Few will argue that a multitude of serious situations are playing out daily in all our lives.

The national news is full of political stress, wildfires, pandemic updates, unemployment, fiscal crisis, and other high profile problems. Any one of these issues is enough to bear, but so many at once, is overwhelming.

Part of the stress is knowing that we have little control over these major happenings. On the political scene, we aren’t allowed to vote in a presidential election. We can’t order Covid to go away, nor do we have the ability to control other national catastrophes. However, we do have control over our own back yards, the Virgin Islands community. And because there is so little we can control, we must not waste this Virgin Islands power.

We do have the ability to vote in our upcoming elections. We have the ability to be fiscal watchdogs of our community purse, and to keep working at tackling our own dysfunction. We can support our nonprofits who work to make us better people, and we can challenge ourselves to rise to better days.

These goals are not easy. It’s simple to fall into apathy and to say, “There is nothing I can do.” To think that these problems are too complicated for me to try and solve. It’s easier to let others figure it all out. To blindly go about our personal lives without putting thought into the power, we as a group, have to change things.

Our powers may be limited on the world stage, but in the Virgin Islands, it is strong. We just need to stand together and take it one painful step at a time. Steady and slow, with determination, we will change our part of the world.

— Maria Ferreras is a longtime St. Thomas resident and community volunteer. She can be reached at maria@dailynews.vi.