By ALICIA WALLACE
Coming out of a year of sitting around, watching and questioning, 2018 has to be a year of collective action.
From early on, we will not only pay attention to what is being said by whom, but scrutinise those words and hold them up against behaviour and supposed values.
We will find inconsistencies, wherever they are, and call on relevant organisations and individuals to address them.
In 2018, Bahamians will finally move beyond conversation and not just to participate in political stunts. We will be thoughtful in our contributions to national discussions, cautious in our commitments and unrelenting in our pursuit of the common good.
The people have been duped enough times to now recognise the tell-tale signs of liars, opportunists and manipulators and our experience will be put to the test.
Politicians, wannabe politicians, career criminals and those seeking celebrity will continue to use pressing issues to push their own agendas, tying up Bahamians thirsty for change in their webs of deceit. We will do our best to see these people miles away, ask the hard questions and listen to what they don’t say. We won’t have the time to warm seats or fill streets for anything other than a better Bahamas for all of us - and we know this. We’ll be more discriminating in the causes we take up, who we allow to lead us and how far we go without seeing a long-term plan.
This is the year of the sceptic. Conspiracy theorists will continue to buzz in our ears about other eras, curses and outlandish outcomes unnamed people are working toward. Those aren’t the sceptics, or the people the sceptics question. Most of us will become — if we haven’t already — untrusting. Leaders in all arenas will find it more difficult to gain support because we are determined to avoid all forms of trickery. We won’t be easily convinced and we will refuse to get on board without near-absolute certainty of the outcome.
It’s going to be a tough one. While we want to move from talk to action, there isn’t much we can accomplish alone. Unfortunately, we don’t know who to trust. We may be facing the toughest year yet, for politicians, yes, but it isn’t an election year. It’s going to be most difficult for the activists, advocates and civil society organisations that need buy-in.
So many have disappointed Bahamians over the past year it should not be surprising that we’re made to work much harder to gain trust, mobilise and take the kind of collective action that forces change.