“This is the day the Lord hath made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it” – Psalm 118:24

Many of us are still recovering from the Christmas celebrations which extend seamlessly into the New Year. It was a period of gift giving, reflection and thanksgiving for the past year, assessment of the present and one for New Year resolutions.

Among my Christmas gifts was a book entitled Happiness is …A Way of Mind, A Way of Life from Bevan, my younger son. The author is the Reverend A.R. Bernard who is the spiritual leader of over 26,000 members of New York’s Christian Cultural Centre (CCC), one of the largest, fastest-growing and most successful churches in New York City.

Every Sunday in Brooklyn, New York, thousands of men and women from all over the world come together to experience what can only be described as a modern-day spiritual awakening. Bevan is privileged to be a regular attendee and he has been joined by other resident and visiting members of his family on occasion. I can attest to the stimulating and educational experience.

The CCC is a massive, neo-classically styled sanctuary located on an 11 acre parcel of land on Flatlands Avenue. On any given Sunday, believers (attending one of three services) are deeply focused on the day’s message delivered by Reverend Bernard. In addition to the Sunday services, thousands of listeners tune in to his radio broadcasts to experience his teachings.

Nationally, he is also emerging as one of the most important religious leaders, economic strategists, and civil rights champions for the African American community. He is one of the very few Black leaders in America with a conservative political agenda. He is internationally recognized.

Born in 1953, a native of Panama, he came to the United States at the age of four with his mother and settled in Brooklyn, where he grew up as a street-wise kid with a particularly entrepreneurial knack for success. At age 17, he was pushing clothing racks in the garment district of Manhattan for $2.00 an hour, hustling his way through high school.

At one point in his youth, he fell off track and searched for meaning through drugs, eastern philosophies and various religious expressions including a five-year relationship with the Black Muslim Movement. The answer would come on January 11, 1975, when he attended a church service of a former NY gang member turned Reverend, Nicky Cruz. His conversion to Christ was a defining moment in his life. Bernard recalls, “I found what I was looking for”. A new journey began, on how to translate his new found faith into practical living and influencing positive change in the lives of people and society at large.

Happiness is the purpose of life and we all want to revel in it. Many are well on the way to finding and implementing the recipe for happiness, others suffer from fits and starts and the rest do not know how. This book comprises a number of short daily readings which tell you how to strive for happiness and can be read over and over again to refuel the spiritual system. It engages the positive belief systems of self confidence, ambition, good relations and security and liberates us from the ravages of fear, anger, worry and guilt.

In his book, “Today Matters” John Maxwell wrote “People create success in their lives by focusing on today. It might sound trite, but today is the only time you have. It’s too late for yesterday, and you can’t depend on tomorrow.”

I am thankful for the rich blessings that have been bestowed on me over the past year. Family, friends, colleagues, a clear vision (seen by some but not by others –time will tell) and business opportunities – partnerships – successes.

I am very focused on the present and recognise that “this is the day the Lord hath made, and I am rejoicing and being glad in it”.

Socio-economic well-being is a function of sustained economic growth. Sustained economic growth is fuelled by entrepreneurial development. Entrepreneurial development is aggravated by a high failure rate for new and existing enterprises. Enterprise failure rates can be mitigated by having access to and following good management advice. Good management advice is available from diligent management consultants.

As a management consultant, I recognise the importance of today’s consulting hour as a revenue source. Waste it and it is lost for ever. Use it effectively and it will contribute to my holistic wealth, that of my family, my country, my region and the world. The collective impact of the use of this resource by the national family of management consultants will redound to the benefit of the people.

I was heartened this week to hear of the establishment of the Caribbean Management Consultants Institute (CMCI) the primary aim of which will be to establish international benchmarks for the practising Caribbean consulting fraternity (whether resident, indigenous or visiting) and to promote an environment where credible consultants will become certified management consultants and hence members of the CMCI.

My New Year resolution is to help with the visioning of the many opportunities that are available to us in the Caribbean and to facilitate the implementation of these opportunities – one day at a time.

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc.)

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