Power of you in the now
Readers, The Dawn of New Beginnings: Book One of the Bermuda Islander Financial Planning Series is available under the menu bar BUSINESS/ Bermuda Islander. Step 9: Employee Benefits will be posted on Monday, December 21. Be sure to use the link https://www.royalgazette.com/bermuda-islander/ as searching Google links for Bermuda Islander leads to Bermuda shipping news.
Christmas upcoming is like no other holiday that we’ve experienced in living memory – except perhaps, some of our esteemed oldsters still in the mix.
I’ve thought long and hard this holiday season about what could be appropriate for today’s Moneywise article. Certainly, no one is going to want to hear about another budget, living simply, cost cutting, etc.
Heck, there is no budget for so many in our community, families are struggling just to put food on the table. Finance is the last thing they want to hear about, since that topic, along with the family health, is the overwhelming worry now.
Our Bermuda Government is facing another challenge to maintain our economy, that will in turn stabilise everyone’s lifestyles. Certainly, another true test of survival of the fittest.
Bermuda and its people have survived hundreds of hard times before, we know that, or we would not be here. So, let’s explore a bit of what our history means. I admit that I knew so little about our past, it is shameful and highly ironic to learn that the ship Martha brought 60 settlers to Bermuda in the 1600s.
We’ll assume everyone knows how Bermuda was initially settled. But, what happened afterwards. How did they survive?
The aftermath of the wreck of the Sea Venture and subsequent rebuilding of ships for life sustenance deliverance to Jamestown, left Bermuda and its first few inhabitants with their own challenges.
The first, to maintain self-subsistence, the second, to build a community, and the third to prosper as a country.
Freemen and slaves created an extraordinary farming industry. Entire arable land plots, according to narratives researched from the time, was allocated to create a highly desirable tobacco product; then shipped to the British and other Atlantic markets under the auspices of the Somers Isle Company who owned the ships, and garnered a large share of the profits.
This was not to last. Soil depletion and severe competition from the Americas depressed prices and quality.
Bermuda settlers, anticipating such changes, diversified into additional agriculture, and with needing more control of their own products, shipping and destiny, after a four-year court battle dismantled the company in order to become in the future distance, a British colony.
The building of ships and the commerce derived from them then became the largest industry yet on our tiny island for more than 100 years. Thousands of Bermudians also shipped out to other shores to start new island communities.
Faced again with maritime industrial shipbuilding competition from larger, more resource-filled nations, Bermuda continued to adapt throughout the 18th century, becoming masters at intercontinental marine trade in numerous capacities.
The advent of tourism, in the 1900s, changed our horizons again, successfully, for most of our oldster’s adult life; then, international business, promoted by innovative Bermuda islanders and global business leaders has graced our shores ever since.
Bermuda’s history is replete with innovation and adaptational commerce for survival. Space constraints here can barely touch on a few outstanding items, but read into our history yourselves for many more examples of sheer grit, and determination to create an independent self-sufficient country.
What does all this history have to do with you right now? How many of us, as schoolchildren, viewed history with total boredom?
What did we know then or care about the world around us?
History has such a definitive quality. It helps us:
• Understand ourselves
• To know our relationships with others
• To make better decisions by delineating what our ancestors had to do to survive
• To develop a better understanding of the world in which we exist.
“You can’t build a framework on which to base your life without understanding how things work in the world. History paints us a detailed picture of how society, technology, and government worked way back when so that we can better understand how it works now. It also helps us determine how to approach the future, as it allows us to learn from our past mistakes (and triumphs) as a society.” – Arcadia Publishing Blog, June 2016
History helps you (and us) to understand that we, and our community do have the power to pick up, carry on and resume living life.
Will it be the same as before?
No, but life is never the same as we want it to be.
We will continue to have challenges and meet them head on.
We will survive by focusing on what we can do now – not last year, or next year, but now – to move ourselves and our community forward and upward.
Do yourself a great favour during any leisure time this holiday season.
Learn more about your (and our) heritage as Bermuda Islanders.
Bermuda online, under the meticulous research of Keith Forbes, Editor, Author, has a wonderful, highly detailed section on the history of our ancestors and island.
In the Eye of All Trade: Bermuda, Bermudians, and the Maritime Atlantic World, 1680-1783, Michael J Jarvis
Heritage Matters: Essays on the History of Bermuda
Dr. Edward Harris, Retired Director Emeritus, the National Museum of Bermuda
Both publications, wonderful detailed historical narrative of every day life, commerce, and our amazing maritime technological heritage
And numerous other Bermuda history publications availablehttps://nmb.bm/shop/
Why It’s Important That We Study History. https://tinyurl.com/y5ogznr8
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
•. Author Martha Harris Myron, CPA JSM, a native Bermudian, is author of The Bermuda Islander Fundamental Financial Planning Primers: Books 1-8 with all specifically focused on Bermuda financial and economic matters, international financial consultant to the Olderhood Group Ltd Bermuda, and financial columnist (since 2000) to The Royal Gazette, Bermuda. All proceeds from these articles are donated by The Royal Gazette to the Salvation Army, Bermuda.