The Bahamas has come a long way
Let's take a look at the 57th largest city in America, Santa Ana, California. Santa Ana sits 10 miles away from the California coast and, as of the 2010 census, boasts a population of 324,528.
In 1886, after long years of war, Santa Ana was finally incorporated as a city in the USA with a population of 2,000.
Here is where Santa Ana gets interesting. If I were to tell you that Santa Ana had produced an Oscar winning actor you would not be surprised.
If I said it also produced a Grammy winning recording artist and that both of these awards were won within the last 50 years you might be mildly surprised.
What if Santa Ana had actually produced at least two Grammy winning acts? What if I told you that Santa Ana produced at least half a dozen actors who had major roles in network hits? Would you be surprised then?
If I then said that Santa Ana California also produced an Olympic gold medalist, four of them in fact, also within the last 50 years, you would probably begin to question my sources.
What if I said that Santa Ana, California had in fact produced 10 Olympic medalists in the last 60 years? Would you believe me?
If I then said that Santa Ana had produced successful musicians in almost every genre of music, including rock, hip-hop, jazz, classical, pop and reggae, you would think that I was lying to you.
What if I said to you that Santa Ana had produced at least two NBA players, several NFL players and at least five people who played Major League Baseball? Still believing me?
Add to that a Wimbledon gold medal winning tennis player. Still with me?
What if I then said that Santa Ana had also produced several successful writers, supermodels, boxers and at least one internationally recognized televangelist?
What if I said that Santa Ana also produced at least one successful MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter and one of America's favorite meteorologists?
Now let's add to that the fact that the longest serving political leader of Santa Ana is also recognized around the world as one of the people who agitated for, and demanded, the end of Apartheid and the release of Nelson Mandela. Crazy, right?
What if we turned away from the people and turned to its history. What if Santa Ana boasted at least three forts built before 1800, one of them built in 1741, a fort actually used during the America Revolutionary war in 1776?
Or what if Santa Ana had some of the oldest excavated Native American settlements found anywhere?
Or what about a structure that was actually built in France in the 14th century and brought to Santa Ana, stone by stone, and rebuilt by William Randolph Hearst? Surprised?
What if I then said that Santa Ana has over three million tourist visits each year?
The truth of the matter is that I have no idea if Santa Ana, California boasts any of these accomplishments.
I'm sure Santa Ana boasts many accomplishments and I understand it is one of the nicest places in the world. But if they did I would certainly be more than impressed.
As a matter of fact, if any population of that meager size could in fact celebrate these accomplishments I would be more than impressed.
So celebrate Bahamas because these are but a few of the accomplishments that we can boast.
We have come a long way and endured many bumps and bruises in our history but we must remember, especially in times like these, that there is very little that we cannot do. Imagine if we actually worked together on a shared goal.
Do you imagine for a moment that we can't tackle today's social ills? Would crime be the problem that it is today? Would unemployment? Or health care?
I do not mean to oversimplify the problems we are facing but I do want us to remember that we are more than an accomplished nation.
We have proven, time after time, that we are spectacular individuals and even better teammates. When Bahamians from all walks of life come together, there is nothing they cannot accomplish.
Here is a list of some of the people mentioned above.
Feel free to discover the rest yourselves: Sloane Farrington, Frank Rutherford, Shakara Ledard, Roxie Roker, Myron Rolle, Jeanene Fox, Persia White, Myles Munroe, Ed Armbrister, Tony Curry, Baha Men, Mark Knowles, Kimbo Slice, Esther Rolle, Calvin Lockhart and Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling.
© 2012 The Freeport News