There is no doubt that poverty is a terrible thing. I have seen my fair share of it. In St. Lucia, I think we have forgotten that people who are financially impoverished have some responsibility for their situation. Further, I think that women who are in financial difficulty must make a more concerted effort to help themselves. There is always some form of employment available if women (I could say people…) want to work hard. In this debate, I choose to focus on women.
I see it as simple economics. A woman has 1 child with a man. She may be unemployed at the time. The man leaves her, and she meets another man with whom she falls in love. Naturally, she sees it as her responsibility to express her love for this man by having his baby. Now she has 2 children. She may even love him enough to have a second child by him. Somehow this becomes too much love for this man to carry, so he leaves. The woman has 3 children to fed and clothe and educate and so on and so forth. But love does not let her down, and she now has another man and 2 more children.
Well if she had difficulty feeding 1 child, how can she now feed 5? Is she ever going to realise that her life is too dependent on love? Or that love is too expensive a comodity for her to invest in repeatedly? When will she stop expressing all of this love that she has? Obviously this love is unable to feed her and her children.
Is it so hard to realise that if it is difficult to manage 1 child, that managing 5 will ultimately destroy them all? But then again we can always blame the government for insufficient jobs; insufficient school places; inadequate health facilities. We have not yet understood that we should actually blame our selves for our actions.
But the more I listen the more I get the distinct feeling that many of us (in St. Lucia) will not take on the responsibility for our own lives. We do not pay our bills. We do not want to work. We will not make decisions that will make our lives better. We will not even dispose of our garbage responsibly. But many of us will use our cell phones as much as we can. And we will highlight the misbehaviour of others because we can stay hidden behind those phones.
So as I wrote earlier – this is a debate about simple economics – One less cell phone + one less child + one less bill = one more dollar in our pockets. This debate is by no means over.