By Vinny Newton
Some Vincentians are generally really quick to react negatively. This is even before all the facts are communicated or laid out on the table. They are quick to get vexed at something completely unaware, or forgetting, that the quick anger will not help the situation or offer a solution. They behave eternally convinced that if they could get as vexed as possible, that this will suddenly bring about a change they need to see. Seems it’s a kind of psychosis.
But also, if you give them an alternative strategy to handle the problem, because they have already practised and perfected well how to get worked up and vex, instead of choosing the healthier and happier route, they will default to a preference for “vexation”. This is part of our “negative culture” and this is not an oxymoron. Negativity without objectivity is rampant.
After that, in some cases, come the bad words and the name-calling. You will hear about anatomical parts and maternal labels. The recipient will be beaten with a tongue lashing of demoralising magnitudes. All the time while destroying the person’s self-worth, this person is practising this psychosis and mentally choosing to be more self-destructive.
This is something that has been handed down from generation to generation and is a mental condition that many are desensitised to. After all, we all grew up hearing children getting a violent whipping with anything ranging from stick to slippers. We also hear them getting called every negative name and described by every adjective they would not use if they understood their “illness” well enough. If we hated our history of slavery, and understood it enough, we would certainly not dare to treat each other in this manner. Or, would we? Should we not hate anything close to violence and demoralisation after an ancestry of such?
When Vincentians understand that these behaviours are an expression of self-hate, they will begin to flee and avoid them. There is a lot of Vincy on Vincy hate that is seen as so ordinary, that many of us are in denial about it. These mental chains are so strong that they are deemed a part of the normal psyche of many Vincentians. We are however more quick to point out and detect a foreign threat or find an illusion of one that really does not exist.
This is compounded by sexual abuse and incest in some families. It is time for a hotline in St. Vincent or some safe means for children, young and adult alike to report these things. It is also time for our government to speak to these realities in our country in a focused and prime way. Why are they silent on these matters?
Where is the machinery for rescuing such individuals and why is it not a high profiled one.
It is not necessarily a political healing that this nation needs most. However, politics is where this psychosis seems to play out to a high degree. The politicians will do their job how they choose to no matter how much we get vexed, curse each other, defame or hail them or wallow in “hearsay” and promises. It is a moral and mental emancipation that SVG needs that must be championed and understood by every citizen, not necessarily better politicians, as much as that is needed too.
We must understand that the present popularly promoted culture will not give us this emancipation either. This is where again a big part of this cycle of illness is promulgated. Our culture is largely been made out to be a celebration of rebellion against moral codes of conduct, about financial gain and cheap and lewd entertainment. A temporary feel good kind of medication for enchained minds. This, while areas of culture that reflect high morals and manners are given minimal attention or validity.
Have we grown to become proud of having an ancestry of slavery? Do we feel special based on it? To such an extent, that we cannot find anything positive to feel special about besides it? And everyone will say on hearing this “nah man”. Some might even want to quickly get vex. But, many would rather celebrate that, than risk being called white, or stoosh (bourgeoisie) by all the other negative people around whose acceptance we cannot find strength to live without. This because when we are positive, progressive and we dared to clean up our surroundings and step out and break the negative cycle, there is a current trying to pull us back into this psychosis and lamentations about pleasing the white man. What about progress for us Vincentians, by us Vincentians?
Do we have a culture that reaches to times before slavery? Not in terms of our ancestral lands or religion necessarily, but to our pre-slavery humanity; to times when the village raised our children in safe, positive and healthy communities. Or are we limited to the negative slavery era and the damage that it has done to our psyche? Surely, we are not waiting on a politician or a white man to free our mind.
If all the white men and women in the world should apologise to us for slavery will it cause us to treat ourselves and each other better? Is preoccupation, song and dance about those times helping anyone to move forward? Are there some chapters of our past that we should never celebrate or even bring to mind? How does remembering them and rehashing the stories help us to move forward? Do they make us feel special based on the wrong and invalid premises of what self-worth is really to be based on? Or are we reinforcing and celebrating self-pity and attention seeking behaviour?
Are white men destroying SVG? Or are we destroying ourselves? Are we willing to take ownership of the ways and processes in which we are killing each other psychology and thus physiologically in these lands? When we have become successful at admitting that, then, possibly, we can go on to handle bigger agendas.
Is it true that if a white human comes and orders us to work on a project that we will do it with more energy, faster and to a higher standard than if a Vincy human does? Yes, or no? And, is this telling us something about how we can or cannot self-govern?
Do we understand what it truly means to respect and follow someone morally sound that looks like us, of either sex? Or are we more concerned that this might be a kind of submitting that will reflect poor self-worth when it is, in fact, a clear sign of poor self-image indeed. Inability to cooperate with our own kind speaks volumes about how smart we think we indeed are.
Next time you get pushed towards vexation, read a few texts. God created and redeemed all Vincentians with equal attention and worth. Start acting like it regardless of other men. Be the best citizen you can be and inspire positive change in SVG. Retrain your Vincy mind for it.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].