Categorized | Local, Opinions

Let Us Value the Bigger Picture

By Claude Gerald

Responding to my general dissatisfaction with President Obama’s credentials in his history making campaign, an acquaintance of long-standing quizzed me disdainfully, on if I held something personal against Mr. Obama!

To ease away the tension from my indifferent reception of his Messiah of the Free World, I offered the volcano inspired evacuee, boasting an Ivy League Master’s Degree and even now more certified as a resident in the cold, that perhaps if Obama was the one enjoying the skills of the famed White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, then his illogic was plausible.

And I would have yielded to the guilt of pettiness and allied bitterness and given power to the leanings of this bright academic in suggesting that I have some personal angst against the then candidate to the White House.

Momentarily dazed after the compulsory end to the telephone conversation, it hit home how crippling a culture of negative norms is even to those who derive their status and earning ability from associating with the hallowed halls of academia or whatever noble institution that is relevant.

Being born and raised into a certain milieu, makes you take the shape of the dominant thought processes of that social setting, despite differential exposure.

You are what you were. You become what you have been. Your present is your past.

Notwithstanding the volcanic eruption and depopulation, there is no justification for us to continue to develop a spineless society incapable of high levels of self criticism on the basis of fairness, fearlessness and broadmindedness. Such paralyses this and further generations into godlessness not realizing that the cave we fear to enter may just hold the treasure we seek.

This hell bent tendency of natives of Montserrat to chastise an honestly held position, as one which is ‘personal’, meaning one does not like or is not fond of the subject under scrutiny; or hold grudge and bad mind feelings towards that person, is boundless.  Banish and ostracise into oblivion, the mob shouts. Instead it chooses its bevy of Barabuses, to manage its affairs as its best response to those who seek to widen the sphere of and to bring intellectual enlightenment to a society, with materialism as its Master and complacency in its role as thoughtless followers.

Taboo subjects are cast in stone and must remain closeted as the foundational paradigm of normal living.

More alarmingly when an opinion resonates with glee to the reader based on a moral or legal principle, the irony is that when the said principle is placed elsewhere, it can create mayhem and dissatisfaction where joyfulness once rested. The opinion maker automatically loses his star like status and is variously vilified.

In the absence of a herd mindset instinctive of a chronic follower, the battle to remain composedly sane, poses challenges to the most divine character traits.  The realization hits to remind that the world is so constructed that if one wants to enjoy its boundless pleasures, there must be a simultaneous desire to endure its pains, in total surrender and faith of course in being positive.

No need to emphasize that the link between not being able to rebut an impersonal discourse with well constructed and sensible arguments was reinforced in the insidious politics of the eighties, when we surrendered our willpower and allowed our innocence to be snapped away by vacuous rhetoric in the halls of power.

Hence the inbreeding of our thinking that leads to more of the same and more ad infinitum. Any wonder why our institutions are in a perpetual decline as main actors are woefully equipped to advance the thoughtful processes of social development.  Simply to rationalize without emotion is a practice that begs to be mainstreamed in the cognitive processes of our daily existence.
Real leaders are hardly an accident and an independently minded society, free of the mental baggage that binds us, pleads for a non accidental opportunity to gain maturely.

So steeped are we into this mental stereotype that we fail to even realize when the cause of the nation is being represented.  Many decidedly threw support behind a candidate who came in for some paternal advice and decisive quizzing on his political position as a rookie to the game of politics in 2009.

Peeved at the incessancy of the direct attention, they offered support on the basis that it was unfair to expose a new candidate to such grilling and sympathy guided the path to the ballot box. Winning was assured just as an associated stagnancy is guaranteed in this ‘we like it so’ pattern of existence.

Knowing that truth goes through three major phases – ridicule before violent opposition followed by a glorifying stage when it becomes self evident – is consoling.  And that the control of these stages is all in our hands so that shortening the conduit to acceptance is quite probable.

We consistently fail to see the big picture and to compartmentalize the wood from the trees in our attempts to think and give decision-making the best chance possible.

We excuse the inexcusable not caring to know that the excuses we make in this game of self realization become the nails that are used to build the national house of failure.

Our society is uniquely unique but more so one reasons for its prejudices. Such maybe size related. But throughout the history of mankind it has been shown that the voice of prejudice is always infinitely more powerful that the voice of reason.

It may well be that we are the microcosm of peoples of the world.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator who lives on Montserrat. Ceegee15@hotmail.com

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Claude Gerald

Responding to my general dissatisfaction with President Obama’s credentials in his history making campaign, an acquaintance of long-standing quizzed me disdainfully, on if I held something personal against Mr. Obama!

To ease away the tension from my indifferent reception of his Messiah of the Free World, I offered the volcano inspired evacuee, boasting an Ivy League Master’s Degree and even now more certified as a resident in the cold, that perhaps if Obama was the one enjoying the skills of the famed White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, then his illogic was plausible.

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And I would have yielded to the guilt of pettiness and allied bitterness and given power to the leanings of this bright academic in suggesting that I have some personal angst against the then candidate to the White House.

Momentarily dazed after the compulsory end to the telephone conversation, it hit home how crippling a culture of negative norms is even to those who derive their status and earning ability from associating with the hallowed halls of academia or whatever noble institution that is relevant.

Being born and raised into a certain milieu, makes you take the shape of the dominant thought processes of that social setting, despite differential exposure.

You are what you were. You become what you have been. Your present is your past.

Notwithstanding the volcanic eruption and depopulation, there is no justification for us to continue to develop a spineless society incapable of high levels of self criticism on the basis of fairness, fearlessness and broadmindedness. Such paralyses this and further generations into godlessness not realizing that the cave we fear to enter may just hold the treasure we seek.

This hell bent tendency of natives of Montserrat to chastise an honestly held position, as one which is ‘personal’, meaning one does not like or is not fond of the subject under scrutiny; or hold grudge and bad mind feelings towards that person, is boundless.  Banish and ostracise into oblivion, the mob shouts. Instead it chooses its bevy of Barabuses, to manage its affairs as its best response to those who seek to widen the sphere of and to bring intellectual enlightenment to a society, with materialism as its Master and complacency in its role as thoughtless followers.

Taboo subjects are cast in stone and must remain closeted as the foundational paradigm of normal living.

More alarmingly when an opinion resonates with glee to the reader based on a moral or legal principle, the irony is that when the said principle is placed elsewhere, it can create mayhem and dissatisfaction where joyfulness once rested. The opinion maker automatically loses his star like status and is variously vilified.

In the absence of a herd mindset instinctive of a chronic follower, the battle to remain composedly sane, poses challenges to the most divine character traits.  The realization hits to remind that the world is so constructed that if one wants to enjoy its boundless pleasures, there must be a simultaneous desire to endure its pains, in total surrender and faith of course in being positive.

No need to emphasize that the link between not being able to rebut an impersonal discourse with well constructed and sensible arguments was reinforced in the insidious politics of the eighties, when we surrendered our willpower and allowed our innocence to be snapped away by vacuous rhetoric in the halls of power.

Hence the inbreeding of our thinking that leads to more of the same and more ad infinitum. Any wonder why our institutions are in a perpetual decline as main actors are woefully equipped to advance the thoughtful processes of social development.  Simply to rationalize without emotion is a practice that begs to be mainstreamed in the cognitive processes of our daily existence.
Real leaders are hardly an accident and an independently minded society, free of the mental baggage that binds us, pleads for a non accidental opportunity to gain maturely.

So steeped are we into this mental stereotype that we fail to even realize when the cause of the nation is being represented.  Many decidedly threw support behind a candidate who came in for some paternal advice and decisive quizzing on his political position as a rookie to the game of politics in 2009.

Peeved at the incessancy of the direct attention, they offered support on the basis that it was unfair to expose a new candidate to such grilling and sympathy guided the path to the ballot box. Winning was assured just as an associated stagnancy is guaranteed in this ‘we like it so’ pattern of existence.

Knowing that truth goes through three major phases – ridicule before violent opposition followed by a glorifying stage when it becomes self evident – is consoling.  And that the control of these stages is all in our hands so that shortening the conduit to acceptance is quite probable.

We consistently fail to see the big picture and to compartmentalize the wood from the trees in our attempts to think and give decision-making the best chance possible.

We excuse the inexcusable not caring to know that the excuses we make in this game of self realization become the nails that are used to build the national house of failure.

Our society is uniquely unique but more so one reasons for its prejudices. Such maybe size related. But throughout the history of mankind it has been shown that the voice of prejudice is always infinitely more powerful that the voice of reason.

It may well be that we are the microcosm of peoples of the world.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator who lives on Montserrat. Ceegee15@hotmail.com