“You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me.” – Psalm 73:24
At this time of the year in particular, I give thanks for the spiritual blessings bestowed on me over the last year, take stock of my life, vision my future and put plans in place for the next year.
One of the things that I have learnt in life is that the only thing “predictable” about the objectives of a plan is that they are “unpredictable”, in the sense that the reality at a future date is never the same as the projection for that date. This is because of the changing external environment which is not within our control. The best that we can do is to control the internal environment by traveling with our spiritual compass and adjusting to the changing environment as we journey along. This is not to say that we must not plan, but it does mean that we have to be vigilant and adopt a systematic evolutionary approach where the decision, as to what our next step should be, is enlightened by the information garnered in the previous step(s).
This year, at this time, I celebrate two anniversaries which are important to me. The first is the 74th anniversary of my birth and the second is the 22nd anniversary of the advent of this weekly column.
As a spiritual being continually mastering the human experience on earth, I am driven by positive affirmations of passion, persistence and patience to attract abundant health in my spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual, financial and business affairs, in the pursuit of happiness. I play the game of life where I strive daily to improve my score in these six areas of abundance. My own “barometer” is currently reading “so far so good” overall. Since the environment keeps changing, I have to keep practising to make improvements, I cannot for one moment rest on my laurels. I suggest that we all do the same.
To all readers who respond to my column, I thank you. You inspire me to continue writing. I plan to use this information to document my recommendations in a more formal but useful way while the sun is still shining on my collective heath.
The most recent gratifying email arrived from a colleague as I was writing this column: “I am just reviewing the notes of Friday’s discourse with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the responses given to the questions raised/posed by the Caribbean Youths after yesterday’s Caribbean Virtual link-up from UWI, Cave Hill, Barbados. Quite interesting, I must say (nothing more than you have been saying in the past)”.
Earlier last week a response to my column arrived from a colleague who is aware of the title of my first column: “Barbados, the Singapore of the Caribbean”, 22 years ago after my first extended visit to Singapore.
He commented: “Yes, I was in Singapore recently and what an interesting experience. I believe that although we are late in recognizing the need to adopt some of the principles of the Singapore model, all is not lost. All we really need in Barbados is a visionary leader who is also a benevolent dictator, who has the capacity to put nation before personal gain. Where are we going to find this leader? I have faith and I hope one will emerge.
“But reflecting what an amazing country. I wrote the following to my daughter after my trip to Hong Kong and Singapore. These two places are probably two of the most entrepreneurial places in the world. Singapore in particular is a model of entrepreneurship, enterprise and innovation. That a small country, just a little bigger than Barbados, (277 square miles compared to Barbados’ 166) with 5 million people (Barbados has 280,000 people) no mineral resources, could have a per capita income of US$55,000 is amazing given that in 1965, Singapore had a per capita income of $511. Barbados’ per capita is about $11,000. So Singapore’s per capita is five times that of Barbados. Barbados and Singapore were at the same level 30 years ago. The country is clean, green and orderly. A place that is worth a visit.”
He concluded: “I bought a book by Lee Kuan Yew, the late Prime Minister of Singapore, the man who converted Singapore from a small backward British colony to a first world country today. Today Singapore is ranked as one of the freest, most innovative, most competitive and business friendly countries in the world. It is also rated as one of least corrupt countries along with New Zealand and the Scandinavian countries. This is a country which exhibits entrepreneurship in action. Maybe we need a CARICOM committee to look at the Singapore model and its possible application in the Caribbean countries and report to the Heads.”
This last statement has been my “mantra” for the last 22 years.
In Trinidad this week, July 8 to 11 at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, Trinidad, the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) mounts its 16th Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) – www.tic-tt.com. The TIC mandate is simple: to foster intra and extra regional trade for regional businesses. But it goes much further – TIC takes place at the crossroads of the Americas, in Trinidad and Tobago, the region’s financial capital and the largest economy in the Caribbean, with strong links to Central and South American companies and businesses from around the globe. So when you take part in TIC, you’ll potentially do business with more than 35 countries.
As we continue on our journey through life, let us all remember to travel with our spiritual compass, consult life’s personal journal of experiences and choose only inspirational paths at every junction we encounter. This strategy will lead us to our destination of safety and peace.
(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET. His columns may be found at www.cbetmodel.org and www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com.)