We are all elated over Kirani’s super achievement in the 2012 London Olympic games, taking home Grenada’s first gold medal. The elation will fade, but not entirely, in the months and years that follow we will gloat every time the opportunity arises to “show off our man” – what in effect we will be doing, in a seeming show of national pride, is subconsciously placing ourselves in his shoes – we won gold at the Olympics. Not Kirani, we!
Lessons from his success can realistically lead to a better and healthier nation: in body, spirit and mind. However, we must not only speak of being in Kirani’s shoes, we must walk in his shoes.
Kirani rose to national prominence from relative obscurity and a disadvantaged background – very much like Grenada on the world stage, but with a major difference – as a country we have failed to place a positive stamp in the international arena; we seem to delight in the depths of economic stagnation and political chaos.
If we want to be in Kirani’s shoes then we must, like him, have a clear vision, focused direction and goal, and the accompanying work ethic and perseverance to undergo the pain and sacrifice that will bring success.
As a people we have yet to demonstrate that, beyond the charade of success from international handouts, we are prepared to be “Kirani.”
The pseudo-boosting of the “National ego” on the back of Kirani will not do. There must be the National will to lead by those entrusted to move the nation forward, using whatever it takes, particularly in these difficult times, to change old habits. Unfortunately, an ethic of salary disguised handouts at the apex of government shows that the status core has not changed and in fact reigns supreme.
Starting from the top down, when officials in high places in government earn by contract, EC$8000 per month for a fifteen (15) hour work week, where is the Kirani work ethic? When the unemployment rate approaches fifty per cent (50%), where is the sacrifice by those in government flaunting huge pay cheques extracted from the people’s taxes?
Why must the neediest among us work reduced hours in order to keep their jobs only eking out a meager existence to feed hungry children?
While those in authority living the good life extol the virtues of Kirani’s sacrifice, dedication and tireless commitment that brought glory to all of Grenada, there appears to be no hesitation at the seat of power to free load – consciously or unconsciously – on the people’s hard earned taxes.
The irony is that if “one dedicated teen” can quietly do so much for his country, what have the teams of mature, experienced university educated officials and their highly pay expert advisors been doing?
We know that all is not well in our country; notwithstanding, we maintain a laid back attitude placing the full burden on the back of government, assuming no accountability whatever for the poor state of affairs in Grenada.
The work day has shrunken to – in some occupations – as little as four (4) hours, malingering is commonplace, arriving late and absenteeism seem to be perks that go with the job, inefficiency and indifference on the “highly desirable list” of prioritised attributes, and loyalty, a spent commodity.
Government as a microcosm of the nation’s population, a similar mindset in the governmental bureaucratic quagmire is not surprising.
Old habits may never change; the hope is that our nation’s youth inspired by one of their peers, Kirani’s phenomenal success, will usher new and youthful generations of leaders to guide us, walking in the shoes of Kirani, to social, political and fiscal harmony and a place of prominence among the nations of the world.