Yesterday, a sound clip recorded at a political rally the night before was being circulated on social media which troubled me dearly, as the tone and message was confrontational, gangster in style, and negative in its nature.
The timing of the sound byte was most opportune for me, as I was getting ready to go to church to celebrate Corpus Christi, or “The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ” and the readings of the day and Sermon by Father Lawrence touched something deep in me that drove me to tears and this blog article.
Father Lawrence reminded us that when we come to church, despite our differences, we come together as one body, one people, at one table to share in the symbolic sharing of one Holy Meal, and that before we do so, at the beginning of mass, we should become penitent and ask God and each other for forgiveness for the wrongs we have done or the good we have failed to do.
This makes common sense as our hearts, minds, souls and spirits should not be closed and weighed down during this ritualistic feast, but should enliven, inspire and motivate us to see how we can make this ritual a living, breathing and animating moment-by-moment presence to transform our daily practices as we break bread with our families and celebrate the gift of life with others, within our communities, and without in our community of nations.
And then my mind was drawn to the youth of our nation, a minority of whom are victims of neglect, trauma and abuse resulting in their alienation from family, community, school, church and the state. As their birth-right longing for belonging is not realized, meaningful relationships and work and hope in the future snuffed out, they gravitate to each other in gangs, not out of choice but necessity to create some sense of meaning, belonging and empowerment and life security, by whatever means necessary.
And then it struck me, that these less than optimal life-complications, in all of their manifestations are human-made, and the abuse and neglect of our most vulnerable and the crime that follow, are as a result of a dysfunctional economic and stewarding system, that does not allow us to sit as one body, at one table, creating ease and order, consuming in harmony and solidarity, the fruits of life.
What we are imbibed with on a daily basis, instead, is the rhetoric on the political and other social media platforms that fractures this body, divides the table, creates dis-eases and dis-orders, confusion and collusions that ultimately robs us all of the physical, mental and social sustenance that enables all of our life capacities and capabilities, to survive and thrive, through and through.
And then the penny dropped! We are quick to point out the gangster splinters in the eyes of our victimized youth, but are blind to the beams of gangsterism that pervade and permeate every feeling, word, thought and action that comes out of the mouths and behavior of people in higher authority and positions of influence who should know and act better. You cannot chastise the gangster youth in one breath for creating fear and divisiveness and insecurity in our communities, when people in power use the public resources at their disposal to do the same thing at a much grander national scale!! And to make things worse, they reverse their roles, become the “fake victims” and blame the true victims who have fallen under their victimization schemes!
If I had any iota of doubt that this was the case, this was removed last week. What solidified this viewpoint was a personal attack on a private citizen by two senior public officials on a radio talk show whose theme was premised on the presumption of talking straight. This private individual is a regular social commentator who has been calling for an increase in standards of good governance and speedy operationalization of integrity measures to hold those in power to account for integral management of the public purse. What they did was to abuse their public trust as stewards of privileged information to discredit and shame and blame the messenger, all for the personal and private gains of the public officials themselves, and all for the personal and public loss of that private individual.
ISN’T THIS THE VERY DEFINITION OF CORRUPTION WHERE THERE IS ABUSE OF ENTRUSTED POWER FOR PRIVATE GAIN?
This amazed me as how one person in one breath can talk about good governance, and in another breath undermine that same principle and abuse the public trust for personal ascendancy. This may not have been a blunder, but appears to me, at least, as a form of bullying and intimidation, to create fear, divisiveness and insecurity, in the hearts, minds and behaviour of our citizens, when we speak truth to power and try, not to bring them down, but to raise them to a higher standard of rules of engagement.
If those in power do not welcome civil society engagement in nation building and raising the bar of understanding, enlightenment and wholistic positive growth of all of our human capacities and capabilities, then this speaks volumes of a MAJOR INSECURITY COMPLEX on the part of our purported courageous and visionary leaders, especially those who were, are, and are yet to come!!.
Last week, I was honoured and privileged to be given the opportunity to air my concerns and views when the findings of an external audit of our anti-corruption laws by the Organization of American States were made public. (Please see here for the reports and supporting documents used in the reports: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS: Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) | Anticorruption Mechanism of the OAS)
This was on the heels of a bombshell admission by a nearby island head of state that kickbacks, a form of corruption, is systemic and the norm, as replayed here:
So the evidence is clear for all to see that there is a lot more work to be done to protect the public purse from wastage so that we, the people can get the best education, healthcare, environmental, job and social securities that we deserve and can afford to co-create together.
I have to constantly remind myself that although people and administrations change, government as an institution stays the same. If governments are OF, BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE, then in some tangible way and real sense, all of us as citizens who govern and are governed, are all in this together. I know very well we are very limited in human and financial resources, and things take time and everything is a work in progress.
Nevertheless, having these constraints in mind, what we are doing and may not be conscious of in its entirety, is building a nation, with a vision, but in order to do so with confidence, we need the blueprint and data to show that our foundation is solid and does not have fault lines and cracks that could be undermined by nefarious elements who act against our very best common interests and concerns.
It is that INTEGRITY of our foundations which is what is being spotlighted for proper ventilation in the public spheres, and the reason behind my engaging the establishment in the most constructive way I know possible! Clinically that is! Last week on Operation Rescue, to help in my own humble way, in highlighting the national pathological OPERATIONALIZATION DEFICIT DISORDER, I had no recourse but to diagnose that in effect, to claim that we are dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s when the i’s and t’s are nowhere to be found, is a miscarriage of justice, truth, openness, accountability, transparency, and above all INTEGRITY!!
A HALF-TRUTH IS A BIG LIE THAT ENSLAVES US, AND ALTHOUGH THE TRUTH USUALLY HURTS, IT IS ONLY THE TRUTH THAT CAN SET US FREE!!
God knows, no one is perfect and as the saying goes, we all fall short of the best we can do for ourselves and each other, and sometimes we think, say and do things that undermine our best interests. Many of us are dependent on the “corrupt” system for sustenance, paying of bills, mortgage and sending our children to school. Using liabilities in our adversarial systems as assets to bring down the other is a recipe for disaster and a poison that kills everything in its midst. We do not, as a caring people, euthanize those who are sick, but do our utmost best to help restore them to health. In other words, we should not add insult to injury, but do our utmost best to create a better life for ourselves and others and to help ourselves and others to see the light.
In the same light, I hope we have the decency, compassion, foresight and vision to apply this truism to our personal, professional and political lives, as we work together, life-coherently as one body, with one vision, in peace, love, harmony, solidarity, and unity! But above all, grounded, anchored and steered by the life-value compass that accords every living person their intrinsic life-worth, which is dignity-for-all, as we develop coherently our full life capacities and capabilities, now stewarded by the life support networks of society and the planet, as our good governance laws are fashioned with health-in-all-policies in mind.
This now rooted firmly in THE NEWEST DISPENSATION TO RULE THEM ALL – the newly resurrected appreciation for the FOUNDATION of INTEGRITY of CHARACTER of us as individuals and as a people, and INTEGRITY IN THE FORMAL RULES OF OUR NATIONS, IN ORDER TO BUILD OUR LIVES AND NATIONS WHOLESOMELY. Gone should be those days when the rule of law is “lawless” and has become “weaponized” via these non-legally binding loopholes to protect the ruling class and their proxies in government by the Acts of Parliament not being regulated and operationalized and thus creating the complications of “dis-eases and dis-orders” in all of our spheres of engagements!
Our body of laws, rules and standards should now serve as verifiable, trustworthy and actionable shields to protect and immunize us from the life-destabilizing machinations of the same ruling class and their political proxies who use life-disabling money-value cancerous invasions within the loopholes in order to take root within our individual bodies, souls and spirits, and the institutional bodies, souls and spirits of our nation!