By Yvonne Sam
Social & Political Commentator
These New Year pessimists reason that if a person has not been sufficiently inspired to follow their dreams in the past year, not much, if anything at all, will change in the New Year. Point taken and noted!
However, every New Year brings in its wake the probability for a new start, a new outlook. The operative word is “probable”, for it is probable that someone will seize the opportunity, take advantage and get their dreams back on track.
The New Year brings a clean slate, since we like to make resolutions and promises, regarding things we would like to change.
The questions to be addressed are: what will we write on our 2018 slate? What will our agenda be? What strategy will we use to empower our people? Will we remain on the same endless, tiresome circular path that has led to where we are today? Will we take a new path? Will we adopt a new strategy?
It is always fitting and proper to look at our commitments in a new light, with a new “Here we go” attitude.
We must not fall for the same old, tired rhetoric we hear every day from self-appointed leaders, who do not lead by example.
Neither must we allow ourselves to be duped by pandering politicians, who are only interested in how they can use any one of us to get elected to public office, nor be lulled to sleep by intellectual banter that makes you feel good but fails to tell you how to do good, or do well for that matter.
Above all, we must never pay into the same old “okey-doke” that has, literally and figuratively, programmed our people to wait to be delivered by others, who care very little about us.
Then what must we do?
First elevate the level of our Black consciousness through reading, studying, by listening and keeping company with brothers and sisters who are serious about doing the work of freeing our people from mental slavery, and unashamed to announce their Blackness.
Connect with other individuals and let us collectively create economic initiatives that benefit our people.
We must pay more mind to those in authority, and no longer must we accept definitions like “minority” and “people of color.” No need to further clarify, but terms such as those really loses something in translation — namely us.
Boldly stand up against injustice and wrongdoing, regardless of who the perpetrator is: White, Black, or any other imaginable color.
Follow through on our commitments; get fired up, but remain fired up long enough to get the task completed.
Teach our children how to navigate, successfully, through this world.
We must pay serious attention to taking better care of ourselves. We are falling prey to too many illnesses that are ultimately fatal, due to negligence.
Start doing or continue doing kind things for those less fortunate than us. Remember that it does not always have to be monetary. It could take the form of an encouraging word(s), a hug without words, some baked goodies, a small gift given just because, or a few hours spent with a child who may not have a father or a mother, or may not be able to read.
You do not need a program to do this, all you need is YOURSELF.
Let us identify and support businesses, where we have the competitive advantage because of our consumerism.
To the young, boycott prisons; stay out of the cells and get into sales.
In this New Year, let us, all, be, once again, reminded that the time is long overdue for us to take our rightful place in this country — politically, socially, educationally and, most of all, economically.
Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is Vice-president of the Guyana Cultural Association of Montreal. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.