Wed | May 27, 2020

Time to plant seeds, indeed

Published:Tuesday | March 31, 2020 | 12:10 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Dr Carolyn Cooper’s column ‘Time to teach children to plant seeds’ in The Sunday Gleaner was a great relief from her regular columns.

I will not go into the Rastafari business. However, we must remember that the colonial masters did a thorough job of inculcating inferiority among us and promoting superiority of their culture. In addition, they had the force of arms. One frigate in Kingston Harbour would terrorise the whole country.

Remember, we celebrated the tercentenary of British rule. We stood at attention even in our rural schools when the social welfare showed films and the British national anthem was sung.

In elementary schools, we sang “Rule Britania …” and how Britons “never shall be slaves”.

We were not supposed to create literature of our own. We were left with ‘Brer Anancy’, that ‘picaro’ who still controls many of our mores and moral attitudes.

Simultaneously, we never saw the picture of a white God. However, the pictures of His Son were always white.

Every picture of an angel and those of cherubins were white with blue eyes. We also sang “Fair waved the golden corn in Canaan’s pleasant land”, not in our land of wood and water, where “cane arrows arched” and “purple yam vines sprouted”.

How sad!

By far the best part of Dr Cooper’s piece is the last sentence in the first paragraph: “... their parents and extended family can teach kindness, patience, discipline, gratitude, and many other essential qualities that will endure for a lifetime.” Is this not ‘Values and Attitudes’?

Finally, those collected plastic bottles can be transformed into useful pots in which flowers and vegetables can be grown in limited spaces in urban schools as well as in urban apartment residences. I know because I have produced thousands of Scotch bonnet peppers in pots, on raised stands, to eliminate weeding.

In a few days, I will sow my seeds and hope for a bountiful harvest in the limited growing time in Maryland, USA.

LOUIS A. HEMANS

Hyattsville, MD

USA