The people are coming out in force. Every beach and every street corner are being occupied by Grenadians who want economic change.
Some sell spice necklaces, others offer to braid hair and still more make beautiful hats out of old, discarded coconut leaves.
“Would you like a hat today?” they ask with anticipation. “Look at my nice sarongs. Hand dyed … Are you sure you don’t want one?”
Some say their pleas are annoying. But I don’t think so.
They are the 30 percent – the 30 percent of the population that is unemployed. If you want to start discussing economic trauma, move to a country whose foreign aid after 2004 outstripped its GDP by more than 150 %.
I asked someone selling ramshackle nutmeg necklaces if this were his only job. His name was Toby and he said yes.
America could learn a lesson from these people half a world away. If you can’t find work, make it.
Ascending the soap box now …
If this Occupy Wall Street movement is an accurate indicator of national sentiment, the idea of self-determination that is America’s foundation is crumbling. It is a terrifying thought. But I am not scared.
Once upon a time, I learned how to work and sacrifice. Maybe you can relate.
It wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. I worked until I thought I physically couldn’t go any farther. Then I got up, grabbed my book and studied until I thought my head would explode. There wasn’t much eating in my average day. That’s because often I couldn’t afford it. But my daily trudge forward was pushing me, well, forward.
Today, I sit in a tiny little apartment without a car or health insurance watching my husband work until he physically can’t go any farther and his head begins to bulge.
We are trudging forward with a knowledge that what the future has in store for us entirely depends on what we put in store for the future.
The young, the restless and the idealistic will still take to the streets. They don’t worry me. Those who want economic equality for all have been protesting for centuries. But once the street fires die down and once the realities of large-scale government set in, we realize that communism isn’t all that great after all.
In the meantime, I’ll keep writing, my husband will keep working on his medical degree and Grenadians will keep selling trinkets on the street. After all, my success is up to me. Not Wall Street.