First, let me say, Happy Independence Day Barbados! I love and adore every inch of your 166 square miles. You are indeed the gem of the Caribbean Sea.
I feel honoured and blessed to call this island state home. Although we are a developing nation, I have benefited from free education, free health care and a very high standard of living. I have never lacked for the basic necessities in life, and through my schooling in various subjects I have diverse knowledge and a honed power of reasoning.
I don't question what whimsy of the soul directed my body to live out my lifetime here; I have seen a little bit of the rest of the world and though it is beautiful in its own way, my heart is happiest at home.
Economic growth in the Barbadian economy is stagnant at best and the prognosis is not getting any better. Many of the services provided by the Government are being shifted to paid services, most notably tertiary education, and the Government recently retrenched hundreds of Public Services workers.
Even in the midst of this, I am still able to count my blessings. Barbadians remain a people capable of great vision and industry. Though we are all different and may hold different views, I believe strongly that by setting aside ego we can pull together for the greater good.
The wealth of a nation cannot only be measured by its current success, it must also be measured by the treasures which it can hold in store for the future generations to come.
I inherited a Barbados that is a fully functioning social democracy. It is not perfect, but I had vastly improved facilities at my disposal and more opportunities than my Father had, and he in turn had far more than his Father had.
I wish to leave future generations with the ability to say the same. I want them to be able to be grateful for the treasures that was kept in store for them.
I cannot give an economic prescription that can fix the woes of our country. What I will say though is that should our Government move forward with honest intention for positive change, good will follow.
In closing, I reflect on what strikes me most at the end of NaBloPoMo and in keeping with the theme of independence.
When Errol Walton Barrow petitioned the Queen for independence, he went not merely on behalf of his cabinet. He took before Her Majesty, the petition of each individual Barbarian citizen that was alive then, and of all not yet born.
In his act, he gave me my own personal independence. My ability to sit here and voice my opinions is a direct result of his impetus to move each one of us forward. We all can make an impact on the future of the country, not just on election day, but every single day, through our thoughts, words and deeds.
I wish to never take that freedom for granted. There is no reason not to live up to my full potential. I owe it to my ancestors who were slaves, and to my parents for whom my current level of education was never attainable, because they would have had to pay for it.
I wish all of you, regardless of nationality, a Happy Independence Day and I urge you to make the most of the rights and privileges that are your own.