Celebrating a Small Country With a Big Vision for its Future
By Angelika Christie
Jul 13, 2012 - 2:24:30 AM
A Call For Greatness Through Inspired Innovation
I feel honoured having been asked to write an article for a special issue
in the magazine "The ABC's of Business" (Who is Who in Business in the
Bahamas) I have posted it here for your reading pleasure. Comments are
welcome and appreciated.
I have been given a
set of questions, which you see in bold, and simply share my thoughts
and feelings. I have no expertise in any of the areas I speak about; my
thoughts come from my heart and observing mind.
Today on the date of July 10th The Bahamas celebrates its 39th Birthday of an independent country.
The highest value of Independence lies in the gift of free choice and self-determination. I believe that it is not just the absence of dictatorship or slavery that elevates Democracy to the desired form of government, but what the people who have achieved this state of self-rule actually do as a whole.
Are Bahamians an independent people?
Yes, they are by right and law. The question is how do people perceive their right to choose. I am not a politician, far from it. And I am not even a Bahamian Citizen. So you may not be slightly interested in my opinion about this topic. Although not a Citizen, but a permanent Resident of 34 years in your beautiful free country, I feel that I can bring another perspective. The observation as a woman who chose your country to make it her permanent home by finding my Soul mate and husband here and brought 2 beautiful children into this world. Our children were born right here in Freeport at the Rand Memorial Hospital.
This was 32 years ago. At that time, the independent Bahamas was only 7 years young. I felt totally safe and at home in the embrace of a young country, which may sound surprising. After all I come from the old world, a country with thousands of years of history, and a very traditional family background that can be traced back to over 1000 years. So you can imagine that I was met with more than concern at my decision to follow my heart and move away from perceived safety into a new world.
The Bahamas was a free country then, but I knew that the Bahamian people were free long before the political act.
Are we independent in the way we think?
The reason why I treasured the Bahamas and her people long before I met my husband here, is that my first trip to the Bahamian Islands took me to Andros. It was there that I fell in love with the Bahamas. I had never seen and experienced more genuine, kind and loving people who took me into their conversations as if I was already a close friend. I found great independent thinking and philosophy in even the less educated. I enjoyed conversations with fishermen whose emotional intelligence and a deep connection with nature were profound. They truly lived their life in freedom and self-sufficiency, and they honoured all life.
Before I left on my first visit there, my new friends felt like family, and I knew in my heart that I belonged. Only many years later did I find out that my husband’s father was a native of Andros.
You see, the freedom and self worth I experienced in the community of village people there, stood for the essence of what Bahamians basically still stand for.
Are we progressing as individuals and/or as a nation?
I think, the strong influence of the US changed some of the self-worth in Bahamians. Unfortunately so called progress is not always conducive to the overall well-being of the people, especially when it seduces them to act against high ethical standards in exchange for a quick fix.
It is easy to be seduced to carefree ways of living that having more money would promise.
The drug trafficking left deep scars on the belief system of especially younger Bahamians. There is no judgment here, just sadness for a misguided rather large group of young Bahamian people. Money cannot be put before education. It has never worked anywhere in the world. I believe that progress has to start with a good education and job training system.
Are we independent financially?
This is a difficult question. Financial independence is a great goal, but not easily achieved in today’s global economy. The Bahamas has so much to offer, most of which denote natural resources such as a pristine environment, which is unpolluted by heavy industrial enterprises. Tourism of course is a natural fit, but the cost factor for tourists to reach, and then fully enjoy our tropical islands is relatively high. This may not be the largest obstacle though. What the Bahamas has to compete with today are not only less expensive destination with similar beauty, but with safer and higher quality service. What I believe could become a first class destination, is not fully implemented in the Bahamas.
There are of course exceptions, but overall it is my observation, that the total dedication of creating a highly enjoyable and memorable experience for visitors has waned from what I experienced two or three decades ago. This is unfortunate; since the tourism industry is probably now the only strong financial sector after the banking industry was cut short by compliance regulations. The former tax haven for affluent foreigners has waned.
What could take its place? Why not take the natural resources and creatively develop manufacturing industries? I always thought that due to the countless supply of sand, glass factories and production of goods made from biological resources would be such a natural fit. Of course the Bahamas could also be a great resource for renewable energy through solar, wind and ocean current. Those industries could be developed on a large scale for the financial benefit and independence for Bahamians. To see what is already here and recycle it into new and innovative products could be a vision put into action for the entrepreneurial Bahamian spirit.
Are we progressing as individuals and as a nation?
In my view, revamping and resourcing the educational system is the first important step to progress. There are too many young people without higher education, and therefore the opportunity to create a meaningful and prosperous life. Reading, the command of the English language, and a higher degree of education in math and science are paramount to compete in today’s world markets, as well as creating enterprises here at home. Any environmentally sound industry could also employ thousands of people of various trainings and crafts. This alone would cut crime to a fraction of where it is at the moment.
Coming back to my beloved Andros Island, I still don’t understand why the large areas of rich, fertile soil are not utilized as the “bread basket” for the Bahamas. Almost every produce could be grown and harvested there for the benefit of feeding the people and export any extra to other countries. This may sound naive, but this is what I feel could be accomplished with careful planning and smart execution.
The Bahamas could also become a wellness destination. The island of Grand Bahama is a perfect example of a sleeping giant with endless possibilities. Well-designed infrastructure together with endless beaches and vacant land could become a paradise for wellness centers and ecologic living. In the age of baby boomers retiring in the US at a rate of ten thousand each day, this is an opportunity that simply stares at you, asking: “what are you waiting for?” and “ If not now, when?”
Are we empowered through ownership?
Ownership for Bahamians seems so natural, and again, I believe that the only obstacle here is a lack of innovation and entrepreneurial know-how. I know that empowerment comes from self-reliance and autonomy. All of us have a creative spirit, waiting to be realized and unleashed, if we can dream and visualize what we want to achieve. This is as much a reality for Bahamians as for every human being.
Even the smallest success brings energy, triumph and empowerment. The government plays an important role here, but the people need to claim it.
At the end of this year, we enter the Age of Aquarius. It is also the end of a 26 thousand year earth cycle and the beginning of a new World Age. Indigenous people from all over the world from ancient civilizations have left clues about what to expect. All of us feel and see that old unsustainable systems are crumbling and need to be replaced by a new understanding of oneness and a higher consciousness of our interconnected lives.
While many people are afraid of what may happen, this new beginning of a new cycle, which happens on December 22nd 2012 creates a powerful window of opportunity for our collective emergence toward our greatest potential. The Bahamas could be a shining example of what unity, love for each other and their beautiful country can bring into manifestation. It is a choice that all Bahamians will need to make. And I do not exclude myself from this; after all this is my permanent home that I love with all of my heart and soul. Together we can transform negative behavior into awareness and reform, disenchantment into hope and belief in each other, and fear and anxiety into freedom and certainty about the goal and chosen path ahead. It takes leadership from the private sector, the government and the elected representatives of the people. But most of all, it takes an awakening amongst the people, a collective desire to create the best place on earth for a happy, healthy and prosperous life.
Is it achievable? I am sure it is. The desire of the people to cooperate and be accountable for living with honesty, integrity and community with each other for the greatest good of the whole is a requirement.
Bahamas and Bahamian people, you are the power to create and demonstrate the highest aspect of who you really are: One people under God. I know you to be kind, generous, creative, determined, loving and trusting in yourselves. When you can demonstrate your will to do what it takes to create true happiness and well being for everybody, you can achieve anything. You will truly manifest a destiny of unlimited possibilities.
I envision this with my heart and soul.
Happy 39th Birthday, Bahamas!
About the Author:
Angelika is a native German who moved to
the Bahamas in 1979, and still lives in Freeport, Bahamas with her
husband. She is a mother of 5 grown children and 8 grand children.
There, her spiritual journey began through personal inquiry, and a deep
connection with Nature. She is a Naturopath, Hypnotherapist, Reiki
Master Teacher, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Writer, Speaker, and
Life-Transformation Coach. Angelika is an Expert in Evolutionary
Spiritual Transformation. She is the Author of the book: “Your
Intelligent Cell” Intrinsic Relationship with your Body, and co-authored
two other Best Sellers: “WIN” Winning Strategies from Today’s Leading
Entrepreneurs” and “Women Living Consciously.” Angelika is known as
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