“Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The secret formula, which underpins the way forward as we vision and plan our future post-COVID 19 dispensation, is to be found in the inspiring Caribbean video “We got this.
The message is powerful – unity is strength and hope springs eternal in an environment where God is Love. One Caribbean, no fears, do not worry about the madness, let us take our chances, look out for our neighbors, we will rise again nourished by the Caribbean sun.
If we miss the importance of unification this time around, well, we only have ourselves to blame.
The ideal world psychological environment is for human beings to live in harmony with nature in keeping with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, namely physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.
Above all we must recognize that we are spiritual beings attempting to master an earthly experience. Globally, we must look out for each other and nationally we should have “all hands on deck”.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic the world was in disarray, which frustrated the growth of small island states and coastal communities.
Examples of these weaknesses are youth behavior, legislation, entrepreneurship development, foreign exchange reserves, economic stagnation, vulnerable communities, food imports, food insecurity, housing shortages, water woes, domestic disorder, drug and gangsterism culture, world trade, regional unity, corporate governance, investment finance, human resource development, branding, operational efficiency and technology innovation.
Attempts to strengthen some of these weaknesses are manifested by the 17 United Nations 2030 development goals for sustainable development.
The aspirations of these goals have been frustrated by greed, corruption and weak moral global leadership.
As if this were not enough, along with the threat of the impact of climate change, the advent of COVID-19 has been disastrous in the context of the socioeconomic well-being of small states.
It has resulted in economic shutdowns, business closures, increased unemployment, personal stress and greater national debt – the full measure of which will only be determined after the phased relaxation of the curfew constraints and the opening of our borders.
It is often mentioned that small businesses drive the economy. Whereas, they are an integral part of an economic gearing system, we can see clearly now that this is not the case.
The disaster recovery strategies have been challenging because the disease aggressively attacks and is spread by human beings which frustrates the implementation of optimal governance solutions due to conflict between public health and the stimulation of economic growth.
The public health management performance has been stellar, so now we have to imaginatively address the challenges of getting employment going again to stimulate growth in the new economy.
Change management action therefore must be carefully implemented as we monitor its effect on the spiritual, human, physical, social and economic aspects of our lives.
At the individual, institutional and country levels, we are in fact trying to effectively shift gears from chaos and despair to harmony and hope.
May I remind you of the adage which I have found to be very useful over the last 25 years: “Vision without Action is mere fantasy; Action without Vision is folly; Neither Vision nor Action reeks of irresponsibility; Vision and Action induce synergy”.
Now, it’s time to rally around the refrain presented by our leading regional musicians: “Caribbean people, we got this!”