Legacy, Succession and Change of Image!

A father who abuses his children for years, but before his death provides for an inheritance of a million dollars for each of them, will have at least two legacies; one positive, the other negative.

Judas kissed Christ once and is remembered forever as a traitor, that action having acquired legacy value. Before his betrayal of Christ, Judas might well have done good and memorable things as a disciple.

When Pontius Pilate tried to wash his hands of Christ’s blood, he was already stuck with the legacy of the sentence that he had pronounced.
Previously, Pilate might well have practised even-handed justice in his court room to an exemplary standard. In the circumstances, he must have ended up with two very different legacies.

Therefore, in our local politics, a leader cannot wipe his slate clean of his transgressions by a new-found passion to do good and to play fair, and thereby declare that he is “creating his legacy”!

Obviously, his legacy, like that of other mortals, will consist both of the laudable good and the despicable bad as he had managed to achieve over a relevant period of time. The important and defining element is the lasting effect or impact of what he had done, whether negative or positive.

At this point, I am pleased to offer readers an excerpt from my approaching publication entitled, “Grenada: The Making of an ‘Esau’ Nation”. Notice that the discussion surrounds the issue of change of image on the part of Dr Keith Mitchell:  “….Equally, a shift in position by Dr Mitchell must not be confused with a change of image!   Dumping old friends, belonging to a ‘trade union’ of money gatherers (although he had boasted on national TV that he would create dozens of millionaires in Grenada, during the heyday of borrowing and spending) and embracing new ones…amounts to a shift, not a change. And so it is, by Dr Mitchell’s own account, speaking at his party’s convention rally on April 19, 2015, when he gave an honest testimony that he had been “to hell and back”!
This intriguing disclosure has since mated the minds of many observers. On that logic and at a minimum, he must now be at the same point at which he had commenced his earlier journey to ‘hell’! The ‘hell line’ is such that one may move ‘to- and- fro’! If things were otherwise, one would not find him anywhere along that line, as he would now be at a different place altogether. It may well be that the 1955 movie, “To Hell and Back”, starring, Audie Murphy, has lingered comfortably on Dr Mitchell’s subconscious since his boyhood days!

Relying on the Scriptures, we believe that the dead are sent to hell on account of their sins and refusal to accept Christ as Saviour and Lord. Since Dr Mitchell is still in the flesh, we must understand him to be wrestling with his conscience and to be saying that he had taken himself, by his wrongful conduct, to a place of brokenness, failure and regret. He seems to be dating his return from hell at some point after the 2013 General Elections. (So that much of what passed as leadership before that date was tainted by the character of the place he identifies as hell which he occupied for some considerable time.)

However, the mixed evidence of his conduct since discloses that his exit from that low place called ‘hell’ has not landed him at a higher place of genuine self-reconciliation, brotherly love or inner peace!

He is not yet safe! Neither is Grenada, nor many of us! To speak of guilt, but not commit to change through repentance, leaves the speaker unhealed. Where the speaker is the leader of a nation, as is the case with Dr Mitchell, darkness will reign in that land.

Recently, I heard a televangelist say that, “it is a broken heart that sings the sweetest song. That it was the broken alabaster jar that released the most fragrant perfume”! So Grenada might at long last experience the benefits of Dr Mitchell’s self-proclaimed brokenness. Let hope abide and ‘hell’ shut its entrapping gates!”

On the day that Peter David gets the official support of the NNP delegates to serve as the party’s Assistant General Secretary, the party leader raises the issue of succession for his party; a valid and important consideration. Appreciate, therefore, that one is entitled to view Dr Mitchell’s elevation of Peter David and Chester Humphrey as containing succession potential, if not intent. Now, proceed to link that with his change of image claim. The results may well be

As things flowed in the wash, Terry Forrester is off- loaded while Peter is uploaded! Does this evidence a change of image? A valid claim to image change would have seen some outstanding young and talented Grenadian supporters of the NNP being elevated and positioned for tomorrow. Instead, we find more of the same old pattern. The mould is fixed and the purpose is set. Men may fit the mould and serve the purpose, but Grenada is left withering away!

When Peter and Chester joined the NNP, whether by membership or constructively, they could not and did not leave their reputations or character behind. What they believe in and have practised is well-known to Grenadians. None of us needs to be reminded that they have had two failed opportunities to lead Grenada, nor the manner by which they scuttled that noble duty.

Without the anointing to transform these gentlemen, Dr Mitchell finds them acceptable right as they are and quite adequate to provide leadership to the NNP. On this evidence, Dr Mitchell has not yet begun to change his image and has only shifted his position.

It is time that Grenadians realise that merely espousing a passion for the poor or smiling fondly to the rest of us offers no indication of ability to govern. Similarly, raising a few dollars from ALBA to assist the regime does not equip one with the capacity to lead the country. Dedicating oneself to retribution against the NDC and a return of socialist rule through the NNP as a willing vehicle, qualifies as deception and “tricks and traps”, not as a standard of patriotism.

The control of state power and ‘ownership’ of Grenadians as happened during 1979-83, is all that matters for some well-known men.

So here we are, in the midst of a national economic and social collapse and there is confusion and noise regarding legacy, succession and the journey to hell and back! Ah hearing all ‘dat n’ meh’ mind just going round and round! Alas, the bank of reason and self-control is breached and the tears of despair cannot be held back! It is so very painful to see Grenada withering away!

William Joseph

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