28th October 2012
About 6 weeks ago on a Sunday I went to Chetumal for an outing with a friend in his private vehicle. Around midday we ended up at one of the malls, to catch a movie. Whilst going through the parking lot, I noticed a chartered bus from Belize City filled with people who had come to Chetumal to do some shopping. I watched as these people bought food, sodas, chips, etc. to eat. Most of them were eating beside or inside the bus.
As soon as these people finished eating they gathered all the empty containers, bags, napkins and stored them in the bus. As you know, Chetumal has a rigid law against littering. I noticed that some people even walked to the end of the parking lot to throw away their refuse in the garbage containers. I felt proud of my Belizean people.
In the late evening we were heading back home and at the Mexican border we caught up with the same bus that we saw at the mall. We crossed behind them at both border points. As we crossed into Belize territory not far from the border, to my astonishment and rage things started to fly out of the bus windows. Empty soda bottles, used napkins, plastic bags, chips and biscuit bags, etc. Belize people who had rigidly obeyed the law in Chetumal were now littering our country’s highway with all kinds of rubbish. Where was the love and respect for our country? Is this the way Belizeans should treat our beloved country? Shame on us!
This is the way of life here in Belize. Everyday here in Corozal I see Belizeans from all walks of life, especially college students, throwing garbage indiscriminately all over the place, even though there are garbage drums all around.
Several weeks ago there was a school programme held at the Central Park in Corozal Town, where a lot of schools attended. What I saw was a disgrace to the teachers present. The programme started with the playing of the National Anthem. Quarter way through the anthem the M.C. had to stop it and ask the teachers present to please have their children stop playing and running around and stand to attention as the National Anthem was playing. The teachers scrambled around to get the kids to stand to attention but were only partially successful.
This clearly shows that the children are not being taught civic pride in school. They are not being taught patriotism or, as what Inez Sanchez said in his UB Patriotic Day Speech, “Patriotism has been defined as an undying love for one’s country. Love of country for which one is prepared to die if need be.” It would seem as if most teachers do not even know what patriotism is, much less teach it to the kids.
The majority of kids in Belize do not understand the concept of showing respect when the flag is raised or lowered. In fact, the majority of the teachers themselves do not show respect, so why should the children be any different?
The Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price gave us “The Peaceful Constructive Revolution.” He did this with the best of intentions, but it’s just not working for Belize. Belizeans do not really respect our Independence because it was given to us on a silver platter: not a shot fired, not one person killed. As the saying goes, “Anything gotten free is never fully appreciated.” I bet you that if we had had a revolution and people had actually died getting our Independence, we would darn well appreciate it.
Our Belizean people have still not matured politically and they never will unless something drastic happens. As it is, at this present time, politicians from both parties trample on the constitutional rights of the people and they just sit there and take it.
Belizeans, it’s time to get up and fight for your rights. Enough is enough!
(Signed) Eulogio Itzab
San Narciso Village