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We must ‘come up higher’ as a country

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I still feel like the little girl who walked up and down Chauncey Village 32 years ago. I had big dreams then, but I had no clue how to accomplish them. My recent trip back home to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has given me a definiteness of purpose and a clarity for my life that is stronger than ever before. It’s one I want to share as I observe so many promising young people who are simply looking for an outlet. I see adults who feel they have missed their time, but as long as you have breath it’s not too late. We all know that the American dream is long dead, so it’s time we begin to create an atmosphere that encourages people to dream their own Caribbean dream and rally around them to make those dreams possible.

I see us hampered, not by limited resources, but by limited thinking that permeates the air and stifles the hopes of those who dare to raise their head above the noise and distractions that kill dreams and hold us back from a full life. This is especially true if it means stepping out and doing anything different. I see generations stuck in the same destructive behaviours that obliterate families. I see men lost in a sea of depression, alcoholism and misplaced sexual energy, as they try to find meaning for their lives. I see women suffocating under the weight of trying to be a superwoman. These ills affect my family, too, the same way it does yours, but I want better. We must come up higher.

All hope is not lost – we need to look up. Change for our better tomorrow starts with our thinking. It does not start with a politician, a political party, a preacher or a teacher. It starts with you deciding daily that you want better. It starts with you behaving like you want better, not just for yourself and your family, but for the neighbour’s children and the man next door. It starts with you opening your mouth and speaking life daily into the lives of those around you. It starts with you responding with a kind word to the neighbour you still don’t like. It starts with you deciding to smile instead of wearing that frown on your face like a uniform to protect you. It starts with you refusing to gossip and starting to think good things of others. It starts with you giving people a chance. For some of you it might be too late; negativity is deep within your bones and that’s all you know and want. But I believe there are many secret pockets of Vincentians who are ready and willing to step out from the shadows and naysayers and create a different future.

This trip home has inspired me to write a new series of articles that will challenge us to come up higher in our thinking and the way we see our sweet SVG. For those of you who have followed my weekly column in Searchlight titled “Vincy Workplace” over the last 15 years, join me as we look for ways we can truly come up higher. Together let’s be better, do better and let’s #comeuphigher.

Karen Hinds is an author, consultant and CEO of Workplace Success Group LLC, a consulting firm that helps organizations develop the next generation of leaders. www.workplacesuccess.com Social Media: @KarenHindsWSG

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