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A Time for Unity
Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011

By Derren Joseph
September 06, 2011

As the debate around the state of emergency becomes increasingly polarised along political lines, I thought I would look at it from a different angle. Those who know me know that I am one of those people who believe in the supernatural or realm of the spiritual. Not that I have no respect for science, but I know that there are some things that the scientific method has been able to explain and there are some things that it has not. As I look for answers, I have always been unafraid to look beyond the boundaries. Now, I do not claim that my examination of the realms outside of science have given me more answers.

Rather, it has been the opposite in that it simply helped me refine my own questions. It was back in the 2008 to 2009 period, that I began hearing talk of cycles of events. For me, the unrivalled expert in this space has to be the late, great Dr Terence McKenna. You can Google his background but he wrote and spoke extensively about cycles of time and in the 1990s when many were getting paranoid about Y2K, he was the first to say that the real date to watch would be December 21, 2012.

McKenna spoke of cycles and in this context, a former member of Parliament/Government minister spoke to me about cycles of time as it applied to us in Trinidad. He was the first to point out to me the 20-year cycle. We spoke of 1970, and then 1990. Back in 2009, he was telling me over a light lunch in downtown Port-of-Spain, to look out for 2010. Following this logic, there are some that would agree that in early 2010, the Manning administration was facing some sort of social anxiety. The regime change that took place in May 2010 did not neutralise these cyclical forces but merely displaced them. They returned beneath the surface till 2011. Hence we are where we are.

It would be a mistake, however, to get so caught up in what is happening in Trinidad and Tobago that we fail to see what is happening internationally. I have a cousin who lives in Norway and when he was in Trinidad, we spoke at length about the relative peace, safety and high quality of life that Norway offers. Yet in July 2011, this was shattered by the shootings at the youth camp. There has been recent civil unrest in the Middle East, North Africa, England and so on. On a global level, it is hard to ignore the worsening economic situation. Some are saying these seemingly disconnected events are not so random and disconnected. Different people naturally have differing views on whether what seems to be happening globally is in fact connected and if so, what forces are driving it.

Please do not misunderstand me; I am not all about doom and gloom. Quite the opposite in fact! It has been clear for many of us that the systems that frame our daily lives have been in need of deeper examination. Our economic system sees too many go hungry, homeless and without proper access to decent healthcare, or education. Our political system is also deeply flawed and the evidence of this is plain for any to see.

For me this is a time for self-examination and collective reflection. In what type of society do we really want to live? What manner of education system would best prepare our children to be contributors to national peace and prosperity? What type of political system would make transparent the influence of big business and ensure that priority is placed on improving the quality of life for everyone. How can we create a social safety net that ensures that the vulnerable and dispossessed are adequately taken care of? How can we create a brighter tomorrow?

More so than ever before, it is time to come together and put aside all these silly divisions of race, political affiliation, social status, religion and so on. It is only together can we hope to overcome the challenges that face our beautiful islands. Because I believe in God; I would say that it is a time of prayer. But I respect the views of others, and for those who do not believe in any supreme being, then consider it a time to maintain a positive outlook. Once again, I end by saying that my name is Derren Joseph and I love my country and my region. Despite our challenges, I have the audacity of hope in the future of this beautiful and blessed land of ours.

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