Our country, as we know it, is in a serious predicament. We find ourselves in a precarious and fluid situation, and signs are pointing to the dangers of a crisis. Officially, our National Assembly has been dissolved, and we are inching forward day by day, leading up to November 11, when we will go to the polls and elect a new leader. But until then, we find ourselves in an unsettling predicament, wondering what’s next for us?
Clearly, we are in a health and economic crisis! There’s no easy way to say it, but truth must be told. As our space is electrified with electioneering and political campaigning, our collective hope and possible detriment lie in the upcoming general elections that are less than a week away. A lot is riding on this election: our collective health and well-being, our financial security and stability, and whether we rebound and thrive or are tossed to the tempest.
But beyond the election itself, the next leader that we choose will have a task of mammoth proportions! That person will be a leader leading in turbulent times. Clearly, it is not the most desirable situation or the preferred time to take over the reins. No captain would like to embark on his or her maiden voyage in stormy and turbulent waters. Ideally, one would like to lead under steady reassurance and calm, but that’s not the case!
So, how does one lead in turbulent times? While there is no clear manual for doing so, it requires a leader who is humble. It requires a clear understanding of where we are and how we got here. It requires a leader who will be cognizant of the challenges we face and be open and committed to working conscientiously— with goodwill and integrity — to steer us through. It will require a leader who will come honestly to his people to ask for help and accept solutions while seeking earnestly to meet the needs of the people while striving to move the country forward.
Given the grave circumstances we find ourselves in and the sheer disconsolation of a people coupled with a widening disunity among the populace and a collective disgust towards our leaders, it is more apparent than ever that the new leader will be tasked with binding up the wounds that ail our people and unifying a nation that has been gripped by the callousness of the times.
Clearly, it won’t be an easy task, but certainly a doable one. It is with the times in mind and the daunting task ahead that I challenge the new and upcoming leaders to adopt the words of Abraham Lincoln that have become more timely and apt than ever. If it is that we will once again thrive and succeed and build a stronger, more better and unified Belize, then in the words of Lincoln at his Second Inaugural address, the next leader of our country must:
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations”.
If we elect a leader who can truly lead in turbulent times, we can bind up our nation’s wounds, rebound and chart a path to prosperity and achieve a lasting peace and stability for the betterment of our people and country.
God Bless Belize!