By Jerry Roker
We Bahamians love our nation and enjoy our land.
But we don’t hear that from ourselves. We tend to talk of problems we face, and we resort to a complaining attitude rather than one of vibrant creativity.
We are the way we are because of this habit of talking ourselves down. It starts with how we approach our leaders, how we see our Government, how we think of ourselves as a cultivated, honorable people occupying a blessed corner of the earth.
The foundation for a healthy society in this 21st century is a Bahamian Government elected through free and fair elections. Add to that the structural democratic systems such as a free and independent national media landscape, freedom of movement and freedom of expression, along with the equal opportunity for every Bahamian to prosper through self-development and personal empowerment.
We’ve have survived the worst recession(2008) our largest trading partner and supplier of visitors, the United States of America suffered since The Great Depression in the 1930s. We are not fully back yet, but we are on our way. We are still, per capita, the richest country in the region.
Instead of sitting around bemoaning our imaginary sad state, we ought to look around, pay attention to our place in the grander scheme of the world, and see that we’re not so bad off after all.
We must come to a point where we start projecting the stories of ordinary Bahamians in the media. We’ve got to inculcate a new culture within the Bahamian body politic, whereby the politicisation of the society becomes secondary to the living, vibrant human interest stories of people, living and breathing the pure drama and exciting adventure of the human heart.
All we see in our country is politics and politicians, and from the Opposition a form of politics and politicking that damages how we appreciate our nation.
At some point we’ve got to wake up and realise one simple fact: The Bahamas is about Bahamians, the people of the land. We vote into Government the best Party we think would govern us, and whatever mistakes or human flaws that our leaders exhibit, that’s our choice, to put them in charge of managing our society.
We cannot harbor a whole swath of folks running around demoralising and demotivating us, pointing their rigid nasty fingers only at that point of our national consciousness, that blank point that is all politics, focusing our attention on nothing but politics.
We elect our Government to govern us, and we should allow them to govern. But we so focus on the politicisation of our society that we reduce everything to politics, ignoring the vast amount of economic, social and cultural activity that brings our nation alive.
We hardly see the stories of ordinary Bahamians fill the airwaves or our newspapers or our online news sites, unless those citizens get caught up in some sleaze and slander or gossip and gore.
We Bahamians want to see our stories abound in the land. We know how we benefited from the development of the nation’s social and economic systems and structures over the past decades. We want and aspire to tell our stories to each other. Like we talk to our neighbours, we should be talking to each other through the airwaves and newspapers and Internet.
We love our land. We know we’re of a blessed country. And, in this 21st century world, we want to participate in the national conversation, engage in a two-way dialogue between the politicians we elect, and ourselves.
We don’t want politicians to pontificate to us from Parliament about our Government. We want to tell our stories of how we see our lives transformed from the devastation of life under the regime of minority rule, to what it is today under our free and fairly elected Government.
We have come from far, but it seems we have forgotten that.
Today, we travel to the US and come back home. We love our nation. In telling such stories, we transform how we see our position today as a rapidly rising Bahamian nation. In telling our stories to each other, we the people cultivate the atmosphere of the land, just as we vote for the Government of our choice.