Opinions - Joye Ritchie Greene
Change your dirty pampers
By Joye Ritchie Greene
Aug 31, 2008 - 7:32:06 AM

Last Thursday the
United States of America , along with the entire world, witnessed a most historic event at the Democratic National Convention in Denver , Colorado .   At approximately 9:15 pm EDT , US Senator Barack Obama, a half black man, accepted the nomination as the Democratic candidate for President of the United States of America .


Never in the history of this country has a man of colour been nominated for this office.    However, it was not for this reason alone that millions paused and  allowed themselves to be a part of history.   The followers and critics alike all agree on one thing, never before has a candidate run a campaign like Mr. Obama.


Barack Obama’s campaign prides itself on championing the cause of the “common man.”   His campaign has revolutionized how money is raised for a campaign in that everyday, ordinary people gave a few dollars that added up to millions of dollars.


And it is this philosophy of being a man for the people and not for big companies and special interest groups that has caused so many Americans and people around the world to find favour with Obama.


This philosophy that is so much a part of who Obama is, permeated throughout his speech last week.   He made it very clear that he was not going to be a President for a select group when he spoke about the changes he would bring.   And he epitomized this point when he said that “change doesn’t come from Washington , change will come to Washington .”


While his entire speech was filled with memorable quotes, this point on change stood out in my mind because this is something with which many people have difficulty.   Today marks the beginning of a new school year for most learning institutions throughout this country, but I wonder how many people are beginning the year as changed individuals?


Obama’s point was that Americans cannot wait on the bureaucrats in Washington to affect any changes that they want to make in their lives and country.   He believes that the ordinary people who support him must be progressive and assertive and bring about the changes themselves.


All too often we sit back and wait for the government, the politicians, the CEO, the principal or the pastor to take the lead and bring about changes.   And what inevitably happens is that we are dissatisfied and discontented with the changes.


Much of this discomfort we find ourselves in can be avoided if we take the lead and become an impetus for change.   History has proven repeatedly that there is strength in numbers and the voice of many is greater than the voice of one or a select few.


Of course it takes courage to have our voices heard, and this is perhaps what is sorely lacking among many of our people.   We allow ourselves to become so comfortable in our existence that some of us actually become welded to institutions or situations thereby becoming permanent fixtures.


How long will allow yourself to sit in the same dirty diaper?   While a baby can endure such a state for a while, even he will become uncomfortable eventually and cry out to be changed.  


Life presents us with countless opportunities to make some changes in our lives, but we settle ourselves more comfortably in our soiled diapers, our messy existence, thinking something better will come along.


If we continue to wait for others to make the crucial changes in our lives, such changes will not come.   Whether you are a teacher or student beginning a new school year, or someone just coming off a much needed vacation, let today be a fresh start towards change that you are driving forward and not following in someone’s wake.   

About the author: Joye Ritchie-Greene is an Educational Consultant, Writer and Martial Arts Instructor. She is the owner/operator of The Bahamas Martial Arts Academy; president of Time-Out Productions; and is also a columnist for the Freeport News. She has a B.A. in English and an M.S. in Human Resources, resides in Freeport, Grand Bahama with her husband and enjoys playing tennis. Joye can be reached at   



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