Jamille Broome writes a weekly column for the Newsday.
Whilst the morbidly sensationalist media reports on murders like it’s a cricket score, I instead want to start the year with more positivity. We need love. We need hope. We need something to believe in. We need change. The time has come for our once beautiful country to be restored to its glory days, but standing in the way of that are people who are hell-bent on sowing dysfunction, disorder and chaos.
When one thinks about crime in TT for 2017, only two words are necessary: wicked and evil. And every time I hear of another seemingly senseless murder, it baffles me because I simply cannot understand why these murdering criminals insist on terrorising society for a few dollars and a shortened life. Inspired by Aaron “Voice” St Louis, every day I ask myself: What they fighting for? What they killing for?
As a country, 2017 was a crazy year for us; one that has left our society even more desensitised to dead bodies and fed-up of scandal, bacchanal and corruption. Sadly, even if one only remembers half of the craziest news headlines from the last year, one would realise that TT has been on a steady downward spiral into total anarchy where criminals pull the puppet strings of politicians.
At times, it seems hopeless because the country seems to be more dangerous, violent and deadly than ever, but change is inevitable and things will improve; I truly believe that. However, while I am optimistic that eventually “fire go bun” all these wicked criminals roaming our streets, we cannot wait any longer; 2018 has to be that year when the love in our country becomes palpable enough to overcome the evil.
Our society has become more divided than ever and that does not benefit any of us. I have begged in previous articles for us to live like we’re playing mas, where we have fun without inhibition – all Trinbagonians regardless of ethnic heritage. However, more and more, even mas and Carnival events are becoming more divided – love is escaping from the season. When we are divided as a people, we allow politicians to play on our most primal fears for their political gain, and ultimately our demise.
I know many of my compatriots reading this believe that we are too far gone for racial or political reconciliation, or maybe I’m a delusional utopist, but it really is not that difficult to restore the love we once had for each other in this country. The trick though, is that this love for our fellow man must first begin with our own lives; loving ourselves and our families. Real self-love is the recognition of our worth, our value, and what we deserve; only after we recognise that, will we develop the ability to give it to others.
Many of us have different definitions of, and experiences with love, but we can all agree that love is a positive emotion felt deeply for someone; basic yet difficult to achieve because of intrinsic selfishness. Love is being undervalued in our society and is constantly being pushed down our list of priorities and being bypassed for ideologies, possessions, and wealth, which, of course, are all things worth pursuing, but ultimately meaningless if we cannot live in a society where we can freely enjoy them.
The seething hatred that is expressed for the most minor political disagreement is startling. It is as though sometimes we believe that a person of a different race or political opinion is not also our compatriot.
Notwithstanding the negativity, I believe in TT. I believe that there are more good people than bad, and good always succeeds against evil. I have the same type of hope for the restoration of love in this country that former US president Barack Obama had in America: “Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path.
“It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it.
“Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”
My fellow Trinbagonians, I believe that we can spread the love and fix this country; don’t doubt it, just believe – yes we can!