Wednesday, April 24, 2024

EDITORIAL: What does excellence mean to us?

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I, was never, in the true sense, a critic; never an Enlightening judge of excellence.– Max Beerbohm.
MAYBE, it is because of the worrying recession, but at every turn there is talk of the need for excellence in our country; of the need for service which should not be confused with servitude; and that mediocrity has no place.
We claim to understand that our very existence and future growth is fully intertwined with our ability to nurture a service economy, if we are to be competitive. Our main reason for this direction must be on account of the need to diversify our offerings to visiting tourists other than the old sun, sea and sand slogan.
If we are to achieve and maintain standards in everything we do, we need the courage and conviction of our objectives. We need the courage to set and maintain standards rather than bow to cowards and compromise in an effort to satisfy the madding crowd.
To give way to thoughtless sentiments is easy. To discard ideals is simple. To uphold right is often painful. Yet we must decide the path we must follow and hold fast to the required standards. How, on reflection, could we have lowered the standards of entry for the local constabulary? How could we have made an accommodation of an extra year to enable persons not deemed qualified for entry to our university  to secure admission, albeit with the requirement of satisfying entry demands in that year.
For at least two decades, we have been made to believe that Public Sector Reform would have taken the country to higher heights. Many of us, if not all of us, are not impressed with progress to date.
On a daily basis we hear of treatment of taxpayers which speaks of poor attitudes, hostile reception and inadequate service.
A telling blow was struck recently when the chairman and CEO of Automotive Art group of companies Dereck Field  chided his colleagues in Corporate Barbados for  being overly dependent on Government and idle as far as creativity and new ideas were concerned. He questioned the issues which seemed to occupy the priority attention of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
We know that the country stands accused of a cumbersome bureaucracy. We know that this destination is categorised as being expensive and that it takes far too long to start up business. What have we done about these issues? Our seeming lethargy may be born of prudence which has enabled us to maintain a country free of widespread corruption. This may be so and we may be proud but excellence knows not of corruption.

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