(Basil Springer) – “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” – Ephesians 3:20
In a column I penned just under a year ago, entitled “CARIBBEAN SUSTAINABILITY“, I posed the question, “When are we going to open the Caribbean parachute?”
Since then, our communities and those of other small island developing states (SIDS) and coastal communities have been further smitten (directly and indirectly) by a global pandemic, racial inequality protests, and pockets of decaying morality in global leadership. These negatively impact the sustainability of SIDS, with no idea when these issues get resolved. SIDS ships “have sprung a leak” and are steadily sinking.
If we are to stabilize the sinking ships, we must diligently repair the leaks by developing a multi-faceted strategy which collectively focuses on spirituality, politics, economics, people, and the physical environment.
Spirituality – we human beings on Earth are in this together. And that is notwithstanding our multicultural, multiethnic, multireligious, multi culinary, multigenre (musical) and multilingual diversity. We are all sentient and spiritual beings attempting to master a human experience. We are intrinsically born equal, but greed and power have historically divided us. We shall all benefit by pursuing the goals of love, peace, and harmony.
Politics – the political systems which govern the nations of this world span a left-wing to right-wing spectrum. The left-wing focus on freedom, equality, fraternity, human rights, progress, reform, and internationalism. The right-wing emphasis on authority, hierarchy, order, duty, tradition, and nationalism. The challenge is to move towards moral people-centered global leadership, which would engender equality, dissipate corruption, protect the vulnerable, and ultimately nurture a win-win situation.
Economics – how do we mobilize the essential elements of economic growth – capital, the workforce, entrepreneurship, and technology?
The current economic climate has resulted in massive borrowing for which our grandchildren will get a burdened to repay. Why not be imaginative and create government incentives to mobilize and protect the massive private sector savings from getting the economy going again – a win-win situation?
We need to match workforce demand with workforce supply to increase productivity.
Let entrepreneurship fly with the innovative Shepherding model, instead of letting it wallow in the mud of traditional systems with a global 90 percent startup failure rate in the first five years. Incidentally, globally, less than four percent of all children die before reaching the age of five. That we can say is a credit to the maturity of the public health systems. We need an entrepreneurship preventive health care system.
STEM is an acronym for the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Why not support STEM-related programs’ initiatives because too few college students are pursuing degrees in these fields.
People – we must be more diligent in following the hygiene, mask, and distancing public health COVID-19 protocols, especially now that borders are being reopened. Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization, which influence future human behavior.
Climate change – we need to continually look at means of reversing the impact of climate change, which spawns drought, flooding, and hurricanes. The drive to replace fossil fuels by renewables must be accelerated.
Finally, the United Nations Charter, which is 75 years old, sets out the following purposes: maintaining worldwide peace and security, developing relations among nations, fostering cooperation between countries to solve economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian international problems. These are more relevant than ever today for SIDS to survive and thrive.