By Anthony Stewart, PhD
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an independent country whose head of state is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 who acts through her local representative here, Governor General Susan Dougan. We like the symbolism, stability, pageantry, and loyalty of the royalty. We are happy to have our very own “Queen” here.
Given the chance to make a choice, we, the people of this country, chose the Queen over the alternative. A picture of the Queen and her husband were prominently displayed in my grandmother’s living room and that of many others. When Union Island Secondary School was opened on Oct. 24, 1972 by Her Royal Highness Princess Magarette, her picture was displayed prominently in the school’ auditorium.
I myself claim royal blood, being the descendant of an African Chief of the Yoruba Tribe mixed with that of a Royal British slave master. Moreover my Bible says in 1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Life is a struggle for independence from birth to death. At every stage it appears that other forces bent on teaching dependence have a philosophy of “learned helplessness” that they intend to impose on us. At what point does a baby conceived in water, and developed in water forget how to swim? Born with a guaranteed two-year supply of milk, how can a young child be malnourished? Conceived with a viable sperm from a man and a healthy egg from a woman, how can a newborn be fatherless as documented on the birth paper?
How is it that a baby learns so much within the first five years, enters school and is unable to read at age 10? What has transpired in those years of elementary schooling? Why are there so many strong, healthy individuals on Public Assistance? How is it that teenagers who completed primary school attached themselves to skilled artisans became skilled themselves yet in these times, some teenagers are leaving secondary schools without any subject and without any skills? How is it that senior citizens who own houses and lands struggle to find adequate care in their sunset years?
Some of us have the answers to these questions. Let us be accountable and responsible for these solutions and aid our people in their quest for true independence.
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