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Failing to read signs a disservice

EDITOR, The Tribune. 

SIGNS, in and of themselves, can be of little to no use. Signs must be clear. Signs must be readable and understood by the reader in order for them to be effective. So, over time, there may be many signs which show us important messages, but for one reason or another some of us fail to grasp the meanings of those signs. Ultimately, we are no better off having those clear signs right there before us. Even right now, many of us appear not to read, comprehend or take heed of the signs of our times. 

“Stop”, “Slow Down”, “Dangerous Curve”, “45 mph”, “Do Not Enter” ... and the list goes on and on. But, people will sometimes only comply with such clear signs when absolutely necessary. 

Administration(s) after administration(s) have dabbled in the effective governance of our relatively small nation; The Bahamas. There could be no denying that measured successes can be pointed to here and there. To balance out those various achievements, there’s an impressive scorecard of failures, incompetencies, as well as the lack of positive directions and outcomes. However, Administrations don’t just pop up from the ground, or fall from the sky, ... just like that. We, the Bahamian people, elect those Members of Parliament who form each successive Administration. When they fail, it’s because we failed to read the signs of the times - about competent representation. 

In this brief scribble, I will not endeavor to point at the significant number of areas (say, Ministries) where there has been no progressive movement over time, but will rather cite but one foundational pillar of our Bahamian society. When we score high marks in this area, having that ripple effect, it would certainly be a sign of the times. 

Before we can truthfully begin to move forward, upward, onward together, one big, obvious and important signs of the times is actually seeing what we lookin’ at. That quagmire into which far too many of our fellow Bahamians continue to be sinking deeper into, by committing their wholehearted allegiance to a particular political party rather than to our nation, has brought The Bahamas chin-deep into quite a mess. Breaking this vicious cycle of “my party, right or wrong” and “I born dis ‘n ger die dis” might be more painful for some folks than extracting “wisdom teeth” ... without anesthesia. When we do see any slight indications of real severing mindless party commitments it will definitely be a sign of the times. 

Our focus on a particular element which is long overdue for drastic changes could turn to our public school system. Any positive changes there would qualify as a major sign of the times. Doubtless, it has produced a cadre of highly intelligent and productive citizens of this nation. Many have gone off for more advanced educational & technical studies abroad. Some have even returned to The Bahamas with many impressive and admirable expertise. No doubt, many more could have returned to The Bahamas, but that’s another chapter for another day. Still, it’s a sign of the times. 

True, shoes might be better than no shoes - depending on where ya walkin’. But, those ol’ and worn out colonial shoes into which we still persistently try to get all students to wear (as though one size fits all), clearly need repair or discarding. Those “Emperor’s New Clothes” ought not to be forever ignored or praised, especially when our innocent little children are around, with eager eyes. Who is there that can deny that much needed change is far, far overdue? Signs are all around, but how much longer will we ignore those signs of the times? 

Did you get to see those recent online postings of pictures and videos showing high school graduates (and guests) all decked out for their proms? Obviously huge sums of money were spent on extravagant attires, accessories, hairstyles, and such - not to mention the luxury transportations. Someone had to pay for each hefty bill. And, when you consider the likely average GPA of that cast of characters, their getting jobs (high-paying or low-paying) to reimburse those enabling benefactors would seem a bit far-fetched. So, whether this new crew of school leavers get their money legally or illegally will be yet more signs of the times. 

After saying all that, I will gladly admit that some dark clouds do have silver linings. So, it’s entirely possible that you and I will wake up one morning to find out that Bahamian public school students are being placed into learning modules which match their competencies & interests. Academically inclined would be routed for academic studies. Technical & vocational studies would be aligned with students so inclined. At various points in the educational process, students would be allowed to switch/adjust their areas of studies based on merit and pragmatic criteria. Especially with the ongoing advancements in computer learning, the options for students to develop and excel in various disciplines could be unlimited. Such a school system would certainly be a sign of the times. 

Governing administrations should be elected by enlightened Bahamian voters to read the signs of the times where they are, comprehend them competently, and steer our ship of state through the wide and treacherous shoals around us. Enlightened populations don’t just pop up out of the blue, though. A collective of public servants, private servants, spiritual servants, parents and all right-minded Bahamians would be needed to work together for any such common, loftier goal. When we truly lift up our heads to that rising sun, however near or far away that day, it will absolutely, positively be a sign of the times. 

MB 

Nassau
June 24 2024 

Comments

IslandWarrior 2 weeks, 3 days ago

Tribute's decision to delay the release of online obituaries is problematic and unjustifiable. The timely publication of obituaries is crucial, as funeral dates and death notices often remain unknown until they are made public. This delay can result in friends and family members missing the opportunity to attend funeral services, causing unnecessary distress during an already difficult time. While such a strategy may be perceived as a business tactic aimed at driving revenue, it is counterproductive and lacks compassion. It undermines the purpose of providing daily news by withholding vital information that serves a significant communal need. Therefore, Tribute's approach fails to make practical sense and disregards the emotional well-being of those mourning their loved ones.

ThisIsOurs 1 week, 6 days ago

It's in the print version. Its once a week. It is more convenient if it's available online but if it's important, buy a paper.

When I saw the headline, the first question I asked was, how can a senior member of staff hold sway over the direction of investigations with some going weirdly awry and noone notice the signs? It's impossible, at worst someone should say you're not being effective, I need to move someone else here. Because the public has certainly been pointing out oddities. When an organization fails that broadly at the task fundamental to the existence of the organization, it's not just the perpetrator who falls or should fall, it's the entire leadership who failed to notice the signs or to do anything

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