Happy New Year Abaco. Never mind that this January 1 edition of The Abaconian actually was published prior to 2013, we can pretend. We seem to be good at that these days.
We pretend a lot. We pretend that crime will be curbed because it should be. We pretend the youth of this island are all growing up in loving homes. We pretend they have outlets for their creativity and frustrations. We pretend the burglaries and assaults are being caused by an outside force and not by things within our collective, and perhaps individual, influence.
We pretend everything is the government’s responsibility; that any social ill falls directly on the shoulders of the current or previous government. We pretend that our voice as an individual is lost shouting across the Tongue of the Ocean, that Nassau won’t respond even if we tried.
We pretend that we have already put our best effort forward. Why try harder?
We pretend that because we vote one party in and the other one out, and then do the reverse the next go around, that the leaders of our parties actually respect us. But on the other hand, we pretend our leaders are too high above us to reach out to for help.
We pretend someone else will step up to the plate and shoulder the burdens of our island’s problems.
There are shanty towns, humanitarian disasters and breeding grounds of neglect and crime right in the middle of the most populated areas of town? No, pretend that idea away. Make-believe it’s thirty or forty years ago when the situation was, perhaps, easily manageable.
Pretend those areas of town don’t exist; drive around and around them only paying enough attention not to strike an innocent child as he wanders along the side of the street. Pretend that child will always be innocent and won’t grow up and be, at least minimally, affected by his deteriorating environment. Or worse, pretend he is already a lost cause: nothing can be done at this point. He’s just another one living in “The Mudd.” Add that extra ‘d’ to the name so it gets classed-up a bit.
Pretend your job in fixing the situation is to ignore it and only talk about it at home, when the problem is faceless.
Pretend there are no solutions.
Pretend I never said that.
Business marches on. Money is not pretend. Empty bank accounts aren’t pretend either. Pretend the tourists will come back in the numbers they were in the heyday just because. Pretend our work ethic and education doesn’t matter in that arena. Pretend we are the best, just because we always have been.
Pretend if we sit still, quiet and deaf, our government will fix the roads and ensure our best interests are served. Or pretend the only answer is aggressive party loyalty with no compromise, and only angry things to say to those who might seek to reach out.
Pretend there is nothing we can do.
So, what are your New Year’s resolutions?