“Vision of Change”

Ken Joseph

Parliamentarian and Businessman, Ken Joseph, says parliamentarians in Grenada need spiritual awareness.

Addressing a gathering at the start of a two-day Vision of Change Seminar under the theme, “The Call and Construction of a Vision of Change” at the Grenada Youth Centre in St George’s, Joseph warned that the realm of politics needs spiritual involvement to make it successful.

“Spiritual aspects must be involved in politics, that is what has been left out  … we need spiritual awareness”, he told the gathering.

Joseph, one of the Corporate sponsors of the event, welcomed the initiative to educate and motivate young aspiring politicians and encouraged the mature politicians to do more to educate young parliamentarians, as they themselves need mentoring.

He told participants that the run-up to the upcoming general elections is already shaping to be an active and exciting one that young parliamentarians can learn from.

Joseph’s sentiments were expounded on by Trinidad and Tobago MP, Alicia Hospedales, who warned “as politicians now and in the future we cannot effectively lead God’s creation if we are not led by Him.

“We cannot find effective solutions to their problems if we don’t consult with their Creator”, she said.

The female MP encouraged participants to construct their own vision, and not for one moment fail to acknowledge the past but using it as a springboard to the future.

The T&T MP noted that the political arena is marked by corruption, nepotism, lack of integrity, greed, lack of genuine care for humanity, self-absorption, pride and callousness resulting in a deep sense of hopelessness and helplessness looming over the people of the region, particularly those who set their expectations high on persons they elected into office believing that they were saviours who will solve all their problems.

“Politicians who were once seen as heroes, mentors, great leaders are now branded as liars, thieves, corrupt, evil and vile men and women. How did we get here? Frank Sinatra song, ‘My Way’ suggests to us how it was done… we did it our way…

“Doing it our way is also manifested in the ineffectiveness of our systems, inability to get to the root of the problem, inability to effect change that will bring about transformation in human behaviour, economic systems and political structures.

“It is our failure to seek the giver and provider of the vision for the solutions to the problem that plague His creation that has brought us to this stage.

Hospedales said that she was in agreement with the book, ‘Vision of Change’, that was written by former Grenada Government Minister, Joan Purcell, who is the current President of the Senate.

She believes that, “As Caribbean peoples, we need to say like the prodigal in the far country, it is time to stop and take stock. We need to re-assess ourselves in regard to the road we have taken. We need to embark on careful stocktaking of our political, social, religious, and cultural realities. And we need to do so now for time is running out on us…”

The Trinidadian Parliamentarian said that the region waits for the manifestation of a new breed of politicians who understand that they are called to the highest office to serve and do so to the honour and glory of God.

The new breed of politicians, she said must be persons who always speak the truth, be of good character, and demonstrating compassion and goodwill to others, focused on the needs of the most vulnerable, maintaining a good name; untarnished, uncompromised, not seeing politics as a way to get rich but as a way for God to give them wisdom to serve the people.

She argued that constructing this new vision of change will require them to think outside the box – to challenge existing status quo about how their societies are organised, how policies are framed and implemented so that there will be maximum impact.

In addition the new kind of politician that is needed will know how to get out of debt and develop systems that liberate and empower rather than enslave individuals who have yet to break free from mental slavery.

Youth Parliamentarian and the 8th Regional Youth Parliament debater, Jenelle Edwards, told her colleagues that the seminar will give them good insights into the realm of politics and warned that there are some things in politics they should emulate and others that should be cast aside.

Edwards reminded her colleagues of how low they have seen Grenada’s politics sink but encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunity given and not be deterred by the negatives being seen.

President of the Senate and Chairman of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, Senator Purcell reminded young aspiring parliamentarians that they are the agents of change.

She cautioned that politics and power are very dangerous things and told them that they need to have integrity to deal with the challenges of politics and challenged them to become agents of change for their country.

The Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, AGAPE Foundation and the Government of Grenada organised the two-day workshop that was held at the Grenada Youth Development Centre.

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