Better Days Are Coming – Don’t Look Back – Keep Your Eyes On The Prize Ahead Of You!!!

October 11, 2005

Edward Harris At Large


It is said that knowledge is power but only when put into action, otherwise it is merely entertainment. Last New Year’s Eve I sat down about 6.00pm and wrote my resolutions for the year 2005. Among them was that I will read one chapter of a book other than the Holy Bible which I read daily.
Six months into 2005, I maintained my daily reading of the Bible but I failed to maintain my commitment to read one chapter of a book that will inform and educate me. Just days ago, I challenged myself to get back to this important disciplined task and I did. This time I started with a Report that I read previously but I thought it was such a gem that I should read it again. If it is good, read it twice, thrice, and more times. I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill three times. The report I referred to is entitled “The 100 Top Trends Shaping Our Future in the 21st Century. It is the most expensive report I ever bought but what I have learnt as result of reading this report far outweighs the cost.
Based on the assumptions presented in this report, we are in for the ride our lives as the predicted trends begin to unfold. In spite of what we are currently experiencing in terms of uncertainties and anxieties which are further aggravated by disasters in many parts of the world, it is projected that this century “will be an era of extraordinary technological development as computer science converges with the life sciences. It will also be an era of spiritual renewal and humanitarianism” (excerpt from the report)
I have suggested to my readers on many occasions that in today’s world no home should be without the inspired holy word – the Bible or similar book depending on one’s religion/culture and a computer with access to the internet. As we move along the 21st century, it is so important that we understand where we are headed. Times have changed so much while many of us are still asleep. Many are holding on to the last century and fail to recognize the realities of the present. Too many of us are tied to the past when the world is moving forward at a rate that is beyond comprehension. Technology is driving the process, we read about the many scientific developments in the medical field and the possibilities of being cured by the foods we eat. What’s going on? We are now reaping the results of many decades of research and the excitement is going become greater in the years ahead. The majority of us would not be able to comprehend the changes around us. Many discoveries are already being applied in the experimental stage with great success. The prospects of body parts replacement and increased longevity are most exciting to me, especially the fact that I can be in control of all my faculties and perform efficiently and effectively for many years to come. I say bring it on.
In our little corner of the world, we in the Caribbean find ourselves not being challenged by what is happening in the developed world and ignore those positive developments which can be duplicated here in the region. After all the studies and recommendations presented to us on the path we should take as a group of nations to ensure prosperity for our people, even our wise men pointed us to the star, we failed to see it and many of us have decided to go in the other direction. Could you imagine after all these years and millions of US dollars spent in Agricultural Diversification, we are still seeking to hold on to our traditional crops. We were told many years ago that there should be a shift from manufacturing to services, in spite of the obvious reality, our manufacturers are still asking for time to adjust after several years have gone by since they have retooled and put into place standards and ISO management capability. Do trends mean anything to our Entrepreneurs? Don’t flog a dead horse, move on. The industries that are not indigenous to our environment will have a difficult time surviving in the global village. We have to concentrate on the products and services that we can control in the market place and especially those for which there is a demand. Manufacturers who see the writing on the wall and need to stay in any business that is threatened should be frequenting Trade Shows and forming strategic alliances to continue to supply their markets.
With the launch of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) just weeks away, I am very concerned that after 15 years in the making, we will still not be ready in many aspects even if we do something to save face. Many, when the failure becomes eminent will refer to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) to justify our lack of performance and would seek to have us believe it is such a formidable task that the great United States of America failed to complete negotiations on time to launch the FTAA and we are now wondering if there will ever be a FTAA. However, we took more than 15 years and it is the type of indecision that continues to keep poverty at our doorsteps.
Barbados is way ahead of the rest of the region in positioning itself to take advantage of the positive developments that are taking place in our world. The business infrastructure is in place and their great minds are at work. The Government of Barbados firstly consolidated the Small Business Sector and then moved to the Services Sector and in both cases the results have been outstanding The Barbados Coalition of Service Industries is the most dynamic in the region. Many of the other islands cannot even get a committee together to form coalitions that will become part of a global initiative.
There needs to be a comprehensive study of civil society and private sector institutions with the objective to duplicate wherever possible those institutions that are serving the people well. This study must be updated and monitored to ensure that successes and failures be recorded and disseminated to all institutions and agencies across the region.
What excites me most about this century is the prospect that it would be an era of spiritual renewal and humanitarianism and that will guarantee the progress that we have hitherto sought without success.
Keep the Faith! God is working his purposes out in our best interest and what we are experiencing at the moment is just the storm before the calm. Fasten your seat belts keep looking forward to the prize. One Love!!!
Edward Harris – Email:

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