TIMOCRACY

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TIMOCRACY G.A. Dwyer Astaphan Yes, timocracy is a real word. Look it up. Greek in origin, ‘timo’ means honour, and ‘kratia’ means government. So ‘timokratia’ , or, in English, timocracy. Timocracy is a form of government in which the love of honour is the dominant motive of leadership. It’s about honour in government, about honourable governance. For the purposes of completeness, the word has other meanings. However, honourable governance is the meaning that we’re working with here. Of course, the name Timothyis also of Greek origin, coming from the word Timotheus which means Honour ( ‘timo’) from God ( ‘theus’), or God’s Honour. So look at what we have here in St. Kitts & Nevis. We have a Prime Minister whose name means God’s Honour. And he heads up an Administration which, on February 16 th, 2015, was elected by a people earnestly in search of honourable governance, in search of a timocracy. Now Timothy Harris is a human being, just like the rest of us. Yet it’s absolutely vital, in the nation’s interests, for him to put aside whatever unwholesome proclivities he may possess, and steel himself for this moment which history and fate have entrusted to him, so that he might be imbued, as our country’s leader, with God’s Honour, and, together with his colleagues in leadership, he might be driven to provide the honourable governance that we need and deserve. Timothy Harris finds himself in a defining moment for St. Kitts & Nevis, for this new Administration, and for this new style of Administration which we’ve chosen; and he also finds himself in what is an especially and sharply defining moment for himself as a leader and as a man. The ‘ honour-scope’ which, for the most part, had been shelved and cobwebbed for 20 years, has been dusted off, and is now , and will increasingly be, microscopically focused on Timothy ‘God’s Honour’ Harris and his colleagues. And neither he nor his colleagues ought to be in any way upset or disturbed by this, because we asked for honourable governance, and they promised to provide it. And on February 16 th, 2015, we sealed the deal with them. And in carrying out this deal, it is their duty to deliver on their promise, while it is our duty to make sure that they do deliver, a duty which we must never relinquish. You see, while a number of us might be inclined to assume, or even believe, that our leaders are honourable, and will act honourably, we would be foolish in the extreme, especially after prior experiences, if we fail to monitor and scrutinize our leaders at all times. The responsibility of those who govern is immense. But that of those who are governed, that is us, is even more immense. Leaders may speak about timocracy, and they may even want it to happen, but it’s the people who have to make sure that it does happen. In this regard, we must no longer see an election result as a mere reward for the winners. Instead, we must see it as a call to govern more honourably and efficiently than those who’ve been replaced. We must set the highest standards for ourselves by setting the same standards to those whom we elect to govern and serve us. And in order to do that effectively, we have to ensure that we are properly informed and enlightened so that we are able, through unfiltered lenses, to see through the distractions, deceptions, obfuscations, orchestrations, corruption and dishonour of leaders who might not be genuinely committed to timocracy. But corruption is never restricted to leaders only. And a society which is short on honour will not be a timocracy. So here we are in St. Kitts & Nevis at a defining moment. This moment, and this deal that we sealed on February 16 th, 2015, are too big, too important, too ordained by the Almighty, to be squandered. Timothy Harris has to immerse himself, as must his colleagues, in humble, honest, and honourable service to the people of this nation, all of the people. The Gospel of Mark at Chapter 9 at Verse 30 tells us that on one of their journeys with Jesus Christ, the disciples were discussing as to who was the greatest among them. Jesus sat them down and told them that “if anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all, and the servant of all”. In other words, the greatness of a leader is measured by service, not by self-indulgence. And the leader can’t lead in a half-and-half manner. It’s either he’s all in on selfish ambition and corruption, or he’s all in on the honour and nobility of the people. The responsibility on the shoulders of Timothy Harris is greater than that on the shoulders of his predecessors. Because he inherited a most dishonourable situation, and he is under a sealed deal to deliver a true timocracy to the people of St. Kitts & Nevis. But he shouldn’t see it as a responsibility. Instead, he should see it as an historic opportunity with destiny. If he pulls it off, he could go down as this country’s greatest leader. If he doesn’t, history will banish him to a place of inglorious ‘pariah-hood’. And terrible things will happen in this land. Because the herculean and justifiable task of removing the dishonour of yesteryear will have been undertaken in vain. The wonderful opportunity for a true timocracy will have been squandered by, and under the leadership of, a man named Timothy. Let us pray and let us ensure, that that doesn’t happen.