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Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Ooooooo… Oooooooooo… Oooo.. Oooo…
Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
And the dreams that you dreamed of, Once in a lullaby
Oh, somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly,
And the dreams that you dreamed of, Dreams really do come true

I once knew a little girl, the sixth of eight siblings, born to poor uneducated parents; abandoned by her father at age seven. She was acquainted with poverty. A fair complexion, prestigious last name or political affiliations were not bestowed upon her. Often told by others that she was a hopeless case; she constantly told herself that her success is not determined by anyone else’s success or failure as what she is about to attempt, but by her unparalleled determination and commitment to succeed.

Today, this girl is not so little anymore and, despite her many challenges she has defied the odds, altered her destiny and changed the course for her family. I am extremely happy to join this media with you as we attempt to effect change. I am that girl and I am here to tell you that I have started many firsts in my family and many firsts in my community as a black native of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but I am here especially to tell you that dreams really do come true.

For years, many people from various nations have been in search of greener pastures, of solutions to ethnic challenges and practices. Many started their quest whole and ended it broken, some were filled with hope and ended with daunted spirits, bitter, blaming others for unrealized dreams. Hundreds of years later many lives are still crippled by limitations and bound by inferiority complexes, wondering in a lonely place of poverty in the midst of great wealth and fame.

Unbeknownst to you, You are here to cash in a cheque which you kept hidden until this appointed time. Your cheque was written out for new hope, renewed strength, adequacy, faith, courage, perseverance, prosperity and equal opportunity. The time of drinking from the cup of acceptance and mediocrity has expired. Now is the time to emancipate yourselves from mental slavery and use your will to walk through the door of opportunity that is opened to you; opportunity which can raise your standard of living and change the course for your family.

I am here to tell you that your past need not define who you are or what you can achieve. Instead, what defines you is what you do hereafter and how you manage every new opportunity that presents itself. The bleak cloud of destitution and despair will not be lifted until there is an invigorating gust of persistence and a change in your thinking. I cannot tell you that it will be easy but I can assure you that it will be worth it. Start with what you have in your hand; your uniqueness and your faith. Maintain a high level of dignity and do not allow your environment or negative influences to deter your progress.

Some of you have been told that you have already attained your highest stature; some of you have been told that things will never get better and some of you have failed so many times that you have given up. I implore you my beloved friends, my peers, my equals. Exert the faith instilled in you as a child by your parents and grandparents and work with me in breaking down the barriers of mediocrity, start building today walls of promise and hope for a brighter future; walls that read “I am in control of my own destiny”.

No doubt you may be saying “easy for her to say”. Let me assure you that my journey has not been easy. I have walked lonesome valleys but I am not afraid! I have gone through deep rivers of disregard but the waters have not covered me! I have been through fires of oppressions but the flames have not consumed me! There have been seas of disappointment, but they have not swept me over! I have willingly borne my crosses in the hope that your journey will be easier and your burdens lighter.

Because… I have a dream that one day you my beloved friends will be exalted. I have a dream that one day you will overcome despite your many obstacles. I have a dream that one day every man and woman will embrace education as the path from poverty to prosperity. That one day your rough patches will be smoothened and mediocrity, limitations and sufferings will be things of the past; that your children and grandchildren will drink from the fountains of prosperity and equal opportunity and you will finally be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour knowing you too have defied the odds.

Ooooooo… Oooooooooo… Oooo.. Oooo…
Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
And the dreams that you dreamed of, Once in a lullaby
Oh, somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly,
And the dreams that you dreamed of, Dreams really do come true

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