What I wanted to share on Facebook was that as I looked around my office (which is really my living room/dinning room) I saw 5 staff members working hard. YME is far away from having "made it" and considering ourselves a financially viable and sustainable organisation. We are working on it but the struggle is still real. The realities of doing business in The Bahamas can be suffocating, but for me to sit in my "office" and look at my staff of 5 I had to smile because this is a sign of progress.
It may be greener on the other side, and hey, maybe the grass is also longer and sweeter. Maybe life would be better if I left the Bahamas. But perhaps life is only better because when you move from your home and take up residency somewhere else initially the problems of that community are not your problems. Should there be problems in that community your detachment may make it easier to find your own bubble and live in it, in a way creating a level of blissful ignorance.
The authors question "Should I stay or should I go?" is a real question but it is not my question. My question is often why? Why have I chosen to stay when arguable the prospects of a more prosperous life lie only a plane ride away.
The question "Should I stay or should i go?" will be asked more frequently by even more Bahamians. They will see the country spiralling into an inferno of disaster and ask themselves if they really want to go down with the ship. Many will go and even more will never even attempt to come back and have the opportunity to ask the question - Should I stay or should I go?
I can honestly say It worries me when I hear people say "the worst decision that I ever made was to move back home." They are often older than I am and arguably more experienced with life in The Bahamas. Perhaps they have experienced the monster that looms in the shadows around the bend.
It is possible that I am that naive child that believes that by tying a cape around my neck I now have the powers to fly. When I jump off the roof with my pink cape flapping in the wind and I fall to the ground and break my arm my first thought isn't that I am incapable of flight, but rather crap, now I have to wait 6 weeks before I can figure out what went wrong...... Maybe i need to try the purple cape.
What I do know is that I have embarked on a journey to do my part to shape the future of The Bahamas. No, YME will not solve all the problems of The Bahamas but I am crazy enough to think it will help.
This week I have had YME alumni coming out of the wood works. They want to get back involved. They are sharing their stories about the non-profit organisations they are starting, or describing their plans to launch an eco tour company. Hearing those stories gives the little girl with the broken arm the confidence that flight is possible.
I think that what the author of "Should I go or should I stay?" has in common with me is that we both have the privilege and the luxury to make that choice. The reality is for most Bahamians The Bahamas is the only reality.
The Bahamas that I know today is depressing. The reality is that it is not going to get better unless we make it better. There is no easy fix it button. Maybe the process requires one brilliant mind after the other being burnt out. Doing what they can and then calling it a day and setting sail for greener pastures.
I don't think that developing a progressive Bahamas is insurmountable, I think it's a dream that most of us share and that is at least half the battle. What we need to figure out is how. Imagine being The Wright Brothers, Robert Watson Watt or Thomas Edison, they created the unimaginable.
Part of my "adjusting to life back home processes" was to acknowledge the state of the country for what it was, identifying my coping mechanisms, and then work towards playing my part to try and make it better. I believe that we need our brightest minds to be part of building a progressive country. I think finding a solution to The Bahamas as we know it might just take that much longer if we have 1/2 of the minds to work with.
I guess the question we need to ask ourselves is how many times are we willing to jump off the roof? Maybe if enough of us got together and decided to tie capes around our necks and try to fly, after a few of us have recieved broken bones, we might realise that we can't go on like this. Perhaps someone might come up with the idea that if we jumped off the roof and landed on a trampoline it might get us that much closer to flying.