The behaviour of a friend of mine reminded me as to why I took this small step to making some sort of difference. As of late he has been very vocal about what he refers to as the “genocide of the Muslim people by the US/UK/Israel”, a matter which he has an obvious passion for as is evident by his condemnation of any action or statement, no matter how small, that could be deemed supportive of the Israeli actions in the Gaza strip. It has gone so far to the point of evening using any possible opening as an opportunity to comment on and express his opinion. Whether I agree with him is a matter unto itself, but I do have to admire his passion for what he believes in. Now that being said, a very wise friend of mine for whom I have a great deal of respect once imparted to me a sliver of his wisdom, a rule to which I do my very best to adhere, most likely the only one I have ever applied to my unfiltered tongue and opinions.
“A gentleman does not discuss two things in public: Politics and Religion”
In his rightful expression of his opinions on the matter, my friend is violating both of these standards, and because of the rule and my own (partially uninformed) opinions on the matter, I have chosen not to engage him in dialogue. Based on this rule though, you could argue that in my blog I am breaking my own rule. Well in this instance I feel like it’s an acceptable exception to the rule. In this instance I feel like Trinidad and Tobago politics IS something that needs to be discussed, something that has to be discussed, and more importantly questioned and challenged at every turn. It worries me when I see my fellow countrymen, especially those like my aforementioned friend putting so much thought, passion, and effort behind matters external to the issues we are facing here at home. Yes what is going on in the Middle East is regrettable, unfortunate, even inexcusable, but I must ask: Why are we the Trinidadian people so quick to throw our voices behind external situations, but yet so very mute when it comes to things here at home? I had this very same argument with my sister when she was home over Christmas vacation... the complacency that I see around me offers a world of explanations as to why the situation has degenerated so far so fast. When a society sits back and says “Oh it’s not for me to get involved” even on the smallest of matters, it is no surprise that the small unpunished act grows and grows until we have a country that is falling apart at the seams.
So here is my challenge to myself, and to my (hopefully and eventually) growing readership. Stop being complacent, start living your life with the passion you show to the causes of others. I beg you to start questioning and challenging the status quo that has quickly absorbed the country and made it what it is today. Start showing the passion and love that we all claim to have for this beautiful island we call home, and giving that love back to her 100-fold. It’s been too long that we have neglected our relationship with her, and she deserves better, from all of us.
I love my country... do you?