It is often said that tough times don’t build character, they reveal it. Certainly the modern day Bahamas has been exposed as somewhat of an empty vessel built on deteriorating pillars, false realities and a mentality that has left the country hanging on a precipice, notwithstanding the good nature and best intent of its people.
Hopefully we are able to pick up the pieces quickly enough so that the effects do not last for more generations than they need to. There has long existed a complacency that allowed Bahamians on the whole to think of this nation as a flourishing finished product. The spoils of tourism and investment dollars were so great that even though much of it was being stolen by various ‘insiders’, the general public couldn’t care less. Everything seemed to work just fine on the surface, but to those who cared to look deep- er, the signs that we would in- evitably come to this breaking point have always been there.
The Bahamas is a country that enjoys a unique location and geographical make-up. For many years we have lived off of the fact that God created The Bahamas, and have not embraced the fact that God also created Bahamians. It seems now an unfortunate coincidence that the people of The Bahamas chose these last 40 years as the years to em- bark on this journey to self governance and independence. In these past 40 years an entire evolution of mankind has occurred. Gone are the systematic mechanical glory days of the Industrial Age as we enter into this new age of information and hyper technology. Although the general needs and aspirations of the human mind remain fundamental, the ways that humanity seeks them out have changed.
There are now growing generations of Bahamian citizens who were born into this new age and in our society exists a noticeable distinction be- tween these ‘newbies’ and those that are stuck in the past and cannot detach themselves from the old ways of thinking. Not to be misunder- stood, old-fashioned values and principals are exactly what we need to repair and resurrect this nation from its current ills – that is, in combination with smart, innovative, and transformative thinking.
The strategies of old will simply not work; the systems of old will not work. The time has come to move on.
There is no singular project or initiative that will unilaterally make a substantive difference. The difference must come in the spirit, the mind, the dreams and in the vision of the Bahamian people. Ba- hamians must get beyond the point where we are subject to relying on the strategies, discoveries, products, philosophies and ideologies of others, subsequently trying to nip and tuck in an effort to make them make sense in The Ba- hamas.
Our solutions need to start off making sense for The Ba- hamas first. When we are able to accomplish this, even if the economic statistics don’t go up, assuredly the standard of living will improve. There is a difference between the proud look of a landowner cultivat- ing his crops, and the look of an indentured servant working in the fields of a far away master.
Likewise, the look in the face of every single Ba- hamian will change once we finally take on ownership and control of the direction and development of our Bahama Land.
It is cliché to say that ‘Better Days are yet to Come’, if only for the simple fact that the
‘yet to come’ is purely subjec- tive and can always be delayed until the ‘better days’ actually arrive. However, there is an ex- plosion of genius, talent, vision, and determination that is about to hit the scene the very instant the usual sus- pects are finally off the center stage. The time has passed for the pied piper mind-set, and the time has passed for the make-up of the government, the civil service, and the con- stitution that goes along with it.
The system is imploding because the rules of the game no longer make sense. The new breed of Bahamian knows that we are better than this. The new breed of Bahamian doesn’t aspire to fit in. The myth that if we don’t have foreign investment then we won’t have jobs is not enough to scare us away from doing what feels right for The Ba- hamas.
The new breed aspires to conquer the world and to lead with ideas never thought of by any other human being.
The spirit of the new Bahamas will not be extinguished by the fear that exists in the minds of so many today. This is no indictment on those who have come before. The saying goes that even a midget standing on the shoulders of a giant can see much further than the giant. Like- wise, we stand on the founda- tion of the accomplishments of those who came before, but we see further and our vision is greater.
– Wayne Wilson