There comes a time in your life when you come face to face with reality and it becomes an emotional moment during your existence and you feel compelled to speak out from the Heart. So let me start by saying to my fellow politicians, colleagues and acquaintances on both sides of the room and by extension on both sides of our 37 square mile Island, if we could just take off our political hats for a little while, and let’s have a St. Martin moment.
Generally speaking, we are all in this together with a big responsibility. Whether we like it or not, and if “WE” as individuals cannot understand this duty, then we should let others who can put country above self, make their contribution to the people of this Island. St. Martin “The Friendly Island” as it is so affectionately known around the world, had many setbacks throughout its history and by working in unity and harmony we were able to overcome and bounced back because we stayed together and remained focus.
Thus far, St. Martin has been able to overcome all kinds of obstacles with the exception of one; up to this day it remains a hindrance, a stumbling block that we can’t seem to get around and more than ever its destroying everything we’ve built whether it be physical, psychological or emotional. It even destroy our minds, relationships, bonds and bridges and even infiltrating our very homes. We call it POLITICS.
I find it sad that politics from yesterday and today remains the tool of choice to destroy our people and is used to divide and conquer the minds and hearts of our people with party colors, social standing, ethnic backgrounds and the list goes on. We find time to organize, criticize, belittle and degrade each other but we make no time to organize, to mobilize, unite or even educate and uplift our people and communities and teach them how to work together.
Let me remind everyone that we took an oath to represent and protect our people. Therefore regardless of the political affiliation, regardless of the political philosophy you support, I challenge you, just go to any elementary school and look at how children of all different backgrounds blend and play together and admit that we were at one time in that place until we got divided by this tool called Politics. “Sad isn’t it?”
Let us do things because we love this Island and its people; because we care about our island and its people. Let us say what we really mean because we need this Island and its people and stop putting an already struggling people into more hardship and stress because we need to feed our ego or seeking fame or the idea of Power. Let me be completely honest; we can’t even make a proper and informed decision between ourselves in the best interest of this island we call home! I am calling out the political engineers and our behind the scenes advisors to try our utmost to lead by example. We cannot be telling the population they must come together while the elected officials are stepping in the opposite direction, No! It’s we who have to lead by example and take the first step in the right direction for the population to follow.
If we are saying we love this Island, we must show it with our actions. Yes, mistakes will be made at some point as we are all human, but if it’s made for the right reasons to make things better for our people then let us fix them together Instead of continuously looking for someone to blame; let us place our efforts in finding solutions. That is what the population is expecting of us. That is what we signed up for. We have to be creative moving forward, both socially and economically in this competitive world. We must give respect and demand the same in return for our Island and its people, we must be vigilant in protecting our island in these trying times and be mindful of what we say and do since our actions and comments can affect the lives of others and our progress; it can also protect our resources and assets from exploitation.
Let us no longer continue to bring down each other: Let us stop belittling each other on the airwaves; Let us discontinue dimming the neighbor’s lights for yours to shine and let us end misleading our people to secure a seat. NO, stop it! We should be supporting each other whenever we can, that is how we will get things moving positively in the right direction. We have proven that we are capable of doing these things for others in the past, so let’s do them for ourselves now, and in the future, and bring St. Martin back on the right foundation for progress and prosperity for all our people. Let us be our neighbor’s keeper and stop trying to destroy each other. Hand in hand step by step we can overcome any obstacle together.
In closing, before putting back your political caps, I have but one request on behalf of the people of St. Martin; please place this imaginary note in your caps; “Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world”. And together we can do great things.
Territorial Council Member.