The long view of the Virgin Islands reveals a community teetering on the edge of chaos. “The lunatics are running the asylum,” comes to mind when we consider Golden Grove Prison.
One week after the General Election, we still do not know who won or if there will be a runoff. And if there is a runoff, no one seems to be able to say how that will happen without massive disenfranchisement of voters.
The Government Employees Retirement System has about 6.5 years left in which it can pay its obligations and the Senate has refused to acknowledge a plan that might help avert that economic disaster because it wasn’t its idea.
Drivers rarely even give a passing nod to stop signs.
Twenty percent of employed residents do not pay their taxes – of any kind – income of property.
We have a homicide rate that is six times higher than what the United Nations deems epidemic.
And we have not even begun to consider how climate change is affecting and will continue to affect our tiny islands. Chikungunya is just the beginning.
And the list could go on and on.
A wise woman of the islands told me recently, “You know this didn’t just happen. It has been building for 20 years.”
Great thinkers understand that chaos can be the catalyst for positive change. That’s the good news.
The bad news is, it’s up to the people to make the changes.
In the Virgin Islands and in the United States many are still looking for the “savior.”
That notion is ridiculous no matter what. But if you consider the state of politics: corruption, raging self-interest, addiction to power and money, how on earth could anyone think some leader is going to change the crash course we have been on for years.
No, the change will come when conscious people step into the arena and take action individually and as a group. Grassroots movements, community activists and outliers are who will chart a new course.
Watch for them. Join them. Stand for something. Protect the disenfranchised. Make a difference in your own sphere.
Change and the road to sanity has many paths. Be part of one of them or better yet, forge one. It is the only hope we have.
Otherwise, we will become exhausted by treading the waters of total breakdown and we will drown.