“Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here’s why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, this most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe. Who knows? Maybe he’ll do it now, maybe he’ll turn around and show pity. Maybe, when all’s said and done, there’ll be blessings full and robust for your God” – Joel 2:13-14
Even at the best of times, it is wise to be introspective and improve ourselves so that we realise our unfilled potential of optimal holistic health. We need to do this in the context of our spiritual, emotional (or mental) and physical condition. More so, when the alarm is sounded (Joel 2:1) and we all begin to tremble in the face of impending disaster, we need to seek help. What is the definition of Spiritual Health? For me, spirituality is a sense of wholeness, a sense of knowingness, which fosters positive belief systems engendering ambition, self-confidence, good relationships and a sense of security (to love and be loved). When we get spiritually sick, we have two paths we can take; we can shrivel up and die or we can open ourselves up to a new journey bolstered by the sentiments of Joel 2:13-14. We can change. Our spirit is our essence. And it also tends to be the one thing we neglect the most. We have to make time everyday to feed our spirit. When we take care of our spirit we find the path to our authentic self and ultimately to living the life we were intended to live. Work on your own definition of Spiritual Health. What is Emotional Health anyway? After a little research on the Internet, I found a useful definition of emotional health to which I could relate. It is the ability to express all emotions appropriately. Those who have this ability are surely mentally healthy and are in a better position to detect emotional blackmail. Being emotionally stuck is often the best indicator of current lack of emotional health. We might be stuck in depression or stress, stuck in anger at our favourite targets, stuck in obsessive fears, or stuck in perpetual guilt or shame. Obviously, this indicator of emotional health suggests that many of us lack emotional health much of the time. We must be able to manage worry, anger, fear and guilt. Sound spiritual health allows us to better manage our emotional health. “Mens sana in corpore sano” is a famous Latin quotation, often translated as “A sound mind in a sound body”. This draws attention to the concept of sustainability and usefulness. There is no point working on spiritual and mental health and then ignoring physical health. The therapy here is a good diet, plenty of exercise and, I am sure you would have guessed, “peace of mind”. So here we experience an interlocking network of holistic health led by the omnipotent spiritual strength. If our nation does well, we all do well. The corollary is that if the nation is not doing well, we are at risk. The nation’s health is measured by indicators of socio-economic well being. We have been advised by our leaders that “phenomenal challenges face Barbados and the road ahead is extremely daunting. There is no easy nor any quick fix for the problems which we face”. Everyone, irrespective of whom we represent, ourselves, our family, our company, our government, our nation or our region, must put our shoulders to the plough and effect change. But, we must first restore ourselves to a state of holistic health. Having done this, then the next step is to restore our nation to a healthy state of economic well being. This cannot be done unless we engender a culture of private sector enterprise development within a user friendly enabling environment provided by government. This is the best design of public-private partnership. It is often said that many of our countries in the Caribbean have very little natural resources and hence this stymies our rate of economic growth. The fact is that our people, our major resource, have tremendous talent primarily, but not exclusively, in the creative industries. What we need to focus on is the development of programmes of holistic health which will underpin the stability of these resources. The design recommended by CBET in support of this enterprise thrust is: (1) shepherding services to mitigate the risk of business failure, this reduces the need for hard collateral in support of loans at commercial banks and increases the bank’s portfolio; (2) identification and training of preferably locally sourced shepherds to facilitate exponential growth; (3) a generic operational model, with an operation manual and training services, which can be licensed to each sovereign country; (4) a review of the impact of this new model on the existing institutional framework in the country; (5) a mix of grant, loan and venture capital which is optimal for the entrepreneur’s needs; (6) explosion of the myth that venture capital will endanger the security of ownership by the entrepreneur of the entrepreneur’s business; (7) Quick Response seed capital funding to develop or revise a business plan; (8) Quick Response venture capital funding, so that businesses can “hit the ground running”, while a more comprehensive financial mix is put in place.