“Conquerors will march in the victory parade, their names indelible in the Book of Life. I’ll lead them up and present them by name to my Father and his Angels” – Revelation 3:5
Last week my column was entitled “The Value of the Human Being” and it was observed that a beautiful picture of human beings may be portrayed in terms of potential in the hierarchy of the species, but the behaviour of the human being has caused much stress in terms of: a lack of commitment to spiritual awareness, poor protection of the physical environment, a propensity for war, stymied economic growth and the lack of care for fellow man. I concluded that we must set about to reverse the trends by a renewed commitment to spiritual awareness, the conscious protection of the physical environment, the diffusion of the issues which lead to war, the development of creative and innovative strategies for economic growth, the appreciation of the finer things in life and care for our fellow man. Those who set about to address this challenge will march in the victory parade, their names indelible in the Book of Life and they will be led and presented by name by Him to His Father and his Angels. A promise not to be despised even if one perceives oneself to be spiritually rich. Nicole Garofano reported at a meeting last week that since 1995, The Future Centre has provided environmental education to the community of Barbados through a variety of methods, and environmental awareness has come a long way. Today, issues such as Climate Change; rise of greenhouse gases; risks to fresh water supplies; decline of fishing stocks and other marine life; ineffective management of solid waste; deforestation and overpopulation have intensified the need for such awareness. Many impacts of human overuse of the planet are now becoming blatantly evident. The meeting, consisting of a small working group of interested persons, recognised the need for the renewal of the concept of environmental education in terms of governance, marketing, methods of information delivery, operations, staffing and finance. A strategic visioning retreat among a larger group of interested stakeholders will soon be mounted to determine The Way Forward. In a comparative report of the fertility rates among Muslims and non Muslims, the reported percentage increase in the Muslim population, relative to non Muslims, in Europe and North America, in the next 30 years is alarming. President Obama’s plan to diffuse the issues which lead to war and to contain the existing wars is a compromise that reflects all of the strains of the discussion among his advisers, one that is markedly different, though perhaps no less difficult, from the goals his predecessor set for the region. President Obama will focus on diplomacy and training in an effort to build nations that could stand as models of democracy in the Muslim world. When I was selected to be a consultant at the Caribbean Development Bank over 10 years ago, my mandate was to develop an innovative strategy to contribute to economic growth in the Caribbean, to facilitate the development of the emerging service exports industry, in particular. The Caribbean Business Enterprise Initiative emerged. This has evolved to what is today known as the CBET Shepherding Model™ and Twin Fund seed & Venture Capital Concept. I had the opportunity to present the CBET model last Friday at a Regional Technical Meeting in Trinidad on Implementing Caribbean Community Agricultural Policy. The model was well received as it addressed the major funding constraint to agricultural enterprise development which is inhibiting agriculture’s contribution to regional economic growth. The Model can of course be applied to sectors other than the agricultural sector. I received three responses to my last column which I would like to share with you. (1) Thanks for that timely and inspirational dialogue. This is a very good reminder, most needed especially among our people today who seem to feel discouraged in this economic challenge before us. That it is the God in us that is more important than the ‘gods’ around us. (2) I am responding to express my appreciation of your article. As you know, during my professional career, I began to realize that the basic causes of our social and economic problems arise not from lack of resources but from the way we use them. Selfishness and greed continue to derail our efforts, and in my view, are the root cause of our present international crises. These weaknesses stem from the increasing neglect of our spiritual values. The support of these values is being left to the Church alone which is being increasingly sidelined. Equal attention should be paid to these values as is paid to economic issues. (3) We are, and must always remember that we are, part of the great human family. That means that we are responsible for each other, and that we must be mindful of the effects our words and deeds can have on other people, the nation, and the world…CBET is not just about incubating and shepherding businesses to grow a stronger Barbadian private sector; it is also about mentoring, care, and compassion, and giving of oneself to encourage others to reach their God-given potential. The value of the human being is that he/she can think, and that through thoughtfulness, he/she can make many feel cherished, capable, and motivated. Each of us has a responsibility to give of the very best of ourselves and contribute positively to the community around us, and encourage others to grow and flourish.