Looking through the great tragedies and triumphs in history here in Newfoundland and Labrador, and all over the world for that matter, there’s been a common theme throughout them all.
Our strength to get through it and emerge even healthier and stronger than when we started, did not come via a solo effort, or from an individual idea.
Take for instance when 9/11 happened and planes were diverted to this province. Suddenly we were put on the world stage – shown as a people who cared, and who were together with everyone else in the fight.
Not to mention the fact its a testament that the greatest natural resource this province has, doesn’t come from the ground in the form of a mineral or crude – it comes in the flesh and blood of its people, who love this place more than anything, and will let their voice be heard when injustice comes.
I fear that we’re losing that.
In a culture so disturbed by the media, when we know more about what happens in Iran than in our own back yard, and where teenagers now all talk like Justin Bieber rather than Uncle Tom or Aunt Mable, I fear we’ve lost the sense of togetherness and unity that has kept us strong for 500 years.
Instead of coming together and fighting for what we believe in, we have adopted an attitude of ‘let them deal with it’ or ‘lets just complain about it and take no action.’
Think about it – what happened to the attitude passed down by the generation that would ride through town in the dump of a pick-up truck calling for or against confederation? What happened to the mind-set of the people who tore down the flags outside Confederation building to prove our displeasure with what was happening to our offshore oil revenues? Or stood outside a politician’s office for hours on end, just to tell them how upset we were?
I fear that those attitudes have gotten lost in things like letter writing campaigns, and private phone calls. Instead of speaking out, we’re now speaking in and merely talking behind the backs of the people that matter rather than to their faces.
What happened to the united front? The times when every Newfoundlander and Labradorian would join forces and fight together? Even if it didn’t affect us –we fought because we knew someone it did affect.
What happened to the unity, the thing that made us great? The thing that made us different, and that changed our ways of thinking compared to the rest of the world?
Have we lost our distinction as a people? Are we all just a bunch of mindless robots now only influenced by the people coming out of the screens and devices we possess?
Or are we still individuals, the greatest resources, who can unite for one purpose, one cause, and one goal?
We are strong. We are proud. We are Newfies.
– Rudy Norman