I have been reflecting on our priorities. By ‘our’ I mean we as a nation, a region and by extension, a planet. Who are our heroes? It is clear that people in the media light become easily worshipped: actors, musicians and sports-persons. But why, why are we so shallow? It is not to berate these personalities. I believe in sports and the Arts as fantastic tools for our development. However, one hardly hears about or remember the people who have made discoveries in trying to alleviate the problem of the human condition.
Locally, ask the average school child who is Machel Montano, George Bovell or Brian Lara and they are sure to give you some feedback. Not so if you ask them about Professor Joseph Lennox Pawan or Anil Kokaram. Pawan was the Trinidadian doctor who was able to prove that rabies could be spread by bats and was also able to isolate the virus. His discoveries, through hard work and determination has saved countless lives. Kokaram received an Oscar in 2007 for his work in digitally restoring (re-mastering) old movie footage. Further afield, no one has ever heard of Grigori Perelman who submitted a proof for the Poincairé Conjecture that was verified in 2006 and was awarded a US$1,000,000 prize in 2010, which he declined.
Could it be that traditional schooling has ‘dumbed us’ down so much that we are now like cattle, following where ever the media point us? Or maybe not, Christ came into Jerusalem on the Hosannas of the mob, but was murdered by them within the week because they could not understand his higher objectives. “There are none so blind as those who will not see”.