WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27: A young boy sat on the floor playing with his Legos, while a small group of individuals got together and brainstormed about what they could do to build on an already established school of thought and how they as a group could improve the quality of life, not just for themselves, but for all disenfranchised Bermudians.
That same young boy lay on the floor colouring with his Crayola box set as they came up with ways and means to provide the tools for those disenfranchised people to use in order to become successful.
That young boy sat silently in the background, playing Duck Hunt on his Nintendo and observed as they implemented their carefully, strategically thought-out plan.
The adolescent boy sat in the passenger seat of his father’s car, overhearing conversations on what was known as a ‘car phone’ while they tasted bitter defeat, and that same young man could be seen capturing the moment through text messaging on his Nokia 5110 when, together, the old and young shared in the sweet taste of victory.
This group of people achieved their goal of helping those who were disenfranchised. Those previously disenfranchised people went on to become successful, positively contributing members of society.
However, that’s not the end of this ‘feel good’ story. The group I was referring to was that of Dame Lois Browne-Evans, L Frederick Wade, W Alexander Scott, and David Allen.
The young boy is Lawrence Scott. I was there through those times, and I was able to see first hand that a small group can make a big difference.
However, I believe one must remain realistic. As a youthful member of this society, I have a healthy respect for the past, but I am a realist who understands that the dynamics of our time have changed. The demographic of those who feel disenfranchised is a lot more diverse. There is no longer a single “thread” which one can use to group people together having similar issues, wants, and needs.
Even though some would have you think that there are now multiple Bermudas and that we are divided, my youthful perspective allows me to believe that we are more dependent on one another as people and individuals than ever before.
My service within this community via the Red Cross as a child, via St John’s Ambulance during my early 20s, and currently as a host of a youth mentorship programme at the Bermuda Youth Library, affirms my belief in only one Bermuda made up with groups of people who share common issues.
Today’s youth play a more vital role in Bermuda’s future than ever before. For example, the way we communicate, socialize, and even the way we do business is not only geared toward the younger members of our society but has been invented by this younger group.
Communication is the backbone of any society. It is only through effective communication that we are able to have our concerns and issues heard and find resolution. So, I ask, ‘Who better to have as part of the solution-finding process than our younger members of society?’
This brings us back to the story. After realizing that I not only benefitted from those who have gone before me, and that I am living their dream in a society in which being successful is a possibility not for some but for all, I knew that it was my turn to take the proverbial baton and run with it. But where do I start?
The answer is easy: at the beginning — at the place and area where the foundation for who I am today was ‘poured’: Cobb’s Hill Methodist Church and Constituency 24.
Constituency 24 was and is a part of my childhood and life. As a child my two best friends lived along Cherry Lane and Tribe Road No 1 (Billy Goat Hill), I have family living in Forest Hills and I used my pedal bike and the Railway Trail in Constituency 24 as most use their vehicles on public streets.
Now, as an adult, I still have family living within the boundaries of Constituency 24 — in addition to close friends and colleagues sprinkled across the constituency.
Twenty-four is not just a number to me. Constituency 24 is not just an area, either. It is and always will be a part of me. I want to represent 24 not by choice but because I feel it’s my duty to provide the residents with the tools in which they need to be successful as we move into the future together, just like they did for me throughout my youth.
The Good Book states, “Without vision the people perish” — Proverbs 29:18. The PLP had a vision to stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves.
Even though the dynamics of today’s society are arguably different than in 1963 (the founding year of the PLP), the principles on which it was founded remain the same — principles that can be summarized by the time honoured adage: ‘United we stand, divided we fall.’
If ever there was a time for us to be united, that time is now!
I believe that as an MP, in the interest of us moving forward as a people, my primary goal is (as it should be) to bring together the common issues, “threads”, of our community, and from those common threads make and provide a “blanket” of solutions that we as a nation can use to feel secure in as we continue to build one another together, moving towards the future.
• Lawrence Scott is the PLP Candidate for Constituency 24, Warwick South East.