Resolve to show unity

Have you made your New Year resolutions yet or are you still refining them? And, if so, how many have you broken so far? Are you planning to recycle any of your goals and dreams? And, do you plan to deliberately include something that appears impossible?

As for me, I don’t do that anymore. My ritual is simply to add or subtract from my board of directors — those persons whose principles now direct the things I do daily.

Randy Brathwaite, an attorney at law, will be sworn in as the fifth president of the Council of Barbadian Organisation during a church service, on January 6 at St. Gabriel’s Church. His big dreams are unity within the Barbadian community in New York.

Interestingly, Junior Perry, who Brathwaite has replaced as president, had a similar dream. His wish was that Barbadians became a community and spoke with one voice. Another Barbadian, Barbara Greaves, who works with a charter school in New Jersey, also expressed a wish for unity and believed that the first step was a willingness to respect our own and suggested that the general response of Barbadians to Rihanna was not in our best interest.

Maybe, there is a trend emerging?

At the farewell of Selwyn Hart, former senior diplomat to the United Nations, several of his Caribbean colleagues praised him and called him a Caribbean person, rather than simply Barbadian. And as the Jamaican ambassador clearly stated, when we are not unified, we get picked off.

Though expression of unity was significant, it was Hart’s comments about the things that have influenced and made him successful that prompted at least three people to call me and comment on Hart’s world view.

Two of the callers liked Hart’s point about “remembering where you come from” and staying close with your family.

As I re-read Hart’s world view — what it is to be Bajan — I had heard something similar somewhere. Then I remembered the feature speaker at the Young Barbadians Professionals Society Entrepreneurs Luncheon. Speaker Adrian Gill is the founder and CEO of ADHOC Industries.

Like Hart, Gill alluded to a time line and the turning points of his life. Nowhere did he mention New Year resolutions but he did have a resolve.

Listen to the guiding principles he shared with the audience: * Take opportunities. * Recognise small things. * Remember where you came from. * Keep family close. Trust is hard to find. * Be comfortable talking about oneself and your accomplishment. * Be passionate about your ideas. * Build Teams. * Develop a Global perspective. * Focus on creating and design. * Be prepared to be alone when making decisions. * Be open. Take advantage of the opportunity however small or insignificant. * Entrepreneurship requires persistence.

It may be a simple coincidence that the principles of two young successful Barbadians converge and overlap. Both of them have worked overseas, both of them see family and a global perspective as important but both of them are close to their mothers. Indeed Gill still works on his mother chicken business in St. George.

Ultimately, it does matter when we set goals or dream dreams as long as we establish them. What is critical, are the steps we make, and the examples we use, in order to complete the journey. Specifically, what are the things which the Diaspora can do that would make unity, the dream of Randy Brathwaite, come true.

Just maybe, Hart and Gill have provided the answer: remember where you come from and the opportunity it gave you.

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