You cannot read any newspaper, tune in to any radio station talk show, or television news report without hearing about the imminent closure of the Petrotrin oil refinery. But my lot is to comment on the television aspect of it so I have been trying to view and listen objectively, though at times this proved to be very difficult.
On one hand, there are the opinions of those who support the decision taken and are putting forward their reasons for so doing, while on the other hand, there are those who are totally against the move and are very vociferous in stating why they are opposed.
While all are free to express opinions, I believe that it should be done in a respectful and wholesome manner. Personal opinions about those individuals who are considered to be in the wrong should not be allowed to cloud our understanding, acceptance or non-acceptance when we are putting forward our points.
“There are more questions than answers…” as we hear in this oldie, still applies to us today, especially in this present dilemma. It is obvious that we can and may never know the full extent of the situation. But as citizens who will be all affected in one way or the other by the current situation, we need to look at things objectively.
I do not claim to know, understand or even be aware of the ramifications of the operations at the refinery, but I do know that this situation did not develop overnight.
While it is a bitter pill to swallow, we have to forge ahead positively. I remember when as public servants we were faced with the ten per cent cut in our salaries, by the NAR government, we all had to, as the young people say, “Wheel and come again!”.
We too had mortgages, loans, children to put through school, families to provide for, etc., but with faith, hope and the reality that this was a case of “Do, die or run away,” we persevered!
You see, we didn’t want to die; we couldn’t run away. Our only option was to stay and do what we had to do to ensure our survival. We acknowledged that with continued and sustained hope, faith and trust in the goodness and mercy of God, we experienced His faithfulness. We stood on His word where He promised never to leave or forsake us, and survive we did!
It is not going to be easy, we know that, with collateral damage, et al, the road ahead is going to be quite rocky for all concerned but there is hope. Using terms such as adjustments, attractive packages for the retrenched, EAP physiological support, working towards a new beginning, are some of the words of encouragement our Prime Minister communicated to the citizens.
On the other hand, we are hearing from those opposed, that workers will ‘eat the bread the devil knead’, shutting down the country; the decision is a wicked and malicious one; the government does not care about the country, etc., and this made me think about the words of Sir Winston Churchill, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak and courage is what it also takes to sit down and listen.”
So the Government has spoken, hard as it might have been to take that decision, they had to have the courage. We the citizens also have to have the courage to sit down and listen.