The FNM: Destroyers of The Bahamian Identity


fnm_5253By Jerry Roker
for Bahamas Press

For many Bahamian citizens, life’s a progressive movement, with us feeding, housing, clothing ourselves, with us driving nice cars and watching flat screen TVs and making our homes comfortable, easy living environments. For the most part, our young people are educating themselves for an assured future.

Life as a Bahamian today is a nice experience. Of course, as in any society of human beings, full of flaws and imperfections inherent in human nature, we find ourselves facing challenges and issues that subtract from our enjoyment of the blessed land we so peacefully live in.

In fact, the feeling that we complain too much, that we’re prone to negativism, that we constantly blame Government for everything we see not working in our lives, is a national sentiment that is fueled by those opposed to the government, including virtually all the media houses.

How we see our world, is how we experience our world. If we see darkness, we would forever grope about feeling our way around, depending on someone somewhere bailing us out and guiding us, although we may not even be aware of a destination we want. Drifting, aimless, without a vision or a personal passion for achieving in life, we resort to the scapegoat phenomenon, blaming Government, or history, or the world, for our problems.
This is normal in human society, except when it becomes the national way of being of a people.

When too many of us sit around idle refusing to read literature, when too many of us refuse to self-develop and progress, something’s wrong with our culture, with how we approach life, with how we see and feel about being Bahamian living and owning this lovely land.

We don’t take ownership of our nation, and exercise the positive posture to make a difference. Instead, many of us sit back and languish in inactivity, our minds lost in idleness. We wait for some vague abstraction like ‘government’ or ‘fate’ to make things happen for us. But life calls for active participation. We can’t just sit around and expect great and extraordinary and powerful performance to just show up. Life calls for preparation, studying and personal development, cultivating a vision or passion, and focusing on achieving something of note.

We’re a relatively small island nation, with lots of fertile land, surrounded by an abundance of water. Our weather, is good by any standard, each of the 365 days in the year. We are only a few miles of the southern coast of the world’s most vibrant democracy, and depending on who you listen to, the world’s largest economy. We are world renown for what God has blessed us with: sand, sea and sun. What’s our excuse?

As we approach the 2017 elections season, the Opposition leaders are continuing to claim that everything about The Bahamas is bad. Using lots of ugly words, demotivating and demoralizing their hearers, these leaders don’t realize that in their choice of words they are branding themselves as negative, unprogressive and uninspiring and demotivating.

Words make human society. It’s in language that we develop and evolve into a people of high culture and cultivated nobleness. It is in our choice of language out in the public square that we construct our social space and our national psyche and our emotional landscape.

And so for anyone to use words to paint a self-image of The Bahamian nation that reeks of under-development, poverty, corruption, a stupid people with a dumb government, such talk only labels its proponent as a destroyer of The Bahamian identity. In seeking to bring down our freely and fairly elected Government with talk that destroys the way we see and feel about our country, these leaders aspire not to develop us and move us forward, but to tear us down and make us fall.

These things we must be careful of, how we talk to our nation, how we motivate and inspire our fellow Bahamians, both here in the homeland, and in the Diaspora.

Those disgruntled souls who want to tear down Government must find a way to convey their messages without use of language that damages our national psyche.

Even in rampant talk of corruption, when anyone requests evidence, these naysayers descend to a level of cussout and character assassination that is ugly to behold.

I am not saying The Bahamas today is a utopia, but we’re not such a bad nation, are we?

We must look to the 21st century with such an outlook, facing forward, thinking progressively, pointing our people to the future we are creating, inculcating a national mindset that focuses on that indomitable Bahamian will and resolve to overcome obstacle we may face.

Coming out of slavery and indentureship and colonialism, we may harbor deep in our national DNA a feeling of helplessness, that our fate lies in the hands of mysterious and superior forces over which we have no control.

But since we became a nation, since we took our lives into our own hands and became self-governing, since we declared ourselves a nation in the United Nations, with our own flag and national anthem and motto and national symbols, we took on this idea that we could make ourselves into a world class people, a nation outstanding in the annals of humanity.

That’s how life is for us Bahamians. We’re our own people, a nation being formed, a society developing with rapid growth, repairing the structural breakdowns that cripple us for decades, envisioning big projects and ambitions national plans.

Life for Bahamians today is a beautiful experience, even for those caught in human tragedies and going through a hard time, simply because the opportunity for self-development and for individual progress is second to none in the 21st century global village. In the world today, Bahamians stand as empowered as any human being anywhere on the earth.

In that powerful possibility, life for us is an exciting adventure, open to any possibility, once we’re willing to roll up our sleeves and see that The Bahamas is one of the most peaceful, pastoral, blessed nation on the earth. #StrongerBahamas


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