Reviving our sense of community

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Posted on Dec 14 1998

It’s hard to believe that there’s a serious division among policy-makers about the dire financial straits of the NMI brought about by the Asian Crisis. The front page of this paper has been replete with these stories and how it has adversely affected the local coffers.

Yet, there’s the adolescent expression that the use of the Asian Crisis or how it has forced substantial economic contraction here is just a “scare tactic”. Is it, gentlemen? Is this expression from your conscience? Aren’t’ negative economic indicators telling it like it is sufficient to persuade you that it is as real as the sun rising in the east everyday?

Most of the people we’ve talked to (those you represent in one of two legislative chambers) have taken your adolescent attitude as ab affront. In the words of a padre de familia who had to pawn the ring he received from his late father at a recent family Christmas party: “If I have to kneel this low to put food on my family’s dinner table and cloth my school age children, it’s astounding what other form of hardship would open the eyes of those we’ve elected to show us better and brighter days ahead. Is abject poverty and stooping as low as I just did the legacy they wish to leave behind for us?”

Local tradition has it that when adversity threatens the livelihood of our fellow man, we simply trash all hard feelings to extend a helping hand to our fallen friend or those in severe economic bind. This is the forte of the indigenous people, especially in times of real mind numbing adversity such as what we’re going through today.

It seems we’ve decided it was acceptable to scrap this time honored tradition. Are we really prepared to supplant such powerful tradition with strife and endless feud among ourselves? Are we ready to allow the thief to steal the family dinner in the kitchen as we fight among ourselves in our front lawn?

Perhaps modernity has forced us to head the other way. But let it be known that even our ancestors have sacrificed their pride and dignity long and hard for over four-hundred years to ensure the safe sailing of their children so we can be where we are today. Let’s work together to revive and strengthen the very fiber that has held us together for generations.

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