By Claudine Williams
No matter what current headlines are used to the catch attention of audiences, usually in essence the following text in the article or comments depict several things that indicate that there is an unhealthy atmosphere in Dominica. Unhealthy for our country and just as unhealthy for our people. I don’t want to use big words like “damaging” or “exploding”. I don’t even want to point out what the incidents or circumstances are; I don’t want to point to individuals either. It doesn’t make sense to rub things in and it doesn’t make sense to take sides. Audiences will make up their own minds and so be it.
Most disappointing is what seems to be lack of common sense, but therefore instead the furthering of polarization into groups that are either supporting or opposing. It comes in various ways. Sometimes it is about attack and defense of actions. Sometimes it is about soothing financial and material gestures that may have the odor of swamp gas, instead of the intended smell of perfume.
Missing is the ability and willingness to unite people and still leaving their own different views intact. I believe that at the end of the day, no matter what is said and done, it is all about one country and one population. That is where I believe the lack of leadership comes in, and I’m not pointing to any individual or side. I’m talking about leadership as a virtue not as form of power. Virtue means behavior showing high moral standards. What are its characteristics? Goodness, virtuousness, righteousness, morality, integrity, dignity, honor, decency, respectability, nobility, worthiness, purity, principles, and ethics! Use those 14 characteristics as a checklist and apply it to the various events and individuals that make the headlines of the media front pages of Dominica. Try and see what you find out with regards to true virtues of leadership.
No matter on what side you are, don’t you think that there is something here that should get some more attention? Shouldn’t we try to find a common denominator? “Either my way or the highway” is definitely not an option. Instead of some trying to take the high ground to position themselves and polarize, wouldn’t be better for all to look for the common ground and unite?
There are facts of life that sometimes seem to fade because all the communication in our society appears to focus on fame, fortune, competition. Some examples of those facts? There is no such as thing of being the richest person on the cemetery. You cannot buy hearts, souls, happiness, or health. Societies before ours didn’t even know what money was and the people smiled and had fun. They too had to survive, but they were able to spontaneously dance with each other and sing in chorus. Amplifiers don’t improve the quality of the music. Silence can be the most beautiful sound that doesn’t interfere, nor distracts, nor manipulates. Wouldn’t we be better off to tone down a bit and find common ground so that we don’t split into groups, but rather be able to love each other, or at the very least respect each other?
Society means a collection of people living together. Don’t you agree that our society is called Dominica? Doesn’t make common sense then that Dominicans live together in harmony and equality? In essence no one can have more power over another. Ordinance may regulate some behavior. But individuals are humans; we all are. The treatment of all humans should be the same in our society. There may be a difference in wisdom or expertise. It still doesn’t give the right to believe that in their heart one person is better than another. Leadership is the ability to recognize this, act accordingly and serve all without exception. And so, I end with the same with the same question that I started out with: ‘Does Dominica lack common sense?’