THIS COUNTRY IS TWO YEARS short of celebrating its 50th anniversary of Independence and in the midst of continuing concerns about the economy, the social cohesion of the society and the future development of our culture, and indeed its survival under the pressure of inimical influences from within and without.
We do not propose to dwell on the past except to provide a platform for the future in that whatever may have been the obstacles our country has always been able to produce citizens who have determined without any fuss or fanfare that they are going to reach for the stars and have done so in the face of mountainous difficulties.
Only last week a Barbadian whose ancestral roots are buried deep in the rich countryside of the parish of Saint Joseph flew into this island not as a passenger on JetBlue, but as a pilot, sitting in the cockpit of the aircraft and with his wife as a passenger – and his parents aboard on the flight back out.
The inspirational significance of this event must not be lost on us at this time in our affairs. Having shaken the shackles of slavery off their bodies and minds, there is a growing body of Barbadians who have decided that if the “sky” represents an achievable milestone then they will conquer that milestone however difficult may be the effort.
It is that kind of never-say-die spirit that will lift Barbados beyond the morass into which it finds itself at this time.
We note that these superachievers are not in the politics of the country. Rather their achievements represent the kind of personal commitment and drive which often brings large success.
Captain Othneil Kellman deserves our generous congratulations, not because he is our first pioneer to write his name on history’s page but because in our present circumstances his achievement tells us that we are not without the skills and determination to overcome any obstacles.
One of our National Heroes the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers, still with us, is a shining example of another Barbadian who decided that his aim was for the top, and that excellence in all spheres of his chosen endeavour was his aim.
Rihanna, whose iconic status reminds us how much anyone of us can achieve if we decide that the playing field is level enough to attract our attention, forces her way onto any list of stellar international achievers and continues to inspire us.
The point we are making is this: this country, small as it is, belongs to us, and now that we have been liberated from actual and functional bondage, we can fight our way to the top and out of any difficulties our country might be in.
Our past is not our future, and our future need not be our past. Whether in the field of cricket, aviation, entertainment, science, academia or renal transplant surgery, Barbadians have shown that they can reach and excel at the top.
If we can activate that spirit and put all our hands to the plough, there is nothing that we cannot achieve, even with the mountains and potholes ahead.