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 Bahamas Commentary

2006-01-10 19:30:05

When Leadership is Mediocre

There are times in life when we despair for our country and its people.

We are today in despair for many in that new generation of Bahamians who have apparently not taken to heart that there is a place in life for excellence. Instead what we get in far too many instances is a steady and unrelenting barrage of mediocrity, lousiness and pathetic excuses.

We are ever mindful of truth in the proposition that where there is no leadership, the people perish. And quite evidently, the people suffer when leadership is mired in mediocrity.

We see evidence of mediocrity in leadership in many of our churches, schools, unions, other civic organizations, inclusive of political parties and other governmental entities. We would venture the sweeping generalization that mediocrity is entrenched in all strata and circles in Bahamian society.

In instance after instance, we come across people who seem as if they want to revel in mediocrity. For our part, we know of instances in our own craft where mistake after mistake is made by one so-called professional after the other and where when they are taken to task; the tired response is that we must understand that 'they are only human'.

This 'we are only human' excuse is nothing but a cop-out, revealing as it does the tired face of mediocrity. Our unsolicited advice to these types is that they should reflect deeply and take to heart the implication of the word in the scriptures that says that human beings are made in the image and after the likeness of The Almighty.

This alone suggests that human beings, those wonderful creatures are fashioned in the image of perfection. As such, their aspiration should always be towards the mark of the high calling, which is perfection, pure and simple.

We do not wish to suggest -even for a moment- that this bleak picture is unrelieved. It is. There is absolutely no doubt that there are Bahamians who are in hot pursuit of excellence. And there is no doubting the fact that there is a sliver of excellence throughout this nation.

That sliver is occupied by a number of elite athletes, a handful of lawyers, doctors, accountants, teachers, some other civic leaders and a handful of distinguished politicians and other elders who now occupy a space set aside for statesmen.

The late George Mackey is high on this list of distinguished national leaders.

And so even as we lament the pervasiveness of mediocrity in our country, we are obliged to note that there are blessed and beloved exceptions to this sad fact of life in today's Bahamas.

Today we despair for this country of ours as some of its own misbegotten sons and daughters turn on it in vengeance and in wrath. In one dreadful instance, we hear and see how brutality can be expressed in the presence of pure hate.

Our reference here is an instance where allegedly a group of girls and boys is deliberately run over by a car. This is an instance where brutality, mediocrity and violence converged to reveal a toxic brew of god-awful nastiness.

Quite regrettably, there is also an abundance of evidence to suggest that there are many Bahamians who are so hardened in their ways and so turned off from all that is true, good and beautiful that they routinely avert their eyes from the social wreckage that engulfs so very many of their fellow-Bahamians.

In this regard, note the scenario that unfolds when one Bahamian woman is bludgeoned to death. Another Bahamian woman has her throat slit. And in another instance of sheer terror a young man's remains are found. It is apparent to crime scene investigators that he was bound, gagged and shot through the head.

In the sad case of the woman who was bludgeoned, the allegation is that the dastardly deed was done by a man whom she once considered her lover.

In another ghastly instance of hate and neglect incarnate, a young man is butchered on a dance floor. As the floor is drenched in that boy's blood, other frenzied dancers -apparently oblivious to the carnage- danced the night away.

This is just no way for Bahamians to live.

We need a country where Bahamians love and respect life.

This will come about only if leadership rededicates itself to doing and knowing the good. Put otherwise, leadership that truly leads must go beyond mediocrity in its words and deeds.

Editorial from The Bahama Journal

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