#BTEditorial – When human imperfection is not an acceptable excuse

Human beings, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart reminded visitors and other guests attending a reception at his Ilaro Court official residence this week, are yet to reach the lofty “standards of angels”. The statement was a roundabout way of saying we are all prone to making mistakes because this inherent flaw in our make up makes perfection elusive.

Perhaps if Mr Stuart were still active as a Pentecostal preacher, as he was during his youth, he probably would have chosen the 25th verse of the third chapter of St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans as the basis of his sermon. It reads: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  What is comforting, however, is that God makes provision for when we fall short. Once we humbly admit our shortcomings, He is forever ready to offer us forgiveness once we ask for it.

Mr Stuart’s comments came against the backdrop of increasingly harsh criticism of his Government over its handling of the south coast sewage crisis. Foul-smelling effluent has been oozing out of sewer pipes intermittently over the past several months and flowing on to the streets of the busy tourist district, much to the annoyance of residents, businesses and passersby.

The failure of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to fix the problem resulted this week in the governments of three countries which together supply most of the visitors to our shores, issuing back-to-back travel advisories within the space of three days. Though Mr Stuart reportedly made no mention of the issue, the comments can be interpreted as his response to the public health warnings issued by Canada, the United States and United Kingdom to their citizens travelling to Barbados.

When one falls short of any standard — and perfection is not the issue here — the right and proper thing to do, depending on the gravity of the mistake, is to offer an apology to the aggrieved stakeholders and commit to making amends.

“I am sorry” is one of the most powerful phrases in human interaction.  Except for the apology issued by BWA General Manager Keith Halliday, none other has been forthcoming, to the best of our knowledge, especially from our accountable elected representatives who have responsibility for Government decision making.

Indeed, Government’s handling of the entire issue has been characterized by saying little or outright silence. This lack of clear communication and now the absence of a sincere apology, can easily be interpreted as a sign of arrogance, indifference and insensitivity – accusations which have previously been directed at Mr Stuart and his administration. While the Supreme Being does not expect us to be achieve perfection, at least not in our present human form, He expects nevertheless that it is a goal we should strive towards relying on the abundance of His Grace. As Matthew 5:48 states: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect.”

By failing to offer an apology to our paying guests, for whom his Government has a responsibility to ensure their comfort and safety in the same way as residents, Mr Stuart missed an important opportunity to repair the major international damage to the reputation of our destination and to at least get positive word out in the marketplace that Barbados is mindful of its responsibility.

Imagine if guests who attended the reception were asked by friends or work colleagues on return home what assurances they were given that the matter was being addressed to help them make up their minds as to whether they too should proceed with plans to visit Barbados, perhaps the response will be: “The prime minister only told us Barbadians are not perfect.” Such a response is insufficient to calm the anxieties of any prospective visitor with genuine public health and safety concerns.

When visitors choose to come to a destination, they are not looking for perfection because they know that state does not exist. They come, however, with the legitimate expectation that a certain standard of service will be provided, in the same way that any customer expects of a place with which he/she is doing business. The fact that we are not perfect is not the issue; the issue is that our foreign guests and Barbadians have had for too long to contend with smelly sewage which is not a standard of living to which we are accustomed.

Instead of settling for mediocrity, which seems to be infiltrating many aspects of national life, it is better for us to focus again at all levels on attaining and maintaining high standards of excellence as close as possible to perfection, rather than settle for anything less. To blame human imperfection in this particular case is therefore not acceptable.

38 Responses to #BTEditorial – When human imperfection is not an acceptable excuse

  1. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow January 13, 2018 at 2:13 am

    there seems to be a disconnect somewhere

    Reply
  2. Skilnic Skyy
    Skilnic Skyy January 13, 2018 at 3:21 am

    How come he read all these books, know the longest words but still can’t communicate to the ppl effectively….problem is that he too arrogant & condescending

    Reply
    • John Nicholls
      John Nicholls January 13, 2018 at 3:55 am

      Key words in this piece are arrogance indifference and insensitivity.

      Reply
    • Shaka Mayers
      Shaka Mayers January 13, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      EXTREMELY condescending.

      Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete January 13, 2018 at 1:37 pm
      Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete January 13, 2018 at 1:37 pm

      Ring that bell!!!!!

      Reply
    • Claire Battershield
      Claire Battershield January 13, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      Such is the plight of those who would rather forget from whence they came. Those that suffer from NeverThought , according to my Grenadian friend.

      Reply
  3. John Nicholls
    John Nicholls January 13, 2018 at 3:50 am

    While we’re not perfect we should all aim for high standards of excellence and not settle for mediocrity.

    Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete January 13, 2018 at 1:26 pm

      Which will be seeing this present gang of politicians gone! That will be the start of the road to excellence.

      Reply
    • Claire Battershield
      Claire Battershield January 13, 2018 at 3:52 pm

      To whom much is given much is required also.

      Reply
  4. Tony Webster January 13, 2018 at 5:34 am

    Amen.

    Reply
  5. Sean Gibbs
    Sean Gibbs January 13, 2018 at 5:57 am

    I have said it before and I will say it again.. Ninja man is better suited to run this country than these clowns. Bunch of idiots the lot of them.

    Reply
    • Alicia G. Burton
      Alicia G. Burton January 13, 2018 at 7:52 am

      Thank you, i posted a similar thing on my timeline last year.

      Reply
    • Ali Baba
      Ali Baba January 13, 2018 at 8:42 am

      i 2nd that

      Reply
    • Ryan Bayne
      Ryan Bayne January 13, 2018 at 8:43 am

      Sean Gibbs, even Sir Ruel said that in his song, “Not My Vote” last year and they banned him for it.

      Reply
    • L.Allan Wilkie
      L.Allan Wilkie January 13, 2018 at 10:16 am

      DEM know it. The court would not give Ninja bail.

      Reply
  6. Martine Boyer
    Martine Boyer January 13, 2018 at 7:04 am

    Anyone who doesn’t meet the minimum expectations at their job gets fired. People don’t expect perfection, just a government who gets the job done, not excuses.

    Reply
  7. Nadia Pandor Figurado
    Nadia Pandor Figurado January 13, 2018 at 8:14 am

    My dear PM, can you please put in place a committee to check on parliamentarians when they are not acting in the capacity of my peoples? Just asking.

    Reply
    • Ali Baba
      Ali Baba January 13, 2018 at 9:59 am

      WITH 4 MONTHS TO GO NADIA BEFORE ELECTION? I JUST WANNA HEAR DE BELL

      Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete January 13, 2018 at 1:27 pm
      Reply
    • Ali Baba
      Ali Baba January 13, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      Gillian Skeete thank u ma dear, thats it!!

      Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete January 13, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      Ali Baba you are most welcome. We need ALL the bells ringing about here now

      Reply
  8. DE January 13, 2018 at 8:15 am

    What more you all expect to her from the leader of government. The man do not not socialize with the people of Barbados unless you are recognize by the outside world. The man just do not care about what is happening to the country or the people of the country. With all that is going on in the country, the leader of government can still hold big part at Ilaro Court for returned visitors, fly out of the country as he like and when he speaks, use a lot of big words that mean very little and far from the issues. You don’t think that he is unstable.

    Reply
  9. Claire Battershield
    Claire Battershield January 13, 2018 at 9:15 am

    None of us are perfect but we ought to do the best we can when and where ever we can. We need to stop looking for excuses.

    Reply
  10. Michael Turton
    Michael Turton January 13, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Hopefully we will be rid of this incompetence soon….

    Reply
  11. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce January 13, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Release Contone!

    Reply
  12. Randolph January 13, 2018 at 11:00 am

    How people can support this man is beyond me.

    Reply
  13. Belfast January 13, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Now we begin to understand why this man has been bestowed with a more than ample hooter……….It makes it that much easier for him to look down it at the very people who put him there.

    Reply
  14. Belfast January 13, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    As Minister in Charge of Town Planning, I wonder what poetic and classical words of rebuke did he offer to the man who blatantly ignored him, as we have been reminded of in today’s Nation, and carried on with his unauthorised building project.
    A raging lion when it comes to dealing with black belly sheep, but when a white rabbit turns up, its a horse fo a different colour.

    Reply
  15. Melissa January 13, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    I go in barbados for last 5 years in december and this year my husband and my we have been sick and im not shure for the next years if i go.I love ❤️barbados but i dont want to be sick on my vacanction again !

    Reply
  16. Jus me January 13, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    All you people looking at an election, as Savior of the Nation ,
    You foolish, like a terminally sick body ,looking to the grave as a cure.

    Dem Black, Dem crooked, name B or name he D.
    You so sick in yuh head.
    Election.
    Better call it an Erection, yuh gonna get fuped,
    Anyways.

    Reply
    • Jennifer January 15, 2018 at 7:48 am

      I am liking your commentaries.

      Reply
  17. eddy murray January 13, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    You all have not realize yet that this PM and his legislators, all they do is play the blame game for all their short comings. The world is in a recession, so thing hard, pot holes in the road all the other countries have pot holes too, And now “you all are here because you all countries are not perfect”.

    Reply
  18. Tony Webster January 14, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    @Belfast: love it but please Sir, I do not recall giving you permission to use my I.P. rights to mix metaphors. Guess that’s how de cou-cou-crumbles.

    Reply
  19. Dave January 17, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    We will be visiting your beautiful country next month. We live in New Hampshire in the U.S. and are very concerned about the septic issue, and your governments lack of response. If we were able to cancel our vacation and go elsewhere we would have. I can tell you though, many of our friends who were planning to go to Barbados have changed their plans due to this very unpleasant problem.

    Reply
  20. Helicopter(8P) January 19, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Nadia that’s where ethics comes into play..Barbados need to be Omni spirited and inclusive in ideal and ideas. I see some selfness attitudes among nationals at times but not totally at large. An all inclusive Barbados is The Motto “Pride and Industry” that’s when all cylinders are firing on the good ship “Barbados”!

    Reply

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