6 Jan 2008

Young people leaving lazy T&T

I want to reprint this letter sent to the Guardian - just because I can fully appreciate the writer's points of view. If only more of us would see the bigger picture, and settle for less than we get. Less crap that is.

I want to complain today. I want to blow out somebody for some of the things I observe, man. But you know what: nobody eh go listen to me, boy. I just a youth, trying to make my way.

I want to lament the complacency of a society, the sheer acceptance that comes along with "the Trini way."

We sit as a people and just accept. We accept poor customer service because "that's what you go get in this country." We accept spates of violence, we accept fear, we accept pedantic "medical researchers" who prolong petty spats for the sheer sake of it.

We accept domestic violence, we accept sexism, we accept old white man as the father, we accept our position as developing and we accept inferiority.

We are a nation of lazy acceptors. If the waitress is talking on her cellphone while serving me, "that's just how things are in this country; we not in America, you know."

If the young man behind the counter chooses not to look me in the eye and repeatedly says "yeah," "nah nah" and "yeah" to my polite utterances, well, "you're in Trinidad."

I am disappointed in us. We silently accept a society that is becoming more vapid and less (truly) Trinidadian because that's just how things are. And we keep going back to the same restaurant with the same waitress with the "logorrhea" problem, and we return to the same store with the young man with a two-word vocabulary because that's how things are.

We are one of few countries in which a Starbucks look-a-like makes a boatload of money and routinely runs out of coffee. A coffee shop running out of coffee? Who would stand for such nonsense? Trini!

But kick up a fuss and try to educate and move this beloved Trinidad forward—I dare you. Because all you get in response is: "Oh gosh, relax nah lady. We in Trinidad. Calm yuhself. That's how things does be."

Why do we have a brain drain problem? Why do the brightest leave this land? Because they do not accept and they will not be limited by narrow minds and lazy attitudes. Because when they speak no one listens, and they are limited by a low glass ceiling: they are not old enough, not old-school enough, and not "Trini" enough.

Isn't that an irony? They feel they cannot affect change as they would want to because "it's Trinidad, nepotism rules, is who you know and what hue you have."

And they leave. They leave to an even more vapid society, but at least they are not settling for what's expected and are not accepting what is awry.

But Mr Editor, I eh know if anyone reads anymore. I eh know if anyone takes me on. I on my way out. But I'll write man, I'll continue writing until one of you listen. Until one of you says, "Wait nah, but this not how things supposed to be. That's not the country's way. I refuse to accept!"

Melanie Johncilla

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