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An urgent need for the Raizal People: vision

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EDDIE.WILLIAMSRecently I was approached and asked a poignant question that really cause me to make a deep internal analysis before I even attempted to give an answer to the fellow I was having a wonderful conversation with. His question was, what is the urgent need for the Raizal People to change their current reality?

My response was, I firmly believe we need to develop a vision to do and address what needs to be address currently (now) and guide our actions to achieve a future goal. However, this must serve as the unifier for the people and to mobilize us to work as a collective and not from a personal ambition. Maybe the answer wasn’t as satisfying as he’d hope for. But I still hold strong to this conviction.

A vision is knowing and determine to take actions presently to achieve a future goal or objective. As of our present reality, we are using a plethora or multiple bullets to kill one bird and the bird isn’t getting affected as a result. I have come to understand that one essential element for a vision to succeed is sacrifice. It is necessary to sacrifice our personal interest, ego, pride and indifference with the other for the purpose of achieving the goal. Also a great importance as well is to put to rest the overly an unnecessary desire and ambition for stardom. Even Michael Jordan needed Scottie Pippen and the rest of the crew to achieve the six championships.

In history past, we can recall the present actions that were taken by three unsung characters in our history that were instrumental in building something to address our needs as a people.

For instance, Dr. Philip B. Livingston; saw the need for ex-enslaved people to be able to read, write and know number for the life that would dawn on them unless they were going to stay behind in the world they were about to participate in. In addressing that present need he developed among the people of the time a school to train entrepreneurs and empower the people through a cooperative to be competitive in the market of their time; so, Philip’s vision was to empower the people for the new world and a market that wasn’t enslavement. In other words, he changed the mindset of the people in a radical way. They moved from being exploited as an object to prosper others to become men and women that uses their natural and human resources for their own empowerment.

On the other hand, Noel De La Rosa Gonsalves was a next visionary in our history. He saw the need to preserve the land for more than a money making market, the people livelihood and identity was connected to the land. So the temptation to sell the land was essentially giving up yourself and your rights to own and live on the territory. He has voiced the reality of the time and what could have happened in the future if the land wasn’t given away for some pesos. The ripple effect is felt today on our fragile ecosystem. The land is suffering and groaning for the sons of the soil to arise and lead the charge in changing their reality. Unfortunately, as it is said among our elders, if you can’t hear you will feel. The bed you make is the one you will sleep on.

Last but not least, a son of the soil realized that the only hope to address the present the need to create a different tomorrow is through education. Dr. George May came to the conclusion for the people of this territory to live beyond their current predicament it is necessary to be educated. The idea of a Christian University on the island was revolutionary and the colonizers knew it. The colonizers counter his vision by bringing the National University here as a counterattack to this revolutionary vision that would empower the people to be knowledgeable about their reality and develop skills to change their current condition from dependency to independency. That wouldn’t sit well with the colonizer’s agenda. As a result, they came up with a swift plan to destroy such a revolutionary vision. Education is still the key to successfully address our current reality and create a different future from that of the colonizer’s agenda in place on our territory. Our education should cater to counter that of the colonizers, it must be used to empower and build consciousness among us.

To conclude, this is to show, that we have had visionary leaders that has accomplished great exploit for us and set an example that if we are determine to develop a vision to address our current need to achieve our desire objective in the future it is possible to see a turnaround from our current predicament.

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