“When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring the guilt of blood upon your house, if anyone should fall from it” – Deuteronomy 22:8
It is nearly one year since the people of Barbados, in an orderly general election, decided to change the political party which administers its affairs. The Barbados Labour Party, which had held the reins of power since September 1994, was unceremoniously booted out of office by the Democratic Labour Party with a two-thirds majority.
At one of the many social occasions over the Christmas season I heard my son Kevin expounding that the ancient Greeks had two words for time Chronos and Kairos. Whereas the word for “time” –chronos, corresponds to the passage of repetitive equal divisions of time, such as minutes, –kairos, indicates an unrepeatable moment when events of great significance come to be gathered in the life of an individual or people. The context of the discussion was the Obama victory in the US.
The political change in January 2008 was indeed a kairos moment for Barbados. Since then the world has experienced many kairos moments in the context of food, fuel and financial crises which have indeed induced a turning point in the lives of many, and the new government in Barbados is preparing to address the onslaught of this virtual tsunami. We can either stay put and be consumed by the forces of the tsunami or we can move to higher ground and fortify ourselves to repair the damage done by the force of the tsunami which is not within our control.
We must build a new economic house and make an economic parapet for our “roof”, lest anyone should fall from it. 2009 must therefore be a watershed year for Barbados and indeed for the rest of the world. If we continue to do things in the way that we have been accustomed, then with a changing external environment, not within our control, we could very well find ourselves wanting. We must think outside of the box and be creative and innovative in terms of the way to address the holistic environment.
There are limited ways in which to expand a small economy like Barbados, but indeed our size itself is an advantage because it does not take much, in a global context, to satisfy the socio-economic needs of our 270,000 population. If you need confirmation of this just watch any global TV news network for one hour and you will see the challenges with which many countries, the populations of which run into tens and hundreds of millions, are faced.
As one of my enterprise development clients said to me last week, we way not have many natural resources in Barbados but we have creative people and that is the resource which we have to exploit. She was in fact developing a business to exploit this resource and was seeking assistance as to how she could make it profitable and sustainable while contributing to growth for Barbados. We must exploit our intellectual capital.
This brings me on to brain dominance theory. Roger Sperry, a Nobel Prize winner, initiated the study of the relationship between the brain’s right and left hemispheres. Sperry found that the left half of the brain tends to function by processing information in an analytical, rational, logical, sequential way (a scientific approach). The right half of the brain tends to function by recognising relationships, integrating and synthesising information and arriving at intuitive insights (a creative approach). In other words, the left side of the brain deals with a problem or situation by collecting data, making analyses, and using a rational thinking process to reach a logical conclusion. The right side of the brain approaches the same problem or situation by making intuitive leaps to answers based on insights and perceptions. The left brain tends to break information apart for analysis, while the right brain tends to put information together to synthesize a whole picture.
As is reported by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales: While functions are lateralised, the lateralisations are functional trends and are not applicable in every case. Short of having undergone a hemispherectomy (removal of a cerebral hemisphere), no one is a “left-brain only” or “right-brain only” person. The challenge therefore is to optimise the combinations of partnerships which will systematically lead us forward.
In building our new economic house, the political directorate must continue to exhibit leadership which optimises the use of our intellectual capital resources in agricultural development (including sea island cotton), enterprise development (especially in the service industries), tourism development (exploiting Eastern markets as we follow the trend in wealth creation), sports development (remembering that 90% of success is to be found above the shoulder), renewable energy development (building on our 34 years experience in the solar water heating industry) and international business (which has contributed much to our national economy).
Many of you will remember Andria Hall, a former CNN anchor, Christian author, journalist and a regular member of Bevan Springer’s CMEx team. Andria is currently in hospital in New Jersey as she continues a two-year battle with breast cancer. Andria’s primary desire is for each of you to pray for her continued healing and deliverance.