Our best days are just ahead and our experience together will build an even Greater Nation!
By Alexander James
for Bahamas Press
Nassau, Bahamas – Today is the first day back at my personal office space in what can only be described as a rough and hard week, but a week filled with inspiration nonetheless.
Hurricane Matthew, in its passage from the Lesser Antilles, across the Caribbean Sea through rough waters between Haiti and Cuba then moving into the warmhearted waters of the Bahamas before heading onto the North Carolina, has left a trail of devastation in the Billions while claiming the lives of some 1,045 soul in its wake. Thankfully, no lives were lost in the Bahamas.
A hurricane’s passage is birthed with pains, where some of its victims are left hopeless, bankrupt of inspiration and depressed with no hope for the future. This is particularly true for those who have worked so hard to build their lives, and thought they possessed a solid foundation into the future, all to find that their trust in things has all been lost and washed away!
But there are some things about Hurricane Matthew that will forever remind me of what is true: that life in all of our struggles is to be approached in a pragmatic way and, in the end, all will be well no matter how the tides shift and change for the good or ill.
I, for one, shall be forever grateful to GOD for this experience, which has endowed me with new understanding of the realities of life. For example:
1) Hurricane Matthew gave me a new appreciation for the persons placed in my life; family, neighbours and friends, all who joined this experience as a community. Even we who disagreed found common ground to give praise and thanks for small mercies.
2) Hurricane Matthew gave me an appreciation for the words: “LET THEIR BE LIGHT”! It made us all nationally aware of the poor state of our national infrastructure, which is on life support for CHANGE, MODERNIZATION and a turn in the RIGHT DIRECTION!
3) For some of us, Matthew took us back in time and reminded us of the days when life was simple – although hard – and LOVE for each other was common. A walk to the government pump or well in the yard is the right example I am looking for here. And although that experience has left more affluent Bahamians many decades behind during Hurricane Matthew, it became the centre of discussion for both the rich and poor. Everyone needed water and some took it further, queuing at the icehouse just to transform our beverages into a soothing, cooling libation. We have come a long way!
4) Most importantly, Matthew forced us to leave all the digital devices alone to find solace, peace and inspiration from the soul sitting or standing right next to us. For me, the bond to my neighbour was nurtured, and in long nights sitting outside waiting on power, we became increasingly neighbourly. This, I must agree, was priceless.
I wish to end this piece with my visit into a community store just around the corner from where I reside. I was forced to stop there amidst the scare of long gas lines, which limited my movements across the city. As I entered, a conversation between the owner and me quickly ignited. We had not spoken for a long while and the storm had forced this encounter.
But as we chatted, a one legged youth who had been sent to the store entered. He had to be no more than three feet tall and managed his one crutch like a soldier from the war. There we were discussing power and light but in our midst was a disabled young man making the best of his day (without assistance), hopping around the store. At one point he stopped to count his pennies, which clearly were not sufficient to meet his needs. In my mind I wondered how he would take his groceries home in this condition? He was so tiny, disabled, yet not seeking any help or making any complaint. For me this was a light bulb moment. An EPIPHANY of God Graces to Mankind and his shelter to all of us as a people. Almost immediately a tide of praise swelled within me as the thoughts of how far we have come as a people engulfed me. No matter the condition, the circumstance or the challenge that faced us as a nation – we are truly blessed! And we will shall get through this time as many times before.
In spite it all, Hurricane Matthew has given me the assurance that we shall rise from this – as we rebuild, one community at a time! Our best days are just ahead and our experience together will build an even Greater Nation!
We Report Yinner Decide!