What do you pledge your allegiance to?

Noelle Khalila Nicolls Talkin Sense

When was the last time you recited the Bahamian Pledge of Allegiance. For me, it was high school, more than thirteen years ago. Looking at it again now, I wonder, how relevant is the pledge and does it reflect where our allegiances really are as a nation. On the weekend, my father reminded me that when he was growing up, there was no Bahamian Pledge of Allegiance. And now, he barely recalls it: So much for his Bahamian cred.

I Pledge my allegiance to the flag and to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas For which it stands, one people united in love and service.Bahamian Pledge of Allegiance

The pledge of allegiance is one of those artificial markers we use to bring immigrants into the fold of Bahamian-ness. They must know the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance to be eligible for Bahamian citizenship. Well for me, it is an empty marker. How many Bahamians really know, believe in and live out that pledge in their daily lives? How do we demonstrate as a community that we stand as one “united in love and service”?

When I look around, I see a lot of people who live their lives in allegiance to disunity and disorder; who are pledged to hatefulness and judgment; who are testimonies of the worst parts of ourselves.

I am curious to know, in the daily lives of Bahamians, what are people pledged to. Where are their allegiances? Not the aspirational ones. The living, breathing ones that deserve to be celebrated and those that demand to be dismantled.

Here are 10 things I pledge my allegiance to. These are not words I learned to recite at school but they are principles that live within me and manifest in my way of being. These are principles that call out my higher self. They are principles that challenge me and hold me accountable.

  1. I pledge my allegiance to being a vessel of love and light.
  2. I pledge my allegiance to truth and social justice.
  3. I pledge my allegiance to being the change I wish to see.
  4. I pledge my allegiance to the economic empowerment of African people.
  5. I pledge my allegiance to believing in community, bettering my community and propagating an Ubuntu consciousness.
  6. I pledge my allegiance to living in harmony with God’s creations and enjoying the blessing of #freefun.
  7. I pledge my allegiance to the wisdom of my ancestors.
  8. I pledge my allegiance to my divine purpose.
  9. I pledge my allegiance to freedom of the human spirit.
  10. I pledge my allegiance to my Bahamas, a nation journeying towards being one people united in love and service.

Where is your allegiance pledged to?

Share your pledges in the comments, on Facebook and Twitter #IpledgeBahamas.

For Inspiration

Here’s Jamaica’s national pledge adapted as a pledge for all humankind

Before God and All mankind.
I pledge the love and loyalty of my heart
The wisdom and courage of my mind,
The strength and vigour of my body
in the service of my fellow citizens.

I promise to stand up for justice,
Brotherhood and Peace, to work diligently and creatively,
To think generously and honestly, so that,
Earth may, under God, increase in beauty, fellowship
and prosperity, and that I may play my part in advancing the welfare
of the whole human race.

A Pledge for Humankind