I believe that we all heard of the common phrase “have to laugh so I don’t cry”, especially in tough situations such as hardships, grief and any other inconveniences that one might face in life. However, I’ve found myself saying this phrase on a daily basis, multiple times a day in reference to the day-to-day life in Sint Maarten.
It has been an easy cop-out lately to respond to the news of the country by simply saying “buh this place jokey mehson” and chuckle to myself. On reflection, this is truly telling on the state of affairs of the country. If it is so easy for me, and others, to laugh off the consistent back-and-forth amongst public figures; the consistent news of corruption amongst public figures and major business partners; and the destruction of the country’s public-owned companies, what does it really mean for the state and the direction of country Sint Maarten.
My answer is the dark cloud that randomly hovers over Mount William Hill on an extremely sunny, hot day. If pressured too much, it will eventually burst and let out a stream of heavy showers, interrupting someone’s decent day. But here is the answer, it means that there isn’t any hope left in this place. For the country has been rocked with decades of corruption, government malpractice, bad policy decisions and implementation practices; the future doesn’t look bleak, it looks nonexistent.
As a person who was involved a lot as a youth, the statement that people of power and influence were quick to state is that “you’re going to come and fix the country.” Why does the burden have to be consistently put on the backs of the young people, generation after generation? Why do the adults in charge not work to fix the issues? The reasoning is simple. It’s because they don’t want to.
In this current global climate where many small island developing states (SIDS) and colonized or formerly colonized nations (especially in the Caribbean) are having serious and intense conversations about reparations and the roles these systems have had on our nations, it is also important to realize and acknowledge that a lot of the stagnation in this country has been due to officials, old and new, utilizing the broken-down and unstable systems within our nation to support and uplift themselves. It is only when they aren’t in a position to exploit it when you hear the complaints of it being broken.
So to say I am hopeful for the future of Sint Maarten would be me saying I hope that today isn’t hot. A plausible occurrence, but one that isn’t likely to happen. With the people who work hard day in and out within the communities, helping as much as they can, they can only do so much to erase decades of destruction. If the system isn’t destroyed and a new one isn't built, we will continue to live in a loop of trying to find hope in this hopeless place.
Tired of everything,