In recently watching past commentaries by one of the brilliant and progressive political and philosophical minds of this region (now deceased), I began to think about Bahamian society. Where are the thinkers in our society? And by that I mean, where and how have we placed or counted them in our society? Why is it that our society shuns, hates on and tries its hardest to destroy our thinkers? The men and women of all ages who have within them right now the ideas and initiative that can turn this country around are often not a part of the pseudo-progressive cliques of our society. The loudest voices within our systems today are often the most destructive because they are either compromised, ministers of mis-education, or both. We do not esteem critical thinking in our country. It, as a dynamic discipline, is virtually absent from our national education curriculum.
We look to our politicians for direction and answers when in reality, those answers would very likely come from the thinkers of our society outside of the political inner circle who are not jockeying for or beholden to political power, and whose contributions – if active politicians have sense and vision – would be embraced instead of politicians feeling perpetually threatened by or jealous of them. Please understand me, meantime, when I say thinkers. Thinkers, for the purpose of this discussion, are not the same as opinionators, posers, or mere legends in one’s own mind.
It is my view, both from personal working experience and observation, that our political Parties may tolerate varying opinions from time to time, but that is not the same as esteeming, purposely and purposefully cultivating a culture of progressive and creative thought; a process that becomes skillfully honed into practical, relevant, and progressive paths for progress and change in our society. When Parties establish so-called “think tanks”, those tanks (which might be sullied from inception based on who is handpicked to them) get flushed and left to rust as soon as they no longer serve the purpose of a political personality or faction, or their pet project. Intelligence, ingenuity and critical thought need to stop being feared and start being sought after for its pitifully untapped worth and importance in our country.
To our nation’s thinkers: unless you are truly called to political public service, do not feel the need to fall all over yourself trying to become politically aligned purely and only for the sake of doing so, and in turn wind up becoming silenced or smothered by internal structures opposed to progress in its purest forms. Be vocal and look at ways to share your message and ideas with the nation and with its politicians. Politicians who are in-tune would know not to shun what can affect tangible change. And to The Bahamas and its politicians: recognize that you cannot shun or seek to tame, exploit, denigrate or control creativity, intellectualism and critical thought and expect to have a government – any government – that is likely to have the working capacity to effectively facilitate or initiate true progress in our country.