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The road ahead for Bermuda

Challenges ahead: our beautiful island home must address social and economic issues if it is to move forward

Observing the ocean on a calm day with drifting white clouds slowly moving across a rich blue sky would give the impression that, at least for the moment, all is well, and that everything is in order on this beautiful island home we call Bermuda.

However, we know that beneath the waters there are many events taking place between species vying for survival, where nature rules as it has done since the beginning of time.

Looking at our Bermuda today, and all its natural beauty, which continues to attract visitors from many countries, it is hard to imagine that beneath our social and political waters there are groups also vying for survival in the midst of conflicting viewpoints over the direction the island should be taking to make further economic and social progress.

Bermuda could have a bright future despite a wide range of problems, such as increasing the job market to open doors for more Bermudians, engaging in building our economic infrastructure, finding ways to reduce friction between employers and employees with closer coordination with unions.

We need to ensure our seniors are receiving proper attention during their sunset years, we must tackle the deeply troubling issue of illegal drugs in our society, along with trying to get our motoring public to be more safety conscious every time they ride or drive on our narrow roads.

Even though these are not all of our problems, they are issues that require every single Bermudian to be involved in, in some way, if there is to be meaningful progress. It will not be accomplished overnight.

At the moment, confrontation seems to take centre stage during exchanges between those in favour or opposed to a particular scheme, and objectives are not always clear.

A key question is what sort of Bermuda do we really want? Most Bermudians want fairness and transparency from our leaders, no matter how complex an issue may be. That means coming clean on facts concerning any major project including moves to build a new airport.

This is not to say Government has not attempted to keep the public abreast of developments. However, if there is a perception within sections of the public that the project is not as transparent as it should be, then it could mean better public relations is required.

That is always challenging with any Government. On the other hand, in most democratic jurisdictions the political party in the role of opposition has little mercy in being critical on an issue should they feel it would show weakness in the Government’s management of the people’s business. After all, the party out of power is always seeking to regain control.

The electorate usually accepts that reality as a part of democracy.

The road ahead for Bermuda is truly challenging, but the problems are not insurmountable if we clear our minds of divisive postures that create an invisible fence between better understanding and a willingness to work closer together.

With our schools getting back into high gear after a summer break, we can only hope students will not only have what they require for their studies, but that every student will get the support they need at home and at school.

Reports of some students starting school without a proper meal is not a headline story, but those children are faced with an extra problem apart from academic challenges. We must do better.

The road ahead for Bermuda will not mean every problem will be solved to the satisfaction of all.

However, the road ahead will only be better when every section of our community life is committed to building instead of tearing down.

Bermuda already has a success story, but we really need to work harder to see that our success continues.