As we enter a new year and decade, the horizon is full of hope and optimism about the endless possibilities that are awaiting us. While this time usually ushers in new optimism, I have a gut feeling that 2010 will be the turning point for Haiti.
Despite of all the hopelessness that is enveloping the land of Dessalines, I find myself full of optimism that this generation is dedicated to seek a way out of this endless misery. It is certain this change won’t come because we hope for it, but rather because of what we are doing.
A systemic change is in order for Haiti. For this new year, we have to do anything in our ability to make sure that we reverse the course and the discourse of the country. It is our responsibility not only to seek an alternative path, but to have the will to make concrete change in our surroundings. It all starts by believing in each other, and having the strength to see beyond our narrow self-interests.
The change we are seeking must start taking roots at the individual level before it can rise to the community level, and end up as a national goal. We are certain that the people are ready for this systemic change, but the way we go about implementing it presents the greatest challenge.
For this upcoming year, Haiti has a rendez-vous with its destiny. It is a year with great potential, but we have to find within ourselves the energy to transform all those great potential into tangible realizations.
The year is starting on positive note on my end. My involvement with Haiti 2015, a grassroots campaign that works closely with local organizations in Haiti, is bringing me to different parts of the country. I will interact with people who are seeking that alternate path to a better and just future.
As the year turns, Haiti will also celebrate its independence. At the moment, many of us are demanding what has happened to our sovereignty? Since 2004, MINUSTAH, which is comprised of foreign troops have been on our soil, and there is no end in sight from this neo-invasion of our freedom and true independence. As we try to move our country forward and align it with the prospect of progress, we ought to be able to claim back our independence, and be ready to be self-governed. It is our inalienable right to be the master of our own home, and the presence of foreign troops on our land is a direct insult to the sacrifice made by our forefathers.
We have a right to demand better, and at the same time we must unite with a common purpose to coordinate our efforts towards that common goal. There is no greater fulfillment for an individual than that of serving their native land. The sense of pride and completeness that one gets when fully engage in such endeavor is inexplicable, and the rewards for seeing the improvement in the life of a fellow country is all worth the risks and efforts.
We are plunging head first in this struggle for amelioration in the life of all Haitians, and the year 2010 is serving as the base for the possibilities that we foresee in the near and distant future. The possibilities start with the youth of the country who prefers to stay hungry than rob their neighbors, with those who choose peace rather than violence.
Fundamentally, we are an amazing people, and the day we get to appreciate ourselves will be the beginning of our forward-moving towards that greater destiny.
Haiti is a virgin land; the people are courageous and full of energy. All of the solutions for the country’s meager state are already in the country; all we need to do is allow the people to engage in the process of determining their fate.
The dawn of this new decade could be the rise of a new sense of responsibility towards our country. This should be the decade for Haiti to start taking irreversible steps forward. Those who are responsible for the welfare of the people must elucidate their plan and vision for the country as we enter this new era.
It is no longer acceptable to talk about could have been, when we could have done it. It is a decade of action, optimism, progress, and most importantly unity.
On January 1, 1804, our heroes of independence cried “liberty or death”; today we must chant the tune of “progress or non-existence”. It is not enough for us to simply exist if our basic needs cannot be met.
From now, until we accomplish our mission, we must never forget how we get to become who we are. Long live the fathers of our nation, while we are in the pursuit of realizing their dream.