“A man’s heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps” – Proverbs 16:9

The Rotary Club of Barbados South celebrated its 26th anniversary on Friday night. Although I was not a Charter Member, I was introduced to the club by the late Dalvin Darlington, a Past President of the Club, six months after it was chartered.  My Rotary journey is replete with rich memories of our activities at fellowship meetings, local community service projects, international service missions, fund raising activities, vocational service experiences district and international conferences and, last but not least, pulling my weight in the routine but arduous tasks of managing the club.

Past President Stephen Broome loves taking candid shots and soliciting comment when armed with his digital movie camera.  When he is around one has to be careful not to engage in power napping lest one is captured in the movie archives of the club. Of course, one does not always succeed!

Later on Friday evening when I was more aware of my surroundings, there was PP Stephen poised with camera once again, this time seeking to activate the audio element of his “toy” by soliciting a verbal comment on my sojourn in the Club for over 25 years. My off-the-cuff response was that the profile of the Club had certainly changed with the passage of time in the context of the diversity by age.  When we first started it was an under fifty group but now it is an under 75 group.  This diversity has now been intensified by the close association of our Club with the Rotaract Club of South Barbados.  This club which consists of individuals whose age range is 18-35 also celebrated an anniversary, its first, on Friday.

A main highlight at Friday night’s cocktail reception was the induction of Barbados’ relatively new Chief Justice, Marston Gibson, as an honorary Rotarian.  The feature address on the evening was delivered by Past President Latchman Kissoon, in his inimitable anecdotal style, when he related the club’s history in an entertaining manner.  President Irving Burrowes of the Rotary Club of Barbados South and President Karen Perch of the Rotaract Club of South Barbados represented their clubs at the podium. Sergeant-At-Arms Edmund Bradshaw, MC for the evening, could not resist the temptation to share with the gathering that he and Chief Justice Gibson were contemporaries at the Foundation School.

When I approached Chief Justice Gibson to greet him on the evening, I was absolutely honoured when he immediately referred to my weekly column and confirmed that he actually reads it.  He immediately made reference to his exposure to spirituality and jurisprudence during his days at Oxford University and revealed his comfort that my column attempts to combine spirituality and business.

During cocktails, I was chatting with Rotarian Hiranand Thani who drew to my attention an article which he shared with me and others.  I recalled receiving it but had not read it.  I would like to share with you an extract from its contents, written by Ben Stein.

“…In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different:  This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

In light of recent events… terrorist attacks, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.  Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.  The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.  And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide).  We said an expert should know what he’s talking about.  And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.

I think it has a great deal to do with ‘We reap what we sow’.

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.  Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.  Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.  Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace… Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us…”.

At this function, I met a visiting Rotarian from Jamaica, Robert Stephens, who also reads my column and we are in similar professions, the common link being “problem solving”.  We promised to enhance the frequency and intensity of our communication.  Since he is going to be here on Thursday January 26, I invited him to attend and network with Barbadians in my interactive dialogue workshop which explores “The Business of Management Matrix™” in an effort to foster sustainable business success.

As Pastor A.R. Bernard said “A good time to change your life is today”.