Diplomatic Notes

Where do we go from here?

The Bahamas faces some important questions as we enter another new administration. The problems are well-defined. The road ahead seems daunting and the pervading question on the minds of Bahamians is: where do we go from here? We are in somewhat uncharted waters and the road ahead looks rocky; the seas rough; where do we go from here?

The problems and challenges are enormous but sometimes we can make them larger than they need to be. I recently scoured Facebook and some of the talk shows, and if you pay attention to some of the comments, you could be tempted to give up or commit suicide. Sometimes the social sideliners make a bad situation worse by spreading panic and doomsday scenarios that offer no hope and only magnify problems that we are all aware of. I have seen posts talking about “we are finished”, “we are going to default on our sovereign debt”, “the sky is falling, the sky is falling”.

First of all, let’s set the record straight: our problems are solvable. The way the world was made, every solution to the problems on Earth are right here. Everything for Earth is already in Earth. There is no lack of resources on Earth. Every country in the world already has whatever it needs to survive. The only issue is do we have the systems in place to properly manage the resources and do we have the creativity in leadership to ensure that the resources are distributed and utilized effectively. Most of the problems in the world are not resource problems they are leadership problems.

If we take a look at Haiti, the first thing that comes to mind is that Haiti is a poor country. Haiti is not a poor country; Haiti has suffered through poor leadership and onerous colonial and post-colonial circumstances that keep resources from reaching the masses. It is amazing that we sometimes write off a country or a people as if the people are not capable, when the same people move to America or Europe and rise to the top in their fields. There is nothing wrong with the people, there is something wrong with the leadership and culture that has permeated the country because of poor leadership.

Every problem facing The Bahamas has a solution right here in The Bahamas. We can save ourselves with God’s help. As I mentioned in the case of Haitians, if you traverse the world, you will find Bahamians at the very top of major corporations, sports organizations and educational institutions. There is nothing wrong or lacking when it comes to Bahamian talent and creativity. Our leadership team has to figure out a way to govern according to the principles we all agree are necessary for success. The problem we have had in The Bahamas is that successive administrations promise to obey these principles, and along the way get sidetracked and derailed in the process. The Bahamian electorate is less and less forgiving and more demanding, so hopefully our leaders will stay on course and thus create a path for our future success.

No nation is finished because all of the nations that were here 50 years ago are still here; there is no nation that has vanished off the planet. Some nations have experienced severe turmoil and trauma but, thankfully, The Bahamas has not been one of them. Whatever our problems, we have been incredibly stable and have made it so far in spite of the challenges we have faced. As I travel the world, I return home to the understanding that we have some very smart, sharp Bahamians right here. Our solutions are among us. I am seeing young businessmen and women, young professionals, young artists and entrepreneurs who are already showing us what is possible. We have to open our eyes to recognize them and to ensure that they are brought to the table to help us navigate the road ahead.

COVID-19 is a massive health problem. This health crisis has also contributed to an economic crisis but who says it has to be a permanent problem, and the crisis of today not turn into the opportunity for tomorrow? The world and The Bahamas have faced many crises and will undoubtedly face more in the future. Jesus once said to his disciples, “In this world, you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer because I have overcome the world.” Tribulation is a part of life and so is overcoming. I am a believer in overcoming, so I am ready to help with the overcoming rather than the complaining or doomsday predicting.

Where we go from here is on us. Our outlook and attitude will determine which way we head. A pessimistic, fatalistic outlook and attitude can result in a pessimistic outcome. I believe we all need to start identifying possibilities instead of magnifying problems. We need to start heading for the headlines rather than sitting on the sidelines. Our motto says forward, upward, onward, together and we should always keep this in mind. We must think forward and not backward, onward and not downward, upward and together even when we differ. Where we go from here depends on where we decide to go.

• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to pastordaveburrows@hotmail.com. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.

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