Throughout my lifetime, I have heard of various riots from around the world. I even recall writing about the London Riot some years ago, since it drew the attention of many nations. Probably, I never envisioned us having such similarities particularly with the vandalism and looting which occurred. Today, I lament about the scare, and fear felt from having had a sleepless night on Tuesday 7th February, 2017. Seemingly what was a peaceful daytime protest was marred by the likes of a serious riot in our City from early evening into the wee hours of Wednesday morning. This resulted in the horrendous burning of enterprises there. These acts resemble a real lack of love that is currently plaguing our island on a wider scale.
One can’t help but to realize that there is a serious blame-game now ensuing between people of different political and other persuasions. Sadly, none of the blame game will bring our nation healing and peace. For a long time, I was left with little if any words to express about how I felt and somehow still feel today about the events. Two things, however, come to mind:
- That which I posted on my Facebook page the following day,
- and the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.
Let me begin with the latter. Prayer of St Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
More than ever, we need this prayer. It is my belief that our leaders must be held to present to the electorate a higher standard of responsibility and behavior across the board. It is also my belief that our people are quickly becoming more and more volatile, where problem solving efforts are given second place, and rantings are amplified into violent acts. Granted, I am in no position to downplay the frustrations of some of the people. However, does it mean that frustration is a good excuse to vandalize establishments, hurt innocent people and disrespect the law and order of a land? My conclusions took me to Matthew Kelly’s expressions on Freedom, as follows with my own thoughts:
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“Freedom is not simply the circumstances that allow you to do whatever you want. Freedom is not only the opportunity to choose. Freedom is the strength of character to choose and to do what is right. With that in mind, our age is not an age of freedom, but an age of slavery. It is subtle, but it is real. The foundation of freedom is not power or choice. Freedom is upheld not by men and women in government, but by people who govern themselves.” – Matthew Kelly
One must pray for discernment and not allow people to use him / her to carry out their malicious and in some cases selfish agendas.
Ofcourse many will seek to place guilt trips on others for declining or rejecting their perspectives. Interestingly, many of them who accuse others of ‘apathy’ are extremely apathetic themselves in other important spheres of life. Besides all of us are not made for the same things.
#RespectBeTheKey #BeYou #WeBeWe
What aches most is that we are all seeking to protect the same Nation. Why can’t we teach our people to respect that which they may not necessarily like. To bait anarchy and “uprising” in a small Caribbean nation in a time like this when the world is unstable, is subtly contrary to that which we claim to desire.
As a Youth Worker, a Youth Enthusiast I feel sad that many of our young people may be ladden with the blame of what has occurred in our City. Granted people should be able to make their decisions, but many ‘leaders’ in the world advantageously erode the potentials of the unsuspecting vulnerable to empower.
Are you concerned about Dominica and its political atmosphere today? What do you recommend? Feel free to share.