Friday, August 31, 2012
I was listening to Dr. Eric Williams' speech to schoolchildren on the eve of Independence, and I realised that adults of today probably wouldn't understand it, far less most children. He used big words. He spoke of large dreams. He used literary references. He spoke in English, and he spoke in a rational and almost quiet voice.
I listened to speeches last night. I heard no big words, I heard no big dreams, rather, I heard small petty ideas and a rush to "own" OUR Independence. I heard petty politics. I also heard mispronunciations, malapropisms, "green" verbs and misuse of terms. I heard all these at volumes that started at a level above shriek and went higher.
I love the idea of this country, but more and more I'm not loving the actuality of it. It's becoming more and more loud, crude, hard, unpleasant.
On this day, I would like us all to vow to bring back civility, erudition, critical thought, love of art and beauty to this country. We need to see what is good, what potential we have, and support it. We need to fight to prevent mediocrity, corruption and pettiness taking over.
That's my Independence wish. I hope that on the 100th Independence day, in 2062, we'll be what I know we can be. Or even better!