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Small island, but not small minded

Small island, but not small minded

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I count it a privilege and honour to be afforded the opportunity to extend Anniversary Greetings on this important milestone of our nationhood.

Twenty-five years of national independence is cause for celebration and reflection.{{more}}

Though a tiny dot on the world map, we should not allow our size or geography to adversely impede our progress. We should never think that small refers to insignificance or inability. Rather, we should shake off any stigmas that are associated with our size and arm ourselves to face the competitiveness of the global market place.

Solomon, in the Proverbs, concisely but cogently shows how small and ordinary creatures can demonstrate extra-ordinary ability:

“Four things are small on the earth.

But they are exceedingly wise:

The ants are not strong folk,

But they prepare their food in the summer;

The conies are not mighty folk,

Yet they make their houses in the rocks;

The locusts have no King,

Yet all of them go out in rank;

The lizard you may grasp with the hands,

Yet it is in King’s palaces.” (30: 24-28)

These tiny pedagogues model several valuable messages:

Industry

Without some high-ranking authority to drive them on, without great strength, the ants nevertheless work, work, work. They get the essentials done first. They work ahead of time so they can relax later. What more vital lessons can we learn from the ants?

It is high time for us as a nation to heed the clarion call to increase productivity. If we are going to survive in this global economy, we must be prepared to work harder and longer hours. May this independence bring us to a new deeper appreciation of the value of work and challenge us to adopt a new set of work ethics.

Resilience

The cony is a small fierce nocturnal prowler that is extremely rugged, resilient and independent. It can whip creatures up to four times its size. Like this tiny animal, our ability and determination to excel and to achieve what we want, our courage and resilience in the face of hardship and disaster have kept us over the years. I am optimistic about our future, in spite of the ominous threats to the mainstay of our economy, because I believe in the innate capabilities of our people to bounce back even after a setback.

Unity

The gregarious swarm of locust can wreak havoc on endless miles of crops. Similarly, our strength is in teamwork, unity. We must, therefore, commit ourselves to deepen and strengthen the bonds of understanding, cooperation and partnership between the government and opposition on one hand and our nationals at home and abroad on the other.

We must recognize and appreciate the contribution of those in the Diaspora to the local economy through remittances and charitable initiatives. We must treat them as Vincentians “Far from home but close to heart.” Those at home must be given every incentive to invest whatever resource they possess in order to build this nation. On this our 25th anniversary, let us remember that we have a beautiful land to build – let’s do it together.

Adaptability

The lizard is a master of disguises. It can blend so perfectly with its background. Operation Camouflage is the secret of its survival. Our ability to change in these changing times is indispensable to our economic survival. To remain viable and competitive, we must be willing to modernize our methods of operation; tailor our bureaucracy to become more user friendly to facilitate swifter implementation of projects. The unremitting advance of globalization which is intensifying the competitiveness of our international market place makes this call even more urgent. It is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be as a nation by remaining what we are.

I want however to caution and admonish all not to deviate from our backbone Christian values that have made us strong and has ennobled our civilization.

The Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies, St. Vincent and the Grenadines District, salutes this nation on its Silver Anniversary of Independence.



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