You cannot help but be affected by the levels of patriotism and pride that is visible everywhere at the moment. It is therefore with that feeling that I got extremely agitated last week when I heard comments that made me realise some people need an education or a mindset change. While at a bazaar, a friend and I were in a queue to get refreshments.
A few women just in front of us were complaining. It seems to be a major women’s pastime here. The complaints all centred around shopping. There was “nothing to buy here”, they said. “How could we get our Christmas shopping done?” In their words, “There was nothing to buy for the home, no decent housewares or gifts”, “No proper toys for children”, and that they “would have to go to Dubai or Abu Dhabi”.
I’m sorry, but why? I can understand if you’re looking for super luxury brands, but don’t tell me you’re going to Dubai to buy Lakeland. We have it here. I mean, really? You would rather go and encourage an economy that doesn’t provide for you, instead of enriching one that does, and that you have chosen to live in! We who live here, local or foreign, it’s incumbent on us to give back to our community and our economy for its growth, for the well-being and prosperity of a nation that, in the first place, is providing so much for us individually and collectively.
By encouraging what we already do have here and spending where you live, it can only attract more investments and opportunities, and in turn bring about more choice, making everyone’s life more fulfilling. So instead of complaining, we should be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Do I put my money where my mouth is? Every day.
This week, I purchased birthday gifts, homewares and whatever else I needed. I will always do my utmost to find what I want and need here, and nine times out of ten I do. Also, through my own experience, I know that many are like me too. Their support makes me strive to do better for them. Does it mean working with less choice? Yes, but that’s a small price to pay in my opinion.
Why do I feel so strongly about it? Because I do. Patriotism is not just hanging a flag. It is standing by your country. Jobs. People. Businesses. Lives. We support and we all grow. You want to see more stuff available, then encourage what is here.
You want your garden to grow, you have to water it. His Majesty, may God bless him and bring him back to his home safe and well, has built a nation that I am proud to call home. As a citizen, it is my duty to help, not hinder, in that continuation of growth in the road that he has built, and spending ‘local’ is a big part of that. Local doesn’t mean only locally produced goods, but locally existing businesses which provide products and services. In the end, we must all do our part.