THE EDITOR: On a recent trip in the US, I was driving along the highway and showing a member of my family the water towers and explaining how they are integral to the water distribution system of the townships.
I pointed out that the cable barriers along the highway were placed well away from the traffic and were not a hazard to motorists. I noted that the train along the airport was not using traditional tracks.
The response was one of no interest. It dawned on me then that although many of us travel throughout the world we are blind to what contributes towards a First World society.
I look at the proposed local government reform for TT 2019 and note that there is nothing there that is remotely similar to the better run local government structures of the developed world.
I have been accused of claiming to know it all but let me be clear, I know enough to know that I do not know much.
In today’s world we do not have to know everything. We are blessed to live at a time when we can look at the best practices in the world and take form it that which is pertinent and best for the people of TT.
From looking at others we can see the need for food security and how critical it is for governments to subsidise agriculture.
We know that water is best distributed by gravity rather than pumps.
We know that it benefits the poor, business, students, families and working people to have a mass transit service that reduces the time spent on daily commute.
We note that the best run countries have strong local government structures where communities manage themselves.
We note that justice must be swift and fair.
We understand that there can be no compromise that includes tolerating criminal activities especially those that threaten the lives and property of citizens.
We note that economies are strongest where businesses are encouraged to grow and develop with minimal invasion from government.
We understand the importance of protecting our environment, preparing for natural disasters, maintaining our infrastructure and allowing for the freedom of people to choose their leaders.
If we look carefully, we would see the destruction, pain and chaos that result from xenophobia, nepotism and racial intolerance. We need to take off our blinders and look at what works in the world and what fails.
Our biggest problem and obstacle to progress and development in TT is not politicians, poor systems or race. It is our inability to love, embrace change, forgive and put country first.
Almost every time I speak about getting people together to do that which is best for our nation, I am confronted by people who for one reason or another do not want to meet with this or that person or thinks he or she is better than the other.
Our country needs everyone. No one is an island. We are not perfect beings, we may never be, but we can at this time in our nation’s history be the change that can lead us to better tomorrows. We can, if we look beyond our prejudices, see the possibilities to leave a better nation for our children.
The solutions are there right before our eyes, if we dare to look. It requires us to put country first and leave our egos, selfishness, hatred and love for power outside the door of the hall of unity.