A more accepting society—accepting both difference and damage —with more diverse opportunity for all , and more productive risk-taking , in which we each are more personally responsible , more efficient, and less wasteful .
- We, as Trinbagonians, do a fantastic job of being an ‘inter-cultural’ society—long since surpassing notions of mere ‘multi-culture’, which the rest of the world today has been taking timid steps toward. That said, we sometimes are overly disdainful of the differences between us (as individuals). These aren’t simply the superficial ethnic differences, but rather we can at times be antagonists of the habits of others, their styles, their Life choices, and their preferences. Truthfully, it’s not necessary to like them. It’s not possible, in fact, to ‘like’ every action, habit, and choice of every single person. We are within our rights to even personally judge their activities as foolish or disgusting and express as much. We can discuss, contemplate, debate, and persuade. We cannot, however, resort to force. It is immoral to initiate force, as described by Ayn Rand. (Attempting to make the Life choices of others illegal is equal to a use of force.) It’s not our place to forcefully prevent other persons from seeking out their own means of happiness so long as the persons aren’t causing harm to others by so doing (or else they would themselves be ‘initiating force’). All of that said, preferrably we still make attempts to understand their points of view. Why? We may find our own shadows reside there, in the things we at first found ‘disgusting’. We may come to realise they aren’t so ‘foolish’ afterall, if we take the time to understand their full contexts. Their experiences and perspectives aren’t our own and we rob ourselves of new points of view by shutting their concerns out.
- Further to the above, it might be the case that a society more accepting of the choices and strategies of others, necessarily opens itself up to many more avenues for overall prosperity and wealth. ‘Diversification’ (of the economy) isn’t a magical concept we need to rely on the gover’ment to grant to us, but instead comes from a diverse collection of minds, free to think their diverse thoughts and plans. (Sex and ethnicity are irrelevant. Real ‘diversity’ is the diversity of our minds. We must be free to think, and—assuming we want to thrive—we must allow others to be free to think.)
- Perhaps a legacy effect of being a sugar colony, today Trinbagonians are generally risk-averse. (According to Terrence Farrell and other Caribbean economists, we tend to share this collective attitude with Bajans, however Jamaicans seem to be the opposite.) As individuals, we must allow ourselves the freedom to dream more, and then take the steps toward planning and executing those dreams. That is the attitude of innovation. Further to that point, if we see our peers try hard and fail, we must not belittle them for failing—Others must be free to think!
- Every freedom necessarily includes its corresponding obligation; Every ‘right’ consists the responsibility of using that right properly. The only way to negate one’s responsibility is to negate one’s freedom to act. The parent of a young child may take away some of that child’s freedom of movement, for example, until the child has proven responsible enough to move safely and to not cause trouble. We need to accept that if we wish to be ‘big people’—free individuals, free to seek big rewards—that we can fail. Accepting the risks of our failures means we are prepared to deal with any consequences ourselves, and therefore not allow our failures to become the burdens of others. We are ‘personally responsible’ for our decisions.
- We live on small islands on a finite planet. We have limited resources at our disposal, from which every other plant and animal also hopes to live. Being efficient is but one more aspect of personal responsibility. We take steps to minimise our harm to others (our pollution) and minimise our waste. We therefore both save our own resources (including time and money), as well as allowing more resources to be available for the use of others, ourselves in the future, and our children. As paraphrased from Wendell Berry, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; We borrow it from our children.”