Newly-repatriated Haïtians at the welcoming center at Dajabon on June 18, 2024. Photo by Edxon Francisque for The Haïtian Times

It is of high importance for each person to understand his or her role in society. The world has become so inter-connected that it’s impossible for any single citizen to become successful without interacting with others. Everyone has a responsibility to step up and demand better, when the basic necessities of life are scarce.

For too long, the Haitian citizen has mastered the art of complaining instead of focusing doing what’s necessary. We are at a definite moment in world history. We are at an age where the possibilities for progress are endless. This is definitely the time for us all to get involved and executing our duties as citizens of the first black republic.

Of course, as citizens we have a humongous responsibility as the last overseer of the government. Collectively, we are the most potent force within the nation. Hence, why is it more often than not we feel so powerless? Perhaps, it is because most of us are unaware of the power we have when we are united. There are many reasons behind the blindness of the citizenry about its power within the society, but none is greater than the lack of pure knowledge.

We ought to seek the knowledge that has been hiding from us; this is the primary duty of the citizen, the ability to self-educate. In this instance, I am not referring to scholastic education, but rather common sense education. Life is the greatest school of all; anyone capable of surviving misery is capable of changing the conditions leading to it. I am challenging all Haitian citizens to educate themselves about what it would take to have decent living conditions. The power of the populace shall always reign supreme.

Once we are educated about the type of society we want, then the details about making it happen would be easy. We have to understand that in order to create a just society where everybody is somebody; the rule of laws agreed by everyone must be respected by all. I must repeat myself; there is not really a whole lot of difference between the developed countries and those lagging behind. One of the key differences between the advanced countries and the under-developed ones is the importance of obeying the law or should I say the acceptance to play by the rules.

The Haitian citizen must learn to follow the rules. We can not expect changes when we have mature men fathering, and refusing to meet their responsibilities. It is incomprehensible to allow domestic violence to go berserk all over the country without getting inside of our conscience and say this is not permissible in a decent society. And most importantly of all, every family must feel oblige to send their children to school. Yes, I understand some families have no mean whatsoever to pay for schools, but honestly many Haitian citizens are just using that as an excuse. In this day and age, we must do everything in our ability to make sure every kid have access to education. The government won’t do it for you; therefore it is in your best interest to find a way to make it happen.

When it comes to the point of creating opportunities, every single citizen has the ability to make it happen. What we need is able and healthy bodies. If we take a look around our neighborhoods, we can see so many things that can be done. There is no denying that Haiti does not have a lack of human resources, which is the foundation of opportunity creation. The citizen has a duty to seek legal opportunities, and yet so many of our people are relying on others to provide for them. The charitable mentality must be eradicated within the society. It has become an epidemic for our youth, and one of the leading causes for our continuous regression.

I know some of you are probably saying that the citizen can only do so much, but I object to that notion, and say that the citizen can do it all. We are the engine of the society. We are the driver of our destiny. The government works for us, and not the other way around; therefore in all logic we must take responsibility for our country’s meager standing in the western hemisphere. Vox populi, vox Dei, a sovereign people has all the power to shape their destiny.

We are often powerless because we allow it to be so. If we involve in the same immoral acts as do our leaders, it is obvious that we can not speak of morality. If we refuse to pay our taxes, send our children to school, dispute with our spouses, neglect to help those in need, sharing with our neighbors, encourage those who are struggling, compensate those who have rendered services to us, abuse those who rely on us, then my friend we will always remain powerless.

The Haitian citizen has a duty to be just and fair, regardless of what others are doing. We must integrate the value of integrity in the core of our society. We must wipe out the obsession of hatred that has engulfed our heart, just because one of our neighbors happens to succeed. The duty of a good citizen is not simply to obey the law, but also to speak up against those who are abusing the law. A good citizen must not only rely on the government, but must always look for ways to improve his community.

If injustice and misery can find a permanent home in our society, it is because we have allowed them to stay. A good citizen can only do so much, but the duty of a good citizen is to go beyond the unthinkable.

Contact Ilio at [email protected]

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply