18 Jul 2008

Observations of a Trini

A few observations from a letter to the editor of the Guardian:

I am a bit confused about the direction we are taking in our quest to achieve developed country status by 2020.

From my understanding, “a developed country” should be able to give its citizens a high standard of living in the following areas, at least: healthcare, national security, and education. Also, access to a basic supply of portable water and electricity should be readily available to developed communities. It must also promote press freedom and freedom of speech. And the local currency should have good purchasing power for basic goods and services.

While we do have many of the aforementioned services, the standard quality of these is very poor. We are still lacking what it takes to make that vision a reality.

It is important to turn our focus on the attitude of our citizenry towards one another. We have become a nasty, arrogant, self-centred, law-breaking people. We do not care about our environment, we have lost the practice of common courtesy in our everyday life, we walk with our noses up in the air because we are better than everyone else, obscene language seems to be the customary way of expressing oneself in a normal conversation, with some parents using it to correct there infants.

Work ethic is another situation we need to address. I sometimes question whether public sector employees will wake up on January 2, 2020 (the first working day of the year) and decide to work as professionals, take some pride in doing their jobs no matter how menial their jobs may seem to be, give a full eight hours of work, as well as treat people with courtesy and respect.

The private sector businesses who claim to train their staff in the area of customer service obviously need to do additional work. It is atrocious how so many unscrupulous businessmen overprice their goods and are always trying to find a way to outsmart the public.

There are so many shortcomings in our country and we as a society have grown to accept them as the norm.

Once again, I have that 0.01% hope that things could improve. If more and more people realise the shortcomings of this era, maybe there is still time to move forward. The downside is that the pace of progress is outstripped by the majority who take us backward with greater rapidity.