The Bahamas: Big Problems, Small Minds

Tuesday 08th, November 2011 / 09:05 Published by

Bahamian flagIf only we had known. All we had to do was stop using electricity and our light bills would go down – genius. Based on that analysis, maybe we should choose homelessness so that our mortgage/rent would be lower, or eat once a week to cut down on these huge food bills.

As I read the comments being uttered by BEC’s chairman, it certainly makes me wonder how in the world some of us get to where we are in life – especially in this great Bahamas.

The actions and comments of the minister of state for the environment also make me question his performance. Maybe the politics of it all minimizes an individual’s skills and abilities; and maybe you and I would do an even worse job if we had the job to do.

This could be true, but I’m not certain if even that excuses some of the profoundly weak-minded statements which are constantly offered to the Bahamian public as reasons, explanations, and even worse, solutions to live with when things invariably go bad.

Our problems are big, actually they are bigger than big and almost too many to name: An unstable economy, high unemployment, foreclosures on the rise, crime skyrocketing, a large ready-to-retire “baby boom” generation waiting to receive their promised pensions, gratuities and more, and the list goes on.

I think even worse than the problems, are the overwhelming sense of hopelessness seen in the faces and heard from the lips of so many Bahamians young and old, even those who would have thought just a few short years ago that they were on the road to prosperity and success.

Is it enough that we sit back and concede defeat because the global economy is suffering?

When students tell you that they got Cs on a test, but it’s okay because everyone else did poorly too, does that suffice? The idea that “it could be worse” or “we’re not alone” may be a satisfactory consolation after we have run the race, failed, but tried our best, but it is certainly not the attitude we should accept from our leaders before we even begin the marathon. With the size and gravity of the problems we are facing, that attitude simply does not give us a chance for success.

Big problems require big solutions, and big ideas, whether they be simple or complex in design. While it is true that history repeats itself, and that certain fundamental principals are timeless, it is also true that new challenges require new thinking, not necessarily young thinking, or new individuals, but new thinking. The difficulty is that more often than not, it is hard to bend an old tree or teach an old dog new tricks, and that is why the decision in environments where there is a ‘must win’ mentality is that it’s more efficient to just cut bait and start with a new line.

The argument does exist that a ‘seasoned’ individual with the ability to react quickly to change and think in new ways would be an ideal selection to lead anywhere in the world, but in the absence of that the sensible decision must be that it requires different inputs to get a different output. Whether it be industry or politics, The Bahamas would certainly stand a significantly better chance of battling these new world challenges if there were new, competent, innovative minds in positions of leadership within our country.

By: Wayne Wilson

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