As I write my first community article for 2019, I think it is so appropriate for all of us to reflect on the words that the former USA President John Kennedy used in his inaugural address on January 20, 1961. “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can Do for Your Country”
These Words are still relevant today and I challenge all of us to ask ourselves what is it that we can do for our country. I know that we have elected officials and they must be held accountable for the job they are getting paid to do but as individuals we also have a responsibility to do something for our country. Get involve and volunteer on a community project.
“Not A Victory of Party”
The very first sentence in John F. Kennedy speech is that “we observe today not a victory of a party.” For too long now after an election is won, it is all about the party. As individuals what you can do for your country is to move away from partisan politics and put the country first. You can do so by making sure you hold the politicians accountable irrespective of your political affiliation. Stop Being Silent and Speak out and offer solutions. Politicians, you need to move away from this ‘party’ thing and focus on the country and improving the lives of the residents no matter who they voted for.
“United, there is little we cannot do …. Divided there is little we can do”
John F, Kennedy also stated that “united, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided there is little we can do – for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.” John further stated that we need to explore problems that unite us rather than belabouring those problems that divide us.
Some of the problems we can explore are the constitution, the beach access issues, border control issues, immigration issues and access to financing for residents so they can pursue the projects of their dreams.
Some of the politicians and residents are talking the talk about unity but their actions do not display it. In fact, some of them are encouraging the divisions by their responses in press releases and the attacks on social media.
Therefore, here is what we can do for our country. In the words of John Kennedy let your words become deeds. After all, if we are divided there is little we can achieve. Let us not dwell on which political party you support, which island you from and which country you are from. Let us truly unite as a people in our actions.
“Help People Help Themselves”
In John’s speech, he made a pledge to help break the bond of mass misery away from those people by helping them to help themselves.
I know many of us are so consume with our own family affairs and perhaps do not even have time to help others. However, I believe that every resident can help this country by volunteering their time on at least one community project each year. If you cannot find an existing project, then create a new community project. This will require a sacrifice of your time and perhaps an opportunity loss of your income but at the end of day, should we not help this country as the country has help us in so many different ways.
Our country needs help, our streets need to be clean, our people still need help from the impact of Hurricane Irma and Maria, the Youth Center may need volunteers, the Children’s’ Home may need help, the Red Cross may need help. I know at least two organizations are working on empowering our young women but we need a project to help groom our young men too.
Let us move away from being selfish by helping other people to help themselves. I am not saying to spoon feed them but to help them to help themselves. This will be a great help to our country.
Another way one can help others help themselves is to give people an employment opportunity. Too many people are being told they do not have the experience. Well, how does one get experience if they cannot get an opportunity to start from somewhere. Every business should have at least one local person on the job that is undergoing training.
Another way that we can help our country if we stop hiring and housing illegal immigrants.
I know some of us complain about the Government not doing what they are suppose to be doing. Yes, you should complain but what are you as an individual doing to help the country. You do not have to be a politician to help the country nor do you have to be a Turks and Caicos Islander to help.
Elections are constitutionally due next year and you may find that some of the existing politicians along with new candidates will put their names forward to run in 2020. Ask them what have they done to help this country.