What would 'godfathers' say?

Patrick Manning -
Patrick Manning -

THE EDITOR: In the aftermath of Father’s Day celebrations, both globally and locally, my thoughts turned to the man we honour as "the father of the nation," Dr Eric Williams. Alongside him, I reflected on the legacies of other key figures such as ANR Robinson, George Chambers, Patrick Manning and Basdeo Panday.

These leaders, similar to the godfathers of our nation, would undoubtedly have a keen interest in the current state of our society. As we contemplate their potential pride in our achievements, the obstacles we have surmounted, and the people we have become, we must also consider the guidance they might offer were they to witness the fruits of their labour.

Williams, with his visionary aspirations for national betterment and equitable opportunities, would likely have mixed feelings about our progress. His dream was to cultivate a society where all citizens could achieve self-sufficiency and contribute meaningfully to the holistic development of the nation.

Viewing the trajectory of our growth, he would commend us for certain advancements and milestones achieved over the years. Yet, like any devoted father figure, he would probably also identify areas where further improvement is necessary.

Indeed, our country has reaped significant benefits from the natural wealth of our land and accomplished noteworthy feats. Our infrastructure, education and economic sectors have seen remarkable growth, reflecting a nation capable of rising to challenges and seizing opportunities.

In our collective self-reflection, we must acknowledge that there are sectors where progress has been stagnant or even regressive, areas that require urgent attention and revitalisation.

In reference to my youngest daughter when attempting to explain how she felt at a recent doctor visit, she said, "My body is good, but I'm not feeling well."

In retrospect, we have an amazing "bird in our hand" in TT that's good. However, there are aspects of her that are not too well and need our immediate attention. Collectively it can be done. However, a plaster would not work. She requires an intentional direct approach, one that is structured for each area without any trace of partisan politics.

Williams and his successors would most likely counsel us to remain devoted to the ideas of fairness, holistic development and patriotism. They would advocate for a continuous focus on building an environment in which all citizens have the opportunity to succeed. This includes tackling systemic concerns, closing social and economic inequities and instilling a sense of belonging and national pride.

They would remind us that the vision they outlined was not a fixed destination, but rather a constant journey toward a better society and that in order to achieve this, country-first scaffolding must occur at even the most basic levels of society.

While there is plenty to celebrate, reflecting on our country's history should inspire both pride and a renewed commitment to reform. We must commemorate the heritage of our "godfathers" and the "father of the nation" by working to build on their ambitions and visions for TT.

This is something that can be made a reality with hard work and teamwork. By doing so we may ensure that their vision of a prosperous, equitable and holistic society becomes a permanent reality.




"What would ‘godfathers’ say?"

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