THE TRUE character of a person is seen in times of crisis. Likewise the real nature of a nation is revealed in calamitous times. We are a people who care and even share, but there is a dark side to our demeanour. We gossip like our life depends on it and litter a lot in thoughts, words and deeds.
This present virus crisis has laid bare the under belly of the monster in our midst – our self-defeating, self-destructive propensity that became more evident with each day of the covid19 crisis.
Topical it is, in our tropical paradise, where people live in denial, nonchalant, with a don’t-care-damn look on their faces. Who need masks? There seems to be no reason to get serious about what is about us. The storm will pass as it did before. We know this all too well. There seems to be a nihilistic approach to life that confuses me.
Simply put, it’s a perplexing thought. We can’t seem to change our clothes, when they get dirty by the stains of racialism and nepotism and all the other isms that we encounter. Our suicide rate is low, but we are killing ourselves softly, as we go from day to day and taking our children in tow.
Unlike the fabled man with the Midas touch, whatever it seems we lay our hands on diminishes in value due to the demons that beset us. The monsters in the closet come out to play on Carnival day – that’s all year through.
We continue to play the fool with our destiny. Our gratitude to God is diminishing as we dingolay with greed and false prosperity. Our hands are soiled with oil and our fields of green remain uncultivated, as we saunter along in time.
This pandemic reveals a people not quite ready for change, contending with each other for scraps of popularity across the political divide. We seem to prefer to see each other die, unaware that when that happens, we die too. There is no disguise to the demise that is upon us. The music has played and the charade continues, we seem oblivious to the precipice that we face as a nation. Dancing and cavorting to our deaths.
Economics be damned! It’s about how much we can get for ourselves, how much we can feed the greed within our souls, the callous nature of the monsters we entertain in our thoughts and who sit at our tables and spout vitriolic stuff on the social media.
The crisis among us reveals the torment inside us. We have scared our souls with the searing passions that drive us to despair, even when we deny it and shout back loudly over the voice of reason in our ears.
It’s real tears I tell you. Maybe not so much for us as for the children, even unto the third and fourth generation, as the Bible says. The sins of the fathers and indeed the mothers and all the others still sully our flag that flies tattered in the wind. In a mind’s-eye view, you see the torn fringes and tottering pole of our destiny.
Proud we are to be true Trini, but the truth of who we really are is distorted in the mirror that speaks to us each day. We deny the distorted faces and practise our “colonial graces” as we dance across the grand stage of life.
We kindle strive to survive. We love little and stir up the pot of racial prejudice and give vent to our frustrations for a day or two with each issue. When will we ever learn that what we do to each other comes back to haunt us. So while we flaunt our ill-gotten wealth, we sicken the health of the nation. Change or die is the banner before us.
This covid19 crisis makes me cry, not just for the sick or dying, but for a nation that needs to see that we are imploding but not knowing – our prejudice is showing, our undergarments are revealed to the world.
It is clear in this crisis that we need to practise the one-love we preach. The priest and parishioners speak and sing but in real life it’s a different thing.
We have done well as a nation but it’s not over as yet. The corruption, domestic abuse and other concerns are still there. We must let our divine connection guide us and help us to be all that we ought to be.
The virus is around us, but let’s contend with the crisis within us and pray that we defeat the demons of our nation’s destiny.