and mothers in days when we were traveling through the “wilderness” in search of the modern-day “promise land”.
The same God is willing and able to direct out a path as He directed the path of our forefathers and mothers, but there is still truth and hope in the adage “God helps those who help themselves”.
This, in itself, is not to suggest that we are to wait on God, but we should work in concert with the will of God.
Bahamians developed a new sense of dependence post majority rule.
This new sense of dependence has replaced our independent spirit despite the fact that your forefathers and mothers in the days of yore were able to withstand those forces against which they had to stand.
With the introduction of the new liberation, our people have become weak in body, mind, heart and soul.
In the present crises that the country is facing, it is expected that those who are national leaders must lead from the front and not the rear.
However, for the sake of emphasis and clarity, I must repeat that there is still much truth and wisdom in the saying “God helps those who help themselves”.
This is not a reference or relation to selfishness, but a clarion call to “gird up our loins as it were and face the crises and tasks at hand with zeal and determination”.
There are those who were waiting for the prime minister and the members of the Cabinet to come and tell them what to do and perhaps rightly so. After all, they are our handsomely paid national leaders.
However, in a time of national and personal crises, it is still a requirement that even though we must be prepared to act collectively as a people after the collective decision has been made every “tub must stand on its own bottom” and put shoulders to the “wheel” to make a success of the collective effort.
The irony, in all of this, is the fact that our national leaders of today and of yesteryear, who in their zeal to attain and remain in high office, with our permission, have weakened many of us to the point where we cannot think much less act in our own interest.
If we ever needed the Lord, we sure do need Him now.
— Donald M. McCartney