“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” – Ephesians 1:18
Even though I am by no means a scholar of English literature I was recently moved to recall two pieces from my secondary school days. They positioned themselves in my mind, as if in military style, and would not go away, so I hereby share them with you.
The one, a quotation from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and the other, a Sonnet by John Milton. Caesar said: “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune”.
Milton’s was a more expansive piece, referring to his rapidly failing eyesight, which I was forced to learn by heart at school: “When I consider how my light is spent – Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide – And that one talent which is death to hide -Lodged with me useless though my soul more bent – To serve therewith my Maker – and present – My true account, lest He returning chide – ‘Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?’ – I fondly ask; But patience, to prevent – That murmur, soon replies ‘God doth not need – Either man’s work or his own gifts Who best – Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best His state – Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed – And post o’er land and ocean without rest – They also serve who only stand and wait.”
This week was my birthday week. Griselda, my cousin, called me the day before to wish me Happy Birth year. She caused me to remember that I would soon be beginning my seventieth year on earth and of course one was quickly reminded of “three score and ten” which was the span of a life in the days that this phrase was coined. The next day many other greetings followed from family and friends – it appeared to be a wake up call.
Now I am carefully watching the undulating tide of life; its ebb and flow, the pent up energy in-waiting, the promises to be fulfilled and the urge to catch the flood tide and surf into the Promised Land.
This time of the year is also the anniversary of the birth of my weekly column, now beginning its eighteenth year. Many persons have gently suggested that I should compile the articles into a book. I attempted this once but then the time pressure of my daily projects has not yet allowed this to become a reality.
I continually think about it and now especially since the week before last when I was in St. Kitts, Joseph “Reds” Perreira kindly left a copy of his autobiography “Living My Dreams” for me to read on my return to Barbados. I have not yet read it but scanning the first chapters and the testimonials at the end of the book, it certainly seems to be a motivational piece of literature which should be included in the library of those who want to take the flood tide and benefit from the fortunes at the end of the rainbow. The first chapter reminds the reader of Perriera’s roots and the testimonials which reflect on the bounty which this tree has borne over the passage of his productive life to date.
We must position ourselves to take the tide at the flood. Our eyes must be focused and clear, so that we can see exactly what it is He is calling us to do. We must then grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has set for His followers. However, we must also pause to reflect, in particular, on the contributions of three icons in the Barbadian Community who passed away this last week and, in general, to all those who have recently gone to the great beyond. There are Undine Lady Gollop, Francis (“Woodie”) Blackman and Rev. Vivian Commissiong. Our condolences go to their families. May they rest in peace!
I listened attentively to an entrepreneur last week, with an enterprise which has a DNA of an Elephant and hence can contribute relatively quickly to the growth of the Barbadian economy. The entrepreneur was bemoaning the fact that many of the incentives that the Government has on its statute books may as well not be there since the way that entrepreneurs are treated, especially in one Governemnt Ministry, leaves much to be desired. It appears that the entrepreneurs are treated as foes rather than persons who are trying to contribute to the growth of the economy, one enterprise after another, for the benefit of all.
I suggested to the entrepreneur that rather than bemoan the treatment for what is essentially direct grant funds or rebates on taxes of one kind of another, both of which deplete the Government’s coffers, they should consider an alternative. This alternative is Venture Capital funding especially that which is available under the Bimventures model which comes complete, not only with Seed and Venture Capital funds, but with the process of shepherding which mitigates he risk of failure. A Bimventures/Entrepreneur partnership can take the tide at the flood and access the promised fortune. When Barbados wins, we all win!