TT is not a failed state and anyone who thinks otherwise should step aside and make way for those who know better.
Justice Gillian Lucky made the remarks as she delivered the commencement address at the Cipriani College of Labour and Co-Operative Studies graduation yesterday.
She said if TT was a failed state a minister would not be at a graduation, they would not be able to talk freely about dreams, and how individuals could make the country better. To highlight the country’s potential and what citizens had to do to reach it, she read quotes from TT’s first Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams, former PM Basdeo Panday and Chief Justice Ivor Archie.
They indicated that while the country had problems it was also rich in human and material resources. However, it was necessary to reform the education system to produce tertiary level graduates with the relevant skills and competencies able to solve complex, real-world problems, creating jobs rather than looking for jobs. And if people shirk their responsibility to build the nation, it was the same as betraying and jeopardising the nation.
“When people say we are a failed state I disagree because when I look around I see a beautiful country filled with talented people like you who graduate, willing and anxious to make our country great.”
Speaking on the theme, There Are No Shortcuts to Any Place Worth Going, Lucky told the 106 out of 289 graduates of the class of 2019 present at the ceremony they were living in a society that wanted instant gratification and only thought about themselves.
“I want us to change that way of thinking. I want us to understand that moving forward in our country means that we are prepared to work in the trenches, earn our stripes, learn as we make mistakes, because we are going to make mistakes, be prepared to get up and keep moving because there are really no shortcuts.”
She said people had to know in their hearts and minds where they wanted to go. Using the examples of US actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman who were caught participating in a colleges admissions scam, she said things would get hard but taking shortcuts could get them in trouble and possibly destroy their lives.
Instead she said they needed to stay on course and stay in TT because they owed it to the country to do what they could to make it better than how they met it.